Jill is the president and founder of Alkira Marriage and Family Therapy, P.C., is licensed to practice in New York State, and is also a Certified Child Play Therapist (CCPT). Jill is a clinical member and approved supervisor of AAMFT, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. She is also a member of AASECT, the American Association for Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.
Although having a life-long enjoyment of travel, Jill has lived in Syracuse for most of her life, and has helped clients in Central New York for over 20 years. She has been an approved supervisor of new therapists for over 10 years, and values the excitement and updated educational knowledge and experiences new marriage and family therapists bring to Alkira.
Jill earned her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University. Her work experience includes coordinating the SU Peer Sexuality Program, clinical positions at HelpPeople's Employee Assistance Program and Upstate Medical University's Pediatrics Department, and teaching positions at Syracuse University and SUNY Cortland. From these diverse experiences she has been exposed to every concern imaginable. With these work experiences, she is able to bring non-judgement, compassion, and devotion to her clients.
She is published in two books on family violence and families with disabilities. Jill has presented at national and local conferences, and firmly believes in therapists continuing to educate themselves throughout their careers. In addition to providing educational opportunities to therapists locally on play therapy and other topics, Jill believes in the power of sharing education information in her community. Over the years she has offered workshops to the public on couple relationships, parenting, grief and loss. Jill is one of two LMFTs on the NYS Education Department Ethics Committee for Licensed Mental Health Professionals.
Sarah has her Master’s degree and advanced doctoral studies in Marriage and Family Therapy. Sarah works with children, families and couples struggling with divorce, emotional distress, school issues, eating disorders, self-harm, and addictions. Her specialties include helping children with reactive attachment, children and adults with interpersonal trauma, such as but not limited to attachment issues, assault, domestic violence, interpersonal violence, incest, abuse, and neglect. She is trained to assist those who have experienced combat exposure, traumatic loss, natural disaster, or vehicular accidents. In Sarah’s opinion, the experiences of oppression and stigmatization are also forms of complex trauma and she works with this from a trauma and culturally-sensitive standpoint.
As a systems therapist, Sarah values a collaborative approach when working with clients in co-creating and maintaining a sense of safety and openness to work through life stressors, together. She believes change occurs through relationships and that the connection created can bring us all toward greater healing and being the best version of ourselves we can be.
Sarah’s trainings and certifications include Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) and 2nd level training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, a specialized model for working with children having attachment issues. She has presented at national and local conferences and has published literature within the mental health field on the impact of trauma. Sarah has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Syracuse University and SUNY Polytechnic Institute as well as lecturing at Syracuse University and Ithaca College on topics of attachment, trauma, and PTSD. Her goal is to de-pathologize the impact of traumatic experiences for clients.
Sarah is theoretically informed by Interpersonal Neurobiology, Bowen Family Systems, Collaborative Change Model, Narrative, Experiential, Trauma, and Attachment Theories.
Efrain earned his Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University and is currently completing his doctoral degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Efrain is a licensed, Marriage and Family Therapist who also works at The Brownell Center for Behavioral Health Services serving mostly Spanish speaking individuals, couples, and families.
He utilizes an experiential and structural theoretical framework. He helps clients transform dysfunctional communication styles, increase self-esteem, and establish the appropriate structure and boundaries relationships need. Efrain's extensive experience ranges from working with families, couples and individuals who have experienced severe trauma in their lives to issues related to low self-worth and marginalization.
Cheryl is a warm and compassionate and she works with our clients to create a therapeutic relationship built on safety. She believes in the power of this work and how therapy can transform lives. Cheryl will work with you, hear and understand your story, as a place to begin to work toward healing.
Kevin completed his masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Liberty University. He has experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Kevin is passionate about helping adolescents and their families that struggle with launching, limits, depression, anxiety and grief.
Kevin has extensive experience with spiritual issues and can integrate Christian principles into therapy for those who desire a religious perspective.
Brianna earned her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Syracuse University. She has experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Her experience includes working with clients experiencing LGBTQ issues, transitioning for transgender folks, anxiety, depression, anger, and intimacy issues. Brianna provides safe space and holistic care, and is warm and caring in the therapy room. Brianna considers our family systems and multigenerational patterns foundational in treatment, and uses client/therapist collaboration to reach identified goals.
Kristin Ressel-Dickerson completed her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Syracuse University. During her time at SU, Kristin completed a certificate of advanced study in trauma-informed practice, and received additional training to assist members of the LGBTQ+ community, including transgender folks and their families at various points of their transitions. She has experience working with individuals, couples, and families dealing with a variety of difficult situations, including anxiety, depression, relationship problems, affairs, and grief. She works collaboratively with her clients to create a comforting space for positive growth. Kristin operates from an integrative approach to therapy, incorporating aspects of Narrative Therapy, Internal Family Systems, and Gottman methods.
Kristin has training in non-directive play therapy for children aged 3-10, and has presented research on early childhood education, sexual education programs, and intergroup attitudes at several national conferences for both cross-cultural and social psychology.
Kristin is currently pursuing additional training to become a certified grief counselor through the American Institute for Health Care Professionals. Additionally, Kristin supports families dealing with aging, memory loss, and cognitive decline through her work on clinical trials for neurodegenerative diseases.
Tina is completing her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Northcentral University. Tina offers support and guidance to individuals, couples, and families who are dealing with issues that affect their relationships, mental health and well-being. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, Tina believes that all relationships have the potential to impact well-being. Her therapeutic approach highlights and develops client’s strengths to assist in helping with change and healing. Tina’s previous experiences in the work world and family life contribute to her focused and compassionate approach to therapy.