Garen's Background

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) by the state of New York.  The LMHC license, similar to a license in social work (LMSW, LCSW), is a masters level license in mental health.  It is unique from any other masters level license because the training has an emphasis in counseling and counseling theory in order to directly prepare licensees to become proficient therapists.

Education and Training

I earned two masters degrees in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University.  I began my education at East Stroudsburg University where I graduated with honors with a BS in Psychology.  As a professional psychotherapist, I have worked in non-profit community mental health and recovery oriented programs.  My roles have included being primary therapist and group therapist to individuals and parents struggling with mental illness.  I have also been a crisis counselor for victims from Hurricane Katrina and Irene who suffered from substantial trauma or loss.  To date, I have helped both adults and adolescents who struggle with issues that include chronic mental health issues, childhood trauma, adulthood trauma, depression, anxiety, parenting issues, substance abuse issues, among others.

Research

I have assisted in research with St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital to examine neurological, cognitive, and behavioral factors towards eating and eating habits.  In this study we compared participant's shopping lists, eating habits, and subsequent weight changes based on incentives (via discounts) to purchase organic foods.  Assisting in this study gave me first hand experience with the power of behavioral techniques (goal oriented incentivised strategies) to change behavior which I still currently integrate into my practice. 

Publications

In addition to my blog featured here on whatbringsyouintoday.com, I have been published around the web on the subject of trauma and other mental health issues.  You can see my articles by clicking the links below.