Frequently Asked Questions

Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW

Frequently Asked Questions

Cognitive-behavioral therapy stresses the role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. It is based on the belief that thoughts, rather than people or events, cause our negative feelings. The therapist assists the client in identifying, testing the reality of, and correcting dysfunctional beliefs underlying his or her thinking. The therapist then helps the client modify those thoughts and the behaviors that flow from them. CBT is a structured collaboration between therapist and client and often calls for homework assignments. CBT has been clinically proven to help clients in a relatively short amount of time with a wide range of disorders, including depression and anxiety.
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Cindy Cabrera Clinic Assistant

Cindy Cabrera, Clinic Assistant

My name is Cindy and I am the Clinic Assistant. One of the values I hold true to my heart is family. When you call to inquire about services or walk through the doors for your first appointment my goal is to help you feel the comfort and warmness just as you would feel from a family member. I do my best to support families who are not quite rehearsed with the ins and outs of therapy, and no question is too small or large. If I am unable to answer any question, I will find someone who will be able to! By doing so, my hope is that any nervousness that you might feel about therapy will be eased for a better experience in session. I look forward to seeing you all as you walk through our doors!
Carla O'Neil Licensed Social Worker

Carla O'Neil, Licensed Social Worker

Hello, My name is Carla, I am a Licensed Social Worker and prefer to utilize a strengths-based, trauma informed approach to help adults and children manage their emotions and decrease levels of stress.

I’ve been a Social Worker since 2011 and have experience working with the geriatric population, as well as adults and children of all ages. My current position as an early childhood social worker allows me to work closely with teachers and parents to help children develop social-emotional skills and manage behavior. If you have been considering reaching out for therapy, please don’t hesitate to contact us today to begin the journey to wellness.

Favorite quote by William James “We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
Yissel Rodriguez, Psychotherapist

Yissel Rodriguez, Psychotherapist

Hello, my name is Yissel Rodriguez and I am a bilingual Mental Health Counselor at Growth Wellness Services! I wholeheartedly believe that clients have within themselves all of the character traits they need to lead healthy and well rounded lives. Using a strengths based approach, I work with clients to assure they identify, work towards, and reach their therapeutic goals.

I am a graduate of Manhattan College and have experience working with varying client populations from children to teens and adults. I believe that the relationship between client and therapist is very important to making progress and that is why I aim to be an approachable and empathetic therapist. As a team we will work through past traumas/patterns of behavior and foster new and healthy coping skills. I am excited to be a part of this journey with you!

In his book The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho writes, “and, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Let’s work together towards achieving that which you desire.

¡Hola, mi nombre es Yissel Rodríguez y soy consejera de salud mental bilingüe en Growth Wellness Services! Creo de todo corazón que los clientes tienen dentro de sí mismos todos los rasgos de personaje que necesitan para llevar una vida sana y completa. Usando un enfoque basado en fortalezas, trabajo con clientes para asegurar que identifiquen, trabajen y alcancen sus objetivos terapéuticos.

Me gradué de Manhattan College y tengo experiencia trabajando con diferentes poblaciones de clientes, desde niños hasta adolescentes y adultos. Creo que la relación entre el cliente y el terapeuta es muy importante para progresar y es por eso que mi objetivo es ser una terapeuta accesible y empática. Como equipo, trabajaremos a través de traumas/patrones de comportamiento pasados y fomentaremos habilidades de afrontamiento nuevas y saludables. ¡Estoy emocionada de ser parte de este viaje contigo!

En su libro El Alquimista, Paulo Coelho escribe, “y, cuando quieres algo, todo el universo conspira para ayudarte a lograrlo”. Trabajemos juntos para lograr lo que deseas.
Sheryl Jackson, E-RYT, Yoga Instructor

Sheryl Jackson, E-RYT, Yoga Instructor

Sheryl Jackson, E-RYT, creates a safe, welcoming, music-filled space for students to connect with breath, body, mind, and community. She encourages all students to approach their practice with steadiness, ease, and curiosity, allowing space to explore their specific needs at that moment. Sheryl’s classes are playful, gentle, yet challenging, and meditative with a strong focus on the breath, alignment, and body awareness.

Shaylyn Maloney, Mental Health Counselor, Psychotherapist

Shaylyn Maloney, Psychotherapist

My name is Shaylyn Maloney, and I am a Mental Health Counselor. I believe in a well-rounded, person-centered approach to mental health.

It is my priority to provide a warm environment in which you can explore your thoughts, recognize your strengths, and build upon them to meet your personal goals.

I find the therapeutic relationship to be the most valuable aspect of the counseling experience. I aim to engage each client where they are to foster growth, process difficult emotions, and face challenges as they arise.

I believe in the importance of cultivating creativity and joy, which is why you can find me learning how to longboard and playing guitar in my personal time.

I am passionate about how chronic illness and mental health intertwine, and the impact it has on individuals and their families, stemming from my journey as a type 1 diabetic.

I look forward to seeing you at Growth Wellness Services!
Jessica Mesa, Psychotherapist

Jessica Mesa, Psychotherapist

Hi! My name is Jessica but you can call me Jess. I know you’ve probably been looking for a therapist for quite some time and that’s been a journey but I’m so glad you came across Growth Wellness Services! 😁

I am a Bilingual Social Worker that graduated from Fordham University. I have a wide range of experience within the school system and the various methods used in order to encourage, support, interact and assist our children and families who require special education/needs programs using a systemic approach. I also have experience working with individuals of all ages who are struggling with academic support, day to day stressors, anxiety and other socio-emotional needs.

My main priority is making sure that you always have a safe space for you to be comfortable. I genuinely believe in meeting clients where they are so that we can work together in processing difficult emotions, empower you and face challenges as they arise.

Practicing self-care is important to me so you can find me expressing myself through the Arts, Hiking, Traveling and Working out! 😀

Hola! Me llamo Jessica pero me pueden llamar Jess. Se lo dificil que es encontrar una Terapista con quien uno se sienta cómodo, y me puedo imaginar lo tanto que han durado para poder conseguir uno, pero me da tanta alegría que nos encontraron aquí en la práctica de Growth Wellness Services!! 😁

Soy Trabajadora Social Bilingüe, graduada de la Universidad de Fordham. Tengo mucha experiencia con el sistema escolar y los diferentes métodos que usamos para motivar, apoyar, interactuar y asistir a nuestros niños y familias que necesitan servicios de educación especial. También tengo mucha experiencia con individuos de todo tipo que están pasando por momentos difíciles académicos, estresores de la vida, ansiedad y otras necesidades emocionales.

Mi prioridad es siempre asegurarse que ustedes tengan un espacio seguro y se sientan cómodos para que podamos trabajar juntos en procesar emociones difíciles, empoderarnos, y enfrentar momentos difíciles cuando estén presentes.

Para mi lo mas importante es el cuido de uno mismo así que siempre me pueden encontrar expresándome por las Artes, Viajando, Ejercicio, y Caminatas naturales!! 😀
Ericka Walker, Social Worker, Psychotherapist

Ericka Walker, Psychotherapist

Hello!! My name is Ericka and I am a Licensed Master Social Worker. I am originally from Florida and I have been living in NYC for 11 years. I enjoy mindfulness beyond meditation, spirituality, and using a holistic approach.

Therapy is a process that requires a person to be open, honest and willing to accept change. It is not going to be easy, but you will have someone to guide you through the process. We can explore ways to improve overall wellness, self awareness, identifying and utilizing strengths, and behavioral challenges. My clinical experience includes working with adolescents and families.

I use a variety of therapeutic modalities to address client needs which include motivational interviewing, cognitive behavior therapy, partialization, coaching and using strengths-based language.

Favorite quote by Les Brown “I will heighten my life by helping others heighten theirs.”

Welcome to Growth Wellness Services 🙂
Brianna Luciano, Movement Instructor

Brianna Luciano, Movement Instructor

Brianna is a well-rounded dancer from New Jersey who believes movement to be healing. She has traveled throughout the United States, China & Sri Lanka teaching what she loves- her passion for Dance. Since the age of thirteen she has traveled internationally both alone and with agencies for opportunities to teach, perform, and creative direct.

During these travels from a teenager to a young adult she has discovered the many ways that movement has contributed to shaping the woman she is today. Brianna is brave, compassionate, honest, and loving. Her mission is to continue to share this journey with the world, one person at a time.
  • Old school hip-hop foundation (fun & groves) out of our heads & into the body vibes.
  • Lyrical (expressive slow movement) helps with releasing & comforting yourself
  • Break dance (exploring something new) Helps with spontaneity & strength
  • New school choreography builds focus & memory
  • House style (Breaking boundaries) Builds stamina & gets the body moving!
  • Freestyle (getting to know your body freely with no judgement) this helps with imagination & creativity.
  • Latin fusion (Reggae, salsa, bachata) Confidence, bold & footwork
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Ashley Alahakoon, Psychotherapist

Ashley Alahakoon, Psychotherapist

Hello! My name is Ashley, you can call me Ash. I am a Mental Health Counselor, who is a graduate of Pace University. I have worked with a wide variety of clients including individuals as young as three years old up to the ages of adulthood who have significant trauma histories, families struggling with behavioral issues of young children/teens, individuals who are finding it difficult with gender/sexual identity, teens with social anxiety, and general stressors that come day to day.

Talk therapy can get quite redundant and dull over the course of treatment. My goal is to bring excitement and light-hearted aspects to therapy to keep it interesting, all while working on the difficult experiences and emotions that brings the client into the session. Connecting the mind and body is key to ultimate wellness, and I will be the light to guide you through that!

Personally, I enjoy working out, expressing myself through the arts, and making people laugh!

Can’t wait to see you at GWS!
Toyae Liverpool, LCSW, MHRM, Psychotherapist

Toyae Liverpool, LCSW, MHRM, Psychotherapist

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who have been working in the field of Behavioral Health for the past 25 years. I am a graduate of New York University. I also completed psychoanalytical training from New York school of Psychoanalysis. I have completed trainings in (mindfulness-based stress reduction, Expressive therapies such as “song tapestry, play therapy, movement in psychotherapy, and trauma informed care”. I have worked with a wide array of clients (children, adolescents, adults, individuals coping with grief and loss, trauma, LGBTQ issues, and individuals coping with medical issues. I believe in being creative in therapy and using various modalities to assist individuals to meet their wellness goals. I am a certified yoga instructor and often integrate yoga and meditation into my sessions for clients who welcome it.

To find balance in my life I run, practice yoga, and meditate daily.

Favorite quote by Maya Angelou “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty”.