Gillian Martenson, LCSW
Gillian (GILL-e-en, she/her) started her career in behavioral health in 1996. She has a BA in psychology from the University of Delaware and a Master’s in Social Work from NYU. She spent 20 years of her career working at internationally recognized non-profit organizations in NYC and Philadelphia, serving on the Senior Management Teams of the Center for Urban Community Services (NYC) and Project HOME (Philly).
As a young adult, she felt pulled by her values to work with some of her communities’ most vulnerable people, in shelters, inpatient hospitals, recovery programs, and supportive housing programs for formerly homeless people. The experiences were challenging and fulfilling. They allowed her to get to know so many different types of people in so many different circumstances. Her work experiences gave her the opportunity to work with folx from many different cultures, races, ages, sexual orientations, sexual identities. Gillian provided services to folx with issues including depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief and loss, substance addiction, people living with HIV/AIDS or other chronic illness, personality disorders, people with co-occurring disorders, experiencing homelessness, families, children, veterans, seniors, and so much more. She had the opportunity to develop and implement a variety of evidence-based practices, which formed the foundation of her approach.
Gillian’s style is relational, and she is able to tailor her approach to the unique needs of each person. She relies heavily on a variety of evidence-based practices she has learned throughout her 25+ years in the field, including Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness practice, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Harm Reduction, Trauma Informed practice, Psychiatric Rehabilitation, and more. She takes a strengths-based, person-centered, collaborative approach to the therapeutic relationship. She believes YOU are the primary expert on yourself. She walks alongside clients on their journey and uses her expertise to help them reach the goals most important to them. Gillian strives to create an environment which can be both a soft-landing spot for clients to decompress from life’s stress, and a place for you to grow and stretch towards your fullest potential. She is assertive enough to give you a gentle push when you are ready, aware enough to give you space and time when you need it, and humble enough to talk about it when she makes mistakes. She takes your mental health very seriously, therefore she knows it is absolutely, positively essential to infuse humor in this work. It’s her favorite coping strategy! She is gentle, yet direct. She hopes to help clients identify patterns of behavior that no longer serve them, and to find new and better strategies to withstand life’s many challenges.
Her experiences have led her to develop expertise in anxiety, depression, substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, mood disorders, adjustment disorders, individuals with chronic/terminal illness, professionals working in helping fields, work-place stressors, relationship stress, post-partum anxiety, parents of young children.