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Featured Therapist for May, Nina Fortuna

May 1, 2020

Every month, Council for Relationships features one of our staff therapists. This month’s Featured Therapist is Nina Fortuna, LMFT who joined the staff in 2019. Learn more about her in the interview below!

Tell us a little about what makes you unique as a therapist and person.

As a resident and native of the great city of Philadelphia, it is important to me that I work within the community. In my free time I enjoy, absorbing the natural beauty of the city, trying new baking recipes, maxing out on the leg press, binge watching entire seasons, and re-reading Harry Potter while searching for new meaning. I like to incorporate balance in whatever I am doing, especially in my approach to therapy. I work with clients to understand the pain of the past that creeps its way into their present experience. I believe this sense of balance is what makes me unique as a therapist and adept at working with individual, couple, and family client systems.

Why did you decide to become a therapist?

As long as I can remember, I have had an innate curiosity about the human condition, especially how people experience pain and suffering, connection and joy, as well as coping in their specific cultural contexts. This curiosity is what guided me to become a therapist and is a strength I use to develop trusting therapeutic relationships with my clients. My approach to therapy encourages my clients to guide us in the counseling they are looking to receive, as they have already been working on healing and growth throughout their life experiences. My role is to support, challenge, and facilitate in order to improve relationship satisfaction, deepen emotional functioning, and expand the narrative surrounding one’s most painful and troublesome experiences.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give people who may be struggling emotionally and would like to seek to counsel but may not be ready?

A piece of advice I have for people struggling emotionally but hesitant to engage in therapy is to take their time in matching with a therapist. It can be scary to start therapy and open up to someone sharing the intimate details of your life. Be sure to find a therapist that suits your needs. Consider how they present themselves online, how they talk about their approach to therapy, and how they respond to your questions about therapy, in addition to age, gender identity, and cultural considerations that are relevant to your experience.

What does a first session with you usually consist of?

An initial therapy session with me consists of covering the “business” related to therapy. I provide a brief introduction to the process of therapy that I operate within and we determine the frequency of sessions. We will talk primarily about what brings you in to therapy at this stage, we begin to gather a historical understanding of the “problem” that you want to work on in therapy, and I will start to map out your contextual experience using a genogram or a family tree, to collect important data about who you are and what has shaped your development thus far.

Nina is the Office Director for our Center City location; she currently sees clients via online therapy. To set up an appointment, you can reach her at nfortuna@councilforrelationships.org or 215-382-6680 ext. 4209.