NITA MAKHIJA, PH.D.
Registered Yoga Teacher
Specializing in evidence based trauma treatment
I specialize in helping individuals who've experienced trauma (such as sexual assault; childhood physical, sexual and emotional abuse) and providing education and support to their loved ones.
I am trained as a counseling psychologist; this means that a critical emphasis throughout my training has been on examining the interactions between our identity (including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientations, ability status, and socio-economic status) and the world around us and the role our social and cultural environments play in our mental well-being.
I completed my training in community and Veterans Affairs hospitals in Brooklyn NY, Seattle WA, and Boston MA where I received advanced training in providing treatment for PTSD and trauma-related symptoms related to sexual assault, sexual abuse, and combat trauma.
Following this, prior to returning to Western New York, I served as a licensed psychologist treating military service members, veterans and their family members, and survivors of suicide in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and as an instructor at Harvard Medical School.
I returned to Western New York in 2018 to be closer to family and friends and am thrilled to be calling Buffalo home once again!
Within treatment, I utilize both a "top-down" and "bottom-up" approach.
"Top-down" refers to utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy approach (CBT) which aims to help you become aware of your thought patterns and how they impact your behaviors. I draw heavily from mindfulness and acceptance techniques as well to so that together we can identify skills and strategies that can most effectively address the concerns for which you are seeking therapy.
"Bottom-down" refers to understanding that our physical bodies hold onto our trauma experiences. Certain experiences in the present can activate our brain areas that regulate emotions and trigger physical responses of survival such as fight/flight/freeze, even when there isn't a threat that is present. Developing body awareness can help us to identify when these responses are occurring and how to respond to them physically and with compassion to understand that we are safe and not at threat now.
The overall focus of our work together will be on helping you explore your values and strengths along with the barriers you encounter and identifying the patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that interfere with you moving forward.
Evidence-based treatment for:
Interpersonal challenges that arise from experiencing psychological trauma
Psychoeducation for family & friends of individuals who experience symptoms related to experiences of psychological trauma
Assessment/Psychological Evaluation for PTSD
Supervision for unlicensed psychologists/psychiatrists other mental health professionals
Consultation on mental health-related concerns for mental health professionals, educators, employers
Workshops on understanding and/or treating trauma and trauma-related symptomatology