Dr. Jennifer Guttman

CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
MOTIVATOR

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MISSION STATEMENT: 

SUSTAINABLE LIFE SATISFACTION SLS®

My mission is to use my experience, expertise, voice and pen to help people realize there is “a path to sustainable life satisfaction through a belief in your inherent lovability.” “Sustainable Life Satisfaction” SLS® is based on theories that I have researched and developed from cognitive-behavior therapy and refined over my 20 years of interaction with clients. My brand of therapy and therapeutic success is based on the precept that the majority of people do not have an inherent belief in their likeability or loveability. Therapy isn’t for everybody; however, if you’re motivated, you are the only tool necessary because you are the change agent.  With life satisfaction comes an ability to conquer inner fears of inadequacy and the profound discovery and trust in your “inherent loveability.”In order to reinforce this concept I utilize a number of SLS® techniques and strategies including starting is easy, closing is hard, decision-making, facing fears, reducing people-pleasing behaviors, avoiding assumptions, and active self-reinforcement. These techniques assist individuals in believing in their personal effectiveness in the world, as well as giving them a sense of personal control of outcomes to the best of their ability.

SUSTAINABLE LIFE SATISFACTION℠

“Jennifer uses cognitive-behavior therapy with a combination of empathy, sensitivity, creativity and natural ability to provide what is needed for excellent clinical care. A talented professional, she is comfortable using integrated and effective therapeutic strategies for all ages of clients.” – Dr. Eva Feindler

Dr. Eva Feindler is considered an expert in the fields of cognitive-behavior therapy with children and adolescents, adolescent anger control and family violence, and is the Director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Long Island University/LIU Post Campus

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The brain is wider than the sky.

-Emily Dickinson

Meet the Doctor

Not everybody experiences a watershed or anointed moment in their life when they discover and decide what they want to be, but for Jennifer Guttman it happened when she was a shy, timid, alienated 13 year-old wallflower during sleep-away camp. While conversing with an inquisitive camp nurse, she was asked, “What do you like doing?” Jennifer replied, “I like listening to people.” The nurse informed her there was actually a profession for doing just that, and from that day on, the attentive and avid listener made psychology her mission and passion.

Today, that awkward and unassuming teenager has morphed into Dr. Jennifer Guttman, a leading a clinical psychologist and cognitive-behaviorist, with over 20 years of experience in the field of mental health. She has built thriving practices in New York City and Westport, Connecticut that provide services to over 120 clients. About five years ago, Jennifer had reached a point where her business was excelling and she was managing her life as a mother in an equitable co-parenting arrangement. Then she was forced to face and cope with a couple of unforeseen and life-altering events that forever changed her. She discovered she had multiple pulmonary embolisms that almost killed her. Six months later her father passed away. She was personally devastated by both occurrences, and in that brief time period she realized there was truth to the cliché that “life is short.”

At that moment of awakening, she became defiantly resilient. She decided it was time to start acting on one of her most passionate dreams of reaching more people. Since that time, Jennifer has developed a treatment theory that encompasses some of the fundamental techniques of traditional Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and serves as a blue print to motivate and push her clients to become more self-reliant. Dr. Guttman does not rely on “psychobabble,” and her client’s have termed her brand of psychology, “Jennifer’s Jiu-Jitsu moves,” as a commentary on her use of everyday language and strategies to help her clients through a treatment approach that she’s branded Sustainable Life Satisfaction SLS®.

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“How come the world doesn’t see things through my eyes?”  These are astute words on a painting that has been hanging in Dr. Guttman’s office for the last 15 years (penned by a, then 17-year-old beautiful, artistic client of hers). Those words resonated deeply with her and made her wonder why the world didn’t see things through her eyes. As it turns out, Dr. Guttman decided to become a motivator because hers was a different lens then most. She views all human beings, as flawed. However, she doesn’t look at human flaw with contempt, derision, judgment or righteousness. Instead, she says, “I embrace and cherish human flaw as an opportunity for growth, redemption, and education. It’s  a path forward, a path toward hope. That’s what allows me to motivate people.  And no one is exempt from that possibility.”

Dr. Guttman reinforces her concept, Sustainable Life Satisfaction (SLS℠) by utilizing a number of techniques and strategies including starting is easy, closing is hard, decision-making, facing fears, reducing people pleasing behaviors, avoiding assumptions and active self-reinforcement. When her techniques coalesce they are designed to assist individuals in believing in their personal effectiveness in the world, as well as giving them a sense of personal control of outcomes to the best of their ability.

Presently, 40% of Jennifer’s clientele suffer from some serious form of mental illness: bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder and major depressive disorder. The other 60% come to see her for transient or developmental life issues. She works with children as young as seven years old through individuals in their eighties. Primarily her clients are 17-55 years old. Her clientele is also a homogeneous cultural and religious mix of people from all walks of life and sexual identities.

Published in the area of cognitive-behavior therapy and anger control for adolescents, Dr. Guttman has been quoted in the New York Times and has appeared as a guest on both radio and TV shows. She has lectured around the country on effective cognitive-behavioral techniques for treating mental health issues, and also mentors students in the doctoral program at Long Island University.

However, Jennifer’s own path to success hasn’t been what one would refer to as smooth sailing. In fact, it has been quite the opposite, mired by a myriad of roadblocks, rejection and sometimes an ominous sense of adversity. She grew up in Scarsdale, NY, the older of two siblings, and her parents, (her father was an attorney and general counsel of Time Inc., and her mother has a doctorate in medieval literature) divorced when she was five years old. She lived with her mother in Scarsdale and visited her father in Manhattan on weekends. Upon graduation she applied and was accepted at Drew University. Drew is well known for its psychology department and it was the only school to which she applied. Her goal was to earn her Bachelor’s degree and move straight on to a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology.

​After graduating from Drew University, she applied to numerous Clinical Psychology doctoral degree programs, but was rejected by all of them. Refusing to fuel her disappointment, she secured a job working for Planned Parenthood and also took doctoral level classes at St. John’s University. During the spring term of that year, she reapplied to Clinical Psychology Doctoral Programs and was accepted to the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Long Island University. It was the only acceptance letter she received. While there, she met the noted professor Dr. Eva Feindler, whom she not only credits as her mentor, but also for steering her in the direction of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Dr. Feindler was also the first person to really push her beyond her limits, which proved to be valuable to her future personal and professional growth. Dr. Feindler is a renowned expert in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and specializes in Anger Management in Adolescents.

Jennifer also admired Dr. Aaron T. Beck’s work on Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, Albert Bandura’s work on self-efficacy and loved Heinz Kohut, who is considered a theoretician of self-psychology (which involves a person’s self-concept or beliefs about themselves).

Fresh out of graduate school, Jennifer accepted an offer to work for the Mental Health Association of Westchester County and was assigned to work off-site as a clinician at WestHelp-Greenburgh, a family homeless shelter. The shelter was personally endorsed and supported by Andrew Cuomo and was housed on the campus of Westchester Community College. WestHelp was a haven for minority and disenfranchised mothers with children under the age of five. It was a challenging and exciting task, but Jennifer was undeterred. She helped to empower the women and broke the traditional protocol that mandated all appointments needed to be requested in advance. Instead, she offered every woman carte blanche access to meet and talk to her about anything and everything.

While she was working at WestHelp she tried to spread her wings and launch her own start-up practice as a Clinical Psychologist in Tarrytown, NY. She relied mostly on referrals from insurance companies for clients. She was attempting to refine her treatment approach with a different client demographic then the demographic she was seeing at the shelter. Although she was accomplishing her goal, in less than a year she realized this business model wasn’t sustainable and she closed the practice.

She also got married (1995) and four years later had her first child, a son. In 2001, she gave birth to her second child, a daughter. That year, she resigned from the Mental Health Association of Westchester County to parent full-time. However, during her eight year tenure she had secured a staff, serviced close to 1000 women and was promoted to several positions including Assistant Executive Director of the Mental Health Association. In that role, she was responsible for all clinical care throughout the agency and supervising over 200 mental health staff including social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists.

After taking a professional hiatus for a year, she opened a private practice in Westport, CT (2002). Within the first six months she was introduced to Dr. Susan Finkelstein, a highly respected child psychiatrist in Fairfield, County, CT. Eventually, the two would decide to practice in the same suite of offices, frequently sharing clients in a professional relationship that would last fifteen years. Jennifer’s practice grew to include another practitioner, Samantha Gilbert, LCSW, who she had previously hired to work with her at the WestHelp shelter. Gilbert was able to provide clinical care, within her vision of cognitive-behavior therapy.

After sharing office space with Dr. Finkelstein for the past 15 years, Jennifer decided it was time to break out on her own. She moved into another office space in Westport after previously expanding her practice to Manhattan two years prior. She has embraced and immersed herself into city life and has enjoyed the opportunity to work with clients in Manhattan and interface and network with other professionals.

Jennifer balances an already energizing work-life with being a mother of two teenagers. In the little spare time she is able to carve out in her daily regimen, she continually fuels her passion for going to the theatre by adding another playbill to her collection.

Psychology Today
SUSTAINABLE LIFE SATISFACTION (SLS℠
A Path to Sustainable Life Satisfaction

“I  embrace and cherish human flaw as an opportunity for growth, redemption, and education. It’s  a path forward, a path toward hope. That’s what allows me to motivate people.  And no one is exempt from that possibility.”

-Dr. Jennifer Guttman


“Many therapists assume the role of teacher, guru, ‘objective listener’. Dr Guttman is similar in this respect, yet simultaneously different.  She shares herself. She is open, giving, real.  She guides with words and deeds.  Most importantly, she has helped me emerge into the person I was meant to be.”


“I resisted many of Jennifer’s attempts to help me since middle school–but she never gave up on me. I remember the very conversation when I finally accepted her help. With her guidance, I rediscovered myself: the jubilant childhood me I thought we all give up to become adults. Today, I am the happiest, most content version of myself and I owe it all to Jennifer.”


“Jennifer has been instrumental in helping both myself and my family handle my anxiety.  She is incredibly responsive and always accommodates my needs.  I cannot imagine where I would be right now without her help, and could not recommend her more highly!”

TREATMENT STYLES

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Diagnoses

SLS® Brand Techniques

Guided Meditation

Treatment // Cognitive Behavior Therapy

CBT Treatment is available for
Children, Adolescents,  Adults and Couples.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a strategy based, practical approach to problem-solving.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy focuses on:

  • Challenging maladaptive assumptions and thinking errors
  • Cognitive Re-framing
  • Thought stopping strategies
  • Mood modulation
  • Imagery
  • Imaginal and In Vivo Desensitization
  • Assertiveness Training
  • Anger Control
  • Social Skills Training
  • Coping Skills Training
  • Communication Skills Training

Treatment // Diagnoses

Jennifer’s therapeutic approach enables her to positively impact individuals struggling with the following issues:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Acute Stress Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome

Treatment // SLS® Techniques

These six core techniques assist individuals in believing in their personal effectiveness in the world, as well as giving them a sense of personal control of outcomes to the best of their ability.

1. STARTING IS EASY, CLOSING IS HARD: Learning the importance of closing tasks-not just starting. It’s imperative not just to start, but to also finish and close.

2. DECISION-MAKING: Feeling confident in decision-making, without fearing mistakes or ramifications improves self-confidence and in turn improves chances for “closing.”

3. FACING FEARS: Do not be afraid to be afraid. Use your fear as positive motivation to propel and compel you to move forward.

4. REDUCE PEOPLE PLEASING BEHAVIORS: Avoid situations of co-dependency and enmeshment. Learn to live an authentic life without living in “service” of others. Watch people pleasing behaviors which secure feelings of indispensability while averting fears of abandonment.

5. AVOIDING ASSUMPTIONS: Avoid making assumptions about what other people think or feel about you. Your actions should be based on fact and not assumptions. Making decisions about how to proceed in a given situation based on guessing instead of facts is a dangerous exercise.

6. ACTIVE SELF-REINFORCEMENT: Providing tangible self-reinforcement for “closing” or a job well done. Make a cognitive shift from aspiring and needing reinforcement and praise from others to be willing to accept self-praise.

SUSTAINABLE LIFE SATISFACTION (SLS℠

Treatment // Guided Meditation

DIGITAL SERIES

My new series, “A PATH TO SUSTAINABLE LIFE SATISFACTION,” is six-episode web video series documenting how I help people master their lives by utilizing six empowering components that comprise my SUSTAINABLE LIFE SATISFACTION TECHNIQUES.

My mission is to use my experience and expertise to help you realize the kind of life satisfaction and inherent lovability” that’s dependent on no one but you and sustain it. I know this is possible because it’s a theory that I have researched and developed from cognitive-behavior therapy and refined over my 20 years of successful interaction with clients. I have created a blueprint that sees them self-reliant and effective in every area of their lives. They channel their strengths, not their weaknesses, they no longer look for outside approval – instead they have an active reinforcement that comes from within!


The “A PATH TO SUSTAINABLE LIFE SATISFACTION monthly digital series (which was launched in October 2017) is available for viewing on Youtube.

To get broadcast dates and to sign up for Dr. Guttman’s Newsletter, please click the button below.

DR. GUTTMAN’S BLOG

Embracing the Beauty of Flaws

“How come the world doesn’t see things through my eyes?” These are astute words on a painting that has been hanging in my office for the last 15 years (penned by a, then, 17-year-old beautiful, artistic client of mine). Those words resonated deeply with me and made me...

read more

Stop Overthinking: Ease Your Mind By Avoiding Assumptions

Do you ever replay a scenario in your head and then get hung up on what you think is going to happen next? You are not alone. Overthinking can lead to making assumptions that can take a toll on anyone's life. It is important to remember we are not mind readers, yet we...

read more

5 Ways to Feel Empowered as a Women

We're celebrating National Women History Month in March and today is International Women's Day, and I can't remember a time in my life when I’ve felt so proud and optimistic about being a woman. Over the years I have admired women whom I think personify and exhibit an...

read more

IN THE NEWS

Since the summer of 2016, Dr. Guttman has been featured as a Contributor and/or has written articles in over twenty nationally recognized publications and blogs including; The Washington Post, Redbook, Reader’s Digest, The Hill, Family Education, and Thrillist, among others. She has talked about a wide range of subject matter, from health/wellness, relationships and dealing with adolescent issues to coping with divorce and has reached a cumulative audience of over 130 million impressions.

IN THE NEWS

Since the summer of 2016, Dr. Guttman has been featured as a Contributor and/or has written articles in over twenty nationally recognized publications and blogs including; The Washington Post, Redbook, Reader’s Digest, The Hill, Family Education, and Thrillist, among others. She has talked about a wide range of subject matter, from health/wellness, relationships and dealing with adolescent issues to coping with divorce and has reached a cumulative audience of over 130 million impressions.

Contact

Dr. Jennifer Guttman
jennifer@guttmanpsychology.com
Specializing in cognitive-behavior therapy featuring Sustainable Life Satisfaction techniques.

Inquiries

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SUSTAINABLE LIFE SATISFACTION℠

A Path to Sustainable Life Satisfaction

     

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Hervey & Company
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