Dr. Niki Serravalle | Center for Balanced Living
My journey in this field started 22 years ago. Since that time I have worked with a variety of clients across most treatment settings. My journey started at Sheppard Pratt, on the inpatient trauma disorder unit, where I was initially introduced to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). What fascinated me about DBT was the focus on skill development with the goal of creating a life worth living.
I graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology in 2005. I then earned a certification of Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor in Addictions (CAC-AD) within the State of Maryland. As a CAC-AD, I continued my work with adults who were mandated to treatment through the court systems. During that time, I learned a tremendous amount about developing the therapeutic relationship, utilizing skills in motivational interviewing and creating a support network for those in recovery.
I continued my journey by earning a Master’s degree from Capella University in Mental Health Counseling. I was licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health (LPCMH) within the state of Delaware. In addition, I became a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). I transitioned my clinical practice to working with adolescence and families. As a Brief Treatment Therapist, I oversaw the team that worked with youth in the schools, home and community utilizing group, individual and family therapy. I identified the need to be trained in Multi Systemic Therapy (MST) in order to navigate the various systems that interacted with the families I served. I was certified to complete Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA), as many of my clients were on the Autism Spectrum.
I continued my professional development with advanced training in Motivational Interviewing, DBT and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). These mindfulness based practices teach skills related to regulating emotions, self-awareness, distress tolerance and improving relationships which I find to be universal to all people.
I then began to focus my training in human sexuality, specifically on trauma related issues. As a certified Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (TF-CBT), I began working with both acute and chronic trauma. I am certified through the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP) as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP). My approach to treating trauma is holistic and multi-faceted, using aspects of art, music, mindfulness and narrative therapies. I have training in EMDR and IFS as a means of treating trauma as well. I am a certified Trauma Conscious Yoga Instructor through TCYM.
I continued my own development as a clinician with a pursuit of a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) from Capella University. The focus of my practicum and internship was on psychological evaluation. This includes academic, achievement, personality and neuropsychological evaluation. Psychological assessment helps to inform about strengths and deficits cognitively, emotionally or behaviorally that can aide in differential diagnosis and/or treatment planning. I specialize in assessment of learning disabilities, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
In addition, I have participated in various programs, task forces and leadership teams to further my administrative and supervisory skills. These programs included representing my school on the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APGAS) and the Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity through the APA. Through the Delaware Psychological Association (DPA) I participated on the Delaware State Advocacy committee for several years. I was able to assist with the DPA’s executive committee and chair the Practice Committee for several years as well.
I have started to move my skill set into the area of supervision and training. Our Dover Location will offer group therapy and the opportunity to develop the clinical skills of those just beginning their training. Working with students, during all phases of thier learning is something that is exciting and very fullfilling.
I have been very blessed in the training, education and supervision I received over the years and have always wanted to pay it forward. I look forward to passing on my passion for counseling and neuropsychological evaluation.