About

"Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the 
darkness of others..." - Pema Chodron

"It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere."
- Agnes Repplier 

Aviva Kamander, LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Life Coach, Advanced Reiki Practitioner

I have the privilege of working with people in a sacred way; honestly and directly dealing with experiences, thoughts, physical sensations, and emotions. 

I am a New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice, with an office in Mamaroneck, NY. During the Covid pandemic, I am working with all clients using tele-health.

I have had extensive training in Mindfulness, Acceptance & Compassion Based Therapies (aka 3rd Wave Therapy a modern extension of cognitive behavioral therapies CBT)

3rd Wave Therapy helps us understand the function and impact of our emotions, thought loops, and physical sensations as well as the harm of harsh self-judgement, and the benefits of actions moving us towards what is meaningful.

Mindfulness develops the attention and awareness needed to stop rumination
Acceptance of oneself includes non-avoidance of difficult experiences and develops psychological flexibility
Compassion to alleviate one's pain can be learned, by activating the evolutionary caring system we develop a sense of safeness and connection leading to better emotional regulation and perspective taking.

Individuals are capable of immense change and growth. I use evidence based methods of treatment in a supportive, open, and encouraging way. Nowadays we know so much more about the brain-body, physical elements of emotions, and the key ingredients contributing to sustained happiness. My goal is to share with you what I know about alleviating suffering and leading a meaningful life. 

Throughout my life I have searched for knowledge on how to identify personal fulfillment, improve health and wellness, develop a healthy sense of self, and maintain momentum for personal transformation. My experience and training have led to a deep understanding about the process of change. My approach is direct and action-oriented.

From my diverse experiences I have learned that:
  • The way you speak to yourself matters. Negative self talk can be detrimental and it can be changed.
  • Shame is a major contributor of emotional suffering and mental illness. This emotion thrives in secrecy.
  • Compassion is a reliable way of improving your relationships, with yourself and others.
  • Life is hard, and many times unfair. Knowing what you need, and developing the skills to support those needs, helps make the best out of life's difficult situations.

I lead mindfulness workshops for solopreneurs, writers, and mom groups.

I developed and lead workshops on topics such as Move Your Life Forward: Let Go of Perfectionism, Self Love: Loving Kindness and Guided Meditation, Centering During Uncertain Times, Navigating the Gray Zone: Dating with Assertiveness and Compassion. More information can be found by going to the Workshops tab on the left.

In the past, I worked as a psychotherapist for the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services for one of their outpatient mental health clinics in the Bronx. Also, I worked as an adjunct professor for the Master's in Counseling program at The College of New Rochelle, and as a college counselor/advisor/adjunct professor for Touro College in Brooklyn & Queens.

Professional Associations:
  • The Compassionate Mind Foundation
  • ACBS - Association for Contextual Behavioral Science
  • The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy
  • NYSSCSW - NY State Society for Clinical Social Work, Inc

Additional Training:
  • Level 2 ICF Accredited Certified Life Coach, MCLC, Oct 2022 Certified Life Coach Institute
  • Level 1 ICF Accredited Certified Life Coach, CLC, July 2022 Certified Life Coach Institute 
  • Motivational Interviewing & Compassion Focused Therapy CFT June 2022 Compassionate Mind Foundation
  • Struggling With the Inner Critic Spring 2022 NICABM
  • Reiki 1 & 2 January 2022 Reiki Master Libby Barnett
  • Compassion Focused Therapy CFT for Anger Management September 2021 Compassionate Mind Foundation 
  • Next Level Practitioner Training July 2021-ongoing NICABM
  • ACT Peer Consultation & Training Group Fall 2020-ongoing ACBS Social Work SIG Peer Training 
  • Expert Strategies to Help Clients Develop Tolerance for Emotional Distress Spring 2021 NICABM
  • Restorative Yoga Teacher Training Winter 2021 Jillian Pransky  
  • Compassion Focused Therapy for Complex Cases Fall 2020 The Compassionate Mind Foundation
  • Magic ACT: Transforming Pain Into Purpose with Clinical RFT Fall 2020 Praxis
  • Advanced Master Program on the Treatment of Trauma Fall 2020 NICABM
  • Working with Fear Spring 2020 NICABM
  • ACBS World Conference 18 ONLINE July 2020 Association for Contextual Behavioral Science
  • Clinical Application of Compassion Series  2019 NICABM
  • Compassion Focused Therapy: Foundations and Applications 2019 The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy
  • Second Annual Compassionate Mind Summit and Retreat 2019 The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy
  • CBT and the Effective Management of Mood and Anxiety Disorders NYC-CBT
  • Spirituality, Neuroscience, and Narrative Surrounding Trauma MFT-NY
  • Beyond the Basics: Advanced Motivational Interviewing Skills Columbia University School of Social Work
  • Introduction to Compassion Focused Therapy CFT  Palabra Counseling and Training Center
  • First Annual Compassionate Mind Summit and Retreat 2018 The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Adolescents JBFCS
  • Attachment and Trauma: The Neurobiology of Healing ISC International
  • End of Life Choices Columbia University School of Social Work
  • The Therapeutic Use of Narrative Columbia University School of Social Work
  • Essentials of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy JBFCS
  • Understanding the Gut Brain: Stress, Appetite, Digestion, and Mood IBP
  • Making Mindfulness Work Webinar Series NICABM(x2)
  • How the Brain Forms New Habits: Why Willpower is not Enough IBP
  • New Brain Science Tele-webinar NICABM (x2)
  • Co-Active Coaching Model - self learning
  • ACT - Acceptance Commitment Therapy  JBFCS
  • MI - Motivational Interviewing JBFCS
  • STAIR - Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation, Trauma JBFCS
  • CBT - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy JBFCS
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy REBT/CBT – Advanced/Primary Practicum, The Albert Ellis Institute
  • Master of Science - Columbia University School of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Arts -  Speech Communications SUNY College at Oneonta


Life Experience:

  • Psychotherapist
  • Life Coach, Business Coach primarily for Solopreneurs 
  • Mother of 2 children (high school & college)
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Memory Training Counselor
  • Telecom Project Manager
  • Network Administrator
  • Academic Adviser/Career Counselor
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Administrative Assistant
  • and more