Professor Amelia Ortega, LCSW, TCYM, SIFI, currently works as a somatic psychotherapist, organizational change consultant, and professor of Social Work practice. As a social worker, Professor Ortega’s work for the last 14 years has been dedicated to supporting queer and trans young adults and families. They currently work in their NYC-based practice, Amanecer Feminist Psychotherapy, as a Senior Lecturer at the Columbia School of Social Work, and as a consultant to direct service and non-profit agencies seeking to address structural and interpersonal racism.
Professor Ortega has taught at Columbia for ten years both residentially and online, specializing in trauma-informed practice and classroom pedagogies. They have been dedicated to the growth and development of the CSSW Online Program since the program was established. Professor Ortega currently teaches Human Behavior in the Social Environment A, Advanced Clinical, and Building Resilience to Trauma, and has also created a HBSE B course focused on Constructions of Gender and Sexuality. Professor Ortega believes their role in social work education and as a community-based clinician is an opportunity to build collective consciousness about identity, power, and liberation labor.
Professor Ortega’s clinical and teaching practice engages healing through use of somatic experiencing, EMDR, and their training in the Trauma Conscious Yoga Method. In 2019 they were named by Negocios Now as one of “NYC’s 40 Latinos under 40” for their trauma therapy work with LGBTQ Latinx community.
Professor Ortega’s academic background includes a BA in Media Studies and Critical Race Studies from Hampshire College and an MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work (AGPP/Family, Youth, and Children). Since graduating from Columbia in 2007, Professor Ortega has focused their career on work within the foster care and public school systems. While their work is currently clinically oriented, Professor Ortega’s background is primarily rooted in community organizing, training, and consultation. They are a current candidate for a doctorate in Social Welfare at SUNY Buffalo, where they are focusing their academic labor on somatic interventions for healing racialized trauma with multiracial identified clients.
Professor Ortega is a deep listener of all life, and when they aren’t working they are often found out in nature with birds and wildlife. They are a photographer, writer, visual creator, and naturalist.