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Maria was born in Poland and migrated to NYC at the age of 3. She was raised in Brooklyn and carries that as a badge of honor. Maria attended Hunter College where she graduated with a degree in Sociology. She then attended LIU Brooklyn and obtained her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling in 2017. During her time at LIU Brooklyn, she was the campus representative for the American Psychology Association Division 35 Society for the Psychology of Women. Maria was involved in hosting events that help spread awareness for feminist research, theory and education to understand and improve the lives of girls and women in all their diversities. This helped Maria develop her passion towards working with women and women’s issues. After graduation, Maria was hired as a full time substance abuse counselor at Outreach, where she completed her internship for graduate school. She worked with adults to help them reach their goals in recovery. Maria implemented harm reduction techniques to help promote a more inclusive and realistic approach for treating substance use disorders. She is determined to approach all her clients by meeting them where they are and empowering them to meet their treatment and therapy goals. After 3 years, Maria was promoted to Program Coordinator where she was responsible for running Restart Academy, a Department of Education alternative high school for students with substance use and behavioral issues and an after school program for outpatient services for adolescents. Maria enjoyed working and advocating for adolescents and young people. She guided them through different life transitions like: finishing high school, coping with peer pressure and preparing for the next chapters of their lives like college or full time employment. Maria also supervised new counselors and her approach was always to empower counselors and teach them listen to their “clinical gut”. Maria is driven by social justice and participated in movements for Black Lives Matter, women’s rights and animal rights. Her approaches in therapy display her commitment to provide an empathic, compassionate and judgement-free space where people from all walks of life can address their emotional issues, life transitions and meet their therapy goals. When she is not in session, Maria teaches as an adjunct lecturer at Hunger College. She teaches courses like Drugs and Society and the Sociology of Mental Health. In her free time, Maria loves to re-watch “The Office”, spend time with her two cats Rajah and Stella and try new vegan recipes.
Weekdays 9am - 5pm
Weekdays After 5pm
In-person available: Yes
Virtual available: Yes
Why state matters
Get to Know Maria
Ms. Cristina Shea, LMSW, Colleague
Mx. Kate Jamison, Clinical Intern, Colleague
Artur Lebiedzinski, MHC-LP, Colleague
Rachel Moses, Colleague
Brian Molloy-Clinical Intern, Colleague
Lisa Piccininni – MHC Clinical Intern , Colleague
Jill Mooney, MHC Clinical Intern , Colleague
Margaret Rau, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LMSW, MSW, Colleague
Banks Clippinger, Colleague
Miri Kassow - LMSW, Colleague
Blair Luedke, Colleague
Mr. David Diaz, Colleague
Ms. Greiny Rodriguez, Colleague
Mr. Kyle William McEvoy, Colleague
David Stahler, Colleague
Amanda Fogel - Clinical Intern, Colleague
My perspective is that therapy is a tool that can be used in many ways. It can serve as a way to process difficult emotions, break unhealthy patterns or explore any negative life experience or it can just a space to handle every stressors and life transitions. It is just as important as physical health. Therapy can be a place for self-discovery, empowerment and developing to your fullest potential.
My rule of thumb is to ask questions, never assume but also do a lot of work outside of the sessions. I do not expect my clients to teach me about their culture, background, ethnicity etc. but I will ask appropriate questions that can help strengthen my understanding of their experience and our therapeutic alliance. My goal is to create a safe space for any client.
I do assign "homework". I believe it is really important for clients to "do work" outside of sessions. This allows for processing thoughts and reflecting on sessions. The "homework" may look different every time but it is a great tool for me to also understand my clients better.