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Ali Warhaftig, MSW, LICSW

Ali Warhaftig - Founder of Healing Matters Counseling Center (HMCC)

Hi, my name is Ali (she/hers). I'm the founder and primary therapist at Healing Matters Counseling Center (HMCC). Consider me your empathetic guide in your journey towards wellness!

Growing up, I was introverted and often lost in my own thoughts. Starting at 8-years-old, my parents brought me to silent mindfulness retreats held by a local Buddhist meditation community. I found the quiet stillness to be taxing. My less than quiet mind was full of anxiety, sadness, and self-doubt. I couldn't sit still, let alone sit with my thoughts. During this time, my family was dealing with many confusing and overwhelming situations, so my parents also connected me to a child therapist. This therapist recognized the signs of being stuck in survival mode that happens when someone is exposed to trauma. In their therapy office, I was gently allowed to talk and play safely, yet the trauma my family and I were experiencing persisted. This was the start of my healing journey, yet I still had many years of stress and survival mode to get through before I began to realize what "sur-thrival" and thriving was. Along the way though, I recognized that the biggest gift I'd ever been given was the opportunity and space to heal.

 

My experiences in childhood and early adulthood ultimately culminated into a deep desire to help others navigate through their own trauma. I wanted to help people see their inner strength and resilience, just as I had therapists do for me. To start my education as a therapist, I pursued an undergraduate degree in psychology from Goucher College. During that time I spent a semester living in a Buddhist monastery in Bodh Gaya, India where I deepened my mindfulness practices, which inform my therapy style to this day. 

 

Upon graduation, I accepted a position as a Program Manager running a community center in Baltimore. Here I learned about the power of community, relationships, and asking for help. I wanted to return to my mental health roots though, so I transitioned into a direct care position at Kennedy Krieger Institute on an inpatient, pediatric unit for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities and severe behavioral challenges. It was in this role that I gained training and experience in being neurodiversity affirming because most of the patients on the unit were autistic. I still wanted to be a therapist, so I applied and was accepted into the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work while remaining in an education role on the inpatient, pediatric unit.

 

During my graduate program, I completed two internships at Kennedy Krieger Institute's Psychiatric Mental Health Program and the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress. I worked with individuals who had been diagnosed with complex, degenerative medical conditions and complex trauma. I also participated in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Fellowship Program, which taught me how to adapt talk therapy into accessible ways for all individuals. Amidst the oftentimes complex and unimaginable trauma my clients faced, they still found moments of humor, joy, and connection - much like myself. During graduate school, I also met my life partner who furthered my understanding of healthy relationships, safety, and unconditional love.

Upon graduation, my partner and I moved to New Hampshire where I began working as an outpatient therapist for a Vermont-based Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) working with all ages in multiple elementary schools and clinics. During this job, I sought training on NADA Auricular Acupuncture because I noticed that my clients needed more than just talk therapy - they needed a multi-faceted approach to healing. Upon getting my LICSW, I moved to Vermont where I opened my private practice, Healing Matters Counseling Center. 

I specialize in working with adults who find themselves in one or more of these lived experiences -

 

If you would like to work with me, please fill out the contact form below.

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Neurodiverse
(Autism, ADHD, etc)

Trauma
Depression
Anxiety

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