Sharon Deacon, Ph.D., LMFT
I have over 25 years of experience helping individual, couples, and families to build the firm foundations of relationships that last for generations to come. As a Gottman-method relationship therapist, I specialize in helping couples to establish trust, communicate, reignite their friendship, deepen their intimacy, and overcome conflicts. I provide discrete therapy to professionals in the public eye and I offer Christian counseling to those looking for a faith-based perspective.
When you seek to improve your life, health, and relationships, you need more than a sounding board. You need an expert with wisdom and experience that can share knowledge, provide insight, teach skills, and facilitate experiences that make a real difference. You need someone who can help you to break down issues, overcome barriers, resolve conflicts, and achieve your goals. You want a research-based approach, with evidence of effective results. You're looking for more than just a good listener who understands. You want therapy– treatment intended to relieve your symptoms, heal your relationships, and stimulate positive growth.
I provide psychotherapy to (1) couples, families, and individuals struggling with relationship conflicts, life transitions, and mental health issues; (2) other therapists and professionals seeking discrete services that protect their privacy and guard their professional reputation; (3) Christians seeking faith-based counsel from a Biblical perspective.
My name is Dr. Sharon Deacon. I am a NY State Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and have been practicing in my field since 1995. I am the owner of Firm Foundations Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC. Similar to a family physician with an M.D. that treats the whole family, I have a Ph.D. to provide psychotherapy to individuals of all ages and in all stages. While I am open to treating adults, adolescents, and children with various problems and concerns, I specialize in treating marital/couple issues, sexual problems, relationship problems, and family conflicts. I also have a niche in providing therapy to other therapists and “helping professionals” (counselors, healthcare providers, physicians, etc), because we are not immune to the problems we treat!
I believe my job is to encourage you with hope for change, suggest new approaches and resolutions to your problems, serve as another set of eyes and ears to help you understand the issue more deeply, and teach you skills to move you closer to your goals. I strongly believe that healthy couples create healthy families, made up of well-adjusted individuals that form a healthy community and make the world a better place! Lofty and idealistic, I know, but I really believe that a better world and more fulfilled lives start with strong marriages and healthy families.
That’s why I created Firm Foundations for Families- 10 Building Blocks for a Healthy Family! I use that model to guide all the counseling and teaching I provide. I sincerely value healthy, loving relationships and I want to help everyone else create the kind of relationships that enrich our days and add meaning to our lives!
I hope you can see the passion I have for the work I do! But even better, I actually have some really great education and training to back it up and make me better qualified to do it! I have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Education from SUNY Fredonia. From Purdue University, I received my Masters degree in Behavioral Sciences/Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and my Doctorate in Child Development & Family Studies, with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT). Why Purdue? Because at the time of my schooling it was the top-rated program in the country for MFT. That means, I trained under the best researchers, practitioners, and educators in my field to learn evidenced-based models for doing therapy. I have won numerous research and writing awards, published articles on practicing MFT, wrote for some national magazines on marriage and family topics, and wrote a few books in my field. I have also been a professor of mental health, psychology, and/or family therapy at various institutions including Purdue University, Houghton College, and Medaille College. So you can see that I really have invested in my field and work because I love what I do!
Besides being passionate and qualified, I practice what I preach! I won’t suggest that you do anything that I, myself, have not or would not be willing to do! I have been married for 25+ years and have four children. Life at my house can be crazy at times. . .we laugh a lot, we cry sometimes, we argue, we struggle with screen time, we compete ferociously at family games, we struggle with our own mental and emotional issues, and sometimes we end up in a crisis and need a break from it all (not a Ross and Rachel kind of break. . .just a cooling off period)! But, we keep on learning, and growing, and saying “I’m sorry,” and forgiving, and trying to do it better the next time. I grew up Catholic, and have practiced my faith as a born again Christian for 20+ years. I strive to keep my faith at the center of all I do. I enjoy photography, graphic design, scrapbooking, painting, arts and crafts, hiking to waterfalls, reading, cooking, and exploring new places. If I could serve you warm chocolate chip cookies in my therapy room, I would, because I do believe they make everything better!
I will work with you to create a safe space that honors your privacy, respects your values, and aligns with your goals. I will give you honest and direct guidance, couched with compassion and care. I want to help you achieve mental and emotional wellness and satisfying, enduring relationships! Let's make a plan together to create the changes you desire.
Specialties & Clinical Interests
- Chronic Illness
- Divorce & Separation
- Family Conflict
- Fertility, Pregnancy & Postpartum
- Grief & Loss
- Mental Health Professionals
- Parenting & Parent-Child Relationships
- Pre-Marital & Marital Issues
- Professionals In The Public Eye
- Sex And/Or Pornography Addiction
- Stress/Stress Management
- Women's Issues
- Art Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Gottman Method Relationship Therapy
- Internal Family Systems (IFS)
- Trauma-Informed Therapy
Faith Based Specialties