Author Archives: Jerry

Counseling & Psychotherapy

Are you unhappy with the way things are? Would you like something better?

Change is unlikely if you keep doing things the same way. Taking the first step is usually the most difficult.

We can probably work well together if you are willing to examine your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, then attempt changes to achieve better outcomes. With over 30 years experience using different methods to help people make constructive changes, I match my approach to your unique goals and needs.

  • BA in Psychology from Allegheny College
  • MA in Student Personnel Administration from Syracuse University
  • PhD in Counseling from Syracuse University
  • NY Licensed Mental Health Counselor: 000766
  • NY Certified School Counselor
  • Created and directed the Academic Counseling Service at Syracuse University
  • Directed Psychological Services at Cornell University
  • Created Dear Uncle Ezra, the first Internet-based counseling service

Client Focus

  • Age: Adolescents, Adults, Seniors
  • Ethnicity: Any
  • Gender: All
  • Religious Orientation: Any
  • Gay/Lesbian Expertise: Yes
Common Issues:
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety or Fears
  • Anger Management
  • Career Counseling
  • Child or Adolescent Issues
  • Chronic Pain or Illness
  • Depression
  • Divorce
  • Gay/Lesbian Issues
  • Life Coaching
  • Loss or Grief
  • OCD
  • Parenting
  • Procrastination
  • Relationship Issues
  • Sex Therapy
  • Spirituality
  • Substance Abuse
  • Trauma and PTSD


  • Strengths-based
  • Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)
  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy


  • Individuals
  • Couples
  • Family


  • Accepted Insurance Plans:
    • Aetna
    • Cigna
    • Health Now NY
    • MVP
    • ValueOptions
  • Avg Cost (per session): $70 – $130
  • Sliding Scale for those who do not want to use insurance
  • Verify your health insurance coverage when you arrange your first visit.

Organizational Consulting

Organizations today are dynamic. The one constant is change. Because change is inevitable and the pace is increasing, the important question is: Do you prefer chance or choice? When you want to choose, Constructive Change helps you insure that outcomes meet your needs.

Based on both training and experience, Jerry Feist has an expert understanding of how people and organizations change. Jerry works with you and your organization to optimize performance and facilitate constructive change.

The process includes:

  • Identifying problems & opportunities
  • Clarifying or establishing goals
  • Examining alternatives
  • Recommending action steps
  • Developing & implementing solutions
  • Evaluating success

Outcomes include:

  • Performance improved
  • Strengths amplified
  • Problems solved
  • Barriers removed
  • Conflicts resolved
  • Attitudes changed
  • Teamwork enhanced
  • Pro-active responses increased

Executive Coaching

When bosses need advice, who do they call? The executive coach. – The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 2, 1996

As an executive, people in your organization recognize your power and authority, and treat you differently. Sometimes you might feel as if you work in a fishbowl. People watch your every action and give it their own interpretation. One outcome is there are few people with whom you can safely have an open dialogue about your issues. Everyone has their agendas in mind.

You may want to “think out loud,” work through a few scenarios, or get some advice about a problem or opportunity with someone who does not have a biased perspective. This is when an executive coach can help.

What is an executive coach? The metaphor “coach” aptly describes the relationship that typically evolves between an executive and consultant, which is similar to the relationship between a top-flight athlete and his or her coach. “The Michael Jordans of the world all have coaches, the sandlot players don’t,” said Don Maruska, a former CEO of three Silicon Valley start-up companies . “The Michael Jordans want to perform at their best. They’re doing things to lead others, but sometimes it’s difficult for them to have the perspective to see the whole floor.”

Jerry understands the complex politics of today’s organizations and is sensitive to the impact that one person’s behavior can have on others. He works one-on-one to do what no canned course will ever accomplish – increase your ability to perform and lead in your current working environment. During coaching, Jerry serves as your personal trainer to develop and monitor a customized development program.

Executive coaching usually takes place on-site, while you are performing your usual job. During the course of a process that can last from one session to 6 months, you and Jerry work together to identify and strengthen the behaviors that contribute to your effectiveness, and change those things that hamper your performance.

About Jerry

Jerry Feist, Ph.D.

Constructive Change

Counseling & Psychotherapy,

Executive Coaching,

Organizational Consulting,

& Customized Skill Training

The world is dynamic. The one constant is change. Because change is inevitable and the pace is increasing, the important question is: Do you prefer chance or choice? When you want to choose, Constructive Change helps you insure that outcomes match your needs and goals.

Dr. Jerry Feist has been providing counseling and psychotherapy, executive coaching, organizational consulting, and customized skill training for over 30 years. His clients have included CEOs and presidents, boards of directors, senior managers, physicians, faculty, students, front-line workers, and additional diverse individuals and work groups.

Having worked intimately with individuals, teams, and organizations to effect positive change, Jerry has a thorough understanding of how to help people identify, modify, and achieve their goals. He knows a “cookie-cutter approach” is not sufficient, so he customizes his interventions to suit the individuals and the environments within which they find themselves. His systems perspective recognizes the important interrelationships to consider when change is desired.

Jerry graduated from Allegheny College with a B.A. in psychology, then served as a Special Agent in the U.S. Army. At Syracuse University he earned his M.A. in student personnel administration and his Ph.D. in counseling. Jerry’s doctoral research examined the effectiveness of communication skills training programs.

Jerry taught and worked at both Syracuse and Cornell Universities. Course content included leadership, group process, career development, and counseling skills. At Syracuse, as Director of Academic Counseling, he developed a peer counseling program and a career counseling program. At Cornell, Jerry was a Human Resources Consultant and Trainer, Director of Psychological Services, and Assistant Dean of Students for Counseling and Training.

While at Cornell, Jerry achieved his “15 minutes of fame” when he created Dear Uncle Ezra, an innovative on-line information, advising, and counseling service which received national attention in The Wall Street Journal, on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” and in Newsweek. It is now being cited as the first Internet counseling service, and is being used as a model by universities around the country.

Jerry has devoted his career to helping people and organizations make constructive changes.

Customized Skill Training

Most people want to do well, but even the best intentions are not always enough.

Effective leaders know that ongoing training is essential to improve performance. Yet sending people off-site for training rarely results in lasting change.

Constructive Change uses techniques proven to enhance learning and behavior change through 1:1 or in-house training that is customized to meet your unique situation. After assessing your needs, Jerry designs a program to maximize learning and change.

A foundation of training is the Chinese proverb: Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.

Topics in high demand include:

Interpersonal skills

  • Communicating effectively
  • Giving & receiving feedback
  • Supervising, coaching, & counseling
  • Situational leadership
  • Team building
  • Managing conflict
  • Serving customers

Operational skills

  • Problem solving & decision making
  • Planning & project management
  • Developing & evaluating programs
  • Managing effective meetings
  • Improving quality & performance

Other topics

  • Training the trainer
  • Managing transitions
  • Career & job counseling
  • Preventing sexual harassment
  • Stress management
  • Crisis management
  • Time management