OUR TEAM

We are a group practice that serves a diverse and dynamic clientele in New York City, Kingston, and Syracuse, NY. Our team includes New York State licensed clinical psychologists, mental health counselors, psychoanalysts, social workers, and creative arts therapists. We integrate a variety of psychological theories into our work and we work swiftly and thoroughly, with passion and compassion to serve the needs of our clients in this fast-paced city. We strive to work ethically and morally sound and reduce/eliminate bias to gender, race, and culture, and increase social-political awareness. The quality of our services matter to us and our clinicians are extremely well-trained professionals and experienced in a variety of approaches and theories who work creatively and with compassion.

At SYNC, it is our mission to help clients who suffer from issues ranging from anxiety to depression, relationship issues, trauma, cultural transitions, emigration, and somatic issues. We attempt to achieve excellence in treating our clients within a close and collaborative therapeutic relationship, tailored to their personal needs and wishes for a happier life.

To see a clinician from our team, please fill out the contact form on the “getting started” page.  https://syncpsych.com/get-started/contact

All clinicians are available for Telehealth. Currently, in-person clinicians for the Kingston office are Attyia Awadallah, LCAT, and Lara Stangel, LMSW. For Syracuse, Jessie Gowarecki, LCAT.

 Dr. Silvia Birklein

Founder and Clinical Director

Clinical Psychologist/ Psychoanalyst

Dance Movement Therapist (BC-DMT)

Certified Laban and Kestenberg Movement Analyst (CMA, KMP)

English and German-speaking

 Ph.D., MA, BC-DMT, LCAT, CMA, KMP
is a Clinical Psychologist, Psychoanalyst, Dance Movement Therapist, and Movement analyst in private practice in NYC. She’s the founder and clinical director of SYNC Psychological Services, PLLC, and SYNC SOMATICS ™ (Embodied Psychotherapy and Supervision). In the past, Dr. Birklein has worked in a variety of In-and Out-patient psychiatric hospitals in Berlin and NYC, and in University Counseling Centers. In addition, she worked for Reality TV shows as a psychologist. Currently, she’s the Founder and Clinical Director at SYNC Psychological Services, a clinical supervisor at Pace University,  the New School University, at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy (ICP) where she is also faculty. She continues to teach psychoanalysis and psychotherapy techniques in Europe and China. Among other places, Dr. Birklein was trained at the Institute for Critical Psychology at the Freie University in Berlin, at the Fritz Perls Institute in Germany, at Antioch Graduate School, NH., The New School for Social Research, NY, at the William Alanson White Institute, NY, and in a variety of dance and body-movement/somatic /embodiment programs; she is a 5+-years post-graduate of the NYU Postdoctoral Program for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and specializes in Relational Psychoanalysis and in the Body and Movement in psychoanalytic contexts.

Her interests and research are in the inter-generational transmission of affect, and about the body and movement in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis with an emphasis on the nonverbal/non-semantic in the clinical setting. Dr. Birklein also offers Embodied Supervision for clinicians interested in nonverbal processes in the clinical setting. Dr. Birklein is available for psychodynamic, relational psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis as well as for movement informed psychotherapy. She strives to provide an open, and warm environment to facilitate exploration and growth for all populations, including artists, athletes, international students, queer, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and/or trans., and for issues ranging from depression, anxiety, relationships, pain, to cultural transitions.

She teaches and lectures internationally, in Europe and China, on the topics of Trauma, Intergenerational Transmission, Psychodynamic Theories and Practice, and Body and Movement in and Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.

READ BIO & CV

 Dr. Armin Kelleter

Clinical Psychologist, PhD

Armin Kelleter received his M.A. in General Psychology and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the New School for Social Research in New York where he was trained in a range of therapeutic approaches including long and short-term Psychodynamic Therapy, as well as cognitive-behavioral approaches including standard Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Schema Therapy. He has received Intensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) from the Linehan Institute and has extensive training and experience in other mindfulness-based and meditative approaches.

Dr. Kelleter’s clinical experience includes work in hospitals with inpatient and outpatient populations, school-based mental health, as well as community and geriatric mental health. He has experience working with individuals experiencing a wide range of difficulties including depression, anxiety, psychotic conditions, and the assessment and treatment of personality disorders.

Licensed to practice psychology in the State of New York, #019894-1

 Miriam Olenick, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Master of Social Work

Miriam Olenick is a Licensed Clinical Master Social Worker who completed her Master’s at New York University Silver School of Social Work. Before her work at SYNC, Miriam worked for the Mental Health Service Corps, helping to increase access to mental health care by providing psychotherapy in a collaborative care hospital setting. Ms. Olenick has experience working with adolescents and adults struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, and trauma-related disorders.

Miriam takes an integrative approach in her sessions with patients. She is trained in a number of modalities – including Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy – which she weaves together to best suit her patients’ needs. Miriam’s approach to care is person-centered and strengths-based; she focuses on ensuring her patients have a safe, nurturing space where they can feel heard and understood, in order to better hear and understand themselves. She is also currently immersed in advanced psychodynamic therapy training at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy (ICP).

Miriam also has experience working with people of many different cultural backgrounds, in particular members of Caribbean-American and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. She understands the importance of addressing issues related to race, ethnicity, and religion in therapy and approaches these conversations with cultural humility and curiosity.

 Carlos Padrón, MA, MPhil, LP

Master of Arts; Master of Philosophy; Licensed Psychoanalyst

Carlos Padrón is a bilingual (Spanish, English) licensed psychoanalyst/psychotherapist who has advanced training in psychoanalysis at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR), a component member of the International Psychoanalytic Association. He originally studied philosophy, then earned an MA in philosophy with a concentration in psychoanalysis at the New School for Social Research, and finally an MPhil in Latin American literature at New York University.

He has been a teaching fellow at NYU and a faculty member at John Jay College (CUNY), the Contemporary Freudian Society, and the China American Psychoanalytic Alliance. Carlos is currently a faculty member at IPTAR where he co-teaches a class on clinical aspects of diversity. He also teaches a Seminar on Psychodynamic Theory at the Silberman School of Social Work in Hunter College (CUNY).Carlos participated in the documentary Psychoanalysis in El Barrio, a film on working psychoanalytically with underprivileged Latinx patients in the U.S., and has given many talks and published on this topic. Lately he published an essay in the edited volume Psychoanalysis in the Barrios (Routledge, 2019). Carlos has been supervisor in different settings and is currently a clinical associate of the New School Psychotherapy Program.

Carlos has years working in outpatient mental health clinics and in a private setting. Carlos’s experience as a professional listener, together with his background in the Humanities, have made him especially attuned to the question of how to embrace and find strength in our difference and uniqueness while remaining engaged with the world. He has worked with a range of issues including depression, anxiety, sexual trauma, PTSD, relationship-related, work-related, academic, and personality disorders, and is deeply committed to working with issues related to cultural, racial and sexual difference, as well as immigration.

 Lorena Strunk, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

After a few years of practicing as a lawyer and law professor, Lorena received her MSW from Stony Brook University and later earned her LCSW after completing a supervised practice at a community mental health clinic in East Hampton, NY. Lorena is also a corresponding member of the French psychoanalytic association “Association Lacanienne Internationale” (ALI) in Paris.

Lorena’s clinical experience encompasses work with children and adolescents, couples and adults.  She has special interest in working with women and the particular issues they face as daughters, mothers, wives and professionals.  She has confronted cases of sexual abuse, incestuous relations and molestation in various degrees and she feels comfortable working with patients who have experienced trauma from such experiences.    She has also addressed issues related to exile, adaptation, and nostalgia.

Lorena’s approach to cases is based on her strong formation in psychoanalysis.  She works to understand the uniqueness of each individual, employing the powers of free association and transference.  She is an excellent listener and develops strong therapeutic relationships with her patients.

Lorena is fluent in French and Spanish and can work with patients in these languages as well as English.

 Melanie Borisoff, PhD

Melanie Borisoff, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who received her doctorate from the New School for Social Research. Dr. Borisoff’s approach to therapy is flexible, collaborative and supportive. Her goal is to help clients develop awareness of thoughts, emotions, relationships and experiences that may perpetuate symptoms and inhibit their potential to feel fulfillment in their lives. Dr. Borisoff helps clients gain insight into potentially harmful patterns and develop strategies that promote long-term change and alleviate distress. Dr. Borisoff treats a variety of problems and has extensive experience working with depression, anxiety, trauma, obsessive behaviors and career, identity, parenting and relationship issues.

 

Dr. Borisoff has extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. She has worked in inpatient and outpatient settings at Beth Israel Medical Center, Bronx Psychiatric Center and at the James J. Peters Veterans’ Affairs Hospital. At the VA hospital Dr. Borisoff treated PTSD and depression and assisted a suicide prevention research program. Dr. Borisoff has a background in modern dance and is a certified yoga instructor. She has been teaching and practicing yoga and meditation for the past twenty years. She considers the integration of mind and body and the affect one can have on the other in her work with clients.

 

She worked for several years in Japan at an international counseling center treating adolescents and adults from across the globe and served as interim clinical director providing supervision to therapists.  She developed an acute awareness of the kinds of challenges that may arise for individuals, couples and families while adjusting to a new environment and is particularly attuned to understanding clients’ issues and therapeutic goals within a cultural context.

 

Dr. Borisoff is currently studying psychoanalysis as a postdoctoral candidate at New York University. She is a Clinical Associate at the New School for Social Research providing supervision for doctoral candidates.

 

  Jessie Gaworecki , MA, R-DMT, LCAT-P

Jessie Gaworecki is a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist, certified RYT-200 teacher with the Yoga Alliance, and a certified Reiki Level II practitioner. She received her MA in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling at Antioch University. Jessie is passionate about the power of integrating the body, mind, and spirit; using her knowledge of clinical practice, neuroscience, Eastern philosophies, Yoga, and movement systems to inform her work with individuals and groups. She facilitates the experience of healing and well-being through mindfulness, expressive arts therapies, evidence-based techniques, and ecotherapy. Jessie is currently immersed in her training as a 500-hour yoga teacher, where she is integrating the frameworks of Kundalini Yoga, Ayurveda, Enneagram, and hormonal cycles, to then develop individualized, holistic programs that recalibrate the body systems for total wellbeing.

Jessie understands it can be intimidating to dive into the body or the arts, so she paces each session based on where her clients feel comfortable. Her perspective as a therapist is that she is both a fellow traveler and a guide on the therapeutic journey. With compassion and guidance, she leads clients from mindfulness into embodiment and expression, proceeding to resolution and transformation of what holds them back in life.

She specializes in working with the LGBTQIA+ community, trauma, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and relationship and identity issues. Her offerings include individual therapy sessions as well as private yoga.

  Dr. Anna Jankowska

Anna Jankowska, Ph.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (NY) who received her doctorate in Psychology from the University of Gdansk, Poland. She serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor at Baruch College (Department of Psychology) and her interest in research led her to academic collaboration and exchange programs with McGill University (Canada), Brooklyn College (U.S.), Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Spain), and Universidad de Complutense (Spain). In September 2021 she will begin training in Transference-Focused Psychotherapy at Columbia University.

Dr. Jankowska gained her experience in various cultural contexts and she practiced in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. She is experienced in treating persons struggling with chronic stress, life crises, depression, anxiety, loss and grief, health issues, career and work-life balance difficulties, parenting, and relationship issues.

Dr. Jankowska’s approach is grounded in psychodynamic psychotherapy and mentalization-based therapy. Her role as a psychotherapist is to facilitate growth and alleviate pain through the exploration of thoughts, feelings, and unresolved conflicts. Thus, in the therapeutic process, she guides her patients through the gradual discovery of the basis for their issues by improving their insight into their current self, their understanding of the past experiences, and their ability to recognize their own mental states (as well as others). She strongly believes that fostering understanding of own mental experiences initiates a healing process.

Dr. Jankowska provides psychotherapy in Polish and English

  Attyia Awadallah, MS, LCAT

Attiya is a skilled Licensed Creative Arts Therapist with a passion for helping others. Attiya earned her Bachelor’s degree from SUNY New Paltz, where she formed a foundation in Creative Arts, Psychology, and Black Studies. Later, she earned a Master of Science in Art Therapy and Counseling from the College of New Rochelle, where she was trained in a psychodynamic approach. In her graduate studies, Attiya conducted research on the benefits of art-making on the perceived pain levels of subjects with chronic pain diagnosis. Additionally, she is a certified Reiki practitioner and training to become a certified Yoga Teacher (RYT200). She believes in a mind-body approach to wellness and integrates somatic practices and the natural environment into her therapeutic framework. Being from an intersectional and multicultural background, Attiya excels at supporting diverse clientele including LGBTQIA+, and BIPOC. She is deeply committed to fostering an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity.

Attiya understands the therapy process as a creative collaboration between client and therapist. Attiya’s clinical experience includes work in inpatient, outpatient, private practice, and residential settings. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults living with stress, PTSD, Substance Use and co-occurring disorders, gender identity issues, anxiety, BPD, depression, spiritual issues, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other mental health concerns. She is adept at working with groups, as well as individuals while utilizing an intuitive, eclectic, and client-centered approach to fit each individual’s needs and goals for therapy. Her therapy modalities include but are not limited to DBT, CBT, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, meditation, mindfulness, combined with her specialty: Creative Arts Therapy. Attiya believes that each individual has a unique ability to utilize their own creative process for coping, self-awareness, healing, and transformation. Through art-based interventions, Attiya caters her approach to meet each client’s level of engagement and comfortability. She believes a holistic approach to mental health provides a greater opportunity for individuals to experience an improved sense of autonomy and wellbeing.

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  Lara Stangel, LMSW

 

Lara Stangel is a Licensed Master Social Worker who completed her masters at Columbia University School of Social Work. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Clinical Social Work from New York University Silver School of Social Work. Lara has had an extensive career caring for a myriad of patients.

Before joining SYNC, she worked as a psychiatric social worker and as an Employee Assistance Program Counselor and Supervisor. Ms. Stangel has extensive experience providing psychotherapeutic services to adolescents , adults, couples and groups struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, relationship and parenting issues, identity and trauma. She is trained and certified in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. She first utilized these skills during her work with veterans at the New York Harbor Veterans Administration Hospital and in  treatment of patients post the 9/11 attacks.

Ms. Stangel takes an eclectic and psychodynamic approach in treating her patients. She utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Emotion Focused Therapy. Ms. Stangel is a dedicated and caring clinician who works collaboratively with her patients to develop a treatment plan that best address their needs. She has experience and enjoys working with patients from diverse backgrounds and professions.