Meet Our Team

Research shows that the number one predictor of therapeutic success is the nature of the client/therapist relationship. While it is crucial you choose a therapist who is well trained and has experience in the area in which you’re struggling, that’s only part of the story. Working with a therapist with whom you connect to, can significantly influence the course of treatment.

 

Coastal Connecticut Counseling offers a diverse team of professionals who consist of Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers and Professional Counselors. We utilize resources in the community for medication consultations and psychological evaluations.

Clinical Administration

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Alyssa Kolesar, LMFT

Licensed Marital and Family Therapist
Owner/Executive Director, LMFT Supervisor

Alyssa started Coastal Connecticut Counseling with the belief that everyone should have affordable access to behavioral health services by experienced and well trained professionals.  Alyssa assists clients in finding new solutions to existing problems, and she has successfully helped parents advocate for their children, to get the services they need for their behavioral health issues, within their school system. 

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Lauren DeVore, LPC, RPT, CATP

Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional

Clinical Director, LPC Supervisor

Lauren enjoys being a therapist because she believes that therapy is beneficial to anyone and everyone, and should be accessible to all. Lauren can be described as supportive, fun-loving, and engaging with her clients in order to build a personal connection so that her clients feel safe, heard, and seen, while helping her clients work toward achieving their individualized and personal goals.

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Krista Amato, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Clinical Supervisor, LCSW Supervisor

Through the lens of one of Krista's clients, she believes they would describe their therapeutic experience as partnering with a clinician who will listen warmly and without judgment. Krista is a professional who brings a level of authenticity to her work, naturally fostering an interactive clinician-patient experience.  Krista is a personal confidant who emphatically believes that a strong therapeutic relationship built on mutual respect and trust is essential. Krista is an advocate with a genuine and witty approach while simultaneously educating, encouraging, and empowering her clients with personalized, realistic, and achievable skills and goals. 

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Glenda O'Connell

Office Administrator

Glenda received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Iona College. For a decade, she honed her business skills at an international conference organization in the field of direct marketing. Changing gears after motherhood, Glenda pursued her Child Development Associate certification which enabled her to teach preschool for the next ten years. With a passion for mind, body, and spirit connectedness, Glenda combines her organizational and administrative skills as Office Administrator, in a field she finds most fulfilling.

Clinicians

Aiesha Phelmetto, Lmft-a

Marital and Family Therapist Associate

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Aiesha believes everyone should have a safe and healing place to work through life's difficulties.  Therapy is a collaborative process and Aiesha's goal is to guide her clients to increase self-awareness, gain new perspectives, decrease symptoms, and increase personal strengths in order to have a more meaningful life experience.

Amanda D'Elia, LPC-A

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

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Amanda is a strong believer that everyone can benefit from therapy, and she understands the importance of self-care. She feels that having a supportive space to process life’s up’s and downs, while finding ways to cope through the tough moments, joyful ones, and the day to day endeavors, provides the ability to help live life to the fullest. Having a collaborative experience to knock down the stigma of mental health, and taking the leap into therapy opens up space for achieving growth and change. 

Bridget Clark, LPC-A, NCC

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, National Certified Counselor

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Bridget believes that everyone should have access to the extraordinary healing power of caring and hope in therapy.  As a therapist, Bridget’s primary focus is to establish and maintain a strong therapeutic relationship built on trust, empathy, understanding, and respect with each of her clients.  She enjoys her work as a therapist immensely and is honored to support her clients as they work to accomplish their goals.

Cassandra Dessureau-O'hara, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC Supervisor

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Cassandra enjoys being a therapist as it allows her the ability to share the human experience with someone who has taken the first steps to work through uncomfortable feelings and life situations. With a deep sense of empathy, compassion, and warmth, Cassandra offers her clients a safe, healthy, and open environment for them to explore, reflect, grow, and reconnect with themselves. Cassandra believes it is a privilege to be allowed on a client's journey towards healing and rediscovery.

Chelsea Poloski, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

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Chelsea's clients have described her as bubbly, open, and trustworthy. Chelsea strives to make her clients feel safe sharing and provides that safe space. Chelsea is someone who wants the best for her clients, and wants to encourage them to be the best version of themselves. Chelsea is very kind, light-hearted, and inclusive of all.

Devinder Sahota, LMFT-A

Marital and Family Therapist Associate

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Devinder believes that being a therapist provides an opportunity to leverage their empathy, sensitivity, and creativity to help people. Devinder enjoys being able to support the healing and growth of their clients. They take the maxim, "be the person you needed when you were younger" (Ayesha Siddiqi) to heart. Devinder finds working with young people especially rewarding, and is constantly amazed by their wisdom and insight.

Erin McVicar, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

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Erin believes that the best therapy happens within a genuine, collaborative relationship. She uses her warmth, authenticity, and sense of humor to create a space for safe and empowering self-exploration. Erin’s favorite part of the therapeutic process is having the opportunity to get to know and learn from each client as they grow into themselves.

Gina Amante, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

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Gina’s clients can look forward to being met with compassionate reflection. They can expect to be challenged and supported through honesty, empathy, and humor. Gina loves seeing her clients navigate the highs and lows of life with great strength and determination. Gina firmly believes that it is an honor to support her clients on their therapeutic journey. 

Haleigh Smith, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Clients can look forward to an accepting environment, a friendly face, and a trusting professional when working with Haleigh. She looks forward to meeting every one of her clients and helping them through their healing journey.  Haleigh looks forward to providing an open, honest, and accepting environment for all clients.

Jamie Almodovar, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Jamie was trained in the ecosystems perspective and uses a holistic lens to help clients access their innate ability to heal and grow. Jamie empowers clients to navigate life's challenges in alignment with their authentic selves.

Jessica Newton, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Jessica appreciates being a therapist. She enjoys assisting clients by encouraging them to look at the variables that are contributing to their behavior, and working with them to respond in different, healthier ways.  Jessica finds it very rewarding when she sees her clients having new experiences of themselves, their families, and partners in a way that opens them up to a fuller, more enriching life.

Jill Ference, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC Supervisor

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Jill believes her greatest honor as a therapist is to help clients to see their own light, strengths, and talents and to harness these in order to live their most bright and empowered lives. Jill has a friendly and warm approach, provides honest feedback, and teaches applicable skills to assist clients in navigating life's challenges. 

Jill Massari, LMFT-A

Marital and Family Therapist Associate

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Jill understands that encountering different life challenges can lead to a disruption in personal functioning and relationships, and that it takes a lot of strength to take the first step. Jill enjoys being a therapist because she truly values the trust clients place in her as they work toward restoring their quality of life.

John (JJ) Gleason, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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JJ believes that therapy is a great way to learn skills to navigate life’s challenges. He believes that it can be liberating to have the tools that enable you to relate differently to difficult thoughts and emotions, while continuing to do what is important to the client.

Kathryn Kennedy, LPC-A

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

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Kathryn believes in creating a non-judgmental, safe space for clients to be met exactly where they are in life. Kathryn's clients can expect to be heard, encouraged, and empathized with as they navigate the journey of finding healing. 

Kristi Ivezaj, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

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Kristi works within the therapeutic alliance to support her clients in developing ways to enhance emotional regulation skills, self-esteem and resilience, while also supporting the parent in increasing effective parenting skills; and thus, strengthening the parent-child connection.

Kwan Patton, LPC-A

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

Certified Life Coach

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Kwan loves being a therapist because it gives her the opportunity to explore the journey and healing process of individuals. There is an empathic part of therapy that brings Kwan joy; especially when her clients say, “this process with you has been life changing.” Kwan loves to see clients transition into the best version of themselves!

Lauri Levitt, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Synergetic Play Therapist

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Lauri is passionate about working with clients and her therapeutic approach is based in mindfulness, authenticity, attachment, and psychoeducation on the brain and the nervous system. Lauri believes that healing comes through relationship and provides a safe and protected space that nurtures exploration, reflection, growth and change. She holds a collaborative cultural lens with clients and believes that within every challenge and pain there is opportunity.

Lorraine Garland, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

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Lorraine believes we can heal and thrive, even when we feel stuck, because we are inherently designed for growth and development. Lorraine's clients would say that she listens in a way that helps them become aware of their patterns and choices, and she empowers them to adapt their behavior in a way that generates hope and happiness.

Melissa Hopco, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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Melissa strives to create a light-hearted, non-judgmental environment for her clients to feel respected and listened to. She provides continual support in helping clients gain more understanding of themselves and teaches skills to better navigate challenges they may be experiencing. Melissa finds joy in being an advocate for her clients and 

helping them to become advocates for themselves, so they may feel empowered and confident to persevere through life challenges and maintain personal growth. 

Nakia Miller, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Nakia enjoys collaborating and helping individuals, couples, and families to heal, feel empowered, re-discover themselves and persevere through life's challenges. In recognizing the uniqueness of each client, she utilizes diverse treatment modalities to avoid a "one-size fits all" approach. Nakia's practice wisdom and treatment approach include her ability to be engaging, trustworthy, compassionate, relatable, and thoughtful that fosters safe/therapeutic spaces for clients. 

NaTICA Blake, LPC-A

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate,

National Certified Counselor

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Natica believes everyone is valuable and strives to welcome her clients into a space that reflects their wants and needs. Natica views therapy as a collaborative journey, where there is a tremendous opportunity for growth, self-exploration, emotional healing, and rejuvenation. Natica is very passionate about advocating for diversity awareness, working within LGBTQ+ spaces, cultural sensitivity, and social justice issues. 

Patty Dimon, LMFT

Licensed Marital and Family Therapist

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Patty comes from a place of compassion and authenticity with the goal of creating a safe and supportive environment for change.  In helping a client recognize and build on their strengths, Patty works together with her clients to find ways to reconnect with themselves and others in their life. Patty is honored to witness that growth in her clients.

Shannon Sabella, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Certified School Social Worker

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Shannon enjoys being a therapist because she finds it rewarding to connect with other people simply through shared experiences of being human beings in an imperfect world. Shannon loves helping people shift their perspectives and see the world and themselves in ways they may not otherwise have considered, particularly when it comes to their own strengths and abilities. 

Sherice Reid, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

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Sherice's clients would describe her as caring with a sense of humor, wants the best for them, and encourages them to find the power and love within themselves. Sherice strives for the focus of "care for the whole person"; she encourages her clients to identify and acknowledge their challenges and areas for improvement while supporting them through the proess.

Stephanie Buturla, LPC-A

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

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Stephanie advocates for her clients to find their own voice and authentic self. Through Stephanie’s warm and welcoming aura, clients can look forward to their growth process in therapy by learning and harnessing the proper tools to navigate through their own self-doubt using their own form of self-exploration, to ultimately begin their healing process.

Stephanie Caron, LPC-A

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

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Deciding to begin therapy can feel very intimidating. However, Stephanie offers a non-judgmental approach of working together to explore her clients' strengths and build self confidence to identify the best path to move forward in their journey and achieve their goals. Stephanie use a combination of approaches including CBT, person centered, and Gestalt therapy allowing her to use a variety of skills to best assist her clients' individual needs. 

Tracy Osborne, LMFT

Licensed Marital and Family Therapist

Tracy provides a safe place for her clients, and she considers it a privilege to be allowed into her client's lives. She accompanies her clients on their journey, helps them to gain understanding of themselves, and teaches them skills that help them function better in their lives. Tracy believes that connection is key; throw in some kindness, validation, support, education, humor, and an understanding that all emotions are welcome, and they will be tackled together.

Office Staff

Liz Pomer

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Office Assistant

Liz Pomer has joined Coastal Connecticut Counseling as an office assistant. Liz has a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Liz works closely with Glenda and her excellent organizational skills and personable demeanor allow her to best serve our clients.

Jennifer Burke

Office Assistant

Jennifer earned her BA in Philosophy and English from Binghamton University and went on to receive her MA in Philosophy from Brandeis University. She spent a few years teaching and working in academia before leaving to pursue other career options. She is now happily working to support the needs of Coastal, whose mission she truly believes in.

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Kass Mayer

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Office Assistant

Kass has a BA in Mathematics from Emmanuel College, and has a varied background in Events and Marketing and has spent the last few years as a Special Education Paraprofessional. Kass loves working collaboratively supporting the clients, the mission, and the needs of Coastal.