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.
Reverend Hilda Marie has a Master's in Psychology and is also an Ordained Interfaith Minister. Her holistic approach to working with individuals includes traditional counseling therapies as well as pastoral counseling and guidance. Hilda has worked as a consultant for numerous social service agencies in NYC, including Safe Horizon, St. John's Hospital, Spence-Chapin and the Mental Health Association of New York. She facilitates psycho-educational workshops, women's support groups, and parenting classes and has taught Psychology courses at CUNY. It is Hilda's belief that individuals in counseling need immediate, practical and effective tools for optimal functioning in their daily lives. She is committed to the growth and healing process of her clients and offers a strengths based approach. Hilda's services are also available in Spanish.
Monique Lang is a clinical social worker trained in a range of psychotherapy models, with a particularity for Internal Family Systems and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. She is also a certified Reiki practitioner and integrates Mindfulness practice into her work. Along with her private practice in NYC and Riverdale, NY, Monique leads Vision Quests. She has been a college and institute faculty member and is presently on the executive committee and on the faculty of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy’s Trauma Studies Center. In addition, she is part of the counseling staff at the Omega Institute. Her published works include Healing from Post-Traumatic Stress: a Workbook for Recovery, Meditations for Healing, and Ceremonies for Healing.
Jonathon Moon, ACC has been a certified life/career coach for the past eight years. He trained at The Academy for Coaching Excellence under acclaimed psychologist and life coach Dr. Maria Nemeth. Previous 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. Jonathon resides in Harlem with his partner of 14 years and their son. Through coaching he quit smoking, became a successful landlord, loving partner, adopted a baby, became a loving father, and began composing his own music.
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.
Chevon is a Clinical Social Worker, Registered Dance Movement Therapist, and Certified 200-hours yoga instructor. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Dance from William Smith College and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. While completing her graduate degree, she trained to become a Dance/Movement Therapist at the Harkness Dance Center. Chevon is committed to helping individuals in their healing process. She utilizes a holistic approach in her therapeutic work and incorporates somatic approaches in working with trauma, depression, and anxiety. In addition, she also utilizes Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral therapy. Chevon has worked with children, families, adolescents, adults, and older adults at community mental health clinic, forensic hospitals, and school settings. As a first generation Jamaican-American, Chevon is passionate about incorporating arts in the healing process for people in the African Diaspora. She practices yoga on a regular basis and lives in Queens with her fiancé.
Michaela Ambrosius is a multilingual and multiethnic Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a doctoral candidate in counselor education at 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.
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.
Denise was born and raised in NYC from Ecuadorian parents. She attended the High School of Art and Design where she learned to use art as a form of self expression. She is currently completing her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administrations at Queens College. Denise has a very wide range of experience having worked in very diverse environments including as a ESL teacher assistant at Queens College, caring for children with special needs and kitchen support at a Mexican Cuisine restaurant in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In her free time she enjoys drawing and martial arts. Working at Aldea has reminded her of the immense satisfaction that comes from helping others and has inspired her to include mental health and psychotherapy in her future career goals.
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.
Lia is an Italian-American social worker, who received her graduate training at Columbia University School of Social Work. Her training at Columbia focused on a variety of therapeutic models, with a particular orientation toward experiential and emotion focused therapies. Lia also draws on behavioral approaches, such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, to support individuals and groups in finding the sweet spot between acceptance and change. In her practice, Lia maintains a commitment to social justice and has experience partnering with adolescents, adults, couples and families in community-based organizations, health centers, and school settings, to achieve shared goals of health equity and social inclusion. Lia is also a writer and incorporates narrative approaches into her therapeutic practice. She has travelled internationally and worked with women activists from around the world; partnering with them to script and share their stories on the live stage; as well as developed writing groups for women and LGBTQ youth. Her published work includes sexual and reproductive health care curriculum for adolescents as well as educational animated videos. Lia is a member of the national network, Showing Up for Racial Justice, as well as Endangered Bodies, a local-global initiative aimed toward body positivity. Lia lives in Brooklyn and regularly practices yoga and meditation.
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.
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.
Fatima is a graduate of Hunter College where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in French. She has extensive experience in a variety of areas including teacher’s aide, dental assistant, paralegal and case management. Fatima is originally from Mexico where she lived her childhood years. When her family moved to the US in search of a better life she had to quickly learn English and acculturate to the new environment. Eventually she became the first in her family to pursuit higher education and obtain a college degree. Fatima is delighted to have found her way to Aldea. Because of her work at Aldea, she is now inspired to continue her education in the mental health field.
Nicole Tammelleo has over fifteen years of experience working in the fields of public health and social work in the United States as well as abroad. She holds a Masters in Cultural Anthropology as well as a Masters in Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. She has an extensive background working with survivors of sexual and gender based violence, and French speaking immigrants. Nicole has worked with numerous non-profits and immigration attorneys to ensure an integration of legal and mental health services that best supports the individuals needs including, psychological and emotional support.
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.