Maria Bruce

Psychotherapy, LMHC, MD
Maria Bruce is a psychotherapist, coach & consultant who works with adults looking to improve personal and professional development, manage stress, strengthen emotional wellbeing, and cope with life changing events (end of a relationship, changing jobs, having a baby, adjusting to a new city). She received her Master’s from NYU, and MD from Universidad del Salvador in Argentina.
Specialties: Personal Growth, Executive Function Coaching, General Mental Health
Finances: Accepts Out-of-Network
Provider
Profile
“The aim of therapy is to become more aware of how our thoughts, feelings, and actions interplay, and learn that managing them has positive results. It helps to avoid feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or burnt-out, and enables you to think differently, take action, and have a “glass half full” mentality.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist? What inspired you to choose this profession?
My path was a long and winding road. Learning that life changes, and that things do not always happen as they “should”, are the lessons that made me the therapist that I am today. I got my medical degree in Argentina and started my specialization in Sports Medicine, where sport psychology soon became my main interest. But the “winding road” also included working as a label and artist manager in the music industry. Each experience taught me that even the most talented and successful individuals have their struggles. The path to conquering goals and to achieving happiness and fulfillment, is more complicated than it might seem from the outside. In my practice today, I work with professionals from many different industries all with the objective of achieving a healthy personal/work life balance, and becoming their “best selves” in all aspects of life.
What would you want someone to know about working with you?
My main objective is to understand the concerns of the person coming to see me. I learn the context and background of where he/she is coming from and clarify their goals. With that information we create a plan or strategies tailored to their needs, schedules, and life. The reasons why people come to see me vary; they include managing stress and anxiety, frustrations, feeling stagnant, unfulfilled, or even depressed. They come looking for a change that will allow them to be more in control, satisfied, and happier with their personal and professional lives. My approach is based on cognitive-behavioral, solution-focused, and positive psychology principles.
Is there any research-based work you’ve done that you found particularly exciting and how has that informed your practice today?
One of the tools that I use in my practice is biofeedback. It uses technology to give insight into how your body reacts to external circumstances like stress. This awareness of how different physiological systems work - and thus affect how you think, feel, and act- allows you to learn techniques to gain control over them at will. For example, if you are someone that finds it hard to remain calm under pressure, feels on edge, or unable to focus, this tool teaches you how to regain control over your mind and body (i.e. breathing pattern, heart rhythm, thoughts and emotions), and enables you to perform at your best.
If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant try it, what would that be?
Psychological well-being is a fundamental part of personal growth and development, with direct impact on interpersonal relationships, productivity, success, and ability to achieve happiness. We are going through changing times where people are becoming more purposeful and open to taking care of themselves - both in mind and body. The aim of therapy is to become more aware of how our thoughts, feelings, and actions interplay, and learn that managing them has positive results. It helps to avoid feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or burnt-out, and enables you to think differently, take action, and have a “glass half full” mentality. This is crucial to many aspects of life: family, friends, work, community, amongst others.
What excites you most about the evolving mental health landscape?
We are starting to overcome the stigma of mental health struggles and illnesses and as a result are seeing more openness, awareness, and information on holistic balance. This includes, taking care of our minds, as well as our bodies - a fundamental aspect of primary care and health promotion. There has been a shift in how people are viewing self care. They are giving as much importance to taking care of their cognitive, behavioral and emotional well being as they do with the rest of their bodies. Athletes, artists, successful people in business, all have been sharing their experiences of how dealing with their mental health is a crucial part of their personal and professional success.
“Even the most talented and successful individuals have their struggles. The path to conquering goals and to achieving happiness and fulfillment, is more complicated than it might seem from the outside.”
Maria practices at Alma
map to Alma