Therapy in New York for the 21st Century.




Therapy and life coaching offer guidance in your journey towards emotional freedom and happiness. Modern therapists want to teach you the tools to create your own psychological, emotional and philosophical way in the world- your life, for you, by you. There are individuals, groups, corporations- whole systems designed to try to make you feel anxious, addicted, inadequate and helpless. Whether you keep feeling miserable for another day is now up to you. 

Modern, effective counseling can help. You've taken the first step just by looking for a therapist. With online scheduling, we make finding a therapist even easier! Schedule Now. 

News: We're testing out a new website design, so keep scrolling down to find out more about the services we offer.


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How does therapy work and will it work for me?

An important question! You don't KNOW therapy will work, because no one can read the future! But unlike many therapists, my practice uses a scoring system that helps you measure how things are going in your life as well as how each session is going.  We have steadily been implementing this into our sessions over the last 8 years, and our experience backs up what the data already shows - the more immediate feedback and the more engagement a client has in sessions, the better the outcome.  (See a brief video here).  

By using this ratings system, we can monitor your progress, and how things are going in therapy, as well as how you are more able to cope with things between your therapy sessions.  This also allows us to make sure we are providing the best training and supervision to our staff. Regardless of whether you work with a graduate student, post-graduate, or licensed therapist, we want to make sure our approach is the right one for you, and that you're not just FEELING better, but making actual progress with some sort of end in sight! Quite a bit different than you might have experienced with therapists before. 

We're not here to give you advice or to hug you better or pathologize you and keep you entrenched in a mental health system.  We are here to help you learn tangible skills to implement in your own life, and we want to use interventions and techniques that have shown time and time again to be effective.  

Forget online reviews and what you have seen about therapy on tv.  If you want a relatively brief, modern, effective approach to counseling, contact us to set up your intake today, or schedule therapy yourself online.

What kind of therapy do you do?

All of our therapists work with the original type of cognitive behavioral therapy designed by Albert Ellis called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. We may use other interventions for couples (like Imago Therapy) or other special populations, but all of our work is filtered through the lens of REBT.  This is an active style of therapy, and coupled with the ratings scales we mentioned before, it's quite effective, down to earth and practical.  Our job is not to teach you a bunch of diagnoses and psychobabble jargon, but to translate psychological theory into real language you can use and implement in your lives.

That means - we talk like you do, and our sessions are quite a bit more animated than the silent, nodding therapist you might have seen on tv. Whether sex therapy, individual counseling or life coaching- we try to teach you as best we can how to implement these interventions into your daily life.

Finding a new therapist

Your last therapist definitely added to who you are now! Again, we think of this as learning a language - and though you may have had a great French 1 teacher who did things one way, we're hopefully moving you into French 2 where you will learn a whole expanded set of skills.

Therapy is about learning some tools to work through your own issues in life in a way that's informed by healthy emotions and behaviors. This is different than just presenting your therapist with every bad thing that has ever happened to you then asking "What should I do?!". No one knows what you "should" do, and in our style of therapy, we call that "shoulding all over yourself" (therapy is full of colorful language- get ready!).  We don't want to add more shoulds, musts and supposed to's in your life.  We want you to come up with some more rational alternatives to shoulds - and those alternatives come from you, not from us.  

Coming with a previous diagnosis or a whole list of diagnoses? We'll definitely talk about those, but in REBT it's more about given these events in your life - what are you going to do about them from now going forward, not simply identifying as x or y diagnosis. 

Are you ready for insight and change?


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There are four types of mental health practitioner licenses in New York. They are mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, creative arts therapist and psychoanalyst. Keep these license areas in mind when looking for a qualified psychotherapist in New York.

MyTherapist offers training and supervision by licensed mental health counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists.

Credentials for Mental health counselors vs Social workers in New York


Click the video above to see Dr. DeMarco explain unconditional acceptance in REBT.


Dr. Michael DeMarco is a licensed mental health counselor (NY - 2337) licensed marriage and family therapist (NY - 136) and board certified clinical sexologist in private practice since 2002. Dr. DeMarco uses the original style of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) with individuals, couples and families. DeMarco has supervised clinicians at all levels since 2006, and has been an educator since 1999 ranging from middle school to the graduate level. As a clinician, Dr. DeMarco has been quoted in Cosmo, Esquire, GQ and other publications and has made media appearances on SpikeTV, HBO and is associate producer on "Sticky: A (Self) Love Story", a new documentary about masturbation.  Dr. DeMarco is available for sessions by appointment for sessions in English or French.



  • Aetna (*certain plans)
  • Beacon
  • Cigna (in network)
  • Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield (in network)
  • Emblem/GHI/HIP (*certain plans)
  • MVP
  • Oscar (*certain plans)
  • United (*certain plans)
  • ValueOptions


  • Sex Therapy (Sexual Dysfunction, Sexual Identity, Gender Identity)
  • Anxiety & Mood Disturbances
  • Open Relationship Issues 



  • Bisexual Issues
  • Erectile dysfunction and difficulties
  • Gay Issues
  • Lesbian Issues
  • Premature Ejaculation
  • Transgender Identity
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • Sexually compulsive behavior
  • Infidelity Counseling




  • Academic Underachievement
  • Adjustment Issues, secular issues
  • Anger Management
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Career Counseling
  • Chronic Impulsivity
  • Coping Skills
  • Divorce
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Family Conflict
  • Infidelity
  • Jealousy
  • Life Coaching
  • Medication Management
  • Men's Issues
  • Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)
  • Open relationship issues
  • Self Esteem
  • Sexual Addiction and Compulsion
  • Video Game Addiction and Compulsion

Client Focus

Alternative Languages: French

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  • Preteens / Tweens (11 to 13)
  • Adolescents / Teenagers (14 to 19)
  • Adults
  • Elders (65+)


Treatment Approach

Treatment Orientation

  • Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)
  • Culturally Sensitive
  • Family / Marital
  • Humanistic
  • Imago
  • REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy)


  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Couples Therapy
  • Non-traditional relationships (poly, open)

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Click above to see the father of modern psychotherapy explain some of the finer points 

Therapy for individuals, (also known as psychotherapy or counseling) focuses on working on the thinking that leads to unhealthy negative emotions (anger, anxiety, panic, depression, guilt, shame, etc) and the unhealthy, self-defeating behaviors that go with them. Using rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), clients learn to identify what isn't working for them, and come up with a new set of directions to get where they want to be. Psychotherapy is not advice. Advice implies a right and wrong way to do things based on the therapist's own moral agenda or life experience.  Therapists are not advice columnists or friends. Therapists are not your moral guides, priests, gurus or rabbis. Therapists are trained to help identify how your thoughts and emotions might lead to behaviors that keep you feeling miserable. Therapy also doesn't mean you are sick, psycho, borderline, bipolar or crazy.  Therapy is for anyone.


If you're in a relationship, couples therapy (whether you call it pre-marital counseling,  marital therapy or relationship counseling) is probably appropriate. Couples counseling focuses on identifying what each of you want in your ideal relationship, and helping you communicate those desires in a compassionate and effective way. Using imago therapy with rational emotive behavioral therapy, the therapist will teach you how to communicate more effectively using validation and empathy, helping to change the pattern of fighting or poor communication.  Though the goal of couples therapy is to meet with each member of the relationship together, alternating between individual sessions and couples sessions for the first month or two of therapy is required to get a more complete picture of what's going on in your relationship.  Couples therapy involves examining various aspects of your relationship including career, finances, sex life, parenting, family of origin, and more. Think your issues are your own?  Maybe - but you are bringing those issues to your relationship. We want to work with you systemically, that means working through issues within the context of your larger relationships. For the sake of ease, we describe this in terms of 2 people in a couple, but we welcome and affirm whatever safe, sane and consensual relationship you have designed (open relationships, triads, poly, etc). All of our therapists are sex-positive, LGBTQ-affirming, kink aware and secular. Relationship therapy is not out to save your relationship at all costs. Couples therapists have no agenda about helping you save or end your relationship, but we are out to help you design a relationship that is ideal for the people involved. Sometimes the most successful couples therapy is when you decide this isn't the relationship for you. The world is your oyster!


Group therapy (also known as group counseling) focuses on multiple people working with the therapist on a similar issue.  Group therapy is often mistaken for a support group, which is facilitated by various members of the group.  In group therapy, the group is facilitated by a psychotherapist.  Group therapy is often more cost-effective than one-on-one therapy, and the benefit over a support group is that therapeutic interventions are employed by the therapists in addition to the supportive environment of the group. Group therapy has nothing to do with anything with the word "Anonymous" at the end, nor is it based on 12 Steps, etc.  Good group therapy, led by a therapist, can be a life-changing, empowering experience.



COUPLES Therapy, Counseling


We often get clients who tell us they haven't ever felt comfortable with other therapists talking about sexuality and other relationship issues. Therapists don't all have the training or the desire to deal with sexual issues. Who knew?! 

Our staff all have a particular interest working with sexuality issues, as well as the myriad other issues that come up in intimate relationships.   Our staff are lgbtq-affirming, often work with open relationships, poly relationships and families, relationships involving kink, and more. 

Couples therapy, (sometimes called relationship counseling or pre-marital or marital therapy, marriage counseling, etc) is a relatively short-term intervention to help you get the most satisfaction out of your intimate relationship(s).  In therapy, we want to create a safe space for you to create a common vision of your relationship, help you to communicate your needs and desires and to trust and accept your partner unconditionally (called unconditional other acceptance).  To do this, we alternate between seeing you as individuals one week, and together as a couple the following week, which encourages differentiation as well as relationship growth and evolution.  

Open relationship, poly Relationship Therapists and Coaching


Open relationships, polyamory, swingers, monogamish, compersion - who knew there was a whole world  of language out there beyond monogamy (where the thought is one man is married to one woman (or more recently with marriage equality) and that's the optimal way of relating). While many people find themselves in a pair bond, many people realize that sexual fidelity and monogamy is not the default relationship style. Working with a therapist who does not hold monogamy up as an ideal, enlightened state of being is important when working through the issues that might come up in opening your relationship or designing a relationship that works for you.


Sex Therapy with our practice is evidence-based talk therapy focused on helping you to create the sex life that you find most fulfilling, not based on religious propaganda or pseudo-science.  According to Abraham Maslow, sex is one of the most very basic of human drives (even more basic than love).  Therapists specializing in sex therapy use this as a guiding principal.  

In the 21st Century, people talk more and more openly about sex.  The thing is, there are lots of people who claim to be "sex experts" just by virtue of having a degree in journalism or by having read "Fifty Shades of Grey". Sex therapy is something more than just talking to an advice columnist for an hour.

Parts aren't working the way you think they should?  We can help you sort out fact from fiction. Feel like your sex life is out of control?  You might be surprised to find out "sex addiction" and/or "porn addiction" are not accepted terms or diagnoses among therapists. Let's work on time management, honesty and basic sex education.

Sex therapy is for individuals and couples to sort out issues with masturbation, fantasy life, porn, fetishes, dating, sexual identity, gender identity, relationship style, infidelity issues (and often the desire to be non-monogamous or non-sexually faithful).  

Our therapists, mental health counselors or marriage and family therapists in New York,  have all been selected because they have a special interest in working with relationships and sexuality of all sorts. By using an evidence-based, yet warm and non-judgmental approach, you can be sure you're getting effective, modern couples therapy and sex therapy for the 21st Century.  

You have to struggle enough with people telling you who you should be and how you should behave- your therapist doesn't have to add to that.  In therapy you might find out some ways of relating intimately that you didn't know were possible.


Whether starting individual therapy, couples therapy or sex therapy, the process we follow is the same. We will meet with you individually to get some preliminary information and make some recommendations on how to move forward with us or with other clinicians. We use rational emotive behavior therapy as our main modality to teach you and your partner(s) the same basic language to get you on track for getting the love and sex life that works best for you.

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In sex therapy, we want our clients to take back ownership of their sexual expression so they can take an active role in designing the type of sex lives they want, rather than the kind they think they SHOULD have based on parents, poor sex education, religious baggage, etc.

Let's define some terms:

Here is a short list of terms to consider (which is by no means an exhaustive list- people have been very creative in coming up with all sorts of more exact terms by which to identify and categorize themselves!!):


Drag Queen: Also known as female impersonators.  These are usually gay men who impersonate women for entertainment purposes, but drag queens do not usually identify as women outside of their performances.

Gender role: Behaviors that are judged by society to be masculine or feminine.  Someone may have a gender role considered feminine by society, for example, a stay-at-home dad.  This does not necessarily reflect one’s sexual identity (gay or lesbian) nor does it necessarily reflect one’s gender identity (someone who is transgendered).

Gender non-conforming (gender queer): Sometimes considered to be a political term, people who are gender non-conforming or gender queer may reject the notion of human beings being separated into male and female with females “acting” feminine and men “acting” masculine (those are difficult terms to define in and of themselves). People who are gender non-conforming sometimes choose adjectives, pronouns and names that best suit them, which are often gender neutral.

Intersexed: An individual born with one of a handful of conditions where it may be difficult to clearly label the anatomic genitalia as male or female at birth.  Many people who are intersexed are assigned a gender arbitrarily and raised as that gender.  Sometimes this works, but sometimes this does not work and the individual spends their life being forced to have a gender identity that does not match their external anatomy.

Kink: Also known as fetish (community) are people who desire something other than the usual penis and vagina sexual intercourse.  Kink may include role play, costumes, or certain types of sex acts.  Kink or fetishism may be a problem when it stops being safe, sane and consensual.  Kink communities range from leather to people who like to fantasize about being shrunken down to a miniature size or tickled.  Kink aware professionals are therapists and other clinicians who understand different types of sexual expression and are not going to talk you into vanilla style sex and the missionary position if that's not what you're into.

Masturbation: also known, in modern terms, as fapping (usually for guys) and schlicking (for gals).  Masturbation is on the front line of human sexuality, and has been controversial for ages.  Our take is this: knowing how to pleasure yourself is completely normal and healthy, and will help you master a great sex life with other people, if that's what you choose to do. We might even assign masturbation exercises to work on at home to get a handle on erectile difficulties and premature ejaculation as well as problems reaching orgasm for women. If you feel like your self-love is problematic, come and talk to us! 

Open Relationship: By this we mean any sort of emotional or sexual relationship that is outside of you and one partner relationship. Recent terms include monogamish, polyamorous, swingers, etc.  Though many consider this a non-traditional relationship style, there are many people around the world who feel that who they are in love with and who they want to have sex with may or may not be the same person or people.  Monogamy is one relationship style on the planet, but by no means the only one.  Our therapists are poly-friendly professionals who do not hold up any one relationship style as "normal", and want to help you design the relationship that works best for YOU based on consent and open, honest discussion.

Sex addiction: Not easily defined, this controversial and ham-fisted explanation of human sexual behavior is not an actual psychological diagnosis, but something invented by people who would presume to define for others what a healthy level of sexual activity is, and what type of sexual is acceptable.  This is a concept that traces it's roots to 12 step program models that are not evidence based (think anything that ends with Anon or Anonymous). Can your sexual expression and behavior be unhealthy? Absolutely. But identifying as a sex addict because you don't fit into the model of husband and wife monogamy circa 1950 is more harmful than actually learning about and accepting the safe, sane and consensual sex life you are entitled to.

Sexual Identity: Sexual identity as it is understood currently is something different than gender identity, yet the two are often confused.

  • Gay men might be sexually and/or emotionally attracted to men.  Whether they behave in ways that are perceived to be masculine or feminine is irrelevant and nothing more than a social construct.  Gay men do not want to be women.
  • Lesbians might be sexually and/or emotionally attracted to women.  This doesn't mean they want to be men.
  • Bisexuals are not usually confused, sex addicted, greedy, etc. Bisexual people might be sexually and/or emotionally attracted to men and women.

It is reasonable that some people who at first identify as gay or lesbian are trying to figure out their gender identity at the same time, and may eventually realize that though they may be attracted to one or both sexes, the label they use may still depend on their internal gender identity. A broader view of sexual identity is that we are on a spectrum so nuanced that these labels are too constricting and might just serve as a shorthand.  Conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy) has been banned in many states and most professional psychological and psychiatric associations across the world have denounced any sort of therapy that aims to "cure" queer people and/or that heterosexuality is more healthy than any other sexual identity.

Slut Shaming: A term that has really caught on within the last few years, slut shaming is associating any sort of negativity with safe, sane, consensual sexual expression. Dossie Easton says it best in her book "The Ethical Slut" - An ethical slut is someone who has the courage to "lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you".

Transgender/Transsexual: Someone who feels like their core gender identity, who they are on the inside, ie their soul, their mind, etc, does not match with their anatomic genitalia on the outside (gender dysphoria).  Both terms are generally used, although transsexual is sometimes used more often to describe people who have had sexual reassignment surgery. The process leading up to possible sexual reassignment surgery is called “transition”, where the individual is sometimes diagnosed by a mental health specialist with “gender identity disorder”, a controversial diagnosis that is still included in the DSM (the book psychiatrists use to diagnose mental illness).  This is not meant to imply that transgendered individuals are mentally ill, but the conflict of the inside and outside identity not matching can cause much internal and external conflicts.

Transvestite: Mostly heterosexual men who feel sexually aroused when dressing in women’s clothing.  These men don’t usually have a sense that they ARE women.  They have attached sexual arousal to women’s clothing as a kink or fetish.


Again - these are just a few terms to get you thinking about relationships and sexuality, and these terms might be defined differently by different people. That's the beautiful thing about sex, relationships and love- it means many different things to many different people. 

When is it therapy and when is it coaching?



Coaching, as we see it, is more about setting some goals, then working on meeting those goals by designing some behavioral change strategies together with the coach. For life coaching, there might be slight conflicts or imbalance that you want to work out, but the emotions you're dealing with aren't like the ones we deal with in psychotherapy (anxiety, anger, guilt, depression).  In a coaching situation, we aren't working in terms of mental health diagnoses. Life coaching can be appropriate for any number of issues, so long as the level of disturbance doesn't reach crisis level where therapy might be more appropriate.


Career coaching, or executive coaching involves identifying the various areas of difficulty you are having with career development and establishing a plan to address these difficulties.  Career counseling often involves discussing areas outside of work that affect your work life and sense of career fulfillment. In career counseling, expect to work on concrete areas such as re-writing your resume and cover letter, exploring different personality types for different jobs, interviewing skills, and more.


Family therapy (also known as family counseling) focuses on identifying the maladaptive patterns that develop in the course of parenting that can lead to family conflict.  Often, one or two members of the family are identified as the trouble-makers and are sent to the psychotherapist to be "fixed".  Though the therapist meets with various members of the family individually, the focus of family therapy is to work with the entire family unit (or system) to identify each family member's role in the conflict and to address this both individually and as a family. Family therapy is especially useful when parents of children have divorced and are sharing custody, as parents often have different parenting styles and agendas.

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