About Us

Our mission

Polaris Psychological Services seeks to provide quality evidenced-based psychological services to the young men and women of New York and Connecticut so that they may overcome mental health challenges and forge a more meaningful life.

Our vision

A world where young men and women are holistically healthy and capable of making what they want of their life.

Meet our therapists

Paul Doolan, Psy.D.

View Paul’s Bio

Andrea Arruda, Psy.D.

View Andrea’s Bio

Have more questions?


Does therapy work?

Thousands of studies have determined that there are consistent and positive effects of therapy. Further, the average person receiving therapy is better than nearly 80% of people who do not seek treatment. That said, there are many forms of evidence-based treatment and many more mental health professionals, all of whom do not (or should not) treat every kind and type of mental illness. Therefore, we strongly recommend that if a person does decide to seek therapeutic support, that the person ask the mental health professional questions to help determine if there is a fit between what the person is needing and what the professional can offer in terms of treatment.

How long does therapy take?

Good question and most people are not surprised when we say that “it depends.” There are a myriad of variables that impact prognosis (e.g. motivation, co-occurring diagnoses, quality of a person’s support system, substance use, and environmental factors). All of this said, we have conversations with our client’s early and often about how we operationally define progress and look to markers that may signify that you have achieved the outcome(s) that you are wanting from engaging in therapy. We have clients where the work is very specific and time-bound where we work together for a period of a couple months and other clients where the work is nearer to 6 months or a year. Frequency of sessions in the beginning are once-per-week but as progress as made, session frequency may decrease to bimonthly or once-per-month. The important thing to remember is that this is our client’s process and they have the agency to make the decision about if they are wanting to engaged in the work.

How does motivation to engage in therapy play a role?

Ambivalence is a frequent experience in therapy. It is inaccurate to think that motivation is static and unchanging, wherever a person falls in the spectrum, high, low, or somewhere in the middle. It is equally inaccurate to think that a person is equally motivated to change all behaviors that were collaboratively targeted at the beginning of the work. We implore anyone who may be reading this and thinking that they may want to engage in therapy but want to wait until they are motivated to make the commitment to therapy, to entertain the idea that motivation to begin therapy is not critical to positive therapeutic outcomes. Sure, it may be helpful, but it is far from necessary.

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