Dr. Camilla E Mager, PsyD
There is a very funny YouTube video of a couple having a conversation (It’s not about the Nail). The woman in the video – let’s call her Jane – has a nail sticking out of her head, right between her eyes. She keeps talking to her boyfriend about the relentless pressure she is feeling – describing it in detail, asking for empathy. Jane’s boyfriend is trying to explain that if she just took the nail out of her forehead, she would feel better. But Jane wants empathy, not concrete actions, and frustratedly states, “You always do this! You always try to fix things when what I need is for you to listen.” Here’s the thing: they are both right. Jane needs empathy. She needs her boyfriend to let her know that he is in it with her – that he can feel her pain, her fear, her frustration. But she also needs to take the dang nail out of her forehead! It’s important to find connection, to know that what you are saying is being taken seriously, to feel that someone can truly understand your experience on a very basic emotional level. It’s key – not just that someone else understand you, but that you understand and listen to yourself. And then you need to do something to make the necessary changes. It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know how you got here. Decisions and choices don’t just come out of the blue. They come from ideas, emotions and reactions that we have experienced, encoded and incorporated into our lived understanding of the world. By the time we are teens or adults, decisions don’t always feel like choices: they are reactions that come from the engrained and automatic responses to what our lives have taught us thus far. The problem is, they are choices. And a lot of these choices don’t make sense. Some might even be dysfunctional. They are always an attempt to find a solution – but sometimes instead of helping solve a problem, these choices just create more serious difficulties. So the therapeutic work starts with getting to know how you managed to get yourself here. Once you know how you got lost, you are ready to choose the appropriate tools you to get you back on track. As a therapist, I am in the fortunate position of having a large toolbox from which I can pull the tools I believe are most necessary, most indicated and most useful for each of my patients. These tools come from a variety of different therapeutic styles including, but not limited to CBT, DBT, EMDR and Relational therapies. Together, we will figure out which tools work and which aren’t as helpful. As we get to know one another, I will be able to offer better solutions – and you will come to know what kinds of solutions are most helpful. It goes without saying that I encourage each and every one of my clients to have hopes and dreams. We need our goals – our aspirations – in order to motivate us and to navigate our lives successfully. Equally important, though, is to become clear on where we are living out of alignment with reality. We tend to waste time and energy trying to change things: to make them how we want them to be, rather than accepting what they are. In order to make change, we have to truly understand what it is that is broken and then decide whether to fix it or just throw it away. The work of therapy is to figure out what is real and true, what needs to be kept, altered and fixed and what you can leave behind. Discomfort is the prerequisite for change – you’re here because you already know something is uncomfortable. My clients would say that I am forthright and direct while also warm and deeply caring. I won’t always tell you what you want to hear, but I will tell you what you need to know. I will challenge you to get better, to grow, to get through where you are stuck. Discomfort is the prerequisite for change – you’re here because you already know something is uncomfortable. The road may be daunting, but it’s better to travel with a guide and companion than wander without a compass. So here’s the thing… I can tell you about tools and looking back to see how you got here until the cows come home. But the reality is that what studies consistently show is the single most important factor in whether therapy works or not, is the relationship between the therapist and the client. I believe that therapy is a lot like dating: if there’s no chemistry, there’s no point. And the only way to figure out whether there is chemistry is to meet in person - or face to face online.
Education & Experience
Dr. Camilla Mager graduated from Brown University, earning her B.A. with honors in the discipline of Religious Studies. She earned both her Masters and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, where her doctoral research focused on the dynamics of the mother-daughter relationship. Dr. Mager began her training at Henry Ohlhoff Outpatient Programs, an intensive outpatient program for both substance abuse and eating disorders located in San Francisco, CA. After returning to New York City, she completed a one year fellowship in intensive psychotherapy at the William Alanson White Institute. Upon completing her doctorate, Dr. Mager fulfilled her postdoctoral internship at Sarah Lawrence College’s Health Services, where she was given the responsibility of implementing the school's eating disorder treatment program. Before launching into full time private practice, Dr. Mager worked at the Columbus Park Collaborative eating disorder day treatment program in midtown Manhattan. Dr. Mager is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy as well as psychodynamic psychotherapy from both Interpersonal and Jungian perspectives. In addition, she has a background in Integral Psychology – an approach which utilizes the research, teachings, and wisdom from many different disciplines and practices and integrates insights from neuroscience, mind/body approaches, nutrition, spiritual/religious traditions (Western and Eastern), and alternative health practices in order to allow for a more comprehensive approach to working with clients in therapy.
- ADD/ADHD/Disruptive Behavior Disorders
- Chronic Illness/Medical Issues
- Eating Disorders
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Adolescents (13-17)
- Sliding Scale