Tema Therapy Center

  • Tema Therapy is a multi-lingual Center created to serve the various needs of people and families who consider being multi-cultural or multi-lingual as a part of their identity. The founder of this facility, Dr. Irina Volynsky, had multiple experiences of being asked to evaluate children and adults whose native language was not English, who were misdiagnosed, and were not receiving appropriate help. Upon further consideration, the barrier presented was not only about the language but also about the different cultural context in which norm and pathology were understood differently.

  • For example, a child who emigrated from a rural area of one of the Middle East countries does not necessarily manifest a learning disability when he is struggling to read at the age of eight. His cultural expectations are such that this is the age when he would have just started learning the very basics of reading, had he stayed in his native country.

    Those expectations apply to him in many subtle ways and, therefore, his struggles in the US school should be understood (and worked with) very differently as opposed to those of a third generation New Yorker, who has been exposed to various enrichment classes with the focus on literacy starting at 18 months of age. From an understanding that such cultural discrepancies often create wrong diagnoses, and, even worse, wrong treatment paths, the idea of a center that would put the notion and the knowledge of multiculturalism as its founding stone was created.

    So here we are at TEMA Therapy Center, an ever-growing team of people who know how it feels to be on the crossroads of different cultures and different languages; a team of people who have extensive training in cultural sensitivities and no less extensive first- hand experiences in dealing with different cultures as professionals, as individuals, and as parents. Our mission is to provide quality mental health services for you and your children. Even though we will most likely communicate with your children in English, as it is often their language of preference, our services will be informed by the knowledge of your native language, your culture, and your background. If it sounds like all psychologists should be aiming for this…well, that’s what we thought, too.

Dr. Irina Volynsky

Clinical Director

Specialty: Clinical psychologist working with adults, children and families

Licenses: New York, New Jersey

Languages: English, Russian, Ukrainian


Important Insurance Information

We only take insurance as out of network providers. The reason for this is that we don’t want the insurance to dictate us what to do in therapy, how much, and how frequently. We, as professionals, feel very strongly that this decision should be between the patient and the doctor or the therapist, without the third party intervening into this process. We have staff members who will work with you around your budget to make it affordable for you and/or for your children to undergo necessary psychological treatment. Because of their licensure requirements, some of our highly qualified junior clinicians currently work under supervision of the clinical director. The perks of working with one of our junior clinicians, besides the lower cost for services, also include that our junior clinicians get hour to hour supervision from the director of the center who is a licensed PhD psychologist with extensive experience in the mental health field. Hour to hour supervision means that, in addition to a session with this particular clinician, two people will put their heads together while puzzling over your case and drafting out ways to approach all of the pertinent issues. If there is a piece of the puzzle that will be better solved by a social worker, because, say, your anxiety stems not only from psychological problems but also from a dire housing situation, the clinician will get “on a flight” consultation from one of our social workers and will provide you with available resources. So let me use the sales people cliché here: it is two for the low price of one! Jokes aside, this model of work ensures that our center provides the best possible care for you and for your loved ones in the most cost-effective manner.