Maria Chi profile picture

Maria Chi Psychotherapy, DSW, LCSW-R

Dr. Maria Chi is a licensed clinical social worker with expertise in working with people affected by cancer and other chronic illnesses. She has a particular interest in supporting people whose mental health and quality of life have been affected by their physical health.

Specialties
  • General Mental Health
  • Depression
  • Grief and Loss
  • Personal Growth and Self-Esteem
  • Chronic Illness, Pain and Sleep Disorders
Pay with insurance
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • Oxford Health Plans
  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • UMR
  • Oscar
  • UHC Student Resources
Pay out-of-pocket
  • $ $ $ $ $
    $140-200
  • 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
“All clients deserve respect and quality therapy, but I especially enjoy working with people who are reflective, who possess some degree of self-awareness and insight, and who value the process of growth and change rather than focusing solely on outcomes.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I grew up knowing I wanted to be of service to people. After earning a BA in psychology, I decided to return to school for an MSW. I've been a professional social worker since 2003 and completed my doctorate in clinical social work in 2018. I went back to school to become the best therapist I could be, as I view life as a continuous process of growth and learning and I approach my work through the same lens. We are constantly learning new ways to "be" in the world, to live out our chosen values, and to create a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives. We all deserve a chance to do this and sometimes we need a little help. Over the past decades, I've worked with people who are searching for their purpose while struggling with a variety of issues. In particular, I have dedicated many years to working in the areas of adults diagnosed with cancer, caregiver stress, end-of-life issues, and bereavement. I am passionate about supporting you through any of these experiences.
What should someone know about working with you?
If we decide to work together, I will send you some short forms to complete before our first 45-minute session. In that session, we will review any questions you may have as well as create a treatment plan and goals for our work together. Periodically, I'll give you a short questionnaire about your mood and current state of mind to track change. Occasionally, I may assign homework but only after a discussion as to why I think it might be helpful. Assignments can range from book recommendations to tracking unhelpful thought patterns to identifying core beliefs and values to journaling or relaxation exercises. All clients deserve respect and quality therapy, but I especially enjoy working with people who are reflective, who possess some degree of self-awareness and insight, and who value the process of growth and change rather than focusing solely on outcomes. I agree with the major principle of existential therapy: Happiness is not the goal (nor guaranteed); it is the byproduct of a meaningful life.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
As a believer in lifelong learning, I regularly attend workshops, lectures, and training to keep up-to-date on developments in the field. I also engage in peer supervision with a group of other therapists who do similar work. I learn so much from the people I work with and their experiences, and I enjoy giving presentations that reflect what I’ve learned. Some topics I’ve discussed include coping with the psychosocial impact of cancer, managing the financial stress of cancer, meaning-making, cancer survivorship, and caregiving. I’ve published three journal articles and authored or co-authored three book chapters on related topics.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I aim to bring the same authenticity, openness, respect for differences and diversity, and sense of humor (when appropriate) to the session that I express in my everyday life. I don’t think my role is to tell you what to do but rather challenge you, make suggestions, and support you as needed. You are the expert on yourself and your own life. I can guide you through the rough parts and bear witness to the pain. Both professionally and personally, I value growth and self-development balanced with the ability to make connections and contribute to the world around me. I strive to help people find or create purpose and meaning in their lives, despite the very real challenges to their wellbeing. "The last of human freedoms — the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” - Viktor Frankl
“I agree with the major principle of existential therapy: Happiness is not the goal (nor guaranteed); it is the byproduct of a meaningful life.”
Interested in speaking with Maria?