“Adelphi paved the way for me to be able to do a job that is so much more than just a job.”

Member of Adelphi University’s 10 Under 10

Clinical Psychologist, Northwell Health

“Adelphi paved the way for me to be able to do a job that is so much more than just a job.”

Valentina Stoycheva ’09, M.A. ’11, Ph.D. ’14 feels privileged to have a career that allows her to help people realize their full potential. As a clinical psychologist at Northwell Health’s Unified Behavioral Health Center for Military Veterans and their Families, Dr. Stoycheva works with veterans and family members, implementing treatments for trauma, including combat trauma, as well as couples, child, and family therapy.

A former patient of Dr. Stoycheva’s, who recently published a book of poetry about his recovery from combat-related PTSD, came to her office after the publication and brought the book with him. The dedication page of his book starts by him thanking Dr. Stoycheva for helping him in his recovery and encouraging him to publish his book. “I was overwhelmed by the feeling of gratitude to have made such an impact through the hard work that we did in therapy,” she said.

Working at Northwell Health the past four years, she is also involved with a group practice with a focus on treating anxiety disorders, most recently co-founding and directing the Stress and Trauma Evaluation and Psychological Services (STEPS). “Our long-term goal is to have a center on Long Island that provides trauma-informed psychological services, but that also integrates the more traditional talk therapy with additional types of interventions, such as meditation, reiki, and somatic processing,” she said. “We now know that trauma is in the body and that the more comprehensive the treatment, the better the outcome.”

Dr. Stoycheva set out on her career path as a student at Adelphi, where she pursued her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Drawn to the University for its generous scholarship offering, Dr. Stoycheva—an international student—said she initially chose Adelphi for its affordability. “However, I stayed at Adelphi for my Ph.D.,” she said. “In retrospect, I was incredibly lucky to have ended up at Adelphi in the first place.”

As a student, she found mentors in her faculty members. “The person who has made the greatest impact on my life is Dr. Joel Weinberger,” she said of her professor whose research team she was a part of throughout her undergraduate and graduate career and who became her dissertation advisor. “Throughout what is now 13 years, he has been so much more than a mentor and a professor, but also a source of knowledge, guidance, stability, and support.” For the past four years, she and Dr. Joel Weinberger have been working together to research, write, and edit a book which is about to be published.

In addition, she also serves as a liaison with the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center and is currently working with a team on a grant provided by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network to adapt evidence-based trauma treatments for children with special needs and developmental disabilities.

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