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Maria Manna, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Maria Manna, Licensed Mental Health Counselor I began my work as a listener and problem solver in 1994 as an undergraduate student at SUNY Fredonia in Western New York. I trained as a volunteer for the Chautauqua County Help Service, a crisis hotline that received phone calls from folks living in the 716 area code experiencing a mental health crisis. Over the next few years, I volunteered over 500 hours answering phones there while completing my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State, and graduated from Naropa University in Boulder, CO with a Masters of Transpersonal Counseling and Art Therapy in 2000. This program provided training and practice in a variety of clinical mental health counseling approaches including contemplative, gestalt, psychodynamic, art, body-centered, family systems and cognitive behavioral therapies. Since graduation I have received additional training and extensive practice in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. My clinical practice has primarily been focused on treating trauma, mood, anxiety, sexual, and family struggles and I use a variety of techniques to do the work.

Over the past 13 years I’ve provided clinical services in residential mental health programs, family homes, schools and outpatient mental health clinics. I have provided hundreds of hours of consultation, individual, family and group therapy. During this time the people I’ve been most effective with are at a crossroads in their lives and are feeling at least a tiny bit motivated to make some change. Most folks I meet with are NOT at a crossroad they would have chosen for themselves, but they are at it nonetheless.

I am a member of the New York State Mental Health Counselor's Association, the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

I take a collaborative approach, both in and out of sessions. In session I view us as a team working together to tackle a puzzle. Out of session (when appropriate and only with your consent), I collaborate with university, college and high school contacts, medical professionals, and other treatment providers in our community to coordinate a holistic approach to your care.  My goal is to help reduce your suffering. If you are not feeling some relief within the first few meetings, I can provide you with multiple referrals to other local providers whose work I know. The goal is to decrease the discomfort.

I’m often successful in engaging youth who are resistant to meeting with a therapist, and I’m known for my use of humor, irreverence and patience in the therapy room.

Training and Experience

  • Strength Based Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Creative Arts Therapy
  • Transpersonal/Existential Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Family Systems Theory
  • Brief, Solution Focused Therapy
  • Gestalt
  • Online therapy via WebEx

Areas of Specialization

  • Coping with Life Changes
  • Anxiety/Fear/Panic/OCD
  • Self-harming
  • Attention Deficit Disorders
  • Depression and Mood Disorders (including mania and hypo-mania)
  • Parenting of Teens
  • Family Conflict
  • Sexual Behavior and Development
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Non-traditional Families
  • Divorce
  • Grief/Loss
  • Self Esteem
  • Trauma/Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Supporting families of gender variant kids
  • LGBT teens and adults in all stages of being in/out of the closet
  • Coping Skills
  • Sexual, Physical, Emotional Abuse
  • School Problems
  • Oppositional Defiance
  • Navigating Media Access
  • Spiritual Crisis

Populations Served

  • Youth over age 10
  • Adults
  • Families
  • Families of gender variant youth of any age