Therapy with Bryan
From your perspective, what is therapy?
As a whole, the process of revisiting memories, talking through things, and experiencing emotions in the present is the work of therapy. It’s the opportunity to experience yourself in a new way with someone else. One of the main outcomes of therapy is an ability to live your life more fully and freely.
Are there any philosophies or values that inform your work that I should know about?
We all are attached to our stories. I try really hard to listen to everything you tell me, but to stay clear about what's real and what's fantasy, what's contemporary and what's historical. This is something that can be really hard to do for yourself; I'm an ally in helping you figure out the difference between the past and the present, fantasy and reality.
My goal is to work with you, so you can discern what's actually happening, and so you can understand what, in your current circumstances, is a result of things that have happened previously; what's a result of things you're doing today; and what's actually happening.
How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?
I typically share very little about myself, especially when I’m just getting to know you. This is deliberate! Because I want to hear your voice. If I were to share about myself,I may be giving you information, but I'm taking away from you the opportunity to imagine your own version of the answer. The intention is for us to get to know you and share a space. That space that makes you a unique individual in the world.
How participatory are you during sessions?
I’m very mindful of my presence in the room with you. If I start noticing that you’re feeling like I’m distant and cold, I’ll talk more. Maybe even crack a joke -- mine aren’t always the best, but I try. If I notice that my presence is bothering you or you’re a little overwhelmed, I’ll stop talking. I'm trying to understand your experience, and to notice when and how it's helpful for me to speak with you to optimize your comfort and offset that with your growth.
Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?
Typically not. I might mention a book in passing if it seems relevant. I come from the mindset that you’re always working in therapy. The healing that comes from therapy happens in life. I’m just around to make slight course corrections. That’s one of the reasons therapy takes time. A little course correction here, another there, suddenly! you’re in new territory (i.e. you’ve changed).
How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?
Our relationship is bound by “the frame.” You can imagine a picture frame for the scene that we’re painting together. “The frame” is a bit defined. We have a mutually agreed upon fee, time and place to meet, and certain non-normalized conventions -- you speak and I mostly listen. But of course when I have something of value to say, I’ll say it! Because of the definition of “the frame” there’s infinite ways we can explore you as a unique person and work through what is troubling you at any given point in time.
Is there ever a time when you would encourage me to leave or graduate? Or how do I know when it’s time to end or move on, or time to stay and explore more?
For most people, therapy shouldn’t be life-long. Along our journey together, if I feel you’ve made sufficient progress and we get the sense that the material is very circular and you’re coming to the same conclusions and thoughts I am, then perhaps it’s time for us to part ways. Sometimes, this appears like it’s the case when in fact it’s the very thing you came to therapy struggling with! If that’s the case, I’ll mention it and hope we’ll work together for more time to resolve it. Overall, we can consider parting ways when you can work, love, and have hobbies at a level you’re satisfied with.
Where did you work before going into private practice?
I worked in ambulatory care in a hospital in the city providing psychotherapy to adolescents. I’ve also worked in supervised visitation in Kings County Family Court. I’ve done community-based art therapy with orphan children in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, I worked in Advertising and Marketing in Brazil.
Have you received any particular training beyond your post-Bachelor’s training?
-Analyst in Formation, Après-Coup Psychoanalytic Association
-Eating Disorders, Compulsions, and Addictions, the William Alanson White Institute
-Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, the William Alanson White Institute
-Mother-Infant Nonverbal Communication, with Beatrice Beebe, PhD
-Argentine Model of Integrative Psychotherapy, Fundación AIGLÉ
-Masters in Social Work, New York University
What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?
Experiences living in Argentina and working in an orphanage doing art therapy solidified for me the power that human connection and empathy can have when supporting a person make changes in their lives. There’s something uniquely special about the therapeutic encounter—a kind of closeness and understanding not easily found in the outside world. Cultivating that space for someone so that they feel able to take a risk, perhaps for the first time in their lives, to change the course of their life led me to this work.
What is the best part of the work for you?
The moment when a person realizes that all their hard work over the course of treatment has paid off and they have realized they’ve changed. It’s a special moment where the person is a little surprised, filled with joy, yearns for possibilities in the future, and experiences a tad of nostalgia for the way they use to be. It’s a special moment.
What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues’?
My work is very experiential. Somehow the present, past and future collapse into a moment and becomes what we’re experiencing in the moment. I also work with many people where other therapies have failed or only gotten mediocre results. I’m skilled at working with people who have a diffuse sense of self or experience holes in their sense of self and experience.
How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?
I come from the position of curiosity. Trying to understand the other person’s perspectives and unique relationship to the world, themselves, and me in the room with them. Having lived, studied, and worked, in Israel, Argentina and Brazil, I’ve experienced many moments of awkwardness that become exciting points of shared growth and learning.
How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?
The things you’ll talk about are less emotionally charged. You’ll have a more open disposition to yourself, others, and the process of therapy. You’ll see yourself in a new light with fresh opportunities in places where maybe it all seemed hopeless. Your bodily disposition is more relaxed.
How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?
If you're feeling stuck, I might notice that your body language sort of closes up and changes from its normal position. Maybe you’ll cross your arms or legs. Angle your body away from me. Your facial expressions might tighten and you might look away from me. Even the slightest shift in breaking eye contact during discussing something painful can imply you’re feeling unheard, unseen and maybe even stuck or perhaps that it’s all too overwhelming. These are really delicate moments that deserve special attention on my part.
How long should I commit to being in therapy, at least in the beginning?
Duration of treatment varies upon you and what you hope to achieve from the process. I work in an open-ended way and will provide you with my recommendation on duration, but it is ultimately up to you.
Some people work with me nearly daily for years, while others come once a week for a few months. On the whole, I would recommend a minimum of six months.
Over the course of treatment, we can check in where you’re at in the process and see where you’d like to move on from there.
How should I prepare for my first session with you?
Come as you are. No need to prepare anything.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
Do I need to be mindful of anything in particular while commuting to your office?
My office is conveniently located next to 14 St - Union Square Station. Near the N/R/Q/W/4/5/6/L trains. I’m also about a 5 minute walk from the 14 St station of the M/F trains.
“Bryan is exceptionally present, thoughtful and sensitive in his efforts toward understanding his patients. I believe the respect and compassion he offers toward patients' unique experiences is rare. He brings not only his whole self to his clinical work, but a depth of theoretical grounding and a dedication to ongoing learning in the field. And as far as personality goes, he is a pleasure to be around!”