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Karen Tantillo, LCSW

Karen Tantillo, LCSW


Licensed in NY #R040257-01
Insurances Accepted: Cigna/Evernorth, Aetna
I have an empathetic, warm style, and make use of therapeutic approaches that are integrative, relational, and trauma-informed.

My Therapy Style

I am a seasoned psychotherapist with over 25 years of clinical experience, training, and practice. I have an empathic, warm style, and make use of therapeutic approaches that are integrative, relational, trauma-informed, and experientially emotion-focused. I use evidence and measurement-based approaches with a focus on treatment goals.

Education & Training

MSW - Social Work, New York University

DSW - Social Work, University of Pennsylvania

Get to Know Me

Why did you become a mental health professional?

I first started working in the mental health field over 25 years ago. Some of my first experiences were in the psychiatry departments of large, urban, teaching-hospitals in New York City, advocating for my clients and identifying resources and community support. I became a clinical social worker because I was passionate about the helping profession, wanting to support others in finding deeper and healthier connections in their relationships and in healing from painful and often traumatic life experiences. As I've grown and strengthened both professionally and personally as a psychotherapist and clinical social worker, I have come to realize and respect how much of my own healing has come about from this meaningful career and from my own human journey walking alongside and together with my amazing patients.

What are your interests outside of work?

I love to swim and exercise. I love spending time with my 3 young adult children, my life partner, and my close friends. I love to read both non-fiction and clinical books that support me in becoming a strong psychotherapist. I am interested in auto-ethnographic writing. I love to travel and see fine cinema.

What is one thing you do daily that supports your well-being?

I actively practice mindfulness-based meditation daily to support my emotional well-being and steadiness. In addition, I love to swim and exercise, especially walking in New York City and throughout Central Park. I find fulfillment and joy in spending time in connection with family and close friends every day.

What book have you read more than once?

I'm currently re-reading an autobiographical account of a transgender woman's journey This Body I Wore by Diana Goetsch. It's meaningful to me because I have a trans daughter and learning about the experience of others supports me in actively listening and understanding my own child's experiences and my own experiences as a mother of a trans child.

Favorite organization/non-profit?

I appreciate the collegiality and community of the many Societies for Clinical Social Work that I have been an active member, including the New York State Society for Clinical Social Work (NYSSCSW). I also have made contributions to NAMI (Nationally Alliance for the Mentally Ill) to support all humans who need care, support, community, and advocacy in addressing mental health issues.

How do you recharge?

I recharge myself through the care that I give to my own body and through the love and connection of my relationships that are meaningful to me.

Do you have any pets?

My youngest daughter once brought home a beautiful goldfish from a Biology Science class experiment during her freshman year of high school. Nine years later, this sweet goldfish is still alive and strong, actively swimming in his tank and thriving in his life, as my daughter has since graduated from college and is now working full-time in another city. I continue to care for and love this sweet fish, treasuring my daughter's visits home to feel the surprise and happiness in her heart as she sees her high school goldfish continuing to embrace life. I have also loved many cats and a fun-loving Wheaton Terrier who passed away at age fifteen just last year.