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ife comes at you with all sorts of challenges — both predictable and unpredictable ones. Navigating these challenges can feel debilitating, overwhelming and stressful. And the worst part is, you feel like you’re navigating through them alone.

These challenges completely upend your life. It’s hard to concentrate at work, to connect with your friends and family, and to do the things you know are good for you (like exercise, sleep, eating well). You can’t talk to anyone about what’s going on and how you feel, or if you do try to talk to them it feels like they don’t understand. Reaching out just makes you feel more alone.

As a therapist, I understand how hard it is to deal with your challenges. I’m here to help you – to figure out what’s going on so you can start to feel better. You’re not in this alone.

Therapy with Me

For me, the most important part of therapy is a strong and positive therapeutic relationship. So, I strive to create a safe and comfortable place for you to feel heard and understood.

Together, we will work through your feelings surrounding your life’s struggles and how those feelings impact your day to day life and relationships with others.

I’ll provide you the space you need to express your concerns and feel supported through this time, while brainstorming different techniques and ideas for how best to re-connect with yourself and those around you.

Being overwhelmed and stressed out can make the simple tasks of everyday life feel impossible and, quite honestly, meaningless. But, they’re important. You are still important. Those simple tasks – exercising, sleeping, connecting with friends and family, and going to work – are still part of your existence. We will figure out how to get you doing them again, becoming more active and re-engaged in your life.

You may find that your relationships with others have changed or feel difficult to have. We will figure out the ways you can interact with other people and be connected to them again. Because it is those feelings of connectedness and our relationships with others that help us all live a happier, more fulfilled life.

Together, we can do this.

While my main approach to therapy is psychodynamically oriented talk therapy, I also provide EMDR therapy to help clients reprocess traumatic experiences and memories.

In case you are unfamiliar with EMDR, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an evidenced-based therapy used to alleviate distress associated with trauma. When we experience trauma, the trauma gets stuck in the right part of our brain which has no language or ability to make meaning out of an experience. EMDR uses bilateral stimulation to create changes in the brain by activating both our right and left brain so that trauma can be reprocessed and the brain can naturally heal itself.

Specialties

Grief, Loss and Major Life Transitions

Experiencing grief and loss can be unbearable. Loss comes in many different forms; some more obvious than others. Divorce, death of a loved one, illness, transitioning to college or moving away are all different types of loss that can cause lots of painful emotions (sadness, anger, helplessness, loneliness and confusion — just to name a few).

These major life events can leave you feeling alone and unable to connect with others. Sometimes, the thought of talking to someone else about what you’re going through doesn’t even cross your mind because it just seems too difficult – and you’re left feeling like they’ll never understand.

That’s where I come in. You’re not alone, and I can help you.

Teens

Teens may feel unable to express themselves in effective ways while suffering from depression, social anxiety, academic pressure, bullying, or a major life transition. They may not feel heard by you and feel they are experiencing violations of space. Maybe they lock themselves in their room, are always on their phone, fight with you constantly, or seem totally disconnected from you and the rest of your family.

A part of you may be feeling like you’re failing as a parent and you just don’t know how to help them or what to do anymore. This can be a tough time to navigate, but you don’t have to go through it alone.

In working with your kids, it’s particularly important they feel I am someone they can trust and open up to. Part of building this trust is by being able to have fun together. By having a good sense of humor, I should be able to connect with your teens and help them figure out what’s going on for them.

Together, your teen and I will explore different solutions and discover new ways of handling emotions and dealing with difficult situations.

As the parent, you are the expert on your child and the most important person in their life. This means you are also a super important part of the treatment process. When I get the opportunity to work with your kid, it’s important to me that we collaborate and work together to help your child through their struggles.

When I work with your teen, I would hope to meet with you, the parent, bi-weekly or monthly (depending on the need) in a separate session, where we can discuss ways to best help your child outside of our therapeutic work.

Parents

Parents often feel overwhelmed and worried about their children – struggling to connect with, understand, and effectively set boundaries for their kids – especially after experiencing a loss, divorce, or other major life transitions. You may feel you need help navigating life as a single-parent or a co-parent and want to develop the skills to support your kids through this difficult time.

We will talk about the ways you feel connected to your kids as well as the ways you feel you might have lost your connection to them – like there is a barrier you can’t seem to break through. This may bring up memories from your own childhood, of being a kid and being parented. We can explore the ways this might be impacting your current relationship with your kids.

Together, we will figure out what your own personal stressors and worries are outside of those you have for your kids. We will explore what might be your worries and concerns for your child and what might be their worries and concerns for themselves because your worries and their worries might not be the same. You might be worried about how they’re going to get into college, and they might be worried about what they’re wearing to the dance. Our worries aren’t always their worries, and it’s important to recognize that.

We will explore what might be the situations that get you most worked-up and unable to handle your own emotions. We’ll explore how best to handle those situations without taking it out on your kids — without being snappy, critical, or yelling at them.

A Little About Me

I have been working with parents and teens going through grief, loss and major life transitions since receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Michigan. While at U of M, I was a Research Assistant for Professor Julie Kaplow on her research called the CIRCLE Project (Coping In Response to Childhood Loss Experience) and the FAMILY Project which studied children’s responses to having a mother diagnosed with breast cancer. During that time, I worked at Ele’s Place, a grief support center for children and teens, where I facilitated grief support groups for children in grades 6-8 and play therapy for children ages 3-13.

After graduating from the University of Michigan, I moved to New York City and received my Master’s Degree from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work with a focus on clinical social work. During my time at NYU, I worked with individuals and families in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Langone Hospital providing counseling for patients and their families.

It was at Langone Hospital that I realized I wanted to work with adults and adolescents in the aftermath of major life challenges and transitions. I moved to Los Angeles and trained at The Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills to further my clinical skills in psychodynamic therapy before beginning private practice.

Jerri Werksman bio

Under the Clinical Supervision of Ron N Gad, PhD, LMFT

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