As an exchange student to Brazil (AFS, American Field Service), a Peace Corps Volunteer to Senegal, West Africa and an English Teacher in Hangzhou, China, Leslie brings an openness and curiosity of the human condition.
With a dual Masters in Theological Studies (Pastoral Care and Counseling) and a Masters in Social Work, Leslie worked on the inpatient psychiatric unit of Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, NY) and as an outpatient therapist at Hazelden, NY for 10 years. Her professional experiences led her to her own private practice where she interweaves and incorporates trauma modalities such as Codependency and Reparenting as well as EMDR and Somatic Experiencing to treat those with a spectrum of trauma.
Integrative Psychiatry Institute (IPI)
Candidate. Psychedelic Assisted Therapy Provider.
Certified Partner Trauma Therapist (CPTT)
Candidate. Through IITAP, (since 2023), (International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals), founded by Dr. Patrick Carnes.
Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT)
Through IITAP, (since 2019), (International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals), founded by Dr. Patrick Carnes.
Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP)
Somatic Experiencing International (since 2018), created by Dr. Peter A. Levine. Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. The SE modality releases stored, locked trauma in the body caused by PTSD and/or the wounds of early developmental attachment trauma.
Polyvagal Informed Theory
Deb Dana and Stephen Porges, PhD. Theory of our automated nervous system; polyvagal provides a framework and exercises created to regulate our nervous system and how to better understand below the level of conscious awareness.
Post Induction Therapy (PIT)
Inner Child and Feelings Reduction For Developmental Immaturity Treatment, ©Pia Mellody
“Post Induction Therapy for Developmental Immaturity Treatment is a therapy modality designed to treat the effects of childhood trauma and resulting issues of developmental immaturity. The intervention strategies which compromise Post Induction Therapy originated as a result of experimental application of strategies developed to treat the effects of childhood trauma. These strategies were developed through (my) work at The Meadows, an impatient residential treatment center.” -Pia Mellody
PIT (2012), Pia Mellody, Sarah Bridge. Morristown, NJ.
Inner Child (2014), Pia Mellody, Sarah Bridge. Scottsdale, Arizona.
Inner Child and Feelings Reduction (2014), Cindy Browning, Brenda Mirly. Morristown, NJ.
Feeling Reduction Intensive Training (2015), Pia Mellody, Sarah Bridge. Scottsdale, Arizona.
Love Addiction/Love Avoidance Training (2017), Cara Weed, Trainer. Excelsior, MN.
Couples Boundary Workshop (2017), led by Alan Braverman. Montclair, NJ.
Eye Movement Desensitize Reprocessing (EMDR)
Level 1, 2, Certified (1997). Discovered and created by Francine Shaprio, PhD in 1987. Dr. Shapiro began using this technique with Vietnam Veterans in 1989. Research continues to be replicated for validity and reliability even today. EMDR is used widely with children, adolescents and adults for a broad spectrum of issues and symptoms such as depression, anxiety, phobias, PTSD, trauma from natural disasters, accidents, abuse and family of origin disturbances/dysfunction. EMDR can aide in resolving negative beliefs and/or feelings from the past which continues to exist in the present.
Research tells us that in times of stress, threat or upset, the brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. When trauma occurs, the limbic system produces chemicals to cope with the event through fight/flight/freeze response. The trauma causes an overload in the brain’s processing and the moment becomes stored, creating a neurological blockage causing the incidents to be in a highly charged and disturbing form despite the passage of time. The event is stored regardless of whether the conscious brain wants it to or not and the sounds, smells, images, feelings or beliefs are as present and real now despite it being in the past. These incidents can have lasting effects that interfere with a person’s ability to function, be close to people and/or how they see themselves and others.
EMDR processing combines psychology and neurology. The repetitive eye movements; or other forms of left/right brain stimulation, evoke subconscious memories to the conscious brain, unblocking the freeze containing the images, emotions, body sensations and negative beliefs involved in the event. The neurons rewire, given the brain’s plasticity, where memories are moved from the old limbic part of the brain to the prefrontal brain (Bessel vandal Kolk). Research also shows that electrical activity in the right/left hemisphere of the brain become more synchronous and there is improved communication, desensitizing the original trauma. EMDR appears to be similar to what occurs during REM sleep, activating memory processing system normally activated in REM sleep but dysfunctional in the PTSD client (Robert Stickgold). It helps a person see previously disturbing material in a transformed way, trusting the brain as an organic healing mechanism.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
IFS was developed by Richard Schwartz using family systems theory to understand sub-personalities in the mind. These “parts” (sub-personalities) have a positive intention and protects the person against pain. One does not fight against these parts but rather unburden the part of its job so that one can have internal peace and balance.
Masters Level Neuro Linguistics Practitioner (NLP).
NLP models patterns of human excellence. This includes how people take in information from the world, how they describe it to themselves with their senses, filter it with their beliefs and values, and act on the result. NLP is a collection of processes and tools for helping people to communicate much better and to achieve their goals.
Addictions and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC).
Credentialed Addictions and Substance Abuse Counselor provides the platform and ability to work with active addictions and those in 12-step recovery.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
EFT utilizes the energy meridians also used in acupuncture and acupressure body therapies. In this process, specific energy points of neural network on which thoughts travel from the brain are stimulated by sequential tapping patterns. This technique was created by Gary Craig and Emotional Freedom Technique involves a single tapping procedure that is simple and easy to learn. The process, which is relaxing and energizing for the client, releases negative emotional energy stored in the nervous system.
Download the EFT Protocol (PDF)
[ Source: The BDB Group. Evolving Thought Field Therapy By John H. Diepold Jr., Victoria Britt, Sheila Sidney, Ph.D. ]