Catherine Boniello, LCSW, CASAC, CPC
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Credentialed Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Counselor
Certified Professional Life Coach
FL Social Work License #SW18889
NY Social Work License #082971
⦁ Adelphi University, New York, Graduated Cum Laude 1995, Masters in Social Work
⦁ Pace University, New York, Graduated Cum Laude 1982, Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
⦁ Credentialed in Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Counseling, New York State-1995, License #10540 ⦁ Certified Professional Life Coach, Coaching for Transformation, Open Center, New York City
⦁ Relationship Counseling
⦁ Individual Psychotherapy
I grew up in New York City and began my professional career in Advertising on Madison Avenue. Despite the glamour of the industry and the excitement of working in midtown Manhattan as a young woman in my early 20’s, I ultimately left the field because my heart wasn’t in it and I needed more fulfillment.
When I became a mother, my life and worldview changed dramatically which led to a major career transition. I embarked on earning a master’s degree in Social Work full-time while the primary caretaker of two very active little boys, ages six and three. My goal was to become a School Social Worker so I could be around as much as possible for my children. It was an ambitious goal and an intense couple of years but the completion of my master’s program at age 30 remains one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Not a stranger to adversity, I decided to use my combination of professional education, the street smarts that I gained growing up in the Bronx, and my own life experience to help heal others. I have over 30 years of professional experience in a variety of settings. My clinical internship was in the County Department of Mental Hygiene’s Out-Patient Substance Abuse Clinic. It was then I decided to simultaneously enroll in the coursework which would lead to my earning the Credentialed Alcoholism Counselor certification in New York State. After just a few months working in an in-patient alcohol and drug rehab, I became the weekend supervisor. At Arms Acres, I specialized in dual-diagnosed individuals and was a case manager on the men’s unit. Because my goal was to work in the schools, these experiences provided what I needed to be considered by the prestigious Student Assistance Services of Westchester County for employment as a drug and alcohol counselor in a high school. It was from that position that I was able to launch, and earn tenure as a School Social Worker in the Lakeland Central School District.
In the LCSD, I helped to develop an alternative program for the district’s emotionally fragile adolescents which became a model program for other districts in the county. I remain proud of the Oasis Program which still exists today. When my own children were in high school, I made a difficult decision to devote more time to my home life as my oldest son was experiencing significant challenges. During this time, I enrolled in a year long program in Manhattan to become a Certified Life Coach. I began using the combined skill set to help adults who were in life transitions and wanted coaching. Thus began my private practice combining my clinical background with my desire to help my client’s grow in ways they had not imagined.
Eventually I returned to full-time employment and was hired by the Greenburgh Graham Union Free School District as a School Social Worker at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School. The last seven years of my School Social Work career were my most challenging and rewarding personally and professionally. I had the privilege of serving some of the neediest of the needy. The MLK students were in most cases dealing with multiple learning disabilities as well as some degree of Emotional Disturbance. It was primarily a minority population removed from the New York City Schools because they needed a higher level of care. Many lived on campus and the state of New York was their guardian. Some were former gang members, or girls who had been sex-trafficked and most were highly resistant to treatment. I found that once you unlocked the key to earning their trust, it was sacred to be a part of their healing journey. I loved serving that group of kids. I loved them. Sadly, my position was cut in the beginning of 2020, which was a contributing factor in my move to Florida.
I moved to Naples, during the pandemic and grew the private practice that I had started in New York. My life has been filled with many blessings and many challenges including divorce, financial setbacks, illness, and major losses but none more significant than the loss of my oldest child. He is one of the sad statistics of the opiate epidemic, having been prescribed painkillers for an injury that led to his fatal progression. It is from this wealth of life experience that I have both the compassion and expertise to aid in reducing the suffering of the clients I work with. I am a perfectly imperfect person who uses my own life experience, coupled with clinical knowledge and tremendous empathy for those who are looking to reduce their suffering and reclaim joy in their life. Pain and joy can co-exist.
In my free time I enjoy all the beauty of Naples and strive to live a healthy life. I love spending time with family and friends. I read voraciously, journal, cycle, swim, play pickleball and tennis (not well) and love hot yoga. I love to travel and am curious about everything.
I am privileged to be a part of the team at Conscious Choices. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you to discuss if we would be a good fit for each other. Please reach out if you are stuck or hurting. Together we can get you unstuck. You are not alone.
Seek Peace. When you have Peace within, real Peace with others can be possible.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Email: [email protected]