About Dr. Alvarez-Cussen
Dr. Shea Alvarez-Cussen obtained her PhD in clinical psychology from the CUNY Graduate Center with a specialization in forensic psychology. Her training and experience spans a variety of settings with culturally diverse individuals. She has conducted assessments and provided treatment to clients ranging from children with psychiatric diagnoses to older adults receiving palliative care; from underserved inner city communities to middle class suburbs; and from community hospital psychiatric emergency rooms to the criminal justice system. Much of Dr. A’s work has been with at-risk adolescents, individuals experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, criminal justice involved individuals, individuals attempting to navigate the day-to-day stress of life, and individuals diagnosed with serious mental illness.
Dr. A is a cognitive behavioral therapist but also integrates humanistic elements into her work. As such, therapy is individualized and takes a strengths-based, supportive, and non-judgmental approach with the aim of helping clients to develop insight and perspective in working towards their goals. Therapy with Dr. A is a collaborative process whereby she helps her clients challenge problematic thinking patterns, aids them in the management of psychiatric symptoms, and helps them develop effective ways of managing emotions and improving relationships – all of which hopefully involves a little laughter along the way. In addition to therapy, Dr. A also conducts psychological and cognitive assessments to aid in treatment planning and diagnostic clarification.
Dr. A’s journey into the field of psychology began with a basic psychology course she took in high school that sparked a profound interest in the study and understanding of human behavior. Despite this early interest, Dr. A followed her desire to be part of something bigger than herself and joined the U.S. Navy shortly after graduating from high school. When an injury ended her military career, Dr. A’s desire to continue to serve her community and others led her back to the study of psychology.
As her training progressed, Dr. A realized that her work with others was not only about helping them, but also about the continual process of personal growth, being open to new things, and experiencing all the different ways there are to see the world through other’s eyes.
Dr. A’s joys in life include her dog, her family, a good detective novel, a good laugh, and ice cream.