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Dating Therapy NYC

Takeaway: If you’re struggling to build authentic relationships, you’re not alone. Together, we can work towards a better understanding of who you are and what you're looking for in relationships to build genuine, meaningful connections in your romantic life (and elsewhere). 

Ok, we'll be the first ones here to burst your bubble: there is no such thing as soul mates. Having grown up watching Disney and one too many Rom-Com movies, you've been highly misled to believe that a "knight and shining armor" and the "damsel in distress" are what you should be searching for in a partner.

Before you start throwing tomatoes at us or running to the nearest matchmaking services, you may soon come to find that identifying your values, improving your self-esteem, and shifting the narrative you have about dating can go a long way on your road to finding your right partner.

Read on if you're tired of experiencing failed relationships, done with inviting trouble into your life, wondering if you'll ever find someone, and wanting to learn more about our unique approach to relationship and dating therapy.

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Our approach to anxiety therapy in NJ

While the dating scene may fill you with dread as you consider how limited the dating pool is while swiping left on Tinder, our dating therapists and couples therapists are excited to share their dating and relationships secrets to support you in the navigation of dating and in creating sincere and fulfilling relationships.

While the dating scene may fill you with dread as you consider how limited the dating pool is while swiping left on Tinder, our dating therapists and couples therapists are excited to share their dating and relationships secrets to support you in the navigation of dating and in creating sincere and fulfilling relationships.

Exploring your Relationships:

Our therapy focuses firstly on exploring your past relationships and how they are affecting your self-esteem, confidence, and views on dating: we want to learn who you have been attracted to, what went arry, possible trust issues and difficulties being vulnerable, how you have been managing heartbreak, and what your belief systems and feelings are regarding dating (ex. do you believe in monogamy and having one partner, does having the same religious views as your parter(s) matter to you, and what are your views on sex and desire through the course of a relationship?)

We'll explore your sexuality and romantic partners, friends and acquaintances, and familial dynamics to get a better understanding of how you relate to others, possible attachment styles, past traumas, and communication skills. We'll take the time to explore the difficulties you've had since re-entering the world of dating, the fears and concerns you may have, deal breakers, and barriers putting you in a place of dating paralysis.

Learning more about YOU:

The best part of therapy is working with your own therapist spending time learning more about you! While exploring your past and current dating extravaganzas, we will want to learn more about your sexual interests and desires, what your comfort is in getting to know someone on a deeper level and in being vulnerable and practicing intimacy, and what you are looking for in a potential partner and in your future.

You might be scratching your head thinking, "Well, I don't even know what I am looking for in a potential partner." That is a significant part of our dating therapy: our time together will be spent exploring your interests, what excites you, and what you find important in life.


The better we understand ourselves, the better we will be able to identify what characteristics and traits we are looking for in a partner(s). As we are exploring who you are, you'll be able to crystalize your values and note the many ways you care to live out such values. For example, if you enjoy spending time outside, and value the connection you have with nature, you may recognize that it's important to date someone who also appreciates spending time outside.

Reviewing Feedback:

What better way to learn more about yourself than through feedback? Our clinicians are trained to note observations that may be hindering your dating life and the potential success you could be having with others.

Our clinicians are a blend of empathic and directive and encourage dialogue to discuss difficult topics such as sex, gender roles, political views, divorce, and other taboo talk. We provide an open and nonjudgemental space to explore such topics in effort for you to express yourself genuinely.

We are also able to provide tools and techniques to address poor communication, social discomfort, and dating anxiety.

Practicing Renarration:

Finally, we want to support you in re-narrating the experience of dating. Getting to know others, as well as getting more in touch with ourselves, is a wonderful opportunity in life.


As humans, building sincere connections is necessary for supporting our social satisfaction and extends into how we feel about ourselves. We want you to have fun while dating and remain open to building beautiful relationships that can lead to long-term partner(s).


So, if you're ready to move past just having a sexual relationship to developing a long-term relationship(s) that are full of intimacy, connection, open communication, honesty, and genuine regard then reach out today.

Who our dating therapy services are for

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We work with clients recently divorced, newly entering the dating scene, are in polyamorous connections, and with those wanting to work on the relationship they have with themselves.

College & Young Adulthood:

We all know that dating in college is not easy. One of the biggest times for random hookups, sexual experimentation, and difficulty navigating who is interested in who is during those pesky college years. Also, a major time for heartbreaks, as we enter the next phase of our life, traveling to a new part of the country, or focusing more on our careers. Anyone who is currently in college, or entering their young adulthood knows that this time is quite challenging when it comes to intimacy and knowing what we want and how to go about attaining it.

Mature Relations:

Whether you're going through a divorce, struggling with a long-term marriage, or reflecting on the loneliness you've been experiencing since neglecting dating as an adult, we welcome you to therapy. Middle age and beyond bring new personal insights and desires, development and growth, and enriching life experiences that can affect how you may feel about yourself and your current relationship. Changes in life, such as children leaving the home, losing a parent, or shifting religious views can alter a romantic relationship, leaving room for questions and curiosities.

Widow, Widower, & Widowship:

One of the most difficult life changes to experience is the loss of a partner or spouse. Whether the loss was expected, premature, or traumatic, loss brings a whole slew of difficulties. One of those is navigating the possibility of dating someone new. While respecting your lost loved ones and the memories you shared, dating may bring up difficult feelings, relationship complexities, and stuckness in knowing where and how to even start seeing someone again.

Dating Yourself:

Raise your hand if you need a break from dating. We get it! Going on dates can be super draining, especially when you've had a string of negative dating experiences, are recently broken up, or are tired of investing more energy into a relationship than you've received in return. We love working with clients who want to better understand themselves, improve their self-esteem, and develop personally so that when they are ready they can make space for the right partner or partners.

Polyamory, Openships, & Gender Identity:

Specializing in couples counseling, attachment, and relationships, our therapists enjoy working with all relational dynamics. Whether you are currently in a polyamorous relationship, are interested in exploring an open relationship, or would like to explore your gender identity and gender roles, you will be respected and supported. We work with members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community and represent a queer and gender-affirming practice.

Sexuality, BDSM, & Kink:

As kink-friendly, sex-positive, BDSM informed professionals, our clinicians strive to create a welcoming space to explore sex and play, safety and consent, and questions and curiosities as you explore your sexuality and sexual interests.

If you're wondering whether we might be a good fit, we encourage you to reach out. One of our clinicians will return your submission form within 24-48 hours.

Meet Dr. Cynthia Shaw | Dating therapist in NYC

Dr. Cynthia Shaw is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and owner of Authentically Living Psychological Services passionate about providing mental health services to those interested in depth-oriented and relational work. She enjoys working adults and older adolescents struggling in their existence and with the partnerships they have with themselves and others, and within their larger world context. She strives for others to feel confident and secure, and able to navigate the dating world.

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  • Credentials:

    • Licensed Clinical Psychologist

    • Grief Informed Professional

    • Approved Clinical Supervisor

  • License numbers:

    • PsyPact: 14381

    • New York: 025643

    • New Jersey: 35SI00702400

    • Illinois: 071.010599

  • Education/degree:

    • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

      • Generalist Adult Track

    • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology

    • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in English

  • Teletherapy

    • PsyPact Certified to practice in 40 states. Find out if your state is included here.

    • Additional licenses in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and North Carolina

    Providing therapy since 2015

    • Experience: private practice, psychiatric in-patient hospitals, health psychology/in-patient, forensic unit/hospital, schools, assisted living facilities, methadone maintenance clinics.

    • Past clientele:

      • children, adolescents, and adults

      • psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, personality disorders, anxiety and mood disorders, trauma disorders, neurodevelopment disorders, eating disorders, sexual disorders, conduct disorders, neurocognitive disorders, paraphilic disorders.

    • Current clientele:

      • adolescents and adults

      • existential angst, low self-esteem, death anxiety, poor sense of self, depression, loneliness, difficulty forming genuine relationships, entrepreneurs, perfectionists, high achievers, nostalgic thinkers, emotionally sensitive, men's issues, spiritual questioning, identity development.

    Modalities used:

  • Read More Here

Why choose Authentically Living Psychological Services for dating counseling

Working with a therapist at Authentically Living Psychological Services can help you identify how you operate relationally so that you can tackle your next date with ease.

Greater Self-Understanding:

One of the most rewarding elements of therapy is learning more about yourself. We'll focus on who you are as a human being and how you want to move about the world when it comes to social connections and intimate relations. You'll walk away from therapy feeling more aware of who you are, what you're wanting, and how to create and satisfy those relational desires.

Value Identification:

Through depth-oriented and reflective questions and conversations we'll uncover your values and areas of most importance in your life. Whether that be art and music, knowledge and education, money and success, or spending time in nature, you'll be able to narrowly identify what is meaningful to you and how those areas may influence what you're seeking in others.

Improved Confidence:

As we work on better learning who you are, you'll be able to recognize a shift in your self-confidence. The better we can identify elements of our identity, the better we can express those elements, and ultimately feel more comfortable in our own skin. An exciting part of therapy is exploring different identities, values, and self-expression, and remaining open to growth as your identity continues to shift over time.

Comfort in Dating:

Bet you never thought you'd feel comfortable dating. Well, welcome to your new reality: walking into a date feeling grounded, confident, and excited to get to know the person(s) sitting across from you. Relieved in your comfort when expressing vulnerability and in sharing details about yourself - and able to ask thought-provoking questions that get at the meat and potatoes of what you actually want to learn about someone to see if they'd be a good addition to your life.

Crystalized Characteristics:

No one you meet will be a walking checklist, but you'll be damn sure you know the traits and characteristics you are looking for in a partner(s). Not only will you be able to identify what you're looking for in a mate, but by experiencing a renewed sense of self, you'll feel comfortable asserting those needs. Say goodbye to "dead-beats" and "gold-diggers."

Self-Advocation & Boundaries:

As result of better knowing who you are, what your values are, and how you'd describe and express your identity, you'll better be able to practice self-advocation and boundary setting: learning how to say "no" when you don't want to participate in a certain activity, expressing your needs when you are not feeling heard, and allowing yourself to take up space when having a conversation.

Improved Communication Skills:

Yep! Not only will you be able to assert boundaries, and advocate for yourself, but you'll also be able to engage in dialogue, have difficult conversations, partake in conflict resolution, actively listen, maintain respect, attend to nonverbals, and express yourself with clarity.

Fulfilling Relationships:

Ultimately, you'll be able to lead a life that consists of forming genuine and sincere relationships, feeling more connected to who you are, those you choose to be a part of your life, and your larger world context.

FAQs about working with an anxiety therapist in NJ

  • What type of counseling is best for grief?
    There are many different types of counseling practices for addressing grief. The choice of modality is specific to the provider, as well as the assessment of client needs, preferences, and the nature of grief. Below are common counseling services typically provided for grief: Existential & Humanistic Therapy: Existential and humanistic therapy are interconnected therapies that focus on self-understanding while confronting limitations to being human, such as death, illness, and demise, responsibilities and freedom to make choices, and what it means to be authentic. The therapies highlight the integration of exploring meaning, purpose, and personal fulfillment while recognizing and challenging the irony of pointlessness and the inevitability of loss. Positive Psychology: Positive psychology has similarities to existential and humanistic therapy, as it focuses on promoting wellness and self-growth despite loss. Positive psychology is more strength-based and relies on personal resiliency, meaningful goals, and gratitude to navigate grief. Art & Expressive Therapy: Expressive therapies include the use of creative art interventions such as drawing, writing, painting, singing, dancing, and acting to process grief and loss. The use of mainstream talk therapy can sometimes be challenging for those who are grieving, and thus resorting to nonverbal forms of expression can be cathartic and supportive. Narrative Therapy: Similar to Expressive therapies and Positive Psychology, Narrative therapy focuses on allowing a person to story and describe their experience of loss. Identifying personal resiliency and noted strengths, narrative therapy further focuses on the re-narrating or re-storying of the loss; It provides an opportunity to notice new perspectives as we move through loss. Mindfulness-Based Therapy: Helpful as an additive to all modalities, especially for those grieving, Mindfulness-Based Therapy focuses on incorporating stress reduction tools, meditation practices, and mindfulness exercises to aid in down-regulating one's heightened nervous system, self-soothe, and ground an individual. Logotherapy: A branch of Existential therapy, Logotherapy is also an additive therapy that focuses specifically on creating meaning. Even in the face of suffering, Logotherapy highlight how we can still choose to create meaning. For unchanging situations, such as after loss, incorporating attitudinal shifts is a primary focus of logotherapy. Transpersonal Psychology & Grief Therapy: Known as a spiritual and holistic form of therapy, Transpersonal psychology focuses on experiences of interconnectedness such as during states of flow, sereneness, and meditation, and while using certain therapeutic substances, such as psychedelics. In the context of grief, this modality can help a person striving for connection with nature, and greater self alignment, and those interested in exploring their spiritual and religious beliefs and connections. Group & Family Therapy: As highlighted above, Group and Family therapy are effective modalities for those looking for greater communal support, collective processing, and learning how to better communicate and connect. Our practice offers a variety of the modalities presented above. If you have questions about a modality that you do not see listed, please contact us and a member of our staff will return your inquiry in 24-48 hours.
  • Is group therapy good for grief?
    Group therapy is a supportive modality for addressing grief, as it provides a space for peer support, communal validation, decreased isolation and loneliness, normalization of certain experiences, and an opportunity to share without fear of judgment. Group therapy encourages the expression of difficult emotions that may be more challenging to have with friends and colleagues, and is a platform for practicing how to advocate for your needs. Our grief therapy group offers a unique opportunity to utilize creative practices to express and address grief, that doesn't solely rely on the use of verbal processing. We have found that grief is often difficult to talk about and that words do not always express our experiences justly. In addition to creative interventions, such as writing, drawing, and painting, our incorporation of mindfulness exercises aids in down-regulating your nervous system at the end of group, and are additional tools for you to practice at your leisure when overwhelmed with the distress of grief. If you are interested in learning more about our grief group and whether this might be a good fit for you, reach out by clicking here. A member of our staff will return your inquiry in 24-48 hours.
  • How soon should you have bereavement counseling?
    The timing for starting bereavement therapy is different from person to person. Taking into account the nature of a loss, a person's readiness and interest in therapy, availability of supportive factors and coping skills, and cultural factors can influence when and if a person will seek bereavement counseling. It's important to remember that the healing process is unique for everyone and so there is no right or wrong time to seek therapy and that regardless of when your loss occurred, it is never too late to start grief therapy.

Get the support you need to authentically connect with yourself and others.

With a directive and human-first approach, our clinicians can provide you with the support you need to authentically connect with yourself and with others. We encourage you to reach out today for a free consultation call.

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