“I started going to Laura at a time when I was unhappy with my situation and how it was affecting my interactions with people I cared about. Thanks to our visits, I’ve been able to identify what’s most important to me and be more forthcoming with what I want in my career and relationships. I have a lot more foresight and feel much more in control of my independence, and therapy with Laura has been instrumental in getting to this point.”
~Former client

Laura Athey-Lloyd, PsyD

Owner, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

I have been in practice for over 10 years serving adults and children with a variety of presenting problems including anxiety, depression, relationships, transitions, trauma, and grief. I work primarily from a relational psychodynamic framework. This means that through collaborative discussion, we will identify patterns in your early, formative relationships that may be repeating as a particular attachment style in your current relationships with friends, family members, partners, and colleagues. Some of these patterns may be adaptive and bring joy and depth to your interactions with others, while other patterns may be causing both internal and interpersonal conflict for you. Insight and awareness of these patterns is the first step on the road toward relating in a new way to others and oneself. The active part of this work is in practicing new ways of relating both in session and in "the real world," and I enjoy being a source of clarification and accountability on this journey. I also incorporate and integrate cognitive behavioral (CBT) and dialectical behavioral (DBT) concepts to broaden the scope of our work. I would call my approach collaborative, active, and optimistic. 


I've had clients come to me because they want to explore analytic psychotherapy but have had negative experiences with former therapists who didn't provide adequate feedback. Unlike traditional psychoanalysts, my psychodynamic style is more conversational, using moment-to-moment processing to help you uncover and identify patterns to create rapid and lasting change in your primary relationships. I am active, collaborative, and won’t hesitate to point out differences between your intentions and your actions, or patterns that may be just outside of your awareness. We may begin a session by discussing an emotional state or interpersonal difficulty that arose during the week, and we will move between past and present to identify what might be fueling it and how the same problem might be approached differently in the future. While we may also explore early childhood experiences, it is always in the service of improving how you feel and relate to others in the here and now.

I grew up in Washington, D.C. in a diverse and blended family, which shaped my early curiosity in family dynamics. I am a graduate of Tufts University (BA) and Long Island University (MS and PsyD). I completed two postdoctoral fellowships: one in adult psychodynamic therapy at The William White Institute in Manhattan, and the other in child and family therapy at Andrus Children’s Center in Westchester. I founded a solo private practice in 2013 and expanded to a group practice in 2021. Currently I am also an adjunct faculty member at Long Island University, supervising doctoral-level graduate students in their clinical work. I enjoy presenting at conferences, leading webinars, and writing on a variety of mental health topics.
 

 

ABOUT US

Melissa Hefferan, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I have been a practicing clinical social worker since 2009, working with cardiac patients and their families at Weill Cornell Medical center. Trained by the Geriatric Department of WCMC, I am a graduate of their Senior Palliative Care program. Additional post graduate training includes Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy, Albert Ellis Institute and most recently at Nalanda Institute for contemplative psychotherapy. By using behavioral tools to recognize the mind/body connection, I take an integrative approach to address the needs of each client. I truly believe all problems begin with the mind, and in learning to train one's mind you can succeed in having a more positive life. In learning tools to help navigate life's many stressors, my goal is to empower clients to realize they always have more control than they realize.


My approach is influenced by my personal meditation practice and cultivating a healthy reaction to any potential triggers. I believe fostering community, good health/nutrition, and a positive mind are the framework to establish a happier day-to-day being. Most importantly, however, I feel that change is always within one’s control. And that therapy is one of the best personal investments that leads to better self-understanding and greater overall happiness. While my approach can be psychoanalytic at times, the heart of my work is based in building rapport and fostering a strengths-based perspective through a cognitive behavioral approach. I believe we can all learn from the therapeutic process; looking at our past behaviors and how they may impact our future, recognizing what your own personal triggers are, and being able reorient oneself to move through life within a positive framework. 

We have all faced adversity or emotional and physical stressors. It is how we process, grow and understand what has been placed in front of us that I enjoy exploring. I believe we must work daily to choose happiness, and the better we understand what brings about our own happiness, the easier that work becomes. My approach is one of empathy, honesty and compassion. I have worked with individuals and families suffering from relational issues, the terminal and chronically ill, individuals with body image issues and offered bereavement support and group work through my tenure at Weill Cornell. I hope to continually learn and grow as a therapist from all of the incredible stories I have been honored to bear witness. Please reach out should you have any questions about my approach.


Melissa is a graduate of Holy Cross, BA in English, 2004 and Fordham University, Master of Social Work, 2009.

"Many years ago I started working with Melissa, and I have found that I can hear her guidance in my head now!  She has helped me identify so many things in my life that improved upon once I was able to react in a better way to the situation at hand.  She is kind, she is generous and she is always there to help me navigate a complicated situation.  She has great capacity for empathy, warmth and has been such a supportive touchstone for me throughout my therapeutic process. I can tell she is authentic in how she helps me and I will be forever grateful for our work together."

~Former client

 

“I started going to Laura at a time when I was unhappy with my situation and how it was affecting my interactions with people I cared about. Thanks to our visits, I’ve been able to identify what’s most important to me and be more forthcoming with what I want in my career and relationships. I have a lot more foresight and feel much more in control of my independence, and therapy with Laura has been instrumental in getting to this point.”
~Former client

Susan Marchal, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I am a licensed clinical social worker with over ten years of experience working with patients whose lives have been impacted by cancer, at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.  I have experience working with patients and families who are dealing with anxiety, depression, life transitions, grief and trauma.


I see a diverse population of clients who have suddenly been confronted with an unexpected challenge, and who seek therapy because they become aware that the patterns of behavior that have worked for them in the past no longer serve them. 


My approach to therapy is humanistic and holistic, and I believe that it is through the development of a trusting relationship with a therapist that people can safely explore the underlying causes of their issues, and shift the way they relate to themselves and the world around them.  My style of work is relational, non-judgmental, compassion based, and I integrate a variety of tools and skill based approaches such as CBT, mindfulness, positive psychology and resiliency skills training, to help people identify their strengths, develop resilience and feel empowered in their life.


In my work at New York Presbyterian I have gained an appreciation for complementary medicine and see how people’s thoughts affect their mind and body. I have expertise in palliative care and bereavement, and support people as they deal with powerful emotions such as grief and loss.  I believe that by creating a space where people feel supported, they are able to process these powerful emotions.  I teach mindfulness-based exercises and lifestyle skills to help clients cultivate an awareness of their feelings and to create space, so that rather than be being reactive, they can chose how they behave and respond. It is with this awareness that clients are able to change their patterns of behavior, and find or restore balance to their lives.  I consider it an honor to partner with clients, to allow them to be vulnerable with themselves, and work with them to develop self-compassion, reduce stress and increase the quality of their life. 


I have training in multiple modalities and have done post graduate work in New York University’s Advanced Clinical Practice program, am a graduate of Weill Cornell Medicine’s Palliative Care program, and I have completed a two year certificate program in mindfulness and compassion training at Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Psychotherapy.  I have enjoyed teaching Weill Cornell doctors, nurses and social workers Compassion-Based Resiliency Training which has been especially important during the Covid-19 pandemic, and have been a speaker at national oncology conferences, where I share coping strategies to assist people in managing both physical and emotional challenges.