Dena Agapion, Clinical Director (212) 861-5496
We're Here to Help
Dena Agapion, Clinical Director (212) 861-5496
We're Here to Help
Do you struggle with regulating emotions?
Does it feel like your emotions run your life and negatively influence your behavior?
Maybe it is difficult to identify what you are feeling?
Are you avoiding events or isolating from others?
Having trouble keeping to a schedule and it is effecting school, work or straining your relationships?
Are you drinking or using drugs to cope?
Maybe you struggle with emotional eating or self harming in other ways?
Perhaps just feeling frustrated with traditional therapy?
Are you feeling like you understand why you are struggling and need to know how to improve your life?
Do you feel like you need to focus on present day stressors?
Come see us for a consultation.
We know how to help.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is effective in treating a wide range of DSM-5 disorders.
DBT is a specialized type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT).
DBT was originally developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD, to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It is now recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population. However, research has proven that it is effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders.
The goal of DBT is to help individuals build a life that they feel is worth living. In DBT, the client and the therapist work together to set goals . It is the collaboration that helps treatment to be meaningful. Usually, this means they work on ways to decrease maladaptive behaviors and replace them with effective, life-enhancing behaviors. DBT has five components that work together to make up a standard DBT program.
Comprehensive DBT offers several modalities of treatment including individual psychotherapy, between session skills phone coaching, DBT skills training, case management, team consultation. This is different than many other psychotherapies that consist of just one mode of treatment (such as individual therapy). Each component or mode of treatment is intended to meet a specific function. Functions or objectives of DBT are to enhance the clients capabilities, increase motivation, ensure they generalize the skills through skills coaching and assure therapist are consulting other DBT therapist to support the treatment goals and adherence to the treatment model.
Maybe you don't think you need a specialized DBT treatment? More traditional CBT is also available. Treatment can be tailored to an individual’s needs which would be determined at the end of the consultation evaluation. More traditional CBT is also offered depending on the client’s needs. The consultation evaluations allows for the individual to meet and discuss their treatment needs and personal history. It also allows for orientation to the treatment and treatment recommendations based on the information provided. Those who come in for a consultation, do not have to decide by the end of session, how they would like to proceed. Instead, they will be given written material to review before beginning treatment. We will be there for you every step of your journey. Our goal is to help you grow from your struggles, heal from your pain, and move forward to where you want to be in life.
Please contact us to schedule an initial consultation or if you have any further questions.
59 East 54 Street Suite 84 New York, NY 10022 United States
Dena Agapion, LCSW-R, PC (212) 861-5496 Susan Cappi, LCSW-R, RN, CS (212) 588-1314 Emily Stowell, LCSW, (315) 516-1061 Melissa Peaslee, MS, LMHC (212) 203-5865 Talia Saxe, LMSW (704) 293-9452 or by email
By Appointment Only
Dena Agapion attended The University of Massachusetts, Boston and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Program of Study in Substance Abuse in 1993. She attended Boston College for graduate school and was awarded her MSW and LCSW in 1995. Her first experience working with personality disorders was in outpatient Psychiatric Services at Massachusetts General Hospital. It was with an eagerness to enhance her clinical development, that she continued her education at the Boston Graduate School of Modern Psychoanalysis from 1996- 1998. In addition to her modern analytic training, her DBT training began simultaneously (in 1996) while treating clients, as an outpatient clinician at Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston MA. In 1998 she was intensively trained by Behavioral Tech, Dr. Marsha Linehan’s trainers. Her skills were applied by serving as an ACT team leader for high risk young adults and clinician for mobile crisis team/ first responders. She continued to provide DBT while employed by New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell /Payne Whitney Outpatient Clinic in Manhattan NY (NYPH). Her private practice opened in 2002, while also on staff at NYPH, offering DBT/CBT to adults suffering from complex and multiple diagnoses. After more than two decades as a psychotherapist, she is categorized as an expert in treating complex and multiple diagnoses, including BPD but not limited to BPD. Dena has also completed intensive training in prolonged exposure, DBT-PE, for those who suffer from PTSD. She specializes in treating young adults, though all adults are welcome. Licensed therapists seeking clinical supervision are also welcomed.
Susan Cappi began her career working as a medical nurse at St.Vincent’s Hospital from 1980 to 1983. She then left medicine to pursue her passion in psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center (NYP) for the next twenty years. Simultaneously, she attended Columbia University where she was awarded her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work.
From 1983 to 2003 at NYP, Ms. Cappi worked on a variety of in-patient research units, the day program and the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). In the Inpatient Unit, she worked with adolescents who suffered from conduct disorders and eating disorders. While working in the adult speciality units, she then began treating adults who suffered from depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, and borderline personality disorder (BPD).
In 1996, while working on the Inpatient BPD Unit, Ms. Cappi was intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) by Dr. Marsha Linehan, the founder of Behavioral Tech. After her training, she participated in a three year clinical research study, providing DBT to people with a diagnosis of BPD. In addition to working sixteen years in the Inpatient setting, Ms. Cappi worked for two years in the BPD day treatment program and two years in the IOP.
Ms. Cappi opened her private practice in 2001 offering DBT/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to adults suffering with complex multiple diagnosis. She brings her expertise to her work with adults with BPD and to family members of adult children suffering from BPD. During her many years of experience, Ms. Cappi has provided compassionate treatment to adults
Emily Stowell is a clinical social worker and psychotherapist with extensive experience treating adults facing a variety of challenges. Whether you have a pressing problem or simply want to live your life more fully, our work together can help shift the focus from deficit to enhancement. She has particular expertise in helping individuals with personality disorders and behavioral problems navigate and improve their interpersonal relationships. Emily also has significant experience assisting individuals to overcome problems with addiction and compulsivity. Her empathic, person-centered approach to helping people develop and maintain a rich and rewarding life.
Melissa Peaslee (she/her) earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at Siena College, and her Master of Clinical Psychology degree at Augusta University. While completing her MS, she completed internships at the Medical College of Georgia and Georgia Regional Hospital and studied psychometry with a specialty in Clinical Counseling. She is formerly licensed in CT as a Professional Counselor (LPC) and is currently licensed in NY as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). Melissa began her training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) while working for the Mental Health Association in Massachusetts with adults who were coping with serious and persistent mental health diagnoses with co-occurring addictions to various substances. It was there that Melissa attended her first intensive DBT course with Charlie Swenson and subsequently initiated her agency’s first DBT Skills Group for adults with co-occurring disorders. Melissa furthered her DBT practice in Connecticut, where she worked with adults coping with a wide range of complex mental health issues including Trauma, Mood, Psychotic, Anxiety and substance use related diagnoses. At this agency, she and her team initiated a grant to study the treatment effects of DBT skills groups on adults with co-occurring disorders. While in Connecticut, Melissa taught a class at Southern Connecticut State University on using a wholistic approach to treatment of co-occurring disorders. Melissa then moved to NYC where she has worked for the Office of Mental Health since 2001. In her outpatient clinic, Melissa became a Certified Juvenile Sex Offender Counselor (CJSOC) and provided assessment and treatment to adolescents with problematic sexual behavior during her first 10 years with her agency. She developed a “victim centered” and dialectically driven treatment program for these youth. Melissa became a faculty member at SUNY Downstate and taught specialized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to the psychiatry fellows she supervised. Melissa then moved into the general practice outpatient clinic at her OMH agency, where she was able to continue her specialization in DBT with adolescents and adults and implemented DBT Skills Groups in that clinic. In this setting, Melissa was able to build on her already extensive DBT training and practice to receive over 6 years of specialized consultation and study with experts from www.TICLLC.org. It was here that Melissa began delivering Individual DBT therapy in addition to DBT Skills Groups. Melissa became an agency trainer of DBT and founding member of the DBT Sustainability Team. Melissa also provided DBT skills training to students at the Columbia University Dialectical Behavior Training Program in the School of Social Work. Observing the effectiveness of DBT in assisting clients with reaching their goals, as well as improving her own practice and values adherence, Melissa began DBT Consultation with Eastside DBT and is now in private practice, able to serve both adults and adolescents with a wide range of needs who seek specialized DBT and CBT treatment. Melissa has been particularly inspired by the addition of Mindfulness and Dialectical thinking to CBT and other treatment practices and has studied and practiced in her personal life. Melissa brings a deep level of compassion, empathy and commitment to inclusivity and equity to her practice.
Talia Saxe is a graduate of Duke University where she received a B.A. in philosophy and was a Benjamin N. Duke scholar. Prior to attending social work school, Talia completed an M.F.A. in nonfiction creative writing. Early in her career, she worked at New Alternatives for Children, an agency supporting children who have been in foster care. There she recognized a love for working on a team with therapists. After this work experience, Talia went back to school to pursue a Master's of Social Work. She graduated from NYU School of Social Work where she was a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society. She interned at Sanctuary for Families where she provided counseling to children who had witnessed domestic. violence. She also interned at Greenwich House, a city clinic that serves the West Village. Talia loves DBT for the empathetic philosophy at its core, the practical strategies, and the supportive team approach. Talia also has training in RO-DBT, a treatment used for rigid thinking and perfectionism.
Many individuals experience symptoms associated with painful diagnoses and traumatic events. Anxiety, irritability, and hopelessness can linger and cause difficulty in daily functioning long after the trauma. Suffering with a mental illness is also incredibly difficult and isolating.
Treatment can help decrease unwanted negative emotions and eliminate symptoms that interfere with daily life and the process of healing,
Sadness, fear and shame are some of the most common and uncomfortable emotions that disrupt the ability to live in the present. Through evidence based treatment, we are able to help you recover motivation, gain perspective, and acquire effective coping strategies. Building resistance to excessive negative emotions and living a life without suffering can be achieved!
Relationships are often affected when a person is struggling with emotions and behavioral issues. Miscommunications and misunderstandings are very common. Couples treatment allows the therapist to identify points of conflict, in a supportive setting. In this safe space, we encourage healthy emotional labeling and gentle expression. It may be beneficial in all stages of the relationship. The focus is to effectively discuss issues and solutions throughout the relationship. Family members are also welcome when they need coping skills and support.
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