Meet your therapist
Licensed psychotherapist with several years of experience working with individuals, couples and families experiencing acute stress disorders, trauma, anxiety, PTSD and substance abuse.
Working in Manhattan as an attorney during the September 11 tragedy gave me up-close and personal insight into the impact public duty imposes on First Responders in terms of stress, PTSD, addiction and shattered relationships. These areas have been front and center in my practice as a clinician.
I have a special interest in addiction, a field in which I have provided services in community mental health and partial hospitalization settings for several years. Addiction often goes hand in hand with trauma, particularly PTSD, as a means of coping.
As a transplant from quite a few countries, I can well relate to and enjoy helping those thrown into life transitions, dealing with intersecting identities or any number of internal/external conflicts that prompt us to ask, “Who am I?” I find particular connection helping clients who are struggling with racial trauma especially where it intersects with social justice. I am a former Board Member of a Prison Legal Assistance Project, provider of services at a community Free Clinic and recipient of a city leadership award for social activism.
from the beginning
I have years of experience working in communities in times of crises that have included city wide rioting, natural disasters and electrical outages. I have also lived through food shortages, water rationing and bombing alerts. These experiences, in addition to my training in social justice as an attorney and social worker, have primed my ability to help clients sort through the layers of racial trauma. I’ve been fortunate to have family that sensitized me to these needs. I’m also grateful for the hands-on education I received from my law professor and civil rights activist Derrick Bell from whom I learned constitutional law and in whose office I spent hours learning about social justice on a deeper level as he wrote his seminal work And We Are Not Saved in which he discussed in depth the foundations behind America’s racial attitudes and the extent to which the law protects property over the rights of people.
What prompted me to leave a successful career as a lawyer to work as a mental health professional was living in New York when the events of September 11 unfolded. In real time, I lived the aftermath of living day in and day out in the thick and heavy emotional fog of such tragedy among those who rescued, suffered loss, experienced trauma and had to rebuild.
And here we are again dealing with communities compressed to the max with stressors and living on survival energy. What I learned from that experience is that we can move forward by affirming the qualities that make us human – compassion, connection, hope and resilience. This is what we will do now. One step forward at a time. And I am here to help.
When you go through hell, keep moving!
Overview And Experience
Credentials and Training
Tending to Racial Trauma During Crisis, 2020
Certified First Responder Counselor (CFRC), 2020
Sensation Awareness Focused Technique (SAF-T), 2020
Certification in Accelerated Resolution Therapy®, 2020
Certification in Opioid Addiction, (Harvard University) 2018
Progressive Recovery Coach (Center For Progressive Recovery, LLC), 2018
The Seven Challenges ® (Adolescent Drug Abuse Program), 2016
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, 2016
Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (ITTA), 2015
University of Miami-Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy, cum laude
Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, President’s Honor Roll, Dean’s List
Harvard Law School-Juris Doctor
Research Assistant to Troyen A. Brennan, M.D.; and Professor Martha Minow
Arizona State University-Master of Social Work
Field of Study: Direct Practice
Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW)
Awards and Acknowledgements
Certificate in Recognition of Exemplary Leadership and Public Service, City of Compton, CA.
The Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services, The State Bar of California.
Acknowledgement in Duke Law J. 1988 Feb; (1): 29-70 by Dr. Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., for research assistance on study regarding health care and AIDS
IATP, International Association of Trauma Professionals
NAADC, The Association for Addiction Professionals
RCRR, Rosenzweig Center for Rapid Recovery
IS-ART, International Society of Accelerated Resolution Therapy
NASW, National Association of Social Workers
As a Licensed Masters Social Worker, Meira receives clinical supervision from an approved clinical supervisor; Shelley Geary, LPC, LCSW . Her supervision allows additional knowledge, feedback and insight.
If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.
My forte as a trauma therapist is in helping individuals whose lives feel like they are spiraling out of control restore a sense of inner control, purpose and serenity in their lives. How apropos for these times.
There’s an expression by the Canadian poet, Shane Koyczan, “If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.” A fancy way, perhaps, of saying make lemonade with lemons or see the glass of water as half full, rather than half empty.
It is an honor and my life’s dream to be able to make use of my training and experiences to help others. It’s just not in my nature to let bad times win. As a trauma therapist, I come equipped with specific expertise in trauma modalities to help others put the past behind them, live in the present and feel motivated about the future.
I have worked with refugees, adolescents, seniors, veterans and First Responders in treatment settings ranging from residential, inpatient, community mental health, outpatient to partial hospitalization. My areas of special interest include: healing cultural/racial trauma, relationship repair, boundary setting, processing shame/loss and finding purpose.
You Deserve The Best in Trauma Therapy
Individuals. Couples. Groups
Joy. Purpose. Healing
This is not an exhaustive list. A person complaining of “stress” may spend a good part of treatment learning to delegate tasks at home and being more efficient at work. Part of integrated care and healing is about recognizing that issues affect us in a number of ways that impact, body, soul, mind and heart. I don’t believe in compartmentalizing my clients by their presenting issues. This is simply to allow you to conceptualize areas of emphasis in my practice. 😉
Many of us have had to “pivot and turn” multiple times to adapt to today’s current events. There’s still a lot that’s unknown and that makes it particularly difficult to attain some level of peace in one’s abilities. I believe people have innate strength to endure life’s challenges, especially with a sense of purpose in their lives and supportive relationships. I am committed to helping you navigate your daily challenges and reclaim this strength. I can help you heal from traumatic experience and rebuild a sense of self that is free of pervasive shame, fear, and unprocessed grief.