Silvia B. Espinal

Director of the Ackerman Institute’s Social Work & Diversity Program

Silvia B. Espinal, LCSW is Director of the Latinx Youth and Family Immigration Project, a clinic supervisor, and Director of the Ackerman Institute’s Social Work & Diversity Program.

Silvia began her family therapy training while she was a graduate student at NYU Silver School of Social Work and an intern in the Social Work and Diversity Program. Her interest in family and couple therapy persisted, and she proceeded to complete Ackerman’s post-graduate externship program. 

In 2021, Silvia joined Laurie Kaplan as Co-Director of the Social Work and Diversity Program. Silvia is the first Social Work and Diversity Program graduate to become a co-director, an honor she is committed to extend to other graduates of the program. 

In 2014, Silvia co-created the Ackerman Institute’s Latinx Youth and Family Immigration Project. The project offers therapy for Latinx families and community training to partner agencies working with immigrant populations. As a Latina immigrant herself, Silvia believes the Social Work and Diversity Program provided a community and opportunities as a Latina immigrant to strengthen her skills supporting BIPOC communities. 

Silvia is currently an adjunct faculty at the School of Social Work at Columbia University and Smith College. Additionally, to her professional training at Ackerman, Silvia completed a two-year group supervision training at the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships in NYC where she focused on the integration of diversity and issues of social justice with clinical cases. 

As a Latina immigrant and a family therapist, Silvia’s biculturalism and bilingualism have helped her grow a genuine and unique passion in the immigrant experience and she uses this strength-based approach when working with these individuals, couples and families. In addition to having a private practice in New York City, seeing a wide range of diverse populations, Silvia has extensive experience working in community mental health clinics, small psychotherapy group practices, and large medical settings.