Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCSW
Accepting new clients for daytime and evening appointments
Teenagers (13 - 18)
Young adults / college students (18 - 24)
Specialties & expertise
Substance use recovery
Helen Bird is a holistically oriented Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Greenwich Village, New York City. She specializes in trauma recovery, including recovery from sexual abuse and assault, substance use and addictions, anxiety, depression, and binge eating disorder. She has a deep understanding of 12-step programs, and is dedicated to supporting individuals through the recovery process. She has been in private practice for over 25 years.
Helen's work is guided by the understanding that each person has their own deep inner perfection of being. Clients may have lost touch with this, or feel they cannot access it enough to let the best parts of us run their lives; Helen is trained to guide clients back to this wonderful part of them, and in helping them regain it, along with their truth and joy. She offers a safe, authentic relationship, and a warm, sensitive, and engaged style of therapy.
Helen is enthusiastic about using humanistic psychotherapies and integrating mind, body, and spirit to work with clients as a whole person, not a diagnosis. Her eclectic treatment approach focuses on finding one’s truth and happiness and using the best intervention to help her clients. She combines Gestalt therapy, Internal Family Systems, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic therapy in her practice.
Helen received her Masters in Social Work from NYU, where she trained in developmental and ego psychology, and attended Hampshire and Hunter Colleges as an undergraduate where she focused on creative writing, comparative religion, and psychology.
Substance use recovery – Reducing and preventing the negative impact of drug and alcohol use and addictions on physical, emotional, and relational health
Trauma – Coping and healing after threatening or scary events, such as witnessing accidents or experiencing sexual, verbal, emotional, or physical abuse
Codependency – Support around understanding and connecting with one's own feelings, wants, and voice; detaching from the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of others
Depression – Providing support and promoting healing through hopelessness, low motivation and energy, sadness, irritability, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest and pleasure in life
Relationships – Understanding one’s wants and needs in relationships; exploring patterns of interaction, addressing concerns, and strengthening satisfaction in relationships and dating
Identity development – Understanding, accepting, and strengthening one’s sense of self through the exploration of family, work, and personal values
Anxiety – Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks
ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) – Skill-building and support around organizational challenges, distracted attention, procrastination; building and maintaining healthy routines and structure
Binge eating disorders – Reducing unhealthy eating patterns, beliefs, and behaviors, such as binging; healing the emotional pain surrounding disordered eating
Existential challenges – Supportive exploration of meaning and purpose in one’s life; finding one’s path in the face of existential anxiety, dread, and feelings of meaninglessness
Life transitions – Coping with difficult or impactful life changes, such as moving to a new area, relationship transitions, child rearing, or career changes; learning self-care to better manage resulting stress
Parenting – Helping parents develop and implement strategies to address challenges that arise throughout childrearing; managing stress and increasing support
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Healing painful experiences and memories from the past
Spirituality – Exploring beliefs and practices related to meaning, existence, and spiritual health and healing; enjoying a deeper felt connection with the spiritual dimension of one's life
Religious issues – Resolving conflicts between personal values, choices, and religion; addressing religious tensions within families; connecting religious traditions and practice with daily living; exploring a new relationship with religion and spirituality
Initial/ongoing sessions: $165/session (60min)
Sliding scale: A sliding scale is offered to clients who need a reduced fee to receive therapy.
Therapist's note: Helen can provide you with paperwork for your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network reimbursement.
Message to clients
"People seeking therapy are often feeling frightened, alone and in great emotional turmoil and pain.
It is my priority to be present with sensitivity, empathy, and respect for who you are.
I use a synthesis of humanistic psychotherapies, body/mind/spirit interrelation, and grounding in classical theories. I will work with you as a whole person, not a diagnosis.
The right fit with a therapist is crucial to success of the therapy. Please come in for a free consultation."
Treatment approachesExistential Therapy Existential therapy is a therapy approach that both embraces human potential and recognizes human limitation. The breadth of existential theory falls into four major themes, which it sees as the root of most psychological problems: 1) Death, 2) Freedom (& Responsibility), 3) Isolation, and 4) Meaninglessness. (learn more)
Gestalt TherapyIn gestalt therapy, self-awareness is key to personal growth and developing full potential. The approach recognizes that sometimes this self-awareness can become blocked by negative thought patterns and behavior that can leave people feeling dissatisfied and unhappy. (learn more)
Internal Family SystemsIFS is a type of therapy that views the mind as a combination of relatively discrete subpersonalities each with its own viewpoint and qualities that interact with one another. IFS aims to understand how these collections of subpersonalities are organized and promote harmony among them. (learn more)
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a time-limited psychotherapy that focuses on interpersonal issues, which are understood to be a factor in the genesis and maintenance of psychological distress. The targets of IPT are symptom resolution, improved interpersonal functioning, and increased social support. (learn more)
Mindfulness PracticesMindfulness practices include but are not limited to developing awareness, attention, and remembering. In mindfulness-informed therapy, clients develop tools to become aware of what is occurring within and around them, so they can begin to untangle from mental preoccupations and difficult emotions. Self-acceptance and compassion are also core elements of mindfulness-informed therapy. (learn more)
Supportive TherapySupportive psychotherapy is used primarily to reinforce a patient’s ability to cope with stressors by giving clients the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts about the issues. Clinicians help patients learn how to move forward and make decisions or changes that may be necessary to adapt, either to an acute change, such as the loss of a loved one or severe disappointment, or to a chronic situation, such as an ongoing illness. (learn more)
Inner Child WorkInner child work gives individuals the ability to reconnect with the fragmented part of ourselves, and discover the root of their fears, insecurities, and sabotaging behaviors. (learn more)
Education and work experience
Private Practice, 1993 - Present
Fifth Avenue Center for Psychotherapy and Counseling, Psychotherapist, 2000 - 2002
Catholic Charities Woodside Mental Health Clinic, Clinical Social Worker/Supervisor, 1998 - 2000
Teachers College, Columbia University, Practicum Instructor/Supervisor, 1997 - 2000
Community Counseling and Mediation, Senior Clinical Social Worker/Supervisor, 1993 - 1998
Gestalt Associates for Psychotherapy Clinic, Psychotherapist/Clinical Fellowship, 1993 - 1997
Brooklyn Psychiatric Centers, Clinical Social Work Intern, 1992 - 1993
Elmhurst Hospital Outpatient Mental Hygiene Clinic, Psychiatric MSW Intern, 1991 - 1992
Red Cross, 9/11 Mental Health Volunteer, 2001 - 2002
Cabrini Hospice, Hospice Volunteer, 1989 - 1991
New York University School of Social Work, MSW, 1992
Hunter College, BA, 1989
Center for Self Leadership, Training in Internal Family Systems, 2004 - 2005
Ackerman Family Institute & the Children’s Advocacy Center, Training: Children & Trauma, 1996 - 1997
Columbia University, Seminar in Field Instruction, 1994 - 1995
Gestalt Associates For Psychotherapy, Clinical Fellowship in Gestalt Therapy, 1992 - 1996
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Training: Trauma, 1995
NY Open Center & Institute of Core Energetics, Integrative Therapy Training (Jungian, Freudian, NLP, Psychosynthesis, and Gestalt), 1988 - 1992
Has studied with:
R.D. Laing, Schizophrenia
Elizabeth Kubler Ross, Death and Dying
Stephen Levine, Death and Dying
Alexander Lowen, Bioenergetic Therapy
John Pierrakos, Core Energetic Therapy.