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.

Clinicians

Alyssa Kolesar, LMFT

Licensed Marital and Family Therapist
Owner/Executive Director

Alyssa started Coastal Connecticut Counseling with the belief that everyone should have affordable access to behavioral health services by experienced and well trained professionals.  She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who earned her Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University and her undergraduate degree at Lafayette College. Alyssa uses CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Solution Focused Therapy, The Gottman Method to Couples Therapy and Structural Family Therapy to assist clients in finding new solutions to existing problems. She has also successfully helped parents advocate for their children, to get the services they need for their behavioral health issues, within their school system. Alyssa is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Lauren DeVore, LPC, RPT, CATP

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

Clinical Director, LPC Supervisor

Lauren earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Maryland, and her Play Therapy credentials through the Association for Play Therapy. She has experience with therapeutic foster care, and home-based outpatient therapy with children, adolescents, adults and families. Lauren comes from a prescriptive approach; working with clients to explore how their thought-patterns impact their overall functioning, and assist in exploring their motivations to achieve their goals. She uses a variety of CBT, Adlerian, play therapy, and creative art therapy techniques based on the client's needs. Lauren works with children, adolescents, teens, individuals, and families coping with anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma, and those with social difficulties.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Social Work Supervisor

Krista graduated from Fordham University with her Master’s Degree in Social Work. Krista has a wide range of experience working in outpatient and in-home settings with children, adolescents and adults. Krista utilizes a multi-modality approach (determined by client needs) in therapy which includes: CBT, DBT, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Attachment Therapy. Krista works with substance use, psychiatric and mood disorders, anxiety, depression, ADHD as well as those with behavioral and social difficulties.

Krista Amato, LCSW

Licensed Marital and Family Therapist

Patty Dimon, LMFT

Patty received her Master’s Degree in Family Therapy from Southern Connecticut State University.  She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Patty has an array of experience in outpatient settings working with adults and children, alike. She uses a family systems and narrative framework incorporating CBT, person centered and psychodynamic theory into working with individuals and families.  Patty works with mood disorders, anxiety, depression, ADHD as well as those with behavioral and social difficulties.

Lauri Levitt, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Lauri earned her Master's in Social Work at Fordham University. Lauri uses a multi-modal approach to therapy including attachment therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and play therapy. She completed specialized training in the treatment of trauma, TF-CBT and has training in Synergetic Play Therapy™, a researched-informed model of play therapy combining the therapeutic power of play with nervous system regulation, interpersonal neurobiology, attachment, mindfulness, and therapist authenticity.  Lauri has also completed the Alert Program® to support self-regulation for all ages and challenges and she has completed the SPACE training (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions) at the Yale Child Study Center, a short term program working with parents to assist with learning strategies that can be effective in improving childhood anxiety. Lauri works with individuals, children and families with trauma, mood disorders, anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD as well as those with behavioral and social difficulties.

Tracy Osborne, LMFT

Licensed Marital and Family Therapist

Tracy earned her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University and her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Gettysburg College.  She is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Tracy uses a multi-modal approach including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Solution Focused Therapy and Structural Family Therapy.  She works with individuals, couples and families.  She is experienced in treating anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, mood disorders and those with behavioral and social difficulties.

Gina Amante, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Gina is a Licensed Master of Social Work who earned her degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Gina’s experiences are rooted in family and children services and trauma informed practice. She has worked in therapeutic foster care doing case management and in a school setting supporting children and families. Gina utilizes a strength based approach when working with clients and enjoys supporting youth and adults alike.

Nakia Miller, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Nakia Miller is a Masters Level Social Worker, who earned her Master of Social Work Degree at the University of Connecticut with a vast level of experience in facilitating group work practice and curriculum development; while working within outpatient and inpatient settings for children, adolescents, adults and geriatrics. She has worked with incarcerated men in 3 correctional facilities and within the community with individuals at various life stages who have been impacted by homelessness, serious mental illness, substance use disorder and HIV/AIDS. Nakia has also worked with children and adolescents in crisis dealing with adverse childhood experiences, developmental delays and maladaptive coping mechanisms. Recognizing each client has their own unique needs and aren’t a one size fits all; Nakia utilizes diverse treatment modalities which include, but are not limited to, Trauma Informed Care, Play and Art Therapy, Strengths Based Therapy, and CBT. 

Jessica Newton, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Jessica received her Master's Degree in Social Work from The University of Chicago and her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Pitzer College. Jessica has a range of experience working with children, adolescents, adults and families. She uses a multi-modality approach to therapy including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Family Systems, and Solution Focused Therapy. Jessica believes in customizing a unique therapeutic approach based on the need(s) of each client. She has experience treating various anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, addictions, life transitional issues and those with behavioral and social difficulties.  

Danielle Forma, LPCA, NCC

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate and National Certified Counselor

Danielle approaches her clients from a wellness perspective. She views her clients holistically and works with them in discovering the root causes of symptoms so that the focus is on healing from within. In a safe and supportive client-centered environment that is free of judgment, Danielle views the therapeutic relationship with her clients as essential and vital to their recovery process. Danielle completed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) training at The Beck Institute and also utilizes skills rooted in modalities which include Psychodynamic, Mindfulness, and Strength-Based approaches that her clients can incorporate into their lives in order to gain self awareness and foster positive change. Danielle has a range of experience in outpatient settings working with adults, adolescents, couples, and families with diverse struggles including but not limited to: anxiety, depression, personality and mood disorders, trauma, PTSD, childhood emotional neglect (CEN), and relationship issues. Danielle earned her Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Fairfield University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Drexel University. She regularly attends professional development trainings to enhance her clinical abilities and knowledge within the mental health field. Danielle is board certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors and is a member of the American Counseling Association and the Connecticut Counseling Association.  

John (JJ) Gleason, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

John is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who earned his Master's Degree in Social Work from New York University. John uses CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) as an approach to assist clients in effectively dealing with difficult thoughts and emotions in order to live according to their values. John has experience utilizing ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) based interventions in the treatment of intrusive, obsessive, and unwanted thoughts as well.

Jamie Almodovar, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Jamie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who earned her Master of Social Work degree from Columbia University. She was trained in the ecosystems perspective and uses a holistic lens to help clients access their innate ability to heal and grow. Jamie draws from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Buddhist psychology, and other mindfulness-based approaches, as well as neurobiological interventions, in empowering clients to navigate life's challenges in alignment with their authentic selves.

Jill Ference, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Jill earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Creative Writing from Fairfield University. She has worked with individuals, adolescents, and families in both University and community outpatient settings. Jill believes in catering to the needs of each client through a person-centered approach. Jill encompasses a range of therapeutic techniques including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative/Art Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Strengths Based approaches, and Motivational Interviewing to help clients reach their personal goals and make meaningful changes. Jill also has experience working with life transitional issues, relationship difficulties, substance use and addiction disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, and depression. Jill is a member of the American Counseling Association as well as board certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors. 

Lorraine Garland, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Lorraine believes we can heal and thrive, even when we feel stuck, because we are inherently designed for growth and development. Lorraine helps her clients to become aware of their patterns and choices, and empowers them to adapt their behavior in a way that generates hope and happiness. Lorraine is creative and flexible, drawing from Gestalt, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Body Centered and Positive Psychology approaches to provide highly individualistic counseling, uniquely tailored to each client. Lorraine earned her BA in Psychology, and MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Fairfield University. She completed CBT for anxiety training at the Beck Institute, and is a graduate of the Gestalt OSD Program. Lorraine loves working with people of all ages struggling with a variety of life challenges.

Jill Massari, MFTA

Marital and Family Therapist Associate

Jill holds a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Community & Human Services.  She is trained in systemic therapy models that focus on a collaborative and strength-based approach to change. Jill specializes in working with adults, adolescents, children, and couples to restore quality of life for those encountering a variety of different life challenges that can lead to a breakdown in personal functioning and relationships.   In addition, Jill welcomes the opportunity to work in collaboration with schools and other treatment providers if requested.  Jill is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). 

Haleigh Smith, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Haleigh is a Licensed Master Social Worker who earned her Master’s Degree from Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration of Survivor, Victim, Witness Advocacy. Haleigh’s experience ranges from Juvenile Justice, to Emergency Services, to Outpatient Therapy. She has experience in crisis intervention throughout all ages and diagnoses. Her specialties include but are not limited to; anxiety, ADHD, high functioning autism, behavioral issues, depression, mood disorders, and PTSD. Haleigh has supported her clients through a psychodynamic approach as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and a strengths-based approach. She serves children, teens, and adults. Haleigh is looking forward to providing an open, honest, and accepting environment for all clients.

Kristi Ivezaj, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Kristi is a Licensed Master Social Worker who earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Colorado State University. Kristi utilizes a person-centered systems perspective when supporting clients during their healing journey. She has a range of experience working with women overcoming addiction, children, adolescents, and families. She especially enjoys partnering with parents and families navigating the challenges of parenting and supporting children with developmental and behavioral disorders. Kristi utilizes a multi-modal therapeutic approach which includes Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Problem Solving Therapy (PST), and Art Therapy.

Meghan Mulvehill, LPCA, NCC, CSC

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

National Certified Counselor, Certified School Counselor

Meghan is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, National Certified Counselor, and Certified School Counselor. She earned her Master of Arts in Counseling from Fairfield University and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Fordham University. She has worked with children and adolescents of all ages, and taught preschool prior to pursuing her Master’s Degree. Meghan has experience addressing the many challenges of childhood and adolescence such as anxiety, self-esteem, and executive functioning, and recognizes that many challenges continue into adulthood. She approaches her work through an eclectic person-centered lens, by building strong and collaborative client-counselor relationships, and meeting her clients wherever they are in their journey. She utilizes creative problem-solving, strength-based approaches, and cognitive-behavioral techniques to teach skills and strategies that help her clients build resiliency and grow. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling.

Bridget Clark, LPCA, NCC

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, National Certified Counselor

Bridget is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate and a National Certified Counselor. She earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and her Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs from Indiana University. Bridget believes that a mutual relationship with strong rapport is critical in the counseling process and ultimately enabling individuals to meet their goals. She works collaboratively with clients within a cognitive-behavioral framework. While incorporating a strength-based approach, she utilizes a variety of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT), Solution Focused Therapy (SFT), and play therapy techniques based on the client’s needs. Bridget has experience working with children, adolescents, young adults, adults, and families experiencing anxiety, depression, mood disorders, ADHD, and trauma as well as behavioral and social difficulties. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and the Connecticut Counseling Association.

Cassandra Dessureau-O'hara, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Cassandra earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Bridgeport and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Sacred Heart University. Cassandra has a range of experience in outpatient settings, working with adults, adolescents, the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as couples and families. Cassandra views the therapeutic relationship as the most essential part of the healing process for clients. Cassandra creates an environment that is safe and welcoming by using a humanistic approach. Cassandra has experience working with anxiety, depression, personality and mood disorders, trauma, PTSD, and relationship issues. Cassandra encompasses a wide range of therapeutic modalities, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. Cassandra is a board certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors, is a member of the American Counseling Association, Connecticut Counseling Association, and a member of Chi Sigma Iota.

Kathryn Kennedy, LPC-A

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

Kathryn Kennedy is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in the state of Connecticut, and is currently a Primary Therapist at Center for Discovery, where she specializes in a range of eating disorders in the young adult female population. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Education Foundations from The University of Oregon and a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Fairfield University.  Kathryn successfully completed a clinically-focused clinical mental health counseling internship at Child and Family Guidance Center in Bridgeport, CT where she provided intensive therapy to numerous patient populations with various mental health diagnoses.  Kathryn has a background in non-profit management and education policy where she worked under the Chief Education Officer for the State of Oregon focusing on children, adolescents, and adults in individual and group settings with developmental disabilities, behavioral and emotional difficulties and those impacted by incarceration. Kathryn has a strong passion for helping others and is excited to be part of the Coastal Connecticut Counseling team.

Chelsea Poloski, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Chelsea earned her Master of Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University and her Bachelors degree in Psychology and Family Science from the University of Maryland. Chelsea has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and their families. Chelsea has experience working with acute youth in both hospital and in-home settings. She works with individuals with a wide range of clinical diagnoses including Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD. Chelsea works from a client-centered, strengths-based approach and utilizes DBT and CBT in her work with clients.

Kwan Patton, LPC-A

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

Certified Life Coach

Kwan earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Walden University.  Kwan works with a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues providing services that span from traditional therapy for depression and anxiety to individual counseling, couples counseling, and beyond. Additionally, Kwan has experience in facilitating group therapy; one of which was a Women’s Wellness Group.  Kwan also utilizes her certification as a Life Coach to assist clients in specific life transitions.  Kwan specializes in anxiety, depression and relationship issues utilizing treatment approaches to include CBT, Person-Centered and Psychodynamic therapy.

Shannon Sabella, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Certified School Social Worker

Shannon is a Licensed Master Social Worker as well as a Certified School Social Worker. She earned her Master’s of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Western Connecticut State University. Shannon has a wide variety of experience with young children and families, ranging from foster care settings to therapeutic preschool, specializing in children with co-occurring mental health and behavioral diagnoses. She has extensive behavior management experience and has been a mental health consultant for the Head Start program for several years. She enjoys helping parents, teachers and caregivers uncover the root of children’s behaviors and developing collaborative plans to support them in their development and education. Shannon also has experience with young adults, college athletes, and families and believes in working together to form a strong therapeutic relationship in which we work from a client centered approach tailored to each individual. Shannon is passionate about helping others overcome the barriers of their mental health struggles and discover and capitalize on their strengths, empowering them to be the best versions of themselves. 

Stephanie Caron, LPC-A

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

Stephanie Caron is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in the state of Connecticut, and is also currently a Clinician at Root Center for Advanced Recovery, where she specializes in addiction with adults. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University and a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The University of the Cumberlands. Stephanie successfully completed a clinically-focused clinical mental health counseling internship at Turning Leaves Counseling in Southington, CT where she provided intensive therapy to numerous patient populations with various mental health diagnoses. However, Stephanie's niche was couples counseling and treating anxiety and depression. She also has experience working with individuals with a wide range of clinical diagnoses including Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD. Stephanie works from a client-centered, strengths-based approach and utilizes CBT in her work with clients. 

Sherice Reid, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Sherice Reid is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) with a Bachelor of Arts from Fairfield University and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Fordham University. She strives for the focus of cura personalis “care of the whole person” in her professional and personal commitment to serving children, families, and individuals with mental health/substance use concerns. She has experience in outpatient and inpatient settings. Her focus is on engaging clients utilizing foundations of CBT, Mindfulness, Solution Focused Therapy and Person-Centered therapy. The hope is to encourage and support each individual to strengthen their self-efficacy.

Amanda D'Elia, LPC-A

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate

Amanda earned her masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at University of Bridgeport and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Southern Connecticut state University. Amanda has worked with individuals, adolescents, and families in outpatient, partial hospitalization, and residential settings settings.  Amanda believes in a collaborative approach to counseling and meeting the individual where they are at. Amanda creates a safe and welcoming environment by using a humanistic approach. Amanda understands the importance of a healing and safe environment in order to promote change, and help support clients to meet their goals. Amanda incorporates Cognitive-Behavioral techniques, Dialectical -Behavioral techniques and solution focused techniques, based on the needs of the client. Amanda has experience in  working with eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD as well as those with behavioral and social difficulties. Amanda is a member of the American Counseling Association, and a member of Chi Sigma Iota. 

OFFICE STAFF

Glenda O'Connell

Office Manager

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 Manager, in a field she finds most fulfilling.

Liz Pomer

Office Assistant

Liz Pomer has joined Coastal Connecticut Counseling as an office assistant. Liz started her career in marketing where she discovered her passion for direct marketing. A move to San Francisco enabled her to switch careers and she had fun creating online advertising programs for businesses. With her move from California to Connecticut, Liz took time off to be with her 3 boys who kept her busy with their involvement in travel sports. 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.

Coastal Connecticut Counseling

(203) 307-3030

2960 Post Road   3rd Floor   Southport, CT 06890

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