How Can I Help You?
Well, I'm pretty obsessed with relationships.
Whether it's your relationship with your significant other, family member, friend, coworker...even yourself...
The quality of your relationships determine the quality of your life.
But as valuable as relationships are, we don't give them the time and energy they deserve. Especially romantic relationships. In our culture, they very quickly take a back seat to our jobs, kids, Candy Crush...you name it.
Next thing you know, you're living like roommates and wondering if this is all there is.
Because this is such a common occurrence, I've made it my mission in life to help repair and strengthen relationships, by any means necessary. Sorry that sounded scary. I mean whether that's through individual/couples counseling, groups, workshops, blogs, etc.
I see all kinds of people, but the kinds of clients I have the greatest success working with are motivated to improve their situation and willing to work their butts off to reach their goals. They are not expecting “quick fixes” or looking for me to magically change them or their partner. They have the courage to take an honest look at themselves (as uncomfortable as it might be) in an effort to live more intentional lives.
Clients I've worked with tend to appreciate my “loving confrontation," my sense of humor, and my active, hands-on approach. There is nothing wrong with a more passive, smile-and-nod therapist- that may be exactly what you need right now. But that's not my style.
Although I appreciate the value of insight when it comes to change, I tend to place a larger emphasis on direct feedback, education, and positive change. I don't expect my clients to come to their own conclusions or figure out for themselves what to do differently. That can be very time-consuming and when we're struggling (especially when relationship issues are involved) time is not on our side. If I know that I have feedback or a recommendation that I know will have a positive effect, I will offer it to you.
I’m especially interested in working with individuals who put everyone before themselves, men struggling with emotional intimacy, premarital and newlywed couples, and couples who are feeling emotionally distant from their partners.
I graduated from the University of Miami (go Canes!) with a Bachelors degree in Psychology. I've been a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2012, after graduating with my Masters from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. I completed my clinical training at Strong Family Therapy Services and Strong Behavioral Health at Highland Family Medicine. I chose to go into an MFT program because I didn’t want to be a generalist, I knew I wanted to specialize in working with families and couples, and this is exactly what this program prepared me for.
But MFTs aren't just specialists when it comes to relationship issues, we're also trained to provide individual psychotherapy for all kinds of problems (trauma, depression, grief, substance abuse, etc). The difference between us and other mental health professionals is that we (primarily) understand behavior in the context of one's relationships. Want more info about why MFTs are great? Click here.
I worked 3 years at a Rochester Regional Health System community mental health center as a therapist in the adult clinic.
I started my private practice online, working with a counseling platform called Talkspace. I now continue to work with Talkspace as a Consultation Therapist in addition to my local and online private practice.
I am a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Whatever your problems are, I know that you are much more than just your problems. You have a unique story to tell and I'm interested in learning about it.
Because of your wonderful uniqueness, I don't believe that there's a "one-size-fits-all" approach. That's unreasonable to expect when people are so complex.
With that being said, I am a big supporter of evidence-based therapy. I love science and research, so I make an effort to incorporate research-driven approaches when appropriate. Here are some of the approaches that inform my practice:
- Gottman Method Couples Therapy
- Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy
- Relational Life Therapy
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and raised in the US by Argentinean parents. My grandparents were immigrants to Argentina from Italy, hence the Italian last name. I speak Spanish and sarcasm fluently.
I moved several times growing up, which wasn't ideal at the time, but now looking back I can't begin to describe how invaluable these experiences have been for me, both personally and professionally. I love that I have had the opportunity to experience so many different cities/countries, cultures, people. It has informed my perspective on people and relationships in a way that no book or training program ever could.
I am happily married and we have 2 rescue dogs that are like my children- Otis (far left) and Ariel (right). Otis is a bundle of energy who loves sprinting at the dog park, while Ariel would much rather cuddle up on the couch with a hot cup of tea and a good book.
I suffer from extreme hanger (hunger+anger). It's not pretty, so I try to always make sure I have some kind of snack on me.
I have an irrational fear of sloths. I don't have any sloth-induced trauma or anything, so I'm not sure where it originated, but they just creep me out. Thankfully, they're easy to avoid in Western New York.
What My Clients Say
(These are anonymous unsolicited reviews left on my online profile)
Ivanna is patient, kind, and non-judgemental. She is easy to talk to, even with difficult topics. I feel that she listens carefully and really wants to help. I've seen improvement with her help.
Patient, Approachable, and so friendly! I love Ivanna- she became a source of support for me from day 1. She is so easy to talk to and provides wonderful and very reasonable advice. I feel so much better getting her perspective!
Ivanna is a wonderful therapist! Ivanna has helped me find myself truly and gain confidence, it is the greatest gift anyone could ever give me. I couldn't have asked for a better therapist. She is genuine, caring and attentive, always responding thoughtfully and asking the right questions with compassion and non-judgement. One of the most empathic persons I have met, I trust her just like a friend. Thanks, Ivanna!
Extremely helpful! Ivanna was able to help me through one of the most difficult times in my life. She helped me gain my self confidence back and cope with all of the negative situations going on in my life. My marriage and the relationships with my immediate family members benefited from my work with Ivanna.
So helpful! Ivanna helped me through the process of planning my wedding with great success. I was having second doubts about getting married, questioning my new family and all the commitment getting married means. She was really assertive and on point with this future bride constantly jumping from one topic to another. I would totally recommend Ivanna as she surely took great care of me. Thank you so much for being there for me Ivanna, it was really important to have your support.
Perceptive and Genuine- I did not expect to connect with Ivanna so quickly! Using her expertise and personal experiences, she made me feel comfortable confiding in her. She keeps a positive attitude but is very respectful of the pain I express to her. She helped me identify negative thought processes that were slowing me down and helped me see my own potential. Thanks to her the dilemmas I am having with my family are more manageable! Thanks, Ivanna!
Ivanna was extremely helpful as i was going through something tonight- she gave me sound advice and led me to my own resolutions- i thought she was very patient and also honest.
Ivanna is the best therapist I've come across in my life. She is compassionate, kind and empathetic, but also knows how to approach everything you throw at her and make you see new ways to navigate through life thanks to her experience and her own life. She is amazing and I could not be in better hands.