About Dr. Levine
As women, each season of our lives is deeply embedded with transitions - in our relationships with ourselves and with others, in motherhood and family, and in career. While some of these transitions may be embraced as desired and exciting, others are often unexpected, stressful, and anxiety-inducing.
I am honored to help women untangle the many complex emotions and forms of anxiety that may emerge while embracing their varied life roles. My intention as a psychologist is to hold space for each woman as she cultivates the insight and skills needed to optimize these pivotal moments of growth in her life.
Prior to founding Perennial Wellness, I served as the Assistant Director of Cognitive Therapy for Women Psychological Services, a specialty group practice in New York City that addresses the unique mental health needs of women using a cognitive-behavioral treatment model. In this role, I treated adult women and provided in-depth training and supervision to our team of post-doctoral fellows.
My passion for working with women developed early on in my career. When I completed my APA-accredited Internship at Andrus Children’s Center, I specialized in using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) in my work with mothers and caregivers who were experiencing parenting-related stress and peripartum mood disorders. In this role, I was able to create lasting, positive and systematic change within my community, and this experience led to a broader interest in women’s health. I went on to complete my post-doctoral fellowship at Cognitive Therapy for Women Psychological Services, prior to entering into my role as Assistant Director. Since then, I’ve used CBT to help countless women identify the root of their distress and build the resiliency and coping strategies needed to thrive.
I also serve as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University, where I train masters- and doctoral- level students in the foundations of Counseling Psychology. Teaching and supervising has helped me maintain a connection to young adults and join emerging professionals on their journey toward a more meaningful life. In addition to practicing as a psychologist, I develop and implement presentations and workshops for various community groups around issues related to maternal mental health, parenting, child development.
I am an active member of a number of professional groups and associations, including: the Women’s Mental Health Consortium, the American Psychological Association, Division 35: Society for the Psychology of Women, and Postpartum Support International.
+ My Approach
What is cognitive therapy?
Cognitive therapy (also called CBT, or cognitive-behavioral therapy) is centered on the idea that your interpretation of a situation, rather than the situation itself, determines the feelings and behaviors that follow. Over time, as you experience a full life and give meaning to your experiences in consistent ways, you develop patterns of understanding yourself, other people and the world around you in the form of automatic thoughts.
Often, your automatic thoughts are realistic and adaptive, which allows you to feel healthy and fulfilled in your relationships, work and life. However, sometimes, your thoughts may be exaggerated or inaccurate, which can lead to distressing emotions and unhelpful behaviors. Over time, you can get looped in to these negative cycles of thinking, feeling and behaving. Cognitive therapy recognizes that your thoughts are central in developing negative states such as anxiety, perfectionism and relationship difficulties. In therapy, we initially address these concerns by directly targeting potential inaccuracies in your automatic thinking patterns.
How can cognitive therapy help me experience relief?
Given that your automatic thoughts can be fleeting, I work with you to develop skills to notice how your thoughts influence your emotions and behaviors in particular situations. These skills take practice, but once you begin to notice your thinking in the moment, you will begin to see how central your automatic thoughts are in the development of your suffering. Our goal in therapy is not to eradicate anxious or sad thoughts altogether. In fact, these thoughts can be appropriate and healthy parts of your experience. Rather, we work together to compassionately evaluate your thinking patterns, identify inaccuracies and develop more realistic and self-compassionate alternatives. Throughout our work together, we will also target any unhelpful behaviors or uncomfortable physical sensations directly. In place of such behaviors, you will practice newly learned, tailored exercises that ultimately help improve your mood, relationships and life.
+ Philosophy Of Care
I value a warm and respectful working relationship with each of my clients. Because I view counseling for women’s issues as a collaborative, active process, together we develop a plan of action, wherein I utilize evidence-based cognitive behavioral strategies and techniques to help you move toward your desired outcome. The overall goal of therapy is to help you develop insight, information and the skills needed to overcome challenges and cultivate resilience.
I recognize that the mind and body are inseparable. As such, I provide education on the neurobiological basis of distress, as well as information regarding why specific techniques work. Lifestyle habits, such as nutrition, exercise and sleep, also change brain activity. Integrating education, lifestyle changes and relaxation exercises, such as mindfulness meditation, diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, can help relieve physical components of distress. With practice and consistency, these exercises can decrease your baseline level of tension, so that when you do become physically aroused, you experience a greater sense of control over your mind and body.
My approach is holistic, incorporating mind, body and spirit. As such, when appropriate, I provide referrals to acupuncture, yoga and mindfulness classes, as I believe psychological treatment, in combination with holistic modalities, may provide the best outcomes for women.
Dr. Emma Levine is a licensed psychologist in the states of Connecticut and New York. She holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Fordham University and a BA in Psychology from Skidmore College, from which she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Prior to founding Perennial Wellness, she was the Assistant Director of Cognitive Therapy for Women Psychological Services, a specialty group practice in New York City. Dr. Levine also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University. Dr. Levine specializes in working with women in Fairfield County dealing with a variety of concerns, including anxiety, career and life transitions, reproductive-related mood disorders, maternal mental health and parenting. Her office is located in Westport, Connecticut.