“We all have within us the ability to repair our lives and our relationships, to overcome obstacles, and live in a way that is a true reflection of our highest self.” -Jennifer Uhrlass, LMFT
As humans, we are wired for connection. We are at our best when we feel fulfilled in our relationships and confident in our ability to handle life's diverse challenges.
We all go through times when we feel ill-equipped to navigate a tough situation or distant from ourselves and others. We might know something’s off but struggle to figure out exactly how to change it or what can be done to produce different results.
Therapy offers a tailored approach to your personal development and improvement, and it provides a safe space to address a variety of concerns that are preventing you from enjoying your life to the fullest. Sometimes people reach out because they are struggling with a major life transition, a painful relationship issue, career-related concerns, or a family conflict. Other times people reach out to improve their physical intimacy and the quality of their communication with their partner…
Additionally, some people come in to work on wounds that were never properly cleaned or disinfected so-to-speak, and so the work involves “removing the bandaid”, tending to the damage, and re-bandaging the wound so that it can finally heal.
To help my clients, I first listen carefully not only to their personal story and what brings them in, but also to the many different narratives that make up their unique identity. I walk with people for little while, holding hope, strength, and the firm belief that things can improve…
I founded Modern Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC to expand my capacity to help others to live fuller, more enjoyable lives by addressing issues and patterns that are acting as barriers to real connection and personal fulfillment. Our approach is based on the belief that the therapy experience should feel safe, open, honest, and constructive. The innovative and highly trained clinicians at Modern MFT strive to help others take the necessary steps to make their lives and relationships more fulfilling, productive, and easier.
”We get together on the basis of our similarities, we grow on the basis of our differences.”
After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, I worked in higher education helping young adults to identify and develop their unique strengths as they began exciting careers in the fashion industry.
I very much enjoyed working one on one with individuals facilitating their path toward personal fulfillment, and knew I wanted to pursue further education toward this new focus. While I continue to be inspired by the creative fields including the arts, fashion, design, and technology for their excitement and vitality— I realized early on that I wanted to help people in the context of the quality of their personal relationships—one of the most essential components to our health and happiness as human beings.
Through my varied life and work experience, I began to develop a critical appreciation for the importance of context—— each individual’s experience and their perception, the way in which a message is delivered, and how all of these factors contribute to how we interpret communication and function in our relationships. When I discovered the profession of marriage & family therapy, something just clicked for me. I was particularly drawn to its emphasis on healing relationships and the value placed on understanding discord through a contextual lens.
The rich course discussions and intensive clinical training in the Marriage & Family Therapy MA program at Syracuse University allowed me to further develop the ability to listen deeply and effectively guide those I work with to resolve a wide range of presenting concerns. While there, I was encouraged to design creative treatment plans for my clients that emphasized viewing their presenting concerns in context as well as the use of innovative methods to help them heal and make the necessary changes to produce different results.
“Jennifer has an amazing ability to put others at ease. I would want to sit across from her and share my heart. She has a very comforting presence that comes from deep within; she is made for this work.” - Classmate, Syracuse University
Prior to starting my own therapy practice, I worked in a variety of hospital and outpatient settings throughout New York and Connecticut where I continued to deepen my understanding of how to help others improve their emotional health and well-being through research-based interventions. During this time, I received advanced training in evidence-based models including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Parent Management Training. At Middlesex Hospital, I provided in-home intensive psychotherapy services aimed at helping couples and families to resolve serious conflict and repair fractured relationships.
“Jennifer is an intelligent, warm, and thoughtful clinician. Having known Jennifer for over ten years and worked with her for several of them, I have found that Jennifer has a keen ability to create a comfortable environment which engenders trust in everyone she meets. She has significant experience and expertise working with couples and individuals to resolve their most difficult challenges, and does so with empathy, collaboration, and an open mind. In addition, Jennifer is a passionate life-learner and believes her own ongoing professional development is essential to best support her client’s unique needs.” -Kristina Ortiz, MHC
After moving back to the NYC area, I was offered a position at Columbia University Medical Center/ New York Presbyterian Hospital where I served on a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who were responsible for providing educational programs for primary care doctors developing their mental health assessment skills. Through early intervention, community partnerships, and the creation of an extensive referral network, we worked collaboratively to better assist families in finding the appropriate care to meet their unique challenges.
While working at Columbia University Medical Center, I began postgraduate training at the Ackerman Institute for the Family and the New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy where I deepened my knowledge and skills helping individuals, couples, and families to improve the quality of their most valued relationships. This extensive and varied postgraduate training allowed me the unique opportunity to learn from some of the most dedicated, talented, and knowledgable clinicians in the field of relationship health. During this time, I began my private practice in NYC with a focus on helping young adults to address problematic relationship patterns as well as anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer while she completed postgraduate clinical training at the Ackerman Institute for the Family. I immediately noticed Jennifer’s passion to help individuals, couples, and families create positive shifts in their lives using her extensive clinical training to support the changes they envision. Jennifer is both kind and compassionate in her ability to help clients feel safe and supported when overcoming barriers. Moreover, she learns about their unique life experiences to identify the strengths that will support their future endeavors. As a colleague, Jennifer’s ambition and commitment to self-development motivates others to do the same through modeling and coaching which makes me grateful for her friendship and professional guidance in the field.” -Stephanie Vigoya, LCSW
This wide range of professional experience in the field of mental health allows me to pull from a variety of effective methodologies and frameworks when tailoring a treatment approach for a specific client. Rather than apply the same interventions to each person or couple, I pull from a wealth of experience and diverse perspectives to design an effective way of working that is tailored to the unique needs of each person.
Therapy is focused on helping you to move through difficult circumstances and develop new and more effective ways of handling struggles so that you’re confident and better equipped to face your challenges and nurture more fulfilling relationships.
Our therapists have years of training and experience both at the graduate level as well as significant postgraduate training which allows us to provide excellent care with a tailored approach to your treatment. We are deeply invested in the personal success of each of our clients and we work hard to help you make the necessary improvements to your life.
Therapy is viewed as a collaborative process in which we get to know you, assess your needs, and work together to develop a plan to achieve your desired outcomes. Sometimes this involves homework or activities in session, other times it involves discussing more in-depth significant areas of concern and uncovering more productive ways to cope with difficulties.
The practice is set up to accommodate weekly individual and couple psychotherapy appointments as well as a variety of short programs. Our weekly sessions meet in-person with the exception of an occasional phone session when necessary. This ensures that we are able to develop a strong working relationship and create the right conditions to help you achieve your desired outcomes. Over the course of our work, you can expect that you and your therapist will periodically check in about your progress and communicate on an on-going basis about whether therapy feels effective in achieving the goals you set for yourself.
"Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Viktor Frankl
“Therapy is like a workout for your emotions”, said a client when describing her perspective on the process of therapy. While we shared a little laugh over her insightful comparison, it was interesting to think about the real truth behind it… Therapy helps you to assume greater responsibility for the experience of your life and directly addresses the areas that prevent you from connecting more meaningfully to others. There is no denying that the quality of our relationships —and our ability to cultivate fulfilling connection to others are both incredibly important— impacting all aspects of our life including our physical health, drive and motivation, feelings of happiness, and our self-confidence.
We all experience times when we feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and uncertain. We can be quite accomplished in many aspects of life and simultaneously continue to struggle in other important areas including our relationships or our ability to cope (in healthy ways) with difficulties.
Sometimes old and unproductive narratives get in the way of living life to the fullest. Other times, a past experience or a problematic relationship pattern impedes our ability to be present with ourselves and others in a way that aligns with our goals for real connection and a lasting sense of well-being. Our attempts to “deal” with our discomfort can sometimes lead us down a destructive path that all too often takes us further away from the life we truly desire.
We often try to convince ourselves: "if only I was more of this or that, I wouldn't have this problem." Frequently, we use harsh narratives in regard to ourselves, we say things like: "successful people have it figured out" or "only people with major issues go to therapy.” This way of thinking is not only untrue and incredibly damaging, but it also serves to maintain the unhelpful narratives that contribute to the issues we are experiencing in the first place.
Don't let the stigma of therapy prevent you from addressing important concerns in your life.
For many, there is often an acknowledgment that something needs to shift, but the challenge is in identifying and working through the issue(s) in a way that helps you to assume greater responsibility for what you truly desire out of life. While it might be tempting to push aside your difficult feelings, I would encourage you to trust that they are trying to communicate something important to you…
Therapy provides a safe space to learn about yourself, challenge unproductive patterns, and develop new and more effective ways to connect and cope with life’s difficulties. Although it's tempting to search for a quick and easy fix, I believe there is tremendous value in dedicating the appropriate time and energy to identifying your most important priorities, working through relationship difficulties, and overcoming patterns that are no longer in alignment with your truest self.
While therapy often involves a focus on the reduction of symptoms related to commonly experienced problems, it can also provide a space to help you address long-standing unproductive patterns that are getting in the way of feeling more fulfilled and becoming the best version of yourself.
“When we feel connected to others, appreciated for our unique strengths, and capable of living in alignment with our values, we can operate from a place of emotional generosity and contribute to our relationships and the world in meaningful and authentic ways.” - Jennifer Uhrlass
Therapy is a unique type of service in that it requires you to play an active role in the changes you'd like to create for yourself. Therapy requires you to think on things that were discussed in session and to try something new that may be outside your comfort zone. In order to be effective, therapy requires a commitment to the process and a willingness to communicate openly with your therapist.