Therapy with Gabriela
From your perspective, what is therapy?
Therapy is a process through which you can gain awareness on underlying sources of symptoms and traces of personality in order to be able to modify them, building up another perspective of your own lives.
Through psychotherapy you examine and work on mechanisms that lead you to feel stuck in life and make you suffer. This will allow you to address issues, deal better with challenging situations and conflicts, assuming a different position in your life.
Repetitions, tormenting thoughts and feelings, difficulties in relationships, problems at work, and having experienced traumatic events in life are sources of suffering to be addressed throughout the therapeutic process within a safe and trusting place.
Please share 2-3 anonymized examples of how the work can play out and/or look in the room so that I can form a visual or narrative of what to expect.
-Mary came to her first session with a skeptical attitude toward therapy; from the beginning she explained that she did not believe in therapy. She came due to somatic symptoms that did not have any medical cause; for a long time she attempted to find a medical explanation for her body pains, she went through diverse medical examinations and took medication to alleviate them. One of her somatic symptoms consisted of suffering from pain in her neck, which at times limited her ability to work and her desire to socialize and be with people. It was when I pointed at the resonance of the expression “pain in the neck” that she was able to associate with those who were a “pain in the neck” for her and a path to alleviate her pain was open.
-Tom started therapy because he felt stuck in life; he was unable to make decisions, which triggered for him intense suffering. Throughout his work in sessions he gained awareness on the place he occupied within his family and unfolded childhood events which revealed the fear of damaging the other. Thus he realized how, for him, moving on in life and making decisions was linked to hurting a loved person. It was only when this fantasy came up to the surface and he was able to work on it, that he was able to start to assume another position towards others.
Are there any philosophies or values that inform your work that I should know about?
I base my clinical work on the psychoanalytic framework. Each person is unique, so each therapeutic process develops in a singular way. Therapy aims at your own desire and decisions to emerge.
How much do you share about yourself during our time together and why?
Therapy is focused on you; what is built up in the therapeutic setting is about yourself. Therefore, whether I consider sharing about myself will depend on your unique process of therapy.
How participatory are you during sessions?
Each session unfolds within a safe and trusting environment where my participation will depend on the style that you have, your singular way of being and what is necessary for you in terms of the development of therapy.
Do you assign homework, activities, or readings for me to do between sessions? Why or why not?
There is no assignment of homework or any specific activity between sessions; however, if you ask for any specific activity or reading to do, we will work on it as an aspect of your therapeutic process. It may also happen that you feel motivated to do something as an effect of the work throughout therapy.
How will our relationship be different than relationships I have with friends/loved ones?
The expertise of the therapist guides the therapeutic process; being the therapist, I will provide you support and orientation to elaborate on sources of suffering within a safe and trusting environment. Throughout the therapeutic process you are going to be surprised when you listen to yourself and be able to discover your unknown aspects.
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?
As the therapeutic process is unique for each person, the time to leave will be singular, too. As an important instance of therapy, we are going to work on the time to terminate, too. If at some point you feel that it is time to leave, it is essential to bring this matter up in order to work on it and elaborate the termination process.
Where did you work before going into private practice?
I have more than 20 years of experience as a psychotherapist. When I was a psychology student in Argentina, I collaborated in the Department of Immunology at the Durand hospital in Buenos Aires: under supervision I provided treatment to patients who suffered from autoimmune diseases. When I graduated as a psychologist, I provided clinical services at the Admission Department of Braulio Moyano Psychiatric Hospital.
I migrated to the United States around 2000 and I began to work as a bilingual psychotherapist at a Mental Health Clinic in New York which provided services to immigrants.
Have you received any particular training beyond your post-Bachelor’s training?
I graduated as a psychologist at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in Argentina. In the United Stated I completed my master´s degree in Social Work at New York University. Later on I obtained my clinical license and my R privilege.
What led you to become a mental healthcare practitioner?
My sensitivity to human suffering and social justice led me to become a psychotherapist. I have always cared for people. Being very young, I was determined to work in order to help people have a better life.
What is the best part of the work for you?
It is very rewarding for me to see clients improve their lives and find out new ways of dealing with adversities, reaching their full potential in life and following their own desire.
What is unique about the work you do, or how have you found your work to be different than your colleagues’?
I am a bilingual psychotherapist who has a considerable amount of experience working with individuals, couples, and families. I have developed a personal and professional expertise as an analyst in formation, which made me grow my assertiveness and efficiency in helping clients within a large variety of difficulties.
How do you approach diversity in the room or working with clients who may come from a different background than you?
As a psychotherapist, I center on listening to each client considering their own culture. It has been essential to develop my approach to this matter since I am an immigrant and have worked for almost 20 years with people of different backgrounds.
How can you tell if I am benefiting from working with you?
You will start to notice that you grow your insight into matters that previously appeared unknown or hidden, which will help you to deal with daily obstacles better. You may start to notice differences in your relationships and your perception on life.
How can you tell if I am feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard?
Sometimes feeling stuck, unseen, or unheard is part of the therapeutic process and it needs to be addressed within sessions. When obstacles in the process appear, you do not have to get scared. It is important to know that resistances and difficulties are part of the work along therapy; it is when we face them that we are able to achieve significant progress.
How long should I commit to being in therapy, at least in the beginning?
The preliminary sessions will allow us to assess if it is convenient for you to start therapy with me. As therapy is a process, time is necessary in order to see effects, which will be different considering the singularity of each person. You may consider attending sessions for at least a couple of months on a weekly basis in order to begin the therapeutic process.
How should I prepare for my first session with you?
You do not need to be prepared in any specific way for your first session; I will be waiting for you and once that you are here you can freely talk. Don't worry if you find it hard to open up about your feelings; as a therapist I will help you gain more confidence and comfort for you to talk.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
You need to bring your ID.
Do I need to be mindful of anything in particular while commuting to your office?
I have availability to attend in two different locations:
-Astoria. 3051 36th St. 1st floor Astoria NY 11103 –located close to the 30th Ave Station and W trains and Steinway Station (R, M, F trains)- in Astoria, Queens
-Manhattan. 303 Fifth Avenue #1309. New York, NY 10016 -Fifth Avenue between 31st and 32nd Street: Subway lines 1, 2, 3, 6, N, R, Q, F, D. Close to Penn Station and the Path Train
“Gabriela is an extremely devoted psychologist and clinical social worker who always cares about others. She possesses excellent clinical skills; she is intelligent, diligent and passionate about her work. Gabriela is a tireless professional who takes on all challenges and is always willing to help out”. Dinorah Otero LCSW-R