Education & Training

NY State License #087351 

MSW: Silberman School of Social Work, 2012

BA: Study of Women & Gender, Smith College 2006 

Certifications

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, National Traumatic Stress Network, 2012 

  • Rape Crisis Counseling, NYDOH, 2008

Additional Training

  • Breath Work & Healing, Embodied Philosophy

  • First Aid for Collective Trauma, Peter Levine

  • Internal Family Systems, Richard Schwartz

  • Integrative Trauma Treatment, Janina Fisher 

  • Compassion Based Mindfulness, Kristen Neff 

  • Herbal Medicine, Chestnut School of Herbalism 

  • Reiki 1 Attunement, Urban Well Therapies 

  • Art Therapy, NYC Creative Art Therapies 

  • Empathic Facilitation, Create Forward  

  • Mindful Sex, Pleasure Mechanics

  • Harm Reduction for Drug Use, Harm Reduction Coalition

  • Embodied Trauma Interventions, The Breathe Network

  • Full Spectrum Doula Skills, The Doula Project

  • Undoing Racism, People's Institute for Survival & Beyond

  • Sex Therapy Principles, Psychotherapy Center for Gender & Sexuality, Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy

About Liz

I entered the world of emotional support in 2008, first as a peer supporting loved ones through life events, then as a volunteer on a LGBTQ crisis hotline. Over the years my work evolved into sex educator, full spectrum doula, mental health case manager, trauma therapist, advocate for sex workers and survivors of human trafficking, and sex and gender therapist.  At the heart of all these experiences is the power of authentic presence in the body, compassionate witnessing of a person exactly as they are, and an insistence on our shared and innate human rights to safety, pleasure, and self determination. 

As a person with my own lived experiences of outsidership, I understand the traumatic impacts of oppression and stigma on every day life.  As a clinical social worker, my goal is to channel these parts of myself to facilitate authentic interactions that help humans access our potential for repair.  Now more than ever, the interpersonal and structural are interconnected.  Our collective well being depends on a million moments of liberation: every time we show up for ourselves or each other without shame.    

Core Values for Treatment

Anti Oppression

  • Power, privilege, & oppression exist & require intentional effort to counteract 

  • Financial & cultural accessibility of those at the margins is prioritized 

Person Centered

  • The client is the expert of their own experience 

  • Work is flexible, unique to each individual's needs, and meets people where they are at

Strengths Based

  • Humans are naturally adaptive

  • Focus on resilience vs pathology or stigma

Trauma Informed

  • Any experience that overwhelms our ability to cope has complex impacts on our mind, body, spirit, & relationships

  • Client choice & self-determination is emphasized

Sex, Body & Pleasure Positive

  • All bodies are good bodies

  • Different bodies have different needs, a variety of sexual & relationship orientations are valid 

  • Pleasure increases our capacity to heal

  • Marginalized people being present in their bodies & experiencing joy is a radical act that changes the world for the better 

© 2020 by Liz Afton