The Lukin Center: Psychologists in the Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC.
The Lukin Center for Psychotherapy has a new affiliate office in Manhattan at 151 W 86th Street, Suite 1-CE, NY, NY 10024
Our psychotherapy services include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Couples Counseling, Neuropsychological Evaluations, Individual Treatment, and Adolescent services.
Our Licensed Psychologists work with our clients to fit their busy schedules. We also offer virtual appointments via a secure, HIPAA compliant software system.
We are open Monday to Saturday, 8AM to 9PM.
What's the closest subway station?
West 86th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues. Take either the B or C trains. (Orange line or Red line) from there it’s a block and a half walk.
Upper West Side, NYC Psychologist Spotlight: Dr. Chiaying Wei
What made you want to get into clinical psychology?I’ve always been interested in how the mind works and what makes people happy and unhappy. I wanted to get into a profession where I could help people live a more fulfilled life. I originally wanted to become a medical doctor, but then realized that I was more interested in people’s mental capacity to live a better life, and therefore, pursuing psychology made a lot of sense.
You see a wide range of patients and use "Socratic questioning," as well as mindfulness-based and interpersonal-oriented approaches. Can you explain what that means in layman's terms?
I think the first step in doing proper psychotherapy is to cultivate insight and have patients understand their patterns in terms of thoughts, behaviors, and actions. That’s the first step to help anyone make any changes that they want in life. The Socratic approach gives people the opportunity to examine what it is that they think they do. So that’s why I’m drawn to that approach.
Along the same lines, human beings are social animals and we interact with a lot of people and form a lot of relationships. And often those relationships dictate happiness and how we feel.
As for mindfulness, the majority of my work has to do with anxiety. Part of it is that these days, for both kids and adults, we face a lot of stress, so being mindful and having adequate skills to handle stress is extremely important.
I’m actually also pursuing certification as a yoga teacher. So I’m very interested in mindfulness and how it can cultivate insight.
An important area of your work is the integration of mental health and primary care to improve treatment access for anxiety and depression. Can you talk a bit about why this integration is so crucial?
Traditionally, if you look at insurance coverage, psychotherapy is considered under specialized services. Mental health has a different set of policies and coverage, but when you look at the prevalence of anxiety and depression --- they’re widespread.
It’s estimated that 10-25% of people will have anxiety or depression problems during their lifetime, but only very few of them get treatment, so we need more widely-available resources for people to get mental health services.
On the flip side, the primary care doctor is sort of the gatekeeper of the healthcare system.
So if the primary care providers can do some first-step screening and try to identify if someone is anxious or depressed and advise them on seeing a mental health specialist, or do some basic counseling or therapy within their capacity. I think that would widen the services available to people.
You've written more than a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles. Can you describe your research a bit for us?
My research has evolved quite a bit. Early on, it focused on CBT for childhood anxiety disorders and the importance of parenting.
During the next stage of my research, I found that many treatments are not widely available. NYC is a unique place where there are a lot of resources, but it’s not always easy to find a therapist.
That lead me to interest in “implementation and dissemination research” and figuring out how we can increase availability. The implementation of the treatment that works has a lot to do with our healthcare system, so at my current position at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, my work has to do with access to care.
What drew you to the Lukin Center?
Dr. Paula Yanes and I were former colleagues at Columbia, and she introduced me to Dr. Lukin. The three of us came from a very similar training pipeline. We each have a strong belief in evidence-based treatment, and I think they are amazing people to work with. We have many shared beliefs and interests, and it’s a pleasure and privilege to work with them.
What’s one thing you would want a potential new patient to know about you and/or working with you?
Therapy is hard work. While we’re not looking for a magic pill, it can be a very rewarding process. Through practice and effort we’re able to produce very gratifying fruits.