About Us

Founder Story

Ariela has been passionate about improving mental health care for years. Starting her career at IDEO, she studied, researched and developed new concepts to approach mental health care and mental wellbeing. Building on her research, Ariela joined Cityblock, building their first health clinic in Brooklyn, NY. Ariela earned a BS in Mathematics and Computational Science from Stanford University, where the impetus for her work began. Later, she joined Columbia’s Clinical Psychology program to train as a therapist and left the program in 2019 to launch Real. Ariela is the recipient of the 2019 American Psychiatric Association’s Innovation Award, recognized as Forbes 30 Under 30, and Inc’s Top 100 Female Founders.

Zeera's Leadership Team

The leadership team at Zeera is a group of accomplished experts who bring a wealth of experience from diverse fields, all dedicated to revolutionizing mental health care.

Ariela Safira

Founder + CEO

Dr. Rachel Hoffman

Chief Clinical Officer

Valerie Texin

Chief Financial Officer

The voices
behind Zeera

Dr. Rachel Hoffman

Hi! I am a PhD and Licensed Clinical Social Worker with degrees from Widener University and Yeshiva University Wurzweiler’s School of Social Work. As Chief Clinical Officer, I’m responsible for building Real’s innovative care model, and leading the therapy and research teams. I’m also an expert in sex and relationships—which maybe explains why I love reality dating shows.

Dr. Onisha Etkins

Hey there! I’m a health equity & research expert with a doctoral degree from Harvard. I use social epidemiology—and dance—to share nuanced stories about Black and Brown people’s lives that center their joys and desires. I’m interested in how systems of power shape the health outcomes of underresourced communities, and in the liberating potential of Caribbean dances to create spaces for healing and joy.

Nai Warren

Hi everybody! My name is Naiylah, but everyone calls me Nai. I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with degrees from Philadelphia University and Long Island University. My therapeutic style is conversational, empowering, and nurturing—while also keeping it real. I’m interested in offering culturally competent care for marginalized communities, supporting people through family trauma, conflict, and professional transitions, and equipping people with realistic tools to thrive in everyday life. 

Jack Bartel

Hi there! I’m a Florida-based licensed clinical psychologist and LGBTQ+ health educator and consultant, with specializations in gender affirming care, health habit change, and coping with chronic illness. As a queer transgender person myself, I know how hard affirming care can be to find and my goal is to help others feel seen, heard, and improve quality of life.

Maddie Lucas

Hi there. I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Workerwith degrees from Columbia University and Lehigh University. My philosophy is rooted in a deep empathy for each person’s humanity, and my belief that everything we do serves some part of us. I utilize a compassionate, supportive approach to help individuals know themselves better, and make shifts to live the life they want and deserve.

Jake Ernst

Hey, I’m Jake! I’m a relational therapist on a mission to help others connect—with themselves, the people around them, and a purpose they feel passion about. In my work, I help people navigate the stress of modern life so they can build healthier relationships and improve their social health.

Julia Jarrold

Hi there, I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker from New Jersey with degrees from the Columbia School of Social Work and Hamilton College. I hold space for others to be curious about themselves through relational, creative, trauma-informed, and empathetic care. 

Dr. Wiyatta

Hi! I’m Dr. Wiyatta, a Los Angeles-based licensed psychologist with a passion for reproductive psychology. My professional voyage began as a clinical forensic psychologist in the challenging environments of prisons—an experience that instilled in me an unwavering dedication to understanding and supporting people during their darkest moments. 

Luis Cornejo

Hello! I’m Luis—a natural entertainer who enjoys making others laugh and feel inspired. As a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist, I work tirelessly to support the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. I am the founder of PsychoSocial Media, a mental health platform providing mental health articles and resources, and the co-owner of PsychoSocial Therapy, a private practice specializing in LGBTQ+ and BIPOC mental health.

Bobby Gilmore

What’s going on, family? My name is Bobby Gilmore! I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker inspiring hope and facilitating change in the lives of people from all cultural backgrounds. For over 16 years, I have provided psychotherapy in the greater Los Angeles area. My main focus is to provide clients with a non-judgmental clinical space to process feelings, discover their authentic selves, and heal.

Tamara Hunter

I’m an Atlanta-based therapist, and the founder of Womb Wisdom Wellness LLC.My personal experience with infertility, reproductive loss, and postpartum moves me to advocate, educate, and support women & couples using a holistic, person-centered approach. I’m committed to helping women prioritize their mental and emotional wellness, and passionate about shedding light on Black women’s reproductive health, mental health, & maternal mental health journeys.

Nic Harbeck

Hey there! I’m a nonbinary, pansexual, queer sex therapist with a private practice in Santa Monica, California. My mental health philosophy focuses on the ability to tolerate the ambivalence of life while maintaining an authentic connection to the self and others. I bring intersectional feminism and LGBTQ+ affirming approaches into my practice, and specialize in sexual and gender diversity, anxiety, depression, sexual functioning and dysfunction, aging, and racial and cultural issues.

And many more! The Zeera library is always expanding