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, creative arts therapists, and clinical trainees. We are committed to providing passionate and compassionate treatment to you as an individual with all your current and existential struggles of any kind, emotional, relational, cultural, racial, sexual, or political. At SYNC, we are committed to racial, sexual, gender, and economic justice.

At SYNC 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 may it be in this fast-paced city or in the community-oriented Mid-Hudson Valley. 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 matters 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.

Our clinicians speak English, Spanish, French, Polish, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Tagalog, and German.

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

All clinicians are available for Telehealth. Currently, the clinician for the Kingston office in-person visits is Jennifer Samuels, LCSW. For Syracuse, Jessie Gowarecki, MA, LCAT.

 Dr. Silvia Birklein , Ph.D., MA, BC-DMT, LCAT, CMA, KMP

Founder and Clinical Director of SYNC

Licensed Psychologist/ Psychoanalyst

Dance Movement Therapist (BC-DMT)

Certified Laban and Kestenberg Movement Analyst (CMA, KMP)

English and German speaking

 
Silvia 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, and faculty at Pace University,  the New School University, at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy (ICP). 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 an 8+-years post-graduate of the NYU Postdoctoral Program for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and specializes in Relational Psychoanalysis and in the Body and Movement/Somatics in psychoanalytic contexts.

Her interests and research are in the inter-generational transmission of affect, and 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.

Dr. Birkleinis an international speaker and lecturer and frequently teaches in Europe and Asia, on the topics of Trauma, PTSD, Intergenerational Transmission, Psychodynamic Theories and Practice, Somatics, and Body and Movement in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Currently, she supervises faculty at the SINO Center for Mother/Infant Mental Health in Beijing where she analyzes parent/child videos and teaches attachment, developmental, and relational/intersubjectivity theories.

Please see CV for publications and presentations.

READ BIO & CV

Melanie Borisoff, PhD

Licensed Psychologist, 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 an 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 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. 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 in 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. Anna Jankowska

Licensed Psychologist, PhD

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 an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Baruch College (Department of Psychology) and her research interest 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). Anna is currently a trainee in Transference-Focused Psychotherapy at Columbia University and at the Intensive Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy Program at William Alanson White Institute.

Dr. Jankowska gained 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 their past experiences, and their ability to recognize their own mental states (as well as others). She strongly believes that fostering an understanding of own mental experiences initiates a healing process.

Dr. Jankowska provides psychotherapy in Polish and English

Dr. Armin Kelleter – Supervisor

Licensed 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

 

Attyia Awadallah, MS, ATR-BC

Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist/Art Therapist

Attiya is a skilled Board Certified 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 diagnoses. Additionally, she is a certified Reiki practitioner. 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, and 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 meeting 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 well-being.

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Miriam Olenick, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Miriam Olenick is a Licensed Certified Master’s Social Worker who completed her master’s at New York University Silver School of Social Work. Currently, Miriam is immersed in advanced psychodynamic therapy training at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy (ICP).

Before working for 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, to better hear and understand themselves.

 

Carlos Padrón, MA, MPhil, LP – Supervisor

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 at 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 a supervisor in different settings and is currently a clinical associate of the New School Psychotherapy Program.

Carlos has years of working in outpatient mental health clinics and a private setting. Carlos’s experience as a professional listener, together with his background in the Humanities, has 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 differences, as well as immigration. Carlos also speaks Spanish.

 

Lorena Strunk, LCSW – Supervisor

Licensed Clinical Social Worker – Psychoanalyst

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 working with children and adolescents, couples, and adults.  She has a 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

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

Creative Arts Therapist/Dance Movement Therapist

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.

 

Meredith Gray, LMSW-LP

Licensed Social Worker

Meredith Gray, LMSW is a psychotherapist and clinical social worker. She earned her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work, where she trained in individual, couples, and group therapy. Currently, she is working toward a post-graduate certificate in psychoanalysis at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP) in New York City. Meredith is also a certified conflict mediator who is versed in restorative and transformative justice approaches

Meredith specializes in anxiety, depression, trauma, self-esteem, relationship issues, sexuality, spirituality, and identity formation. She is equipped to support trans and gender-questioning individuals. Meredith is especially interested in helping patients investigate patterns that create feelings of being “stuck,” as well as parts of the self that feel incongruous.

Meredith sees therapy as a collaboration toward your self-exploration and healing. Her approach is, above all else, to be with you with thoughtful attention and genuine curiosity. Together, we will look at your inner and outer worlds. Your thoughts, feelings, bodily experiences, impulses, memories, or wishes can illuminate new facets of your sense of self and other. Deepening your self-understanding in this way makes space for living into new ways of thinking, feeling, being, and acting. Although challenging at times, this gentle yet powerful process can yield a greater sense of authenticity and vitality in your life.

Dr. Joshua Pearl, PhD-LP

Clinical Psychologist/ Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with adults of all ages. I’m especially interested in working with those who feel that, somehow, they are more than what they have become (in their relationships, work, school, or passions). In our work together, I aim to provide a calm and nurturing space where we can hear your story, with all of its struggles and triumphs, the way it should be told. Many people find this refreshing in and of itself – they may never have been listened to, or listened to themselves, in quite this way ever before. I believe that by truly listening to what you have to say, we can find out what has been holding you back. Again and again, I’ve seen my clients take decisive steps forward when they emerge from the confusion in which they are stuck and begin to form a clear picture of themselves and their situations.

In my experience, I’ve found that it can be especially helpful to explore the places where the story “breaks down” – the discontinuities if you will. Part of what I’m trained to do is listen for these places and help guide you in looking into them.

On a personal level, I’m deeply committed to the process of psychotherapy. There is always more to learn, I find, about the mysterious inner workings of how and why people change their lives for the better. I hope you have found this introduction helpful, and that I have the chance to learn something from you as well.

 

Jennifer Samuels, LCSWR

Telehealth and In-person in Kingston, NY

Jennifer Samuels, LCSWR  is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (NY) who received her Masters’s in Social Work from the State University of New York at Albany. She works as a psychotherapist for SYNC. She also serves as a clinical supervisor of a child and adolescent therapy team as well as for a team of therapists who work with severe and persistent mental illness.  Jennifer does team-building workshops for professionals in her field as well as conducts group training on various mental health topics. 

Jennifer gained experience in various therapeutic contexts and she practiced in several outpatient settings. She is experienced in treating persons struggling with trauma, addiction, low self-esteem, codependency, stress, PTSD, depression, anxiety, loss and grief, gender identity and sexuality,  health issues, career difficulties, and relationship issues.

Jennifer’s approach is humanistic, eclectic, and holistic.  Her role as a psychotherapist is to create a safe and non-judgmental space in which a person can explore and grow. She uses her creative background in comedy and improv to add humor, laughter, and levity to each session when possible. Jennifer firmly believes that healing can be fun and even funny at times. Jennifer is trained in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy as well as Internal Family Systems, Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping), DBT, Reiki, and narrative therapy. Jennifer operates from a strengths-based perspective at all times and with each person she encounters.  Jennifer approaches all meetings with compassion, sensitivity, and warmth. She firmly believes that there is a “healer within all of us” and she will help her patients to help them hear their  own “healer within.”

 

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Administration

Amy Hong, BA; BS
Intake Coordinator
Bachelor of Psychology; Bachelor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Hi there! I’m currently a Master’s student exploring the incredible field of psychology. My goal is to work towards a career as a licensed clinical psychologist, but I have a long way to go and much to learn before I get there. I have experience as a Helpline Phone Volunteer for the National Eating Disorders Association and as a research assistant for the READ lab. I’m also a huge dog lover and video game enthusiast!

Pete Stott

Practice Manager, Insurance Specialist, Certified Medical Biller & Coder; Musician

Ron Lucca

Claim Specialist; Musician