Deborah Agrest, LCSW-R


Psych Today IMG_1156By appointment only

Deborah Agrest, LCSW-R
1841 Broadway, Suite 1202
New York, NY 10023

I am a psychoanalyst in private practice located in the Columbus Circle neighborhood of Manhattan, on the border of Midtown and the Upper West Side, easily reached from almost anywhere in the city.

My immediate intention is to help you feel better by providing a safe, open environment in which you know you are being heard and deeply understood as we discuss the areas you’d like to focus on in our work together.  The approach will be a collaborative psychotherapy to ease the problems that interfere with your relationships, work, and life.  Your goals are important.  You may be considering therapy because of a crisis, loss, or transition.  Perhaps you hope to move through it and restore the situation–and yourself–to the way they were.   Eventually, as you settle in and sense that I’m  in sync with you, you’ll begin to realize that, through the therapeutic process. you are becoming more flexible, adaptable,  and moving in a forward direction.  Patients often tell me that although they sought treatment for specific reasons, their goals in therapy changed over time and that they have never before felt more like themselves–with a broader, more alive,  range of experience.

My practice encompasses individual, couple, group work, and clinical supervision for mental-health professionals.

Individual Work:

  • Relationship Issues
  • Life Transitions: Loss; Grief; Illness; Marital shifts; Children leaving home–or coming back to the home;  Completing education and moving into the work place
  • Trauma: Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse; Veterans; Relational Trauma; Post Traumatic Stress; Dissociation
  • Shame
  • Ambiguous Loss
  • Depression,  Anxiety
  • Issues for Caregivers of those with Dementia or Chronic Illness
  • Endeavors of Creative Artists
  • Sexuality
  • LGBTQ affirmative
  • Employment/Professional changes

Couples Work

Group Work:
I am interviewing prospective members for a psychtherapy group tailored specifically to the needs of people who are related to dementia patients.

The inherent demands, upheaval, and confluence of feelings, in caring for someone who is physically present but psychologically slipping away or absent, goes unacknowledged or minimized in society. The well-being of the dementia patient is foremost in people’s minds, while the distress of the caregiver may not be recognized.  Jane, a group member, once spoke of her friends always inquiring, “How is your father doing?”  “But,” Jane asked us, “what about me?”  It is the “What about me?” question that this group is meant to address.

The concept for a psychotherapy group of this nature grew out of my experience in leading support groups for a nationally recognized organization.  The individual members came to see that their own particular approach to coping with their caretaking responsibilities was determined by their own relational history, fantasy, and attachment style.

The group is intended to be adjunctive to participants’ existing individual treatment and will be a safe open environment composed of a stable group of members who attend weekly on an ongoing basis.  Groups are held in my private office. 
Please call or email for more information: 212.874.2803/

Psychoanalyst:  A psychoanalyst is a licensed mental-health professional such as a social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, or psychiatric nurse who has had intensive training in psychoanalysis at an accredited  instituteCandidates accepted into training programs at psychoanalytic institutes must meet  rigorous standards and have extensive clinical experience.  This postgraduate course of study, of four years or more, consists of four areas: each candidate’s own personal analysis, consisting of at least three sessions per week;  a full case load, including, treatment of one to three patients who are  engaged in at least three times per week psychoanalysis;  several hours per week of close, extended supervision by several senior analysts on a weekly basis; and classes in psychoanalytic theories.  Psychoanalysts’ extensive training enhances the quality and depth of their work.    They listen to patients on multiple levels, looking for interpersonal patterns and linkages of which patients may be unaware.  Psychoanalytic theories, including the concept that much of our experience remains out of our awareness, are the bases of of all forms of dynamic psychotherapy.   However, the goal of long-term change in interpersonal relationships is  a feature of psychoanalysis/psychoanalytic therapy.  In addition to conducting intensive treatments, many psychoanalysts integrate other modes of treatment into their work with patients as needed.  Thus, psychoanalysts have the skills, range of experience, and flexibility to  tailor the treatment specifically to you, your needs, and goals.

Psychotherapist:  A psychotherapist is a more general term that  includes psychoanalysts and other practitionersHowever,  it is important for patients to ask about a therapist’s training and background.  In many cases, psychotherapists are licensed by the state but do not have psychoanalytic training.  Only graduates of accredited psychoanalytic institutes may legally call  themselves psychoanalysts.  A psychotherapist who has not had institute training may engage in psychodynamic work, based on psychoanalytic principles, or  practice short-term, manualized treatments such as CBT.

Counselor:  A counselor may or may not be licensed by the state.  The goals of counseling are short-term  problem solving and support.