I’M A NEW YORK STATE LICENSED PSYCHOTHERAPIST with a private practice in the Wall St. area of downtown NYC. Along with my practice, I spend one day a week at Google working as their in-house therapist and I write a blog about personal development, which is a subject I’ve always been basically obsessed with.
I work with people who can present really well, seem completely put together when they want to be, and whose problems are not immediately apparent to others.
More specifically, I work with highly ambitious, pefectionistic NYC women in their 20’s and 30’s whose lives seem to be going pretty well on the outside — but privately, they’re hurting.
Sometimes the source of the hurt is clearly known, other times it’s waiting to be discovered. My clients know themselves well enough to sense that the dissonance they feel isn’t the kind of thing you can just “shake off” or that will go away spontaneously. Something needs to be addressed in order to fully thrive, and they’re willing to do the work to address it.
If you’re curious about the way I work, you can read more about my philosophy here.
With fourteen years of counseling experience in an extremely broad range of capacities, I’m adept at tailoring my approach to the unique needs of each of my clients. I use the culmination of my experience, education and research to inform my approach, all of which you’re welcome to read about in greater detail below.
I earned my Bachelor’s degree in psychology at UC Berkeley before obtaining two Masters from Columbia University, one focused on clinical assessment and the other on psychological counseling. Additionally, I completed post-graduate training and certification at the Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy in NYC.
My clinical experience began at a residential treatment center in Los Angeles called Hillsides. My work at Hillsides focused on helping individuals and families process and move forward from trauma and abuse to create a life that was not dictated by their past.
After moving to NYC for graduate school, I continued my clinical work and training at The Dean Hope Center. I completed my graduate fieldwork at a private practice in midtown and went on to work at a rehab center called The Realization Center. At the Realization Center, I ran group and individual counseling sessions centered on addiction issues of all kinds–food addiction, drug and alcohol addiction, attachments to drama and negative people, etc. While I was working at the Realization Center, I began to build my private practice part-time and eventually made the full-time transition over to what I’m doing now.
I earned my BA minor in education and I’m passionate about using books, blogs, reading and writing habits as a way to key-in to personal well-being (and as accessible and affordable self-soothing tools). While I was attending Berkeley, I worked at the Lionel Wilson Preparatory Academy as a literacy specialist with an emphasis on how to use books, reading and writing to add structure, calm and insight to the day.
Around that same time, my peripheral interests in sociology and advertising lead me to Dr. Jean Kilbourne’s research on how advertising influences thoughts, feelings and each person’s sense of cultural normalcy. Through the Decal program, I developed and taught two courses at UC Berkeley based directly on Dr. Kilbourne’s work:
Deconstructing Advertising: Exploring the subjective power of advertising campaigns
The Psychology of Need: Exploring identity formation through brand attachment
Research requires such a great deal of time, and the choice to devote that precious little resource of mine to my private practice work precludes me from actively participating in research anymore. However, once upon a time…
My research interests focused on cultural norming, empathic accuracy and mind/body connections. By cultural norming, I mean the factors that lead to people feeling that one thing is “normal” over another, and how people break away from their norm schemas to create their own measure of normal. What are the emotional consequences and benefits of breaking out of, for example, family normed ideas about success? What about the emotional consequences and benefits of breaking away from cultural norms of beauty, relationship satisfaction and productivity/self-worth.
By empathic accuracy, I’m talking about the sensation of feeling someone’s eyes on you from across the room or feeling the tension in the room, for example. Do people vary in their ability to accurately feel the emotional landscapes around them, and if so, why? Can you get better at feeling what someone else is feeling? At the Berkeley Institute for Human Development in California, I assisted Dr. Gilad Hirschberger in his empathic accuracy studies. The empathic accuracy studies examined emotional reactivity, control and perception to determine how culture and ethnicity influence the behavioral, subjective, communicative and physiological aspects of emotions.
By mind/body connections, I mean the way hormones like dopamine and cortisol impact perspective, hopefulness, and depression. At UCLA’s Hammen Lab, I assisted Dr. Constance Hammen in her hormone and depression studies. Dr. Hammen’s work examined the role of cortisol in stress, depression and interpersonal aspects of psychopathology.
Morgan, K. (2003). Bestowing Expertise on Children: using drama in education to reduce violence and promote wellness. New Teachers’ Digest, 7, 51-73.
Katherine Schafler, LMHC, PLLC
New York, NY