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Deirdre Malinske MA, LMHC

Therapist

(she/they)

queer therapist deirdre photo_

SPECIALIZATIONS

Adults 18+. I work with both individuals and relationships. My specialties in terms of identity are working with queer and trans folks, people who are poly or consensually non-monogamous, Autistic people and ADHDers, and people who are disabled and/or chronically ill. I am currently working to develop more of a specialty in working with people who have OCD. My specialities related to experiences include people who have experienced trauma, including systemic and oppression related trauma, familial and relationship trauma, abusive dynamics, and sexual trauma.

THERAPEUTIC STYLE

Like many therapists, I draw from different therapy approaches depending on the needs of each of my clients including specific skill building, emotional processing, information sharing, and creating real-life change. I make it a point to be actively trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and identity affirming. This often includes talking about the dynamic between me and my clients and the ways that power, identity, and experience impact our relationship and the work we do together.

COMMON ISSUES I HELP WITH

EXPERIENCE & TRAINING

Masters in Mental Health Counseling from SUNY New Paltz. Experience in college administration,
survivor advocacy for sexual assault and domestic violence. Taught Multicultural Counseling course at
SUNY New Paltz. Specialized training and clinical supervision in working with neurodivergent clients,
particularly ADHD, Autistic, OCD. Specialized training and clinical supervision in working with
relationships/couples (Emotionally-Focused Therapy, Imago Therapy), specific therapy modalities for
trauma (Somatic Experiencing, Clinical Trauma Professional, Trauma-Focused-CBT), OCD (Inference-
Based CBT), and others.

PHILOSOPHY

I recognize the profound impact of power systems and identity on our worldview and self-perception. I integrate this understanding into our work, encouraging clients to explore these influences. My approach acknowledges that all emotions, even uncomfortable ones, offer valuable insights. 
 
I believe in the power of imagination, joy, and hope for personal (and also larger-scale) transformation. While respecting clients' current emotional states, I help them envision and work towards positive change. 
 
I emphasize the importance of healthy connections, recognizing each person's inherent value and right to respect. I support clients in exploring their relationship needs and values, fostering life-affirming connections without self-compromise.

In individual therapy, I frequently work with clients who are looking to process trauma, build relationships that make them feel safe and fulfilled, learn to self-advocate, who are navigating burnout, who are seeking to explore aspects of their identity and make choices about what is next, to develop more self-confidence and self-compassion, and to change patterns that are harmful or painful.
 
In relationship therapy, I often work with clients around themes of developing better communication, being better understood by one another, navigating different and competing access needs, navigating infidelity or betrayal, opening a relationship to non-monogamy or polyamory, and processing life changes together.

HOW I CONNECT WITH CLIENTS

Of course, it’s through building trust and safety. I do this through telling clients what to expect from me, showing up genuinely, and adapting to my clients’ needs. I create a non-judgmental space for clients to process feelings and determine their next steps.
 
Here’s a bit about how you can expect me to act in a session: I’ll come to our work together with a sense of curiosity, and will ask you about your own ways of thinking, feeling, and doing. I’m gentle but direct; often I will tell you “here’s what I’m seeing – what do you think?” I bring my own expertise, and welcome yours too. I’ll pull back the curtain and tell you what it seems like the path forward could look like for the work you want to do, and ask you to brainstorm with me about whether that is what you want, and how best to go about it for you in particular. I’ll sometimes ask you to slow down to give yourself some time to process things you might be inclined to speed past, challenge you to think about things in a different way, and offer coping skills that I’ve learned which seem applicable for your needs.

RELATED HOBBIES & INTERESTS

I’m a hobby gardener and love learning about plants, the ways they grow, and how they interact with their environment. As you might be able to imagine, there are plenty of metaphors to be had about therapy work related to plants and you can expect me to use them!

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