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Shayan Salar, LCSW

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  • Bachelors in Psychology from Kean University 

  • Master of Social Work from Kean University 

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker in NJ, PA, and FL. 

  • Pending Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor in NJ.

  • Second year student of Somatic Experiencing Program

  • Completion of educational component for Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) MDMA-assisted psychotherapy (Fall 2021 Cohort).

"I believe that my foundational experiences in this work and overall commitment to specialized training has offered me a unique lens around what it actually means to be trauma-informed in practice – not just in theory."

The yearning to make sense of this human experience and desire to live a meaningful and purpose-driven lifestyle called me to this work. My path here is undoubtedly connected to all sorts of parallels shared with those I collaborate with; knowing the complexities of growing up in an immigrant family, experiencing different forms of hate crimes/discrimination, abuse, cultural/value conflicts, identity confusion, sudden grief & loss, near death experiences, non-ordinary states of consciousness, unhelpful means of coping, and several other kinds of life-altering experiences.


While remaining engaged in my own personal healing journey, I spent several years developing my clinical training in many levels of care for those with PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance misuse, and several different overlapping experiences. Now, I am a holistic psychotherapist, second-year somatic experiencing student & practitioner, and graduate of the MAPS MDMA Therapy Training program for PTSD (educational component). I believe that my foundational experiences and overall commitment to specialized training has offered me a unique lens around what it actually means to be trauma-informed in practice – not just in theory.I

When I am not helping others, I am adamantly partaking in my own process by honing my craft through continued education, training & consultation, guiding people through meditative experiences, facilitating integration circles, traveling, staying active in countless ways, being in nature, reading, and giving myself full permission to live my life as I see fit.

Professional Experiences

During my baccalaureate pursuit, I spent several years implementing behavior intervention plans for people with Autism and their families. These experiences served as inspiration for me, helping me understand my own ability to truly make an impact for individuals and their families.

At Kean University, I helped facilitate their Master of Social Work (MSW) program to becoming affiliated with two separate substance abuse and co-occurring facilities in Middlesex County, New Jersey - both in which I interned, so future MSW students passionate about addiction & mental health could satisfy their clinical internship requirements. There, I learned more about addiction and co-occurring treatment approaches, harm reduction philosophies, and how people in these categories intersect with the criminal justice system.

Thereafter, my experiences as a licensed professional grew from having worked in arguably some of the most comprehensive and trauma-informed mental health & addiction centers in New Jersey; ones with wrap-around services, strong ties to community resources; facilities focused on treating the whole person. I also had the opportunity to gain perspectives working in historic facilities notoriously known for operating on more traditional models of helping, which helped me gain greater perspectives around harm. These experiences were essential to assist me with discerning which models, frameworks, and philosophies felt most resonant. Environments I have worked in to date are: in-home, after-school programs, harm-reduction & medication-assisted recovery treatment centers, high-intensity inpatient residential, intensive outpatient, non-profit outpatient, community mental health centers, and now private practice. In the eyes of many in the field (while I don't share this view), I've worked with some of the "toughest" populations; those with several overlapping and complex concerns, like "personality disorders;" different presentations of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) & complex trauma (C-PTSD); people who have experienced dire consequences from their actions, inactions, compulsions, modes of being, identifications; those with minimal access to resources & support systems; people from diverse backgrounds & identities, life circumstances, and unique concerns.