Under the leadership of Dr. Igor Galynker, M.D., Ph.D., The Richard and Cynthia Zirinsky Center for Bipolar Disorder is a unique partnership of mental health professionals who are deeply committed to providing family-oriented care to individuals with bipolar illness and their loved ones. Our dynamic team of Bipolar Specialists works together to provide tailored treatment that fits the unique and individual needs of each one of our clients.
Igor Galynker, MD, PhD., Director
I cannot imagine my life without seeing patients and without helping them and their families. I also enjoy doing research and teaching, I write scientific papers and books, and I talk to media; but it is my clinical work that gives my life its meaning. Over the course of my career, I have probably evaluated and treated 30,000 people, and yet all patients that I see are unique and fascinating, and every family is fascinating and different. Being a family psychiatrist is a privilege I want to keep.
Dr. Galynker is Associate Chairman of Psychiatry, Director of Richard and Cynthia Zirinsky Center for Bipolar Disorder and Director of Suicide Research Laboratory at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital. He specializes in Affective Disorders and in suicide risk assessment and suicide prevention. Dr. Galynker was Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, Psychiatry in 1993 and attended Medical School at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency training in psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and is a Professor of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Galynker is the author of the richly acclaimed books Talking to Families About Mental Illness: What Clinicians Need to Know and The Suicidal Crisis. Clinical Guide to the Assessment of Imminent Suicide Risk.
Konstantin Nikiforov, MD
My immediate goal is to achieve a substantial symptom relief with a contingent treatment plan as soon as possible. My style is supportive, friendly and respectful of the patient’s wishes. I am proactive about utilizing various treatment modalities. I will help you to develop the right treatment and to feel well again.
Dr. Nikiforov is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Nikiforov was Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, Psychiatry in 2005 and Geriatric Psychiatry in 2008. He graduated Pirogov’s Russian National Research Medical University in Moscow. His residency training in psychiatry was at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. He further advanced his training during a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry at the same institution. Dr. Nikiforov held a position teaching and supervising mental health professionals as a Chief of Inpatient Unit and a Director of ECT Program at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Medical Center. He also had an extensive experience of working in Consultation Liaison, Geriatric, Emergency and Outpatient Psychiatry. He prides himself as a hands-on caring clinician with experience working with a broad spectrum of psychiatric conditions in various clinical settings. Please see https://www.zocdoc.com/doctor/konstantin-nikiforov-md-252854 for further reviews.
Sarah Bloch-Elkouby, PhD
Understanding the human mind and using my knowledge and clinical skills to help people have always been my passion. Throughout the years I have been trained in a variety of clinical orientations that allow me to tailor my work to my patients’ needs and preferences in a fully transparent way. My work with patients also brings up many questions about human functioning and change that I investigate in my research. In return, my research provides me with insights into the therapeutic process that make my clinical work more effective.
Dr. Bloch-Elkouby is a post-doctoral psychology fellow at the Richard and Cynthia Zirinsky Center for Bipolar Disorder and the Brief Psychotherapy Research program at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital. She turned to psychology as a second career after a degree in law. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University where she was mentored by J. Christopher Muran, an internationally renowned psychotherapy researcher. She completed her doctoral internship at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital where she has been an active member of the Brief Psychotherapy Research Program since 2012. Her doctoral research focused on the evaluation of psychotherapy outcome and treatment failure and yielded several convention papers and peer-reviewed papers currently under review. Dr. Bloch-Elkouby’s clinical work and research are intertwined and enrich each other. Her clinical orientation follows a flexible mindset that integrates several evidence-based treatment approaches. She presented her clinical work at international conferences and in a peer-reviewed article published in the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration. Dr. Bloch-Elkouby is the proud mother of three children whose love is a continual source of inspiration.
Irina Kopeykina, MSEd
"As a Mental Health Clinician, it is my core belief that therapy has the power to heal people from the inside out. Starting therapy is a very personal and oftentimes challenging decision, and I place a lot of emphasis on creating an authentic therapeutic relationship that is a source of connection and support for my patients. Having a space where we feel seen and understood soothes our emotional wounds, allows us to touch and understand our pain, and makes us brave enough to communicate our most deep-rooted needs - ones that we may not even be aware of. Of course, insight alone does not create change, so we will use it as fuel to help you accomplish your own unique and individual goals."
Irina is a Mental Health Counselor at the Zirinsky Center for Bipolar Disorder, and is the Clinical Research Manager at the Suicide Research Laboratory at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Irina holds a Master's of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Hunter College. She specializes in mood disorders, relational difficulties, addiction, and suicide assessment and prevention. Her clinical approach is relational in nature, placing a strong emphasis on the therapeutic relationship and on the here-and-now of the therapeutic process. It is also integrative and pulls from a variety of therapeutic models depending on the needs of the patient. For many years, Irina has worked closely with Zirinsky Center Director Dr. Igor Galynker on research related to suicide risk assessment. She has co-authored multiple peer-reviewed publications in the fields of bipolar disorder and suicide research, implemented and managed multi-cite studies in inpatient and outpatient settings, and trained and supervised staff at the Suicide Research Laboratory.
Krystel Assounga, MA
Jaclyn Levy, PhD
"As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist my mission is to provide you with the highest quality care that is centered around your needs. In our work together, I will offer you an integrative approach, drawn from my extensive training, and not a "one-size-fits-all" treatment. By building a relationship centered on safety, authenticity, and collaboration, I help to foster an environment where you can begin to explore, heal, and grow. Together, we explore your history and present dynamics, in order to gain useful insights about the root cause of any struggle you may be facing. We then develop skills that can help you to make daily changes in your life and identify methods to prevent you from falling into similar patterns in the future."
Dr. Jaclyn Levy is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and supervisor at the Zirinsky Center for Bipolar Disorder. Dr. Levy earned her Ph.D from The New School for Social Research. She specializes in relationships; couples counseling; grief and loss; interpersonal struggles; adjustment difficulties, depression and anxiety; self-esteem and identity concerns; early childhood traumas; parenting skills and concerns; and substance abuse. She has trained in a wide array of settings, which include private practices, hospitals, daycare shelters, counseling centers, and clinics. In addition to her work at the Zirinsky Center for Bipolar Disorder, she runs her own private practice in NYC, supervises students at The New School for Social Research, and is a professor at Pace University in their Clinical Doctoral Program. Dr. Levy is thrilled to bring her expertise to her patients at the Zirinsky Center for Bipolar Disorder, by integrating her multidimensional training, evidence based-treatment, and creativity to provide her patients with the highest quality and patient-centered care.
Dr. Lisa J. Cohen
"I consider myself very fortunate to have found a career as meaningful and rewarding as clinical psychology. Even after more than 30 years in the field, I still find this work to be fascinating and passionate. Human beings are endlessly fascinating-so similar and yet so unique. And what can be more gratifying than to help people to heal from their suffering and grow towards a happier, healthier place in life? It has been my privilege to learn about the human condition through the many people who have shared their stories with me."
Lisa J. Cohen, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist who divides her professional life between clinical work, research and teaching. She is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Carl Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and has worked at Mount Sinai Beth Israel (formerly Beth Israel Medical Center) since 1996. Dr. Cohen provides individual, couples and family psychotherapy, utilizing an integration of psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral and systems approaches. Dr. Cohen has a specialization in psychological testing, services she provides for the Zirinsky Family Center. Her testing provides valuable help with differential diagnosis and treatment planning. Dr. Cohen has also been active in research throughout her career and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles on topics such as mood disorders and suicidal risk assessment. She is currently working on her 3rd book. Dr. Cohen has also won several teaching awards. Dr. Cohen completed her doctoral degree at the City University of New York in 1992 and her predoctoral internship at St. Luke's Medical Center in 1991. She performed her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan.
Jerilyn Kronen, PhD