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Gillian Murphy, Ph.D.


Cognitive Therapist Manhattan CBT

About me

I am a licensed clinical social worker (NY, NJ, CT) and psychotherapist. I was born and raised in Ireland and received my BA in Psychology from University College Dublin. After coming to the US, I continued my studies and received both my Masters and Ph.D. from Columbia University School of Social Work. I am trained in a wide range of therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).


I have worked in the field of mental health for over 25 years and provide individual therapy (adults and adolescents), clinical supervision, and training/consultation on high-risk assessment and intervention in private practice settings. 

In my most recent role as the Asst. Deputy Director for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (now 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline) I oversaw the development of national standards of excellence and clinical best practices in suicide prevention for telephone, chat, and text-based services. I bring the knowledge I have developed in over 15 years at the Lifeline to my practice and, in addition to addressing issues related to depression, anxiety, and mental health crises, I work extensively with individuals (both adults and teens) at risk of suicide and non-suicidal self-injury.  


About My Practice

In my clinical practice, I work with individuals with a wide range of emotional concerns such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, stress, and conflict. I also work with individuals at risk of suicide and self-harm. My approach to therapy is interactive, conversational, and collaborative with a focus on relieving immediate distress, increasing personal understanding and growth, and working towards the development of coping skills that can be used long after therapy has ended.


My practice is influenced by a Cognitive Behavioral approach to treatment. What this means is that a focus is placed on identifying not just situations that cause distress but also the personal interpretation of events and the emotions and behaviors that follow. In identifying possible faulty or negative interpretations of events, the hope is that new skills can be developed and coping behaviors learned.


In addition to CBT, I utilize Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills training to emphasize Mindfulness and the incorporation of Distress Tolerance and Emotion Regulation Skills when indicated. These skills can not only support individuals in managing current or acute stressors but can be carried forward from therapy to future life challenges as needed.  


Entering therapy can be an overwhelming experience. It’s not easy to disclose personal feelings or experiences, to trust that you will not be judged or misunderstood, and to allow yourself be vulnerable. In the right environment, however, and at the right time, real changes can be made in sharing a burden with someone else. I believe that warmth, respect and a sense of humor all help to establish a strong therapeutic relationship. I am sincerely committed to providing a safe and open space where the work can begin towards achieving an individual and personal sense of fulfillment.

What To Expect

The first appointment is typically an evaluation session. A time for me to gather information about what brings you to treatment, the symptoms you are experiencing, and to hear more about your life and history. It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and assess your comfort in our working together. Finding someone you feel can listen, understand and support you through this time in your life is probably the most important choice you can make when entering therapy and I encourage you to make the decision that feels right for you. I firmly believe that the alliance between therapist and client is one of the most important aspects of a successful therapeutic relationship. At our second appointment, we will begin the therapy process and together develop goals for treatment. 

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