About Cate

Education

Brown University, BA, Women’s Studies, 1987

SUNY Albany, Masters in Social Work, 1995

Licensure

NY State Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Note: License still listed under Maiden Name: Catherine E. Richardson R073496

Qualifications

I have 27 years of post-Masters experience, over 17 of which I have spent doing psychotherapy. Over 2 years ago, I opened my own psychotherapy practice.

Specialties

I specialize in treating people with mood disorders (eg. Depression, Bipolar), people experiencing stress and anxiety, people with chronic illness and members of the LGBTQ+ community.  Although I specialize in these particular areas, it should be noted that I treat people with a broad variety of mental health issues.  The only issues that I do not treat are:  eating disorders, people with active drug/alcohol/gambling addictions.

Treatment Modalities

 I work with adults and couples, using a wide variety of treatment modalities that I have learned over the years, including mindfulness and other relaxation techniques, family systems theory, solution-focused psychotherapy, and psychodynamic approaches.  I have a “toolbox” of therapeutic techniques that I use with my clients.

So, what does all of this really mean?  “Mindfulness” techniques help one to be in the present moment.  Most of our anxiety comes from worries about the past or fears about the future, so if we can learn to be in the present moment, it can be enormously comforting.  I often record mindfulness and other relaxation techniques so that my clients can use these in between sessions.

Family systems theory helps us understand what types of patterns existed in the families we grew up in.  Very often one finds oneself repeating these same patterns in our current families.  I work with people to change old, often dysfunctional, patterns and to learn a new way to interact with their family members.

Solution-focused psychotherapy offers some good tools for viewing the world in a more positive way and thus easing depressive symptoms.  I can teach you how to notice and attend to what is going right with your day, causing your mood to improve.  Not only does depression cause negative thinking, but negative thinking causes depression.  Solution-focused thinking also teaches us to do more of what works, less of what does not.  A simple but very useful concept.

Psychodynamic theory is very broad, but I use it mostly to assess if there were any disruptions to my clients attaching to their parental figures.  Disruptions in attachment can lead to dysfunctional patterns of behavior later in life, often causing problems in ones relationships with significant others or problems in ones relationships with ones children.  Again, these patterns can be changed with psychotherapy and also can be partially healed even by attaching to ones therapist.

Philosophy

I work with adults and couples to ease their stress, to find a sense of acceptance and inner peace within themselves and in their relationships, to improve their moods, to help them view themselves, their environment and their families in a more positive way, and to give them tools for coping, relaxation, and communicating more effectively.  For members of the LGBTQ+ community, I assist with self-acceptance, coping with living in an often invalidating world, dealing with their families, and gender transitions.