A psychiatric social worker of over 50 years, Dr. Steven Wachtel has excelled as a forensic social worker for the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in Brooklyn, New York, since 2004. First joining the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in 1972, he served as a psychiatric social worker until 1991 before becoming the team leader of the mental health treatment team. He subsequently served in that position for 13 years until he transitioned to the role of a forensic social worker. As a professional in the field of mental health care, Dr. Wachtel maintains responsibility for treating patients who have perpetrated crimes to rehabilitate their behavior in replacement of imprisonment. To this end, he often leads the group and one-on-one therapy sessions with his patients to reduce recidivism.
In addition to his primary endeavors, Dr. Wachtel has lent his wealth of expertise to the New York City public school system, where he served as a volunteer teacher of first- and second-grade students in the area of reading comprehension. Civically involved as well, he is an organizer for Washington Heights Community Services, a nonprofit organization that fosters mental health awareness and provides help for individuals with mental illness in Manhattan. Although he has experienced many career achievements, Dr. Wachtel is especially proud of assisting hundreds of patients in rehabilitation, having also played a pioneering role in advancing the quality of clinical standards.
Dr. Wachtel first pursued a formal education at Yeshiva University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1970. He subsequently received a Master of Social Work from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University in 1972. Many decades later, he returned to higher education and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in nutritional science from Central Michigan University in 2011 and an additional Doctor of Philosophy in social work from Michigan State University in 2022.
As a testament to his success, Dr. Wachtel was the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award in 1993, which is allocated to individuals who have demonstrated leadership prowess in the promotion of peace.