About DrDeb

drdeb-photoMy Ph.D. is in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), a specialized field that has the capability of psychology and counseling to understand individuals while also being able to understand the relationships between all of the people in a family. Being an MFT is kind of like being a juggler. First you handle one ball, then you add another, then another. Each one counts; you can’t drop any of them, and you have to know how they all go together.

MFT is a non-judgmental, non-blaming approach to solving couple and family problems. When you’ve got so many balls, going, it makes no sense to point a finger at only one of them because the problem is in how they relate to each other. MFTs don’t think in terms of diagnoses. They don’t ask themselves, “What’s wrong with this person?” My thought is, “What’s right with this person? What are his strengths? How has she overcome challenges?” and the answers to those questions become my tools to help you.

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I graduated Nova Southeastern University’s doctoral program in MFT in 2001 after spending ten years doing research on emotional, verbal and physical abuse for my dissertation. I got my master’s degree from Drake University in 1978, having written a thesis about prison counseling. I did honors research abroad on the effect of the effect of the mental hospital culture on patient recovery while attending Queens College. I graduated in psychology in 1970. I have been actively practicing in the field for 35 years.

I’ve had six articles published in peer-reviewed journals [see below]* and given presentations to other therapists, published and presented dozens of times to the public, edited the mental health section of a paper run by the Miami Herald, and was an editor for the Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association.

I’ve completed basic and advanced hypnosis levels at the New York Milton H. Erickson Society for Psychotherapy and Hypnosis. To quote from their website:

“Hypnosis is an empirically-supported therapeutic tool to help people access inner resources to heal and grow. NYSEPH is dedicated to using hands-on, in-depth, and long-term training to help practitioners integrate hypnosis into their clinical work.”

See more information on their website and read my take on it as well. My 2003 article and my 2013 article are useful.

I am licensed in both Florida and New York. My New York license number is 18004678. My Florida license number is MH4298. (NOTE: If this link no longer works, you can go to http://www.flhealthsource.gov/ and click “verify a license,” then put in my name.)


1970newspaperI’ve been doing this a long time [see picture <–]

I love to write. It’s important to me to inform my readers as much as possible. So I write blog articles as well as articles appearing on GoodTherapy.org.

I married once in my life and I’m still married to the same man 38 years later. I have four amazing children, twelve incredible grandchildren, and two daughters-in-law and a son-in-law that I love and enjoy. Those are the credentials of which I’m proudest.

Like a great coach, I look for solutions, some of which are about doing things differently and others are about seeing things differently. But I’m a therapist! That’s because I’m a healer too. See my August 10 blog post.

When I work with you, I care about you. You will be on my mind and I will be determined to help you, whether you come in alone or as a couple or as a family. Each of you counts. And if you roll up your sleeves, so will I, and we will turn your situation around.


fellow-logo-14I am a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
and I am an Approved Supervisor in Florida for Master’s level Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists.




*Hirschhorn, D. S. (1997). Tailored supervision. In C. Storm (Ed.), Reasonably complete systemic supervisor resource guide (pp. 87-89). Needham Heights, MA.: Allyn & Bacon. (Reprinted from The SupervisionÊBulletin, 7(2), pp. 3, 8, 1994.)

Hirschhorn, D. S. (1998). Non-Normative Systemic Therapy in a Case of Intergenerational Enmeshment. The Journal of Psychology and Judaism, 22, pp. 115-128.

Hirschhorn, D. S. (1998). The Mrs. K’negdo/Mrs. Opposite assignment: A Biblical injunction for Orthodox Jewish couples and Christian couples. In L. Hecker & S. Deacon (Eds.), The therapist’s notebook: Homework, handouts, and activities for use in psychotherapy (pp. 229-233). New York: Haworth.

Hirschhorn, D. S. (1999). Postmodern Ethics and Our Theories: Doing Therapy versus Being Therapists. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 18, (4), pp. 18-41.

Hirschhorn, D. S. (2001). Business building: Why making psychopharmacology referrals is shooting ourselves in the foot. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 4(6), p. 21.

Hirschhorn, D. S. (2001). Physical Abuse: Screening and Treatment. The Annals of The American Psychotherapy Association, 4, (5), pp.15-17.MFriendlyTh

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