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Irina Firstein, LCSW - Marriage & Couples Counseling
Marriage Counselor
Today Closed
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How Trauma Leads to Depression and Anxiety

A few years ago years ago after the Oklahoma City bombing, Hurricane Katrina and Sandy, I contributed to an article for discussing Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress and its impact on Mental Health. This week I wrote an update to this article mentioning more recent events in the past 2-3 years, such as the Boston Marathon shootings in which three people were killed and hundreds injured, murder of a teacher outside a preschool by her husband on March 11, 2014. Not to mention unspeakable executions by ISIS. In doing research for this article, I was shocked about how many violent acts of random violence have occurred in the past two years in schools and colleges all over the country.
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Are we Going Through a Bad Phase or Are we Broken?

This is the question many couples ask in their first session as they sit down on my office couch. This question either starts the sessions or follows a brief introduction and history of their relationship as well as reasons why they are in my office at this particular time. They or at least one of them look at me, anxiously, awaiting my “expert” verdict.
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370 Lexington Ave Suite 514 New York, NY 10017
370 Lexington Avenue Suite 514USNew YorkNew York10017
Marriage Counselor, PsychotherapistToday Closed
Sunday ClosedMonday 9AM–9PMTuesday 9AM–9PMWednesday 9AM–9PMThursday 9AM–9PMFriday 3–7PMSaturday Closed
Irina Firstein, LCSW is a Licensed NYC Marriage Counselor & Therapist specializing in Marriage Counseling, Couples Counseling, Relationship Counseling & Couples Therapy.

She also provides Individual Therapy for Depression, Anxiety, Relationship Issues, Substance Abuse and Trauma. She has training in EMDR, an effective therapy for processing and clearing traumatic events. Irina Firstein  speaks Russian and provides therapy to Russian born or Russian speaking clients. She works, in fact, with many clients from other countries and is sensitive to issues of adjustment to another culture. She also works with SKYPE for those who are not able to come to her office for the sessions. She has office hours by appointment.

Irina Firstein has been recognized  by peers and media as an expert in relationships and has been on CBS, Inside Edition to comment on relationship issues of celebrity couples. She has written articles about relationship issues for online magazines and is frequently interviewed by journalists for major publications.
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"As an experienced couples therapist myself, I highly recommend Irina."
"Irina Firstein is a high-integrity marriage counselor in nyc."
"Irina helped me by being a person who I could speak to."
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Sylvie P.M.'s profile photo
Sylvie P.M.
a month ago
Irina is not only a wonderful person but her skills as a counselor are outstanding. I have been 3 times so far to her office, twice with my husband, once alone after I called her in tears (feeling emotionally hurt by my husband's curt wording), and each time I left with a great feeling. Irina understands each of us and pointed out right away our defects and assets. She is straightforward but always kind and considerate. The miracle is that she could explain to my husband, Yves what he did not want to hear from me, and instead of taking it wrong, Yves each time has been able to reconsider his behavior toward me and toward life in general. Each time we left her office, we felt that our marriage will survive our past miscommunication and we are both willing to overcome our differences. THANK you so much, dear Irina!!!!!! Sylvie
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Jeannine crouse
a year ago
As an experienced couples therapist myself, I highly recommend Irina. I have referred several of my own clients & their partners to Irina over the years, & she never disappoints them or me. Her experience & style helps couples get to work quickly & time-efficiently.
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Erin Drake
2 years ago
I wanted to marry my girlfriend but my daughters were having trouble accepting him. Two years ago, I came to Irina for advice with my two daughters, age 12 and 15. After a few sessions of pre-marriage counseling, I was equipped with useful tools to communicate with my teenage daughters and was more aware of how a step-mother would affect the family dynamic. I decided not to rush into things and only recently married again. My daughters were much more accepting and my family has never been as supportive with my choice
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Ronald Cattalo
2 years ago
Irina is definitely the best therapist nyc. After going through a divorce, I developed sever insecurity issues, and needed help coping with the problems and betrayal I faced. Irina helped me by being a person who I could speak to. She has helped me look forward to life
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Natalia Berdakina
8 months ago
Irina is an extremely thoughtful, smart, kind and well-rounded therapist. She is patient and understanding and most importantly very helpful. We were very happy that we have met her at a difficult time in our life and she basically saved our relationship. We both recommend her highly and can only say good things about our experience.
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tony hung
a year ago
I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank you for your help. From our first session, your advice has made a very dramatic effect on us. Almost daily, I can see small change and improvements. Sometimes, there are big improvements. It is a daily challenge but that's what makes life interesting. We are working in a much more cohesive team oriented fashion. You suggestion that we see you separately says to me that you really know what is going on. You understand that that my wife is very delicate place and feels overwhelmed and ready to boil over at any minute. She was the one who suggest therapy (and i very happily accepted). My personal research and reading of marital/couples/relation books, while helpful, is quite adolescent compared to your 20+ years of experience. Having a neutral 3rd party is invaluable!! It is challenging because both of us are not good at active listening and very good at telling the other how to be perfect. Your ability to read our personalities and understand the REAL messages behind our words is VERY evident. As a lifelong student, I have almost always known to seek out people smarter than you so you can learn from them AND pass on the teachings. The wealth that is created by someone's teachings is immeasurable and can/will change peoples lives forever. I look forward to seeing you next monday at 6:30 and discussing "Hold me tight" by Sue Johnson. I have already downloaded the kindle and audiobook. thanks. Hopefully, my wife will prioritize, carve out the time and take the initiative to read it (i emailed gifted her a copy of the book in kindle format) before she sees you next. Thanks again.
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Alena Lygate
3 years ago
Irina is a very confident and experienced therapist. She listens intently and helps you to sort your thoughts, but is not afraid to state her opinion and point you in the right direction. A book that she recommended I read was the best self-help book I have ever read (and I have read many) and helped me to change my energy and enjoy my life. I believe she helped me to attract and keep the right guys. When I went to her a couple years ago I was single and now I have been in a wonderful relationship for a year.
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Danielle Payne
2 years ago
I thoroughly enjoy speaking to Irina. She gives me advice like a maternal figure, and tells me what I need to hear in order to become a better person. Thank you!