Yakaira RamirezLCSW

Headshot of Yakaira Ramirez LCSW

Availability

In Eastern Time

What is your style/approach to therapy?

My style is rooted in forming meaningful, long-lasting relationships with my patients as well as an awareness that a holistic approach, treating all aspects of the person simultaneously, is vital in achieving sustainable positive outcomes. Emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness sparks our consciousness, expands mindfulness, and conquers Healing. Healing is possible. Recovery is possible. .

If you could pick one movie or book that influenced your approach to therapy, what would it be and why?

I would say the book that has most influenced my approach to therapy is The Gift of Therapy by Irvin Yalom. I first encountered it when it was assigned during my time as a Social work student, working on my master’s degree at Fordham. I truly admire and with deep gratitude thank this author for inspiring me to value the humanity of my patients in my personal, professional, and overall approach to treatment, always leading with kindness and embracing their individual & unique journeys. One of the most powerful chapters in the book is titled “Looking through the patient’s window,” a concept which has become probably one of the most effective tools in my repertoire because it emphasizes the power of listening, empathy and putting my feet in the shoes of my patients. Yalom, unlike many other practitioners in the mental health field, and even the public, does not pathologize. Instead, he stresses the necessity of treating people with the utmost dignity, kindness, respect, and most importantly he values feedback from his patients on how he is doing as a therapist and their therapeutic relationship. Lastly, I admire how Yalom speaks openly about his own therapeutic journey, emphasizing how it not only positively impacts him personally, but also makes him a better therapist to pursue his own therapy and self-care. This book is incredibly valuable for anyone to read, especially those who want to understand why therapy is important and the extent to which it can heal.

In what ways have your personal experiences influenced your work with your clients?

I was raised in the beautiful Dominican Republic in a poor, run-down, rural small town surrounded by high mountains where suffering and poverty around me stimulated compassion and inspired strength to believe that somehow, I would have something to offer to everyone. It was a burning desire that matured into a great sense of hope because I knew that I had the power and potential to ameliorate some of the pain I witnessed. I can recall, as an 8-year-old child, sitting beside my grandmother on a big, empty tomato can that we used as a chair and a place where I could properly smooth and straighten cigars leaves. (This was a vital step in the process of hand-making cigars, which was my grandmother’s occupation). During these long hours, my grandmother and I often chatted about whether I would become a schoolteacher, lawyer, or a social worker. Even though the latter was not a “typical” third-world country profession, my grandmother secretly made up her mind on what her ambitions were for me, (as it is customary in my culture to have your elders guide a young child through the path he/she would take when choosing a profession). My grandmother enjoyed observing me teach religion to children on Saturday afternoons under our little porch, and it was after one of these sessions that she expressed admiration for my passion and ability to go out of my way in helping others of all ages. She wished that I would find a future sharing these qualities as my profession. My parents and I immigrated to the United States when I was 12 years old. I remember when I first arrived in the Big Apple, my dreams felt as large as this city in the land of opportunity, and I hoped I could one day expand my horizons and follow these big dreams. The first opportunity I had to pursue my career goals was when I received a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Criminal Justice at John Jay College. I then completed my Master’s in Social Work at Fordham University. Shortly after, I began working for non-profit organizations, private and government agencies like family shelters and other environments in the criminal Justice system. Through these positions I provided mental health and addiction treatment services at an inpatient treatment program. I am happy that I have the privilege of helping individuals and families become more capable of serving themselves and their communities. There is nothing I can conceive of that would be a better use of my life than this work, and at the same time, I have succeeded in fulfilling my grandmother’s ambitious dream for me: to become a productive Social Worker who truly cares about the outcomes and the future.

Specialties

General Expertise

In-Network Insurance

All Savers Insurance

Cigna

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare

Oscar Health

Oxford Health Plans

United Healthcare

United Medical Resources

Fees

$175

Family Therapy

$150

Couples Therapy

$130

Individual Therapy

Types of Therapy

Family Session

Couples Session

Individual Session

Clientele

Parents

Young Adults (18-24)

Adults (25-65)

Adolescents (13-17)

Treatment Approaches / Modalities

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Mindfulness Practices

Strength Based Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Training / Certifications

SIFI, CASAC-T, Mental Health First Aid Instructor

Licensure

NY, LCSW, 090725-01

Education

Masters of Social Work, Specialization in Children and Family,Fordham University

Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Work History

I’ve been working in the social service field providing human services to the most vulnerable and underserved populations for the last 18 years. In my current role I’m an Instructor, Training Specialist and Community Coordinator for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene educating, empowering, supporting and doing outreach for individuals in our communities most impacted by disparities and inequities, primarily by providing emotional support and helping them access available resources. I insist that everyone who has the courage to, ask for help when they need it, especially in this society, as well as in many cultures, where stigma surrounding mental health continues to be a barrier preventing individuals to receive the support they need and summon the necessary courage to ask for help. I believe that at some point most, if not all humans, experience overwhelming or traumatic experiences and managing these situations, especially alone, can make our experience even worse. I recognize that many times when we don't receive the support that we need, those unspoken feelings turn into recurring thoughts and those thoughts become symptoms that can eventually become illnesses that seriously impact our mental health. Hence, many times we do what we can to cope with those feelings and pain. It is incredibly common to turn to unhealthy coping strategies like self-medicating with alcohol or other substances. I know that a trauma-informed care approach, one that creates a safe space and environment, recognizes that it is okay not to be okay, because those reactions and behaviors are a completely normal response to trauma or threats in our environment, is vital in the work that I do. Each person has a unique way of learning, processing and coping to adverse situations; so treatment for the brain and mental wellness cannot be one size fits all. In my experience, I have seen significant improvements when utilizing trauma-informed care approach, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and mindfulness. At this point in my career, I’m slowly transitioning into full-time commitment as a psychotherapist, pursuing what I truly love.

Location

Remote Therapy, New York, 10029, NY