Paula S. Gilbert, LMHC
The work I offer you today combines 40-plus years of work and study. My practice and I are always growing and evolving. My lifelong interests that inform my work as a therapist and coach are: human consciousness and behavior, the stories we tell, dreams, yoga and meditation, and healing through movement, art, and relationship.
My first career after attaining my Bachelors degree was in the book and publishing industry. I worked for the Manager of the main, still- family-owned Barnes &Noble Company store on Fifth Avenue and 18th Street in New York. After this, I became an assistant to a NY literary agent, and pitched book proposals to editors at all the major NY publishing houses.
In 1985, weary of business and the pace of Manhattan, I moved to South Florida to study massage and bodywork in depth. I was blessed to study with many fine healers and learned a tremendous amount about what I call the BodyMind. I also started a family. I became a licensed massage therapist in Florida and later in New York when I returned in the 1990’s. I had a strong desire to work with people on a mental and emotional level and returned to school for my Masters degree in Counseling. After several jobs, including counseling Long Island bereaved individuals and families effected by 9/11, I enrolled in a three-year training in Gestalt Psychotherapy. I practiced at The Gestalt Center of Long Island another several years after graduation honing my skills and intuition as a psychotherapist. The Gestalt model is foundational to all the work I do and the methods I continue to add on.
Interwoven through the decades has been my search for a greater truth, and I have learned from some extraordinary people. Some are: Yogi Amrit Desai and many amazing residents at Kripalu Center in the mid-1980’s, various instructors at the CG Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology in NY, the poetic, meditative, healing work of the late Stephen Levine and his wife Ondrea, and the visionary consciousness and radical aliveness work of Richard Moss, MD, in California.
The very ground of a helper, for me, is a thirst for learning and service, a curiosity and compassion for people, and a desire to live consciously. It is a well-known sentiment in the therapy world that a therapist can only accompany a client to the depth and range of experience they have traversed themselves.
I am deeply grateful and humbled everyday to work with people in this way. I hope to be of service to you soon.
Education and Credentials
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology, Boston University, 1980
Licensed Massage Therapist, State of New York, 1997
Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling, Long Island University, 2002
Certificate in Gestalt Psychotherapy, Gestalt Center of Long Island, 2006
Licensed Mental Health Counselor, State of New York, 2006
200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification, Awaken Yoga and Meditation Center, 2014
Internal Family Systems work of Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.
Strategic Intervention Coaching as taught by Mark and Magali Peysha
Couples Counseling with Terrence Real, founder of Relational Life Institute