A first generation American of German/Ecuadorian descent, Dr. Pesantez’ worldview was shaped by her parents’ individual experiences of having immigrated to the US as adults without higher education or significant family support. The experience of hosting numerous Ecuadorian family members in their immigration journeys shaped her identity as a bilingual (English/Spanish) Ecuadorian woman.
Dr. Pesantez is currently the Vice President of Specialized Clinical and Psychiatric Services at one of the largest social service agencies in NYC. She is clinically trained in Trauma Systems Therapy (TST), an evidenced based, socioecological approach to treating the effects of trauma in youth and families. She is also a certified program trainer of TST and has supported a systems’ approach to treating trauma in youth and families engages in child welfare services in NYC.
Since earning her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology (specializing in child and family therapy) in 2000, Dr. Pesantez has dedicated her career to working with marginalized, underserved youth and families exposed to trauma living in impoverished communities in New York and New Jersey. From 2000 up until fairly recently, Dr. Pesantez has provided psychotherapy in English and Spanish both in office and in home. She has experience as an administrator working in different child serving service systems and has a good understanding of local, state, and federal policy, in particular, Medicaid redesign, and its use to provide accessible, equitable mental health services to all youth and families . Dr. Pesantez has supported the use of a trauma-informed behavior change model incorporating evidenced-based trauma treatment in clinical practice.