Therapy Services

Over the years, we’ve developed expertise in working with several groups of people, including

Our therapy skills are most pronounced in the following areas:

Expertise with Professionals

For several years, Dr. Kaplan served as Director of the Stress Management program at the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, one of the best institutes for cognitive-behavioral therapy in the country.  There, he specialized in helping many professionals manage stress and overcome psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD/ADHD, and substance abuse.  In addition, he has helped people navigate major life transitions, such as changing jobs or careers, getting married, getting divorced, and becoming a parent.  His patients have included corporate executives, financial industry professionals, attorneys, writers, and artists.  (return to top)

Expertise with Young Adults

Over the years, Dr. Kaplan has worked in counseling centers at various universities, including UCLA, Boston College, and Ohio University.  Most recently, he served as Associate Director for Counseling at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.  Through these positions, he has cultivated expertise in working with college-age adults and their families.  His young adult patients have expressed appreciation for his straightforward, practical approach to therapy, which comes with an understanding of the unique developmental issues associated with this precious time of life.  While not everyone has liked his occasional use of outdated slang from the 1980’s, they have found the sessions to be helpful, supportive, and insightful.  Parents, meanwhile, have trusted him to provide services to their children, with the understanding that he will involve them when and if necessary (e.g., in emergency situations).  As a dad himself, he knows that it can be difficult--even heart-breaking--to see your children suffer, and remains sympathetic to this experience.

Dr. Mahon has worked with adolescents and emerging adults for several years at St. John’s University and, more recently, at the Zucker Hillside Hospital (part of the North Shore LIJ Health System).  At Zucker, she worked with young adults on both an inpatient and outpatient basis, helping people during acute crises as well as on a weekly basis to work through ongoing difficulties. She enjoys working with young people as they make the critical transition from adolescence to adulthood, and in the past, her younger clients have appreciated the compassion she brings to the unique challenges they face in this often tumultuous time in their lives. (return to top)

Expertise with Couples

Over fifteen years ago, Dr. Kaplan was trained to do couples therapy by the co-founder of Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy (IBCT), Dr. Andy Christensen.  IBCT helps couples understand the dynamics of their relationship in order to promote acceptance of some fundamental differences, while providing them with the training and skills necessary to create a better relationship.  (For more information on IBCT, please review this recent article on Dr. Christensen in the APA Monitor:  Couples Doctor.)  Since his initial training, Dr, Kaplan has helped many couples (straight, gay, and lesbian) become more intitmate, communicative, and connected with each other, and helped others make the difficult decision to separate when it is in their best interest.  He has trained other professionals in IBCT, too.  In recent years, he has been expanding his work in couple therapy to incorporate other therapeutic approaches, such as Gottman therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  In fact, his most recent book is on the topic of love and relationships.  (return to top)

Diversity

As therapists, we have developed expertise in addressing patients' issues related to sexuality, sexual orientation, racial/ethnic identity, and culture.  Dr. Kaplan's longstanding interest in cross-cultural psychology prompted him to study Asian cultures and spend 2 years in Japan learning the language and conducting dissertation research.  This was his first experience as a racial minority, and it profoundly influenced his perspective as a “straight, White male” in the United States.  He became committed to social justice issues, which he embodies by educating therapists and students about diversity, writing professional articles on ethnicity and psychology, and being an active member of the Asian American Psychological Association.  From 2008 - 2010, he served as Secretary/Historian for its Executive Committee.

Having completed the bulk of her training in Queens, New York, the most diverse county in America, Dr. Mahon has had the opportunity to work with people from a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  Her experiences working on a dual-language inpatient unit, where diverse cultural practices were honored and incorporated into treatment, strengthened her ability to provide culturally competent therapeutic interventions.  (return to top)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is based on the fact that our thoughts and behaviors influence our emotional reactions (and vice versa).  Put another way, what we think and what we do influence what we feel.  CBT focuses very pragmatically on things that we can change in the present--rather than recounting past events--in order to feel better.  Research has shown this therapy to be very effective in helping people to manage and overcome psychiatric disorders, including Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Phobia, and many others.  It incorporates a variety of techniques and strategies, including rationally challenging distorted thoughts and exposing oneself--in a hierarchical fashion--to feared situations in order to become accustomed to the anxiety.  For more information on CBT, please visit the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (return to top)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is a relatively new form of behavioral therapy, which helps people give up the seemingly futile struggle to change unwanted aspects of themselves or their lives.  Instead, it encourages people to identify core, personal values and live in accordance with them.  So, in contrast to CBT, it does not actively try to change whatever is bothering us, but rather how we relate to it.  So, for example, if you keeping telling yourself that nobody likes you (a cognitive symptom of depression, perhaps), ACT would not try to dispute that thought, but rather encourage you to mindfully observe it, make fun of it, and live with it.  For more information about ACT, please visit the Association for Contextual Behavior Science (return to top)

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Interpersonal psychotherapy is a form of psychodynamic therapy that focuses on the relationship that develops between the patient and therapist.  It allows for each person to express his/her impressions, reactions, and assumptions in ways that allow for an honest examination of their accuracy and utility.  Put another way, the therapy room becomes a laboratory in which interpersonally-related thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can be addressed.  Through this process, you develop insight into how you operate in the world and assess its impact on others.   (return to top)

Mindfulness-based Therapies

For almost 15 years, Dr. Kaplan has been integrating mindfulness and meditation into his clinical work.  Mindfulness can help us become aware of our automatic reactions, and allow us the opportunity to be different.  Often, the mere act of noticing some aspect of our experience is enough to disrupt our usual ways of responding.  Meditation is a way of practicing mindfulness formally, as well as helping to train the mind in other ways.  Through his work in these areas, he has become interested in Buddhism and therapies that explicitly incorporate mindfulness, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Constructive Living.  (return to top)

Typical Session

Depending on your goals, difficulties, strengths, we devise a treatment program to meet your needs and promote your health and well-being.  We work collaboratively, inviting you to ask me questions and soliciting feedback on my understanding of your difficulties.  Also, we walk the line between challenging you to be different, while empathically appreciating how difficult this can be at times.  

A typical session with us might involve any of the following: identifying and challenging core beliefs of who you think you are or how the world works; cultivating mindful awareness of your senses, thoughts, or emotions through a guided exercise; articulating important personal values and the degree to which you embody them; or discussing the therapeutic relationship, with the understanding that some of your interpersonal assumptions might apply towards your therapist.  (return to top)