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.

Therapists

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

Licensed Professional Counselor

Clinical Director, LPC Supervisor

Lauren earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Maryland. 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 discover their motivations to achieve their goals, and she uses Positive Psychology to focus on the individual's thinking, and how that impacts one's overall functioning. She uses a variety of CBT, Adlerian, play therapy, and creative art therapy techniques based on the client's needs. Lauren is in the process of becoming a Registered Play Therapist, and she works with children, adolescents, teens, individuals, and families coping with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and those with social difficulties.

Krista Amato, LCSW

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.

Patty Dimon, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

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.

Michelle Bottone, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Michelle is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who earned her Master's Degree at Fairfield University. Michelle has a wide range of experience in various outpatient and home based settings working with children and families.  She uses a multi-modality approach including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Solution Focused Therapy and Structural therapy. Michelle works with individuals, families and couples, experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, mood disorders, as well as those with behavioral and social difficulties.

Tracy Osborne, LMFT

Licensed Marriage 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.  

Alyssa Kolesar, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Owner/Executive Director

Jennifer Weinstein, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Jennifer has over 20 years of experience working with preschool and school-age children and their families, both in school and outpatient settings, who are experiencing difficulty with emotional regulation, anxiety, mood disorders, and other social and behavioral issues. She works closely with parents to assist them with managing these difficulties at home and with developing the skills that are necessary to foster positive change. Jennifer believes strongly in a school-home-therapy alliance to enhance communication and bridge the gap between the three. She possesses a solid understanding of the PPT process, consisting of IEP and 504 plans, and meets regularly with school personnel to advocate for client needs. Jennifer is trauma-informed and utilizes a wide range of therapeutic techniques including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Play Therapy, and Attachment Therapy. She believes in the mind-body connection as a catalyst for growth and healing and integrates this approach into her work with clients. Jennifer also has significant experience working with adopted children and families, and received a post-masters certificate in Training for Adoption Competency at UConn Health. She has also completed the SPACE training (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions) at the Yale Child Study Center; this short term program works solely with parents and assists them with learning strategies that can result in reducing their child’s anxiety. Jennifer earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology and a Professional Diploma in School Psychology from Fordham University.

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, LPCA, NCC

Licensed Professional Counselor Associate and National Certified Counselor

Lorraine provides a warm, supportive environment for her clients to recognize and manifest their full potential. She 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 earned her BA in Psychology, and MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Fairfield University. She completed Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for anxiety training at the Beck Institute, and is a graduate of the Gestalt OSD Program. Lorraine’s therapeutic approach is client-centered, which places importance on a trusting, collaborative client/counselor relationship. She is creative and flexible, drawing from Gestalt, CBT and Solution Focused practices to leverage the power of awareness and skill building to create stability, sustainability, healthy relationships and lasting changes. Lorraine has worked with people of all ages struggling with a variety of life challenges including transitions, relationships, anxiety, depression, grief, OCD and ADHD.

Jena Kenny, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Jena earned her Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University. She believes in taking a holistic view, utilizing a multi-modality approach to fit each individual need including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT (Dialectal Behavioral Therapy) interventions. An avid animal lover, Jena has experience in Equestrian therapy and believes in the power of animal therapy. She enjoys working with adults, children, individuals, and families alike. Jena has experience treating a multitude of issues, some to include substance use, eating disorders, trauma, and social/behavioral concerns as well as many others. 

Jill Massari, MFTA

Marriage 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.

Stacy-Ann Thompson-Grant, LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Stacy-Ann is a Licensed Master Level Social Worker who earned her Master’s of Social Work degree from Fordham University and her Bachelor’s from the University of Connecticut. She is certified as a School Social Worker. She has over 10 years of experience in providing services to adults along with children and families whom has been exposed to traumatic events. She has worked with children in a Residential setting, Therapeutic Day Treatment setting and Shelter Based setting with the accompaniment of the facilitation of group based therapy for Non-Offending Parents of children exposed to child sexual abuse. Stacy-Ann enthusiastically seeks out professional development trainings to enrich her knowledge base in mental health to better serve her clients needs. She believes in an eclectic modality of therapy. Stacy-Ann utilizes an array of techniques including, but not limited to, Solution Focused therapy, Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), Strength Based Approach, and Motivational Interviewing to assist clients in recognizing/unearthing their inner strengths, with the intention of becoming the best versions of who they were created to be.

Danii Franceschini, BA

Part-time Office Manager, MFT Intern

Psychology Concentration in Mental Health

Danii earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Concentration in Mental Health at Southern Connecticut State University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with a concentration in Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health at Fairfield University. She offers an empathetic place to process while also challenging clients to be outside their comfort zone. Danii is trained in systemic therapy models that focus on a collaborative and strength-based approach to change. She currently works with children, adolescents, teens, families, couples, adults and those who identify as LGBTQ+ working through various life situations and symptoms. She also works to collaborate with school systems and outside providers to provide well-rounded care.

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.

Coastal Connecticut Counseling

(203) 307-3030

2960 Post Road   3rd Floor   Southport, CT 06890

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