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Nancy Wender,  LCSW


Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is invaluable in helping ameliorate problems that may have originated in childhood.  By providing a safe, nonjudgmental, respectful, trusting environment, patients are supported in their quest to uncover and deal with emotional issues that have negatively affected their well-being throughout their lives.  We look at the family environment as a template for present-day functioning and look for patterns that have created stumbling blocks to patients’ achieving their goals.  Sometimes psychotherapy can be the only avenue in someone’s life where he or she feels validated and listened to.  A patient finds that he/she is not alone.  Therefore, the patient’s ability to participate in the emotional work of therapy, which can at times be difficult, will yield important dividends and will extend beyond the treatment setting to one’s life.

Over time, patients report feeling more in control of their lives, better able to see that they have choices and feel that their anger or sadness is lessened.  Barriers to moving forward are lifted, and patients begin to work toward the long-desired changes they seek.  One notices a new focus on self-care, rather than constant care of others at one’s own expense.  This attention to oneself opens doors of opportunity, improved connections with others and easier navigation through life. 

Couples many times present with an immediate crisis, and the objective is to lessen the intensity of the mood or behavior.  Once calm is restored, then other goals can be tackled.  Ms. Wender believes that respect is the cornerstone of work with couples.  Each member of the couple is listened to and validated, as communication breakdowns are common and can lead to hurt and alienation in the couple.  Respect for difference is encouraged, and sessions aim to teach and reinforce empathy for one’s partner. 

Ultimately, one important aim of couples therapy is to instill in the couple the belief that they are “on the same team” and are strengthened by working toward common goals as an intact unit.  However, individual, couple and family goals are not mutually exclusive, and we work to bolster and support the couple in all of these arenas.