Meet the Team

Meet the Midtown Team

Meet the 14th Street Team

Natalie Buchwald, LMHC, Founder

Natalie Buchwald, LMHC

Natalie Buchwald is the founder and clinical director of Manhattan Mental Health Counseling. As a practitioner of holistic psychotherapy, Natalie’s treatment approach places an emphasis on the mind-body relationship and is both experiential and pragmatic. Natalie specializes in the treatment of eating and mood disorders as well as culture-based identity conflict. She works with individuals and couples to help them develop deeper connections to themselves, and stronger more fulfilling relationships with others, resulting in increased vitality, liveliness and joy.

Following the completion of her undergraduate degree in psychology from Towson University, Natalie participated in research at Maquarie University in Australia before going on to complete her graduate work in mental health counseling at Brooklyn College. She is a graduate of the Center of Anorexia and Bulimia in New York City and received advanced training from the Hakomi Institute. Natalie completed a fellowship at the Karen Horney Institute. In addition to her clinical work, Natalie is also an accomplished public speaker in the field of psychotherapy. Her most recent talk, “Spirituality and Eating Disorders” was presented at the National Eating Disorder Conference.


Debbie Merav, LMHC, CRC

Debbie Merav is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Debbie incorporates a variety of counseling techniques into her work including Psychodynamic Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She works with both individual clients and couples experiencing difficulties that negatively impact their lives. Debbie is experienced in treating many issues, including anxiety and depression, and specializes in addictive disorders, specifically substance abuse and eating disorders. Her approach is to treat individuals according to their needs and is not limited to a particular counseling genre. She works collaboratively with clients to discover the underlying conflicts that influence their behaviors.

Debbie received a bachelor of science in Psychology from Brooklyn College, a master in Rehabilitation Counseling from Hunter College and an advanced certificate in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Buffalo. As part of her commitment to continued education, Debbie is currently pursuing advanced training from the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education affiliated with the NYU School of Medicine.

Debbie Merav, LMHC, CRC

Lisa Reytblat Haner, LMHC

Liza Reytblat Haner, LMHC

Liza Reytblat Haner, LMHC is a compassionate, open-minded, and culturally competent therapist, who is experienced in working with children, adolescents, and adults. She takes on an eclectic approach to counseling, and utilizes various theories and techniques, including cognitive behavioral therapy, strength building, and person-centered therapy. Liza has experience helping individuals cope with a wide range of issues, including anxiety, stress, grief, depression, communication, and self-esteem. Liza is passionate about helping people overcome past and present obstacles, including family and relationship issues, childhood issues, and finding a sense of identity. She believes that everyone has their strengths, and looks forward to helping people find and embrace them.

Liza is a native New Yorker, and has traveled to many areas of the world. She is fluent in both English and Russian. Liza completed her Masters in Mental Health Counseling at CUNY Hunter, and continues to further her education and knowledge by attending training programs and conferences. She is always looking to gain additional skills that will help her tailor each session to the specific needs of each individual.


Deirdre Smith, LMHC

Originally from Monticello, New York, Deirdre Smith is a licensed Mental Health Counselor with a passion for helping others to succeed and live a healthy lifestyle. Her strong desire to help others drove her to pursue a career in psychotherapy. Deirdre’s practice focuses on substance abuse issues, behavior modification, trauma, military behavior health, vocational counseling, group and individual counseling, dual diagnoses, and autism. Deirdre utilizes various theories and techniques including cognitive-behavioral therapy and person-centered therapy.

Deirdre received a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and in Psychology from Long Island University. As part of her commitment to continued education, Deirdre is currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Walden University.

Candice Crawford, LMHC

Lisa Reytblat Haner, LMHC

Lory Jololian, LMHC

Lory Jololian is a compassionate and client-centered therapist who relies upon evidenced-based approaches to treat a variety of symptoms ranging from depression to anxiety to interpersonal challenges. Lory received specialized training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectic behavior therapy (DBT), multisystemic family therapy (MST), and mindfulness-based therapy. She works with clients who struggle with a range of symptoms including depression, anxiety-based disorders, OCD, eating disorders, body-image based disorders, substance abuse, trauma, and self-injurious behaviors, and interpersonal struggles.

Lory completed her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Iona College and holds a NY State Mental Health Counseling license. Lory’s treatment philosophy is that the mind, in addition to external circumstances, holds the key to both joyfulness and suffering. Sitting together with a compassionate therapist can help unlock the source of suffering so one may approach their challenges mindfully, soberly, and self-compassionately.


Steven Sabella, LMHC

Steven Sabella is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor with years of experience treating individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, bipolar, trauma, attachment, substance use and relationship issues, among others. His approach is person centered, and not only uses process to address current internal barriers to change, but looks at environmental factors, historic experience and connection to others in order to effectively facilitate positive change. Stylistically, Steven draws from several Theoretical orientations including, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Psychodynamic Therapy. He draws from a background working with individuals managing both chronic and acute symptoms of serious mental illnesses.

Steven has a Master in Mental Health Counseling from NYU and brings extensive experience in individual, group and de-escalation in crisis situations. He has worked with patients with diversity in culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion and socio-economic status. A warm, comfortable and empathic environment is what you can expect in working with Steven. He will meet you where you are with your challenges. He will assist and guide you in your journey for improved functioning and well-being.  

Emily Madris, LMHC

Rene Gonzalez, LMHC

Rene Gonzalez is a Texan turned New Yorker, drawn to the city by his passion for people watching, food, architecture, and multiculturalism. Rene cites several of Woody Allen’s most neurotic characters as inspiration for becoming a psychotherapist, and believes it was (partly) his films that planted the seeds of inspiration that compelled him to eventually move to the city. Rene’s early 20s were spent studying Spanish and teaching English in Spain and Latin America, and his encounters with people from diverse backgrounds solidified his intense curiosity about people, and prompted him to return to college to pursue a career as a psychotherapist. Today, Rene works in both private practice and the non-profit sector, and provides services to people from all walks of life.

Rene’s approach is inquisitive, empathic, and collaborative, and he draws from several theoretical frameworks, including humanistic, existential, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic. Rene is a clinician with experience treating depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, bi-polar disorder, trauma related disorders, substance abuse, personality disorders, and issues specific to members of the LGBTQ community.

Rene Gonzalez, LMHC

Emily Madris, LMHC

Steven Sabella, LMHC

Steven Sabella is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor with years of experience treating individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, bipolar, trauma, attachment, substance use and relationship issues, among others. His approach is person centered, and not only uses process to address current internal barriers to change, but looks at environmental factors, historic experience and connection to others in order to effectively facilitate positive change. Stylistically, Steven draws from several Theoretical orientations including, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Psychodynamic Therapy. He draws from a background working with individuals managing both chronic and acute symptoms of serious mental illnesses.

Steven has a Master in Mental Health Counseling from NYU and brings extensive experience in individual, group and de-escalation in crisis situations. He has worked with patients with diversity in culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion and socio-economic status. A warm, comfortable and empathic environment is what you can expect in working with Steven. He will meet you where you are with your challenges. He will assist and guide you in your journey for improved functioning and well-being.  


Jenny Kim, LMHC

Jenny Kim, a Florida native, is a culturally competent Mental Health Counselor who’s lived in New York for the last 10 years. Jenny has a passion for helping people reach emotional and mental well-being using a client-centered approach and an eclectic approach in counseling. She is experienced working with adults and adolescents who struggle with depression, anxiety, interpersonal struggles, self-esteem, domestic violence, and/or trauma. Jenny’s approach is genuine, empathetic, and perceptive. Jenny strives to provide a safe environment to facilitate self-development and self-awareness.

Jenny completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from New York University and received a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has a New York State license in mental health counseling. Jenny also has experience in the non-profit sector, at community organizations, providing counseling and administrative services. 

Candice Crawford, LMHC

Lisa Reytblat Haner, LMHC

Nirmala Bijraj, LMHC

Nirmala Bijraj is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. Nirmala’s style of therapy is eclectic drawing from different theories and modalities which centers on what works best for the client. She has a lot of experience to draw from, having worked for non-profits and private practice in the past. Nirmala has experience helping individuals cope with a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, adjustment disorder, substance use, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, among others. She works with both individual clients and couples experiencing difficulties that negatively impact their lives.

Nirmala received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Queens College, and a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University. Nirmala was born in South America and lived in Canada before relocating to New York. From her international experiences, she gleaned a deep respect and understanding for culture and its meaning.

Natalie Buchwald, LMHC, Founder

Natalie Buchwald, LMHC

Natalie Buchwald is the founder and clinical director of Manhattan Mental Health Counseling. As a practitioner of holistic psychotherapy, Natalie’s treatment approach places an emphasis on the mind-body relationship and is both experiential and pragmatic. Natalie specializes in the treatment of eating and mood disorders as well as culture-based identity conflict. She works with individuals and couples to help them develop deeper connections to themselves, and stronger more fulfilling relationships with others, resulting in increased vitality, liveliness and joy.

Following the completion of her undergraduate degree in psychology from Towson University, Natalie participated in research at Maquarie University in Australia before going on to complete her graduate work in mental health counseling at Brooklyn College. She is a graduate of the Center of Anorexia and Bulimia in New York City and received advanced training from the Hakomi Institute. Natalie completed a fellowship at the Karen Horney Institute. In addition to her clinical work, Natalie is also an accomplished public speaker in the field of psychotherapy. Her most recent talk, “Spirituality and Eating Disorders” was presented at the National Eating Disorder Conference.


Debbie Merav, LMHC, CRC

Debbie Merav, LMHC, CRC

Debbie Merav is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Debbie incorporates a variety of counseling techniques into her work including Psychodynamic Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She works with both individual clients and couples experiencing difficulties that negatively impact their lives. Debbie is experienced in treating many issues, including anxiety and depression, and specializes in addictive disorders, specifically substance abuse and eating disorders. Her approach is to treat individuals according to their needs and is not limited to a particular counseling genre. She works collaboratively with clients to discover the underlying conflicts that influence their behaviors.

Debbie received a bachelor of science in Psychology from Brooklyn College, a master in Rehabilitation Counseling from Hunter College and an advanced certificate in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Buffalo. As part of her commitment to continued education, Debbie is currently pursuing advanced training from the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education affiliated with the NYU School of Medicine.


Liza Reutblat Haner, LMHC

Liza Reytblat Haner, LMHC

Liza Reytblat Haner, LMHC is a compassionate, open-minded, and culturally competent therapist, who is experienced in working with children, adolescents, and adults. She takes on an eclectic approach to counseling, and utilizes various theories and techniques, including cognitive behavioral therapy, strength building, and person-centered therapy. Liza has experience helping individuals cope with a wide range of issues, including anxiety, stress, grief, depression, communication, and self-esteem. Liza is passionate about helping people overcome past and present obstacles, including family and relationship issues, childhood issues, and finding a sense of identity. She believes that everyone has their strengths, and looks forward to helping people find and embrace them.

Liza is a native New Yorker, and has traveled to many areas of the world. She is fluent in both English and Russian. Liza completed her Masters in Mental Health Counseling at CUNY Hunter, and continues to further her education and knowledge by attending training programs and conferences. She is always looking to gain additional skills that will help her tailor each session to the specific needs of each individual. 


Candice Crawford, LMHC

Deirdre Smith, LMHC

Originally from Monticello, New York, Deirdre Smith is a licensed Mental Health Counselor with a passion for helping others to succeed and live a healthy lifestyle. Her strong desire to help others drove her to pursue a career in psychotherapy. Deirdre’s practice focuses on substance abuse issues, behavior modification, trauma, military behavior health, vocational counseling, group and individual counseling, dual diagnoses, and autism. Deirdre utilizes various theories and techniques including cognitive-behavioral therapy and person-centered therapy.

Deirdre received a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and in Psychology from Long Island University. As part of her commitment to continued education, Deirdre is currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Walden University.


Liza Reutblat Haner, LMHC

Lory Jololian, LMHC

Lory Jololian is a compassionate and client-centered therapist who relies upon evidenced-based approaches to treat a variety of symptoms ranging from depression to anxiety to interpersonal challenges. Lory received specialized training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectic behavior therapy (DBT), multisystemic family therapy (MST), and mindfulness-based therapy. She works with clients who struggle with a range of symptoms including depression, anxiety-based disorders, OCD, eating disorders, body-image based disorders, substance abuse, trauma, and self-injurious behaviors, and interpersonal struggles.

Lory completed her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Iona College and holds a NY State Mental Health Counseling license. Lory’s treatment philosophy is that the mind, in addition to external circumstances, holds the key to both joyfulness and suffering. Sitting together with a compassionate therapist can help unlock the source of suffering so one may approach their challenges mindfully, soberly, and self-compassionately.


Emily Madris, LMHC

Steven Sabella, LMHC

Steven Sabella is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor with years of experience treating individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, bipolar, trauma, attachment, substance use and relationship issues, among others. His approach is person centered, and not only uses process to address current internal barriers to change, but looks at environmental factors, historic experience and connection to others in order to effectively facilitate positive change. Stylistically, Steven draws from several Theoretical orientations including, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Psychodynamic Therapy. He draws from a background working with individuals managing both chronic and acute symptoms of serious mental illnesses.

Steven has a Master in Mental Health Counseling from NYU and brings extensive experience in individual, group and de-escalation in crisis situations. He has worked with patients with diversity in culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion and socio-economic status. A warm, comfortable and empathic environment is what you can expect in working with Steven. He will meet you where you are with your challenges. He will assist and guide you in your journey for improved functioning and well-being.  


Rene Gonzalez, LMHC

Rene Gonzalez, LMHC

Rene Gonzalez is a Texan turned New Yorker, drawn to the city by his passion for people watching, food, architecture, and multiculturalism. Rene cites several of Woody Allen’s most neurotic characters as inspiration for becoming a psychotherapist, and believes it was (partly) his films that planted the seeds of inspiration that compelled him to eventually move to the city. Rene’s early 20s were spent studying Spanish and teaching English in Spain and Latin America, and his encounters with people from diverse backgrounds solidified his intense curiosity about people, and prompted him to return to college to pursue a career as a psychotherapist. Today, Rene works in both private practice and the non-profit sector, and provides services to people from all walks of life.

Rene’s approach is inquisitive, empathic, and collaborative, and he draws from several theoretical frameworks, including humanistic, existential, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic. Rene is a clinician with experience treating depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, bi-polar disorder, trauma related disorders, substance abuse, personality disorders, and issues specific to members of the LGBTQ community.


Candice Crawford, LMHC

Jenny Kim, LMHC

Jenny Kim, a Florida native, is a culturally competent Mental Health Counselor who’s lived in New York for the last 10 years. Jenny has a passion for helping people reach emotional and mental well-being using a client-centered approach and an eclectic approach in counseling. She is experienced working with adults and adolescents who struggle with depression, anxiety, interpersonal struggles, self-esteem, domestic violence, and/or trauma. Jenny’s approach is genuine, empathetic, and perceptive. Jenny strives to provide a safe environment to facilitate self-development and self-awareness.

Jenny completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from New York University and received a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has a New York State license in mental health counseling. Jenny also has experience in the non-profit sector, at community organizations, providing counseling and administrative services. 


Nirmala Bijraj, LMHC

Nirmala Birjaj, LMHC

Nirmala Bijraj is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. Nirmala’s style of therapy is eclectic drawing from different theories and modalities which centers on what works best for the client. She has a lot of experience to draw from, having worked for non-profits and private practice in the past. Nirmala has experience helping individuals cope with a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, adjustment disorder, substance use, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, among others. She works with both individual clients and couples experiencing difficulties that negatively impact their lives.

Nirmala received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Queens College, and a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University. Nirmala was born in South America and lived in Canada before relocating to New York. From her international experiences, she gleaned a deep respect and understanding for culture and its meaning.


Emily Madris, LMHC

Steven Sabella, LMHC

Steven Sabella is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor with years of experience treating individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, bipolar, trauma, attachment, substance use and relationship issues, among others. His approach is person centered, and not only uses process to address current internal barriers to change, but looks at environmental factors, historic experience and connection to others in order to effectively facilitate positive change. Stylistically, Steven draws from several Theoretical orientations including, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Psychodynamic Therapy. He draws from a background working with individuals managing both chronic and acute symptoms of serious mental illnesses.

Steven has a Master in Mental Health Counseling from NYU and brings extensive experience in individual, group and de-escalation in crisis situations. He has worked with patients with diversity in culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion and socio-economic status. A warm, comfortable and empathic environment is what you can expect in working with Steven. He will meet you where you are with your challenges. He will assist and guide you in your journey for improved functioning and well-being.  

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