“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.”
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.
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.