Alla R Shapiro, LMHC
Therapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, LMHCReach out
Reach out to Alla R Shapiro, LMHC
Your life is your story. You have the power to continue writing your story, editing the outtakes, and control how each chapter is going to end. Start living the story you want to tell.
Alla R Shapiro, LMHC's style🙌 Affirming 🥇 Empowering 🎯 Direct 🌎 Holistic
Why Alla R Shapiro, LMHC chose to be in the helping profession
When I reflect on why I decided to pursue a career in the helping profession, I can't help but feel that it wasn't a choice I made; it was more like a natural calling. I've always been intrigued by the struggles people face in accepting themselves and finding compassion and self-worth, without constantly seeking validation through accomplishments.
This curiosity stemmed from my own experiences of feeling the weight of external expectations for as long as I can remember. I was aware that these pressures were largely projections from my family and the people around me, but it took me a while to change my own self-narrative. I've often been described as the "sensitive type," a quality that I believe carries great strength but is often overlooked or dismissed as a mere "soft skill."
Growing up in a Russian-speaking household with influences from Russian and Ukrainian culture, I witnessed countless conversations centered around the need to "win" or feel "good enough." These discussions were always centered on others' opinions or observations, and no amount of external validation ever seemed sufficient. This kind of mindset, I've come to realize, inevitably leads to self-doubt and a constant questioning of one's self-worth.
My desire to break free from this mindset and create spaces of authenticity for my loved ones ultimately led me to a profound love for therapy. In these safe and accepting spaces, individuals can fully embrace the richness of life, experience a sense of belonging, and learn to trust themselves to navigate both the joys and challenges that life throws their way. This is why I found my passion in therapy—to help others embark on their own journeys of self-acceptance and liberation from the never-ending quest for external validation.
Alla R Shapiro, LMHC's approach
In my approach to therapy, I place a strong emphasis on building authentic, relational connections with the individuals I work with. Establishing a genuine bond is one of my specialties, and it forms the foundation of our therapeutic journey together.
I take an integrative approach to therapy, drawing from a diverse range of evidence-based techniques and methodologies. My training includes several well-established approaches, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Dialectical-Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Behavioral Activation (BA), Parent Management Training (PMT), and Triple P (similar to Parent-Child Interaction Therapy or PCIT). Additionally, I have received training in Narrative Exposure Therapy.
When working with couples, I hold a certification in Levels 1 and 2 of the Gottman Method, integrating principles from this modality along with attachment theory and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) principles.
One of the core principles of my therapeutic approach is that I do not adopt an expert stance. I firmly believe that you are the expert and author of your own life story. My role is to empower you to reconnect with yourself, facilitating a deeper understanding of your own thoughts and feelings and empowering you to take agency in how you perceive yourself and your current life circumstances. Whether you've experienced disappointment, grief, or any form of 'otherness' that society may not readily accept, I work collaboratively with you to deconstruct the narratives surrounding past traumas, big or small. Together, we aim to help you see yourself as a whole person, separate from any past events that may still be influencing your life.
Throughout our therapeutic journey, I offer insights into your thought processes and encourage you to pause and become attuned to your body and emotions, as these elements play a crucial role in shaping your behavioral patterns. I also approach therapy from an existential and values-based perspective. Together, we explore how your choices align with your core values and beliefs. If living an authentic, fulfilling life in accordance with your values is your goal, then embracing a courageous lifestyle and making choices that resonate with your true self becomes essential. Our work together aims to help you live a life that is deeply meaningful to you.
What you can expect from sessions with Alla R Shapiro, LMHC
During our therapy sessions, you can anticipate a journey of introspection that may challenge you, enlighten you, and ultimately empower you. My aim is to facilitate personal and relational growth in a safe and nurturing environment.
I place a strong emphasis on relationships because I believe that, whether it's your connection to your community, family, friends, or loved ones, you exist within a complex system where finding your authentic self is crucial. This process doesn't typically occur in isolation, confined to the solitude of one's own thoughts. Instead, it unfolds when you engage with the world, interact with others, experience your emotions, and become aware of your thoughts. These experiences shape your feelings, choices, and ultimately, your sense of self and belonging.
From a logistical perspective, our therapeutic journey typically begins with a 15-minute video consultation. During this initial meeting, I'll inquire about what has brought you to therapy and how I can best assist you on your path to healing and self-discovery.
For individual therapy, our sessions are typically 60 minutes in length, initially meeting three times and then transitioning to 50-minute sessions. In the case of couples, our sessions are an hour long. I incorporate the principles of the Gottman Method, and we begin with a joint session to establish a shared understanding of the issues at hand. Subsequently, I meet individually with each partner to explore their unique perspectives and concerns. Afterward, we reconvene in the fourth session as a couple to collaboratively address and work through the challenges you're facing.
I provide therapy for both individuals grappling with relationship issues and parents seeking guidance on child-rearing concerns. My aim is to offer support and facilitate growth in all areas of your life where it is needed, helping you navigate the complexities of your personal and relational experiences.
Alla R Shapiro, LMHC's experience working with the Jewish community
My experience working within the Jewish community has truly been one of the most rewarding chapters of my life. It's a journey that has taken me through various phases, and I've had the privilege of engaging with individuals from diverse backgrounds and age groups.
One of the initial opportunities that deeply impacted me was during my college years when I was involved in outreach initiatives for the Jewish community. I collaborated with local organizations like Hillel, RAJE, and participated in Taglit programs. These experiences allowed me to connect with Jewish individuals from different walks of life, and I cherished the moments spent building bridges of understanding and support.
My path then led me to Israel after graduation, where I continued my work with Jewish communities. This time, I had the privilege of engaging with people across the entire spectrum of life experiences. I interacted with first responders who displayed remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. I also worked with children, adolescents, and their families in Sderot, individuals who had been profoundly affected by the challenges and trauma stemming from events like the azakot and shelling during Operation Amud Annan.
To better connect with the people I served, I dedicated myself to learning Hebrew while in Israel. This language proficiency not only facilitated communication but also enabled me to gain a deeper understanding of the individuals I was working with.
Upon my return to the United States, I decided to further my education by pursuing a degree in Counseling. It's important to note that my experiences in Israel continue to resonate deeply with me and profoundly influence both my personal life and my work. These experiences have instilled in me a profound appreciation for the diversity of human experiences and have reinforced my commitment to providing compassionate and effective support to individuals from all backgrounds.
In essence, my journey within the Jewish community has not only enriched my life but has also played an integral role in shaping my approach to counseling and my interactions with people from all walks of life.
Alla R Shapiro, LMHC's Book Recommendation Zone
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Gottman Method
- Narrative Therapy
- Person-Centered Therapy
- Psychodynamic Therapy
Languages spokenEnglish Hebrew Russian
People I work withAdults Couples
Personal religious affiliationsNon Observant Jew
Jewish community experienceModerate
Licensed to work inNew Jersey, New York
Livingston, New Jersey
7 years in practice
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor by NYSED 2020. License number 010133
- Licensed Professional Counselor by NJDCAAPP 2023
- Mental Health Counseling by Hunter College School of Education 2017
- Gottman Method Level 1 & 2 by The Gottman Institute 2022
- CBT by Beck Institute 2017
- Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist - Individual by Arizona Trauma Institute 2022
- New York Mental Health Association by NYMHCA 2018