Dr. Tamar Blank

Founder + Director 

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Tamar@RiverdalePsychology.com

Dr. Blank is the founder and director of Riverdale Psychology. She received her M.S. and Psy.D. from The Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology.

Using cognitive behavioral techniques and a psychodynamic conceptualization, she works with children, adolescents and adults in individual, family, group, and couples therapy providing a solution-oriented approach in a comfortable environment that enables you to successfully achieve your goals. As a licensed clinical psychologist, she has experience treating individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, interpersonal relationships, and other life stressors.

 

Dr. Blank received her doctoral degree from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, after graduating magna cum laude with highest honors from Queens College of the City University of New York. Upon graduating, she was inducted into the Psi Chi National Psychology Honor Society and the Golden Key International Honor Society. Dr. Blank completed her training at the Child and Family Institute, Highlands Middle School, Rochambeau High School, the Audrey Hepburn Children’s House, the Northern Regional Diagnostic Center for Child Abuse and Neglect, the J.W. Beatman Community Counseling Center at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, and at Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy.

 

Please explore the website and reach out should you feel that Dr. Blank can be of help to you or your loved ones. She offers a free 15-minute consultation and welcomes your call.

For 30 years, Dr. Auerbach has worked with children, adolescents, adults and families in a safe, therapeutic environment. She provides the individuals and families she works with a warm, welcoming and respectful environment. Her therapeutic approach utilizes both psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral techniques to promote healing.

 

Dr. Auerbach has helped people experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship issues and major life transitions. She specializes in working with children and their families to help them cope with life stressors such as bereavement and divorce, as well as parenting and school related issues.

 

Dr. Auerbach earned her Psy.D. from the combined School and Clinical Child Program at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology in 1989. She has been fortunate to work in varied therapeutic settings such as Jewish Board and Family Services, The Center for Preventive Psychiatry, Pride of Judea Mental Health Center, The New York Foundling Hospital, Andrus Children’s Center and Chabad of Riverdale.

 

It will be her great privilege to learn, explore, achieve goals and make positive changes with you in a collaborative therapeutic setting.

Dr. Alisa Auerbach

Early Childhood and Family Specialist 

Alisa@RiverdalePsychology.com

unnamed.jpg

Dr. Jeff Kilstein

Licensed Clinical Psychologist Jeff@RiverdalePsychology.com

Dr. Kilstein is a licensed psychologist and a certified school psychologist, with over 10 years of experience. He has worked extensively with children, adolescents, adults, and families. Through a cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic approach, he collaborates with his clients to help them understand and resolve the conflicts or stressors that arise in their lives. In session, he is always actively engaged and provides a warm, nonjudgmental environment. He works hard to help every person tap into their inner strengths and help them enact meaningful change in their lives.

Dr. Kilstein earned his doctoral degree from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He has training and work experience in a variety of school and therapeutic settings, including White Plains Hospital, the Rose F. Kennedy Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (RFK CERC) of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshivat Noam, and Bi-Cultural Day School. Dr. Kilstein also spent several summers teaching at New York University’s Child Study Center’s Summer Program for Kids (SPK). He served as the Director of Guidance of Carmel Academy until its closure in 2020 and is currently a school psychologist in Fairfield County, CT. Dr. Kilstein has extensive experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as individuals who struggle with conduct disorder, anxiety, depression, executive functioning difficulties, and trauma.

At every session, Dr. Kilstein will meet you where you are and work collaboratively with you to get where you want to be. It would be his honor to accompany you on your journey towards self-growth and improvement.

Dr. Michelle Sarna is a licensed developmental psychologist who has worked with children, adolescents, emerging adults and their families in multiple settings, including schools, camps, university campuses, and community centers.  She genuinely enjoys partnering with clients to create a safe space that fosters reflection, humor, curiosity, acceptance, and growth, and helps her clients feel empowered in their own narrative. 

 

Dr. Sarna currently works full time as a School Psychologist and as a Camp Psychologist, and previously served as the Director of the Educational Alliance Preschool. She earned her Masters of Science in Education, Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Development and PhD in School Psychology from Fordham University. She completed postdoctoral research at the NYU School of Law on Emerging Adulthood and has taught at NYU's Wagner School for Public Service and Fordham University's School of Education. Michelle is passionate about collaborating with schools, families, and other caregivers to best support and scaffold optimal growth and well being.

unnamed.jpg

Dr. Michelle Sarna

Licensed Psychologist

Michelle@RiverdalePsychology.com

Michael Bleicher

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Michael@RiverdalePsychology.com

Mr. Bleicher's goal is to provide a comfortable space for you to find your footing as you adjust to life’s toughest challenges. By working with the modality of treatment that is right for you right now, you’ll gain confidence in yourself as you apply coping skills that will help you throughout your day, whether at home, school, or in the workplace. This will allow you to make your most meaningful relationships even more fulfilling. Finding time in your busy week to talk with a culturally sensitive, experienced, licensed, and well-trained therapist is among the most helpful gifts you can give yourself. 

 

Mr. Bleicher is passionate about helping others and is here to help you realize the potential that therapy offers. He works collaboratively with adolescents, adults, and couples struggling with anxiety, chronic illness, depression, domestic abuse, grief, infertility, panic attacks, personality disorders, and reproductive loss. Depending on your unique needs, he will utilize one or more evidence-based treatment modality, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), psychodynamic therapy, and somatic therapy. As you progress, you will gain a greater sense of internal calmness and self-confidence. 

 

A magna cum laude graduate of Queens College of the City of New York, with a Master’s in Social Work from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, he blends years of educational training with a deep commitment to clinical excellence to offer compassionate, high quality care. As the assistant director of Jewish Family Service & Children’s Center of Clifton-Passaic, he was privileged to present at conferences throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel. Mr. Bleicher currently serves as the deputy director of behavioral health services at Ezras Choilim Health Center, a federally qualified integrative care health center, in Monroe, NY. He also runs a monthly national support group for men struggling with infertility, hosted by Yesh Tikvah and is an adjunct professor at Yeshiva University, where he teaches spiritual leaders how to become more attuned with their own inner experience. 

Tamar Blank, Psy.D.

Mrs. Rozwaski is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. After graduating from Columbia University School of Social Work in 1996, she had the privilege of working with individuals and families from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds in London, New York, and New Jersey. Despite societal, cultural, religious, and other differences, Mrs. Rozwaski found that people share the same needs: emotional connection, validation, security, and safety.

Her experience includes assisting women and their families that moved from their homeland to acclimate to a new culture by providing them with concrete community resources as well as connecting them to peers and helping them gain independence. She has also helped single parents managing their households and families with at risk adolescents. Mrs. Rozwaski has experience helping with recovery from trauma, marital discord, and improving self-esteem. She specializes in treating individuals who have experienced trauma, anxiety, depression, and children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

Mrs. Rozwaski invites you to work with her to achieve insight, self-compassion, and confidence. Together you can explore the core beliefs you have about yourself that may be holding you back and work toward shifting these beliefs to help you develop your inner strengths and to achieve your goals and wishes. She offers tele-therapy for residents of New York and New Jersey. As you build your therapeutic relationship, she will offer non-judgmental support to help you navigate your internal experiences and gain a stronger sense of self, at your own pace. Mrs. Rozwaski's approach is an integration of psychodynamic theory, internal family systems, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, somatic intervention, and cognitive behavioral therapy. 

 

 It would be her pleasure to work with you.

Robyn E. Rozwaski

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Robyn@RiverdalePsychology.com

unnamed.jpg

Steve Herbst

LMSW / CASAC-2 Psychotherapist Steven@RiverdalePsychology.com

As a psychiatric social worker, Mr. Herbst has worked with clients of different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and ages—from late teens to geriatric. He has treated a wide array of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder, bi-polar disorder, agoraphobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others. Mr. Herbst looks to establish a strong therapeutic relationship with his clients using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Psychoanalytical modalities. His goal is to foster clients’ trust to help them gain insight into their behaviors so that they can work toward clearing up the situations and problems with which they have been struggling. 

Mr. Herbst also specializes in treating substance abuse disorders, including alcohol and drugs. He also uses this expertise to benefit those seeking or willing to consider smoking cessation. Mr. Herbst received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his MSW, with honors, from the Fordham Graduate School of Social Service.

Jessica Chefitz is a Masters in Mental Health Counseling Intern. She will receive her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from the University of the Cumberlands, a CACREP-Accredited Master’s program.

Jessica has experience working with children and adolescents who struggle with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, behavioral difficulties, and everyday difficulties that cause distress socially, occupationally, or in other areas of functioning, whom she treats using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

 

She is trained in the assessment and diagnosis of Depressive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Neurodevelopment Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, Dissociative Disorders, Feeding and Eating Disorders, Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders, and Personality Disorders. 

 

Jessica offers clients a warm and safe environment to discuss their feelings. Through a collaborative approach she works together with her clients to find solutions to concerns or challenges they have been facing. Her objective is to help clients build the tools to increase their awareness in order to help them decrease their unwanted thoughts and feelings. Using cognitive behavioral therapy she works together with clients to understand the connection between how they think and their body’s responses to those thoughts. This understanding can help change their body’s reactions. Jessica’s clients are the guides to their sessions and they determine the goals that they work on collaboratively. 

unnamed.jpg

Jessica Chefitz
Mental Health Counselor Intern

Jessica@RiverdalePsychology.com

unnamed.jpg

Mrs. Yael Bleicher, MS RD

Registered Dietitian Yael@RiverdalePsychology.com

Mrs. Bleicher is a Registered Dietitian who has more than a decade of experience providing medical nutrition therapy to infants, children, adolescents and adults, in both inpatient critical care and outpatient settings. She enjoys helping patients improve their understanding of a healthy lifestyle and empowering them to make appropriate food and exercise choices.

 

Mrs. Bleicher completed her dietetic internship at New York Presbyterian Hospital, received her Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. She has treated adults and children battling many diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney disease, and pregnant women with gestational diabetes. She is passionate about educating adults and children interested in learning more about how to live a healthy lifestyle and lose weight.

 

In addition to working with clients at Riverdale Psychology, Mrs. Bleicher currently works as a pediatric hematology-oncology dietitian, focusing on helping children with cancer learn what foods are healthy for their bodies, based on their individual medical status. She assists children who struggle to gain weight, as well as those with excessive weight gain, due to medications and treatment of their disease. She feels fortunate to combine her love of clinical nutrition with her passion for helping others navigate the challenging nutritional journey complicated by their medical illness. 

 

Mrs. Bleicher looks forward to setting you on a healthy lifestyle journey that’s right for you.

With over 26 years of physical therapy experience, Mrs. Brooks has worked in a variety of settings such as home care, school settings, and group homes. She earned her Physical Therapy degree from New York University, and specializes in providing physical therapy to children of all ages, with a particular emphasis on those from birth to five years old. In her practice, Mrs. Brooks provides treatment for a wide range of issues, including developmental delays, genetic disorders (e.g., Down syndrome), muscle weakness or imbalances, poor coordination and/or motor planning, nerve/muscle conditions (e.g., cerebral palsy) and sports-related injuries. Mrs. Brooks’s positive energy and collaborative interaction with family members, caregivers, and teachers helps to consistently achieve positive patient outcomes by improving range of motion, strength, flexibility, and movement patterns, ensuring that each child can reach their full potential.

unnamed.jpg

Monica Brooks

Physical Therapist

unnamed.jpg

Mrs Saradee Fortgang, MFT, MA Marriage and Family Therapist Saradee@RiverdalePsychology.com

Mrs. Fortgang has been working with individuals and families for more than 30 years.  She provides an accepting and open environment in which therapeutic goals are client-driven. Her approach is tailored to a client’s needs and is solution-focused, drawing from cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectic behavioral therapy models to bring positive change and healing. Mrs. Fortgang has worked together with children, young adults, and adults, helping them deal with anxiety, depression, and difficult family transitions.  

 

Mrs. Fortgang has worked with pre-school age and school age children on the Autistic Spectrum as a Neuropsychological Examiner and Therapist.  She has spent 13 years teaching social skills to children and guiding families through the labyrinth of raising a child with special needs.  Mrs. Fortgang particularly enjoys working with young children and helping parents build effective strategies for dealing with problem behaviors.

 

Mrs. Fortgang earned her Master’s Degree in Neuropsychology from City University of New York and a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Iona College.  Previously, Mrs. Fortgang has worked at the Montefiore Communication Disorders and Autism Center, The Milford Youth and Family Center, as well as the Albert Einstein Therapeutic Nursery.

 

Mrs. Fortgang is passionate in her desire to equip every individual and family she encounters with the tools to progress toward a brighter and more positive future.

After graduating from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Michael Kaplowitz, MD completed his psychiatry internship and residency and a fellowship in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry all at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New York. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both General Adult Psychiatry and in Geriatric Psychiatry. His academic and clinical activities center around central nervous system (CNS) disorders, specifically mental retardation/intellectual disabilities, dementia, head trauma, and seizure disorders. He is a consultant to six Jewish organizations for developmentally disabled / mentally retarded adults, each of which sponsors group homes for such people and he treats over 400 such patients. He was a faculty member in the psychiatry residency training program of Jamaica Hospital (Queens, NY) for ten years, supervising residents and teaching courses on psychiatric diagnosis, psychopharmacology, and interviewing techniques. He is the Director of Behavioral Health at the Blanche Kahn Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY since 2004. Dr. Kaplowitz earned an MA in Rabbinic Literature in 1977 and received rabbinic ordination in 1980.

Michael Kaplowitz, M.D.

Psychiatric Consultant