Cranford Area Chamber of Commerce
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting #cranfordchamber Women Businesses! We chatted with Silvina Levine, MSW, LCSW, Managing Partner, Good Life Center for Mental Health – learn a little more about Silvina here.
📣. How long have you been in your business/industry?
✏ My journey into the mental health field began in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I pursued studies in psychology, focusing on statistics and psychoanalytic theory. In 1988, shortly after arriving in America, I began working at partial hospitalization programs for severely mentally ill adolescents and adults. Seeking to further my education, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in social work, a field I found immensely gratifying, as it provides tools to empower clients struggling with emotional distress. After obtaining my master’s degree at Rutgers University and clinical license, I initially provided services at hospitals. Later, I worked at community mental health centers as an outpatient therapist, addressing a wide variety of mental health concerns. After this long community-based journey, I felt ready to bring my expertise into a private practice setting, and I co-founded The Good Life Center for Mental Health with my partner, Dr. Craig Springer. Together, we embrace a common dream of creating a safe and warm space for individuals to experience true and long-lasting alleviation of their suffering.
📣. To what do you attribute your success?
✏ When I immigrated to America, I distinctly remember yearning for a sense of belonging. I wanted to fully immerse myself and become an integral part of this remarkable and vibrant society. I knew that the only way to achieve this goal is through education, hard work, perseverance, and adhering to high moral standards. I quickly realized that I needed to overcome fear, embarrassment and self-doubt. As such, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, learning English and embracing this new and very different way of life. The experience of acclimating to a new culture gave me the insight necessary to understand, empathize and reach others facing internal and external struggles. It also taught me the importance of always keeping an open mind and a willingness to learn and try new things, as scary and intimidating as they might seem. As a Clinical Social Worker, I understand the importance of continuing to learn and expand my repertoire of experiences both professionally and personally. Throughout my career, including at the present time, I am participating in supervision and training groups to broaden my knowledge base, refine my therapeutic skills and increase my awareness of myself. I remain devoted to a core social work principle: to empower and brighten the life of those who have entrusted me with their care, in an atmosphere of unconditional acceptance, warmth, and compassion. This has been a crucial guiding principle for me for my work with my clients.
📣. Who are the most influential women throughout history in your life and why?
✏. When I think of the most influential woman in my life, I immediately think of my mother. She was an incredible role model who exemplified success through perseverance and dedication. She taught me the value of hard work, persistence and that success for women is limitless. My mother was a creative and resourceful entrepreneur, who pursued her dreams of owning a thriving business in South America, with limited resources or allies to support her dream for success and independence. She singularly designed, manufactured and marketed a line of bath products for women. Overtime, she employed and taught other woman her trade, many of them had no skills to support themselves until my mother gave them a chance for independence through honest and dignified employment. I witnessed my mother’s unwavering devotion to her business and her idea of giving others a chance to support themselves. Sadly, I lost my mother this past May, but she left me an invaluable legacy. She continues to serve as a guiding light for my personal and professional endeavors.