Amelia Ortega, LMSW, received her BA in Community Media Production and Critical Race Theory from Hampshire College, and her Masters in Social Work from the Columbia University School of Social Work in 2007.
Currently Ms. Ortega serves as a Faculty at the Columbia University School of Social Work, and as a Clinician at Aldea Counseling. As a Professor, Ms. Ortega has developed courses that engage Masters level students in collaborative explorations of systems of oppression and the history and ethical principle of Social Justice within Social Work Practice. Professor Ortega sees her role in social work education as an opportunity to build collective consciousness about identity, power and liberation labor. As a Clinician, Ms. Ortega utilizes meditation and works with clients’ connection to spirituality and philosophies of struggle. She currently works with a diverse community of clients , including Latino individuals, families and couples and explores with each person their personal strengths and connection to community.
Ms. Ortega possesses a diverse work history that includes women’s health and mental health counseling, program development for community-based health organizations, curriculum writing and social service system evaluation. Ms. Ortega has worked in the areas of mental health and substance use counseling, community organizing, training and facilitation, Working Class and Chicano student organizing; as well as video and media production. Prior to her work in New York City, Ms. Ortega founded the Boston GLASS Youth Media Project, a therapeutic media program for LGBTQ youth of color to explore identity development. Over the last eleven years Ms. Ortega has worked with LGBTQ young adults and families developing arts based programming within a mental health services context. Ms. Ortega has previously worked as a school-based mental health counselor, a Senior Social Worker within a Foster Care Independent housing program and a therapist within a Harm Reduction based LGBTQ youth community center. Her current areas of research and professional interest include: Trauma informed care and mindfulness meditation within Psychotherapy Practice, Harm Reduction based Supervisory Strategies and Anti-Oppressive Social Work Pedagogy.