Meet Our Staff

Gabriella, LMSW

See what made Gabriella pursue the social work residency with The Jewish Board after interning with us.

After interning with The Jewish Board, Gabriella, LMSW, knew she wanted to continue supporting clients and deepening her knowledge base through our Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) training track. A recent graduate from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service, Gabriella will be doing that and more at the Virginia and Leonard Marx Outpatient Clinic at our Harlem Child Development Center. Keep reading to learn more about Gabriella and the clients she is most excited to partner with.

What initially made you want to get into this field?

I’ve always had an innate curiosity about people. My favorite classes were sociology, psychology, and diagnosis throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies. My interest in mental health and partnering with individuals to help them work through life’s most challenging moments drove my desire to pursue an MSW. One could make the nature versus nurture argument about my decision to become a social worker: my dad is an elementary school psychologist, and my grandfather is a substance abuse counselor. Mental health has always been a topic of conversation in my family.

What led you to apply to the residency, and what do you hope to get out of it?

Last year, I interned at The Jewish Board’s Bronx REAL PROS program and loved my experience with The Jewish Board. The Social Work Residency provides a perfect opportunity to enhance my clinical skills and learn new evidence-based modalities while working with a diverse population. I’m excited to have the chance to work with adolescents and adults. During my residency, I want to earn my LCSW and learn to advocate for my clients better.

Why did you choose DBT as your focus?

I chose the DBT residency track because of the efficacy of the model. DBT focuses on skill acquisition, which allows clients to make measurable changes in sessions. The focus on dialectical thinking and emotional regulation is essential for everyone to learn; I hope the model is adapted into more programs so clients of all ages can benefit!

What communities/demographics are you most interested in and why?

This is a difficult question; I want to gain experience partnering with as many communities and demographics as possible! DBT was developed for individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which has been stigmatized due to many misconceptions. I hope to partner with clients to overcome this stigma and foster an empowering and educational environment.

You spend so much time caring for others; what’s one way you practice self-care?

Self-care is so critical for my health but can be challenging to practice. I practice self-care by exercising; movement is a great stress release for me. I enjoy reading before I go to sleep to help unplug from the day; right now, I am reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I also enjoy learning new recipes and sharing them with friends and family. Taking time to care for myself helps me to be more present and empathetic in client sessions.

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