PhD in Social Welfare (CUNY, 2005)

 MS in Social Work (Columbia University, 1995)

 MA in Psychology (New School for Social Research, 1983)


License: New York State #R-069607, LCSW-R

                Licensed Clinical Social Worker (Status inactive; License expiration date: July 31, 2019,                                                                                subsequent to April 1, 2018 retirement)


Experience: Practice in the field of Mental Health for 35 years.


Areas of Practice:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy


Marriage/Family/ Couples

Life Management Counseling

Mood Disorders

Personality Disorders

Parenting Issues

Clinical Supervision


Office Address: Nikki retired from her private practice at Columbus Circle, NYC, April 1, 2018


Phone: 917-860-9057


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Fax: 410-573-5092

Areas of Interest:


I am a Freudian to the extent that I generally accept Freud's theory of sexual development, although it has been asserted that this theory does not apply to every culture. I believe Freud's genius was in his articulation of the concept of transference. (It has been said that Jung did not understand transference because Jung was a compelling, handsome man, whereas Freud had the good sense to question why his patients grew so attached to him, noting that they were actually projecting childhood "romances" and relationships onto him.)


I am a Jungian because I am drawn to Jung's theory of archetypes, particularly as manifested in the mythology of Ancient Greece, the origin of western psychological symbolism. However, despite having studied Jung for a number of years, I am not a trained Jungian analyst and have come to view the Jungian approach as overly specialized and poetic. It is an excellent modality for creative artists of all backgrounds, particularly if their creativity is blocked, but is of little value to those who need concrete and pragmatic interventions. The social worker in me is a pragmatist.


Since Carl Rogers is the master of empathy, I cannot avoid being a Rogerian. Therapy cannot take place without empathy. However, a shortcoming of Rogerian therapy is that it doesn't address the need to set limits, boundaries, and to point out maladaptive behaviors. The mirroring of the patient's every word is also, at times, silly and simplistic.


I am a cognitive behaviorist above all else. The caveat here, however, is that I believe all psychotherapy results in cognitive behavioral and emotional changes. I differ with many CBT adherents because I do not always feel that the cognitive and affective changes can necessarily occur in very short-term therapy. Essentially, CBT says that we must change the behavior, actively work on changing the maladaptive cognitions, and emotional changes will follow. Sometimes, in my opinion, it becomes a chicken or egg problem. It's easier to do something different, so this seems like a good starting point. However, although some intractable patients will behave differently, they stubbornly cling to maladaptive cognitions (despite extensive reality-testing) and their emotional states don't improve because of their stubborn clinging to those maladaptive cognitions. These patients can still be helped with the modality, but the effort takes longer than most CBT proponents assert.


I often use a combination of cognitive reframing with psychodynamic exploration of the past. Cognitive behavioral therapists eschew looking at the past and will even say it's of no relevance. However, it is as relevant as the patient believes it to be relevant, so if a patient wants to look at his or her life story, and the dynamics that propelled it, I shall gladly go there. (However, psychodynamic dwelling on the past does have its caveats: it can lead to getting stuck in insights without any accompanying behavioral or emotional changes.) Psychodynamic therapy also attends to the transference and relationship issues between the therapist and patient.


Lastly, I am an existential therapist because I view the myth-making task of carving meaning from one's existence as a valued goal for most patients in therapy. In general, as to how the therapy proceeds, I take my cue from my patients. I use integrated modes of therapy and adapt myself differentially, depending upon each patient's needs.


I typically help people with situational, motivational, psychodynamic, emotional, behavioral, existential or philosophical, and cognitive issues -- self-esteem, perspective and attitude.


Overall, I believe in the incantatory power of words. Words bring catharsis and help us shape and recognize our needs, desires, meanings and intentions. In the presence of another, a trained other, who can validate, give reflective feedback and identify patterns, we can change things we want to change, realize what we want to keep or achieve, and accept what has been, what is, and what may be.






Social Workers and the NASW Code of Ethics: Belief, Behavior, Disjuncture. Social Work, April, 2008.




Social Workers and the NASW Code of Ethics: Belief, Behavior, Disjuncture. October, 2005.