Create a Life Worth Living

Co-Directors

Liza Papazian M.S., LCSW-R

Ms. Papazian is a co-founder and co-director of LI DBT Group, which was established in 2001. She also chairs the Family Education and Support Program. Ms. Papazian works with adolescents, adults, high conflict couples and families, and she leads DBT skills training groups. Ms. Papazian received her Masters of Science degree from Long Island University and her Masters of Social Work degree from Adelphi University. She is intensively trained in DBT by Behavioral Tech, LLC. Ms. Papazian also has extensive training and clinical experience working with substance abuse, mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR), and mother/child attachment.  She is certified in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and emotionally focused therapy (EFT). Ms. Papazian is the former director of Rape and Sexual Assault Services of the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (now the Safe Center Long Island), where she instituted a DBT program for survivors of incest and sexual assault. She is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of trauma and co-morbid disorders resulting from war, hostage situations, crime, terrorist attack and domestic and sexual violence. She has served as a clinical consultant to several mental health agencies and as a presenter on treating trauma, borderline personality disorder and substance abuse.

Vandana Syali Ph.D.

Dr. Syali is co-director of LI DBT Group and chair of the modified DBT Children’s Program.  She uses CBT and DBT to treat children, adolescents, and adults with emotional dysregulation. Dr. Syali earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from St. Johns University, where she also earned a certificate in marital and family therapy. She was intensively trained by Behavioral Tech, LLC in DBT, the DBT- prolonged exposure protocol, and DBT-substance abuse.  Dr. Syali has clinical expertise in the treatment of mood, anxiety, and personality disorders. Dr. Syali completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services, and her postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Her training also included an externship at Long Island Jewish Hospital where she conducted individual therapy and DBT skills training groups in an inpatient setting for adolescents with borderline personality disorder. She has worked in a variety of settings, including schools, day-treatment centers and community mental health clinics, providing individual, group, and family therapy. She has extensive experience conducting comprehensive psychological and educational evaluations of children and adolescents and providing recommendations to increase current functioning and treatment planning based on these evaluations to parents, schools and service providers.

Annmarie Hardgrove LCSW-R, CYT

Ms. Hardgrove is co-director of LI DBT Group and chair of the Trauma Survivors Program. She provides individual and family therapy to older adolescents and adults, is an experianced skills trainer,  and has developed and facilitates a stage 2 trauma processing group, which incorporates DBT skills and yoga. In addition to DBT, Ms. Hardgrove specializes in treating PTSD and complex trauma related to childhood abuse and neglect, sexual trauma, domestic violence and unresolved loss. Ms. Hardgrove obtained her Master of Social Work degree through the Molloy-Fordham program.  She is intensively trained by Behavioral Tech, LLC in DBT and the DBT-prolonged exposure (PE) Protocol and is also trained in mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR). She is also trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Ms. Hardgrove is a certified yoga teacher and incorporates yoga and body based interventions into her work with clients. Ms. Hardgrove’s passion to help trauma survivors heal began with her work at the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV, now the Safe Center Long Island). She worked in the NCCADV’s crisis and counseling centers with a focus on abuse survivors in the child welfare system. This unique specialization informs her work helping clients increase their mindfulness of how trauma interplays with parenting, with the goal of building healthy parenting behaviors. She was also an on-call supervisor for the NCCADV’s 24 hour domestic violence and rape hotline, served as a domestic violence and trauma consultant at Nassau County Department of Social Services case conferences and started a DBT track at a hospital-based mental health clinic.

Our Team

In addition to LI DBT’s three co-directors, the practice has a treatment team of several licensed clinical social workers and psychologists dedicated to helping our clients build a life worth living. Our therapists are intensively trained in DBT and are highly skilled clinicians with rich clinical experience and varied areas of specialization to offer our clients.