Madeleine Pluhar, LICSW - Therapist in Winchester, MA

Madeleine Pluhar

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, LICSW

Accepting new clients



Young adults / college students (18 - 24)

Specialties & expertise

  • Couples counseling
  • Relationship challenges
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Stomach pain due to anxiety
  • Identifying obstacles to thriving
  • Evolutionary astrology
  • Sessions in English and Spanish
  • Developing trust in your innate capacity to make good decisions
  • Existential challenges
  • Healing from trauma
  • Insomnia
  • LGBTQ and gender identity issues
  • Transgender topics

Professional statement

Madeleine Pluhar is a bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker with expertise in anxiety, depression, couples counseling, and evolutionary astrology. She uses her professional skills and relentless optimism to support your healing and growth. Madeleine’s relational approach engages you with compassion, non-judgment and sensitivity.

In her work with couples, Madeleine helps you interrupt the patterns of distress that are driving you apart and recreate the loving bond you both long for. Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy will enrich your relationship, foster the skills you need to sustain it and lead you to greater joy.

In individual therapy, Madeleine helps you recognize the causes of your depression and/or anxiety. You will learn essential skills such as how to: identify and heal internalized obstacles to thriving; decrease anxiety immediately, including stomach pain; have trust in your innate capacity to make good decisions; show up fully when important relationships feel threatened or threatening.  Drawing from her expertise in the body-based therapies of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy you will discover the wisdom of your body and find reliable guidance within. 

Evolutionary Astrological counseling provides spectacularly refined and detailed insight into you, including the karmic fingerprints from the past life time so that you can better navigate life’s challenges and achieve optimum happiness. 

Madeleine’s favorite strengths include her knowledge base, her personal attunement to you and her faith that you have limitless potential.

Sessions are available in English and Spanish.


Anxiety – Generalized anxiety, stress from work or personal life; building immediate tools for decreasing anxiety, including stomach pain.
Depression – Sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, lack of motivation, poor sense of worth, difficulty in important relationships, including trouble sustaining them
Couples counseling – For couples who want to stay together but are at their wits end because of a pattern of tension that leaves them disconnected, frustrated, and hopeless
Existential challenges / crises – Questioning purpose, spirituality, or an important relationship; finding one’s path and voice, especially when it differs from society's expectations
Trauma – Including past sexual assault, childhood trauma, environmental trauma (e.g. witnessing/experiencing violence), PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)

General expertise

Insomnia – Sleep hygiene; sleep issues related to anxiety and life transitions
LGBTQ and gender identity issues– Includes coming out, relating to others, identifying and communicating needs, relationships, and family issues
Transgender topics – Provides therapeutic support before, during, and after transition


  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership
  • Tufts

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Individual sessions: $150/session

Sliding scale: A sliding scale is offered to clients who need a reduced fee to receive therapy. 

Therapist's note: Madeleine can provide you with paperwork for reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network sessions.

Message to clients

"My goal for you is that every session causes movement in your life; that you leave the visit having gained something valuable. I value your individuality - which enables me to attune to you, personally and tailor our work to your needs. I appreciate the challenges of your journey, so I hear you with compassion and non-judgment. You have limitless potential to heal and grow. When it comes to your ability to grow, as an individual or as a couple, I am a tireless optimist. My optimism is fueled by the proven skills and strategies I've learned over time, as well as a clinical knowledge base grounded in the latest research. I have profound faith in you. Whatever the hurdles are you are facing, they offer you an opportunity to heal and grow. I'm here to ensure you do. Call me. I'll help!"

For couples: "If you are a couple struggling with tensions that leave you feeling frustrated, drained and lonely, you’re at a critical point in your relationship. Basing our work in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, I can help. EFT has the remarkable ability to insure that each of you is supported as we explore the patterns of distress that arise for you as a couple,  how to interrupt them, and how to recreate a loving bond with one another. The process will enrich your relationship, foster the skills that keep it connected when tension looms and lead you two to greater joy."

For individuals: "If you are going through something that you’re having a hard time understanding, I can help. Life may not be turning out the way you expected and you may wonder where you went wrong. You may feel depressed or anxious. Maybe your stomach bothers you and doctors haven’t been able to help. I’ll be with you in a spirit of compassion, non-judgment and mutuality."

Education and work experience

Private practice, 2002 - Present
Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center, 1998 - 2003
St. Anne's Homes, 1997 - 1998
Lesley College, Academic Advisor, 1992 - 1995

Smith School for Social Work, MSW, 1997
Lesley College, BS, 1992



Professional endorsements

Madeleine Pluhar possesses the heart and the mind of an excellent, wise clinician. She engages her clients through empathic understanding and genuine kindness and then leads them through the healing process with a sophisticated mix of body-centered therapy, cognitive behavioral strategies and advanced Relational-Cultural Theory skills. She has the characteristics I admire most in effective therapists - humility and inquisitiveness.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Anxiety, trauma, depression, relationship issues
— Amy Banks, MD (2017)
Madeleine is a sensitive, respectful, skilled therapist. I would recommend her without reservation. She’s top-notch and I believe will be an excellent addition to your referral list.

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Issues of trauma, unresolved issues related to attachment misfirings, anxiety, depression. In short, I would refer to Madeleine any diagnoses she felt comfortable treating.
— Lana Epstein, LICSW (2017)
Madeleine has a rare combination of skills and qualities that combine to make her an outstanding therapist. Her training in EMDR, Sensorimotor Therapy and Trauma equip her to deal with the most challenging clients. These skills are hugely helpful in her work as an Emotionally Focused Therapist, as well. She is incredibly empathic, attuned, knows right where and how to focus, and creates enormous safety with her clients, both individuals and couples, while steadily nudging them towards healing.

Madeleine is extraordinarily conscientious and thoughtful. She always returns phone calls promptly, she is extremely committed to doing good work, and she consistently works at refining her knowledge and skills despite the fact that she is already a highly skilled clinician with multiple talents. Any client would be in excellent hands with her!

What topic(s) would you refer clients to this therapist for? Trauma, couples work, grief, depression, anxiety.
— Jill Fischer, LICSW (2017)