Serving Patients Since 2003
Dr. Marcela Bonafina has extensive experience in the field of Clinical Psychology and Clinical and Forensic Neuropsychology. She completed her psychology internship at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City.
As a therapist, working in her private practice throughout more than 20 years in New York City, Beverly Hills, Old San Juan/Puerto Rico, Buenos Aires, and now in Washington, DC , Dr. Bonafina has treated patients with relationship difficulties, depression, anxiety, trauma, adjustment problems, loss and bereavement, and self-esteem issues from all walks of life. Her practice is also specialized in the clinical and forensic neuropsychological assessment of Spanish monolingual and Spanish-English bilingual clients, with a focus on traumatic brain injury, concussion, epilepsy, stroke, and dementia. Dr. Bonafina's casework encompasses criminal, civil, employment law, as well as highly complex litigation, including death penalty and multiple plaintiff class action cases.
As a Senior Psychologist at the New York City Official World Trade Center (WTC) Mental Health Program, Dr. Bonafina has assessed and helped hundreds of victims of the events of 9/11 diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Prior to her joining the WTC program, she worked in Bellevue’s Traumatic Brain Injury Unit as its Assistant Director, where she evaluated and treated over 750 traumatic brain injury patients. Being a consultant at VA-NY Harbor Health Care System, Manhattan Campus, Dr. Bonafina has completed the evaluation of patients suffering from dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and complicated psychiatric issues. She performed fitness-for-duty exams for the National Transportation Security Agency on a regular basis and worked as a Remote Clinician for the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Coast Guard in their Employee Assistance Program. Dr. Bonafina also worked as a staff neuropsychologist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, California. Since 2019, Dr. Bonafina has been working as a neuropsychologist and a clinical psychologist in Military Treatment Facilities for the Department of Defense (DoD) while treating Active-Duty Service Members. Currently, she is working as a clinical psychologist in the newly launched DoD Virtual Medical Center-INDO-PACIFIC/CONUS/EUROPE.
Dr. Bonafina worked as a Research Scientist within the Department of Neuroscience at the New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University from 1997 until 2003. Simultaneously, she also completed research work within the Departments of Biological Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry also at the New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University. Previously, between 1995 and 1997, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Childhood Behavior Disorders Research Team at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
Academically, Dr. Bonafina has been a Professor of Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology at the School of Psychology in the University of Buenos Aires for nine years. More recently, Dr. Bonafina was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor in the
Department of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and Honorary Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Education at Teachers College-Columbia University.
She is a past President of the Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals and has discussed policies on mental health issues affecting Hispanics in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York State Office of Mental Health, among others. She has participated in several steering and advisory committees, including being the Co-Chair of the Latino Mental Health Workgroup, member of the Mental Health Consortium of the Hispanic Federation, member of the NAMI-NYS and the Multicultural Outreach Task Force, and member of the Advisory Committee of the Suicide Prevention Program at the New York State Office of Mental Health
Internationally, Dr. Bonafina is a regular keynote speaker in forensic psychology and neuropsychology in different universities and various medical centers around the world, primarily in Latin America. She also makes regular radio and television appearances and participates in newspaper interviews discussing the mental health issues.
She has also been very prodigious in being published, participating in editorial boards, scientific committees, and active in many professional groups.
Dr. Bonafina earned a degree as a licensed psychologist in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and worked in Argentina’s Hospital Eva Perón for eight years before moving to the United States in 1995.