• Katya Chizhova

    Social Worker

    Licenses: New York, New Jersey

    Languages: English, Russian

    Education:

    • 1995 MSW, Hunter College School of Social Work, New York
    • 1990 MA in Psychology, Moscow State Pedagogical Institute, Russia

    Hemingway said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterwards many are strong at the broken places.”

    My own experience of overcoming a serious medical condition gave me deep understanding of what it means to be sick. Whether it is Crohn’s disease, a stroke, or the shock of a cancer diagnosis, I support people and their relatives on their journey of fear, uncertainty, and despair. Severe medical problems not only damage our body but often take away the sense of who we are. A serious disease changes the course of our life and the lives of our family. I help my patients find a way back to themselves and learn to live again.

    I have been a psychotherapist for more than 25 years. My education started in Moscow, where I majored in Psychology at Moscow State Pedagogical Institute. After moving to the US, I continued my studies at Hunter College in New York, graduating with a MSW degree.

    For the next nine years, I was with the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, one of the oldest mental health clinics in New York. The years I spent there made me deeply aware of how our past experiences shape our present and how to work with psychological trauma and mental illness. Later I was part of a medical team, helping patients adjust to the consequences of temporary or permanent neurological problems caused by disease or injury. In 2006, I moved my practice to New Jersey. Over the course of my career, I have worked with patients from diverse cultural, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds.

    Over the past decade, my special focus has been psychotherapy, support and psycho-education for people with acute or chronic medical conditions. All the achievements of modern medicine do not replace attention to potentially devastating psychological effects of being sick, when we are left on our own to cope with fear and loneliness, and struggle with making critical choices. A presence of a knowledgeable and compassionate person can be invaluable and sometimes life-saving.