Showing Up First

Therapeutic support group focused on building resilience, insight, knowledge, and processing.

MONDAY'S AT 6PM (NoMAD) Manhattan

Group Description:

First responders are the brave individuals who are the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency, providing critical aid and support. However, the unique and often challenging experiences they encounter in the line of duty can profoundly impact their emotional and mental well-being. This has become even more pronounced in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. These impacts may present as noticeable mood shifts, heightened anxiety, difficulties in communication, strained personal relationships, diminished job performance, and an overall decline in their quality of life. By coming together, we aim to engage in open discussions about their experiences and the emotions associated with them, with the goal of fostering emotional insight and developing effective coping skills. This dedicated group extends its support to firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical services members (EMS), search and rescue teams, military personnel, doctors, nurses, mental health clinicians, 911 operators/dispatchers, and all those who bravely serve in high-stress and demanding roles.

This group is dedicated to firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical services (EMS), search and rescue members, military personnel, doctors, nurses, mental health clinicians, 911 operators/dispatchers, etc. 

Our Showing Up First Group Leaders

Sophia Berlin, MS

Sophia Berlin, MS


Sophia: (She/Her) completed her Master of Science degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After enjoying many years in the south, she is excited to move back to her home state of New York. Sophia uses experience and insights to inform her work and feels fortunate to work with and learn from her clients.    

Sophia’s concentration in psychiatric disabilities and rehabilitation counseling offered opportunities to gain experience working in various settings with diverse populations. Her experience in hospitals, specialized mental health clinics, and the VA Health Care system provided opportunities to develop her counseling skills and knowledge. She has experience working with developmental disabilities, chronic illnesses, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance use, self-injurious behaviors, anxiety, and mood disorders. While working with Veterans, she developed her interest in trauma-informed care and addressing co-occurring disorders. Over the last several years, she collaborated on evidence-based psychotherapy research and publications to advocate for access to informed care. 

As a therapist, she strives to develop trusting relationships and offer a unique space for authenticity and support. She believes in the importance of recognizing individual strengths, while empowering self-awareness and growth. Her approach is relation-centered and integrative to incorporate modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Humanistic Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Trauma-Informed Care. Sophia uses an eclectic approach, which creates space to recognize different experiences and ensure therapy is accessible and effective.   

Sophia could be described as an introverted extrovert. While she enjoys spending time with others and getting lost in conversation, she always carves out time to retreat to the comfort of reading a book on the couch. She is happiest near a body of water and swimming is her favorite form of exercise. Dog time is a staple in her life, and she enjoys any chance to get outside and explore new places.




Michelle (she/her) is a New York City based psychotherapist and licensed social worker whose focus is building trusting relationships with her clients. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY before she headed off to study Psychology and Spanish at Swarthmore College. She returned to New York where she graduated with a Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University in 2019. Michelle can conduct sessions in English and Spanish. She is passionate about providing quality care to people of all backgrounds. She has gained a wide array of experience working with many diverse types of clients working in agencies, nonprofits, hospitals, and community mental health.  

Michelle is enthusiastic about creating strong therapeutic relationships with clients. She knows that the relationship between client and provider is one of the building blocks to achieve a client’s goals and that the vulnerability developed during the session is a sacred thing. She partners with her clients to strive for meaningful change. She has worked with different types of people, including children, teens, birthing people, domestic violence survivors, immigrants and refugees, families, and more. She is particularly focused on the impact of trauma on a person’s life and how the process of healing can create new opportunities for someone. With her social work background Michelle is aware of the effect systems have on a person and a group and uses a social justice approach to help clients reach their goals. She aims to empower her clients to gain self-awareness and to develop effective coping strategies. 

An enthusiastic reader, Michelle is always happy to get book recommendations of all genres. She is also a happy pet mom to her cat Chicharron. In her free time Michelle also enjoys baking cakes and pastries, crocheting blankets and sweaters, and watching TV with her husband and her cat on her lap.  

First Responders Group

Now Accepting Cigna/Evernorth and Aetna!