By Ellen Edwards, Board Member, The Counseling Center
Tara Brennan, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, has joined the staff of The Counseling Center. Executive Director Virgil Roberson, Clinical Director Jennifer Naparstek Klein, the board of directors and other staff members are thrilled to welcome her.
Tara specializes in the treatment of trauma, depression, adult ADHD, and multicultural issues. Her approach to psychotherapy is active, collaborative, and integrated.
Tara’s areas of specialty include adult survivors of trauma of many kinds; often these clients have survived childhood abuse—emotional, physical, or sexual. She helps adults with ADHD manage the disorder and the intense feelings of shame common among individuals who have repeatedly received negative feedback from their environment.
Having done much of her clinical work in racially and ethnically diverse settings, she also has extensive experience working with people whose life challenges are overlaid with the burden of racism. She is fascinated by the resilience of clients who maintain their self-worth while enduring large and small slights on a regular basis. Her dissertation examines the interplay between ethnic identity, prejudice, and cognitive development.
Tara incorporates many kinds of treatment interventions. They include psychodynamic approaches, a Freudian-influenced treatment in which clients are encouraged to gain insights into their unconscious behavior combined with guidance to help them adopt new skills and behavior; Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT, in which the client is aided in developing specific skills to regulate their emotions; and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, a short-term approach that focuses on the interplay between the client’s thoughts and feelings and seeks to identify cognitive distortions that might be interfering with their ability to function.
Achieving certification as a clinical psychologist requires rigorous training–years of classroom education and extensive experience in clinical settings. Tara received her undergraduate degree from Bates College and her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University/Brooklyn. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Lenox Hill Hospital and an internship at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. Additionally, she trained at Beth Israel Medical Center, NYU’S Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, and the NYU Child Study Center.
Coming to The Counseling Center with a deep expertise, and after several years in private practice, Tara is fully prepared to expand her role in a group setting. In a recent visit to her office, this writer found her open, relaxed, and engaging, easy to talk with and a thoughtful listener.
Tara seeks to acquire new clients at The Counseling Center while continuing to serve the clients in her private practice. She is comfortable with in-person and virtual sessions. Although she finds that some clients benefit from meeting in person, others do fine in virtual settings.
Tara continues to see the impacts of the pandemic on her clients, especially in their relationships. In her experience, the pandemic made intimate relationships either much better or much worse as underlying strengths or weaknesses became more evident in the close confines required by lockdowns and at-home work. She’s found that shifts in working and dating patterns from real life meetings to on-screen interactions, which have continued despite the waning of the pandemic, sometimes leave people feeling stressed and isolated. She’s also keenly aware of the addictive nature of technology, which contributes to disconnections in relationships, disrupted sleep patterns, and feelings of loneliness and anxiety.
How can someone know when they would benefit from seeing a therapist? Tara believes it’s always helpful to talk to a nonjudgmental professional. If your performance at work is suffering or your relationships are conflicted; if you feel isolated or not able to function well in different areas of your life; if you’re numbing yourself with food, streaming TV, sex, drugs, or alcohol in an effort to avoid your feelings—in any of these situations you might benefit from seeing someone. Often a therapist can help a client view their circumstances with new eyes and find ways to improve their life.
Tara learned of The Counseling Center’s work a couple of years ago. When a position for a new therapist became available, she was given an opportunity to join a weekly meeting of the staff in which the therapists share thoughts and insights about specific challenges in their work. That rewarding collegiality, which Tara had not experienced while in private practice, deeply appealed to her and convinced her to join The Counseling Center.
Everyone at The Counseling Center is delighted to welcome Tara Brennan, whose rich experience as a clinical psychologist offers many new avenues of exploration for its clients.
The Counseling Center is a nonprofit group of therapists located in Bronxville and serving its surrounding communities. Learn more at https://counselingcenter.org/. Or, if at any time you feel in need of comfort and support, please call 914-793-3388.