Tanya Leach is a Licensed Psychologist in New York, NY who works with both individuals and couples across the lifespan. Tanya has expertise in treating anxiety, depression, trauma, and shame. In sessions, Tanya strives to help clients get to the “root cause” of their discomfort and utilizes her extensive training in psychoanalysis to examine the ways in which unconscious thoughts may be manifesting in a client’s daily life.
We asked Tanya more about her work with clients and her guiding philosophies on therapy.
Tanya’s background and personal life
How did you decide to become a therapist?
I first considered being a therapist in my early twenties, after having a profoundly transformative experience in my own analysis. I ultimately went in a different direction, attending law school and working in a corporate firm. That work was unfulfilling, however, with the exception of the pro bono legal services that I provided to incarcerated people. That pro bono work was pseudo-clinical in nature and I found it deeply satisfying. I was reminded of my first passion, and I decided to go back to training to become a therapist.
What was your previous work before going into private practice?
I first came to New York City to be a performer and trained in Musical Theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Once it became clear to me that this was not going to be my long-term career path, I went to law school and became an attorney. The third time seems to be the charm - I love the composite career that I have now, which consists of providing therapy to adults, couples, and families. I also provide divorce mediation services to couples who have decided to split and mitigation/restorative justice services to incarcerated people. I do still love music and theater, though!
Tanya’s specialties and therapy philosophies
Can you tell us more about your specialty in treating trauma?
I enjoy working with people who have suffered all kinds of trauma, including childhood sexual abuse. I help people who have been robbed of their innocence and self-esteem build back their boundaries and reclaim their true selves. Although you can never be entirely free of the wounds that trauma inflicts, you can integrate those experiences and learn to live with them in a healthy way. I think of it as the psychological equivalent of Kintsugi - the Japanese art of repairing broken things using gold. The gold highlights, rather than tries to disguise, the once-broken places, emphasizing their strength, resilience and unique beauty.
Can you tell us more about your work with clients struggling with feelings of shame?
I love helping people who are grappling with shame to normalize their experiences and to recognize that they are not alone. Being there for people while they share their deepest, darkest secrets—and them showing them acceptance and non-judgment—is a true gift to us both.
Can you tell us more about your work with couples?
I really enjoy helpful couples learn to listen to each other in a new way. Helping one person hear what is underneath the words of the other person opens up the door for deeper understanding and, with it, more compassion and caring.
Therapy sessions with Tanya
What will our first session together be like? What happens in ongoing sessions?
Our first session will consist of me really getting to know you—who you are, what you are looking for in therapy and in life, your history, and your hopes for the future. I will ask a lot of questions and listen closely to your answers, sometimes taking notes. I hope that this first session will start the process of building the trust between us so that we can form the alliance that is the bedrock of our work together.
Do you assign “homework” between sessions?
I do not assign formal homework in between sessions. The work that I do is deep in nature, and the work that you will do in-between sessions will consist of you thinking about what we discussed, paying attention to and processing the feelings that were evoked, and writing down any dreams that you have in-between sessions for us to discuss.
How will I know it’s time to end my time in therapy with you or reduce session frequency?
You will know it's time to end the therapy or reduce session frequency when the symptoms that brought you into therapy have resolved and you have achieved the goals that you set out to achieve when you entered therapy. We will touch base frequently throughout our work together to discuss where we are at, how you are feeling, and what is happening in our work and in our relationship.
Why should I seek therapy, rather than turning to my partner, friends, or other loved ones?
A therapist has no stake in the game of your life, unlike your partner, friends and other loved ones.
Visit Tanya’s profile to watch her introductory video, read more about her, and contact her for an initial consultation!