I received my doctoral training at Hofstra University and was awarded a Ph.D. in Clinical and School Psychology in 1998. Throughout my graduate studies, I served as a Behavior Specialist for Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, where I was responsible for designing and overseeing the implementation of all behavioral treatment and management plans in a residential facility for developmentally disabled adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome.
In addition to their cognitive and learning challenges, individuals with this disability often struggle with a biologically-based eating disorder, obsessional interests and thinking, and persistent compulsive and self-injurious behaviors.
This experience inspired me to focus my doctoral dissertation on an experimental comparison of reinforcers in the promotion of aerobic exercise, caloric expenditure, and weight loss for people with Prader-Willi.
During my clinical internship at the Institute for Bio-Behavioral Therapy & Research, I was a researcher in a number of national experimental trials studying clinical depression and anxiety and co-authored several publications on the subject of obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders (e.g., OCD, body dysmorphic disorder, and hypochondriasis).
Most importantly, I gained vital experience providing "best practices" cognitive-behavior therapy in a home, hospital, and community settings to patients from across the country who were previously unresponsive to other treatment approaches.
From there, I embarked on a career-long journey as both a school psychologist in the West Islip School District and a clinical psychologist in private practice, applying the most well-researched principles and strategies for people who are struggling with real-life problems in real-world situations.