Jaime Gleicher, LMSW, is a graduate of the New York University Silver School of Social Work, where she earned her Masters of Social Work. Ms. Gleicher graduated with her BA from Barnard College of Columbia University.
Ms. Gleicher, who is intensively trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, has been a member of the Hartstein Psychological team since 2014. Ms. Gleicher specializes in working with adolescents and adults who struggle with addiction and co-occurring disorders, in particular: anxiety and depressive disorders, personality disorders and eating disorders. In addition to working individually with clients, she also leads the weekly Adult DBT skills group as well as DBT Multi-Family Skills Training Group. Ms. Gleicher is also trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Prior to joining Hartstein Psychological, Ms. Gleicher worked as a therapist at The Dorm, where she provided clinical coaching, psychotherapy, support and mentorship to adolescents, adults and their families, helping these clients to utilize and practice learned skills both outside and inside traditional treatment settings.
Ms. Gleicher completed her clinical internships at The Addiction Institute of New York (St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital, Intensive Outpatient Program) and at the Blanton Peale Counseling Center, where she led group therapy sessions and did individual psychotherapy with a diverse population of individuals.
Ms. Gleicher has worked as a staff therapist at Rebound, a sober living facility and intensive outpatient facility in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Ms. Gleicher also worked as Special Projects Coordinator and Regional Marketing Director at The New York Center for Living, an outpatient substance abuse treatment center for adolescents and young adults, helping to develop and grow the treatment center in the earliest stages.
Jaime has been asked to contribute her expertise to numerous articles on mental health. She regularly contributes to Cosmopolitan magazine, and has appeared in articles for The Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, Bustle, Vice and Recovery.org, as well as on Sirius XM.
A native New Yorker, Ms. Gleicher’s passion lies in empowering those who struggle from mental illness and helping young people to recognize their potential despite their unique challenges. Ms. Gleicher wholeheartedly devotes time to raising awareness, reducing stigma, and advocating for those who suffer from mental illness and addiction.
1. Why did you choose to become a therapist?
It feels as if my career chose me! I am very open about my own past struggles with mental health and was endlessly inspired and helped by my own mental health professionals throughout the years. I looked up to them and when I graduated from Barnard College with a major in English and Creative Writing, I knew I needed to do something else in addition to writing.
I took nearly every psychology class offered at Barnard and at the time of my graduation, I was mentoring adolescents with addiction, and I subsequently was hired to do the marketing/outreach for an adolescent substance abuse treatment center. While I liked doing both, I realized I wanted to work more closely with the adolescents and the next natural step was to go to social work school and continue to write in my free time.
I think being a writer and therapist are quite similar. I listen to my clients’ stories and narratives, I help them connect themes and pull language apart to make deeper sense of it. I value the power of words. While I never dreamed of being a therapist, especially while I was struggling, it now seems to make sense that I am.
2. What’s your favorite thing about being a therapist?
Being the “keeper of the story”. I am honored that my clients trust and value me enough to share themselves with me. It is such a privilege to be someone’s “person”.
I am also in the constant state of learning through this work. My clients give so much back to me. The secondary benefit of being a therapist is that I learn so much about myself from my clients. It is impossible not to. This allows me to keep growing and evolving as a therapist, as they grow and evolve through their therapy process.
3. What is your general philosophy and approach to helping?
I let my client do the work, and I tell them up front that they will be the ones doing the work. I follow that up with the absolute reassurance that I am there to support them and coach them as the work is being done. While some people enter therapy feeling pretty awful, and while the work can be hard, there is no better feeling than actually doing the work and knowing you have done the work.
When I struggled as a teenager, I so badly wanted therapists to do the work FOR me. I realize those who pushed me to really do the work myself are the ones who helped me the most. As the DBT manual states, “We didn’t cause all of our own problems and we have to solve them anyway.” There is such empowerment and growth in the process of the “solving”. I aim to let my clients “solve” while I support.
4. If you weren’t a therapist, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
I can’t imagine not being a therapist, and yet, I can imagine myself doing other things… so I do them! In addition to being a therapist, I am a writer working on finishing up my first memoir, and I am also a jewelry designer for my own line, Live Rainbowfully.
My eventual retirement plan is to buy a huge plot of land and then adopt as many rescue dogs as possible. I’ve already started on this goal: I have five! In addition to these things, I would say I’d be pursuing my childhood dream of being on Broadway (I studied musical theatre as a child/teenager) or be a pediatrician.
5. What do you do as self-care? (Mindfulness practices, exercise, etc.)
Jump in the ocean whenever possible! The beach is my happiest place. Since that is not always possible… I rescue animals and give them all the love! It is so rewarding. I also bead and make jewelry and work on building my jewelry business. I go to the theatre as much as I can. I exercise regularly: I love spinning, cardio dance and yoga (fun fact: I completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training).
Above all for self care, though, is that I ask for help from my own support system if and when I need it. I think that asking for help/support is the ultimate self-care.
6. What’s your favorite quote or mantra?
Too many quotes to pick one, so I’ll focus on some mantras:
“Be who you needed when you were younger” keeps me mindful of why I do what I do and what my goal is as a therapist.
“Everything is figureoutable.” Because it is. It may not be perfect or the way we want things to be, and we can always figure out a non-catastrophic solution to something, even if our thoughts try to convince us otherwise.
7. What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Value the superficial things less.
8. If you could invite three famous people to dinner, alive or dead, who would they be?
Michelle Obama, Elisabeth Moss and P!nk. I’m going to be a little rebellious here and add a fourth, because I’d have Frank Sinatra provide the entertainment for the evening. He could duet with P!nk— how awesome would that be?
9. What’s something you are most proud of?
My resilience. I’ve gone through some incredibly dark moments in my life. I never take for granted how lucky I am to have grown through all of it, and recognize how grateful I am to those who have supported me through it. And… my work with rescue animals. I think I’m a really good dog/cat mom!
10. What do you wish other people knew about mental health?
That the idea of “mental illness” has been over stigmatized. It is not so black and white. We all have brains, therefore we all have a scale of mental health that will waver over time, just as our physical health does. We need to be mindful of keeping our minds healthy (i.e. feed and nourish them the way we do our bodies), use preventative measures, and not judge when we don’t feel well. And when we don’t feel mentally well, we need to seek treatment, rest, and not push through and hurt ourselves more.
I wish the world treated mental health like we do physical health: regular screenings, more empathy, less stigma.