Licensed Professional Counselor
License: New Jersey
Languages: English, Russian, Hebrew
My interest in psychology was ignited by my first immigration to Israel at the age of 18 when I observed my own family and other immigrants from my country undergo a transition from being a Jewish minority in Russia to being a majority in Israel. Some immigrants hold on to their values and views for dear life and some – change them rapidly. Trying to understand this dichotomy sparked my interest in human behavior and how it relates to the individual’s environment.
When I immigrated to the US, I was given the opportunity to pursue my career and get the education it required. I got my BA in Psychology from Hunter College and MA in Mental Health Counseling at Manhattan College. While I was earning my bachelor degree in Psychology, I volunteered for two years for the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services facilitating three different types of group therapies for people with severe mental illness.
After my undergraduate school and during my masters program, I worked at the Early Intervention Program at RCDS (National Mentoring Partnership organization for youth) conducting intakes for children with developmental delays. Later, I worked for SBRN (Spina Bifida Resource Network) with people with spina bifida of all ages, and their families helping them deal with an array of medical, cognitive, and psychological issues. We provided numerous services such as counseling, advocating, and educating schools and organizations about the uniqueness of this developmental disorder and all the limitations that come with it. By the end of my master’s degree, I did an internship at the VIP Community Services Organization, for people with substance abuse issues. I performed individual and group counseling acquiring an immense wealth of professional techniques to fit the needs of every individual.
I find group dynamics to be the most fascinating aspect of psychology. Interpersonal skills are absolutely necessary to regulate all aspects of living and to lead a fulfilling life.
Group therapy is a small simulation of our big world. Group therapy makes our patterns of interaction painfully apparent, and helps us practice more effective ways of being around others all the while in a safe and nurturing therapeutic environment. This gives us the incredible opportunity to embrace the functional and change the dysfunctional with the support of the group and a facilitator. I find it even more meaningful that while working on yourself, you are also becoming an important part of somebody else’s change and progress.
I have over ten years of experience of individual and group therapy with people of all ages, individuals with addiction, and life- altering disabilities. I am equipped to help a person through a difficult life transition. Working with substance abuse patients helped me gain a lot of experience with trauma, guilt, the emotional damage of physical and sexual abuse, gender role issues, and family conflicts.