A psychology intern at Lenox Hill Hospital, she worked in Africa as a psychological consultant with Save the Children International on initiatives surrounding orphans and vulnerable children.

Member of Adelphi University’s 10 Under 10.

Psychology intern at Lenox Hill Hospital

“Take advantage of all of the opportunities offered at Adelphi! Expand your scope of knowledge and experiment with your interests. Seek out professors in your areas of interest and don’t be afraid to pick their brains and ask lots of questions. The advice from these professors can help you take your first steps after graduation. Finally, the interpersonal connections that you establish at Adelphi last a lifetime so take the time to invest in building friendships.”

“Adelphi’s Honors College offered a unique opportunity,” Priyam Talreja, BA ’09, said. “It allowed me to gain a high quality liberal arts education in an intimate atmosphere where professors were actually invested in the students’ intellectual life. It fostered an openness and curiosity, allowing me to exchange ideas with peers from around the world. Simultaneously, access to the Derner Institute [now Derner School] meant that I could get a head start on understanding the inner workings of the mind while still an undergrad.”

According to Talreja, “It’s hard to choose just a few people from all the brilliant faculty who have influenced my thinking at Adelphi. Dean Garner, Dr. Gleicher, and Dr. Costello were absolutely fundamental to my education. Furthermore, Dr. Francine Conway had a marked impact on my professional life. I took several classes with her including Psychodynamic Psychotherapy which has shaped my broader approach towards working with patients. Additionally, 10 years later, while teaching masters level courses myself, I still think of her teaching style, and how she was able to communicate sophisticated concepts in such a succinct and relatable manner.” Talreja also credited Hinda Barlaz from the Writing Center for helping her to refine her writing skills. “She helped me edit personal statements and cover letters for my residency, seven years after having graduated! Few people can state that they receive such ongoing support from their place of undergraduate education! I feel very blessed!” Talreja said.

During her sophomore year at Adelphi, Talreja started volunteering at South Oaks Psychiatric Hospital under the mentorship of Dr. Conway. After graduating in 2009, she took a clinical case management position at PSCH (currently known as WellLife Network), a supported housing non-governmental organization (NGO) agency for people with persistent mental illness who are attempting to reintegrate into society post hospitalization. “Over the course of a year in this position, besides having direct clinical contact with the population I’m most interested in, I learned how American community systems operate, specifically in regards to levels of care for mental illness, related insurance specifics, and governmental support programs,” she said.

While applying for her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, she went to work at a private psychiatric clinic in India for six months within a medical model. She then worked in Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania as a psychological consultant with Save the Children International, an international NGO that promotes children’s rights, provides relief and helps support children in developing countries. “I worked on various initiatives surrounding orphans and vulnerable children. The team that I was part of established several psychological programs and influenced policies related to physical and sexual abuse of children, rehabilitation of child sex workers, and the reintegration of orphans into homes rather than orphanages. The opportunity to experience life and witness the adversity of vulnerable populations in Africa was one of the most humbling experiences of my life,” said Talreja.

In 2011, she enrolled in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Long Island University. Shortly thereafter, she began a clinical externship at Heights Hill Outpatient Center of South Beach Psychiatric Hospital. “[That experience] taught me the value of setting realistic treatment goals and maintaining a flexible stance with chronic mentally ill individuals,” she said. She followed that up with training sessions at New York University’s Counseling Center and externships at Bellevue Hospital Center (BHC) and the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at Montefiore Hospital.  

Talreja is currently a psychology intern at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan where she works with children, adolescents, and adults in an outpatient setting. Additionally, she spends time working with severe mental illness within an inpatient setting, and serves as a psychiatric consult for the medical hospital addressing differential diagnoses, capacity issues, and follow up treatment recommendations. She also teaches a master’s level course in developmental psychology at Long Island University and is working on a research project understanding factors impacting the course of bereavement.

“Adelphi has largely impacted my professional and personal life,” Talreja said. “While I was always interested in psychology, my undergraduate involvement at Derner spurred me to continue graduate work in psychology and pursue a Ph.D. Additionally, I will forever be indebted to Adelphi for helping me establish a close circle of friends, and for helping me find my partner for life at International Students Orientation! It has played a huge role in making New York feel like a home away from home.”

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