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Leadership

Serving Brooklyn & Manhattan

What makes our clinical team different?

At Refresh, we believe in providing the highest-quality psychotherapy possible to New York City.  All Refresh Clinicians are trained in psychotherapy, counseling, and diagnosis of mental health conditions and have completed their degrees and training at top-tier graduate programs.  We believe in authenticity. Our clinicians are genuine, and will never act in a manner that is “salesy” or judgmental. Furthermore, in staying true to our social work roots, our team is dedicated to volunteerism and community affairs and strive both in and outside of the office to make the world a better place.  

Meet Our Leadership

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Keeley Teemsma, MA, MSW, LCSW, AATP

Founder and CEO

Keeley is a lifelong New Yorker with over a decade of experience.  She received her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice Administration and Sociology from CUNY John Jay College.  She went on to receive her MA in Sociology from CUNY Queens College and worked as a researcher prior to attending New York University where she obtained her MSW in Clinical Social Work.  She earned her SIFI Certificate (Seminar in Clinical Field Instruction) at Adelphi University. She also has studied Animal-Assisted Therapy at Animal Behavior Institute. Her cat, Emmett, has been named Brooklyn’s most beloved therapy cat. Keeley has participated in various trainings and workshops in relationship counseling, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Personality and Character Disorders, cognitive rehabilitation, and electronics addiction.

Keeley founded Refresh as a place for clinicians to be treated fairly and with respect, receive clinical supervision to enrich the patient experience, and to incorporate professional ethics every step of the way.  Through her work, she hopes to empower women and young adults to achieve their dreams and to respect people (and animals!) from all walks of life.

Keeley is dedicated to improving the quality of the US mental health system, participates annually in the New York City NAMI walk, and volunteers every week with a local animal rescue group.

Keeley stays proactive about her mental health by lifting weights, spending time outdoors, reading lots of non-fiction selections, and socializing animals in need of adoption.

Joanna Pomerantz, LCSW

Clinical Supervisor

Joanna was born and raised a heavy New Yorker (her loves for NY sports knows no bounds). She received her Bachelors degree in Social Work as well as her Masters degree in Social Work, at Florida International University.[read more] Joanna was a swimmer in college and learned the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as it can play a big role in the importance of one’s mental health. Joanna returned to New York, once graduating with her MSW and obtained her LMSW. From there, she went to work with youth and families in the foster care system. Joanna worked with a facitude of topics which included mental illness, social justice, trauma, domestic violence, and economical hardships. During her time working in foster care, she practiced a lot of supportive therapy as well psychodynamic therapy. Joanna also earned her SIFI, supervising student interns.

Although Joanna has predominantly worked in the foster care population, she enjoys working with all ages. She is outgoing, energetic, and empathetic. Joanna loves being in NY, as she feels it offers such a range of cultures, acceptance, and lowered stigmas of mental illness. She supports the annual NAMI walk yearly with her family as well as the annual psoriasis walk (a cause close to her heart due to struggling with this autoimmune disorder). Joanna believes in always meeting the client or clients where they are at. She believes there is nothing more important than building a trusting relationship between the therapist and their client.

Joanna is always interested in growing her social work education and feels it is important to help the therapist grow to better her client. Her clinical interest include depression, anxiety, dating in NYC, and social media pressures. Growing up in a fast-paced environment and with the progression of technology, Joanna has a knowledgeable understanding of societal pressures that canoe created from our surroundings.

Joanna is a big believer in self-care. Her own self-care includes being a big animal lover. There is nothing more therapeutic than hug from your local shelter dog/cat. Joanna, also loves to cook, as it can be a good release of energy, plus there is no better place for fabulous eats than right her in NYC!

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Leina Rodriguez, LMFT

Clinical Supervisor

Leina has been in the field for 17 years. She is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist and her native language is Spanish.

Leina was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Afterwards, Leina moved to New Jersey and began working at YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities as a job counselor for people with high functioning developmental disabilities. She went on to study for her Masters Degree in Counseling at New Jersey City University. As part of her program, she did an internship at Casa De Pedro, where she provided counseling to a wide range of clients in the Hispanic community of Newark. After she finished her Masters Degree, Leina was not done with her education and entered the Professional Diploma program at Kean University, specializing in Marriage and Family therapy. Leina did another year and half internship at Family Service League in Montclair, NJ. She worked with clients who suffered from depression, anxiety, couples, families, domestic violence victims as well as those who were court-ordered to do therapy after being charged with committing domestic violence.  

Once she graduated, she moved to Brooklyn and joined New York Foundling where she worked as a Functional Family Therapist, doing in-home therapy for families with an at-risk youth. Some of the behaviors covered were truancy, substance use, verbal/physical aggression, gang involvement, criminal behavior, breaking curfew, AWOL behavior, and others. While working with families, Leina had the opportunity to work with a range of concerns/issues including depression, anxiety, manic depressive disorder, trauma related issues, past sexual assault, to name a few. At New York Foundling, her experience continued to grow and was eventually promoted to Functional Family Therapy Supervisor. 

Leina prides herself on being very supportive and understanding of her clients. Trust is very important and essential in the relationship between therapist and client and Leina works very hard in building that right away with all of her clients. Self-care is very important to her and when not at work, Leina spends a lot of time watching movies. The Oscars is her version of the Super Bowl. She is also a big fan of Real Madrid, one of the most popular teams in international football. 

Charles Perry, LCSW

Senior Psychotherapist

Charles is a native New Yorker who wouldn’t have it any other way. After obtaining his undergraduate degree at St. John’s University, he went on to pursue his MSW in Clinical Social Work at Adelphi University.  After graduation, he worked in Upstate New York where he supervised a psychiatric emergency department in an area that was lacking in sufficient mental health services. He felt passionate about bringing quality mental health care to economically depressed communities and moved back to New York City to pursue a role as a family clinician on an Assertive Community Treatment Team where he works with adults with serious and persistent mental illness. He splits his time between community mental health and working at Refresh.

Charles has clinical interests in treating anxiety, depression, and self esteem, to name a few. He has a client-centered approach and utilizes  a variety of therapeutic modalities, with an emphasis on Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectic Behavioral therapies. He enjoys working with couples as well as individuals of all ages.

Charles loves NYC and would not want to work anywhere else. He enjoys the fast paced environment, diverse population and variety of lunch options.

In his free time, Charles enjoys writing, rewatching Seinfeld episodes and catching a Mets game. He is a strong supporter of de-stigmatizing mental health so people feel comfortable seeking the help they need and deserve. Charles proudly participates in the annual Queens-Long Island NAMI Walk and volunteers at a local soup kitchen.

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Elisabeth Salner, LCSW, MPH

Senior Psychotherapist

Elisabeth is originally from Connecticut and moved to NYC to attend New York University where she obtained her Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health degrees.

Elisabeth provides affirming and social justice-oriented supportive care to individuals around a myriad of issues including: significant life changes, anxiety, depression, and interpersonal challenges. She has a special interest in working with young adults and older adolescents, though she works with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Elisabeth is an active therapist and has a pragmatic, patient-centered approach to her work, often utilizing techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as Motivational Interviewing to help patients meet their goals and make positive changes. She has extensive experience working with LGBTQI- identified individuals as well as individuals living with HIV, Herpes, cancers, and other chronic illnesses. She believes practicing self-care is crucial to living in NYC which can include therapy, yoga, spiritual practice and connection with community. Elisabeth provides a safe holding space for patients to express their feelings in a nonjudgmental environment.

She loves living and working in NYC because of the variety of opportunities and diversity of lived experiences that she gets to witness and help foster through her practice. Elisabeth enjoys volunteering with young women with Autism to gain job skills and participating in local social activism projects in Brooklyn. She is fully bilingual in English and Spanish.

Lana Lorenzo, LMSW

Manager, Quality Assurance & Training

Lana is a native New Yorker who appreciates the social and cultural milieu her state, and more so city, are known for. She obtained her graduate degree in social work from Fordham University and also has her undergraduate degree in Nutrition Science. She believes wellness thrives best in the intersections of physical, social, emotional, mental and spiritual vitality. Lana’s educational training includes a broad focus on human development, and the sociocultural, political and unconscious forces that influence the personal, professional and domestic spheres of everyday life.

Lana approaches her clinical work with an unwavering commitment to help other people explore, articulate and weave in a nuanced manner the many narratives constituting the story of their lives. Her experiences, among other, include working with persons living with chronic illnesses, as well as with severe and persistent mental illness within an organization, dialysis center, and hospital mental health clinic. She has also worked with individuals struggling with anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia. She will utilize a tailored individualized approach to treatment, either through a psychodynamic lens, or by other means which may better fit the individual.

Outside of direct care, Lana continues to educate herself on racial, ethnic and socioeconomic perceptions that underpin unjust ideas of the “other.” She has also devoted much of her time volunteering at a youth organization and teaching nutrition in underserved communities.

Lana believes self-care is non-negotiable. She enjoys high-interval training, a great cuisine with friends and family, international travel, film and writing. She strives to assist others with strengthening their human connectivity — something she believes is germane to the transformative force in meaningful relationships.

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Sadia Zaman, LMSW, LLM

Manager, Clinical Operations

Sadia was born and raised in London, England and moved to Brooklyn over 10 years ago. Sadia received her first undergraduate degree in History from University College London and second in Law from The College of Law. After a most memorable trip in 2005 Sadia fell in love with New York City and was accepted on the LLM program at Benjamin Cardozo Law School. On track to become a Human Rights/Criminal Defense Lawyer, she realized her real passion was human behavior and working in a capacity to facilitate a holistic, healing and restorative approach to her work. She graduated with her MSW from Lehman College.

Sadia has experience working with children and adults providing trauma informed therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and a harm reduction approach to substance use and extreme coping. Her clients have included survivors of childhood and adult sexual abuse, survivors of domestic violence, people who struggle with addiction and eating disorders. Sadia prefers using a person centered approach with a goal to empower her clients through their therapeutic process. Sadia believes in the need to connect the macro issues that impact our society with an individual's experience and therefore has had a long standing interest in social justice issues particularly racial and gender justice in our criminal justice and education system.

Sadia enjoys winding down and practicing her self care through salsa dancing and teaching spin classes. She loves the Spring and Summer seasons where she spends many weekends hiking and camping in the wilderness.

Melissa Pullman Weisel, LMSW, PhD

Clinician, Education Coordinator

Melissa grew up in New Jersey and has lived in New York City for the past 5 years. She loves the diversity of cultures and constant energy felt throughout the city. Melissa graduated from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University with her MSW degree and Ph.D. in Social Welfare. She began her career working with adolescents and adults in a variety of settings. Melissa counseled at-risk youth presenting with depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations, and academic underachievement. She performed assessments and provided in-home therapy sessions for individuals with children diagnosed with developmental delays. During this time, Melissa also worked at an online dating site where she provided college-aged students guidance, support, and counseling regarding dating and marital issues. Currently, she has spent the past year working with individuals and couples presenting with anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders, and relationship issues. She is trained in the level 2 Gottman Couples Method and utilizes multiple approaches when working with clients individually. She is skilled in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and uses techniques from the mindfulness approach.

Melissa is an adjunct professor in various Social Work Master’s programs in New York City. She enjoys not only teaching Social Work research but also being a part of research grant teams and publishing results that help inform clinical practice.

Melissa is a strong believer in self-care and relaxation. She enjoys reading, running outside, skiing, and stopping to pet every dog that walks by. She grew up with golden retrievers and hopes to one day own a trained therapy dog of her own for pet assisted therapy. Melissa tries to foster a supportive environment and create a safe space for her clients to slow down from the fast-paced New York City lifestyle.

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