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The CNYPA Snapshot is our new bi-monthly blog that features a different psychologist within the CNYPA membership. The intended audience includes our fellow CNYPA members, as well as the general public – both of whom may be interested in obtaining psychologically-minded information and fostering connections with the wonderful psychologists who serve Central New York’s diverse population.

CNYPA Snapshot: Deborah Pollack, PhD

Deborah Pollack, Ph.D.Work Location
I have a private practice in Dewitt and I also supervise doctoral students in the clinical psychology program at Syracuse University and pre-doctoral interns at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

How did you become interested in the field of Psychology?
I’ve always been fascinated by differences in personality and temperament between people, however, a pinnacle moment was when I was a teenager and I watched a documentary on people with schizophrenia. My heart broke for the people living with that disorder and I decided I wanted to help people with mental illness.

Briefly describe your area of specialty:
I do a type of psychodynamic psychotherapy called Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP). It is designed to help people more quickly break through mental blocks and barriers to reach unconscious feelings, conflicts, and impulses. The idea is that the mechanisms we use to ward off painful or conflicted feelings create symptoms such as anxiety and depression, and that helping people face and experience these previously warded off feelings will help their symptoms to recede.

Based on your specialty, what is one piece of advice for our readers?
Anxiety is often a signal that you are having feelings you don’t want to face. If you can acknowledge the feelings underneath the anxiety, it can help you to better regulate your anxiety.

Can you provide a recommendation for how our readers can begin to implement your piece of advice?
Notice how anxiety and emotions feel in your body. Observe them non-judgmentally. Treat them as a signal that your emotional self is using to tell you something. Finally, if you can’t figure it out yourself, try psychotherapy. Some wounds can only be healed through a relationship.

Tell us something fun about you:  If you weren’t a psychologist, what would you be?
I love to sew and to travel. So I would love to travel the country (or world!) in a campervan selling things that I have sewn. Sounds like a retirement plan!

If any of our readers would like more information, please visit Dr. Pollack’s website at www.drdeborahpollack.com.