Donna Dempster Gundy, MEd, LMFT
Individual, Marriage and Family Therapist

“I want to know what became of the changes
We waited for love to bring
Were they only the fitful dreams
Of some greater awakening…”
Jackson Browne
The Pretender

    The American marriage and family is under siege. Stressors come from every direction, making life a burden for many people. Children, mortgages, making ends meet, longing for connection, depression and anxiety can make home not the safe haven hoped for on one's wedding day.  
    “Stage of life” problems (teenagers, mid-life), can make life feel like a drudge rather than a joy. Marriages suffer as each member feels alternately overwhelmed, resentful and deprived of the mutual satisfaction they thought that love would bring. Communication can be compromised, and the sense of connection, intimacy and sexual satisfaction can dwindle. Children suffer as their parents become unhappy with each other and their lives. Couples question whether or not they want to remain married. Chronic unhappiness can lead to depression and anxiety which have an adverse effect on health. Happily, in most situations, the negative slide can be moved to a more positive direction. Many couples can do this on their own, but sometimes consultation with a marriage and family therapist can be of benefit.  
      Theoretical Background    
    Since 1982, I have been practicing Individual, Marriage and Family Therapy from a background in family systems therapy. The family systems therapist is constantly attuned to the systems in which each person resides; extended family, nuclear family, work, school and social network. Past issues are studied as they impact present day functioning. Therapeutic sessions examine present difficulties and solutions for improvement in the context of how those systems are impacting the well being of the individual and the family. Sessions are active and interactive with both therapist and client working toward common goals.

      Training and Practice    
    I graduated from Smith College and from Columbia University with a degree in Counseling Psychology. After working for several years as a high school guidance counselor, I left for postgraduate training with the Center for Family Learning, a clinical institute dedicated to the advanced training of marriage and family therapists. As a current member of the faculty, I have been a research member of the Child and Adolescent Project, the Chronic Illness Project and, for the last decade, the Marital Project. The projects are designed to research issues that confront families with the goal of developing protocols to help therapists help families and couples. My expertise is in couple issues such as communication, affairs, substance abuse and step family issues. I work with adolescents and children within the framework of the family as well.  
    I have a private practice in Rye, and my office hours are very flexible. I am married with three grown children. I believe that anyone seeking treatment should be comfortable with the person they see and vice versa. Every first session is a consultation where we both decide if we want to work together. Most insurance plans accept me out of network. Please feel free to give me a call with any questions any time.  
Phone: 914.967.2863
      Office Hours by Appointment
164 Julian Street
Rye, NY 10580
Family Systems literature
Personal Articles:
As Cool as They Want to Be, NY Times    
        How to Listen to Your Child    
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