Raymond Rodriguez is a Latino Clinical Social Worker with over twenty years of experience in working with community-based programs. He received his Social Work degree from Columbia University School of Social Work. He is a family therapist with clinical interests in the areas of immigration, diversity, LGBTQ empowerment, spirituality, and working with marginalized communities. In the last five years he has become a trauma specialist assisting clients with complex psychological trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He served as a counselor faculty at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York. He currently serves as faculty and member of the Executive Committee of the Trauma Studies Center of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. He is also a Adjunct Lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work and Smith College School of Social Work. He also teaches at the Integrative Trauma Studies Program of the National Institute for Psychotherapies. He formerly served on the Boards of the National Association of Puertorrican and Hispanic Social Workers and the No More Fear Foundation. He lives in the Bronx with his partner and son.
Jonathon Moon, BFA, PCC has been a certified life/career coach and had his own practice for the past ten years. He trained at The Academy for Coaching Excellence under acclaimed psychologist and life coach Dr. Maria Nemeth in California. Recently he was on staff at Omega Institute for Holistic Studies for three years and continues to consult with them. Prior to becoming a life coach he worked in corporate finance and human resources for over ten years. He is also a professional classical/opera singer and regularly gigs and concertizes in NYC. His union affiliations are AEA and AGMA. Jonathon resides in NYC with his partner of 18 years and their son. Through coaching he quit smoking, became a successful landlord, loving partner, adopted a baby, became a loving father, and began creating a show based on his own life story.
Dr. Michaela Ambrosius is a multilingual and multiethnic Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She has doctoral degree in counselor education from Montclair State University. In the last five years she has provided professional counseling services in a variety of settings with diverse clients. She has substantial experience working with children, adolescents and adults with a clinical interest in multicultural diversity, depression, immigration, female empowerment and spirituality. In addition, Michaela is an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and Hunter College, where she has also provided bi-lingual (English-Spanish) supervision to counselors in training. Her counseling and supervision approach are based on Logo therapy and Existentialism as well as the current Multicultural and Social Justice Competencies endorsed by the American Counseling Association. Michaela´s research interests include ethnic identity development, immigration and acculturation issues, Anti-Semitism, as well as existential dilemmas such as isolation, death and dying, and meaninglessness. Michaela has presented on these topics at a variety of national conferences.
Iliana Abad is a Latina clinical social worker graduate of New York University Silver School of Social Work. For the past five years Iliana has provided clinical services in English and Spanish in various community-based agencies. Iliana specializes in working with children, adolescents, adults and couples. Her professional interests include dealing with childhood trauma, identity and coming of age issues, relationship and marriage counseling, and early attachment disruptions. She also leads therapeutic groups at the Criminal Division of the Bronx Supreme Court. In her spare time, Iliana enjoys yoga, running and cycling.
Emilce Suarez-Lipton is a Latina, Spanish speaking Clinical Social Worker with extensive experience working with a variety of populations in various settings. She has a bachelor´s degree in Clinical Psychology from La Universidad del Valle in Colombia, her country of origin; and she received her graduate degree in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University. Emilce also completed one year of post graduate training in adult psychotherapy at the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapies. Emilce´s approach to psychotherapy combines elements of psychodynamic, humanistic, and existential models. Her interest in social justice and the impact her client’s lives, constitutes an important part of her work. Emilce has substantial experience helping clients deal with depression, anxiety, loss-bereavement, domestic violence and immigration-acculturation issues. She also has a special interest in couple´s counseling and group psychotherapy. Prior work experience includes The Jewish Board of Family and Children´s Services, The Puerto Rican Family Institute, and The Psychotherapy and Counseling Center.
José Alfaro has been with Aldea since December of 2015. Prior to joining Aldea, Jose was an educator and counselor with the NYC Department of Education where he worked for 22 years. At the Department of Education he was initially a teacher and later became a member of the team that founded Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx. At Fannie Lou Hamer Jose held the position of Director of Social Work & Counseling for 17 years. After retiring from the NYC Department of Education José became an advocate of Restorative Justice in the schools. As a Restorative Justice practitioner Jose continues to work with communities, students, and teacher organizations in fostering the socio-emotional learning of students in schools, which has been found to have a direct correlation with the reduction in student suspensions. José is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Social Work where he was a Revson Fellow. He is also a graduate of the Ackerman Institute for the Family where he earned a certificate in family therapy. Jose’s approach to psychotherapy is working with the entire family system in order to promote understanding, emotional connection, healing and wellness. José is bilingual in English and Spanish and has a passion for working with Latinx and other immigrant communities. José has long been a community activist involved in organizing to improve both community health care and the educational system, organizing for tenants rights, working to stop police abuse of community members, as well as for peace and sovereignty in the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East.
Olivia Sterling is an Afro-Latina licensed social worker that specializes in providing clinical mental health services across diverse populations. In her practice, Olivia utilizes a variety of therapeutic modalities and evidence based treatments, including Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Play Therapy. Olivia has provided individual, group, and family therapy to children and adolescents in residential treatment centers, and served as a forensic social worker to incarcerated individuals and their families. Olivia has developed community based programs to promote youth empowerment, especially in communities of color and also, created peer educational training programs to educate young people on safe and healthy sexual behaviors. Currently, Olivia is a clinical specialist and works with people living with advanced and chronic illnesses and particularly, assists them in their end of life process. While Olivia comes to Aldea with a plethora of therapeutic tools and theories to practice, she is most interested in providing an open heart and mind for those seeking emotional healing through the service.
Amira Shouman is licensed social worker from the midwest with Palestinian roots. She completed her graduate training at the New York University School of Social Work and the Steinhardt School of Education. Amira's career has focused on identity development, programming and advocacy in institutions of higher education and organizations serving marginalized communities. Amira's clinical practice includes working with individuals at City Year and the New School Counseling Services. Amira has a strong passion for social justice and exploring how societal deficits impact the mind and body. Amira has worked with clients to address relationship challenges, anxiety, depression, cross-cultural issues, loss, domestic violence, displacement and coming of age experiences. Amira strives to offer a collaborative approach to therapy in a safe and supportive environment, while incorporating psychodynamic psychotherapy and evidence-based practices including CBT and ACT.
Judith received her graduate training from the Columbia School of Social Work. Prior to becoming a clinician, Judith worked as a sexual assault prevention educator with Catharsis Productions where she facilitated hundreds of trainings for audiences of college students and military personnel. As a result of this work, Judith feels passionately about working with survivors of trauma and strives in all that she does to create a world in which all survivors are believed and is ultimately free from sexual violence. She is a member of OutSmartNYC—a collective of nightlife staff, patrons, educators, and activists organizing to prevent and end sexual violence in bars, restaurants, and nightclubs—and helped to develop their training for nightlife staff. Additionally, Judith has an undergraduate degree in theater and has a keen interest in the intersection of mental health and the arts. She firmly believes there is no "one size fits all" approach to therapy and incorporates elements of CBT, DBT, mindfulness, psychodynamic modalities, and a strengths-based approach to create a personalized treatment plan for everyone she sees. In her free time she enjoys running, seeing theater, and spending time with her two cats.
Anika is a California native and has lived in New York City for several years. She holds a master's in social work from New York University Silver School of Social Work. Anika's passion and focus is trauma informed therapy. In her practice, Anika utilizes a number of evidence-based modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-focused CBT, motivational interviewing and other holistic interventions. In addition to working at Aldea Counseling Services, she also works at a community outpatient mental health program with individuals with a history of substance abuse. Anika has worked with a wide range of client populations from children to geriatrics. She has worked in various settings including academic institutions, non-profit and government agencies. Anika has experience supporting clients with work/life stress, identity development, and struggles in intimate partner relationships. Anika is passionate about creating a space for healing and growth in psychotherapy. She believes in utilizing intention and care in her work while also holding a variety of lenses and experiences while affirming the culture, intersectionalities and diversity that flow through us all.
Destony is a Harlem native and a licensed clinical social worker. She received her graduate degree in Social Welfare from the University at Albany, State University of New York. As a clinician, Destony has worked with diverse populations including children, adolescents, and adults living with emotional and mental challenges. She has also worked with teens and young adults in school settings as well as homes for adults living with severe mental illnesses. She believes in integrating different modalities into her practice with an overarching lens of solution focused psychotherapy and trauma focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Destony is passionate in her support of the community in which she grew up and lives. You may see her volunteering at a local book drive or fair around Harlem. She believes in creating a safe environment for her clients to learn how to cope with personal challenges in a caring, nonjudgmental and empowering space.
Frantasia Rouse is a Licensed Master Clinical Social Worker from Brooklyn, NY. She received her Master's Degree from Columbia University School of Social Work. Frantasia is committed to supporting individuals in gaining spiritual, emotional, and psychological wellness, despite challenges in their lives. She utilizes a variety of therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness Meditation, and Narrative Therapy, to facilitate personal transformation and generational healing. Frantasia has substantial experience working with young women and girls, LGBTQI folks, and those affected by sexual violence and intimate partner violence. She also works in other community based mental health organizations, facilitates case management for individuals who were previously homeless, and provides individual and group counseling in the Criminal Division of the Bronx Supreme Court.
Dr. Amy Bauman is a clinical social worker and Ph.D. educator whose current work explores the intersection of trauma and family therapy. Her doctoral work, at the University of North Carolina, examined the unexplored workings of white privilege in educational settings. After returning to New York and teaching graduate students at the Bank Street College of Education, she realized that the fuller work of insuring education that was truly culturally sensitive demanded training in social work. So Dr. Bauman set out to get a social work degree at Smith College School of Social Work, where her focus quickly turned to populations who are managing the ongoing effects of complex trauma (especially when caused by racism and multi-generational poverty). Since getting her degree, she has pursued additional training in both Trauma and Couples and Family Therapy. In addition to working with individuals and families who are managing the effects of complex trauma, Dr. Bauman is continuing her research on trauma-sensitive schooling, and is additionally exploring the ways that interpersonal and environmental trauma affects families who are involved in the foster care system. Finally, she has been working with her husband, a folklorist, to create a protocol for trauma-informed field research, a project that has led to a number of presentations and training workshops across the country. Both a parent (of two young adult children) and a trained EMDR therapist, Dr. Bauman currently works with clients at a host of clinical sites in New York City.
Dr. Marie C. Nazon received her Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work and her PhD in Social Welfare from Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She has over 25 years of clinical experience in mental health in community-based agencies, geriatrics facilities, correctional facilities and college settings. Dr. Nazon is on the counseling faculty at The City College of New York, SEEK Department of Counseling and Support Services, working with undergraduate students providing individual counseling, crisis management, group workshops, career and advisement counseling. Her research focus is on immigrant students in college and the transformational impact of international education and service learning. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and Former Fulbright Scholar in Senegal where she served as the social work consultant for a prison project under the auspice of the NGO Tostan. She has led study abroad and international service learning courses in Africa and the Caribbean. Dr. Nazon is passionate about women’s empowerment and for the past 20 years has co-founded and led women’s support circles in Africa and in New York. She incorporates a holistic approach in her practice and believes in the magnificent capability of the human body and mind to heal itself. As a clinician/healer she is honored to help facilitate clients own ability to heal themselves. She is fluent in French and Haitian Creole.
Kiana Polanco is a Latina born and raised in Washington Heights. She recently received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lehman College of the City University of New York. Entering Lehman College, she was determined on studying accounting. Her studies went in a different direction when she started working at Small Idea Group Family Daycare where she realized that her passion was in working with people and so she changed her major to psychology. Working at a daycare helped her gain valuable skills and experience in effective communication, caring for children, supporting families, and in creating a positive environment in the workspace. On her free time, Kiana enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Diomairy Sanchez was born in the Dominican Republic and came to the U.S with her family at the age four. She has lived in Washington Heights with her mother and twin siblings since her arrival in the U.S. She aspires to one day become a social worker, and, to this end, one of her present goals is to return to school and complete her studies in human services. Diomairy deeply enjoys helping others. Being of service and the satisfaction of knowing she is able to make someone's day a little better, really resonates with her and brings meaning and purpose to her life. Diomairy enjoys her self-care sessions which involve taking a full day for herself, reading, skincare, and journaling.