Rebecca is a board-certified art therapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Virginia and a certified eating disorder specialist through the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals. Rebecca received a Master’s degree from the College of New Rochelle in New York.
The College of New Rochelle offered a research-based program, as well as a certificate program in thanatology (dying, death, grief, mourning and bereavement) directed by Dr. Kenneth Doka, a senior consultant for the Hospice Foundation of America. Rebecca's focus in graduate school was pediatric palliative and hospice care, which was influenced by her involvement as an undergraduate at Arcadia University in the Pennsylvania Pediatric Palliative and Hospice Care task force. During graduate school, Rebecca had the opportunity to train in trauma informed care working as a research assistant on a study partially funded through an NIMH grant on “the efficacy of an adjunctive trauma-focused art therapy intervention in reducing chronic child post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in an inpatient psychiatric facility for youth” (Lyshak-Stelzer et. Al. 2007). Dr. Claude Chemtob, a co-investigator on the study, conducted multiple studies in New York around this time investigating PTSD symptoms on children and mothers (often surrounding the events of September 11, 2001). Rebecca additionally interned through Free Arts New York assisting with adjunctive family centered group programing at the Court of Innovation site on the Bronx Court Domestic Violence and Sex Crimes unit and Little Sisters of Assumption Family Center primarily supporting recently immigrated families. Following her experience within the children’s facility, Rebecca interned at Bronx Psychiatric Center, an adult state-run facility. At this facility, Rebecca trained under Toshiko Kobayashi learning to run trauma focused origami groups in both in-patient and out-patient settings. Her final graduate yearlong internship was at Hackensack University Medical Center on the Pediatric Oncology and Hematology unit within the Child Life department providing art therapy and medical play for patients.
Following graduation, Rebecca worked at a group private practice and multiple treatment facilities (a residential facility, partial hospitalization program (PHP), and an intensive outpatient program (IOP)) with primary diagnosis of eating or feeding disorders. Rebecca completed her certification as an eating disorder specialist through the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) in 2020. Rebecca remains passionate about working with trauma survivors and beginning to utilize and expand her experience with play therapy approaches. Rebecca is currently working to complete her play therapy certification under the supervision of Dr. Eliana Gil. Rebecca is additionally completing her basic EMDR training.
As a board-certified art therapist, Rebecca integrates creative expression into sessions whenever client’s express interest. While working with clients having the primary diagnosis of an eating or feeding disorder, Rebecca has utilized Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), cognitive restructuring, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and exposure and response prevention (ERP). Rebecca is trained to provide meal support and aid families in rebuilding boundaries and trusting relationships. Utilizing common mechanisms and theories as in Common Factor theory, Rebecca supports clients in accomplishing desired change.