Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCSW
Accepting new clients for morning, daytime and weekend appointments
Teenagers (13 - 18)
Young adults / college students (18 - 24)
Specialties & expertise
Identity & acculturation
Lama Khouri is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Midtown Manhattan who provides talk therapy and goal-oriented coaching to clients across the lifespan, with a focus on working with young adults and international students. Lama is uniquely sensitive to the challenges of people from diasporic backgrounds, including those who identify as Middle Eastern, Asian, Hispanic, and other minority populations. In addition to support for depression, anxiety, relationship, and parenting challenges, Lama also helps clients navigate acculturation, loneliness, homesickness, and the balance between traditional cultures and personal identity development.
Lama's approach is trauma-informed and integrative, centered on the needs of each individual. She begins by meeting the client where they are, striving to understand the underlying cause beneath current challenges, and then layering on coping skills to challenge negative thought patterns. For clients with a trauma history, Lama offers Prolonged Exposure and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).
Lama has a special interest in working with bicultural couples and parents raising children in a culture that is different than the one in which they were raised. In addition to her work with individual adults, Lama also offers group therapy, and welcomes children and adolescents with developmental disabilities to her practice, accessible by the 28th and 33rd Street subway stations.
Identity & acculturation – Support navigating the balance between cultures, stress surrounding migration and relocation, and finding one’s own voice from a non-majority perspective
Depression – Providing support and promoting healing through hopelessness, low motivation and energy, sadness, irritability, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest and pleasure in life
Anxiety – Coping with excessive worry, nervousness, or stress; intense discomfort in social settings (social anxiety); sudden and intense feelings of panic (panic disorder)
Emotional eating – Reducing unhealthy eating patterns, beliefs, and behaviors, such as restricting, purging, and binging; healing the emotional pain surrounding disordered eating
Parenting – Helping parents develop and implement strategies to address challenges that arise throughout childrearing; managing stress and increasing support
Relationships – Understanding one’s wants and needs in relationships; exploring patterns of interaction, addressing concerns, and strengthening satisfaction in relationships and dating
Trauma – Coping and healing after threatening or scary events, such as witnessing accidents or experiencing sexual, verbal, emotional, or physical abuse
Couples counseling – Addressing relationship challenges and life transitions; strengthening communication and feelings of security, desire, connection, and love
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
Life coaching – Identifying intentions and implementing strategies to build resilience and work towards one’s personal, health, or career goals
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
Compulsive behaviors – Coping with overwhelming urges and impulses, such as hair pulling or skin picking; developing alternative ways to reduce stress and alleviate suffering
Personality disorders – Support reducing emotional suffering and addressing relationship challenges
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
Accepting clients paying listed fees or using health insurance out-of-network benefits other than Aetna
Read about the benefits of seeing an out-of-network provider here.
Initial/ongoing individual sessions: $250/session (50min)
Initial/ongoing couple sessions: $275/session
Sliding scale: A sliding scale of $175 - $250 is offered to clients who need a reduced fee to receive therapy.
Therapist's note: Lama can provide you with paperwork for your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network reimbursement.
Message to clients
“Psychotherapy is a clearing in a world that often overwhelms us and brings us pain and anguish, as well as joy and happy memories. Your psychotherapist's office is a safe place where you can stop, take your time, look, listen to yourself. A place to go when you feel stuck.
All of us humans have a problem to solve. It could be specific–a relationship, a job, a tormenting thought that won’t go away, trouble with food or drink, a death, a marriage. Or it could be more enigmatic – a vague feeling something is wrong, a heaviness of spirit, a blank in the mind. Or perhaps it is as simple, and as complex and universal, as the need to make sense of life.
But even when are clear about our problems, solutions are often illusive and harder to hold. Solutions cannot be ‘one-size-fits-all.’ Traversing life impasses requires, compassionate attention, steadfast effort, and care. Psychotherapy would give you a chance to delve into your complexity and depth and sufferings in the presence of another person—a professional in your corner, a witness whose presence makes your struggle bearable..
Psychotherapy is often open-ended: it may be short, long, or in-between. It is a process, a set of procedures, in which two people work hard together to understand the inner life of one of them. Think of psychotherapy as a particular kind of know-how–a knowing how to know yourself – that you can make your own and, when you are ready to go it alone, take along with you into the world.”
Treatment approachesAcceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that uses mindfulness and behavioral activation to help people learn strategies to live life more in the present, more focused on important values and goals, and less focused on painful thoughts, feelings and experiences. (learn more)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)In cognitive behavioral therapy, you work with a therapist in a structured way, attending a limited number of sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking, so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way. (learn more)
Existential 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)
Family SystemsFamily systems theory views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. Family system therapy may be used to address conflict stemming from the family unit by working on a client's ability to maintain individuality while maintaining emotional contact with the group. (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)
Psychoanalytic TherapyPsychoanalytic therapy tends to look at experiences from early childhood to see if these events have affected the individual’s life, or potentially contributed to current concerns. This form of therapy is considered a long-term choice and can continue for weeks, months or even years depending on the depth of the concern being explored. Psychoanalytic therapy aims to make deep-seated changes in personality and emotional development.
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)
Education and work experience
Private Practice, 2004 - Present
Teachers College, Columbia University, Researcher, 2012 - 2017
New York University, MA, 1999 - 2004
London School of Economics and Political Science, MA, 1985 - 1986