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Robin Newman, LCSW Long Island therapists

Are therapists paid to agree with you?

Robin Newman, Imago relationship therapist: Are therapists paid to agree with you?

I often get the question if I ever ‘agree’ with my clients.

So, here’s my answer to that:

I will always agree with blatant injustice. But, I feel that if I agree completely, I’m letting the person off the hook of looking at what their duplicity is. What they are doing to participate in the relationship / situation that they are in?

If I just agree, then how am I helping them to see and to prevent the next ‘set up’ because I always say to people that things come in different disguises.

So if I just agree with you saying he / she is a jackass, etc. and then you get into a new relationship with someone else and you’re doing the same things again. How is that helping you?

I’m going to be more in the realm of saying, yeah, that wasn’t such a great thing that he / she did to you, but what did you to participate? What patterns are you following / stuck in? What kinds of people are you choosing to surround yourself with to find yourself still getting into these situations?

For more info. on counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW

Robin Newman, social worker & owner of the Huntington Relationship Center in Long Island, NY.

Robin Newman, LCSW-R, PC THE HUNTINGTON RELATIONSHIP CENTER

Imago Relationship Therapists – Individual, Couples & Family Counseling

148 East Main Street (Suite 102) Huntington, NY 11743 (631) 421-4701

individual counseling depression / anxiety Long Island

How we feed into our depression / anxiety

Another question that is often asked to me when people are calling me up to sort of screen me to see if I’m the right fit is they’ll ask me, how I work with their depression / anxiety?

I try to approach it as a relational model.

I do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well.

Most people that are coming to me individually, they are coming in because from a relational perspective, they feel immobilized. They are in a relationship. They want to blame their parents, spouse, children, boss, etc.. whoever it is.

I try to create a construct for them to look at how are YOU feeding into the problem?

How are you making yourself the victim vs. the victor?

We try to focus on being curious again and filled with wonder about how do I participate in this relational dance as opposed to looking to blame, shame, or throw it off on someone else.

Let’s face it: we all want to completely control our outcomes in everything.

I think if we can spend less time thinking about what other people may be thinking, and spend more time thinking about what WE can do to change or shift the outcome, we’ll usually find a favorable outcome.

If there isn’t a favorable outcome, then you have the opportunity to look at the situation and say, ok so, now what do I do with the situation now that this person is not accepting the boundaries that I’ve expressed to them?

Individual counseling is meant to help people with emotional & other mental health issues such as depression / anxiety, which can range in severity / intensity. Get the help you need in a 100% safe space.

Contact Robin for additional information on therapy sessions.

For other videos of Robin Newman, watch on YouTube!

imago relationship therapy NY

The Imago Dialogue for Couples

If you feel that your relationship is lacking intimacy, I highly encourage you to look into the Imago Dialogue. As an Imago Relationship Therapist, I help guide couples who struggle for re-connection to find their way, develop better communication skills, and fully be heard and understood. Once this happens, couples open up, their hearts open, and their relationships are revived with a new hope and feeling of intimacy with one another.

Effective communication is really the lubrication to your relationship. It matters to both partners to have the freedom and safety to express their concerns/resentments/issues and fully be heard.

The Imago Dialogue

In the Imago Dialogue, both partners agree to a basic ground rule: one person talks at a time.

There is one person who is speaking (aka sending) and another who is listening (aka receiving).

It’s when you’re in the role of Listener/Receiver that you will be doing the 3 steps of Imago Dialogue which are:

• Mirroring
• Validation
• Empathy

STEP 1: MIRROR

When your partner pauses, or perhaps when you have asked them to pause, you will repeat back exactly everything you heard them say. You will mirror without analyzing, critiquing, modifying or responding.

EXAMPLE: “If I got it right, I heard you say…” and then ask the Speaker/Sender if there’s more they’d like to add to what they said: “Is there anything else you want to add/say?”

STEP 2: VALIDATE

After giving the Sender as many opportunities to “add more” as needed, once the Sender says there is no more, the Receiver attempts to validate what the Sender said. The Sender will validate if what they are hearing back from you is making logical sense to them – if they feel you got the message. If the Sender feels that you didn’t understand what they’ve told you, you simply share what does make sense to you, and then ask the Sender to say more about the parts that don’t.

EXAMPLE: “This makes sense to me because…” or “That makes sense, I can see where…”

Ask for clarification:  “This part makes sense, but help me understand this, can you say more?”

STEP 3: EMPATHIZE

In the final step, the Receiver takes a guess as to what they imagine the Sender might be feeling with regard to what they have been saying. If the Sender has already said how they feel, then the Receiver can simply reflect this back once more. If the Receiver can think of an additional way their partner might be feeling, this is where they add that.

When sending empathy, it is fine to say something such as:  “I can imagine you feel like …. (you’re the only one working on our relationship).” However, it’s important to know that once the word “like” comes into play, what’s being expressed is a thought, not a feeling. The best way we have come to distinguish the difference between a thought and a feeling, is that a feeling can generally be described in a few words: happy, excited, safe, cared for, hurt, frustrated, scared. Try to include feeling words if you can. Doing so, especially when lucky enough to hit the proverbial nail on the head, will often bring a look of recognition and joy to your partner’s face faster than anything else you could say.

EXAMPLE:  “I can imagine you might be feeling drained from this…”

Now that the Sender has said all they have to say and the Receiver has mirrored, validated and empathized, the whole process reverses. Partners trade places, but the new Sender does not start a new topic, rather s/he responds to what the first Sender said. The Receiver now gets their turn to respond with whatever came up for them while the first partner was sending.

If you are interested in learning more about using Imago Dialogue for your relationship, contact Robin Newman, LCSW.

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Robin Newman LCSW Long Island, marriage counselor talks about empathy

How do you teach empathy?

Robin Newman, how do you teach empathy?

Empathy is the ability to emotionally understand what other people feel, see things from their point of view, and imagine yourself in their place. Essentially, it is putting yourself in someone else’s position and feeling what they must be feeling.

I like to explain empathy as looking at a sunset. Imagine standing next to your partner on a dock looking at a sunset. Everyone sees colors differently. What colors are you seeing? What colors does your partner see? Maybe you do this in real life to show how differently we all see and what we focus on.

This is a glimpse into empathy. It’s all about perception. Maybe you focus on the blues and your partner is seeing more oranges in a sunset. Is there a correct answer to what we’re seeing? Not really… it’s just what we as individuals personally focus on.

Empathy is about letting go of our vision and truly trying to see someone else’s.

If we can only learn to see things through another person’s eyes, our understanding of other people would be greater, maybe our tolerance and acceptance would be greater, and our relationships (in all forms) would be better.

CONTACT ROBIN NEWMAN, LCSW-R, PC
Individual, Couples & Family Therapist

couples counseling - love & empathy

The Huntington Relationship & Therapy Center
148 East Main Street Huntington, NY 11743
(631) 421-4701

“My approach towards couples is oriented not only towards solving the problems the couple is facing, but to revive the feeling of love and affection they have towards each other.”

couples therapist Long Island - Therapy for Better Mental Health

Therapy for Better Mental Health

Therapy for better mental health with Robin Newman, licensed social worker in Long Island, NY

So, somebody said to me, “ugh, 2020.. it sucked..” Yeah, it did.

But I’ll tell you something really great that came out of 2020.

More people now, than ever before, are finally looking at mental health / therapy as a viable, positive option to feeling better and making themselves better.

Is alcoholism and substance abuse up? There’s no question.

My phone has been ringing off the hook. I’m happy about that on some level because whatever existed before where people were going through life and just essentially existing, not addressing. Now, people have to look at things.

People are looking at therapists in a whole different light than they ever did before.

Contact Robin Newman, LCSW-R, PC

Imago Relationship Therapist
Individual, Couples & Family Counseling

THE HUNTINGTON RELATIONSHIP CENTER

Individual counseling is meant to help people with emotional & other mental health issues which can range in severity / intensity. Get the help you need in a 100% safe space.

Problems with anger management, often called having “anger issues,” only becomes a problem when you can no longer control it.

When one is looking for a steady balance in mind than being on a roller coaster of highs and lows of self-esteem, counseling indeed helps.

148 East Main Street (Suite 102) Huntington, NY 11743
(631) 421-4701

centering exercise - Book an appointment with social worker in Huntington, NY

Centering exercise before couples speak during therapy

Centering exercise before couples speak during therapy with Robin Newman, LCSW in Long Island, NY.

Whenever I start an Imago session with a couple, they often ask why we do a centering exercise before starting.

Part of why I believe in doing a centering exercises, is first of all, to calm oneself. It also sets up an openness to listen.

Casey the therapy dog

I have a therapy dog in this practice and I now like to use the metaphor of trying to see the world through a puppy’s eyes.

Take that puppy-kind-of-attitude and use that when looking at your partner’s stated issues.

Be curious at what they’re saying, opposed to getting defensive, annoyed and/or angry.

“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”

David Augsberger

For more info. on counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW

Imago relationship therapy provides couples with effective communication tools that allow both people to feel safe & connected as they talk about their problems, instead of entering the painful “power struggle”.

When both partners make positive changes that have meaning to the other, it serves as reinforcement and is a catalyst for more positive change. At this time, making changes could seem difficult but this too will probably be explored in the counseling process.

Robin Newman, social worker & owner of the Huntington Relationship Center in Long Island, NY.

marriage counselor / imago relationship therapist long island ny

Recognizing Conflict, Resolving Tensions, and Rebuilding Your Relationship

Conflicts in a marriage are inevitable and perfectly normal, but many couples struggle to resolve these conflicts alone. This inability to communicate effectively with one another can cause dissatisfaction in one or both parties. Seeing a marriage counselor is one of the best ways to help clarify and resolve the issues that arise between couples.

It’s a common misconception that couples only pursue marriage counseling when there is infidelity in a relationship. Seeking marriage counseling can resolve a variety of issues including poor communication, lack of intimacy, finances, children, transitions, and a range of other topics.

It may be hard to decipher when marriage counseling is the right step for you and your partner, but getting information is the first step.

Each couple is unique, so a marriage counselor takes a personalized approach to help resolve the conflict between partners.

Robin Newman LCSW Long Island, marriage counselor

Robin Newman uses Imago Relationship Therapy with couples of all kinds.

Imago Relationship Therapy focuses on relational counseling to transform conflict between couples into opportunities for healing and growth.

There is frequently a connection between early childhood experiences and frustrations in adulthood, and these childhood sensitivities often arise in a marriage. When issues that occurred in childhood repeatedly come up with a partner, they can overshadow the positive aspects of a relationship.

Imago Relationship Therapy allows couples to understand their childhood experiences and allow themselves to heal their relationship and move towards more effective means of communication.

During counseling, Robin aims to disarm conflicting verbal communication, and in doing so, increase respect, intimacy, and affection. Additionally, Imago Relationship Therapy works to remove barriers that may make couples feel stagnant in their conflicts while creating a heightened sense of empathy in the relationship.

Couples learn how to replace negative conflict patterns, increase intimacy and emotional connection, and enhance shared goals.

With marriage counseling, couples learn how to be emotionally available and empathetic towards one another, eliminating negative conflict cycles and strengthening attachment bonds.

Marriage counseling is extremely effective when partners are motivated and willing to work on the conflicts in their relationship.

Working to resolve conflicts in a marriage is hard work, requiring a lot of communication and commitment, but with the help of a counselor, couples don’t have to face that strain alone.

Robin is trained in helping partners through a variety of issues and tailors her method towards your needs. Open and honest communication between all parties is the best way to go about counseling and will yield positive results.

For more info. on counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW

Robin Newman, social worker & owner of the Huntington Relationship Center in Long Island, NY.

Robin Newman, LCSW-R, PC, Imago Relationship Therapist
Individual, Couples & Family Counseling

THE HUNTINGTON RELATIONSHIP CENTER
148 East Main Street (Suite 102) Huntington, NY 11743
(631) 421-4701

anger management counseling

Anger Management: Symptoms & Triggers

Anger is a natural response humans have to certain situations, and it should in no way be something we’re ashamed of. However, having troubles controlling your anger can be an issue. Problems with anger management, often called having “anger issues,” only becomes a problem when you can no longer control it.

Anger shows itself as saying or doing things that harm you or others around you.

Uncontrolled anger can physically and emotionally harm you if you do not recognize or take steps to reduce it, and the first step is to identify if you have this problem.

There’s many different cues to help identify if you struggle with anger.

Common behaviors can include:

  • struggling to compromise in an argument or meeting
  • having difficulties expressing emotions in a calm manner
  • ignoring others when angry
  • isolation
  • self-harm
  • shouting / cussing
  • physical violence
  • substance abuse or addiction.

Not all of these immediately point to troubles with anger management, but a few paired together could be a sign that you might have trouble with it.

The next step is to find out what triggers these emotions.

Triggers can stem from mental illness, short term triggers, and/or individual triggers. Mental illness like depression, OCD, and substance abuse can bring forth anger issues which link to anxiety, meaning this is one of the most important triggers to nip in the bud.

Short term triggers can include injustices, feeling you are not being heard, remembering a past trauma, or losing patience. These are common triggers for feeling upset in general, but they could also be amplified if you have problems with anger.

Lastly, we all have individual triggers, examples of such include political views, religious beliefs, or other subject matters that relate to who we are. It is helpful to identify these so that we can react calmly in these situations.

Anger is unhealthy for many reasons, including mental and physical illnesses.

Misdirected or unexpressed anger can lead to poor cardiovascular health and/or heart disease. Anger and stress can also lead to higher blood pressure, which can cause a blood clot or bleeding within the brain. You are three times more likely to endure this bleeding or a stroke in the hours after an outburst, putting you at risk for a fatal incident. Lastly, when you are angry, you release stress hormones, which can affect your airways and lungs and can lead to poor respiratory health.

Because of both the physical & mental stress anger brings, it’s important to reduce outbursts.

There are some strategies you can implement to help with this. First, recognizing when you are upset so that you can de-escalate the situation.

Next, trying to think before you react. This gives you time to process what the best reaction could be to benefit not only you but the people around you.

It can also be helpful to talk to people about your situation. You could talk to others who are not involved about what you are going through or feeling at the moment.

Many people exercise in their spare time, and this releases chemicals that make you feel happy and refreshed. If you enjoy exercise this may be a viable solution.

You can also practice being more assertive, helping to express your opinion in a calm and efficient way to the people around you.

Lastly, you can use apps for peer support, mindfulness, and relaxation. There are many peer support groups and platforms where people share their own experiences and journeys, many meditation apps that can help reduce stress, and overall just many apps that can help with relaxation such as white noises, calming games, and more.

anger management counseling Long Island

If you feel that you are overwhelmed by your struggles and need professional support, consider talking to a counselor.

For more info. on anger management counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW today.

Robin Newman, social worker & owner of the Huntington Relationship Center in Long Island, NY.

counseling for low self-esteem

Counseling for low self-esteem.

Self-esteem determines the value we put on ourselves: our talents, abilities, and personal existence. In other words, it is an opinion about oneself of being worthy or unworthy of something in life. Self-esteem affects how we think and feel about our everyday life experiences.

Low Self Esteem vs High Self Esteem

A person with low self-esteem perceives things with a negative mindset. Whereas a very high self-esteemed person inflates reality and exhibits narcissistic tendencies. In the middle is a healthy self-esteemed person who is confident about one’s intelligence, appearance, abilities, and personality. He or she accepts strengths and limitations with a realistic assessment and is satisfied with the kind of importance given to his or her virtues and talents by people around them or society.

People with healthy self-esteem respect themselves and others for what they are. They put effort to learn from past mistakes instead of getting identified with them. The use of reasoning to overcome hardships, and rebounding in life comes naturally to them. They have the confidence and self-belief to pursue their goals.

So, having healthy self-esteem is essential to be successful in every facet of life including relationships, marriage, parenting, and career.

Here’s some of the key signs of low self-esteem:

• Risk aversion
• Difficulty accepting negative feedback
• Greater focus on flaws / weaknesses
• Dismissal of skills and strength
• Worthlessness
• Inferiority complex
• Feeling disliked and unwanted
• Seeking approval from others
• Fear of rejection
• Display of self-destructive behavior
• Constant comparison with others
• Getting tied in bad relationships
• Fear of intimacy
• Delusional self-image
• Jealousy of others
• Hypersensitivity

These signs are common human behaviors and show up in a person from time to time. But, if a bunch of these are prevalent in a person, it probably might be flaring up from low self-esteem.

What causes low self-esteem?

Although the causes for low self-esteem might differ from person to person, studies show that it normally stems from childhood experiences of being criticized by loved ones, teachers, or any other authority figures.

Being bullied also leaves a lasting negative effect on self-esteem. If it is not from childhood, then a stressful event occurred at any point in life can suddenly create low self-esteem.

counseling Long Island

Here are some life events that might have been stressful enough to trigger low self-esteem in a person:

• Going through discrimination
• Relationship problems
• Sudden loss of money, house, or other essential belonging
• Hostile interaction with a coworker at the workplace
• Loss of job

How counseling helps you to overcome low self-esteem.

When one is looking for a steady balance in mind than being on a roller coaster of highs and lows of self-esteem, counseling indeed helps. As a counselor takes a personalized approach and is willing to hear all your difficulties dealing with low self-esteem, it opens up doors for solving the problem. If you had felt alone and left out, counseling will dissolve those emotions.

Counseling mainly helps you to:

• Identify and understand the reason why you’re suffering from low esteem
• Let out past negative experiences in a safe space
• Recognize your true inner voice of reason
• Recognize adverse thinking patterns

Should I seek counseling for low self-esteem?

Often we disregard low self-esteem as a personality trait than a psychological condition. It is needed to seek treatment to cope and eventually get rid of the low esteem problem in you. If neglected, it could badly affect your interpersonal relationships, work, school responsibilities, social interaction, and setting boundaries with others.

How a counselor can help you heal self-esteem problems.

Building a positive psychological climate.

When you attend the first counseling session, the counselor will work on making you feel comfortable and develop a connection with you. This establishes trust and a sense of mutual purpose to solve the problem. Also, it forms a basis for progressing through further stages without roadblocks. With a positive psychological climate created in the early stage, the likelihood of attaining a desirable outcome is greater.

Problem exploration.

In this step, the counselor explores the roots of your feeling of inadequacy, low self-confidence, and self-belief. The source of your nagging internal voice that has been draining your internal energy is identified and revealed to you. Call it an a-ha moment or self-realization, with the problem source in front, it becomes a lot easier to address the issue. After identification, the counselor gets an idea about what treatment plan could suit you, what goals to be set and achieved, how to assess you and provide options and alternatives as things progress. The problem exploration process goes through different stages by itself.

Broadly you can share:

• How self-esteem is affecting your daily life.
• Behaviors and thought patterns that bug you.
• How long the problem has existed.
• When does it appear and is it predictable based on situations?
• Activities you perform every day or how your typical day progresses.
• Family history.
• Personal history.

Every counselor has their list of questions that they might ask to diagnose your problem. So it is likely that you will be asked a lot more things than the ones pointed above.

Setting of goals and seeking a commitment to action.

It is often observed that people with psychological problems do not have a way to get out of it. As the counselor sets goals after examining the problem, you will have a path in front of you to relief. This creates motivation in you to work towards achieving those goals. The goals set by counselors are specially catered to suit your everyday life, personal knowledge, and skills. They are measurable in terms of progress. So it becomes easier for you to know how you are doing and have a better understanding of what needs to be accomplished.

The counselor will define the goals in simple terms while explaining its benefits and limitations. This builds confidence and hope in you to make an effort at dealing with your low self-esteem problem. Apart from setting goals and explaining them to you, the counselor will break them down into manageable parts and give you strategies to follow and achieve them. As you accomplish the set goals, it increases your mental capacity to appreciate yourself and face criticism without getting bogged down.

Shedding years of self-doubt takes effort and time.

You can overcome low self-esteem problems and reach new heights in life when you decide to take action for yourself and your quality of life.

For more info. on counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW today.

Robin Newman, social worker & owner of the Huntington Relationship Center in Long Island, NY.

baggage in relationships

How we bring baggage into our relationships.

Emotional baggage is what people often carry into relationships. Simply put, baggage is the collection of unpleasant memories from the past that continue to negatively affect our perception / behavior in the present. How and why do we bring baggage into our relationships from the past?

baggage in relationships - protective behavior

Unmet Needs:

Each of these developmental tasks must be met or we will not feel secure:

Attachment: I’m connected to my caretakers and can depend upon them.

Exploration: I can leave Mom & Dad and come back. I’m not smothered.

Identity I am secure in who I am. I don’t have to be like anyone else.

Competency: I can reach for my dreams and find success without shame.

Lost Parts:

We’re born with four beautiful ways to connect to others:

Thinking: I can have my own ideas.
Sensing: It’s okay to explore my body.
Feeling: I can have feelings that are different from yours.
Acting: I can show my feelings.

A relationship goes through numerous phases during its life cycle, and it’s obvious for it to have a few rough patches. The strength of a relationship is reflected in how couples deal with the rough patches and move ahead.

Long Island couples therapist - getting through hard times
For more info. on relationship counseling, contact Robin Newman, LCSW today.

Robin Newman helps couples break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, connection and intimacy.

(631) 421-4701 therapistlongisland@gmail.com

< Watch Robin Newman on YouTube >

Robin Newman, LCSW Long Island therapists

Are therapists paid to agree with you?

Robin Newman, Imago relationship therapist: Are therapists paid to agree with you? I often get the question if I ever ‘agree’ …

individual counseling depression / anxiety Long Island

How we feed into our depression / anxiety

Another question that is often asked to me when people are calling me up to sort of screen me to see if I’m the right …

imago relationship therapy NY

The Imago Dialogue for Couples

If you feel that your relationship is lacking intimacy, I highly encourage you to look into the Imago Dialogue. As an Imago …