Adjunct Assistant Professor

Abe Zubarev

Abe Zubarev, LCSW, BCD, ATR, DPS, is a board certified licensed clinical social worker. He has over thirteen years of experience working with adults and adolescents providing direct clinical services, and much of his career has focused on college mental health. Most recently, Abe served as Director of Counseling at University of the Arts in Philadelphia and directed Counseling Services at Penn State Brandywine. He has worked in staff therapist roles at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania and as an embedded clinician at The Wharton School.

As a registered art therapist as well as an LCSW, Abe is an expert in the field of visual arts in mental health. At CSSW, Abe teaches a graduate seminar on Art Therapy in Social Work Practice — the first art therapy course ever to be taught at Columbia University. Previously, Abe helped to establish the undergraduate art therapy concentration as a lecturer at Rutgers Camden. Abe has taught undergraduate courses on modern/contemporary art history and theory at institutions such as Penn State Abington and Moore College of Art & Design, and graduate seminars in art therapy and counseling psychology at Holy Family.

Abe earned his BA summa cum laude/Phi Beta Kappa from Brooklyn College CUNY in Art History and Philosophy, an MSSW from Columbia (2010), and a doctorate in Bioethics with a focus on clinical ethics consultation from Albany Medical College, where he wrote his doctoral project on bioethics in art therapy. Abe is also currently completing a second doctorate in Health Sciences at Eastern Virginia Medical School (expected 2023). Before pivoting into the Arts in Health field, Abe trained to be an art historian and arts educator. He has an MA from Cornell in Art History (ABD, 2004) and an MEd from Harvard in Arts in Education, and he later obtained an MFA in Studio Art with a focus on sculpture from University of the Arts.

Having worked in a range of mental health settings, from outpatient/IOP clinics to inpatient psychiatric units, residential treatment programs, and college counseling centers, has left Abe with a deep sense of purpose to help support young adults and their mental health. Abe has considerable leadership experience in program development/coordination and evaluation, with staff and intern training, and financial management. Abe currently works full-time as a psychotherapist in private practice. His clinical interests focus on autism, self-esteem, social anxiety/loneliness, gay men’s issues, and existential concerns. Abe further supports Columbia students by serving as an external clinical supervisor and advisor in field education and enjoys mentoring the next generation of clinicians.