This Friday marks the tenth anniversary of Tribeca Therapy. Celebrating and considering how our practice has grown since I first opened the private practice in 2009, I think of our first little office, borrowing money from my dad to buy furniture, and later assuring Heather, Rachael and Karen after we expanded into a group practice that we were really going to move into a larger office and that we were really going to have patients for them to see. In short, it’s been meaningful to look back.
Before founding Tribeca Therapy, I was the director of a group practice in Chelsea that was a hot mess. Therapists were encouraged to be competitive, and there were serious pressures on performance above everything else. It compromised patient care.
When I left, I chose to open my private practice in Tribeca because I liked in the neighborhood and quickly discovered that it was then underserved by therapists. Many who lived and worked in the neighborhood still traveled to Chelsea, Upper East Side or Upper West Side for therapy. While I didn’t anticipate this at the time, Tribeca Therapy was creating a way of doing therapy that was distinct from this old school, Uptown therapy in ways that were parallel to the differences that drove many people to move to Tribeca, namely its funky lofts and off-the-beaten path vibe. Since then, Tribeca is no longer off-the-beaten path, of course, and more therapists have moved to the area, which is great for the neighborhood.
Initially, I was just thrilled to be on my own, free to further my practice and discover my own way of working. I rejected a handful of traditional conceptions of psychotherapy, including the idea that a therapist should be a distant “blank slate.” I also gradually came out more and more about my point of view as a therapist, especially with my concern with an overreliance on diagnostics and the so-called medical model, as well as my point of view as a human. For instance, I spoke out against those who protested the proposed Mosque on Park Place on September 11, 2010, and more recently, openly criticized President Trump and many of those who work as a part of that administration. Although it may seem odd for someone unfamiliar with the culture of therapists, these moves are unusual and have a significant influence on how we work at Tribeca Therapy.
While in these ten years we’ve been fortunate to add terrific therapists to the team, many of whom have taken on leadership roles in the practice, it can’t be overstated how much the shape of our practice has been influenced by those who have come to us for therapy. Like the neighborhood, we have our share of bankers, lawyers, artists and art directors, but we’ve also connected with city workers, including cops and teachers, construction workers working on various projects at Ground Zero, and spent time at nearby Zuccotti Park during the Occupy Wall Street activism of 2011. Reflecting on these ten years, Tribeca Therapy truly is a Tribeca therapy center.