We always believe in taking a collaborative and introspective approach when working with adults, couples, families, or children. We believe this kind of approach to treatment helps patients have a deeper sense of their own wisdom and healing potential.
Because of deep emotional pain, wounds, and burdens that we each carry on a daily basis, we can often become disillusioned with ourselves or others. For most of us, our natural way of coping with these struggles is by avoiding or turning away from it. But despite the temporary relief it brings, this style of coping often maintains extreme beliefs, negative feelings, and unproductive behaviors.
We also believe that the relationship between the therapist and the patient is vital to any effective treatment.
By providing a safe, supportive, connected, and compassionate environment, people can find the strength to personally explore their struggles without being pushed, pathologized, or retraumatized. That is mainly why we empower and support our patients to turn towards these areas of difficulty and explore them in a manner that often leads to lasting change and new ways of relating to themselves, others and the larger world.
Ari Kellner, Psy.D.
Dr. Kellner holds a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University and a Doctor of Psychology from Pace University. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State, and is a Fellow at the Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He serves on the Faculty at Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He is also certified to interpret and apply Hogan Assessments.
Robyn Bellinson, LCSW
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years experience as a psychotherapist, with a strong focus on child, adolescent and family therapy.
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In collaboration with parents, we develop a more complex understanding of their childâ€™s emotional needs. I help families provide support and balance for one another, to adapt to more challenging phases of development. I have post masterâ€™s advanced training from psychotherapy institutes in New York City and Westchester County.
I started my practice in Union Square, NY where I primarily worked with college students on living separately from their parents, establishing their own identities, building relationships and reducing stress. Upon moving my practice to Westchester county, I began speaking with parents who express great difficulty in making parenting decisions when their children develop symptoms of sadness and anxiety. Sometimes, strategies that were working during one phase of development are no longer effective. Very often, the environmental or internal demands are overwhelming children and their families, and that is when we see an overflow of behaviors and emotions. In response to the pressure that many families experience, we discuss options which include family systems therapy in the initial consultation.
Family systems therapy recognizes the family as an emotional unit in which each memberâ€™s behavior influences the others. Within every family system, negative behavioral patterns develop and there is often emotional reactivity that is not helpful. Family therapy, when appropriate, relieves a particular child/teen as being the source of the problem and each member takes part in considering their own role in this system. Families work together at discussing their roles and sometimes switch roles. They collaborate on solving problems. Sometimes, we work on one parent and child interaction at a time and sometimes I help parents recognize how they might be projecting some of their own worry or frustration onto their children.
Parents immediately start identifying behavior patterns and often report that they learn to anticipate, make adjustments and carry some tools in their back pockets, to deal with their childrenâ€™s intense emotions. This helps them become more responsive than reactive to their childrenâ€™s periods of dysregulation. Also, the family overall becomes more flexible and individuals can shift more easily as their children grow and change.
I often hear that children/teens feel like they develop their own voice and opinions and learn how to communicate their needs more effectively. Some say that they feel more understood, encouraged and accepted in their own lives. This greater sense of security and connection in their relationships, allows them the ability to be more confident in academics, peer relationships and pursuing areas of interest. Most importantly, as they mature, they develop the ability to ask for help when needed but also how to self regulate.
I have a BA in Liberal Arts from the University of Maryland. A Masterâ€™s Degree in Social Work from Adelphi University. Post Masterâ€™s Training at Ackerman Family Therapy Institute. Adult Psychotherapy Training at New York School for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Child Psychotherapy Training at Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.
Additional Training at:
- Theracare Early Intervention and Preschool Family Training
- Division Mt. Sinai Crisis Intervention Center
- Jewish Family and Children Services
- Youth Counseling League
- Counseling Center at Humanities and Legacy NYC Public High
- Schools Psychiatric institute of Washington Admissions Unit
- Jewish Social Service Agency of Maryland Mental Health Clinic
More about Dr. Schwartz
I strive to provide a warm, non-judgmental, and safe space, where you can understand and work through your emotions and the stressors that you face in your life.
While therapy can be hard work, I aim to work collaboratively with you, to respectfully challenge you, and to assist you on a path toward personal growth and positive change. In therapy, I also integrate mindfulness practice, and utilize a cognitive behavioral (CBT) approach with a focus on relationship building, skill instruction, and goal-directed behavioral change.
In my practice, I enjoy working with adolescents and young adults. In the past, I worked as a school psychologist in an alternative therapeutic high school. In this role, I supported adolescents with significant anxiety, mood disorders, and learning and social challenges. I also enjoy working with parents as they navigate the challenges of parenting. When working with children or adolescents, I regularly involve parents in the therapy process, providing parent training and support as needed. I have extensive experience collaborating with other professionals to address childrenâ€™s and adolescentâ€™s emotional and learning issues.
I am a trained SPACE provider (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions). More information is available on the SPACE website. Please reach out if you would like to discuss if SPACE might be an appropriate treatment for your child or teenâ€™s anxiety.
In addition, I have pursued training in perinatal mental health through Postpartum Support International, and I am passionate about supporting women on the often-challenging journey of transitioning to motherhood. I offer a small weekly support group for new moms or individual sessions.
I graduated with Highest Honors from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I then went on to Fordham University, where I received my masterâ€™s degree (M.S.E.) in Therapeutic Interventions, and my doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in School Psychology.
Mark Hrastar, LMHC
I am a licensed psychotherapist with over a decade of clinical experience in a variety of settings. Much of my work involves treatment of depression and anxiety related to life changes and interpersonal relationships issues.
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My approach is supported by a background in psychodynamic theory and training in Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I draw on these select and various techniques to provide individualized and personalized treatment to my clients.
The goal of psychotherapy is to help facilitate change by developing awareness, compassion, acceptance and empathy toward yourself and others by identifying the values you want to define yourself by and to live by. My approach is the product of over a decade of experience working collaboratively with clients in an environment of non-judgement. I believe in taking an introspective and collaborative approach when working with adults and adolescents. I believe this allows the patient to develop the self-awareness needed to recognize their own ability to heal based on their own experiences and judgement.
My education includes a Masters of Arts and a Masters of Education in clinical and counseling psychology from Columbia University.
I hope my resourcefulness and comfort with being the go-to person for all things related to running the office, allows our clinicians to better help all our clients.
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Olivia Holden, LCSW
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with seven years experience in a variety of settings where I have partnered with adults, adolescents and children in individual, group and family therapy sessions.
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Additionally, I worked for over a decade in the field of movement and mindfulness exercise; this experience drew me to study and utilize mindfulness-based somatic interventions in therapy sessions. Mindfulness-based somatic interventions are body-based approaches that invite and enhance your awareness of your bodyâ€™s physical sensations deepening your understanding of your life experiences, empowering you with an embodied connection to your present-moment experience. Your ability to regulate your emotions and address nervous system imbalance directly impacts your ability to reduce the frequency and intensity of anxiety, depression, and trauma related symptoms.
My approach to the therapeutic experience includes creating a safe, supportive space where you and I bring curiosity to your thoughts, behaviors and feelings and work together to address and challenge any behaviors, thoughts or emotional intensity that impact your ability to find contentment and joy in life. In addition to mindfulness-based somatic interventions, I have experience in applying elements of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT); consistently applying these therapeutic techniques has been proven to decrease anxiety and depression symptoms.
I hold my Masters of Social Work from Adelphi University and my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from the State University of New York at Purchase. My postgraduate studies in social work include trainings led by Bessel van der Kolk, MD, author of The Body Keeps the Score, Pat Ogden, PhD, and Peter Levine, PhD, leaders in research and application of trauma-based interventions. I have over two decades of experience studying and teaching dance and PIlates and Gyrotonic Exercise, mindfulness-based exercise systems.
â€œBeing able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying livesâ€.
– Bessel van der Kolk, Ph.D.