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My professional career as a social worker began over 20 years ago when I pursued a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. During my final year, I interned at the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council where I began my life-long role of advocating for persons with various intellectual and physical disabilities. I am a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in Pennsylvania and former licensed social worker in New Jersey. I spent some of my first years after graduation serving as a Behavior Specialist with Wyomissing Behavior Analysts, Ltd. I am a Certified Autism Specialist and have presented at many local, state and national disability and Autism conferences. I have a passion for working with families, and particularly with those who find it difficult to create or access the supports they need for individual and family success. I have experience working with all ages, from toddler to adult. I provide Mindfulness Based Play-Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Behavior Plans and Therapy and Life Coaching as well as clinical supervision for those pursuing master-level licensure in Pennsylvania. I am a past- President of ASCEND: the Asperger and Autism Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and a member of National Association of Social Workers and Autism Society of America and Association Play Therapy.
My career as a clinical mental health professional began in May of 1999 when I graduated from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh PA, with a bachelor’s of science in music therapy. I completed my clinical training with Deforia Lane, Ph.D. at the University Hospitals of Cleveland in January 2001. I earned my Master's in Music Therapy (MMT) from Temple University in May of 2010. I am a board certified music therapist, licensed professional counselor as well as a certified MARI® practitioner and teacher. My training includes music and pain management, music entrainment, mindfulness based play-family therapy, mandala assessment research instrument, cognitive behavior therapy, and functional behavioral analysis to name a few. I provide clinical supervision for therapists pursuing master-level clinical mental health license in Pennsylvania.
To date, I established new creative arts therapy programs in settings such as residential homes, pediatric hospitals, pediatric rehabilitation centers, senior homes, homeless shelters, day programs, clinics and schools. I am an advocate for the advancement of quality programming for people who have mental health needs. I find that I am able to influence this type of support through my clinical work, training programs, clinical supervision opportunities, development of community programs, and increasing clients' access to specialized health services. It brings me great joy to serve my community in this way.
As the Office Administrator, my responsibilities include managing and supporting the operations of the business, to include Personnel Management, and also ensuring compliance with state regulations for our Day Program and Waiver services. I strive to create a harmonious work environment, one where employees feel welcome and important as individuals. In this role I have the pleasure of working with a very talented staff and have broadened my understanding of the community of individuals with special needs.
I earned my Bachelor’s of Science in Management from Wesley College in Dover, DE in May of 1990. I earned my Master’s in Business Administration in Database Management from Widener University in May of 1997. I began my professional career as a Management Analyst for the Department of the Navy in Philadelphia, PA, transferring to Carderock, MD, and responsible for workload planning at both locations.
I earned my Bachelor’s in Sociology from Rosemont College in 2007. I worked in daycare after my undergraduate degree. I gained valuable experiences working with children of various ages; particularly with infants and toddlers. I pursued my Master’s at Immaculata University and began my internship at Child Guidance Resources Centers as a therapist-in-training in the outpatient department. In 2015, I earned my Master’s in Counseling Psychology and continued to work as a therapist at Child Guidance. I obtained my professional counseling license in the state of Pennsylvania in May of 2017 and I became a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Currently, I am pursuing a certificate in Advanced Child Development at the Family Play Therapy Center as a way to continue to enhance my skills in play therapy.
I began my work at Spectra in August 2017. My roles at Spectra include working as a clinical psychotherapist, behavior specialist and clinical manager. I work with clients and their families across the lifespan who have varied backgrounds and treatment needs. My interventions include mindfulness, play therapy, and cognitive behavioral interventions. Through my roles at Spectra, I find that I learn from my clients and from the collaborative process of being a member of treatment teams. Also, I gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges clients and families face to obtain services in behavioral and mental health. I take pride in being able to help clients gain access to the services they need through my role as a clinical manager.
As the Director of Community and Day Services, I use my gifts to deliver the highest quality of personalized services to help individuals reach their fullest potential. In 2012, I earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minored in studio arts. Currently, I am pursuing of a master’s degree in Art Therapy.
My career has been devoted to providing direct care supports to individuals who have disabilities and/or mental health needs. My passion for behavioral health began as a child when visiting family for the summer months in Puerto Rico. During my summers there, I learned a great deal about the beauty of life through the perspective of an amazing man living with psychiatric comorbidity. I found that he did not always have a fair chance at achieving his potential due to circumstances that were out of his control. Informed by this experience, I strive to be a man who can effortlessly understand individuals’ needs. My work with individuals focuses on noticing even the smallest of details. By doing so, I use that knowledge to build a strong therapeutic rapport and support people’s abilities to reach their goals.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and earned my degree in Master of Social Services from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. Throughout my internships in clinical settings I noticed the difficulty my clients with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities faced when attempting to receive therapy services. There was frequently a struggle in finding a therapist that was able to meet the needs of this population and perform the same quality therapy work that “typical” individuals receive. It was when I came to Spectra that I found an agency that specializes in clinical service delivery to this population. Additionally, I was able to experience a behavioral model performed using a therapeutic lens, with counseling interventions woven in to allow for both behavioral management and healing.
I began working at Spectra in May of 2018 and currently perform the role of Manager of Behavior Services, Behavior Specialist and Psychotherapist. My work as Manager of Behavior Services includes overseeing the behavior program to ensure quality of care to the participants we serve as well as support our talented Behavior Specialists. I conduct Functional Behavior Assessments, and create personalized Positive Behavior Support Plans using a strengths based approach. Clinically I utilize Mindfulness-Based Play-Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, Creative Therapy, and Parts Work/Therapy. Everyday I learn from the individuals I work with, and feel honored to be a part of their journey.
My career in the Social Service field began more than 20 years. I’m very compassionate about caring for others in the manner I would want someone to care for me or a family member. That has always driven me to provide excellence to others. I started as a Special Needs Assistant in an early childhood facility. I had a chance to nurture and help develop the skills of children in this role. I entered the Social Service Field after working with children for 5 years. I worked as an Assistant Residential Manager in a residential setting with teenage girls who had behavioral and developmental disabilities. I found that there was a lack of beneficial services for this population. I advocated on their behalf until the program began to provide adequate educational and development programs to help them build life skills. I was promoted to Residential Manager of the Mother and Baby program for teenage mothers. I remained in this work for 7 years. I continued to build enriching programs that allowed many young mothers to become independent and successful in their life goals.
My passion for helping to develop and care for others led me toward working with special needs adults. I am in awe of my clients’ lives and it drives me to support, advocate, and help them achieve their independence. I found similarities with this work when compared to my experiences with children and teenagers; I recognize that our individuals have sweet and loving spirits who need access to care that is nurturing and respectful. My experiences include working as a Direct Care professional in residential and community settings, as well as a Community Integration Specialist. Today, I am Spectra’s Residential Manager. Once again, I can serve amazing individuals. I am devoted to ensuring that my clients live happy and meaningful lives.