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Colette Ingrid Brown, MA ED., LCSW

Couples, Individuals & Families

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Emotionally Focused Therapy


To be seen, to be heard,
to be understood...

We all need this, but all too often they go neglected. Of course, the reasons for this range. Maybe you are afraid to pay attention to your mental health, or your habit of putting others' needs ahead of our own gets in the way. Or, maybe you think that therapy can't help because you've been this way so long, you can't change...

I get it.

When you walk into my office for the first time, speak your truth and wonder, "Am I crazy?!" my usual answer is, "No, what you are feeling makes a lot of sense...."

Colette Ingrid Brown, MA ED. LCSW
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  • MSW, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College

  • MA Ed., Brooklyn College – CUNY

  • MA , University of California, Los Angeles

  • BA, Columbia University

  • New York  LCSW, License # 095616 

  • New Jersey LMSW, License #44SL06845100

  • NPI #1477073997

  • Certificate, Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy, New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy

  • Certificate, Foundations of Family Therapy and Live Clinical Supervision, Ackerman Institute for the Family

About Me

Before becoming a clinical social worker, I was a teacher. For over 15 years, I taught in public high schools in NYC where students strove to use education as their catapult over the barriers of systemic racism and poverty. That experience is foundational to my belief that personal, cultural, and societal narratives can both negatively and positively shape who we are and what we believe we can achieve. Together in the therapy room, we will confront some key questions: Who wrote my story? What do I want? How do I become my own author?

My experience has also given me unique insight into the challenges that people face as they navigate relationships, careers, parenting, identity, and institutions against the backdrop of New York City's unique set of stressors.

I have an eclectic approach to psychotherapy.  I use Emotionally Focused Therapy, attachment theory, and relational approaches to help people explore the ways they could navigate life's provocations with more intent, mindfulness, and self-possession. For every client, I tailor their treatment plans to their specific needs, the issues they are struggling with, and the goals they want to achieve. I specialize in relationships, parenting, aging, stressors stemming from racial, gender, sexual and cultural identities, life transitions, anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. I work with adults, couples, and families.

  • What happens during a consultation call?
    Typically, our therapeutic process commences with a complimentary 15-20 minute consultation via Zoom, or telephone. In this initial conversation, you will have the opportunity to share your reasons for seeking help and any specific goals or pertinent information you believe I should be aware of. If we all feel we are suitable match, I'll offer insights into how I can assist you and address any inquiries you may have. Additionally, we will discuss fees and scheduling during this consultation. However, if you prefer to forego the consultation, we can proceed with scheduling through email and cover these aspects during our first session. During your first therapy appointment, you can expect a supportive and non-judgmental environment as you share your thoughts and feelings with a professional who is there to help you. Opening to a stranger may feel challenging but remember that therapists are trained to create a safe space for you to express yourself openly.
  • What can I expect to happen at our first session?
    For individual therapy, the first session typically involves a comprehensive intake process. This allows the therapist to understand your background, personal history, and any significant relationships in your life. You'll have the opportunity to discuss what has brought you to therapy and the specific challenges or issues you are facing at the moment. The therapist may ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. In the case of couples therapy, the first session usually involves meeting with both partners together and sometimes individually. This approach allows the therapist to assess each partner's perspective, feelings, and concerns about the relationship. Understanding the dynamics of each partner's experiences and perspectives is vital for formulating an effective treatment plan. After the initial sessions, the therapist will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs and goals. This plan outlines the therapeutic approach and strategies that will be used to address the issues at hand. The therapist may also set specific objectives for therapy, and you will have the opportunity to provide input and ask any questions about the process. Throughout the therapeutic journey, you can expect regular check-ins to evaluate progress and discuss how the therapy process is working for you. It is important to maintain open communication with your therapist to ensure that the treatment remains relevant and effective for your individual circumstances. Remember, therapy is a collaborative process, and your active participation and honesty are essential for making the most out of your sessions. Over time, as trust is built between you and I, you may find it easier to share things that you may not have vocalized to anyone before. The therapeutic relationship can be a transformative and healing experience as you work together to navigate life's challenges and foster personal growth.
  • What is your approach to therapy?
    I use a variety of therapy techniques like Relational, Internal Family Systems, Narrative, and Psychodynamic. However, I draw mostly upon my training in Emotionally Focused Therapy.
  • What is Emotionally Focused Therapy?
    Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a form of psychotherapy that primarily focuses on emotional bonding and attachment in relationships. It was developed in the 1980s by Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Les Greenberg and is based on the principles of attachment theory and humanistic psychology. The central premise of EFT is that emotions are at the core of our interpersonal experiences, particularly in intimate relationships. The therapy aims to identify and address emotional patterns that may be causing distress or disconnect between partners. It operates on the belief that emotions are essential for creating secure and loving bonds between individuals, and when emotions are not adequately expressed, understood, or responded to, relationship problems can arise. The key principles of Emotionally Focused Therapy include: * Emotion as a Guide: EFT considers emotions as essential sources of information that guide human interactions and shape the quality of relationships. The therapy aims to help couples identify and express their emotions in a safe and constructive manner. * Attachment Theory: EFT operates on the belief that emotional bonds with significant others (attachment figures) are fundamental to human behavior and psychological well-being. The therapy helps couples understand their attachment styles and how they influence their interactions and reactions in the relationship. * Negative Cycles: EFT identifies that many conflicts stem from negative cycles of interaction. These patterns often lead to emotional disconnection, and the therapy seeks to break these cycles by introducing healthier patterns of communication and responsiveness. * Creating a Secure Bond: The primary goal of EFT is to foster a secure emotional bond between partners. Therapists work with couples to enhance emotional responsiveness and accessibility, helping them feel emotionally safe and connected. EFT follows a structured and systematic approach that involves the following key steps: Assessment: In the initial stages, the therapist works with the couple to understand the dynamics of their relationship and identify the underlying emotional patterns that contribute to conflicts and disconnection. Identifying emotions: EFT focuses on helping each partner identify and express their deeper emotional experiences, such as fear, sadness, shame, or vulnerability. By exploring and expressing these emotions, couples can gain insight into their own needs and the needs of their partners. Restructuring interactions: Once emotions are identified, the therapist helps couples reshape their interactions in the relationship. This involves promoting open and honest communication, validating each other's emotions, and fostering a secure emotional bond. Creating secure attachment: EFT emphasizes the importance of secure emotional attachment in relationships. Therapists help couples develop a safe and trusting connection, where partners feel supported, understood, and valued. Consolidation and integration: As progress is made, the therapist and the couple work together to consolidate the changes, so the new emotional patterns become more ingrained in the relationship. EFT is an evidence-based therapy that has been shown to be highly effective in improving relationship satisfaction and reducing conflicts. The therapy is widely used for various relationship issues, including communication difficulties, trust issues, infidelity, and emotional distance. Overall, Emotionally Focused Therapy aims to help couples build stronger emotional bonds, enhance communication, and create a secure and loving attachment, ultimately fostering healthier and more fulfilling relationships.
  • What about insurance?
    I am an "Out of Network" (OOO) provider which means that I have not contracted with any insurance company, nor do I process insurance claims. However, I will give you a "Superbill" which you can use to file claims for insurance reimbursement. Many insurance companies offer reimbursement through out-of-network benefits. I include three links below to help you understand what out-of-network means, how working with an out-of-network provider can affect the cost of therapy, and a calculator to see the fair market cost of out-of-network psychotherapy and reimbursement rates for tri-state area. If you have questions about out-of-network benefits, what to ask your insurance provider, or current availability of sliding scale appointments, I welcome you to reach out via my Contact Me form below.


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