Meet The Team
Amir Levine, Ph.D., LCSW-R, CASAC
Amir Levine is a NY State Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is the Co-Founder and Clinical Director of NYC Therapy Group. Dr. Levine also served for over a decade as the Director of Behavioral Scientist at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Department of Family Medicine where he directed the behavioral medicine curriculum.
As Clinical Director of our team therapists, Dr. Levine serves as a devoted mentor, educator, mental health provider and an innovator in organizational development. Dr. Levine has presented at numerous national conferences about issues related to clinical psycho-therapeutic curriculum development, organizational development and direct patient care.
Deeply passionate about his clinical work with his clients and staff, Dr. Levine has the innate gift to hone in on the issues people with whom he serves struggle with and the ability to work collaboratively towards finding creative and productive solutions. Dr. Levine completed his Ph.D. degree in Social Work from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University.
Danielle Geffen, LMHC, Director of New Client Referrals and Intake
Danielle is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who also holds a Certificate in Integrated Mental Health & Addictions Treatment. Having obtained a B.A. in Psychology from SUNY Plattsburgh and a M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Pace University, Danielle has extensive clinical experience working in an inpatient behavioral rehabilitation unit. Danielle has helped her patients learn new ways to approach life in productive and healthy ways. She has taught coping skills for various mental health issues, and educated many on how to establish balance in their life. Danielle utilizes a person-centered counseling modality while also pulling from various other frameworks including psychodynamic and holistic approaches. She believes in meeting you where you are at and in utilizing mindfulness techniques to help her clients move from autopilot into a fuller awareness of themselves and to live more purposefully.
Ariel Davis, New Client Coordinator
Ariel obtained her B.S. in Psychology from SUNY Oneonta in 2013 and is currently working on obtaining her masters in Public Health from New York Medical College. Having 6 years experience working in the field of mental health and client services, Ariel joined the Bhava Therapy Team in 2019 as our New Client Coordinator. With her empathetic and nonjudgmental nature, selfless attitude, and commitment to supporting others, Ariel is eager to help others find their way to gaining the support they need. Ariel also understands how very hard it can be to take that first step to finding support. When you feel ready to take the step to reach out, Ariel is more than happy to be on the other line to help you begin your wellness journey.
Eliana Panora, LMSW
Eliana obtained a Masters Degree in Social Work from the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work. Her clinical work has concentrated on working with children, adults and family work. Eliana’s therapeutic approach fuses cognitive and psychodynamic approaches, as well as incorporating additional techniques such as mindfulness and art and play therapy to best meet the needs of her clients. Eliana offers highly personalized care taking into consideration each individual’s needs, strengths and perspectives.
As your therapist, Eliana will provide you with a safe space to be yourself and explore any concerns you may have. Through her work, Eliana believes the key to a happier life involves gaining a better understanding of oneself and circumstances. Through self-awareness, she believes anyone can take greater control of their lives and create a life that is more meaningful and purposeful. Life is about putting all the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that feels right to you. Let Eliana help you achieve that.
Rachel Kimelman, LCSW
Rachel Kimelman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with vast clinical experience obtained from her 9+ years working in the field of mental health. Rachel’s experience includes working with people who face challenges related to life transitions, mood disorders, personality disorders, LGBTQ issues, trauma and homelessness. Additionally, Rachel has knowledge and training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and is able to utilize a multi-modal therapeutic approach to meet client’s individual needs.
With a strong passion for helping people meet their life goals, Rachel uses her intuitive abilities and empathic understanding. This helps clients clarify and manage their challenges so they can focus on actualizing their potential.
Rachel received a Master’s Degree from The Columbia University School of Social Work and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook. She believes that trust is the core foundation toward building a strong therapeutic alliance.
Emily Shapiro MS, LMFT
Emily holds a master’s degree from Bank Street College of Education and a master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Emily has taught a range of ages from 2’s through teens, and was the director at Columbus Park West Nursery School in Manhattan for fifteen years. She has 25 years of experience working with children and families both at the school and privately.
Emily’s approach to therapy is both warm and collaborative. She listens intuitively, and respects the client’s expertise on her/his own experience. In the therapy sessions, we are partners in identifying and building on your strengths. Together, we clarify your goals and clear away obstacles so you can move forward.
Emily’s areas of interest include couples, parenting, single parenting, blending families, struggling teens, and the multigenerational effects on a family as the oldest generation ages. Emily has a special interest in preventive psychotherapy; preparing clients for life transitions such as marriage, parenthood, school entry, transitions to college and to work, retirement and aging.
Amanda Veras MHC-LP, Director of Therapeutic Compliance
Amanda is a Mental Health Counselor dedicated to providing an environment that supports and empowers her clients. Her non-judgmental, empathic and playful approach to therapy provides clients with a safe space to be themselves. She listens intuitively and believes in working collaboratively with her clients to support their personal growth and goals.
Amanda has worked with a population of diverse clients ranging from early childhood and adolescents through adulthood. She is fluent in English and Spanish and has experience in treating a range of issues that include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, life transitions, and interpersonal difficulties.
Through therapeutic work she believes that anyone is capable of obtaining balance and wellness, and achieving happiness regardless of their stressors
Cayley Kasten, LCSW
Cayley earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. She has experience working in outpatient and inpatient mental health settings, and in schools. Cayley has been trained in cognitive behavioral therapy and trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy. She completed training at the Ackerman institute for the Family and is currently training at the Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.
Cayley may utilize art therapy, play therapy, and other modalities as indicated. She has experience working with people who have been diagnosed with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma related disorders, as well as relationship and life stage challenges.
Her approach to therapy is collaborative and post-modern. Cayley believes that in order to empower clients, it is important to take an unassuming stance with kindness and curiosity. This allows her to build a trusting and empathic therapeutic alliance with clients and address the root of their problems.
Glendenise McPherson, LMSW
Glendenise accomplished a BA in psychology from Ithaca College and a Master’s degree from Hunter College. Her education was focused on clinical skills along with systemic injustice. Both approaches inspire her drive to collaborate with clients in an empathetic and nonjudgmental way. She is deeply committed to helping individuals address the emotional effects of discrimination, anxious thoughts, self esteem, depression, spiritual conflicts and other worries. Glendenise is dedicated to her clients and she encourages an open dialogue. Her stance is that everyone should have a welcoming space to express themselves freely and Glendenise aims to acknowledge your concerns while creating a peaceful atmosphere. She is approachable, thoughtful, and eager to support you through tough times.
Amanda Sacks, LMSW
Amanda’s approach to therapy is holistic, warm, and strengths-based. She is passionate about collaborating with clients to help them find clarity with their goals and ways to practically attain them. She has been trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and also incorporates mindfulness techniques into sessions acquired from 10+ years of teaching therapeutic yoga. Amanda supports children, teens, families and adults struggling with a variety of challenges including: anxiety, depression, trauma, ADHD, and interpersonal difficulties.
Amanda completed her Bachelor’s in Social Work from New York University and Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California
Nitin Kini, LMSW
Nitin is a Licensed Social Worker with a Master’s degree from Fordham University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rutgers University. Nitin emphasizes the importance of the therapeutic relationship and values a collaborative style of therapy. He seeks to ensure that his clients are an active and informed part of the process.
Operating from an eclectic approach including interventions based in CBT, psychodynamic, mindfulness, and humanistic therapy, Nitin aims to tailor the therapeutic process to each individual, couple, or group that he works with. Nitin has experience working with a diverse population of clients including children, adolescents, and adults. His therapeutic focus includes but is not limited to anxiety, depression, life stage issues, and interpersonal difficulties. Nitin views the ultimate goal of therapy to be the development of insight and understanding of oneself that culminates in a happier and well-adjusted life, however that is defined by his clients.
Elizabeth Joseph, MHC-LP
Elizabeth emphasizes a strengths-based, collaborative approach with her clients. She draws from different evidence-based modalities, including CBT, DBT, and ACT. She has experience working with individuals in partial hospitalization programs struggling with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, trauma, substance use disorders, and psychosis, among others.
Elizabeth aims to provide her clients with a warm, trusting, culturally-sensitive environment in order to encourage them to empower themselves to live a fuller life.
Lauren Eley, LMSW
Lauren is a New York state licensed social worker and native New Yorker. She received her bachelor’s degree from Skidmore college and her master’s degree from the New York University Silver School of Social Work. Lauren has extensive experience working with youth in school settings, where she supported children struggling with anxiety, depression, behavioral challenges, along with additional psychological needs. Lauren has also worked with children and adults in other clinical spaces.
Lauren meets each client where they are and tailors her approach to best suit their individual needs. She is a strong believer in the strengths-based and client-centered models. Furthermore, Lauren views the therapeutic process as collaborative; she prioritizes client self-actualization by working with the client to help them find the tools they require to advocate for themselves.
As a highly compassionate individual, Lauren provides empathetic, high-quality care to each one of her clients.
Tiffany Carter, Most Fabulous Office Manager
Tiffany began her career with BHAVA Therapy Groups our first marketing intern in 2015. Having obtained her B.S. in Healthcare Management from Mount Saint Vincent University in 2016, Tiffany then moved into her current role as Office Manager in 2016.
With her unyielding optimism, eagerness to grow and learn, infectious kindness and exquisite attention to detail, Tiffany brings boundless warmth and professionalism to the most important role of keeping all-things-office running smoothly.
Veronica Vaiti, LCSW-R, CCATP
Veronica Vaiti is a NY State Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of NYC Therapy Group. Veronica has been working as a Psychotherapist, Yoga Therapist and Meditation Teacher for almost 2 decades. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).
Veronica holds a Bachelors Degree in Business and Communications from Villanova University, and a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University (NYU). Her Post Masters Training includes Advanced Clinical Training at NYU, the Clinical Fellowship Program at the Gestalt Associates for Psychotherapy, Developmental Somatic Therapy with Ruella Frank as well as her ongoing work with her clients.
Veronica’s professional experience includes working with diverse client populations and organizations with people ranging in age from early childhood through the elderly. She has worked in direct service settings such as: inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, chemical dependency and HIV mental health clinics, non-profit service organizations and private practice. Her approach to her work is informed by her professional training and experience, her 20+ year study and practice of yoga and meditation and life experiences including volunteering abroad and at home.
In her work with her clients, Veronica wishes to create the conditions which empower and support the process of personal growth and movement towards self-fulfillment. Veronica utilizes a non-judgmental, accepting, playful and empathic stance with her clients. She is continually guided by her belief that within every individual lives an expert on their own source of joy and contentment and path towards self-actualization and she strives to cultivate her client’s ability to connect with their inner-expert. Veronica deeply values the clients she works with and holds them to be her greatest teachers via the many ways that they display courage, vulnerability, perseverance and honesty.
Lyrica Fils-Aimé , LCSW-R, RPT-S
Continuing Education Facilitator
Lyrica Fils-Aimé, LCSW-R, RPT-S, was born in Haiti and Kreyòl was her first language. Her mother is a WASP from New Hampshire and met her father in Haiti. The convergence of these two very different backgrounds has informed Lyrica’s experiences with identity with every step that she takes in life. Lyrica serves as a Director of Equity Transformation and Culturally Responsive Environments at the New York City Department of Education. Lyrica is a NY State Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Registered Play Therapist, and runs a private practice in Harlem. Lyrica obtained her BA from the University of Richmond in Psychology and Business, an MSW from New York University and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership from Fordham University. Lyrica began working in equitable education and counseling while working at Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School as a Community School Director. In this role, she created and designed equity teams, diversity councils, affinity groups, multi-cultural programming and supervised social workers with an anti-racist and anti-oppressive leadership focus. Lyrica is also a founding member of Pilon Harlem, an anti-racist and anti-oppressive mental health organization.
Bailey Lynn Brown, LMSW
Bailey Lynn Brown is a New York state Licensed Social Worker. Bailey obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Wells College and Bailey obtained her Master’s in Social Work from Simmons University in Boston, MA. Bailey’s clinical experience includes working in outpatient and inpatient mental health settings, schools, crisis and emergency room departments meeting the needs of people struggling with substance abuse, LGBTQ issues, trauma, anxiety, depression, and life transitions. Bailey utilizes a strengths-based and eclectic patient-centered approach including ideas and techniques from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Psychodynamic Theory, and Positive Psychology. Clinical training and knowledge of the new field of Positive Psychology allows Bailey to use holistic methods with each and every patient such as mindfulness practices, gratitude practices, and meditation
Having worked with children, teens, adults, families and couples, Bailey consistently establishes a safe environment with her innate sensitivity and warmth, allowing you to be yourself and explore any and all of your concerns. Bailey has the ability to create a comfortable, caring, non-judgemental therapeutic relationship, where you can develop insights and skills needed to overcome whatever challenges you are facing, accomplish your mental health goals and find balance and happiness in your life.
Teresita Martinez, MS, LMHC, CAP, ICADC
Teresita Martinez is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Certified Addiction Professional, and has worked in the addiction field in Miami for the past six years. She has dedicated her time to working in both an intensive outpatient setting for adolescents & young adults struggling with substance abuse and her private practice. While working with this population, Mrs. Martinez has served individuals that are suffering with an array of mental health issues, including mood disorders and trauma.
Mrs. Martinez has also worked with chemically dependent adults, pre-adolescent children in the foster care system, and children whose parents are in treatment and early recovery. She has facilitated numerous group therapies, including multifamily groups and spent the last two years focusing on family work. She is bilingual (English/Spanish) and has provided treatment and support services to families from very diverse cultural backgrounds.
Mrs. Martinez obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Miami and her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Florida International University. She is certified by the National Drug Court Institute in Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MET/CBT5) therapist level training. She has volunteered as a guest speaker at several Miami-Dade county public schools to assist in addressing the issue of substance abuse among students.
Mrs. Martinez understands the unique challenges that any life event can bring and wants to help her clients overcome their struggles. She believes that treatment needs to be individualized and clients have all the tools they need within themselves. Her goal is to provide support, guidance and share in the human experience.
Eric Han, MA, MHC-LP
He was born in the US but has moved back and forth between the US and South Korea, making him what is known as a Third Culture Kid (TCK) with intimate knowledge of both cultures. He realizes the importance of culture and places a strong emphasis on being culturally competent while advocating for the destigmatization of mental health awareness.
Having an eclectic approach, he draws upon different evidence-based treatments to optimize the session for the client. He believes that each client is unique and requires an individualized treatment that caters to their specific needs. He believes that unconditional positive regard and believing in his clients are essential and thinks of therapy as a collaboration of growth.
Eric has experience working in an outpatient treatment center for substance abuse and addiction where he has helped clients with substance use disorders, anxiety, depression, and various other mental concerns in both an individual and group setting.
Maria del Rosario, MHC-LP
Coming from a strengths-based, client-centered perspective, Maria works collaboratively with her clients to identify any barriers that may be hindering progress toward growth and works wholeheartedly to help her clients reach their goals in life.
Earning her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Pace University, Maria has extensive experience with clients ranging in age from early childhood and adolescence through adulthood surrounding matters of relationship distress, substance use disorders, chronic illness, and mental health concerns. Maria has also worked in early childhood development at the pre-kindergarten programs administered at the Goddard School and The Learning Experience. Additionally, she was a youth advocate/professional mentor at Friends of the Children NY where she worked in the school and community setting.
Alyssa Kushner, LMSW
Alyssa is a Licensed Social Worker, with a Masters degree from New York University and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Rutgers University.
Taking a strengths-based, client-centered, trauma-informed approach Alyssa has a passion for working with adolescents and adults with various needs including anxiety, depression, trauma, codependency, life transitions, and crisis intervention. She also has extensive experience working with emotional dysregulation, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Having provided individual therapy, group therapy, and parent support in various settings such as a partial hospitalization program, day treatments/therapeutic day schools, intensive outpatient programs and outpatient mental health, Alyssa is well adept at also supporting client’s parents and families as they manage with the different issues they encounter.
Alyssa brings a trauma informed lens and when appropriate, will integrate a holistic focus and utilize practices like mindfulness, creativity, somatic strategies, and guided meditations. She also has a background of training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and will incorporate DBT skills when needed.
She believes that treatment should be individualized and wants to provide a safe comfortable space to build the therapeutic relationship to empower and challenge clients to achieve their best and cope with difficulties.
Anginese Phillips, LCAT, R-DMT
Anginese is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist & Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist of the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA). She is a graduate of Pratt Institute with a Master’s of Science in Creative Arts Therapy. Anginese has facilitated group & individual sessions with adults & adolescents in various settings.
Anginese’s therapeutic approach is a combination of psychodynamic & dance/movement therapy techniques. Most of her work has been in creating a space for adults & older adults to reconnect with who they are on a verbal and nonverbal level. Anginese really enjoys supporting her clients in using dance/movement therapy because it allows them to see that movement is a large part of their language as well as verbal communication. Addressing & creating an empathic relationship with her clients using their movement behavior & verbal thoughts, even while sitting or in stillness is the most meaningful part of her work. In fact, many issues that Anginese tends to explore with her clients include the disconnection between what is being said verbally and what is being expressed nonverbally. These disconnections can impact one’s relationships with others and most importantly create an overall instability within oneself.
Nancy Gershman, LMSW
Nancy Gershman is a New York State Licensed Social Worker and a graduate of the Columbia University School of Social Work. She has additional training in the treatment of eating disorders from the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy/ Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia. Earlier, as a creative arts practitioner in end of life care and bereavement, Nancy developed a technique called Dreamscaping for survivors prone to rumination and isolation. By guiding individuals to build a new, “prescriptive” memory in their imagination and then tangibly as a share-able picture, the technique re-trains the brain to embrace the future. At Bhava, Nancy applies that same blend of companioning, playful inquisitiveness and strengths-based orientation towards body-positive work, trauma-informed psychotherapy, and addiction recovery.
Her deep compassion and respect for her clients’ emotional truth is what makes the relationship work. With compassion, warmth, and deep observation, Nancy begins by building a shared understanding. With grace, she discerns how a highly sensitive nature, long held emotional states and communication styles (one’s own and others) could be maintaining unhappiness in the current environment. Equally important, she explores, What ultimately brings you joy? Always, Nancy is creating calm and awakening insight in the way that best suits her clients— be that with role playing and resourcing, CBT, DBT, meditation or tapping, genograms, musical playlists, or one powerful metaphor.
Katherine Berko, LMSW
Katherine is a licensed social worker with an MSW from NYU’s Silver School and a BA in Psychology from Duke University. She’s currently training at New York Counseling & Clinical Social Work Services. Fluent in English and Spanish, Katherine has experience conducting therapy with adolescents, adults, and couples. She’s co-run both tobacco cessation and narrative medicine groups.
Katherine’s literary background encourages her to view each patient as a unique story of which she has the immense privilege to help shape and make sense of. Every session she strives to be open, empathetic, curious, and non-judgmental. Katherine tailors modalities to meet each patient’s specific needs and personality. She draws heavily from psychodynamic and attachment theories, but also incorporates aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Art Therapy. With couples she takes an Emotionally Focused Therapy approach. Research shows that the most important factor in a patient’s treatment progress is the quality of the patient-therapist relationship; therefore, Katherine encourages her patients to be honest with her. She commends you for seeking therapy and wishes you an enlightening journey.
LMSW/LCSW – Licensed Psychotherapist
LMHC – Licensed Mental Health Counselor
LMFT – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
CAP – Certified Addiction Professional
MHC-LP –Mental Health Counseling
LCAT – Licensed Creative Arts Therapist
R-DMT – Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist