banner image
small plant


Lorna’s Background

Lorna Hayim-Baker received her master's in social work at Adelphi University in 2003 and had the good fortune of  working under the supervision of Dr. William James, owner and director director of South Shore Counseling & Psychological Services located in Wantagh, New York.  It was there where she received an endless supply of referrals, bringing in couples and/or individual clients into her office from from all walks of life and these people presented with a myriad of diagnoses. Lorna says "experience is the greatest teacher."

Lorna credits her former mother-in-law for showing her that the "empty nest syndrome" comes with choices. Like her mother-in-law before her, who chose to get her master's degree in guidance after her children transitioned into adults, Lorna also chose to go back to graduate school after her three children became adults and she too pursued a graduate degree in social work. Lorna went on to get her clinical degree in social work and added her LCSW credential to her resume, which she uses to save married and/or committed couples who are not yet married from bad break ups and disastrous divorces. She also sees a sprinkling of individual clients with multiple diagnoses.

Lorna Hayim-Baker's dream was to one day have a private practice. She states: "I had a dream that one day I would open a private practice; and that dream became a reality in 2012 when I had a vision that encompassed my mission and my purpose which go hand in hand." Her mission is saving relationships and families and her purpose is to rehabilitate couples/individual clients so they can sail through their relationships and lives more smoothly. Ms. Hayim-Baker says: "I work tirelessly to make people 'feel felt' and like they ‘matter’ and with that motto in mind, I remarried, relocated from Long Island to the Riverdale section of the Bronx and opened 'Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services' where I welcome couples/individuals into my office. 

Couples and marriage counseling is not a covered service. Most couples calling know that this type of counseling is not covered by their insurance and others are taken by surprise. Lorna has developed a new way of delivering therapy to couples; and she says not only is it more affordable, but it really works. She offers "My Premarital Marathon" to couples who have set a wedding date in the near future. She offers "My Marriage Marathon" to married couples and "My Marathon For Committed Couples Not Yet Bound By Marriage" to couples who have not taken their wedding vows but either have children together or have no children, but are really invested in their long term relationship.

Lorna's marathon sessions are not only more affordable but they are also more effective; but she quite candidly admits that she is not the right fit for every couple and that's why she offers a free phone consultation to every couple who is seeking out her services. After speaking to one or both partners, Lorna gathers a lot of pertinent information about the couple and due to her keen intuition she knows who she can help and who she cannot. She turns down many couples  because of her strict vetting process and won't accept a couple if one partner seems thin skin skinned during her free phone consultation. She provides a lot of feed back and she admits that she doesn't sugar coat the truth. Not everyone can handle the truth and she won't compromise when it comes to giving feedback to her couples and/or clients. She would rather see fewer couples who want to hear her professional opinion and she refuses to compromise her commitment to excellence and/or her level of honesty. 

Lorna also sees a sprinkling of individual clients and although she does not accept insurance, she will give them her student fee if they have a copay. Individual clients, who use their insurance get a 45 minute session and are told that they must stop when the 45 minutes are up. Being stopped in the middle of their thought and having to hold that thought until their next weekly session was a big turn off for Lorna. That does not happen in her sessions as she never books back to back. Her individual sessions are 60-90 minutes long. Individual clients who are willing to pay out of pocket get what they are paying for. Lorna welcomes her clients to call in between sessions with a question if they are having a difficult week. She answers her phone when she is not in session and if you leave your name, number, and best time for a callback, she will get back to you within 24 hours. 

Lorna's goal is to preserve and save all relationships with committed couples who are married and not yet married.  For the first three years of having her private practice, Lorna hired her professor, Dr. Richard Belson, from Adelphi University to supervise her private practice  to make sure she dotted all her "i"s and crossed all her "t"s.  Dr. Richard Belson was Lorna's  professor at Adelphi who taught her the course on Couples and Family Counseling in her final semester before graduating from Adelphi University.  Lorna says that setting up a private practice is a huge responsibility and she wanted to be accountable to Dr. Belson who was a professor for decades at Adelphi and who also had a private practice specializing in Couples/Marriage counseling for decades. 

Lorna's professional input is given passionately during every session and along with her empathy and keen intuition, she really makes a difference in the lives of her couples because she really cares. Her goal is teaching couples how to weather their own personal storms. Lorna has a G-d given gift, which is having an infinite amount of patience and she brings that into every session. Her time is doled out diligently with the purpose of finding some solutions as she is a "solution focused" therapist who designs unique interventions and treatment plans for couples who are struggling.

Many couples who have come to what she refers to as "My Marriage Marathon" have already spent a lot of money seeing other therapists for weekly couples' sessions. They report paying anywhere between $250-$400 for a 60-90 minute session. Regardless of how many sessions they attended, they all had a common plea for help. These couples referred to Lorna as their "therapist of last resort." These couples found Lorna from reviews that were written and posted on Google by other satisfied couples. They said that reading reviews written by other couples who appreciated Lorna's candor and complimented her truthful feedback is what made them call "Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services"; and they also complimented her on how quickly she returns phone calls. Lorna says "although I am tired and hungry after my last session for the day, I remain committed to getting back to each and every caller who does not hang up on my recording and leaves their name and number requesting a callback." Lorna is proud of her commitment in regard to her timely callbacks; and she urges potential clients to leave a message if you want a guaranteed return call.

Many couples told her that they found her online and took a long look at all the reviews written about her and collectively heard those reviews saying "Lorna was nothing short of amazing." Lorna attributes her success with these kind couples, to other kind couples who also wanted to show their appreciation by writing and posting amazing reviews about her marathon sessions that they had with her. 

On the free mandatory initial phone call, Lorna listens intently to your partner and/or to you and she gathers enough information before accepting a couple into her private practice. She will tell you that she can or cannot help you. Once a session takes place, Lorna's goal is to come up with a treatment plan that will alleviate the stressors that are threatening to destroy the fabric of so many marriages/relationships today. Lorna will not quit and until a couple can agree on a treatment plan that they are willing to follow after they leave their marathon session. 

Once a client comes in for their marathon session, Lorna welcomes all their complaints and stories that are weighing heavy on their heart. She goes over all their emotional baggage and she embraces every couple with heartfelt empathy. This is second nature to her and she points out that she is that woman who went to marriage counseling for as long as she was married and 23 years to be exact.  She asks "what profession could suit me better?"  Saving couples from disastrous divorces and bad break ups is her calling. Lorna uses her LCSW degree to attract couples who are crying out for help!  Lorna points out "for a woman like myself, this profession is the perfect match for me!"

Lorna admits that there are marriages/relationships that should not be saved; and she points that out and supports the reasons why she thinks they have reached a dead end. She recognizes when couples keep "putting a round peg into a square hole." Going to couples therapy for 22 years and getting divorced just doesn't make sense according to Lorna Hayim-Baker. Doing the same thing over and over again and not getting to a better place is the definition of insanity. Lorna's couples' sessions last long enough to "matter" and have the ability to give every couple an “aha experience." 
Lorna reiterates how much a good review means to her. Great reviews make couples find her. Reviews written by couples/clients who are satisfied with her services makes Lorna feel appreciated. "These reviews are why my phone does not stop ringing and I want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to write and post a review on Google and/or on Yelp about the services I offer."  Lorna says "Bravo" to everyone for their kind words. Lorna even says "thank you" to clients who did not write a good review, because there is no one therapist who will be the right fit for every couple.
Lorna Hayim-Baker gets back to every potential couple/client who leaves her a voicemail on (917) 270-9595.

Lorna wanted the opportunity to lend a helping hand to couples in crisis and offered the same to individuals who do not have the “where-with-all” to get to a better place emotionally without professional in-put. She feels that there are many couples and individual clients who get in their own way when they try to problem solve themselves, and despite their good intentions, they often blow up their relationships.  As a "Solution Focused" therapist, Lorna thinks outside the box by brainstorming, trouble-shooting and using critical thinking skills to alleviate the issues that are threatening to destroy the relationships of the couples who are coming to her for counseling sessions. 

Lorna comes to each marathon session with infinite patience and understanding while she teaches her couples how to communicate effectively instead of attacking one another. She wants to help her couples understand their challenges better and points out their repetitive negative patterns that are threatening to destroy their relationship. Lorna’s goes into every session with the intention to guide her couples through their rough patches so they can more easily navigate through their relationships.

Lorna works tirelessly to protect her couples from crumbling too quickly and going asunder due to all the pressures that are coming from their toxic realities. Lorna teaches and guides her couples so they can live a life that is fulfilling and worthwhile. She simply doesn't give up on her couples and goes into the next hour to insure her couples will leave with the skills and techniques to reinvent their marriage. Should couples find themselves on different pages and not understanding each other's reality, they know they can call Ms. Hayim-Baker for 4 weeks of free phone calls after having had a marathon session with her; and Lorna is welcoming to all the couples who need to troubleshoot with her because they have gone off track.  Lorna works with both partners over the phone until both partners feel they have made a comeback. She stays on long enough to get most of her couple's back on track and if they need another session there is no minimum in terms of time. There is a minimum of two hours for the marathon sessions and she blocks out six hours for every couple that she accepts and she asks them to do the same; but they only pay for the hours that they use. All fees are discussed during the free phone consultation.

Just coming to a marathon session or an individual session does not mean their sessions are a “slam dunk.” On the contrary, she explains, that her sessions are only effective when the couples leave her office and incorporate her suggestions and make them a part of their daily routines. Their success is all about carrying out the tasks they learned in session and which if incorporated into their daily routines, will enhance their emotional bond. In many cases the couples never formed an intimate and strong bond, so we have to start from the ground up and reinvent their relationship. Couples must stick to their assigned  treatment plans discussed in the therapeutic setting if they expect to see change and growth in their relationship.

As previously discussed, Lorna offers three types of couples’ marathons and refers to them as “My Marriage Marathon” for married couples, “My Premarital Marathon” is for couples who are engaged to be married and have already set a date to get married legally and she also offers “My Marathon for Committed Couple Not Yet Bound By Marriage” which is for couples who have children together or for couples who have been together many years and have the intention of staying with each other but do not have children in common or have no children.  She works hard with every couple who tells me they want to repair and/or improve their relationship. All these sessions have one thing in common. Both partners are invested in not only saving their relationship but they also want to make their relationships better. I request that couples coming to my marathon sessions must stop holding onto grudges and grievances from the past and leave them behind if they want a more promising present. 

Living in the present means working to rebuild their emotional bond and perhaps reinventing their existing relationship. Couples coming to these session have been fighting for a long time and by the time they get to their marathon session they are often furious and angry with one another for quite awhile and that type of scenario is responsible for severing their emotional bond. Some couples have never even established an emotional bond. There can be no intimate relationship emotionally or physically without having an emotional bond in tact, therefore, Lorna  prioritizes building and/or rebuilding their emotional bond. 

By the time many couple get to therapy they are resenting each other and disrespecting one another by either stonewalling their partner or attacking them with vicious verbal abuse which is causing their spouse/partner to become defensive. The goal is to teach couples how to stop stonewalling one another because that is known to break up relationships and to teach them how to express their hurt  feelings, so resentment does not seep into the fabric of their relationship. 

Couples begin communicating more effectively after we go over their lists (upon making each appointment Lorna prescribes both partners to make their own list of what their partner does too much of and what they do too little of and to also list any other complaints that they have about each other) which they bring to their session, but she has instructed them not to go over the list until their session begins. We go over both lists together. Sometimes this takes a lot of time as one or both partners often feel betrayed in some way.

Lorna points out to couples what they are doing over and over again when she sees a negative repetitive pattern. She brings the pattern to their attention so the area of much needed change is not only talked about but they are taught how to break the cycle. Lorna nixes all their repetitive negative patterns of behavior and provides them with psycho-education so they begin to learn and understand what must go into the underpinnings of a solid and flexible relationship. Couples must first understand what they are doing to cause constant commotion and chaos in their present day relationship before they can embrace real change. Carving a way out of their constant chaos means pointing out how to avoid their pitfalls. Stopping the negative chaotic cycle is a good place to begin.

Couples coming to Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services for Lorna’s marathon sessions are desperate to save their marriage/relationship and they work intensely together to avoid the worst result, which is a couple who self detonates and withdraws from each other during their couple's therapy session. Having such a result is a  therapist’s worst nightmare and a horrible outcome for the couple.  It is the job of the therapist to keep the couple on track and to prevent them from going down their same old pitiful and pathetic paths from their past.

Lorna helps couples to recognize roads which are the right fit for them and which will ensure their survival.  Couples discard the ineffective paths they have taken thus far because their present state of their relationship  is surrounded with despair in the air. Reinventing relationships often means rebuilding their emotional bond which has been severed or is nonexistent; and that takes time because trust, loyalty, and commitment must exist in a good relationship. Happiness is not the goal we are seeking in marriage. That very ingredient "happy" can be the “undoing” of a marriage. Marriage is not about white picket fences and fancy jewelry, it is more about showing up emotionally when their partner needs them.  

It is crystal clear that couples coming to therapy have not gone down the road less traveled, which would have given them different and better options to create ‘kodak moments’ which gets deposited into their emotional bank account. “Kodak moments” are part of a good relationship but happen only here and there, but they do strengthen a relationship. Increasing a couples “kodak moments” does foster the development of a better emotional bond. 

Lorna goes over so many intimate details of their lives together; and she digs deep, by probing into every nook and cranny and leaving no stone unturned to get to the source of their problems. Couples are asked questions and wonder why she is even asking all those questions; and by going that route, she uncovers all their challenges and weaknesses before she feels confident enough to teach them how they can navigate more smoothly through their marriage/relationship. Getting couples to travel down the right roads and ones they have not yet explored, is what therapists are trained to do.  Couples therapy is very challenging for therapists, but they all want their couples to have the best possible outcome and do not want their session to end abruptly. 

Dedicated therapists fear that their couples can leave without a dedication to the communication skills that were taught during the session or not adhere to other suggestions that were emphasized to reinvent their relationship. All therapists want their couples to take away the skills that they have spent so much time talking about and teaching during their couples' sessions. Most of Lorna’s couples leave their sessions with hope; and they begin using the skills they were just taught to avoid dire consequences of returning to their same old behaviors that they resorted to in the past and which have distanced them from one another in the past.  

Lorna’s encourages all her couples to agree on one matter if they want to be able to embrace real change. Both spouses/partners must pledge that they will not bring up the past. The past is why every couple is where they are today. They can hold on to any moral that they have learned in their past or talk about what turned them into a better person; but every couple must give up holding grudges and/or airing past grievances that they have become embedded into their brains. 

In order to get a really good result from couples’ therapy, couples must look at each other with a feeling of hope , have a positive attitude and pledge to stop harping on the past. Couples must stop throwing up the past if they are truly invested in a better future. There simply is no room for those two emotions (grudge holding and airing grievances) if you want your relationship to thrive and have a brighter and better future.

One of the hardest challenges of all is getting clients to pay out of pocket for a service that their insurance company will not cover. No insurance company covers marriage/couples counseling, however, clients who really want to work hard at their intimate relationships are willing to pay out of pocket for a service they can not find anywhere else. Lorna has designed a whole new platform when it comes to counseling couples because she knows what is effective and what is not. Lorna draws knowledge in this area from her own life experience of having gone to marriage counselors on a weekly basis for one hour sessions, which left her husband and her feeling that their sessions were way too short to accomplish anything.

Lorna attended weekly sessions with her husband for as many years as they were married (22 years to be exact); and with hindsight and talking to many other couples who also attended weekly sessions, she realized that most couples resented going to weekly marriage counseling sessions because it took place after their spouses/partners came home from work and they all expressed feeling too tired from their day, too hungry and too rushed. She commiserated with other couples and everyone agreed that the last thing they needed was going outside their homes to get an hour of therapy that wasn’t working. 

Lorna reports that their common complaint was that weekly sessions were inconvenient and ineffective because our spouses were tired; and in addition, “we were all unhappy paying hired help to tuck our children into their bed for the night; and we realized that tucking our children into their beds at their exact bedtime was a challenge that we all welcomed and one that we all found to be a warm, yummy and intimate ‘kodak moment,’ which in and of itself was a rewarding ritual for each one of us.” Couples’ therapy sessions during the week and after work were causing all of us to feel resentful about therapy in general because in our minds couples’ therapy was robbing us from having these blissful intimate moments with our children. As a result, Lorna will never see couples who have young children during evening hours. The general consensus among all the couples who attended weekly sessions were one and the same and they were all seeking out a marriage counselor who could see them at a more convenient time (preferably on weekends) and for a few hours or more if necessary.

Years later and after opening up her own practice, Lorna noticed couples perking up as she described her vision of a couples’ marathon session. Lorna outlined what a marathon session would look like to other couple's therapists and not one therapist was willing to spend so much time with one couple. This gave Lorna the impetus to design a whole new platform for couples counseling/marriage therapy. Her vision made sure that a couple's session would be no shorter than two hours and had a maximum of six hours available on her end; and she asked her couples to have the same six hours on hand, yet they would only have to pay for the hours that they used. 

Lorna gives up her weekends to accommodate couples who cannot take off six hours on a weekday because their pay would be docked. She does not accept insurance because marriage/couples therapy is not a covered service by any insurance company. Lorna answers her phone whenever she is not in session and not on the phone giving a potential couple or client their free phone consultation. She guarantees a call back within 24 hours if you do not hang up on her recording. Potential couples/clients are urged to leave her a voice-mail (not a text and not an email) and she guarantees that you get a call back within 24 hours if you state your name, number and some good times for a call-back. 

Individual clients realize that seeing a therapist who does not accept insurance, but is a therapist who will also gives them a sixty to ninety minute session instead of a forty five minute session sounds like it has value and possibilities. Individual clients breath a sigh of relief when they no longer have to stop their session in the middle of a thought. Therapists who accept insurance see clients every forty five minutes and they must adhere to a forty five minute schedule through out their day and will stop the session even if their client hasn't finished their thought.

Lorna offers a free mandatory phone consultation to keep her practice safe and successful. It is all about hand picking the right couples and/or individual clients who will benefit from her services. She is quite intuitive and she can tell which couples/clients will mesh well with her personality and be able to benefit from her services. She listens intently to each couple and/or one partner as they describe why they have picked up the phone to call a therapist. As the potential client describes their problem, Lorna asks some pertinent questions to get an idea about what they are expecting to gain from meeting with a therapist. She specifically asks them if both spouses/partners are in agreement and want to come to a marathon session. Lorna instructs one partner to tell the other partner about her fee and the possible length of a  marathon session. Sometimes the caller will ask if she can talk to their spouse or partner to answer their questions as well, and Lorna makes herself available and gives the significant other their free phone consultation when necessary. Lorna feels it is a good idea to speak with both partners because the one she didn’t talk to may be the type of person that would not mesh well with her personality or with her level of honesty.

Lorna’s memorable moments in this field happen when a couple compliments her marathon sessions or happens soon after the session and when they are taking the elevator down to the lobby and they turn to her and say, “we really appreciate you” or “we learned so much from this session.” 

Lorna found the most perfect profession for herself.  Lorna feels like she is going to a newly released movie every time she meets with a new couple. Yesterday she literally conducted “My Marriage Marathon” for eight and a half hours and she claims that the session flew by so quickly. Lorna does not have a cut off time and her max amount of hours is six hours, however, this couple was a complicated couple who had extenuating circumstances, so she made an exception, and yesterday's session reached an all time high of eight and a half hours! Needless to say, Lorna felt that they were very grateful.

Lorna came up with a very different modality for couples’ therapy and it was designed with the constant complaints coming from her couples. She was propelled to design a couples' session that lasted long enough “to matter” and one that would provide an “aha experience” to each and every couple. She remembers her personal experience with weekly sessions and claims just getting to the weekly sessions caused dissension and contention. She and other couples left weekly therapy sessions saying "hourly sessions fly by" and then they would just sigh and lose hope because they were not taught how to cope when one partner or the other turned a molehill into a mountain, and/or became emotionally dysregulated and went from 0-100. 

Lorna points out that most couples go into therapy thinking they would be given a set of tools, or shown a particular technique or skill to help ward off some of their fights when they lose their way and become frazzled; but the couples who Lorna spoke to said they were literally taught nil. The couples who were calling had common complaints about their previous couples' counseling experiences. Lorna felt much the same way that they felt. Couples all had the common complaint that after leaving their couples’ sessions they did not learn how to get back on track after an argument derailed them; and they wanted to learn some concrete concepts and specific skills to use when they went into crisis mode. Most couples told Lorna, that upon leaving their couples' sessions, they left with a feeling of emptiness and a lack of hope.

Lorna Hayim-Baker set up her private practice "Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services" to target those couples who have the patience and the commitment needed to sit through a marathon session that has a minimum of two hours and can last as long as six hours. Couples who want to thrive will put in the work at home. They plan on "putting the petal to the metal" and giving their all to their relationship. She prefers that you and she both have six hours blocked off for your marathon session, but you only pay for the hours that you use. Lorna’s flexibility and empathy and infinite amount of patience has allowed her to accommodate clients who need a little more time for questions.

All couples, once they complete their marathon sessions, are given a four week window for free phone calls, where Lorna Hayim-Baker will answer their phone calls and will trouble shoot with them to get them back on track. Future sessions do not have a two hour minimum and couples pay by the hour. 

Couples come to therapy seeking solutions to their problems and they want to learn how to substitute their negative repetitive behaviors with new behaviors that can help them extinguish their disputes before molehills turn into mountains. Lorna is a “solution focused therapist” and when couples come to her, she can often come up with a unique idea before their minor dispute leads to a brutal attack because of her ability to think "outside the box." She prides herself with giving her couples a “go to” plan, should emotions run a muck. 

Couples call her who feel defeated by their last therapy session with other therapists and she asks them what their therapist discussed during their failed session. She does not want to take on couples who cannot be helped by any therapist and we know those kind of couples are out there. To protect her reputation and own self esteem, Lorna questions herself and asks “can I do better for them and really mean it?” When Lorna comes across a couple like this she says with candor, “maybe yes and maybe no.” 

There is certainly a possibility that she is not the right fit for certain couples and as the saying goes, nobody “can fit a round peg into a square hole.” That last line is very upsetting to Lorna, however it is the truth, and she emphasizes that Dr. Belson advised her about this during her supervisory sessions with him. He told her that it is impossible for any one therapist to be the right therapist for every client or couple; and he made it clear that some clients/couples will never find the right therapist for them. That was a very important piece of information that Dr. Belson imparted to her; and due to his advice, Lorna no longer takes it personally when a client or couple seems like a mismatch for her and/or for the services she offers.

Lorna’s free phone consultations are now mandatory and its purpose is for clients to listen to her feedback when they share their recent altercation. Lorna wants her potential couples to hear how she would respond in session and offers them feedback that is not sugar coated because she wants to make sure they can handle a therapist who tells them the truth from her perspective. This helps to eliminate thin skinned clients who cannot handle her level of honesty. Lorna has come to realize that most of the couples calling who do not seem to mesh with her, are the couples who tend to leave bad reviews and worse yet, they are the kind of couples who are capable of taking control of her session and aborting their marathon mid session. Despite being intuitive, Lorna cannot always make sure she is accepting a couple who will benefit from her therapy; but her track record is pretty good.

Couples are scheduled to come into one of Lorna’s marathon sessions only on their day off even if it means giving up her weekends. She says that in all good conscience, she cannot take money for her services when she knows a couple is using a work day to come in for one of her marathon sessions, because it means they are taking money out of their pocket to pay her for the session and at the same time their boss is taking money out of their weekly paycheck for missing a day of work. That’s why Lorna sees couples seven days a week and she uses her personal time to make sure couples are scheduled to come in on their day off. 

By the time the free phone consultation ends, a couple or a client knows that Lorna is not just in this field to make money; and they sense how dedicated she is when it comes to helping couples and/or individual clients. Lorna’s marathon sessions have a minimum of two hours and can last  anywhere between two to six hours. During her mandatory phone consultations, Lorna also discusses her fee. 
Call Lorna Hayim-Baker directly on (917) 270-9595 for your free phone consultation.

Lorna offers a marathon session only to couples who she intuitively feels will be able to form a therapeutic bond with her. Bonding with your therapist is necessary for a good outcome and she turns downs couples for whom she is not the right fit. It becomes crystal clear with whom she will click with and with whom she will not click.”

Dozens of therapists have asked her to teach them how to conduct a marathon session, but when they  meet, they were overwhelmed by the thought of spending two to six hours with one couple. Lorna claims that no one else wants to offer this type of therapy because it requires what seems like an endless amount of time and patience with one couple at a time; and it is not a big money maker.  Lorna tried reassuring therapists that when their marathon session ended, they would walk away knowing that they just saved a couple from an ugly and/or awful breakup or prevented a couple from going through a disastrous divorce, and that alone would fill them up and make them feel successful. Unfortunately, most therapist have to make a living and there is more money to be made by seeing individual clients throughout the day for forty five minute sessions. Money seems to matter even in the world of psychotherapy.

Couples come to Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services after having paid between $200-$400 for their past weekly couples' sessions and reported that they didn’t not get anywhere. Lorna is certain that her marathon sessions have substance, momentum, and they flow because she pays attention to both partners and literally feels like she is watching a movie. In these marathon sessions, couples are told that they are like the two main characters in the movie; and Lorna is the therapist who is watching their body language and listening to every word that they say. 

Lorna claims that couples, for the most part, walk away from her marathon sessions with a feeling of hope; and they also walk away having learned new skills and techniques which helps them reinvent their marriage/ relationship. Couples who feel like embracing change and wanting to thrive leave her sessions empowered because they have learned to recognize and track their own toxic behavior in time to extinguish minor disputes before one or both partners become dysregulated. The feedback I get from satisfied couples is that they no longer turn molehills into mountains and they stay regulated during a heated discussion. 

Lorna admits that her “insight” is contagious and couples quickly adapt to her way of thinking when they are directed to examine their relationship by looking through a new and different lens. This all happens after couples leave her office. She can tell when couples walk away feeling that their session a was a real “eye opener” and one which gave them “an aha” experience.

Lorna believes because she thinks outside the box, she is able to develop a different and more effective modality based on the needs of each couple. Most of her couples leave therapy with realized gains and hope. No one is admitted into Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services without a mandatory free phone consultation that takes between five to fifteen minutes and often times a lot longer. The free phone consultation can last a lot longer if Lorna has doubt about whether or not she can get a couple to a better place. She does not want to prematurely abort a possible couples' session without there being a really good reason. 

The phones are constantly ringing at Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services with calls coming from potential couples/clients who want to have a free phone consultation. The potential couples/clients are calling either because they read Lorna Hayim-Baker’s website or they have read reviews about Lorna Hayim Baker posted on Google. There are over one hundred reviews posted about Lorna and her services that she has provided during her couples sessions and for individual clients.  

Raving reviews are music to Lorna’s ears and all therapists are on the same page when it comes to reading  positive feedback from their clients and/or couples who took the time to post positive reviews on Google. Reviews written by satisfied couples/clients about their therapists are clients who are not only recommending and complimenting their therapist but they are also expressing their feelings about the services they received while in their session. These couples are shouting from the rooftop that they have found the right match and were able to form a therapeutic bond with their therapist; and that is probably why they had such a successful outcome. These grateful couples actually want other couples to also have a successful outcome and that is why they take time to write and post a review. "All I can say is ‘Bravo’! to all those couples who took the time to write a review for me and it is because of them that my phone is constantly ringing."

Lorna credits those reviews to her vetting process. The purpose of giving potential couples/clients her free phone consultation is to make sure the couple/client clicks with her on that initial call. Lorna claims that she still gets calls from potential couples/clients who come off hostile, angry and/or defensive during their free phone consultation and that raises a red flag. Lorna feels that type of client is too risky and chances are that they will not be able to form a therapeutic bond with her;  and she will turn down any couple who raises a red flag.

Lorna is looking for a client base who can hear an honest assessment and deals with truths that are not sugar coated. She wants to give feedback where she is not inhibited or fearful of their reaction. Lorna shares that many couples' therapists walk on eggshells in order not to disturb the peace just to ensure repeat business by the same couple. Those therapists are more concerned about the couple booking their next appointment so they can charge them for a second session. Lorna's goal is to get them to a much better place during their first marathon session; and she is hoping they do not need a second marathon session. 

There are many couples/clients who sweep the crumbs under the rug to keep the peace. They will not be enabled to go that route at Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services. Lorna helps her couples identify each and every crumb swept under the rug in the past, because she knows that their resentments are buried under their rugs. Lorna encourages her couples'/clients to unburden themselves of all their resentments by talking about how they feel about each and every crumb that they swept under their rug. She feels that grudges will subside as they are unloaded and resentments will subside after the couple discusses what resentments they are still holding onto. Couples must be asked to explain what caused them to feel resentful in the first place. Once we address all their resentments, the line of communication opens up. Communication lays the groundwork for a brighter and better future. 

If you want to have your free phone consult before making an appointment, please call Lorna Hayim-Baker from Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services on (917)-270-9595. Lorna Hayim-Baker answers her phone personally if she is not in session. Please do not hang up on her recording. All interested couples/clients who want their free phone consultation will get a return call back within 24 hours if you leave a voicemail stating your name, number and best times for a call back.

Lorna’s policy of weeding out couples and individual clients who she feels will have a bad outcome and also welcoming and accepting cooperative couples into "Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services” has made her a successful therapist in the world of psychotherapy. Her goal is to provide couples with a safe space for them to unload and express their issues and it is really imperative that she only accepts couples and/or clients who make her feel safe in her office. Her office feels like a safe haven because it overlooks the Henry Hudson River. Just walking into the space where Lorna counsels her couples is so soothing. Lorna states, “there is a sense of tranquility in her office because the river is staring back at us”.

Lorna Hayim-Baker prides herself with having a commitment to excellence and she is only accepting couples'/clients who mesh with her personality. She would rather see fewer clients than risk her reputation. For the most part, Lorna feels that her vetting process not only makes her unique in this field, but it also created a comfort zone for her to think "outside the box" and become an agent of change who is dis-inhibited and confident about giving creative advice and suggestions to receptive couples/clients. Lorna’s goal during her vetting process is making sure that the caller and she are the right fit for one another.  

Lorna makes sure that all couples realize that just coming to the session is not enough and they must be committed to putting in the hard work after the session ends, if they want to embrace real change in their marriages/relationships. She says her phone is ringing off the hook with potential couples/individual clients all geared up for their free phone consultation; and Lorna credits her couples who came to see her in the past and who had a good outcome with the steady calls that are coming in every day. The couples who left their marathon session feeling so satisfied with the outcome of their session and with the way the session was conducted even went an extra mile for Lorna, by posting reviews on Google. Negative reviews were also left by couples who were not satisfied, but there were only a handful of reviews that were not so good. Admittedly, Lorna agrees that there is no one therapist who will be the right match for everyone.

Admitting a couple into "Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services" who do not mesh with Lorna’s style and personality can happen from time to time, but it happens rarely because of her vetting process and the mandatory free phone consultation prior to accepting a couple. She is committed to her screening process because she finds out who is  and who is not a good fit for her before accepting them. 

People looking for a qualified therapist can tell a lot about Lorna Hayim-Baker as a couples’ therapist and as a therapist for individual clients if they google “reviews left for Lorna Hayim-Baker or  go on Google and read reviews about "Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services.” She is that kind of therapist that you read about in those many reviews left on Google. 

Many couples’ therapists suggested to Lorna that she was rejecting couples too quickly and said that wasn’t fair to them. These therapists were candid and said they accepted every couple who agreed to pay their fee. Lorna feels that may work for them but it doesn’t work for her. They told her that she could be selling herself short, so she took their advice and gave many couples the benefit of the doubt, despite having a gut feeling that they were not the right match for the services that she provides.  Lorna explains that she tried to broaden the population that she was willing to accept and now knows that was a mistake.  She realized you cannot fit "a round peg into a square hole." There are only a handful of bad reviews and more than one hundred reviews left by satisfied couples/clients. Had she remained true to her initial vetting philosophy that number of bad reviews would have decreased.

Lorna’s marathon sessions are more like workshops and there is a two hour minimum. Lorna blocks out six hours on her calendar because couples use anywhere between three to six hours. Couples only pay for the hours that they use.

Lorna credits herself with designing a whole new platform consisting of a new modality which she refers to as marathon therapy and she states, “I tell it like it is". She is the only therapist that offers a session that can go on for six hours and she can do that for two reasons. She has an endless amount of patience for all her couples/clients because I am passionate about saving couples from ugly break ups and/or disastrous divorces; and I hang in there for as long as needed without watching the clock, unless I know the couple has set a time limit for their session, and I do not recommend making an appointment when you have a time limit.” 

Lorna is a “solution focused therapist” who specializes in pre-marital and marriage/couples therapy; but she also extends her therapy to individual clients who are struggling with substance abuse, anxiety, depression and/or have relationship issues with potential partners. 

Lorna Hayim-Baker admits that she too went down roads less traveled and her marriage took on a circuitous theme while living out her own personal storms until they found the right therapist. The right therapist was not only able to identify their problem but that therapist also told them what they needed to do in order to resolve some of their issues. Lorna credits herself with saving her husband from cancer and for making him take responsibility for the problems he was causing to himself and to their family, that had nothing to do with his cancer. The story is too long too mention and is personal; but it put her in touch with an endless supply of psychiatrists and therapists who fall into the category of being "the best in the field."  Dr. Richard Belson, Lorna's mentor and supervisor for her practice told her to always go to the very best doctors in their field. She reports that using her personal story to help other people who are experiencing similar or the same struggles in their marriages and it helps them to know that she can identify with their struggle.

Lorna originally became a licensed clinical therapist to help people who were struggling with substance abuse. She wanted them to find their way and make it into “recovery”. She did not want young couples to struggle with alcoholism, cannabis abuse or with any other substance. She did a couple of internships at substance abuse clinics and along with her personal story she can recognize when "substance abuse disorder" is causing couples to fight even though they are in denial or really do not understand the nature of their disease. Her intent, when she went into this profession, was to help clients/couples understand that ‘Substance Abuse Disorder’ was in some way destroying their relationships and lives. 

Lorna  was prepared to see people with all different diagnoses but she found herself gravitating toward doing marriage/couples counseling because  “substance abuse disorder” was often present and running rampant in the lives of the many couples who came to her for couples’ therapy. These couples were clueless about alcoholism and did not know how to identify or define it. Other couples or one partner was smoking pot every night or throughout the day thinking that pot has been legalized by the state of New York (pot has not been legalized by the federal government) and that gives them the right to smoke pot daily. Lorna first had to educate couples so they would know how to define a substance abuse problem. That’s when Lorna become their least favorite person. Getting them to see that they have a problem is very challenging and getting them out of denial is not always possible. For this precise reason, we as therapists can not help everyone. We must try and Lorna states "I do try!" 

Lorna also enjoys coaching single clients who feel they are losing out on finding “true love.” Lorna understands that, although online dating is one of the best ways of meeting other single people, it goes against the grain of many individuals. Yet, the pandemic made online dating the most efficient and sometimes, the only way of meeting new people. Writing a bio needs to be accurate when you define who you are; and it also has to express what attributes the clients are seeking in potential life partners. She also discusses alternative avenues when it comes to meeting appropriate partners to date.

Lorna no longer sees couples and/or clients virtually. All her clients are seen in her office located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx which hangs over the Henry Hudson River. She says that for three years she saw people on Zoom, due to Covid; but therapy is much more effective with in person sessions, so why risk having a mediocre session when you can go that extra mile and come to her office? Lorna admits she is at her best when she does in person sessions. She is better able to read her couples’ body language and it is easier to hear their complaints without background noise. Virtual sessions were good enough in March of 2020 because Covid was scary and threatening and it worked pretty well but was not nearly as effective as “in person” sessions.

These days, for reasons discussed, many, if not most therapists who specialize in marriage and couples counseling have their phones constantly ringing. Lorna’s phone (917-270-9595) not only rings often, but she also answers it personally when she is not in session or in the midst of another phone consultation. Lorna has her phone turned on seven days a week and makes her self available seven days a week to accommodate difficult schedules. Weekends are booked in advance and scooped up by couples who do not work on weekends. Lorna keeps careful track of messages and endeavors to return each call personally. She guarantees a call back within 24 hours if you leave her a voicemail stating your name, number, and alternative best times for a callback and offers a free phone consultation.

Lorna prides herself as an agent of change and creates an environment that is safe enough for couples to work on sensitive areas in their relationship and the end goal is being able to communicate so much better.  

Being comfortable in your own skin is paramount before one can become the kind of a person who can embrace change. Lorna’s commitment to working hard together with every couple gives them new opportunities to turn their life around and they begin living a life worth celebrating alone or with someone else.

Your free phone consultation is mandatory before making an appointment, please call Lorna Hayim-Baker from Riverdale Therapy & Counseling Services on (917)-270-9595. Lorna Hayim-Baker answers her phone personally if she is not in session. Please do not hang up on her recording. All interested couples/clients who want their free phone consultation will get a return call back within 24 hours if you leave a voicemail stating your name, number and best times for a call back.

Lorna states that her goal is to provide couples with a safe space for them to unload and express their issues. "I also have to feel safe" is what Lorna Hayim-Baker tells her potential couples/clients.

Lorna wants to make sure that everyone reading her website understands that no insurance company covers marriage and/or couples therapy. She urges you to call your insurance company to see for yourself that this type of therapy is an out of pocket expense. Couples' therapists see patients weekly and for sessions that last an hour and at the most an hour and a half. My clients/couples have deemed these weekly session to be ineffective and say that the cost is  exorbitant. Lorna delivers couples/marriage therapy in a new and different format. A session is viewed as a marathon and there is a two hour minimum. Lorna blocks out six hours on her calendar because couples use anywhere between three to six hours. Couples only pay for the hours that they use.

 Lorna is also a solution focused therapist who specializes in pre-marital and marriage/couples therapy and she extends her therapy to individual clients who are struggling with substance abuse, anxiety, depression, relationship issues with romantic and platonic partners. 

Lorna became a licensed clinical therapist to help people who were struggling with substance abuse. She wanted them to find their way and make it into “recovery”. She did not want young couples to struggle with alcoholism, cannabis abuse or with any other substance. She did a couple of internships at substance abuse clinics and along with her personal story she can recognize when "substance abuse disorder" is causing couples to fight even though they are in denial or really do not understand the nature of their disease. "My intent, when I went into this profession, was to help clients/couples understand that ‘Substance Abuse Disorder’ was in some way destroying their relationships and lives. I was prepared to see people with all different diagnoses but I gravitated toward doing marriage/couples counseling because I found that 'substance abuse disorder’ was often present and running rampant in the lives of the many couples who came to me for therapy. They were clueless about alcoholism and did not know how to identify or define it. Others' smoked pot every night and said they were not taking any drugs. I first have to educate couples how to define a substance abuse problem. That’s when I become their least favorite person. More often than not, couples were not knowledgeable that one or both had a drinking problem or were abusing some other drug. Many people normalize drinking and smoking pot because it is legal and they do not relate to having a problem. Getting them to see that they have a problem is very challenging and getting them out of denial is not always possible. For this precise reason, we as therapists can not help everyone. We must try and Lorna states "I do try!" 

“Many people come to my practice and tell me that they just drink socially and/or occasionally. Once I hear them say that they drink socially or occasionally, then I know not to take their word at face value. I need to begin to probe. More often than not, one or both has a problem with a substance. Many domestic violence cases happen and are reported and when they come to see me, the root cause was too much alcohol by one or both partners. Drinking can cause a person to be nasty and aggressive and cause dirty fighting that gets out of control. So many people come from parents who have never been diagnosed with "substance abuse disorder." Very often I hear young people saying their parents died in their forties and fifties and even their sixties and I pay attention to that." "I cannot tell you how many of those parents died prematurely and of an alcohol related diagnosis." So many people are not educated about "substance abuse disorder" and blamed their problems on anything except the substance that they were abusing and they were not lying; but clearly they were not educated about "Substance Abuse Disorder." 

Singles Counseling

Lorna also works with clients who have challenging issues with their family of origin and extended family members, as well as with married and unmarried couples. “I often work with people who are single and who are desperate to find a life partner. Many people are clueless how to pick the right person and they are tired of the endless dating game that is getting them nowhere. So many single people tell me that they struggle with dating and finding the right partner with whom they can foster a genuine and loving relationship. "I enjoy coaching single clients who feel they are losing out on finding true love."

Lorna also coaches single people who are reluctant to use on-line web-sites or even to take a “fix up” by trusted friends because of prior failed relationships. She teaches these troubled and often lonely individuals how to change their unsuccessful dating patterns, by avoiding their negative repetitive past behaviors and errors. In elevating her single clients’ chances for success, Lorna helps them review their past dating patterns, by bringing to their attention and pointing out why they are still spinning their wheels and getting nowhere. Once she establishes a rapport with her single clients who are seeking to find loving relationships, she assists them in constructing the most inviting bios to be uploaded to their chosen sites. 

Lorna understands that, although online dating is one of the best ways of meeting other single people, it goes against the grain of many individuals. Yet, the Pandemic made online dating the most efficient and sometimes, the only way of meeting new people. Still, it is not right for everyone. “I explain to single people who engage in online dating that they have to be patient, consistent, and very careful." Writing a bio needs to be accurate when you define who you are; and it also has to express what attributes the clients are seeking in potential life partners. "Moreover, I discuss the possibilities of attending alternative avenues of meeting people, such as book clubs, theater groups, social dance classes and the like."

Lorna’s Methodology

“I have been through countless hours of individual therapy, couple’s therapy and family therapy throughout my marriage of twenty two years; and I am all too familiar with the reality that hour long sessions, even over the course of many months, often do not help a couple make enough progress in a timely enough manner and they separate prematurely." Lorna was, therefore, determined to find and employ a far more pragmatic, productive and beneficial approach. This is when she went to work and designed sessions that cover too many modules to mention. Couples come to Lorna already in crisis but she does not give up;  and that’s precisely when she puts the petal to the metal and tries to save them from disastrous divorces and/or ugly breakups and she declares that she does have a high success rate.

“Before you start to sweat profusely, and check your bank account, you must fully understand what this entails. At the beginning of each session, I give each spouse or partner his or her own therapy session with full disclosure to the other partner, who is listening quietly but intently. At this stage, I inquire about what their lives have been like in order to analyze the individual behaviors that have been causing unrest in their present day relationship. I need to know the history of both partners, since everyone is who they are today because of what they have gone through in their past. 

Lorna takes in as much information about their respective past to analyze their past patterns of negative repetitive behaviors which have been undermining their present relationships.

NOTE: Lorna will not accept a couple who cannot get a babysitter or plan to steal themselves away for three to six hours. The distraction resulting from the baby’s needs are counter-productive to the benefits to be obtained from the session.  

The Initial Consultation

These days, for reasons discussed, many, if not most therapists who specialize in marriage and couples counseling have their phones constantly ringing. Lorna’s phone (917-270-9595) not only rings often, but she also answers it personally when she is not in session or in the midst of another phone consultation. Lorna has her phone turned on seven days a week and makes her self available seven days a week to accommodate difficult schedules. Weekends are booked in advance and scooped up by couples who do not work on weekends. Lorna keeps careful track of messages and endeavors to return each call personally. She guarantees a call back within 24 hours if you leave her a voicemail stating your name, number, and alternative best times for a callback.

The Fee Structure

During the mandatory free phone consultation Lorna will also explain the initial fee and its gradation over the course of the marathon session, noting the (widely unknown) reality that marriage/couples therapy is not covered by most insurance policies. 

Lorna’s Philosophy

Lorna educates her couples and/or individual clients by pointing out their negative repetitive behaviors which have become burdensome because they may have made your relationship or dating experience  disastrous, and caused you a life of despair. Lorna wants to help you, either remain with, or pick the right person, so that both of you can obtain a relationship of fulfillment, joy and ceaseless laughter.  

Single people who want to be a part of a couple need to stop their “poor picking” which has become part of their negative repetitive pattern. “Poor picking” is a big reason why people take the bumpy highway where there is always an emotional price to pay. Taking the road less traveled (the road you do not yet know) will be the road that will allow you to sail more smoothly through your life.

Lorna wants to help you understand why bad things happen to good people so they can be avoided, if possible in all future undertakings, as far as relationships are concerned. People do not choose their lot in life, but how they think and how they act can make their time on this planet far more fulfilling. 

Therefore, a pattern of negative, repetitive behavior is self destructive and it will come to define you if you do not work on changing your actions and reactions that have become bad habits. Lorna helps you understand that these bad habits serve only to keep your wheels spinning so you are prevented from getting yourself “unstuck.” In turn, the inertia prevents you from moving on up and from having real growth as human beings and prevents you from finding a lifetime partner. This is why understanding yourself is so important. Being comfortable in your own skin is paramount to becoming the kind of a person who wants to change and turn into a person who can live a life worth celebrating alone or with someone else.

On the other hand, situations do indeed arise where Lorna can help you recognize if your present relationship is irretrievably toxic, rather than just needing improvement in specific areas. In such event, if that is the analysis and your desire, she will help you extricate yourself from a situation that is simply destined for destruction, thereby allowing you to pick up the pieces and move on to someone who is a better fit. 

So, for a far more serene, peaceful and fulfilling tomorrow, contact Lorna Hayim-Baker today - 917-270-9595

lorna baker image 2

Schedule Appointment

Start your new path in life and be the change today!

Click Here