Our Practices

Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW

Our Practices

Cognitive-behavioral therapy stresses the role of thinking about 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.
Family and Marital therapists work with families or couples, both together and individually to help them improve their communication skills, build on the positive aspects of their relationships, and repair the harmful or negative aspects.
Family Systems therapists view problems within the family as the result and not due to individual family member behavior of the family’s group dynamic. The family is seen as a complex system having its own language, roles, rules, beliefs, needs and patterns. The therapist helps each individual member understand how their childhood family operated, their role in that system, and how that experience has shaped their role in the current family. Therapists with the MFT credential are usually trained in Family Systems therapy.

IPT is a short-term psychotherapy in which therapist and client identify the issues and problems of interpersonal relationships. They also explore the client’s life history to help recognize problem areas and then work toward ways to rectify them.

There are specific Interpersonal therapies, such as Imago therapy, which focus on intimate relationships.

Interpersonal therapy is not to be confused with transpersonal psychology, which is the study of states in which people experience a deeper sense of who they are, or a sense of greater connectedness with others, nature or spirituality.
For clients with chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and other health issues such as anxiety and depression, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or MBCT, is a two-part therapy that aims to reduce stress, manage pain, and embrace the freedom to respond to situations by choice. MCBT blends two disciplines–cognitive therapy and mindfulness. Mindfulness helps by reflecting on moments and thoughts without passing judgment. MBCT clients pay close attention to their feelings to reach an objective mindset, thus viewing and combating life’s unpleasant occurrences.
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a method of therapy that works to engage the motivation of clients to change their behavior. Clients are encouraged to explore and confront their ambivalence. Therapists attempt to influence their clients to consider making changes, rather than non-directively explore themselves. Motivational Interviewing is frequently used in cases of problem drinking or mild addictions.
Multicultural awareness is an understanding and sensitivity of the values, experiences, and lifestyles of minority groups. Differences in race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, are all tackled by Multicultural counseling. In the counseling setting, the counselor recognizes that the client is different from the counselor and treats the client without forcing the client to be like him or her.
Person-centered therapy uses a non-authoritative approach that allows clients to take more of a lead in discussions so that, in the process, they will discover their own solutions. The therapist acts as a compassionate facilitator, listening without judgment and acknowledging the client’s experience without moving the conversation in another direction. The therapist is there to encourage and support the client and to guide the therapeutic process without interrupting or interfering with the client’s process of self-discovery.
Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, evolved from Freudian psychoanalysis. Like adherents of psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapists believe that bringing the unconscious into conscious awareness promotes insight and resolves conflict. But psychodynamic therapy is briefer and less intensive than psychoanalysis and also focuses on the relationship between the therapist and the client, as a way to learn about how the client relates to everyone in their life.
Solution-focused therapy, sometimes called “brief therapy,” focuses on what clients would like to achieve through therapy rather than on their troubles or mental health issues. The therapist will help the client envision a desirable future, and then map out the small and large changes necessary for the client to undergo to realize their vision. The therapist will seize on any successes the client experiences, to encourage them to build on their strengths rather than dwell on their problems or limitations.
Strength-based therapy is a type of positive psychotherapy and counseling that focuses more on your internal strengths and resourcefulness, and less on weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings. This focus sets up a positive mindset that helps you build on you best qualities, find your strengths, improve resilience and change worldview to one that is more positive. A positive attitude, in turn, can help your expectations of yourself and others become more reasonable.
Trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) helps people who may be experiencing post-traumatic stress after a traumatic event to return to a healthy state.
Jennifer Sukup, Psychotherapist

Jennifer Sukup, Psychotherapist

Hello! My name is Jen I am a graduate of New York University’s Silver School of Social Work and have a background in working with clients in crisis. I am also a certified yoga teacher and enjoy incorporating a mindfulness-based practice with my clients.

I fine-tailor my approach based on client’s presenting case and utilize several evidence-based modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Motivational Interviewing, Psycho-education, Mindfulness and Meditation, and Expressive Art Therapy. I enjoy assisting my clients in recognizing their strengths and empowering them with coping strategies while navigating their path to wellness.

I am recently trained in EMDR with Mark Nickerson in association with the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) with Mayte Redcay at the Phoenix Global Training Institute, and Flash Technique with Philip Manfield and Lewis Engel in association with PESI. I encourage my clients suffering from anxiety, depression, trauma and other diagnoses to utilize these interventions other than just using narrative therapy.

Favorite Quote: “Self-Esteem is the ability to see yourself as a flawed individual and still hold yourself in high regard.” — Esther Perel

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.

Quincy Koffel, Psychotherapist

Hi there!  Welcome to Growth Wellness. My name is Quincy and I am a Licensed Master Social Worker who approaches the therapeutic field from an intermodal, intuitive, trauma-informed, narrative and expressive arts-based lens.  I have an MSW and an MA in Education from NYU and enjoy integrating my experience from multiple decades in the field of education into the healing space including centering client wisdom, acquisition of knowledge, creative play and multiple iterations of group work. I am passionate about the values of social work, especially the importance of centering dignity, social justice and worth of person. I approach my work with clients from a place of cultural humility, empathy, intuition and affirmation, while framing my work through a strengths-based, client-centered lens.  

I specialize in creating healing spaces to partner with clients of all ages and phases of the life cycle to build coping mechanisms to navigate anxiety, depression, trauma, life transitions, identity formation, affirmation and evolution, chronic illness, issues within interpersonal relationship issues, familial strife, and the criticality of personal empowerment. Being an intermodal therapist means that I integrate and synthesize multiple evidence-based modalities including but not limited to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Positive Psychology Therapy, Mindfulness and Expressive Arts Therapy.  Humanistic Theory and Narrative Therapy are central components to the roots of my practice lens as I believe that we should be constantly empowered to examine and re-examine our defining moments and generate and refine the tools to make continuous meaning of our life’s journey. 

I am honored to have the potential to meet you and co-create a healing journey of empowerment and possibility. 

Favorite Quote: 

“For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” – Amanda Gorman 

Erica Margarita Pardo, Psychotherapist

Hi! My name is Erica and I am a native Spanish-speaking psychotherapist. I am a Social Worker and a graduate of Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. As a Latina, it is my pride in my culture and my lived experiences that gives me the strength to create safe spaces and build healthy relationships in the community. My passion is supporting children and families in discovering the power of their voice and the freedom that comes with it.

The most essential intervention in my practice is love and it is used to inspire individuals to break the cycle of generational trauma. In addition, intuitive, anti-racist, and trauma-informed practices are key components of my treatment process.

I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with you in your journey of healing!

Favorite quote of Audre Lorde “When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision – it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

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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Name, Title

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”.