Catherine’s Bio

I am Catherine Cleveland PhDs, LMHC. I am a Board Certified Licensed Mental Health Counselor, author, speaker, supervisor, and a private practice business consultant.

My Background

Although I was raised in the beautiful Geneseo, NY area, I attend school (Harley) in the Brighton, NY area. I was raised with a strong work ethic, spent my life riding and racing horses, and married my amazing [late] husband Carl, a 5th generation dairy farmer. I am a level III member of The Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA; Alpine & Telemark) and have been coaching and sponsored for over 27 years.

I studied international business and marketing at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and spend my adult life a an entrepreneur. In my late 40s I decided to follow my soul and learn about the “whys?” of human behavior, so I returned to school at the University of Rochester (UR) to study Mental Health Counseling and Counseling Education for my masters and my PhD.

In addition to being a mental health counselor, I offer a Private Practice Residency Program and Internships to interested graduates and graduate students because I love helping others find their courage and create themselves as meaningful and purposeful counselors/therapists.

Currently, I have published 3 of 5 interactive Journaling books. My patients, group members, residents, interns, and students have found these workbooks “eye opening” to deeper self-understanding, self-acceptance, and more fulfilling lives.

My Commitment to You

My commitment to you as your counselor, will be to create a space for you to safely and privately express your problems and personal pain. 

My commitment to you is to enhance your counseling experience, therefore, we co-create your treatment process (rather than dictated by the insurance companies) with the intention to reach your goals and desired outcomes.

(585) 432-0313 ~

Theories & Interventions

Theories and interventions are treatment modalities which provide the necessary framework and scaffolding to support the healing process in addition to developing well-being and finding meaning and purpose in your life (no matter what stage of life you are in).

Short-Term Dynamic (Habib Davanloo) – as an integrative experiential dynamic approach. This intervention facilitates the rapid resolution of a broad spectrum of emotional distress. Short-term dynamic interventions are specifically designed to heal issues such as anxiety, depression, and somatization disorders (such as chronic pain), PTSD, and more severe psychosis. This collaborative intervention alleviates a variety of self-harming behaviors, many of which derive from traumatic experiences including unstable or troubled early life attachments (emotional neglect, verbal abuse, physical & sexual abuse, and assault).

Compassionate Inquiry® (Gabor Maté) is a psychotherapeutic approach that reveals what lies beneath the appearance we present to the world. Through Compassionate Inquiry, the patient can recognize the unconscious dynamics that run their lives and how to liberate themselves from them. “The purpose of Compassionate Inquiry is to drill down to the core stories people tell themselves – to get them to see what story they are telling themselves unconsciously; what those beliefs are, where they came from; and guide them to the possibility of letting go of those stories, or letting go of the hold those stories have on them …

Existentialism (Frankl, May, Yalom) – The goal of existential therapy is to help people find meaning and purpose in their lives. When successful, it will help you find your true nature through intrinsic creativity and accomplishment. You learn to be your authentic self with compassion and boundaries instead of living a life filled with guilt and fear.

Strengths-Based (Donald Clifton) – Focuses on your attributes rather than your weaknesses. Helping you identify your strengths that you may not have previously considered. For example, a strength that you have is taking steps to address issues to improve your mental health.

Mindfulness-Based (Kabat-Zinn; Tolle) – Mindfulness is a method of non-judgmentally paying attention to yourself and your environment in the present moment. With practice, you will be able to notice the amount of energy you spend on ruminating or anxious thoughts (possibly disrupting your quality of sleep). Mindfulness-based interventions develop present moment and intrapsychic awareness thus diminishing uncontrolled intrusive and self-judging thoughts.

Healing Pranayama (Baker, Cleveland) – Pranayama is the practice of conscious breathing for mental and physical wellness. In Sanskrit (the ancient language of Hinduism), prana means “vital life energy” and yama means “to control.” Healing Pranayama is a therapeutic method that helps strengthen the connection and alignment between body, mind, and soul. Regular practice bestows profound physical and releases of emotions and block healthy energies. The Healing Pranayama practice strengthens healthy and adaptive neural activity while weakening the habitual patterns of undesired thoughts and behaviors. It is designed to help develop deep connectedness onto the being of your soul, your essence. 

Humanistic Psychology (Maslow, Rogers) – emphasizes looking at the whole individual and stresses concepts such as free will, self-efficacy, and self-actualization. Rather than concentrating on dysfunction, humanistic psychology pays special attention to such phenomena as creativity, free will, and the human potential. Humanistic psychology acknowledges spiritual aspiration as an integral part of the psyche. Autonomy and self-determination are encouraged.

Polyvagal Mapping (Stephen Porges) – Polyvagal mapping explains how neuroception (unconscious perceiving) affects the nervous system. How do you react to situations that you perceive to be distressing? For example, fight (anger, temper) flight (avoidance), or freeze (depressing, shutting down). Somatic (physical) symptoms such as anxiety and depression are directly related to your central nervous system through vagus nerve stimulation. Environmental and intrapersonal triggers related to PTSD, chronic pain, and social anxiety can be processed and healed through mapping (intrapsychic focus) the vagal nervous system.

Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (Bruce Perry) – Based in brain science, early attachment problems can cause developmental trauma to a fetus, infant, or child – just when the brain is developing. External experiences profoundly influence the development of the brain. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) shape the brain’s organization, which, in turn, influences the person’s emotional, social, cognitive, and physiological development and behaviors. Healing begins with relationships – first through the relationship with yourself and then with others.

The power is in you. The answer is in you. And you are the answer to all your searches: You are the goal. You are the answer. It’s never outside.

~ Eckhart Tolle


It is up to you to choose how often to have your sessions. Ask yourself this question: what works best for my specific situation? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Every three weeks? Monthly?

The Fee per 50-minute session is $120.00 (credit card or with insurance company reimbursement) or $110.00 if paid in cash. HSA and FSA cards are also accepted as payment.

Supervision Theories

All counselors (licensed and permitted) need a supervisor to operate an ethical practice. As a Ph.D. trained supervisor, I supervise other counselors/therapists in their practices in addition to offering a residency program to new graduates seeking licensure. Internships are also available on a limited bases to bachelor and graduate level mental health counseling students.

Discrimination Model (Bernard) This model is comprised of three separate foci for supervision (i.e., intervention, conceptualization, and personalization) and three possible supervisor roles (i.e., teacher, counselor, and consultant). For example, the supervisor may take on the role of teacher while focusing on a specific intervention used by the supervisee during a counseling session, or the role of counselor while focusing on the supervisee’s conceptualization of the work. Because the response is always specific to the supervisee’s needs, it changes within and across sessions.

Integrative Developmental Model (IDM) stresses the importance of assessing the therapist’s developmental level while at the same time providing the optimal supervisory environment for progression through those levels. The goal of the integrative developmental model (IDM) is to promote personal and professional therapist growth through three developmental levels by closely attending to the three overriding structures of Self-and Other-Awareness, Motivation, and Autonomy across multiple domains of clinical practice including intervention skills competence, assessment techniques, transference and countertransference, counselor identity, and professional ethics.


Consultation services are offered in several areas including Mental health education and private practice business development

The Business of Private Practice© is currently in progress and will be available summer or 2023. Please contact me for more information (585) 432-0313


I currently have three of five interactive mental health books available on Amazon. Each is a short explanation of how to better understand ourselves, our emotions, anxiety, guilt, anger, and shame.

What differentiates these books from other self-help type books is that they connect you to others that who are experiencing similar issues. It is the “me too” effect that this interactive approach uses to brings a sense of belonging, validation, and connectedness.

Each book has up to 18 journaling prompts that help you tell your story and awaken you to healthier and happier ways to exist in your life. Readers then have the option to submit their journal entries (anonymously) to these webpages where others can read your stories and say, “Wow! I am not the only one.” Readers journal entries are also encouraging and build resiliency.

Research Studies

Through rigorous academic training, one of my research interests relate to how the mind and body are connected. This includes how distress impacts the central nervous system and the long-term effects of emotional suppression. Physical reactions to distress often go unnoticed (neuroception), which can result in lifelong physical and mental health issues, including chronic pain, depression, anxiety, mood, and personality disorders.

My Ph.D. dissertation, a Case Study Model of Qualitative Inquiry, is about the success and processes of the Cleveland Emotional Health Network of Practices and Residency Program. This Network is an innovative model that helps recent graduates of mental health counseling masters and Ph.D. programs complete their mandated residency required for licensure. Eligible residents are selected based on interests and marketability of their innovative self-employment private practice ideas.


  • I am honored to be a part of the instructor team at the Counseling Program at the University of Rochester teaching the course EDU 510: Working with Clients’ Defenses: Psychodynamic and Emotion-Focused Approaches. This Ph.D. Level course is an evidence-based Experiential Dynamic Therapy treatment proven to be expeditious and effective, with gains maintained and even enhanced at long-term follow-up.
  • Additionally, I have the great fortune to train with and be supervised by many of the best researchers and educators in the field. These distinguished individuals include Dr. Andre Marquis (my advisor),  and Dr. Oliver Boxell (my colleague), and Marvin Skorman (my ISTDP supervisor-retired).

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