kaerensa-craft-therapist-NYCThroughout life, I have been interested in personality development and how we come to think and feel about ourselves and others in our lives. With these issues in mind, I have steadily moved along a trajectory that has included interest in people and relationships.

In 1995, I graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography, focusing on social and demographic studies. While there, I had the opportunity to participate in research projects examining conditions of a homeless community in Los Angeles.  Talking with people and hearing about their lives came very easily to me and became emotionally compelling.

In 1999, I completed a Master of Science in Social Work at Columbia University, concentrating in social policy affecting families and children while providing support services to families in the foster care system. Over the next few years, I continued to work with people affected by social systems, particularly legal systems addressing issues of domestic abuse. During this time, I had the unique experience of providing educational, mental health, and support services to both victims and perpetrators of relationship abuse, and gained a multi-faceted perspective about the dynamics of relationships, both healthy and unhealthy. Since that time, I have continued to provide consultation services around working with victims and perpetrators of relationship abuse to various preventive services agencies and treatment programs around NYC.

In 2002, I began working with individuals struggling with alcohol and chemical dependency problems at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, where I gained considerable clinical training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills,and Motivational Interviewing with an excellent team of social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. In 2008, I completed the requirements for Certification in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling (CASAC). Since 2009, I have worked on various research studies investigating moderation-focused psychotherapy interventions for alcohol use disorders.

To gain complementary perspectives and training, I pursued and completed a 2-year training program in 2005 in psychodynamic psychotherapy of adults at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education at NYU School of Medicine. In 2014, I completed 3 years of intensive studies with the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies.