ABOUT ME

I am a licensed clinical psychologist with specialized knowledge in families, schools, and emergency, high-risk mental health. My practice is primarily consultation-based and utilizes a flexible, collaborative approach that is tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. This may include one or more of the following: psychoeducation, skills training, systems analysis, record reviews, and/or support groups. 

Education and Training Experiences

 

My education and training experiences have all given me an appreciation for how environment, education, and interpersonal relationships interact to impact an individual's development and well-being.  Some highlights of this include the following:

  • B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University

  • Research Assistant at Mount Hope Family Center, University of Rochester looking at how family relationships and early childhood education can help mitigate the negative impact of early trauma and poverty

  • Ph.D.  in School Psychology at New York University

 

The research and clinical experiences that I received during my doctoral education continued to inspire my interest in how parents, children and community organizations, such as schools, can best collaborate to promote growth and resilience. 

I was involved in research through the Child and Family Policy Center at NYU, on the following topics:

  • How children learn through play

  • Program assessment in early childhood education

  • Development of civic engagement in children and young adults

  • Dissertation Title: "Test Anxiety in Context: Primary Students' Experience of Test Anxiety in an Ecological Framework"

 

My clinical experiences included assessment, treatment, program development, and professional consultation in settings such as:

  • Public and private schools

  • Outpatient mental health clinics

  • Day treatment

  • Hospital-based acute care inpatient units

  • Emergency Rooms

 

Professional Clinical Work, Consultation, and Support

 

After completing my Ph.D., I worked for several years in acute care psychiatric settings at Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, NY.  I worked in a psychiatric emergency room and later an acute care psychiatric inpatient unit. Some of my primary responsibilities during this time included:

  • Risk assessment and mental status examinations

  • Crisis intervention with individuals experiencing acute mental health emergencies

  • Individual, group, and family psychotherapy

  • Supervision and support to staff from various disciplines

  • Teaching course to advanced psychology and psychiatry trainees on Mental Status Exams in Children and Adolescents and Consultation and Supervision

The individuals I assessed and treated during this time included a full spectrum of mental health difficulties, but especially focused on high-risk issues such as reactions to trauma, suicidality, aggression, severe behavioral dysregulation, and psychosis.

My time at the hospital was during a period when it was undergoing significant, deliberate systems change under supervision of the Department of Justice.  This afforded me unique opportunities to help improve patient care and wellness through environmental change, such as:

  • developing new operating procedures for a psychiatric emergency room

  • finding more effective ways to integrate patient care across disciplines

  • revising standards for managing challenging and dangerous behaviors among patients

  • streamlining communication among service providers and hospital programs. 

All of these projects systematically shifted how the hospital operated, which helped improve services and outcomes for patients.

 

I also have experience providing a variety of additional forms of consultation and support to professionals. 

  • I have helped attorneys prepare for depositions, better understand claims, and help determine appropriate settlements by reviewing evaluations and other records to help them understand mental health diagnoses, treatment, and common risk factors. 

  • I have worked with educational administrators and teachers to understand factors that may be impacting students' learning, behavior, and social emotional development by analyzing the classroom and school environment.  

  • I have supported psychiatric nurses work in a high intensity environment, with a challenging population by giving them information and an opportunity to discuss and process their experiences through a weekly group. 

By helping professionals and organizations develop the tools they need to understand and manage the underpinnings of mental health, they are able to more effectively meet the needs of their clients and perform the responsibilities of their jobs.

 

Community-Based Experience

 

I currently reside in Nassau County, NY.  Recently, my work has been increasingly community-focused and has included the following:

  • Four years of service on the governing board at St. Mark's Nursery School in Rockville Centre. 

  • Two years as co-president at St. Mark's Nursery School, which involved responsibilities such as:

    • Ensuring that the school adhered to its mission of providing children with a developmentally appropriate, play-based, early childhood education

    • Emphasizing the importance of community and connection among families and the greater Rockville Centre area businesses and organizations. 

    • Administrative responsibility for the daily operation of the school, including overseeing financial operations and budgeting, staffing and hiring, school enrollment, school security, and contract negotiations. 

    • Supervising the 29 members of the governing board who were tasked with running most business-related aspects of the cooperative nursery school

    • Establishing a series of parent groups on child development

    • Participating in informal parenting support consultations and gave presentations to the general membership on the benefits of being an imperfect parent, how to handle anxiety and ways to deal with loss. 

  • Current Co-President of the Riverside School PTA

  • Current member of the Mental Health Task Force and the Mental Health School Reopening Subcommittee for the Rockville Centre School District

 

 

My range of personal and professional experience has given me a comprehensive understanding of the interplay between child and adolescent development, mental health and wellness, family systems, and community supports. I apply this perspective to all of my clinical work. I also believe that structuring community settings in supportive ways that encourage wellness and growth is the first step in encouraging positive, healthy development in young people.

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