Therapy Demystified by Dena Domenicali-Rochelle! | Greenwich Moms

Dena Domenicali-Rochelle is a psychoanalyst and social worker with a private practice in New York and Connecticut. Her primary goal as a therapist is to help her patients develop a clearer understanding of themselves and their relationships. She specializes in work with people navigating: new parenthood, dating and relationships, demanding careers and anxiety/depression. She’s had numerous articles on relationships, work and parenting published on Psychology Today. Dena is passionate about the work she does and believes firmly that therapy (and psychoanalysis specifically) can be a life changing experience.

Today she shares with us a break down of how therapy works, why you might want to consider it, and how it can help!

You can contact her via her website,, or on social media @denathetherapist

What would you say to people who are considering starting therapy?
Do it. It can be nerve wracking to begin therapy – to put trust into a stranger and confront the parts of yourself that make you uncomfortable. But no harm can come from knowing yourself better.

How do you know if you’ve found the right therapist for you?
Good therapy is all about the relationship you build with your therapist. First and foremost, choose a therapist you like, someone you feel comfortable talking to. Secondly, I think it’s important to find a therapist who will challenge you, and lovingly and safely confront you on the issues they observe. This is how change begins to happen.

Why go to therapy versus talking to a friend who knows you well?
Do both! Friends and therapists can help you feel better but their roles are different. It’s the role of a friend to reassure you, to comfort you. It’s not a therapists job to offer reassurance. It’s a therapist’s job to help you see any obstacles you’re putting in your own path.

What would you say to someone who had a bad previous experience with therapy and is hesitant to try it again?
If you’ve had a bad experience with therapy it’s likely because that particular therapist wasn’t a good fit for you. Try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater and say ‘Therapy doesn’t work for me.’ The experience of therapy will change with each therapist. Schedule yourself for a consultation with a new therapist and see how it feels with someone different.

You’re a psychoanalyst. What is psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is the study of how what happened to you in the past is influencing what’s happening to you right now. When we understand how our previous experiences are influencing how we see things or react to them, it can change how we feel or think or make decisions.

What happens in therapy?
Basically, we talk. A therapy session can start anywhere, with whatever is on your mind. It’s the job of a therapist to listen closely, both to what you’re saying and to what you’re feeling, and guide you in useful directions.

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