Counseling and Psychological Services Staff and Trainees 2022-2023
Jeffrey Ng, Psy.D.
Director, Rose Hill/Lincoln Center/London
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology/NYS Licensed
Dr. Jeffrey Ng (he, him, his) is a licensed clinical psychologist and has served as CPS' Director for the past 11 years. He is currently the co-chair for the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors’ Elements of Excellence committee. Dr. Ng received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Rutgers University and his undergraduate degree in human development from Cornell University. Prior to joining Fordham in 2008, he worked at New-York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Dr. Ng’s professional interests include collegiate mental health, multicultural and liberation psychology, psychodynamic psychotherapy, mindfulness based interventions, interpersonal neurobiology, and masculine identity development. As an immigrant and first generation HEOP college student, he is especially interested in reducing identity based mental health and educational disparities, and working with students from low income, under-represented and marginalized populations. Dr. Ng's clinical approach is informed by a phenomenological, social justice, Buddhist and systems focused framework, and privileges the exploration of depth, meaning, context, and subjectivity in the therapeutic process.
Dr. Ng is fluent in Spanish and Cantonese, is an avid sports fan, and lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and 18 year old son and 2 cats.
Erika Greene, LMSW
Supervising Counselor/Coordinator for Group Therapy Program
and Graduate Student Services, Rose Hill
Masters in Social Work
Erika Greene (she/her/hers) holds a BA from Wesleyan University, a Masters in Social Work from Fordham University, and completed the Intensive Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program at the William Alanson White Institute. During her Graduate internship at The Family Health Center of Harlem, Erika worked with underserved people living with HIV and AIDS. She has been at CPS since 2018 in various roles, most recently as a staff therapist and supervisor. Erika invites clients into a collaborative therapeutic relationship, one that recognizes that the client is the expert in their own life. Erika’s clinical approach is informed by psychodynamic principles, mindfulness-based practices, and multicultural counseling.
Jacob Nacheman, Ph.D.
Supervising Psychologist and Outeach Coordinator, Lincoln Center
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
New School for Social Research
Jacob Nacheman (he/him/his) is staff therapist and outreach coordinator at Fordham University CPS Lincoln Center. After completing a BS in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and MS in Education with a specialty in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at the University of Rochester, Jacob completed a MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology at the New School for Social Research. He has worked with adolescents and emerging adults in various domestic and international settings, teaching English language and literacy in Latin America and Europe and elementary through high school general and special education in New York. Jacob is deeply interested in young adult mentorship and completed his doctoral dissertation with a comparative study of arts-infused and traditional mentorship programs among NYC youth and young adults. Beginning at CPS in 2018, Jacob approaches psychotherapy from a psychodynamic orientation, integrating mindfulness and acceptance based practices with an understanding of cognitive/behavioral principles. Jacob is driven to work from a perspective of multicultural and pluralistic awareness and the intersectionality of identities, LGBTQAI+ and queer theory, adjustment, and trauma-informed care to support clients in the development of self-love, patience, and greater adaptability to subjective life stressors.
Jessica Del Vita, Psy.D.
Supervising Psychologist and Training Director, Lincoln Center
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology/NYS Licensed
The California School of Professional Psychology
Dr. Jessica Del Vita (she, her, hers) is a licensed clinical psychologist and has been on the CPS team for over 10 years serving as the training director at the LC campus. She received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Fordham University and her PsyD in Counseling Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.
Dr. Del Vita is passionate about training graduate students in the delivery of mental health services and values constantly growing and learning from teaching and supervising. Her clinical approach is informed by psychodynamic psychotherapy, mindfulness practice, feminist theory, and social justice work. In her clinical practice, she focuses on increasing emotional awareness, exploring conflict, finding meaning, and understanding how intersectionality and subjectivity impact every day experiences. She has a special interest in working with individuals exploring sexuality and gender identity, especially as it intersects with cultural and racial identity. Dr. Del Vita is an Italian native speaker.
Joanna Poon, Psy.D.
Supervising Psychologist-International Student Specialization, Lincoln Center
Doctorate in School & Clinical Child Psychology
Dr. Joanna Poon (she, her, hers) is a Supervising Counselor with an International Student Specialization at Fordham's Counseling Psychological Services (Lincoln Center). She completed her Master of Science in School Psychology and her Doctorate in School & Clinical Child Psychology from Yeshiva University in New York. She completed her APA-accredited doctoral internship at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Dr. Joanna Poon is well versed in working with children, adolescents, and adults of various cultural identities and backgrounds in both hospital and school settings. Her clinical style involves creating a safe, genuine, and non-judgemental space for clients to explore their relational and attachment patterns, childhood experiences, traumatic events, and identities. She does so by integrating dialectical behavioral theories, such as mindfulness, emotion regulation skills, and interpersonal skills. Additionally, Dr. Poon places emphasis on following the client's lead and tailors her psychotherapy approach to meet the unique challenges of each client. She aims to accompany clients through both their difficulties and successes, and seeks to empower them on their journey of self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-acceptance.
Special clinical interests include: learning disabilities, international student concerns, social justice, cultural identities, identity formation, anxiety, depression, trauma, LGBTQIA+ concerns and empowerment, grief/loss, and relationships.
Languages: English, Cantonese, and Mandarin
Kevin Foster, Ph.D.
Supervising Psychologist/ Coordinator for Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Initiatives, Rose Hill
Doctorate in Counseling Psychology
Long Island University
Kevin Foster completed his clinical internship at the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology at Boston University (2017) and his doctorate at Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus). He has worked on inpatient and outpatient settings in New York and Massachusetts, in a variety of organizations: foster care, pilot schools, rehabilitation programs, prisons, and counseling centers. His dissertation research explored the psychological symptoms associated with racial microaggressions, and their impact on developing and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships. He specializes in anxiety, depression, and racial stress, while focusing on barriers to intimacy.
Liz Woods, MA
Student Counselor, London campus
Masters in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy
Univeristy of Roehampton
Liz (she, her, hers) obtained her Masters in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy from the Univeristy of Roehampton, London. She has a small private practice, alongside which she works with the Staff Counselling team at St George's NHS Trust in South West London as well as this new Fordham University London role. In her clinical practice, Liz focuses on emotional and psychological awareness and wellbeing, personal fulfillment, finding meaning, attachment and mindfulness practice including mindful self-compassion. Liz works relationally with clients, placing them at the centre of the work, and strives for a collaborative therapeutic relationship.
Miriam Burt, Psy.D.
Associate Director and Coordinator of Counseling, Rose Hill
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology/NYS Licensed
Dr. Miriam Burt (she, her, hers) is the Associate Director for the Rose HIll Campus and has been at CPS for 9 years. Prior to arriving at CPS, she was a staff psychologist for Counseling & Psychological Services at Princeton University, where she specialized in serving students with eating disorders as well as students with a history of self-harm. She received her undergraduate degree from Boston University and her Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers, The Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. Her research interests center around native language use in therapy and its implications on the therapeutic relationship. Dr. Burt practices from the use of self within a psychodynamic framework and has also been intensively trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Her professional interests include identity development, eating disorders, diversity and multicultural issues particularly around the use of mother tongue, supervision and training, and she thoroughly enjoys working with college student populations. Her preferred pronouns are she/her/hers and she is fluent in Spanish, being of South American descent. Outside CPS, Dr. Burt enjoys spending time with her immediate and extended family, traveling, the theater, and yoga.
Rosalie Cirillo is the Office Manager of CPS’ Rose Hill Office and a FCRH alumna. She worked as an insurance underwriter for 15 years and as a substitute teacher for 5 years. Rosalie joined Fordham University’s Enrollment Services Group in 2010 and has been working at CPS since 2015. Languages: Limited working Spanish and professional working Italian. Rosalie enjoys hiking, yoga, gardening and cooking in her free time. Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers.
Samantha Mahr, Psy.D.
Supervising Psychologist and Outreach Coordinator, Rose Hill
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University
Samantha received her Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. Prior to joining Fordham CPS, she completed her pre-doctoral internship at North Central Bronx Hospital where she worked on an acute inpatient unit treating adults with chronic mental illnesses. Samantha has worked in a college counseling setting and outpatient clinics in Manhattan and the Bronx. Her research has focused upon the use of the couch in psychotherapy and the relationship between the patient's position and psychoanalytic process. Samantha's professional interests include psychodynamic psychotherapy and social justice in the mental health field. Samantha is particularly interested in working with young adults, but has experience working with adults across the lifespan.
Sarika Persaud, Psy.D.
Supervising Psychologist and Training Director, Rose Hill
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology/NYS Licensed
Sarika Persaud (she, her, hers) is a Supervising Psychologist and Assistant Director for Training at Rose Hill. Her research and community work focuses on cultural adaptations to mental health interventions for Indo-Caribbean and South Asian communities. Dr. Persaud self-identifies as a queer Indo-Caribbean woman, and writes on relationship and sexuality issues in the South Asian diaspora. She is also a scholar of Vedanta and Tantra, and teaches classes on Hindu and Buddhist spiritual practices. She speaks Hindi and Urdu.
Dr. Persaud received her Bachelor’s in psychology from St. John’s University in psychology, with minors in physics and art. She received her Master’s in psychology from Columbia University, where she wrote her Master’s thesis on comparing egalitarianism in relationships between Western and Eastern cultures. She completed her doctoral studies at Pace University, where her dissertation focused on developing a culturally-responsive teacher training in suicide prevention for a secondary school in Guyana, South America.
Yael Uness, Ph.D.
Associate Director and Coordinator of Counseling, Lincoln Center
Doctorate in Clinical Psychology/NYS Licensed
The University of Connecticut
Dr. Yael Uness (she, her, hers) is the Associate Director of Fordham University’s Counseling and Psychological Services office, Lincoln Center campus. Her responsibilities include coordinating all counseling services for this office, consulting with members of the community, and organizing and leading our group therapy program at the Lincoln Center office.
Dr. Uness received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2008 and is licensed in New York State. Her research interests and areas of publication center around providing support and clinical services for women, international students and people with backgrounds involving immigration. She is also passionate about supervision of clinical services, group psychotherapy and use of expressive writing and journaling to benefit emotional health.
Finally, Dr. Uness is a candidate at NYU’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. This helps her to develop a deeper ability to understand the individuals with whom she works, both at CPS and in her private practice, where she treats individuals and also runs a group psychotherapy program.
Dina Stella, M.Ed, LMSW
Dina Stella (she/her/hers) is a licensed social worker and psychotherapist trained in trauma systems and cognitive behavioral therapy. She holds a Master's degree in Educational Psychology from Temple University and a Master's in Social work from Lehman College. Dina has extensive experience in child welfare, working in foster care and with court adjudicated youth.
Dina has a special interest in supporting clients during life transitions and working to increase self awareness, develop healthy behaviors and increase emotional well-being. Dina focuses on understanding the challenges and pressures of being a student and ensuring every person is seen and understood; aware that each individual responds differently based on their life experiences.
Jazenda Garcia is the Office Manager for the CPS Lincoln Center office. She is also a Fordham University alumna. Jazenda is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She enjoys being a part of a great team and staff.
Beatrice Micol Scansani (she/her/hers)
I am currently an international student at Long Island University C.W. POST campus pursuing a doctorate (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology. I was born and raised in Italy (Milan) where I also received my Bachelor's and Master's degree (M.A.) in Psychology at San Raffaele University. I lived for one year in London where I obtained my Master's degree (MSc) in Mental Health Studies at King's College London.
In Italy I am a licensed psychologist and I am about to set up my online studio for working with Italian patients. I deeply recognize the importance of creating a safe, supportive and judgment-free therapeutic space for the patients. I believe that the therapeutic alliance is the most important factor in promoting change. The patients will create together with me a new "nest" for becoming aware of their past and present and for exploring their unconscious. Mine is an holistic and person-centered approach that draws from different theoretical perspectives such as a psychodynamic, relational and cognitive behavioral stance in order to address various concerns such as: anxiety, trauma, relationships, depression, emerging adulthood, personality and identity issues, and emotional dysregulation. I work from a multicultural perspective, welcoming all genders, expressions, populations, and sexualities. I enjoy incorporating mindfulness techniques in my work as it allows patients to stay focused, relax their mind and body, and develop a radical acceptance.
In my free time I love to travel and get to know new cultures, habits and types of food all over the world, practice pilates and yoga and spend quality time with friends and family.
Brandon Ellis Brown
Brandon Ellis Brown, MA, is a graduate of Baruch’s Mental Health Counseling master’s program and a second-year doctoral candidate at John Jay College’s Clinical Forensic Psychology program. Born in the Bronx, his experiences as a Black gay male have fostered an interest in understanding the nuances of intersectionality and health equity. His research interests include stigma and discrimination within LGBTQA+ groups and People of Color. He has aspirations to continue his research and create easier access for mental health services for the aforementioned populations. He approaches therapy through an integrative, but primarily psychodynamic lens. Bringing awareness to systems of oppression as well as having empathetic and individualized care are also core factors of his therapeutic style. Lastly, he is an avid fan of Pokemon, anime, and Rina Sawayama.
Bri Pastro (she/her/hers) is a doctoral student at Fordham's Clinical Psychology PhD Program. She graduated from Tufts University in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and worked as a research assistant for several years in the Boston area before moving to NYC. Her research as a part of her doctoral studies focuses on self-injury and suicide prevention and treatment, as well as the connection between digital media and self-injurious behaviors.
As a clinician, Bri hopes to provide an open and welcoming space in which her clients can explore their identities and experiences. Bri cares deeply about creating space to discuss stigmatized or minoritized identities and hopes to build affirming and non-judgmental relationships with those she works with. Bri identifies as a queer woman and is passionate about connecting with Fordham's LGBTQIA+ community.
Brittany Wesnitzer (she/her) is a fourth-year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP) at Rutgers University. Previously, she obtained her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Montclair State University in 2019 and her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Rutgers University in 2016. Throughout her academic training, Brittany has gained clinical experience treating clients of all ages with various presenting problems, including college students at CAPS at Rutgers University, children and adolescents at the Haven School-Based Mental Health Program, as well as adult 9/11 first responders at the Rutgers World Trade Center Health Program. These experiences have assisted her in refining her clinical interests.
Brittany has a strong passion for working with college students and assisting them through the natural stressors of college life as well as within their personal lives; this includes working through anxiety, phobias, depression, adjustment, relational concerns, identity development, trauma, etc. Within the therapy room, she creates a warm and comforting space for her clients to feel safe expressing any vulnerable feelings that arise throughout their time together. The therapy that Brittany provides combines psychodynamic therapy with second and third-wave cognitive behavioral skills that is based on a client-centered approach. Being from a multicultural background herself, providing culturally humble care is always a priority within the context of treatment with Brittany and is something she has dedicated her research and academic career to learning. Outside of her clinical work, Brittany enjoys being a teaching assistant for various psychology courses as well as watching musicals, singing, dancing, playing with animals, and spending time with family. She always welcomes meeting new people, so please always feel free to stop in to say “hello”!
Daniel Stern (he, him, his) is a student at Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Services pursuing his masters in social work. He studied philosophy and anthropology as an undergraduate at Seton Hall University after which he spent many years attempting to answer the age-old question, “What will you do with a philosophy degree?” It only took a dozen years of life experience, working numerous jobs, existential angst, and a global plague to finally realize his true calling. It occurred in the summer of 2020 during a workstay for a couple in Crestone, where he was training and grooming therapy horses and living out of a mobile home in the desert. He met the hosts a month before the world shut down, on a service trip at the border of Texas and Mexico. Together they provided trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness sessions to asylum seekers living out of volunteer-run camps waiting for months, if not years, for their cases to be reviewed.
During his first term at Fordham, he joined Americorps and placed with the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. He became known as the “NJ Laugh Guy” for providing laughter yoga at a Disaster Response Crisis Counselor Conference. During his term at Americorps he worked on a number of grants, one of which was facilitating college student support groups. His views on the therapeutic process have been particularly shaped by eastern influences like yoga, of which he has been a dedicated practitioner for over 20 years. Daniel also focuses on studying the social determinants of health and views healing within the context of political, historic, and systemic contexts. He sees the client as the expert of their own experience and seeks to compassionately guide them through their own unique and courageous process toward self love and empowerment.
Mengtian (pronounced mung-tien, she/her/hers) is currently a Master’s student in the Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness and LGBT Health, Education, and Social Services advanced certificate dual degree program at New York University. She received her Bachelor of Sciences in Chemistry at Renmin University of China and completed her thesis in researching the biochemical mechanism of medications for Alzheimer’s disease. Prior to studying at NYU, she was a comprehensive sexuality education trainer and a volunteer at Beijing LGBT Center.
Mengtian regards her role in counseling as a companion, an observer, and a facilitator. She hopes therapy can provide clients with experiences of being seen and held entirely. She is committed to creating a space where clients are comfortable to express anything in their minds, explore them together with the therapist, and receive non-judgmental and positive attention. She understands the potential challenges in seeking counseling services and appreciates clients taking the first step. In her free time, Mengtian is a passionate musical lover, traveler, and language learner.
Peter Goldie (he, him, his) is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Montclair State University. After attending NYU for his Bachelor's degree, he grew deeply attached to NYC and moved back to the city in 2021. Peter has experience working with queer/trans youth and young people in group settings. He is passionate about providing affirming and culturally responsive care and, as a queer person, hopes to work with LGBTQ+/queer students. His approach to counseling integrates feminist, multicultural, and anti-oppressive values. Relatedly, his research interests center on decoloniality, antiracism, queerphobia, and intersectionality. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, cooking and eating delicious food, and spending time with loved ones (including his dog, Stevie).
Quan Sun (She, her, hers) is a current master's student in the Mental Health Counseling program at NYU, where she is also pursuing a dual degree in the LGBT+ track. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Research and Experimental Psychology from the University of California, Davis, in 2020. After graduating, Quan spent a year as an assistant counselor at a private practice in Zhejiang, China.
Quan's professional interests include multicultural issues, including racial discrimination and immigration, as well as psychodynamic psychotherapy, narrative therapy, self-identity formation, relationship, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Quan's approach as a counselor is more humanistic, allowing clients to openly explore their emotions, thoughts, and identities. She hopes to use the interactions in the therapy room to help clients create a more solid self-identity and to support their psychological well-being by offering them better strategies for living in the present moment.
Quan is also fluent in Mandarin and enjoys music, traveling, journaling, and watching Modern Family.
Tanya (she, her, hers) is a therapist in-training and a student at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she is pursuing a Master of Education in Mental Health Counseling, and an advanced certificate in Sexuality, Women and Gender. She is passionate about working with individuals with body-image concerns, disordered eating, and eating disorders by practicing within a trauma-informed, anti-diet framework, guided by the principles of intuitive eating, weight neutrality, and Health at Every Size®. Through an empathic, individualized approach, she aims to cultivate an atmosphere of warmth, curiosity and acceptance to help you identify and process intergenerational, sociocultural, political, and systemic aspects that impact how you navigate the world. As a person of color, Tanya recognizes the importance of understanding one’s values and behaviors in a cultural context and within the web of intersecting identities. She believes that you are the expert on your own life, and that therapy is ultimately about enhanced self-awareness, self-compassion, and empowerment. She is fluent in English and a native Hindi speaker.
Theresa Lin (she/her/hers) is a student at Fordham's Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program studying clinical neuropsychology. She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, she worked at Mount Sinai, studying the genetics behind Parkinson's Disease. Theresa hopes to assist clients in their growth and development by creating a safe space and using an integrative psychodynamic approach. She also enjoys food, sleep, and dance.
Tongtong Wu (she/her/hers) is a graduate intern at Fordham University Lincoln Center CPS. Originally from Shenzhen, China, but has lived in California, Ohio and Argentina, Tongtong is excited about exploring her mental health counseling career in New York City. She graduated from the College of Wooster (Ohio) with a BA degree in Psychology and a minor in Latin American Studies in 2021. In college, Tongtong completed a few research projects on femicide awareness in Argentina and an independent research thesis on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her research and current interests are in anxiety and multiculturalism. As a counselor in training, Tongtong hopes to build a safe and welcoming space for all Fordham students, especially the international and BIPOC population to explore their feelings, as well as to address their struggles as minorities.
Yael Fessel (she/her) is a fourth year Psy.D. student at LIU Post’s clinical psychology doctoral program. She received her master’s degree at LIU Post and a bachelor’s degree at Queens College. Yael has worked as an extern at LIU’s Psychological Services Center and Rockland Psychiatric Center in the last two years. Her recent research interests include religion and identity formation, sexuality, and psychosis. Clinically, Yael aims to provide a safe therapeutic space where clients can freely explore their internal worlds. She utilizes interpersonal and relational psychodynamic theories to inform her approach while also flexibly introducing other modalities when needed. In her free time, Yael enjoys being outdoors, exercising, and cooking.
Yessi Ouyang (She/Her/Hers)
Yessi Ouyang is a counseling psychology Ph.D. student at Fordham University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology Science at Purdue University. After graduation, Yessi interned at West China hospital's psychology and psychiatry department and worked in a private mental health practice in Beijing. Yessi is passionate about creating a warm, safe, and accepting space for students to explore their emotions, identities, and personal growth. She believes that beauty lies within everything and that every dark cloud has a silver lining. Theoretical-wise, Yessi integrates a humanistic, psychodynamic, and existential approach. In her free time, Yessi enjoys exercising, watching movies, and traveling.
Chrystal MarteChrystal Marte (she/her/hers) is a third-year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at the Derner School of Psychology at Adelphi University where she obtained her master's degree in Clinical Psychology. She previously earned her bachelor's degree in psychology at Pace University NYC. Chrystal's clinical work is informed by her training experience working with a wide range of clients in inpatient and outpatient settings along with her research interests. During her time as a research assistant, Chrystal studied anxiety, quality of life, and mental health care utilization in cancer patients and their caregivers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Chrystal is currently in a trauma lab at Adelphi University and is examining the role of acceptance in young adult resilience after a history of psychological trauma.Chrystal believes in the healing nature of a strong therapeutic bond and hopes to provide clients with a warm space to process environmental adjustments and emotional difficulties while considering the cultural background of the client. Chrystal utilizes a collaborative and individualized approach with a predominately interpersonal and psychodynamic theoretical orientation. In her free time, Chrystal enjoys playing the piano, traveling, and hiking.
Alice Feng, LMSW
Post Doctoral Fellow (Rose Hill)
Alice Feng (she, her, hers) is a graduate of Fordham University’s Master of Social Work program.
Alice's clinical approach is rooted in relational psychodynamic therapy. This means that she believes that early developmental experiences are central to emotional development and to shaping responses to problems in life. It also means that she sees the therapeutic relationship as a mutual process of discovery. Alice is passionate about working with clients and helping them cope with life transitions and navigate relations. She strives to be sensitive to the needs of clients while fostering their existing strengths.
Alice has experience working with children, adolescents, and young adults of various backgrounds in school settings. Her clinical interests include trauma, depression, and anxiety.
Post Doctoral Fellow (Rose Hill)
Brittany Blecher (she, her, hers) recently graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with a Masters of Education in Mental Health Counseling. Prior to studying at Teachers College, she spent several years as a project manager in San Francisco and London. Brittany then chose to switch careers in pursuit of one aligned with her passions.
Brittany is dedicated to providing safe, compassionate care and offering a space for those to be heard, have their emotions validated, and feel empowered to be their authentic selves. She hopes to assist clients in their growth, development, and healing by addressing various concerns such as anxiety, depression, trauma, relationships, emerging adulthood, and identity. She is interested in using an integrative approach and addressing mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health in her work. Brittany operates from a multicultural, feminist, and anti-oppressive framework incorporating psychodynamic, and mindfulness techniques.
Post Doctoral Fellow (Rose Hill)
Dr. John Abbamonte (he, him, his) earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the APA-accredited program at the University of Miami. Dr. Abbamonte attended Fordham University for his undergraduate education, and is happy to return to provide psychological services. At Fordham, Dr. Abbamonte majored in Psychology and minored in Philosophy. He also received an M.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University.
His clinical style is an integrative mix of psychodynamic, existential, and behavioral traditions. Dr. Abbamonte always tries to use a lens of cultural humility to understand his clients’ unique strengths, values, and ambitions, and work with them to create a therapeutic relationship based on trust, safety, authenticity, and self-awareness. His wide range of training, both in and outside of college counseling centers, allows him to offer a flexible approach to serve clients from diverse cultural and identity backgrounds. He believes change is made through a combination of helping clients achieve insights about themselves, exploring relational dynamics which unfold in their lives, and providing psychoeducation and concrete skills to help empower them to move towards their goals.
Dr. Abbamonte has training and clinical experience working with college students, veterans, and the general public. During his internship at Southern Illinois University, he worked as a part of the DBT program providing both individual and group psychotherapy. Dr. Abbamonte’s clinical interests include general well-being and mental health, personality, mood disorders, lifespan development, the development of meaning and identity, and emotional regulation.
Dr. Esther Kiffel (she, her, hers) is a fourth-year psychiatric resident at Montefiore Medical Center. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Psychology at Queens College where she graduated summa cum laude. She went on to attend the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for medical school where she graduated with distinction in research in clinical investigation. Her clinical interests include emerging
adulthood and women's mental health. She has experience treating many conditions including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, ADHD, and PTSD. In addition to having expertise in the psychopharmacological treatment of mental health disorders, Dr. Kiffel employs an integrative approach to psychotherapy, incorporating modalities such as psychodynamic psychotherapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, depending on the needs and preferences of the client. Dr. Kiffel is passionate about creating an empathic and safe space where client's can explore their concerns and enhance their psychological flexibility. Dr. Kiffel enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling in her spare time.
Dr. Olivia Ding (she, her, hers) is a cis-gendered Asian woman with limited working Mandarin proficiency, born in China and raised in Toronto, Canada. She spent her formative years in New Orleans, Louisiana where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in molecular biology, Master of Public Health, and Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University. She worked with Americorps in service of public schools before she moved to New York to complete her psychiatry residency with Montefiore/Einstein. She is passionate about serving young adults through a psychodynamic and interpersonal approach, tailored to each individual’s biological, psychological and cultural make-up.
Madeleine Edwards (she/her) is a current sophomore at Fordham College at Rose Hill. She was born in Westport, Connecticut and has lived there for her entire life. She is pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Spanish Language and Literature at Fordham. Madeleine hopes to eventually use these areas of study to pursue a graduate school degree in psychological science and enter the helping field as a profession. In her free time, Madeleine enjoys theater, reading and listening to music.
Daniel MascolaI am a senior here at FCRH. I have been interested in the human experience for as long as I can remember but it wasn't until I took a sociology class in highschool that briefly introduced many theories on personality development and social functioning that really got me interested in the field. Since then, I've been very determined to understand all that makes us human and how we thrive as individuals. I can recommend over half-a-dozen great books for people looking to get into psychology or for those who have studied or are continuing to study psychology at a college level. This semester I am so grateful to have the opportunity to intern for Counseling & Psychological Services here at Fordham University. Fun fact about me is that I am obsessed with basketball, on a good day I can even touch the rim. I spend vast chunks of my free time playing with friends, strangers, or just shooting around by myself. I am die-hard Brooklyn Nets fan and even though there is no chance we'll ever win a championship (at this rate) I still watch every game with pride & joy like it's my first.