Eastside Marriage and Family Therapy

Eastside Marriage & Family Therapy PLLC offers psychotherapy services to individuals, couples, and f Luckily communication is her niche.

Despina Mitchell M.S, LMFT graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2006. She has been treating patients for over 18 years in the Rochester community. Throughout her years working with individuals, couples, and families, she has had the opportunity to practice in multiple clinic and community based settings before starting her private practice in 2013. Despina

Operating as usual


Career. Relationships. Self care. Identify a measurable goal to work toward. If we don’t have something measurable, then we have no way to identify our successes. Be reasonable. Trying to get back into old routines when your life has changed significantly (job, kids, family) can be unrealistic. The thought alone is enough to stop us from even trying. Maybe you can’t go back to the gym four times a week, Try starting with one time. And maybe your old workouts were an hour. Maybe your new ones are only 20 minutes. Give yourself permission to change what growth looks like for you as you evolve and change.


I think you’re overreacting. Calm down. Look on the bright side. The effectiveness of any of these statements is about 0%. More often than not these statements are meant to be helpful. In almost every situation they are quite the opposite. They can feel minimizing and shaming. Sometimes the best support you can give is just to be present and listen.


I am feeling this in 2023. The last several years have been rough on a lot of us. In reflection I am reminded that there are many things that we cannot control. How we show up in relationships and the space we allow others to show up for us is one thing that we can. Self-care is not selfish. Permission to do inventory on the people you surround yourself with.


Some refer to this season as the hell-a-days for a reason. Being around piles of family members can be a blessing or a curse. Lots of feelings can l come up. Working through feelings of anxiety, guilt, grief and joy can be complicated. I’ve personally experienced a hodgepodge of all the above.


The length of time you are in a relationship, whether it’s an intimate relationship, a friendship, or somebody in your family, does not determine the quality, health or sustainability. Surround yourself with people who get you. People who appreciate you. People who value you. They are out there. You just have to look for them.


Eeek. I think we all use humor at some point in our life to deflect from the discomfort of vulnerable emotions. It only becomes problematic if this is the case more often than it is not.


What are you in denial about? Your feelings? Your needs? Your wants? Your desires? Your negotiables and non negotiables? Trying to mask our truth is never effective. It may prolong the inevitable, but it will also undoubtably create a perfect cesspool filled with resentment. In my work with couples, it is not uncommon to find that one or both are denying their truth about what they need and want from their partner. In working together we create a safe space for each of them to give themselves permission to share their truth and work together to meet the real needs and wants that they have been neglecting or denying.


I think in some way we can all relate to this. Picking and choosing the circumstances in our lives that we want to work through can be difficult. Whether it’s an interpersonal struggle or a relational struggle, working through can be the more vulnerable option but in the long run it winds up being less energy sucking then holding everything in. There is something to be said about the term that holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting somebody else to die. In the long run you are the one that winds up suffering more.


I have been noticing this a lot lately. Almost every time I get a call from couples, they report they want to come in to address “communication issues.” It doesn’t take long to identify that the real issues they are struggling with go far beyond communication. It’s almost as if communication is used as a “safe word” to give a couples permission to go to therapy. Couples often don’t want to talk about anything deeper. Intimacy, desire, or anything to do with vulnerable emotions. This has been the focus for me as of late. I want to take the shame away from talking about the real struggles that couples want to work on.

About Despina Mitchell, M.S., LMFT & Juliana Posato MS, MFT in Rochester, NY | Eastside Marriage & Family Therapy 08/10/2022

About Despina Mitchell, M.S., LMFT & Juliana Posato MS, MFT in Rochester, NY | Eastside Marriage & Family Therapy

Updating all things. Including our website. Big thanks to Corporate Communications, Inc. I would also like to introduce Juliana. She has been employed at Eastside Marriage & Family Therapy since January 2022. She is currently accepting new clients. And she’s pretty great. Please read about her on our website.

About Despina Mitchell, M.S., LMFT & Juliana Posato MS, MFT in Rochester, NY | Eastside Marriage & Family Therapy Despina Mitchell, M.S., LMFT and Juliana Posato MS, MFT have been providing therapy services in Rochester, NY to individuals, couples, and children for over a decade. Contact to schedule an appointment.


An oldie but goodie. I love it when I am working with a patient and the very thing they struggle with in day to day life happens in real time during our session. It’s a great opportunity to share the full experience and help them work through it.


#3 for sure. Pouring from an empty cup is my not so wonderful super power. Learning to say no to others has not always been easy. Neither is asking for help. Often times those who are constantly doing for others fail to realize that eventually people stop asking you if you need anything. That’s where the overwhelming sensation comes in. We need to work on not conditioning others to feel like we always got it. Because sometimes we don’t. Asking for help is a strength not a weakness.


I was in group supervision yesterday. We always start off by doing a check in. During that time each of us took an opportunity to share something personal about ourselves. In doing so,
a conversation came up about the pressure we put on ourselves as therapists. Because we do work helping people to live healthier lives, there is an assumption that ours is perfect. Because we do couples work, it is assumed that our relationships have no flaws. I would like to give a gentle reminder that we are human too. Many of our own personal struggles shape us to become better therapists for you. I promise that we don’t always have our s**t together.


I can’t tell you how many times I hear “We almost canceled today. Things are going well so we did not think we would have anything to talk about.” PSA therapy is not only useful for when everything feels like it’s falling apart. We love hearing about when everything is falling together. In life, we often don’t pay attention to things unless they are problematic. Coming in and reflecting on the challenges that you overcame, improvement’s in your mood and healthy changes in your day-to-day lifestyle is just as beneficial as working through struggles. All of these are the tools you will need when things aren’t feeling so great.


This needs to be shared, needs to be read, and most importantly heard.

Sertraline- Zoloft
Venlafaxine- Effexor
Citalopram- Celexa
Fluoxetine- Prozac
Duloxetine- Cymbalta
Seroquel- Quetiapine
Lamictal- Lamotrigine
Lexapro- Escitalopram
Wellbutrin- Bupropion
Lorazepam- Ativan
Klonopin- Clonazepam
Abilify - aripiprazole
Tegrotal - carabamezipine
Buspar - buspirone

You may know what these tablets are or know a loved one who takes them, but in case you don't, I will fill you in. That medication allows people to deal with a normal day to day life. Although most days it leaves them tired, spaced out, emotionless, or even super emotional.

Crazy right? Why would anyone want to feel like that?

Well this is why!!

You see, some people suffer from severe depression and anxiety.
In their brain it doesn't sit right, something seems different. They notice little differences that other people wouldn't. Most days they wake up sick and feel sleepless.

They consistently overthink every situation.
Was a comment about them; was it a joke?
Was that person supposed to laugh?
Or did they mean it?
Are they being nice?
Are they talking about them?
Do they talk about them?
They then think, I bet they don’t like me really.

They say sorry all the time. They feel like they annoy everyone.
And for all those questions they will spend hours trying to answer. Let it all build up in their mind, until it sends them to tears...... it's mental that they see things that way.

It's not only mental changes, but physical changes. They don't eat a lot or they eat way too much. Insomnia, up all night answering questions to situations that don't even exist, or sleep too much and waste half their day still feeling tired.

They still smile and they have every excuse for when you ask why.
But the tablets can help them. Because they know when they start to feel this way or think this way, they need help.

They know that when their behavior starts to change, They need guidance. And they understand that they don't need to be ashamed. They don't need to be understood. They just need to be accepted. Everyone is fighting a battle and sometimes you need to be kinder.

So I may just be another person who's talking about mental health....

Living with this illness is hard, but trying to understand it, is even harder. It’s also 100 times harder if they have another condition on top of this.

Don't suffer in silence.

Mental health is just as important as physical health.

Be part of the healing.💙
Be understanding.💙
Be kind. 💙

💙 Copied and pasted.💙

Sometimes people had things happen in their past that made them this way, everyone has a story, don’t be so quick to judge.


Read this again. Having healthy boundaries doesn’t make you a bad person whether it’s friends, family members or partners.
If you’re needing a positive spin on this, sometimes healthy boundaries make others reflect on their own behaviors. You don’t have to stick around hoping that your support will be the light bulb that makes others decide to do make positive changes in their own behaviors. Permission to advocate for your own mental and emotional health.


The struggle is real. Sometimes we all find ourselves taking care of others better than we take care of ourselves. I’m working on it.


The impossible task of trying to make everyone happy is unfortunately a trait that many can relate to. If we think about it, most pleasers are also ones who rarely ask for help themselves. This often leads to pouring from an empty cup. Giving when we have little to spare. It can be exhausting. It can cause burn out. It can also cause resentment.


Whether I am working with a family, a couple or an individual, I am always fascinated when learning about their family of origin. Becoming aware of healthy versus unhealthy patterns in your past allows you to continue the tradition or change the negative cycle. The transformation is beautiful to observe.


A patient asked this question during a session this week.

We are conditioned to believe that second chances always come with good intention. But do they? Are people really looking to repair? Or are they looking for another way to finish what they started? I instinctively wanted to reassure option A. Instead we processed the possible outcomes of both options and I put it back on them to decide.


Guilty. My poor husband. It’s hard to hear stories where people are suffering and not having the desire provide support. I guess that’s why I chose the career I did.

Photos from Eastside Marriage and Family Therapy's post 03/11/2022

The wonderful Esther Perel ❤️Star struck. So thankful for in person seminars again.


Thankfully your secrets are safe with me 🤫


I am not a big fan of New Years resolutions. I would rather have a little list of things that I am consistently working on regardless of the time of year.


Had a good laugh with this one.


You should see our own family gatherings which are likely correlated with why we chose to be therapists ourselves 🙃


It is not often that I get into my office in time to sit in the quiet and enjoy a cup of tea before my eight session run. It’s the little things.


Speaking my truth. The holidays are always a stressful time for many. Let’s sprinkle a little pandemic on top of that.


Short but not so sweet. Anxiety in a nutshell.


Please disregard the ambient lighting. We aren’t trying to be romantic. Kidding aside, I guess there’s something symbolic about walking down a dark hallway to get to your therapists office.


I’m pretty sure there are alternative solutions


Yes to all the things.


Ain’t this the truth.


Food for thought. It’s much easier for most of us to express love for others. How nice would it be if we gave ourself the same treatment.


No kidding 😫


Instead of feeling envious of your neighbors grass, why don’t you try to water your own lawn.


Been there.


Pick two. Easier said than done.

Our Story

Despina Mitchell M.S, LMFT has been treating patients for over a decade in the Rochester community. Throughout her years working with individuals, couples, and families, she has had the opportunity to practice in multiple clinic and community based settings before starting her private practice.

In 2006 Despina graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry where she began treating patients at Strong Family Therapy Services, located within University of Rochester Medical Center. She completed her training at St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center where in addition to providing therapy, she co-facilitated a series of groups focusing on improving the lives and self-images of women. These groups expanded outside the center to Sojourner House for Women as well as Wilson Commencement Park. In 2006 she began working as a primary therapist at Unity Health System’s Home Based Crisis Intervention Program providing community based therapeutic intervention to children and families in crisis.

Her approach to treatment draws from a systemic perspective focusing on individuals, couples, and families in the context of a larger system. She is a strength based therapist who believes that anything is possible when individuals and couples are willing to work. The therapeutic process is a vulnerable and sometimes scary endeavor, which can feel complex at times. Through this endeavor it is important for patients to be “met where they are at” before moving forward. She views her patients as the experts in their lives and focuses treatment on helping them recognize what positive change “looks like” for them and identifying how she can work together with them to make that change.

Though her specialty is working with families and couples in a marriage or committed relationship, she also enjoys working with individuals. Whether its dealing with depression, improving communication, conflict resolution, anxiety, mood disorders or processing trauma to name a few, she will work together with you to meet your goals in a safe and comfortable environment free of judgment.

Despina is a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She is certified in medical family therapy and currently serves as an advisory council member for Bryant & Stratton College OTA program as the interdisciplinary content expert in mental health.

Videos (show all)

Enjoying some tea and a wonderful storm in between sessions.




625 Panorama Trl
Rochester, NY

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 8pm
Tuesday 8am - 9pm
Wednesday 8am - 8pm
Thursday 8am - 8pm
Friday 8am - 8pm
Saturday 8am - 8pm

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