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About Psychotherapy

with Dr. Michael Damian

I offer psychodynamic therapy which treats problems at their root and builds the foundation for lifelong well-being. My clinical knowledge is joined with laser-sharp perception into people's personality styles and what they need for their growth. I have a high rate of success helping people find relief, understand themselves and live a more empowered life. 

ABOUT MY PRACTICE

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Dr. Michael Damian

Clinical psychologist treating a broad range of life and relationship issues

Specializing in:

Anxiety, Depression, Relationships, Men, Couples, Self-Actualization, Existential + Spiritual Issues, Personality Type

In Network with:

Aetna, Horizon Blue Cross, Oscar Health, Oxford, United

Office Visits

Video Sessions

Welcome to my practice

My passion is helping people solve problems and transform their lives in the process. My approach is warm, engaging, and incisive.

I have broad experience assessing complex issues and helping people get through a crisis. Most of my patients experience big improvements and breakthroughs in their well-being.


I've helped many people to profoundly transform their lives and I'll be honored to help you too.

My approach to therapy

I practice traditional, psychodynamic therapy which has been shown to create stable, lifelong improvements in emotional well-being, relational health and life satisfaction. I offer a powerful combination of deep listening, intuitive reflections and pragmatic guidance. 

I want to help you outgrow old patterns by deepening your self-knowledge and find a broader vision for your life. I work from a visionary, broad-minded and spiritually enriching vision of psychology.

What you can expect from our first session

In the first session, there's usually a big increase in the sense of hope and validation. My clients often say they're relieved that I don't just agree with them -- I provide incisive and thoughtful feedback.

At the beginning of our work together, my first aim will be to accurately assess what is going on and help you start feeling better. As our work continues, I will facilitate deeper self-awareness, psychological maturity and a broader, more spiritual approach to one's sense of self and meaning in Life. 

My patients find that I'm able to quickly understand their feelings and explain the core of the issue in a fresh, new way. Long term, clients experience much more enrichment of their inner life, self-knowledge and empowerment to express their authentic self in life and relationships.

About Dr. Michael Damian

Clinical Psychologist - NJ License #6612

Being a psychologist is a calling for me. I enjoy listening, connecting the not-so-obvious dots, and supporting people's growth. It's a field that includes philosophical, scientific and spiritual inquiry in its scope, with the aim of understanding the human condition and uplifting people's lives.  

I think most of our lives are fairly ordinary, and yet also hold extraordinary moments, great love and unexplored depths. In my work, I enjoy the relationship between the practical, ordinary aspects of life and the deeper aspects of the soul and unconscious. 

It is very poignant for me to witness patients make breakthroughs and discover who they are and how much richer and more exciting life can be. These are the sessions when people's lives are quietly and profoundly changed through the process of self-awareness. 

I regard it as the noblest task of psychotherapy in our times to untiringly serve the personal growth of the individual.
- C.G. Jung

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I work from a positive psychology of self-actualization that I have lived, breathed and proven to myself to be true and helpful. I came to psychology with an interest in humanistic, depth psychology, inspired by famous psychologists like Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow and Viktor Frankl.
 
They saw that we have the potential for higher consciousness and meaning -- and that we only find true healing by pursuing these. My belief is that human beings are more than their past conditioning -- that we are indeed spiritual beings who find wholeness by embracing a life of personal growth, service and connection.


Training

A Connecticut native, I graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1997 with a BA in Political Science summa cum laude. My university years included studying in Amsterdam and interning in a foreign policy thinktank in Washington DC.

My doctoral training was broad and rigorous. It included learning to diagnose, assess and treat the full range of mental health issues - at all ages. I practice classical, psychodynamic therapy, which I consider the gold standard. This approach emphasizes looking at the patient's overall life-stage development, traumas, family history, cultural background, lifestyle factors and their personality style and level of functioning. An understanding of personality disorders, personality types, and also the development of self-awareness and personal spirituality is vital to my work. 

I am grateful to have had great mentors and supervisors who taught me the heart and soul, as well as the art and science of psychotherapy. These include Dr. Stewart Kiritz, Dr. Charlotte Whitaker Lewis, and Dr. John McLaughlin.

Why didn't my past therapy work for me? 

Many people are just not getting genuine, high quality psychotherapy. Patients tell me their therapist talked with them like a friend, or they were given CBT techniques which did not heal their emotional issues.


This is different from in-depth, psychodynamic therapy with a clinical psychologist. As a  psychologist I am trained to facilitate your growth and healing at a deeper level. 

​Is therapy just telling my story? 

No - we will do far more than that. I often hear that,"My former therapist let me talk and talk, but nothing changed." Therapy should feel engaging and productive.

Effective therapy provides deep listening as well as an action-oriented approach. Half of healing comes from feeling things through and finding insight. The other half comes from doing things differently - now.

PERSONALITY TYPE

Portrait of the INFP-A (Assertive) Personality

 

Quiet, reflective, and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity, understanding and helping people. Well-developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is threatened. Usually talented writers with a poetic and emotive style. Mentally quick, and able to see hidden potentials and possibilities, especially in people. 

The INFP personality is a personality that is as rare as it is interesting. Making up just around 4% of the personality, INFP personalities are always searching for the best in the world while using their inner drive to inspire others.

Within INFP personalities, there are both Assertive (-A) and Turbulent (-T) subtypes. 


1. Comfortable Being Themselves
The assertive nature of the assertive mediator is something that makes it seem very different from its turbulent mediator relative. Unlike the turbulent mediators who are likely to beat themselves up from mistakes and flaws, the assertive mediators are far more likely to accept and even embrace their flaws.

The assertive personality is one that is comfortable being themselves and is not as caught up in the opinions of others. When paired with a mediation type, this assertive personality means that this person will be able to take in the opinions of others while not being critical about their meanings.

2. Look on the Brighter Side
The mediation personality is one that is primarily framed with an idealistic vision and sense of the better things in life. Mediators are people that believe that things are inherently good so that they can see things in a better light. Paired with the assertive personality trait, that feeling can become even stronger.

Assertive personality types are ones that see things as good more often than they see things as being bad. This combines with the idealism of the mediation personality to create a mix of both positive forward-thinking and a feeling that everything will be okay.

3. Discount Their Mistakes
Whether you see it as a good or a bad thing, the assertive mediator is very quick to dismiss their flaws and mistakes after they are noticed. This comes from the idea that they do not want the negative thoughts to take up time or space in their heads. The assertive mediator would rather think about ways to get better than to dwell on negative emotions.

 

An assertive mediator is going to be far more likely to look for ways to better themselves and their flaws than to get caught up in them and just feel bad. It is personality traits like these that allow this type of person to take things less seriously so that they can get on with growth and improvement.

4. Consider More Positive Thoughts
While it is still normal and common for assertive mediators to apply labels to themselves, they do so with substantially less weight than the turbulent mediators would. For example, if an assertive mediator deemed themselves “boring” and a turbulent mediator did the same, the turbulent mediators would take it much more to heart than the assertive mediator.

It is said that the assertive mediator sees life through “rose-tinted lenses” because they are often looking to see the best side of things. This optimistic attitude helps them to think better of themselves as well as to see others as better people.

5. Express Self-Assurance
The turbulent mediator’s personality, as we have seen, can face some serious struggles when faced with stressful situations, but the assertive mediator seems to be the exact opposite. The sense of optimism and self-assurance that everything will be alright helps drive the assertive mediator to achieve their goals.

Despite the benefits of having a heightened sense of inner confidence, this can also come back to hurt assertive mediators if they are not careful. Not taking the time to address more serious issues as they arise can have those issues compound and get worse if not addressed.

6. Great at Encouraging a Group
Something that helps the assertive mediators to lead groups effectively is their sense of confidence in themselves and in others. They do what they want, the way they want to, and very little is going to get in their way to stop them from achieving their goals.

An assertive mediator can stand before a group and share their vision without caring about the negativity or alternate viewpoints that go against their vision. This ability to take charge and get a group to a final goal is something in which the assertive trait helps greatly.

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Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

- Hellen Keller

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The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
- Carl Jung

We have an inner life and an outer life. The inner life is mainly concerned with developing awareness, love and wisdom. These qualities integrate the psyche, improve our relationships and allow our most authentic self to express its gifts in the world.

 

Whether you are a more introverted or extraverted person, in your 20s or 60s, I am here to help you unlock the treasure of your true self so that you can live your best life.

 

The main way I do this is by listening. When you are deeply listened to, you will learn to really hear yourself, to know what is true for you and what to do about it. This is true empowerment.

If you're ready to be heard, please get in touch today.

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