Meet The Team
We believe it “takes a village” for a business to thrive. Our Founders took their experiences in life and profession and built Collaborative to solve the problems they had encountered before. It’s new, it’s fresh, its humanity at its peak.
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Maria was born in Poland and migrated to NYC at the age of 3. She was raised in Brooklyn and carries that as a badge of honor.
Maria attended Hunter College where she graduated with a degree in Sociology. She then attended LIU Brooklyn and obtained her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling in 2017. During her time at LIU Brooklyn, she was the campus representative for the American Psychology Association Division 35 Society for the Psychology of Women. Maria was involved in hosting events that help spread awareness for feminist research, theory and education to understand and improve the lives of girls and women in all their diversities. This helped Maria develop her passion towards working with women and women’s issues.
After graduation, Maria was hired as a full time substance abuse counselor at Outreach, where she completed her internship for graduate school. She worked with adults to help them reach their goals in recovery. Maria implemented harm reduction techniques to help promote a more inclusive and realistic approach for treating substance use disorders. She is determined to approach all her clients by meeting them where they are and empowering them to meet their treatment and therapy goals.
After 3 years, Maria was promoted to Program Coordinator where she was responsible for running Restart Academy, a Department of Education alternative high school for students with substance use and behavioral issues and an after school program for outpatient services for adolescents. Maria enjoyed working and advocating for adolescents and young people. She guided them through different life transitions like: finishing high school, coping with peer pressure and preparing for the next chapters of their lives like college or full time employment.
Maria also supervised new counselors and her approach was always to empower counselors and teach them listen to their “clinical gut”.
Maria is driven by social justice and participated in movements for Black Lives Matter, women’s rights and animal rights. Her approaches in therapy display her commitment to provide an empathic, compassionate and judgement-free space where people from all walks of life can address their emotional issues, life transitions and meet their therapy goals.
When she is not in session, Maria teaches as an adjunct lecturer at Hunger College. She teaches courses like Drugs and Society and the Sociology of Mental Health. In her free time, Maria loves to re-watch “The Office”, spend time with her two cats Rajah and Stella and try new vegan recipes.
Samuel Gilbert is a licensed psychotherapist based in New York City, earning his Master of Social Work degree magna cum laude from Columbia University. His award-winning scholarship, published in the Columbia University School of Social Work Review, focuses on LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence. He has extensive experience working with individuals with a variety of mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, substance use disorder (SUD), addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He also has experience—and specific training—to work with individuals who identify as LGBTQ+.
Samuel takes a holistic approach with his clients. In addition to utilizing evidence-based mental health interventions (e.g. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, etc.), he believes quality sleep, a well-balanced diet, consistent exercise, and one’s spirituality are paramount to the therapeutic process. He is steadfast in working alongside his clients to help each individual, couple, and group develop tools and strategies to achieve their specific goals.
Emma Harger is a licensed psychotherapist in New York City. She has extensive experience working with teens and young adults, and greatly enjoys helping them grow and achieve their full potential. Her client-centered approach focuses on meeting individuals where they are and working together to discover clients’ needs and goals. Emma firmly believes that each individual is unique and uses a blend of techniques (cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, and talk therapy) to tailor her therapeutic approach to each client. She is passionate about human connection and relationships to promote individual understanding, growth, and change.
Outside of work, Emma enjoys being active through cycling, running, and doing yoga. She also enjoys playing classical piano and singing in choirs.
She holds a masters in social work from Columbia University and a bachelors in psychology and German from Carnegie Mellon University.
Cristina is a licensed psychotherapist practicing in New York, with a primary focus on emotional, social, and behavioral challenges faced in early adulthood, adolescence, and childhood. Her client-centered approach is grounded in attachment and cognitive behavioral theories. Cristina is passionate about helping her clients find comfort with everyday thoughts, emotions, and experiences that contribute to living a full life.
Whether coming to her in a time of crisis or beginning therapy to maintain a healthful state of mind, Cristina takes a gentle and holistic stance with each client, developing a treatment plan that is unique to their needs. Her approach caters to varying client needs, including, but not limited to, anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, eating disorders, neurodivergence, trauma, and gender and sexuality struggles and exploration. She is always eager to learn more and is frequently engaging in opportunities to learn and expand her knowledge.
Outside of her practice, Cristina is an adjunct lecturer, a 200-hour registered yoga teacher, and an avid runner.
Cristina received her graduate degree in social work from New York University and her undergraduate degree in psychology from Marymount Manhattan College.
Alex begins every therapeutic relationship with a comprehensive assessment that helps guide the direction of treatment. He then works with you to develop a plan that will meet your individual needs and concerns. If medications are recommended, Alex will discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives with you thoroughly and walk you through a road map of both the results and possible side effects you might reasonably anticipate. If psychotherapy is recommended, you will have the opportunity to discuss whether you would prefer to have a collaborating psychotherapist or work with Alex in this capacity.
Alex takes a relational approach, which means you can expect a casual conversation style that brings awareness to the therapeutic alliance and is unafraid to lean into his various intersectional identities (e.g. LGBTQ, first-generation American, musician) to unlock a vocabulary of shared or divergent life experiences. He prefers to combine psychotherapy with psychopharmacology to achieve optimal results, employing evidence-based techniques from CBT, psychodynamic, and brief relational frameworks.
Areas of focus include exploring identity-related concerns, self-esteem, body image, substance abuse (including medication-assisted treatment with Vivitrol and Suboxone), anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, personality disorders, and more. Alex has specialized experience working in LGBTQ community healthcare and outpatient addiction treatment center settings.
Outside of work, Alex loves to eat, travel, and make music. He sings in an a cappella group and chorus and loves to work on individual projects in songwriting, recording, and music production.
Education, Training & Credentials:
- Undergraduate: BS, Biological Sciences, Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA)
- Medical School: MD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth (Hanover, NH)
- Residency: Adult Psychiatry, Icaahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in affiliation with Mount Sinai Beth Israel (New York City, NY)
- Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Kyle utilizes a client-centered based approach to therapy by adapting to individual needs. He focuses on the unique needs to support the person’s internal/external relational system healthily and clearly to reach overarching goals.
He believes everyone can better themselves if they are willing. Kyle studies the development of personality disorders from a psychoanalytic perspective. Kyle has advanced training in integrating complex psychological structures and fragmented mental health systems through the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families.
Kyle has helped people with substance abuse issues, explore individual identity (LGBTQ), cope with psychological/cognitive/developmental disorders, accept medical diagnoses, overcome sexual abuse/intimate partner violence, and various maladaptive behaviors or modes of thinking. Throughout his career, Kyle continues to add his experience and knowledge into expanding mentalization-based treatments.
Utilizing an eclectic approach to therapy and his training in various evidence-based modalities, Kyle seeks for you to receive the most out of your treatment. Kyle will implore you to be an active participant in your treatment and discuss the treatment techniques. He encourages you to focus on your needs and what you think is best. Kyle is trained in Mentalization-Based Treatment for Adults, Adolescents, and children, along with Adaptive Mentalization-Based Integrative Treatment for complex systems. Kyle is adding to his educational arsenal by registering with the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies to pursue his license in Psychoanalysis. As a leader in the mental health field, Kyle is the founder and president of Collaborative Therapy, a group therapy practice dedicated to multifaceted psychological disorders.
For fun, Kyle loves spending time with friends, traveling, relaxing with his dog (Otis), lying on the beach, and listening to music.
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