couples therapy
imago therapy

About Joan Emerson

My specialty is Couples and Family Therapy. The most helpful thing I’ve learned over the years is that we’re all in this relationship struggle together. In sessions, my prime goal is to get everyone to calmly look at, and agree on, what their painful issues are. When each person feels heard, validated, and really understood, although not necessarily agreed with, the conversation can begin about what would work better.

I have a long history of working with people. It started as a teenager when my father, who was a driver for the Lighthouse for the Blind, helped me become a volunteer in their recreation program . (That’s where I hung out with Jose Feliciano). As I started Hunter College I trained to be a Spanish teacher, but the Bronx was just welcoming newly arrived Puerto Ricans and I realized that they spoke Spanish, I didn’t. Through a lucky opportunity, I was able to become a Bilingual Guidance Counselor and it was in that career that I learned about families from all different backgrounds and stages of development. During those years, and while raising two sons, I also became involved with running various support groups. I found the experience so fulfilling that I decided to go back to school and got my PhD in Psychology from N.Y.U. in 1988.

As my new career as a psychologist progressed, I discovered the various Couples Trainings programs. Given my own life and the universality of things we have to learn in order to get along with partners, this was what I wanted to become really adept at. I got a degree in Harville Hendrik’s Imago Therapy and also studied Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Therapy and John Gottman’s scientific findings on what works in relationships and what doesn’t. I also began writing columns about what I was learning and experiencing in two local publications: the Brooklyn Free Press and the Brooklyn Family. These columns can be read on this website.

Now, Couples and Family therapy are my professional specializations. I invite you to come in for some sessions with partners and family; it can only help. I recommend it to us all.

docjoanemerson@gmail.com             website by canopystudios.com