As far back as Ali can remember, working with kids has always been a passion of hers. Ali took her ability to listen and desire to help others and put it into action. She graduated from Syracuse University, with a Bachelor’s in Education and went on to work at a special education school on Long Island, The Hagedorn Little Village. While there, she solidified her true passion to help children on a social and emotional level and decided to pursue her degree in social work. Ali received her Master’s in Social Work from New York University with a focus in school social work with adolescents. Ali has experience working with children, adolescents and young adults in school-based settings, mental health clinics, and private practice settings.
Ali ‘s approach is to create a new and unique therapeutic relationship with each of her clients. Her work is tailored to meet each individual’s needs. Understanding who her clients are outside of the therapeutic environment is important to Ali in order to create a space of openness and comfort. Ali provides her clients with skills and strategies to help them develop social and emotional growth. She is dedicated to seeking outcomes for long-term success. Her results are achieved through a strength-based approach and solution-focused lens. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy, art therapy, and talk therapy, Ali is here to work collaboratively to foster change in one's life.
Want to know more? As part of joining the team, Ali was asked 5 questions about being a therapist:
1. What is one thing you love about being a therapist?
One thing I love about being a therapist is the ability to connect, support and improve the lives of others. Listening to people in both my professional and personal life has come naturally to me and it gives me true pleasure to be able to use that skill to help other people improve an area in their life they are struggling with. I love the ability to have one on one time with new and interesting people, to help them discover who they are and then build upon their strengths, giving them the ability to be their best selves and live their best lives.
2. What's one of your favorite books related to mental health, social work, or therapy?
My favorite books related to mental health, social work and therapy are written by the author Raina Telgemeier. Raina took her own personal experiences and became an author who has an unbelievable ability to connect and relate to her readers. The story lines, social issues and relatable topics for kids that Raina writes about are uncanny. Seeing a character in a story that you can relate to always helps kids better understand and feel comfortable with their own struggles. After creating a number of stories, Raina Telgemeier also created a journal that kids can use to write about their own “story,” which I always find to be a great activity to use after reading one of her books.
3. What is your favorite activity to work on with kids and why?
When it comes to working with kids, one activity that I love doing with them is an activity called “positive postings.” Positive postings helps kids with self-esteem and self-confidence. I typically have the child draw a big outline of their body and then write positive qualities about themselves on post-it notes. Having them connect the positive qualities to their own body drawings is an excellent way to helps kids learn about connecting ideas while also increasing their own self-esteem. This activity can also be taken one step further by asking the kids to think about a time when they felt very angry, frustrated, or disappointed with themselves, and encouraging them to think about how their “positive postings” could help them when they feel that way! This activity is engaging, gets the child moving, helps them to make connections while also giving them a tool to take with them when they are at home or in school!
4. What is something you would want parents to know about you?
I want parents to know that I came into this profession for a reason. While I have been a social worker in a variety of other settings, I think helping kids and adolescents in a safe private environment is exactly where I belong. Making people feel comfortable, welcome and warm is something I am always told that I do by my friends, family and even when I meet strangers! I know I will be able to bring that sense of comfort to the families I work with here as well.
5. What are some of your favorite coping skills when feeling stressed?
When I feel stressed, working out and getting some exercise is my go-to. I find moving my body while listening to music is the perfect combination to blow off some steam. Whether it be going for a walk or taking a workout class, I always feel more empowered and motivated after exercising. The music that goes along with it is also always a helpful addition!
Interested in working with Ali? Please call 347-758-2985 or email Liz@LizMorrisonTherapy.com for more information or to set up an initial appointment.