Clay Cockrell, LCSW

The Basics

I’m a psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience. Fully licensed. Fully certified.
Those letters behind my name stand for Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

• Founder of Walk and Talk Therapy
• Founder of the Online Counseling Directory
• Founder and host of The Scary Money Podcast
• Author
• Public Speaker
• Fee: $600 per session
• Sessions are in Central Park NYC or online

I have a BA in Psychology from Asbury College and a Master’s Degree from the University of Kentucky. My clinical approach is eclectic, but grounded in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

My Story

I grew up in a small town in Eastern Kentucky – a great community where everyone knew one another and I learned a lot of my values there. There is still a big part of Kentucky in me and on the second Saturday in May, you will always find me cheering at the Kentucky Derby.

But the big city called. I first ventured out to Cincinnati for a few years and eventually moved to New York in 1997. NYC is now my home and I love it.

I believe that a person is the culmination of their experiences. Here are a few of mine:

I started out on Wall Street and my years there provided me with a great insight into the unique pressures of the corporate world. I’ve watched and participated in the triumphs and tragedies, the wins and losses of this unbelievably competitive world.

Having an entrepreneurial spirit, I started my own therapy practice. But having the type of mind that thinks outside the box – I did it a little differently. I founded Walk and Talk Therapy.

Instead of meeting in an office, I meet my clients in Central Park and we walk for the session. It’s unusual but very effective. Before I knew it, I received media attention from The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, The New York Times and the Times of London – all wanting to talk about this new approach to counseling.

As a small business owner and entrepreneur, I am aware of the daily war that is fought to keep afloat. I know the fears and anxieties of risking everything on an idea and a dream, and the passion that fuels the long hours of doing everything. And I know the pain of failure is better than living with the knowledge that you never tried.

Several years ago, I began working with Ultra-High-Networth Individuals. I think my name got passed around this elite world as someone who could be trusted and who didn’t believe in “first world problems” because a problem is a problem and it should be treated as such. I understand that money can be toxic and it complicates everything it touches.

More money really does bring on more problems. Over the years, my practice has grown to focus more and more on these issues and I’ve recently launched the Scary Money Podcast – exploring the challenges of wealth.

If you would like to learn more about my practice, please contact me to set up a consult.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Walk and Talk Therapy?

Instead of the traditional office session, we meet outside and walk.  Sometimes the simplest and most obvious things are the most innovative.


What about bad weather?

Hey.  We’re New Yorkers.  Generally, we just grab a heavy coat or bring an umbrella.  But I do have an office at Columbus Circle – so that’s always an option.  Your call.


Is this a cardio workout?

No. This is slow to moderate walking, not running or even fast walking. There is nothing physically strenuous about the session. But will you feel better after a 50 minute walk? You bet you will.


Do you work online?

Yes.  I have clients all over the world.  Online Therapy Sessions are conducted via a HIPAA compliant platform.


Typical locations?

99% of sessions are in Central Park.  However, I do have some availability for Battery Park and the river along lower Manhattan.


What is your Therapy style?

While many therapists focus on past problems and traumas, I focus on helping clients resolve current problems quickly. I want you to feel better as quickly as possible and I feel this is best accomplished by focusing on TODAY.
My style of therapy is proactive, imaginative and solution focused – based in the tradition of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Active vs. passive.
Straightforward without being harsh.
Encouraging without pressuring.

My work is experiential: it’s not about rehashing the same thing over and over again, it’s about finding a way to “get it” at a deep level, so that you can make the changes you need. Working as a team, we are able to create a plan to turn your life around.

My clients have been my most challenging teachers. I marvel at their resilience and strength. It is a privilege to work with them and I have learned from each story and each struggle. They are the heroes of their own lives.


Do you accept insurance?

I am accepted by all health insurance carriers as an Out-of-Network provider. I’ve chosen to not be on any managed care network panels. My fee is paid in full at the end of each session. At the end of each month, I provide my clients with invoices which they are able to submit to their insurance companies for reimbursement.


How do I access my out of network benefit?

On the back of your insurance card, there should be a toll free number for questions related to your mental health benefit. When calling, be sure to check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
  • How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
  • What is the usual and customary amount for a therapist in New York, NY?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?


This process was tailor made for me. Most of my days are spent inside… my apartment, then taxi, then office, and back to my apartment… an inside cycle. But once a week I get one great hour outside, completely focused on me and my growth. It’s brilliant.

– Michael

At first I was a little reluctant. I mean, it’s not how I imagined therapy would be. But after the first session, I couldn’t imagine it to be any other way. I look forward to it every week. I used to dread going to therapy and found all sorts of reasons to avoid it. But now I make sure nothing gets in the way of my session.

– Jennifer

Actually it’s not the walking that keeps me coming back. Yes, it is novel and different and I like it. But I wouldn’t continue with a therapist if I didn’t see them to be effective and engaging; which I find Clay to be. He is kind and caring… I feel like he is looking forward to the session as much as I. He is imaginative and thought provoking… I always walk away from a session with a lot to ‘chew’ on for the coming week. In the end, I have been profoundly changed by my therapy sessions with Clay. Outside or not… I stand by the results.

– Morris

This process is perfect for me. I needed someone who took a different approach and this definitely fit the bill. I’ve made more progress toward my goals in the past few weeks than I have with my previous therapist in the past two years. I feel like I’m taking back control of my life and finally making good choices. I feel better than I have in years. Was it easy? Hell, no. But I wouldn’t trade my growth for anything.

– Marcus

I think of Clay as a psychiatric surgeon. His work is targeted and specific. I came to him with a specific issue…and that was the issue we worked on and ultimately resolved. We didn’t waste time on my childhood or my mother or anything else. We attacked the issue from multiple directions and Clay gave me specific tools to correct what was going on. I used the tools, I got better, and I moved on.

– Sam

Dear Clay, When I look back at the improvements I have made, I am amazed. I feel like a different person. No, that’s not exactly right, is it? I feel like the person I always knew I could be. Like you say, we are ultimately responsible for who we are and it is our choices that determine our future. I can’t thank you enough for walking (literally) with me through this journey. I feel lighter. Happier. More complete and in control. Thank you.

– Miriam

I was in therapy when I was in grad school. I hated it. The small office, the bad art, the fake plants – the therapist sitting there and saying: “uh hm, tell me more”. What was the point? So when I needed to address some things in my life, I was determined not to repeat my mistakes and went looking for the best and most unusual therapy practice in New York. I found it. So THIS is what people talk about when they say how much they love therapy and won’t miss it for anything. Thank you!

– Jim