Aviva Kamander, LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Therapist, Coach

"Don't be afraid to ask for what you want." - Anonymous

"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. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity." - Pema Chodron

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)

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.

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

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 various elements contributing to sustained happiness. My goal is to share what I know about alleviating suffering and leading a good life with you. 

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 developed and lead workshops about Focusing on What Matters MostNavigating the Gray Zone: Dating with Assertiveness and Compassion. More information about both of these 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.

Throughout my adult 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.

Professional Associations:

  • The Compassionate Mind Foundation
  • ACBS - Association for Contextual Behavioral Science
  • NYSSCSW - NY State Society for Clinical Social Work, Inc

Additional Training:
  • Compassion Focused Therapy for Complex Cases 2020 The Compassionate Mind Foundation
  • Magic ACT: Transforming Pain Into Purpose with Clinical RFT 2020 Praxis
  • Advanced Master Program on the Treatment of Trauma 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
  • Business and Parenting Coach
  • Mother of 2 children (middle and high school aged)
  • Memory Training Counselor
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Telecom Project Manager
  • Network Administrator
  • Academic Adviser/Career Counselor
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Administrative Assistant
  • and more