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atashhealing

I'm a licensed clinical social worker with two decades of experience working in New York City public schools and providing social and emotional support for urban youth, immigrants, and their families. I'm Director of Wellness and founding member of Harvest Collegiate, a progressive public high school in Manhattan, where I also train social workers. In my private practice, I treat adults through a mixture of psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and Reiki. In my spare time I write literary nonfiction.

Roxanne

I hadn’t thought about my brother much since I’d left Iran. I assumed he’d found his own way. But one day, when I was on the phone with my folks back home, I asked to speak with him. “Your brother isn’t talking,” my father said. “To me?” “To anyone,” he […]

Pishi

This summer, I had a conversation with a friend about my writing. “Why do you give away your stories for free on your blog?” she asked. “Why don’t you wait for your book to be published before you share?” I’ve asked myself the same question many times: I’ve written two […]

Meha

I didn’t expect that meeting Meha was going to keep me up at night, but it did. In my dreams, those days, I was always on a boat in the middle of a dark ocean, when a bigger boat, full of male guards, stopped mine to arrest me and take […]

The Hustler

I’m really good at ping pong. Or at least, I used to be. Lately, a lot of people have been beating me, again and again. I take it as a sign of my progress. Let me explain. When you are a homeless, undocumented immigrant, you need to be resourceful. Never […]

I Ran From Iran

It wasn’t easy to find the right Ali Mohamedian on Facebook. That name is about as common in Persian as “John Smith” is in English. But I was determined to make amends, after all these years. And to thank the man who was responsible for getting me out of Iran. […]

The Saint

[Trigger warning: sexual abuse, violence to children] The box-like room was freezing-cold. It had no windows or decorations, aside from an old IBM computer on the desk in front of me. The space around me seemed to be closing in on me. Despite the icy temperature, I felt sweat dripping […]

Imaginary Friends

I was so happy to find out that it was normal to have imaginary friends. I learned this information in my college Child Development class one day, when my professor spoke to us at length about the “boy” who kept him company when he was young. My professor was a […]

Curious George

When I was a young girl, they called me maymoon-e konjkav, the Persian version of Curious George, because my favorite question was: Why? Not much has changed. My curiosity wasn’t always well received, however. At school, it got me whipped and suspended. As a young girl in Iran, I wanted […]

I Can Fly

My curiosity with hypnotherapy began when I was a nanny during my first year of college in the United States. When the kids were asleep, I would watch T.V. to try to improve my English. One day, I saw a talk show about a woman who could heal people through […]