Gena Nelson profile picture

Gena Nelson Psychotherapy, LMHC

Not Taking New Clients

Gena Nelson has been a licensed therapist in New York for over 21 years. She works to create a nonjudgmental and accepting space where everyone can feel comfortable growing. She uses evidence-based treatment to develop life-changing habits. She will help you determine what thought patterns are leading to painful emotions and unwanted behaviors and how to break negative cycles.

Specialties
  • General Mental Health
  • Anxiety and Panic Disorders
  • Depression
  • Grief and Loss
  • Chronic Illness, Pain and Sleep Disorders
Pay with insurance
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • Oxford Health Plans
  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • UMR
  • Oscar
  • UHC Student Resources
Pay out-of-pocket
  • $ $ $ $ $
    $80-140
  • Sliding Scale
    A sliding scale is a range of out of pocket fees that providers accept based on financial need.
Locations
Licensed in
Therapy licenses aren't like driver's licenses — each state has its own set of rules. To offer care, a provider needs to be licensed in the state you're located in when sessions are happening.
  • New York
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Provider
Profile
“My top priority as a therapist is creating an environment free of judgment and assumptions where I, and therefore others, can be genuine.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
As many counselors also note, I was the friend who listened and supported others as a child, the emotional one who felt deeply and had endless patience for others. I was a peer counselor in college and found it was a natural and energizing role. While completing my BS in math with intent to teach, it became clear that my students learned better when they had emotional space and coping skills. I changed focus, obtained my MSEd in counselor education, and took my first job as a resident director at a small state college. I moved into a position at the counseling center of that same college and worked as the counseling director for 11 years. I now work solely in private practice so that I can live more mindfully and enjoy my three growing children, lovingly demanding cat, and young therapy dog.
What should someone know about working with you?
My top priority as a therapist is creating an environment free of judgment and assumptions where I, and therefore others, can be genuine. I prefer to do any required paperwork via email or the online health portal before we first meet so that our time can be used for sharing your concerns and goals. I appreciate the level of energy and courage it takes to make that initial appointment and I want to honor that, so the first session is 75-90 minutes long. Future sessions are 45-60 minutes long. While I’m a structured and organized person at heart, I enjoy having therapy sessions that are open and fluid; you are in control of how much you share and what you work on. My role is to listen, help you determine how you're feeling, and reframe negative thought processes that are causing you pain.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
My core values are tied to my identity as a northern Maine farm girl. I grew up seeing a strong work ethic in everyone around me. I spent years staring at the mountains and the larger-than-life stars, feeling big emotions and wondering if I was the only one who did. It took me decades to understand how to best be empathetic with healthy boundaries. I knew my privilege in having large fields to run and play, gardens of vegetables, chicken eggs in the barn, and venison in the freezer. I learned to respect the land and learned the history of those who first lived there; I was never sheltered from the brutality of the white men who destroyed the Native American founders and their land. I saw my parents treat all people with respect, and I saw how hard it was for friends growing up in homes with judgment and gossip. With these basic values, I've formed my therapeutic approach of creating trust, acknowledging pain, seeing strengths, and encouraging growth.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
One of the most exciting trends I’ve watched the last few years is the normalizing of mental health treatment. This generation of young adults joined the movement of sharing mental health challenges on social media and supporting others' self-improvement journeys. The validation that emotional difficulty is normal and treatment can be sought without shame exponentially increased the need for available therapists. Due to the pandemic, counselors adapted to virtual therapy years ahead of the inevitable curve. I was pleasantly surprised to see more people coming to counseling when the only option was online. A conversation from home (maybe in our favorite pajama pants?) was more convenient, both physically and emotionally. And, honestly, the same goes for therapists! We have rough days too and personally, the comfort of my favorite chair, blanket, or coffee mug at home creates the mental space required to stay grounded and focused on my role as a helper.
“While I’m a structured and organized person at heart, I enjoy having therapy sessions that are open and fluid; you are in control of how much you share and what you work on.”