Welcome to Second Nature Counseling

Thank you for visiting Second Nature Counseling. We’re so glad you are considering counseling; it is a big step.  We hope you will join us.  There is a lot of information available throughout this website, such as recent trends & tips, how to get started with counseling, and professional development opportunities for mental health professionals.

Our Philosophy

Second Nature Counseling, founded by Steven DiMarzo, LMHC, was formed to address the need for counseling services in the community.  We have worked with clients who have struggled with all areas of life. Our experiences are different but our personal philosophies are the same; mental wellness is important and good mental health is necessary for success in life.

We are dedicated to enhancing the lives of those who have taken the leap to realize their potential. Counselors on our team provide counseling services to address many areas of life, including anxiety, depression, changes in living environments, and stress from work and school.

Expanding the focus to the whole person, rather than a diagnosis, allows for a more comprehensive approach to improving mental wellness.  Utilizing the wellness model in counseling allows us to conceive an individual approach that favors client-driven treatment.

Take a look around the website to learn more about us. If you are ready to make an appointment or just have questions, contact us – we would be pleased to talk to you.

What to Expect

The process of counseling or therapy can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to counseling.  As a local group, located in Schenectady, New York, we understand how important it is to feel comfortable and trusting of someone with whom you share your personal details.  Second Nature Counseling strives to maintain every client’s privacy and confidentiality.

Here are some common reasons people reach out to us:

  • Be happy at work
  • Enjoy healthy relationships
  • Succeed when faced with challenges in life
  • Manage stress and anxiety
  • Realize one’s identity and personality

In the first session, we will complete all necessary paperwork, discuss confidentiality, and begin to discuss your story.  The focus of the second session will be to dig a little deeper into your story and discuss your goals for counseling. We will discover strengths and potential areas for improvement.

The third and fourth sessions are typically when we will develop your Treatment Plan and write down the focus of counseling.  The treatment plan outlines your specific goals, how they will be measured, and what strategies will be used to reach them.  The following sessions will focus on the Treatment Goals. We will discuss the progress and consider any potential changes or additions to your Treatment Plan or new goals for therapy.  Our goal is to help you decide how quickly, for how long, and when you feel is best to finish with counseling so you can move on with your life.

At Second Nature Mental Health Counseling, we have mostly Licensed Mental Health Counselors. These counselors have completed a master’s degree at an accredited college or university, at least 2 years of counseling experience post-graduation, at least 100 hours of supervision, and have passed a comprehensive national exam.

Some of our therapists have additional certifications and credentials.

CASAC: Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor. Our counselors with this credential have completed at least 6000 hours of specialized work with people with substance use disorders, under supervision of other qualified health professionals (QHP), and passed a comprehensive exam.

NCC: National Board-Certified Counselor. Our therapists with this board-certification have completed extensive hours of experience under supervisions, successfully graduated from a 60-hour master’s degree program, and passed a comprehensive national exam.

CCTP: Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Steven DiMarzo, our founder and managing counselor, is certified by the International Association of Trauma Professionals. This credential requires the completion of an intensive training program and the passing of a comprehensive exam. This credential allows Steven to work with clients who have experienced traumatic events in their lives, which may be influencing their current state of mental wellness.

CCFP: Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional. Steven DiMarzo, our founder and managing counselor, is certified by the International Association of Trauma Professionals. This credential requires the completion of an intensive training program and passing of a comprehensive exam. This credential allows Steven to work with clients who are struggling with secondary traumatic stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue.

Depending on the program (counseling, CASAC, etc.), a counselor’s focus in therapy can be very different. Any questions you have about specializations, please ask and we’ll answer them to the best of our ability.
Our counselors utilize various theoretical approaches and modalities when working with our clients. The decision to use a specific theory depends on the client and the situation. The approach or mode of treatment may also change from session to session. The Syracuse counselors at Second Nature Mental Health Counseling integrate different theories and tools to provide the best therapy available.
Counselors usually have an idea of how long clients attend therapy with them. The length of time depends on the goals and objectives that have been set. Counseling can last from a few weeks to a few years. Sometimes, you may take a break from therapy and return when you feel most ready. Either way, we will always be here for you.
We want to make sure you have the best experience possible in therapy. If you do not feel you match with your counselor, we can introduce to you one of our other therapists. If you don’t feel comfortable with any of our counselors, we will discuss with you and refer you to the best option outside of our group. We will work with you and your new therapist to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
We would like to make the counseling or therapy process as simple and friendly as possible. Sometimes we receive questions that aren’t posted here. If there is something you’d like to learn about that isn’t listed above, please send us a message or call us at (518) 952-9290.

Our Offices

Our Schenectady counseling offices provide a welcoming space for you to feel comfortable and relaxed before, during, and after your therapy session.  Located in the Historic Campbell House in the Stockade Neighborhood of Schenectady, our offices are accessible via public transportation and have plentiful on-street parking.

Counseling Rates

Our Schenectady based therapists offer counseling services to individuals, couples. families and groups. Rates for services are agreed upon prior to beginning counseling and with the consideration of insurance and other financial factors.  Accessibility to counseling services is important to us and we want to make sure anybody who seeks counseling may access it while maintaining personal investment and responsibility.

Insurance Plans Accepted

Second Nature Counseling currently accepts the following health insurance plans. We also accept HSAs and can provide complimentary billing for reimbursement of out-of-network benefits.

  • Aetna
  • Beacon Health Options
  • Cigna
  • Fidelis Care
  • GHI
  • Emblem Health
  • Lifetime Benefit Solutions
  • Military OneSource
  • MVP
  • New York State Empire Plan
  • Optum
  • Oscar
  • Oxford
  • St. Lawrence-Lewis Counties Employee Health Plan
  • United Healthcare
  • ValueOptions

Out of Network Reimbursement

We will provide super bills and offer complimentary billing for reimbursement of out of network services. We recommend checking with your insurance carrier to verify out of network benefits and reimbursement rates.

Sliding Fee & Discounted Rates

It is the policy of Second Nature Counseling to provide essential services regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Clients will not be denied service based on the inability to pay for services. If insurance cannot be billed or provided, clients have the option to pay a fee for service as well as take advantage of a sliding fee scale based on financial need. A sliding fee schedule is used to calculate the basic discount and is updated each year using the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Final decision for admission and sliding fee scale is determined by the provider. Once approved, the discount will be honored for six months, after which the client must reapply.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Second Nature Counseling is an equal-opportunity organization. The organization prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law to the extent prohibited by law. The organization provides an atmosphere of respect, dignity, acceptance and safety for all clients. This nondiscrimination policy covers admissions, employment, and access to and the process of receiving counseling services. Furthermore, no client will be discriminated against based on referral source. The office is open to clients from several referral sources including, but not limited to, self-referrals, medical doctors, payment sources including public and private insurance.

Hours & Scheduling

The counselors and therapists at Second Nature Counseling do not have set office hours. Each appointment is scheduled individually and based on the availability of the counselor.

How to set up a counseling appointment

Call us at (518) 952-9290 or complete the form below.

Contact Us