Choices Counseling & CounsultingAbout ChoicesAreas of SpecialtyAbout Arlene

About Choices

Counseling Services

Choices Counseling and Consulting offers therapeutic services for a variety of psychological and emotional needs for women and men, children and adolescents. Services include Individual Therapy, Couples Counseling, Family Therapy, and Group Counseling. Clients will receive a thorough assessment, diagnosis as appropriate, and work with a therapist to develop an individualized treatment plan to address the issues that brought them to therapy.

The staff at Choices are trained in numerous psychotherapeutic skills, including psychodynamic theory, cognitive-behavioral theory, and transpersonal psychology. Staff have received specialized training in family systems theory, including working with couples and families. Staff are trained in the assessment of substance abuse and addictions, traumatology, depression and anxiety, HIV illness, and disorders of childhood and adolescence. All clinicians support feminist, client-centered, and empowerment-based models of care.

The staff at Choices have received specialized training in issues related to relationships, sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity & expression. This includes working with lesbian and gay couples, heterosexual couples, bisexuals involved in gay or straight relationships, and any individual or couple struggling with issues related to sexuality, relationship intimacy, and coming out. Clinicians work with people struggling with sexual addictions, as well as issues related to sexual desire. Choices staff is trained in addressing gender-related concerns, including gender non-conforming behavior in children, transyouth, transgender and transsexual identity and expression in adults. The staff at Choices work with couples beginning families, struggles with infertility, and we provide homestudies for prospective parents, and post-adoption services for children and families. We also work with families with children with behavioral and emotional disorders.

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Individual Therapy is an opportunity to meet with a therapist one-on-one within a safe and confidential environment…. (read more about Individual Therapy)

Relationship, Marriage, and Family Therapy is an opportunity to meet with a therapist trained in couple and family counseling…. (read more about Relationship, Marriage, and Family Therapy)

Below is a list of common clinical concerns.

  • Relationship & Couple Issues
  • Family & Parenting Issues
  • Healing Trauma & Abuse
  • Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity
  • Depression & Anxiety
  • Relationship Violence
  • Addictions & Recovery
  • Living with HIV & Illness
  • Body Image & Eating Disorders
  • Adoption Homestudies

Choices has Professional Expertise in the following areas:

  • Family Therapy
    Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that generally involves more than one person in a family working together (parents, couples, etc.). However, family therapy is based in “systems” theory, which views families as an integrated, whole system and focuses on relationships and communication patterns rather than traits or symptoms in individual members. Family systems therapy is a way of understanding how family members impact individual lives, so individuals can engage in family therapy also. The staff at Choices are all trained in family systems perspectives, andwill sometimes work with Transgender Definitionsindividuals in a family, and also the family together as a unit.
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  • Relationship Counseling
    Relationship counseling is also called marital counseling or couples counseling, and sometimes close friends can be seek out relationships counseling. It is assumed that “it takes two to tango,” and the therapist can assist couples in working more effectively together as a team, and become increasingly sensitive to the “other side” of the issues. The staff at Choices are trained to Transgender Definitionswork heterosexual and same-sex couples, as well as larger social networks.
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  • Parenting
    Parenting might be the hardest job on the planet, and it is a rare parent that won’t find themselves “stuck” at different stages in their children’s lifestyles. Although there is much talk in the media about the challenges of single parenting, parenting with a partner has its own complex challenges also! Families coping with children with special needs, especially those with emotional and psychological issues, are in particular need of clinical support and direction. The staff at Choices works with parents and families at all stages of life, assisting them in developing and Transgender Definitionsmaintaining respectful, communicative, and emotionally connected relationships.
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  • Adoptive Families
    Families formed by adoption share many the same dynamics as other families, but also have some unique qualities and challenges. Often adoptive parents have dealt with infertility, followed by navigating the rigors of the adoption journey. Sometimes children are adopted older, and are healing from previous traumas. Additionally, many adoptions are trans-racial and/or trans-cultural, re-defining families and their identities. The staff at Choices is able to provide homestudies for prospective parents and second-parent adoptions for gay and lesbian parents. We provide pre-adoption counseling, and post-adoption counseling, and also work with many adult adoptees. Additionally, we Transgender Definitionsprovide support services for birth families placing children for adoption.
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  • Racial, Ethnic & Cultural Identity
    Racial, ethnic and cultural identity can be an important aspect of how we see ourselves in the world. Our family values, celebrations, and cultural rituals are important aspects of our identities. For immigrants, those who are separated from their families by long distances, and for those who inter-marry, cultural identity within the larger society can become complicated. The staff at Transgender DefinitionsChoices is respectful of cultural differences and receive ongoing sensitivity training in multiculturalism and diversity.
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  • Lesbian & Gay Issues
    Although society has changed dramatically over the past few decades, lesbian and gay individuals and couples have unique issues and challenges living in a mostly heterosexist culture. Coming out issues, dealing with families who may not be accepting, and work-related stress are common issues of many lesbian women and gay men. Same-sex couples have struggles with intimacy, conflict, and sexuality, as do all couples. Additionally, questions about getting legally married, or having children can present unique challenges. The staff at Choices has served the lesbian and gay community for over two decades, bringing expertise and sensitivity Transgender Definitionsto daily struggles and unique issues facing same-sex couples.
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  • Bisexuality
    Although it has become common to put the “B” in LGBT, bisexual people have often been ignored in the wider LGBTQ community. The staff at Choices is respectful of bisexual identity and trained to work with some ofthe unique identity issues bisexual men and women Transgender Definitionsoften experience.
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  • Transgender & Transsexual Identity
    Transgender and transsexual people face unique social and psychological challenges, including issues related to gender transition, work-relateSara Shuff-Heck, LICSW Quote about Arlene Levd problems, and family rejection. Trans people need resources and support to address their coming out issues, identity struggles, and family education. Few therapists have had training in trans-medicine, forcing trans people to educate their therapists when they are most in need of support. The staff at Choices is committed to competent practices in trans-medicine, and able to complete psychosocial evaluations for medical treatments, provide therapy andeducation for family and loved Transgender Definitionsones, assist in work-related transition issues.
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  • Gender Non-Conforming Children
    When children express cross-gender behavior, it can be very painful and confusing to parents. Unsure of whether to discourage the behavior, or support the child’s experiences, parents often end up arguing with one another, and feeling frightened for their child. School-age children who are gender atypical present unique social and clinical issues, and teens identifying as trans can magnify many of adolescent struggles. The staff at Choices is committed to working respectfully Transgender Definitionswith families dealing with gender non-conforming children, and will also provide help addressing school-related concerns.
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  • Queer Identity & Sexual Minorities
    As the LGBTQ community grows, many people are experiencing and expressing unique ways of defining their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or sexual selves. This includes queer identities which transcend and broaden ways of conceptualizing sexual orientation as well as bigender and pansexual identities. Additionally, many people engage in sexual practices like BDSM, kink and leather sexuality, and some have open relationships. Most therapists have had little (if any) training in queer identity and other sexual minorities. The staff at Choices are comfortable with people Transgender Definitionswith diverse queer identities and sexual experiences with respect and skill.
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Choices has a commitment to making therapy financially accessible. Therapists can work with many insurance companies and some services are available on a sliding scale. Follow this link for more information about Fees and Insurance.

All services are confidential and HIPPA regulations are rigorously followed to protect clients right to privacy.

Choices offices are and always have been wheelchair accessible.wheelchair


Choices Counseling and Consulting
523 Western Avenue
Suite 2A
Albany, New York 12203
518-438-2222 (phone)
518-438-7777 (fax)