Get to know Leoni Harrington, LICSW, who serves the Massachusetts area at her private practice, Pathways 2 Wellness.
Specialities: Anxiety, Depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Relationship issues
Types of Therapy: Coaching, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness-based (MBCT), Solution-Focused Brief (SFBT), Existential, Integrative, Humanistic, Hypnotherapy, Tapping (EFT), Positive Psychology, Transpersonal, Exercise Therapy
Modalities: Individual, Couples, Family and Group Therapy, Telemental Health, Clinical Supervision
Certifications: Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker; Advanced Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy; Hypno-behavioral Hypnotherapy; Critical Incident Stress Management; Trauma Evaluation and Treatment
Education: Leoni has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and obtained her Masters in Clinical Social Work in 1998 from Boston University School of Social Work. She has completed many post-graduate specialty trainings to expand her therapeutic repertoire and provide an eclectic approach that fits the unique needs of her clients. In an effort to accelerate and deepen the therapeutic process, she pursued additional, more holistic and transformational methods of healing, including clinical hypnotherapy and breathwork.
Experience: Leoni’s first internship was in 1996 at the American Red Cross, where she conducted disaster relief services and used emergency response protocols to help victims rebuild their lives. Her second year internship was at the South Boston Community Health Center, where trauma and addictions were recurring themes.
Her career path continued at the North End Community Health Center, where she provided mental health services to individuals, couples, families and groups, and where she conducted trainings and community education to neighborhood schools and community agencies.
She was subsequently recruited by Family Services of Greater Boston (FSGB), where she became one of their most valued and productive clinicians, providing a wide range of clinic-, school-, and home-based services to individuals and families in need. Over the course of her 13-year employment at FSGB, she was actively involved in the Trauma clinic, was a key member of the Diversity Committee, acted as clinical liaison to neighborhood schools and community organizations, assisted the Research and Evaluation team to develop a proposal to bring evidence-based practices to the agency (which was subsequently funded by SAMSHA), and supervised second year graduate social work interns from Boston College. Leoni’s private practice, Pathways 2 Wellness, was established in 2009.
Leoni has also been a lead presenter on a variety of therapy and wellness-related topics over the years. Most notably, in 2010 she conducted a workshop with a colleague at the NASW Symposium in Boston: “Moving Through It: Incorporating Exercise Into Clinical Social Work Practice”, which explored the psychological and emotional benefits of exercise and presented specific ways clinicians can use exercise as a therapeutic tool within psychotherapy.
Current Position: Leoni has a private practice on Newbury Street, Boston, and she currently works with individuals, couples and families, providing services in wellness, trauma, and performance enhancement.
Leoni has always turned to movement – through dance and exercise – for release and renewal. Eager to share its deeply healing potential with others, she decided to pursue a second career in fitness, thus blending her passions for holistic wellness, group exercise and teaching. Her fitness certifications include Primary Group Exercise, Personal Fitness Trainer, Kickboxing, Indoor Cycling Power Pacing, Spinning (Mad Dogg Athletics), Group Power (Mossa), Body Pump (Les Mills), Zumba, Zumba Gold, Zumbatomic, Zumba Toning, Zumba Step and Aqua Zumba.
She designed a specialized group exercise regimen for individuals with Type II Diabetes Mellitus and ran two weekly groups for over 5 years at the Dorchester House Multiservice Center, with an emphasis on the mind-body connection/meditation/relaxation response, cardiovascular endurance, functional and strength training, and nutritional basics. She was featured in a Boston Globe article in December 2006, “A Quiet Epidemic”.
Over the years, Leoni has particularly enjoyed witnessing the power of movement, especially dance, as a therapeutic outlet and healing modality. She was featured in a magazine article in Z life about Zumba and psychotherapy: https://www.facebook.com/zumba/posts/1029979133689425
She currently teaches a variety of formats at a number of fitness clubs in the Boston area, including Bodyscapes, Boston Sports Club, Healthworks, and the YMCA. In addition to leading dynamic classes for gym members, she has conducted multiple fundraisers for various charities, non-profit programs and clubs, and to raise relief money for disaster victims.
Leoni considers her fitness career an extension of her full time psychotherapy and hypnotherapy practice, where the common denominator is connecting to the core – the physical core as well as the core self. She has a dynamic teaching and therapy style, encouraging her groups and clients to be mindfully aware and fully engaged in the moment, as well as to use their breath to center and align themselves and move past their self-imposed limitations. She inspires and empowers her participants and clients to pursue their fitness and life goals with passion and focus, and to lead fuller, healthier, more balanced and more meaningful lives that honor their own profoundly unique road to self-discovery.
Memberships: National Association of Social Workers (NASW), National Association of Heart-Centered Hypnotherapists, National Board of Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists (NBCCH), Athletics and Fitness Association of America, Zumba Instructor Network, Golden Key International Honor Society, Psi Chi
Personal: Leoni has attributed her success to three factors: (1) her mother, whose unconditional love encouraged her to pursue her dreams, (2) her mindset, (3) her passion and perseverance. Leoni speaks Spanish, French and Greek fluently, and is conversant in Italian. Her languages have proved to be an invaluable tool in her psychotherapy practice as they eliminate many communication barriers and maximize her cultural sensitivity to the needs of her clients. On her time off she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, hiking, cycling and dancing.
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