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Elizabeth Zelvin
LCSW, CASAC emerita



Bio & Credentials

Elizabeth (Liz) Zelvin is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist who directed alcoholism treatment programs and had a private practice in New York City for many years before turning to online counseling and online therapy in the year 2000. She has written and lectured widely on relationships, all kinds of addictions and compulsive disorders, codependency, family issues, women's issues including eating disorders and sexual abuse and trauma, and online practice. A pioneer in online mental health, Liz became a member of the multi-disciplinary International Society for Mental Health Online, started giving workshops in online clinical skills in 2003, and hosted a weekly chat for social workers on the AOL Social Work Forum for several years. She helped educate New York police officers about post-traumatic stress in the long-term aftermath of 911 and has worked with clients affected by addictions, codependency, and family dysfunction from the most successful and renowned in their outside lives to the homeless who have lost everything, including hope. Liz is also a published and award-nominated author of mysteries, historical novels, and short stories, as well as a poet and singer-songwriter whose creative work reflects her broad professional and life experience.

Professional Credentials

  • New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) No. R33877
  • New York State Credential in Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counseling (CASAC) No.2666 (Retired in good standing, 2008, after working in the addictions field for twenty years.) Liz is now designated a Counselor Emerita by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.
  • Master of Science in Social Work (MSW) from Columbia University School of Social Work 1985
  • Bachelor of Arts in English (BA) from Brandeis University, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

If you wish to verify Liz's credentials, you can check with the New York State Education Department at op.nysed.gov (LCSW) and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services at oasas.ny.gov (CASAC).

Professional Experience
  • Psychotherapist in private practice since 1987
  • Online therapist since 2000
  • Crisis counselor with NYPD police officers through POPPA/Project Liberty
  • Program Director, Outpatient Department, Project Renewal
  • Program Coordinator, Women's Alcoholism Treatment Program, Coney Island
  • Program Director, Alcohol Program, Community Counseling Services of West Nassau
  • Team Leader, ENTER Comprehensive Treatment Program
  • Social Worker, Bronx Municipal Hospital Center
  • Social Work Intern, Smithers Alcoholism Treatment and Training Center
  • Social Work Intern, St. Luke's Hospital Psychiatric Day Center
  • Counseling Intern, Manhattan Bowery Project
  • Trainer in online clinical skills since 2003
  • Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work
  • NYU School of Social Work Post-Master's Program in Treatment of Drug and Alcohol Abusing Clients
  • Adelphi University Post-Master's Addiction Treatment Program
  • Marymount Manhattan College , Alcoholism Counseling Certificate Program
  • Post-Graduate Center , Alcoholism Training Program
Professional Publications
  • “Treating the Partners of Individuals with Substance Use Disorders” in Clinical Work with Substance Abusing Clients, Third Edition. (2013) S.L.A. Straussner, Ed., NY: Guilford
  • "Against the Grain: Unlearning What We Know About Relationships" on elizabethzelvin.com 2009
  • "Healing the Inner Child Online" Therapy Today (UK) 2006
  • “Treating the Partners of Individuals with Substance Use Disorders” in Clinical Work with Substance Abusing Clients, Third Edition. (2013) S.L.A. Straussner, Ed., NY: Guilford
  • “Partners and Adult Children of Alcoholics in Online Treatment” (2006) Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, Vol 6 No 1/2 181-185; and Impact of Substance Abuse on Children and Families: Research and Practice Implications (2006) Straussner, S.L.A. & Fewell, C.H., Eds., Haworth Press 181-185
  • "Treating the Partners of Substance Abusers" in Straussner, S.L.A., Ed. Clinical Work with Substance-Abusing Clients, Second Edition 2004
  • "Online Counseling Skills: Treatment" in Kraus, R., Zack, J.S., and Stricker, G. Online Counseling: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals 2004
  • "Is It Me? Kicking the Habit of Blaming in Your Relationship" on elizabethzelvin.com 2004
  • "But Is It Therapy? Differentiating Chat from Email in Online Treatment," Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal ( UK) 2003
  • "Treating Addictions in Cyberspace," Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 2003
  • "Hiding Out: Eating Disorders and Sexual Abuse" on www.Cyberchoices.org/voices 2003
  • "Myths and Realities in Online Clinical Work" with M. Fenichel, A. Barak, J. Suler, K. Munro, W. Walker-Schmucker, V. Meunier, G. Jones, CyberPsychology and Behavior 5/5-5 2002
  • "Treating Women Affected by Addictions" in Straussner, S.L.A., and Brown, S. Handbook of Women and Addictions. NY: Guilford (2002)
  • "When is it Time to Worry About Your Drinking?" 2002 on Find-A-Therapist.com
  • "Assessing Alcohol Abuse in Online Clients" Issues of Substance Vol. 6 No. 2, July 2001
  • Co-editor, Gender and Addictions: Men and Women in Treatment with S. L. A. Straussner, Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson 1997 (Main Selection, Psychotherapy Book Club)
  • "Harm Reduction and Abstinence Based Recovery: A Dialogue" with D.R. Davis, Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, Vol. 1 No. 1
  • "Does Someone You Love Drink Too Much?" 2001 on www.Here2listen.com
  • "Complexity Trumps Correctness." Book review of Van Wormer, K., Wells, J., and Boes, M. Social Work with Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals: A Strengths Perspective in Journal of Lesbian Studies, Vol. 5 (1/2)
  • "Are You Ready to Work on Your Relationship?" 2000 on www.eTherapy.com
  • "Applying Relational Theory to Treatment of Women's Addictions," AFFILIA:Journal of Women in Social Work Vol.14 No.1, 1999 9-23
  • "Relational Aspects of Women's Addiction and Recovery," Issues of Substance, Vol.3, No.1 February 1998
  • "Dependence and Denial in Coalcoholic Women," Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 5(3/4) 1988



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