Who are we?
Jonathan S. Kaplan, Ph.D.
I founded Urban Mindfulness as a resource for all of us who struggle to maintain inner peace and sanity while living in a stressful environment. Professionally, I work as a clinical psychologist and maintain a private practice in which I help patients, lead workshops, and provide clinical supervision. My office is located in Union Square in New York City. Previously, I served as Director of the Stress Management Program at the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy. My personal interest in mindfulness and meditation has grown since I studied Asian cultures at Tufts in the late 1980’s.
Later, while in graduate school at UCLA, I first formally introduced these practices to patients at a psychiatric hospital in South Central Los Angeles. Since that time, I found them to be helpful for people from many different backgrounds and with many different complaints. Recently, I won an award from the American Psychological Association for my work in this area.
Over the years, I’ve practiced various forms of meditation and endeavor to cultivate mindfulness in my daily life. This website grew out of my experiences–both personal and professional–on the difficulties of maintaining mindfulness while living in a chaotic, city environment. I welcome your feedback and sincerely hope that you’ll find interesting, helpful resources on this website.
Dr. Egert is a clinical psychologist at the NY VA hospital and in private practice in Manhattan. She works from a mindfulness-informed perspective, and specializes in issues related to life transition, illness, and loss. Dr. Egert became interested in mindfulness through the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mark Epstein and G.I. Gurdjieff and has taken classes with Dr. Ron Seigel in mindfulness and psychotherapy. She has had her own mindfulness practice for several years, is an avid photographer and artist, and enjoys exploring the connections between mindfulness practice and art.
Ms. Javors is a licensed mental health counselor in private practice in NYC. She is a Diplomate of the American Psychotherapy Association. She is Adjunct Associate Professor, Mental Health Counseling Program, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. She has specializations in the areas loss and bereavement, companion animal loss, creativity, and aging across the life span. She practices insight meditation and is interested in the uses of mindfulness in counseling. She loves jazz and the syncopated sounds of NYC.
Dr. Taitz is a clinical psychologist at the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy. As a psychologist, Dr. Taitz employs mindfulness based interventions in the context of cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for a diverse range of clinical problems. Her interest in present awareness began as a teenager when she stumbled upon a popular yoga class in Los Angeles set to hip hop music. In the midst of loud music and back bending she noticed experiencing freedom from routine thinking. After the class ended, she began to wonder about how to further cultivate this quality of mental flexibility, patience, and balance. Since then, she has pursued mindfulness practice both personally and professionally in both quiet and loud venues.
Alyssa Barba is currently enrolled as a psychology student at SUNY Stony Brook University. She’s presently serving as a research assistant at the Cognitive and Affective Psychophysiology Laboratory at Stony Brook, performing EEG tests and interviewing clinical patients in order to evaluate their mood and anxiety symptoms. A transformative personal experience drove Alyssa to actively seek out methods of cultivating wisdom teachings and compassion into her everyday existence. Her first encounter with mindfulness practice came through attending yoga classes which later led her to various Buddhist meditation discussions. The simplicity and wisdom of Buddhist philosophy instantly resonated with Alyssa and inspired her to find a way to merge its teachings with her academic pursuit of psychotherapy. Alyssa’s hope is that through the mindfulness training she has embarked upon, she can transcend the lives of others in a sustainable and meaningful way.
Susanna Johansson is a Swedish psychology student currently visiting New York to get new experiences in the field of psychology. During her stay she learns about Applied Behavior Analyses with autistic children and explores the theory and practice of mindfulness and meditation. Susanna found her way to mindfulness through travels in South America where she experienced awareness and mindfulness in an easy and fun way. Back home she wanted to cultivate these experiences and integrate them into everyday life. In the future Susanna hopes to integrate mindfulness in her work as a psychologist as well.
The Urban Mindfulness™ logo was designed by TAO Design Laboratory. You can contact them at the following e-mail: TaoDesignLab@gmail.com