Back to full RHQ Tribe

Gender Pronouns:
She, Her, Hers;
Identities:
Nigerian-American
Gender non-conforming/ Masculine of Center Woman
Queer
Specialties:
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) – Couples Therapy
Race based stressors/Racial Trauma
LGBTQ Topics
Intensive Therapy

Dr. Bukky Kolawole, PsyD

About Me
Since I decided to become a psychologist, I’ve never looked back. The privilege of being a psychologist, is the opportunity, daily, to be with clients as they arrive at the birthplace of change. I love my work so much and can’t imagine anything more rewarding.

I’m passionate about helping my clients feel accepted, important and loved in their relationships. I’m committed to helping you feel equipped with the skills you need in order to reach the people you care about and enjoy a more productive and fulfilling life.

Go here to read my Trainer’s Bio
 
 

My Training and Education
Dr. Bukky Kolawole completed her doctoral internship in clinical psychology at New York City’s infamous Bellevue Hospital. She received her doctoral degree (PsyD) in clinical psychology from Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus after defending her dissertation on subtypes of perpetrators of intimate partner violence. Dr. Bukky has provided care in numerous inpatient and outpatient settings for adolescents and adults, including Long Island University’s Psychological Services Center, Bellevue Hospital, NYU Child Study Center, LIJ Schneider’s Children Hospital, and Long Island Center for Cognitive Therapy.
My Journey

Dr. Bukky knew she wanted to become a clinical psychologist at the age of 12. At the time, she had recently moved to the United States from Nigeria and the school psychologist at her high school invited Bukky to meet with her in order to ensure that she was adjusting well to her new environment. Led by natural curiosity, young Bukky inquired about why the psychologist valued spending so much time chatting with her instead of working. The 12-year old was pleasantly surprised to discover that talking to people to improve well-being was, in fact, a profession. Bukky’s mouth hit the floor when the school psychologist explained how talk therapy works and that it could be useful in supporting people during times of transitions, or helping them make change so they could fulfill their potential. Bukky went home from school that day declaring that she no longer planned to become a pediatrician but, instead, a psychologist!

(Side note: You might be tickled to know that when the young Bukky encountered difficult situations or intense emotions, one of the strategies she used to cope was engaging in self-talk with her future self, whom she then named “Dr. B.” She still has her journal entries from childhood that reveal this.)

My Passion and Commitment
Since Dr. Bukky decided to become a psychologist, she has never looked back. She describes the privilege of being a psychologist as having the opportunity, daily, to be with clients as they arrive at the birthplace of change. She loves her work so much that she can’t imagine anything more rewarding.

Gender Pronouns:
She, Her, Hers;
Identities:
Black-American
Cisgender Female
Transracial Adoptee
Straight
Specialties:
Anxiety
Mood Disorders
Race Based Stress/Racial Trauma
Family and Relationship Issues*

Elisa Cameron-Niang

About Me
Because of Elisa’s unique background and focus on cultural competence, she specializes in working with individuals and couples from inter-racial and bicultural families, families formed through adoption, those within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community, and individuals hoping to increase clarity and/or comfort around their various identities. Whether she’s helping clients proactively create a strong foundation through pre-marital counseling, or helping them navigate and resolve current tensions in their relationships through couples therapy, her focus on increasing her clients’ understanding of themselves, and their ability to relate to others helps her clients achieve more meaningful, fulfilling, and sustainable relationships.

Go here to read my Trainer’s Bio
 
 

My Training and Education
Elisa earned a Master of Education (EdM) in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University, where her focus was on cultural competence and social justice. She received her Masters of Public Administration (MPA) in Education Policy and Reform and her Bachelors of Business Administration from the George Washington University. She has specialized training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy through Behavioral Tech, LLC and experience providing trauma-focused therapy for adolescents and young adults. She is also a certified facilitator of True Colors for Personal Success, an interactive program designed to promote respect and appreciation of differences, increase self-esteem, and help individuals, families, and teams achieve stronger, more rewarding relationships.
My Journey

Elisa began her professional career as an organizational development specialist, working in the corporate, not-for-profit, and higher education arenas. Elisa spearheaded the design and delivery of programming focused on improving the effectiveness of individuals and teams within organizations. Whether she was providing standalone leadership training and communication workshops or developing competency models for entire organizations, Elisa found joy in helping others reach their professional goals. With her demonstrated commitment to equipping others with the tools necessary to achieve their full potential in the work place, Elisa quickly became a respected and sought out advisor for individuals at varying stages in their careers.

While Elisa found her work to be rewarding, she felt it was incomplete. Although she was making a difference at individual, team, and organizational levels, she craved more. What exactly she craved, however, wasn’t immediately clear. While on a consulting project in New York, a family friend reached out asking for guidance for how to address her granddaughter’s struggle with being adopted. The request stopped Elisa in her tracks. As a transracial adoptee, Elisa knew this territory well; yet this was the first time her status as an adoptee proved to be an asset. This moment changed everything.

My Passion and Commitment
Elisa is committed to providing transformative experiences for individuals, couples, families, and organizations by encouraging individual exploration, promoting acceptance, broadening perspectives, and enabling growth.

Gender Pronouns:
Identities:
Latinx
Multiracial: Brown Latin, Indigenous,
White, and Asian
Gay
Cisgender Male
Specialties:
LGBTQ Topics
Couples Therapy, incl. Infidelity Issues
Childhood Trauma
Male-identified Issues*

Danny Gomez, LMSW

About Me
Danny specializes in working with individuals and families impacted by trauma, anxiety and acculturations issues. He also works with couples to help them communicate better and feel more emotionally connected.  Danny is also experienced in helping families better understand the behavior of their young children (0 to 6 years old).

 

My Training and Education
Danny earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, where his focus was early childhood development and family practice and earned a Bachelors in Fine Arts from East Carolina University. Danny has received specialized training in Emotionally Focused Family Therapy and has provided care in many settings including, Roberto Clemente’s Family Guidance Center, LaGuardia Community College’s Wellness and Counseling Center and New York City Public Schools.
My Journey
Danny’s journey to become a therapist started in 2008 working for a Drama Therapy organization that matched professional actors with Licensed Drama Therapists to provide care to adolescents with behavioral problems. He loved getting to know the teens and families he worked with and particularly enjoyed facilitating the parent workshops provided to the families. Wanting to have a deeper impact in the lives of the families he worked with, Danny returned to school to become a therapist. Feeling he had a good grasp on therapeutic interventions for teens Danny focused on early childhood and family practice. What he learned regarding childhood adversity and the lifetime health implications it has on individuals that have experienced early childhood adversity had a profound effect on him. Since then Danny has devoted his life’s work to improving the lives of children and families. In addition to providing therapy at Relationship HQ, Danny also provides mental health consultation to numerous preschools across the city.
My Passion and Commitment
“Everything you need is already within you!” Danny believes in empowering clients with what’s already inside of them. He believes that people already carry with them the ingredients for change. With this in mind he is committed to establishing a collaborative relationship based on empathy, trust and respect where clients feel safe to explore their strengths and make the changes they desire.

Gender Pronouns:

Identities:
Black
West Indian
Cisgender Female
Mother
Straight
Specialties:
Race Based Stress/Racial Trauma
Trauma
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Solution Focused Therapy*

Andi Sutherland-Johnson, LMSW

About Me
Andi has a unique and extraordinary ability to deeply empathize with people. In fact, she was recruited to join the Relationship HQ team because of this remarkable characteristic. Andi specializes in: 1) supporting the healing of individuals, couples and families whose lives have been impacted by trauma, including racial trauma; 2) strengthening the emotional connection and communication between couples experiencing conflict and/or distance in their intimate relationship; and 3) helping parents of young children, including those with special needs (i.e., cognitive delays, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, social-emotional and behavioral delays), balance attending to the needs of their children with caring for themselves and their relationships. Andi is dedicated to the service of all people, with a special interest in strengthening black and brown couples and families.

 

My Training and Education
Andi earned her Masters in Social Work (MSW) at Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work, where her focus was on clinical work with children and families. She has ample experience working with adults, families and young children ages 2-5 in early childhood education settings. Andi’s work with couples is informed by the attachment-based model, Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. She has specialized training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is a New York State Department of Health approved provider of early intervention, special instruction and social work services for infants/toddlers and families.
My Journey

In the context of her role as a case manager in a non-profit residential treatment program for adults with severe mental health disorders, Andi realized how gratifying it was for her to build relationships with clients and support them in attaining their goals. She then decided to attend graduate school to become a social worker.

Given her deep interest in strengthening families, Andi kicked off her clinical career engaging in early intervention and capacity building with parents and their infants and toddlers with special needs. This experience shaped her fundamental beliefs about the human capacity for growth and connection. As a parent herself, she viscerally understood her clients’ desires to give their children the support and tools they needed in order to reach their maximum potential. There, she also gained insight into some of the unique challenges faced by families of children with special needs.

My Passion and Commitment
Andi is committed to practicing from a framework that is culturally relevant, mindful and harnessing of the strengths already within her clients. Whether she is working with an individual, a couple, or the entire family system, she is focused on increasing her clients’ self-efficacy, ability to express and cope with difficult emotions, and capacity for healing and building lasting and fulfilling relationships.

Gender Pronouns:

Identities:
Latinx
Dominican-American
First Generation American
Queer
Cisgender Female
Specialties:
Anxiety
Trauma
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) – Couples Therapy
Depression*

Denise Ramirez, LMSW

About Me
I am a bicultural (Dominican-American), bilingual therapist that specializes in working with individuals and families impacted by trauma, depression, anxiety and immigration-related issues (e.g., family unit separation, adaptation and adjustment while holding onto one’s own culture). I also work with couples in inter-racial/inter-cultural relationships to increase their ability to have conversations about race, and navigate cultural differences in their relationships.

I use a holistic approach that considers the interaction between my clients’ psychological and physical health, spirituality, race, culture, day-to-day experiences, and relationships. I engage my clients in a warm, relatable and compassionate manner. I offer a practical style that balances helping my clients gain insight with finding the skills to effectively manage their concerns. I aim to support my clients in increasing their confidence in navigating life’s challenges and their relationships.

 

My Training and Education
I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Rutgers University and a Master of Social Work from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. I am experienced in providing psychotherapy, trauma-focused therapy, family therapy, crisis intervention, stress reduction, and mindfulness techniques.
My Journey

My journey to becoming a therapist was incited by the separation that is common for immigrant families. Before I was born, my parents immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic, leaving behind their two young daughters (my older sisters) in search of a better future. While in the U.S., they had me and, when I was about six years old, their hard work paid off and they were able to reunite my sisters with our family. This separation to my family unit caused undeniable pain and confusion, and impacted all of us in different ways.

As a child, I was aware of feeling deep sadness for my sisters, who had spent most of their early childhood without our parents. I was also keenly aware of the pain (sadness and guilt) that my parents carried for the many special moments and milestones they had missed in my sisters’ young lives. With the hope of lessening the pain of my family, I found myself in the role of trying to help my family communicate better and strive for understanding. This experience influenced my desire to become a therapist and laid the groundwork for what would become my life’s passion: helping others work through their own difficult experiences.

My Passion and Commitment
Inspired by the power of therapy to heal and transform lives, I am committed to cultivating my own self-care and personal growth so that I can show up, ready and present, for my clients and help them attend to their own care.
I am invested in accepting you wherever you are and guiding our therapeutic work at a pace that is tailored to you and your needs. I am dedicated to being present with you, showing you acceptance while also challenging you with love. It will be a privilege for me to be a witness for you and the richness of your inner life.

Gender Pronouns:

Identities:
Black
Southern raised
Cisgender Female
Straight
Specialties:
Life Transitions
Family and Relationship Issues
Black Male-identified Stressors
Trauma*

Briana Scott, LMSW

About Me
I specialize in helping individuals, couples and families communicate better. I use a holistic approach to work with individuals, couples, and families of color, impacted by trauma, expected and unexpected life transitions, anxiety, and/or depression. My aim is to help my clients feel more empowered, accepting of themselves, and in control of their life. I work with couples navigating transitions, cultural differences, and conflict, supporting them to identify the patterns that are in their way and explore healthy and effective ways to communicate and strengthen their emotional bond with each other. I also provide coaching and/or family therapy to help parents and children communicate better so they can feel more emotionally connected to each other.

My Training and Education
I hold a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Fordham University, which was focused on client-centered care. I received specialized training and have extensive experience in providing trauma-informed care to people of various ages including children, adolescents, adults and families.
My Journey

I grew up in the South with the richness of southern black culture, in the care of my paternal grandparents. My family’s culture was one that prioritized education, the church, and success. Though I felt very supported by my grandparents, my family culture was also one that devalued emotion, which left me with lots of unanswered questions, especially in the face of major transitions. My father was trained as a social worker and, at some point, he became more willing to communicate more openly with me, including setting up protected time to talk about life, our feelings and the underlying reasons for decisions. This was deeply empowering for me and critical for my wellbeing. Even more, it strengthened my bond with my father.

My lived experience has taught me about the importance of relationships and the power of communication for healing. This, along with the observation of my father’s passion and dedication to his clients inspired me to become a social worker. Being a therapist has not only enhanced my ability to support individuals and families to develop their ability to communicate, it has also enhanced my own communication and relationships.

My Passion and Commitment
I am passionate about my relationships, reading a good book and listening to some bomb music—these things fuel my joy for life and my work. I am also passionate about providing a safe, culturally relevant experience for individuals, families, and couples who work with me. I encourage transparency, vulnerability and knowledge building in my work and am dedicated to helping you feel more comfort with being uncomfortable, as I believe that to be necessary for growth. I am committed to relating to you in an authentic way, offering you transparency, and partnering with you in every step of our work so that you can feel confident that you are not alone and that I am alongside you.

Gender Pronouns:

Identities:
Mixed Race – Black identified
Masculine-of-center/Trans-masculine
Queer
Specialties:
LGBTQ Topics
Paraphilia
Race Based Stress/Racial Trauma
Anxiety & Depression*

HC Cristina, MHC-LP

About Me
Working with LGBTQ/GNC clients, especially clients of color, is what HC has always been passionate about. As a queer, masculine-of-center/trans-masculine, Black clinician, HC is dedicated to not only working with the communities that mirror her own marginalized identities, but also those who fall within, between, and among populations facing oppression and discrimination. Struggling with identity conceptualization often takes the shape of anxiety and/or depression, while other significant factors such as trauma histories can add complicated layers to the healing process. HC is dedicated to working alongside her clients on their individual and/or collective (with partners) journey.

My Training and Education
HC earned a Masters of Forensic Mental Health Counseling from John Jay College of Criminal Justice where she focused on working with young, male-identified 16-24 year-olds who had criminal justice involvement, including weekly visits to Rikers Island for therapeutic services. She earned her BA from Smith College in Northampton, MA where she studied queer theory, Black cultural identity, and hip hop. HC utilizes multiple modalities including psychodynamic therapy, motivational interviewing, the Liberation Health Framework, and cognitive behavioral therapy, while always maintaining an anti-oppressive lens that centers sociocultural factors and institutional/systematic influences.
My Journey
At heart, HC is driven by creativity in many forms, whether that manifests as visual art, music, or writing. Since childhood, she has learned how to process the world and her identities in ways that are not always acknowledged as culturally or socially valuable. After earning her BA, HC drove across the country and moved back to the west coast where she spent her adolescence. HC was given a full scholarship to a business program in Northern California where she learned that the startup world was not something she was interested in pursuing. While doing professional childcare for almost 5 years in Oakland, CA, HC chose to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a psychotherapist and moved to NYC with her fiance and 3 cats in order to attend John Jay College. HC chose a forensic program because she is also passionate about working with individuals who have been swallowed by the carceral system – specifically young people of color. As a graduate student, HC was selected as a Pinkerton Fellow and worked at a reentry program in Harlem for a year and a half.
Despite wanting to work with forensic populations, HC has always desired working within her LGBTQ/GNC community. From her own experience, HC is distinctly aware of the ways in which the mental health field lacks representation of her own identities, as well as the identities of her many LGBTQ/GNC friends. HC’s unique childhood, in which she was raised by radical lesbian mothers, has fueled her aspiration to be a source of support for the marginalized identities that she has always embodied. As a queer, Black, masculine-of-center individual, HC has been on a lifelong journey to understand and conceptualize her identity in relation to the world around her.
My Passion and Commitment
HC is committed to providing an open, empathetic, and compassionate space in which she can work alongside her clients to help them achieve their desired goals, and find peace within themselves, their relationships, and their identities. HC operates from an intersectional framework and works collaboratively with clients, whether they are individuals or partners. She is devoted to not only honoring and creating space for the imperative life experiences of her clients, but also utilizing a trauma-informed lens while striving to incorporate the systemic/institutional factors that have enormous effects on mental health and daily states of being.

Gender Pronouns:

Identities:
Afro-Arab
Yemeni with Ethiopian, Somalian, and Eritrean heritage
First Generation American
Lapsed Muslim
Heterosexual
Genderfluid
Specialties:
Race Based Stress/Racial Trauma
Family and Relationship Issues
Cross Racial/Cultural Relationships
Open Relationships/Polyamorous Relationships*

Amber Eltaieb, LMSW

About Me
Drawing from my unique background and expertise in cross cultural communication and acculturation challenges, I specialize in working with individuals, couples and families from bicultural, mixed race and migration backgrounds. I mindfully hold space for those within the LGBTQ community in a co-created, emotionally safe environment. I am particularly gifted in helping multiracial and multicultural couples better identify the source of their relationship dissatisfaction within the full context of each individual’s identity. I provide them with the tools that will help them co-create the type of relationship they want to experience.

My focus is on mindfully assisting you on your journey towards self-actualization, inner peace and improving your quality of life, in a warm, collaborative, effective and engaging way. My eclectic approach draws from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the Ackerman Relational Approach, Emotionally Focused Therapy, the Gottman Method and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. I utilize these methods to tailor personalized care that honors your unique lived experiences and the identities you carry.

My Training and Education
I received my Master of Social Work (MSW) with a dual focus in Clinical Practice and Social Policy from New York University, here in New York City. I completed my undergraduate studies during a decade long stint abroad, earning a dual Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and International Relations from the American University of Sharjah in the UAE. I have extensive post graduate training with a special interest in utilizing an actively anti-racist, trauma informed approach that is collaborative through and through. I have trained with the Ackerman Institute, the Gottman Institute, the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, the Beck Institute and the New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy. I have a special interest in holistic health and also use Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) interventions.
My Journey
My journey began in Brooklyn. I was a first-generation child of immigrants. Growing up as a native Brooklynite in the 1980’s was one thing – adding on my additional identities as a first-generation Afro-Arab Yemeni Muslim woman with an inheritance of colonial and inter-generational trauma was something else. It became clear to me as a mental health professional that trauma was inherently part and parcel of the immigrant experience. Our parent’s generation was a traumatized one, and it was through no fault of their own.

Leaning into each of my respective identities has given me great insight into exploring and healing from racial trauma and internalized oppression. Consciously creating more space for our racial identities to exist and expand is a form of radical acceptance for us, as communities of color. When I experienced this for myself, my commitment to helping others achieve emotional freedom took on a whole new meaning.

The richness of my lived experiences within multiple contexts gave me a lot of food for thought. Having to navigate oppressive systems that lacked any representation from a young age was eye opening, confusing and enraging. I was determined to make an impact by being a vessel of representation and by disrupting the status quo. I was determined to use the richness of my upbringing, which was heavily rooted in culture and community, along with the wealth of knowledge I acquired on my travels and a decade spent living abroad to help individuals and couples from marginalized communities feel truly seen, heard and understood.

My Passion and Commitment
I am deeply passionate about emotional health and overall well-being. I am committed to approaching my work from a holistic standpoint and believe the human body is one of the most understated resources we have for our healing. Part of my commitment involves me living my life authentically and openly. I regularly work to deepen my mindfulness and meditation practices, and I’m passionate about teaching my three-year-old that our bodies and minds are powerful resources we can access at any time, when we feel safe. I remain a wholehearted believer in the power of the human spirit. Within the depths of our resilience lays our magic.