Dr. Valentina Stoycheva co-founded STEPS in 2018 with the clear goal of creating a safe, competent, and empowering space to help individuals, families, and communities successfully navigate the challenges posed by adversity. In her clinical work, Dr. Stoycheva’s thinking is insight oriented and deeply rooted in cultural humility. She utilized an approach that is integrative, blending psychodynamic, relational, cognitive-behavioral, and dialectical-behavioral techniques, tailored individually for each client. Through creating a supportive and understanding therapeutic relationship, she will help you face the challenges that you are experiencing, identify clear and attainable goals for yourself, and improve your life and relationships with others.
Dr. Stoycheva received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Adelphi University, NY. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn and a post-doctoral fellowship specializing in military and trauma psychology at the Unified Behavioral Health Center for Military Personnel and their Families, Northwell Health. She has received specialized trainings in utilizing empirically-based treatments (EBTs) for PTSD, such as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure therapy for PTSD (PE), as well as treatments for depression, anxiety, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (TF-CBT) for children. Having worked extensively within the field of trauma, ranging from early childhood abuse, sexual and domestic violence, to surviving natural disasters and war-related trauma, Dr. Stoycheva is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She has a special interest in Moral Injury and is the co-chair of the Moral Injury Special Interest Group at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Dr. Stoycheva has taught both undergraduate and graduate-level college courses and has contributed over a dozen publications and presentations in the fields of trauma, family dynamics, and the psychotherapy process.
Currently, Dr. Stoycheva also provides PTSD and mental health evaluations, as well as comprehensive forensic evaluations for individuals who have experienced trauma and continue to suffer from the emotional, occupational, and relational consequences thereof. Particular area of expertise is determining the link between childhood trauma and PTSD/Complex PTSD in adulthood.
Dr. Stoycheva is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), Division 56 (Trauma Division) of the APA, Division 39 (Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology) of the APA, the Maryland Psychological Association (MPA), the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), and of the Suffolk County Psychological Association (SCPA), where she is the co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She is a coauthor of The Unconscious: Theory, Research, and Clinical Implications – winner of the 2021 Book Prize in Theory of the American Board and Academy of Psychoanalysis. The book focuses on how everyday unconscious processes shape our beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, and the psychotherapy process. You can also read Dr. Stoycheva’s article series The Everyday Unconscious on Psychology Today.
In 2018, Dr. Stoycheva was awarded Adelphi University’s 10 Under 10 young alumni award. She consults for organizations and treatment centers regarding trauma-informed care and her commentaries have appeared in national publications such as The New York Times.
Dr. Stoycheva is fluent and can provide therapy in English and Bulgarian.