Holly Starkman brings a broad range of experience to her work as a psychotherapist, clinical consultant and workshop leader. Holly received a Ph.D. from New York University in 2005 and an MSW degree from Hunter College School of Social Work in 1986. Her academic training has provided a solid foundation for the professional career she has established that centers around her private psychotherapy practice.
Holly’s approach in her work with individuals and groups also draws from extensive post-graduate training in a range of issues including depression, anxiety, trauma, and eating disorders. A central focus of her approach is the integration of psychodynamic psychotherapy with therapeutic interventions that match the unique needs of a client.
The blending of interpersonal and skill-based interventions includes an understanding of family, culture, and gender specific influences on the current issues or concerns. Holly has an expertise in exploring relevant past experiences while working actively with clients on present concerns and towards effective change for the future.
Holly Starkman’s professional knowledge and skill is anchored in a complement of traditional and contemporary therapies that, together, promote insight and psychological well being. A foundation of this understanding is grounded in extensive training and experience in community mental health programs and school-based counseling with youth and their families.
Holly is well-informed on the use of mindfulness principles in psychotherapy and integrates these values and skills in her work with clients who are seeking to strengthen a mind and body connection. (See section below on Mindfulness)
In addition to her clinical work, Holly has been an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University since 2007 with prior teaching experience at New York University. In 2015 she co-edited a special issue of Clinical Social Work Journal on Eating Disorders and Body Image, which included her own article on binge eating disorder in women. Holly has also written on the topic of mindfulness and parenting and will be offering an online course on mindful eating for Yellowbrick.me.
Beyond her professional role, Holly’s interests and commitment to social work values has consistently included support for social action and community-based programs. Over the past two decades she has volunteered for several community non-profit organizations, including a ten-year tenure on the grants committee of The Guilford Fund for Education in Connecticut.
Expertise in Eating Problems and Body Image Issues
Dr. Starkman conducted research on binge eating disorder in women while attending New York University. The combination of her own qualitative research and clinical experience spanning two decades has contributed to her expertise in this area. A blend of psychodynamic psychotherapy, research-based innovative techniques, and mindfulness principles and skills comprise the integrative understanding and approach in her work with individuals and groups.
Holly has further established her expertise in this area through developing an integrative group therapy model for women with binge or emotional eating problems. The eight-week psychotherapy group incorporates the use of mindfulness principles to foster awareness in connecting experiences of mind, body and self. In the model she developed, Holly thoughtfully blends evidence-based treatment in resonance with treatment based evidence. By incorporating positive outcomes from both current research and her own clinical experience, the integrative group model provides a well-grounded therapeutic support for women seeking to end a diet/binge cycle. A once-monthly women’s group and seasonal full-day workshops in this area provide ongoing support.
Click here to read more about Holly helping others overcome binge eating disorders.
Mindfulness Principals and Skills in Psychotherapy
Holly has received advanced training in mindfulness and psychotherapy, which has provided a solid foundation for understanding some of the complex aspects of mind and body integration. Mindfulness gives people distance from their thoughts and feelings, which can help them tolerate and work through unpleasant feelings rather than becoming overwhelmed by them. An understanding of mindfulness principles and skills has provided Holly’s clients with useful strategies for better managing anxiety and depression. These include simple breathing techniques, body scan, mindfulness meditation and guided imagery for increasing one’s ability to quiet their mind and calm their body.
An audio sample of a guided imagery sequence can be found on the media page of this website.
Holly Starkman combines pertinent research, advanced clinical training and a compassionate approach to support an individual’s desire for improved emotional health and overall well being.
Advanced Training has Included:
Certificate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (1987-1992)
Brooklyn Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
Mindfulness and Psychotherapy
Ronald Siegel, Ph.D.
National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine
Mindfulness: An Education Retreat with the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy
Intensive training on clinical use of mindfulness-based interventions
Led by Dr. Christopher Germer and Dr. Ronald Siegel
Imago: Proven Strategies for Helping Couples Get the Love They Want
Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt
Psychological Trauma: Neuroscience, Attachment and Therapeutic Interventions
Bessel Van de Kolk, MD
Justice Resource Institue - Boston
The Body Keeps The Score: The Integration of Body and Mind in the Treatment of Traumatized People
Bessel Van der Kolk, MD
University of Connecticut Health Center
Breakthroughs In Healing Trauma
An intensive training in Guided Imagery with Belleruth Naparstek, LCSW - Association for Humanistic Psychology
Professional Affiliations and Awards
• Connecticut Licensed Clinical Social Worker
• Connecticut Society for Psychoanalytic Psychologies - Member and Professional Mentor
• National Association of Social Workers - Member
• Fah's Beck Scholar for Experimentation and Research (2004)
Quinnipiac University Mary Lesser Award for Adjunct Faculty of the Year (2017)