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Trauma Training Academy Presenters
Below is a list of health care professionals who provide presentations during trainings hosted by the Trauma Training Academy at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Robert Basler, LCSW-C, is Co-Director of the Therapeutic Foster Care Program at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute. He has worked with children in foster care and their families for the past 21 years. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Loyola College in Maryland in 1991 and his M.S.W. from the University of Maryland in 1997. He is also a 2009 graduate of the University of Delaware National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities. Mr. Basler has worked as a direct care staff in group settings and as a clinician outpatient mental health setting. He has primarily worked as a clinician, supervisor and administrator in treatment foster care. He is currently the chairperson of the Maryland Chapter of the Foster Family-based Treatment Association. Mr. Basler has written and trained on topics related to children in foster care with developmental disabilities and special health care needs, permanency planning, foster care transition, trauma and leadership.
Harolyn Belcher, MD, MHS, is a neurodevelopmental pediatrician and an associate professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She is also jointly appointed in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and holds an adjunct appointment at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She is currently the director of research at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute, a community-based mental health center that provides evidence-based mental health treatment focusing on children with a history of abuse and neglect and exposure to community and/or domestic violence. She is the principal investigator (PI) of a National Child Traumatic Stress Network grant and recently completed a K-award from NIMH to evaluate a curriculum that promotes parental emotional well-being and knowledge of child development for young parents of children enrolled in Early Head Start. She is also PI of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention training grant to promote public health research, training and education for under-represented racial and ethnic graduate, medical and nursing students. She was co-investigator on a community-based Head Start substance abuse and mental health prevention intervention grant funded by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In addition, Dr. Belcher was the PI on another SAMHSA grant providing comprehensive substance abuse treatment, social work, parent education and evaluations for pregnant, drug-dependent women and, following birth, their children. She has collaborated on community-based initiatives to support recruitment and education of African American parents in church-based foster care for children with drug exposure and HIV infection. She is currently President of the Board of Dayspring Programs, Inc. a community-based program that provides housing and a wide array of treatment and social services for homeless parents in recovery from drug dependence and their children. She also serves on the board of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Early Head Start. Dr. Belcher received the Meritorious Civilian Service Award from the Department of Navy for her work as assistant medical director of the Exceptional Family Member Program at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Dr. Belcher is married with two children, one recent college graduate and one junior in college.
Monica Beltran, LCSW-C, BC-DMT, received her master's degree in dance/movement therapy from Goucher College in 1981 and a master's degree in social work in 1994 from the University of Maryland. She has been treating trauma survivors for the past 27 years. Beltran has expertise working with children and youth who have been sexually abused, incorporating mind/body approaches in her work. As a social work manager at the Family Center, she provides clinical direction to the Sexual Abuse and Mind/Body Programs, supervises social work clinicians and is responsible for the training program for social work and psychology students. She and her mind/body colleagues developed a yoga-based movement therapy group protocol for boys eight to 12 years old designed to promote emotional and behavioral regulation and to increase self-esteem and social skills.
Abena Brown-Elhillali, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and has over five years of experience assessing and treating children, adolescents and adults with various mental health needs. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Howard University, where her studies focused primarily on the psychophysiological aspects of mental health. Dr. Brown-Elhillali completed post-doctoral training at the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services board, where she provided therapy and case management to children and adults with histories of complex trauma, substance abuse and psychotic disorders. Additionally, Dr. Brown-Elhillali completed pre-doctoral training at the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation, where she provided crisis intervention, therapy and case management to children and families affected by sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect. Currently, Dr. Brown-Elhillali dedicates much of her clinical time to educating families about the long-term and intergenerational effects of trauma, in an effort to inhibit the cyclical nature of trauma and related mental health concerns.
Paul D. Brylske MSW, LCSW-C, is Co-Director of the Therapeutic Foster Care Program at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute. He received his Masters Degree in Social Work from the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work in 1982. He was trained in family therapy at the Child Guidance Clinic in Philadelphia. Paul has worked the field of child welfare, children’s mental health and developmental disabilities for over 37 years. He has worked with youth and their families in a variety of settings including; group homes, psychiatric hospitals residential treatment center, emergency room, outpatient, and treatment foster care. Paul was in private practice for over 20 years as a child and family therapist.
Over the previous 27 years Paul has worked at the Kennedy Krieger Family Center as a child and family therapist, supervisor, program manager, and administer. He has published in the field of treatment foster care as well as presented throughout the United States and Canada on a variety of topics including; treatment foster care, child welfare, respite, children’s mental health, childhood trauma, developmental disabilities, and outcomes. Paul has been a member of the Foster Family-based Treatment Association’s (FFTA) Research Committee for the over the past 10 years. He has served on a number of State committees and workgroups in mental health and child welfare. Paul is currently a member of Maryland Department of Human Resources’ Program Advisory Committee and Family Centered Practice Oversight Committee.
Laura Costa, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and has over five years of experience working with trauma populations and providing individual, family and group therapy. Costa employs empirically-based methods into her clinical work, including TF-CBT, SMART, SPARCS, SFCR and TST-SA. She received her master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from George Mason University in 2007, also earning a certificate of advance graduate study in school psychology. Costa completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, PA, which is a residential school for at-risk children coming from poverty. In this setting, she obtained additional training and experience providing therapy, consultation and assessment with abused and neglected children. Currently, she heads the diagnostic interview clinic and psychological assessment clinics, and provides supervision for psychology externs. She dedicates much of her time to educating staff, stakeholders and families about the long-term and intergenerational effects of childhood trauma.
Christine DeBerardinis, LCSW-C, has been a mental health therapist at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute since 2008. She specializes in treating children and families who have been exposed to trauma. She received her undergraduate degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2003, and her Master's Degree in social work in 2007, from Widener University. Her areas of specialty include providing culturally appropriate mental health services to the deaf and hard of hearing population and utilizing mind/body therapeutic approaches in her work. In addition, she has worked with her mind/body colleagues to develop a yoga-based psychotherapy group protocol for boys between the ages of eight and 12 that is designed to promote emotional and behavioral regulation and to increase self-esteem and social skills. Within her clinical work, she utilizes trauma-informed treatment models within her work, including trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and has experience presenting on topics such as identifying, understanding, and responding to child sexual abuse, meeting the mental health needs of school-aged children, comparing how traumatic responses relate to key components of Autism Related Disorders and finally, vicarious trauma.
Emily Driscoll-Roe, LCSW-C, is a supervising social worker at the Kennedy Krieger Family Center in Baltimore. She received her undergraduate degree from Fordham University in 1993, and her master’s degree in Social Work from New York University in 1996. She has provided therapeutic services to children, adolescents and their families since 1996, and has practiced in New York City; Dayton, Ohio; and Baltimore. At the Kennedy Krieger Family Center, she received extensive training in the field of trauma treatment, with particular expertise in the area of sexual abuse. Through her work at the Family Center, Driscoll-Roe became especially interested in the impact of vicarious trauma on clinicians working with traumatized families. She co-founded the Center’s Vicarious Trauma Processing Group and provided in-house training on managing vicarious trauma and burn-out to therapists and trainees.
Sarah Gardner, MSW, is the director of clinical services at the Family Center and the lead developer of FamilyLive, an intensive family therapy model that addresses the complex needs of parents/caregivers with histories of trauma and disrupted attachment. Gardner is a seasoned clinician, supervisor and presenter, and has co-authored articles on treatment interventions for children affected by traumatic exposures. She earned her master's degree at the National Catholic School of Social Services and completed post-graduate training at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. Her primary area of expertise is the intergenerational transmission of trauma effects in families.
Alyne Hall, LCSW-C, received a Master's degree in social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, with a specialization in Families and Children. Throughout her career, she has worked extensively within the child welfare and mental health systems with children who have experienced abuse and neglect. As a clinical social worker at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute, she provides individual, group, and family therapy to children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events using several evidence based treatment approaches and provides diagnostic evaluations as part of a diagnostic team. As a member of the Live Well Clinic at the Family Center, she works with teenagers who present with comorbid trauma and substance use disorders using Trauma Systems Therapy for Substance Abuse (TST-SA), an evidence based treatment approach. She provides trainings to other professionals on assessment and treatment of child sexual abuse and comorbid trauma and substance use disorders. She also provides clinical supervision for advanced level graduate students.
April Rose Held, LCSW-C, RYT, holds a Master's Degree in social work and is a registered yoga teacher. She has been treating trauma survivors for the last 10 years, incorporating mind-body work into mental health and addictions treatment. As a clinical social worker at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute, she provides direct clinical care for clients and is responsible for the coordination of the Trauma Systems Therapy for Adolescent Substance Abuse (TST-SA) clinic. She and her Mind-Body Clinic colleagues have developed a yoga-based psychotherapy group protocol for boys ages eight to 12 years old who experience challenges with emotional and behavioral regulation.
Adam Honecker, LCSW-C, has been working at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger for nearly three years. He attended Salisbury University, where he received his Bachelor's Degree in 2007, and his Master's in social work in 2009. During his undergraduate career, Adam majored in sociology, and took a minor in conflict analysis and dispute resolution. While working towards his undergraduate degree, Adam was an intern at Eastern Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. His work at ECI focused on co-creating a program designed to reduce recidivism in the inmate population and guide inmates in the re-entry process upon release. At this facility, Adam worked alongside social workers, teachers, correctional officers and collaborated with current inmates themselves to create a program best suited for inmates pending release. Adam then received his Master's in social work, during which time he held an internship at Warwick Manor Behavioral Health, which operated both an inpatient and outpatient facility for patients with co-occurring substance abuse problems and mental illness. He led groups, provided individual therapy, and collaborated with other mental health professionals and substance abuse counselors. Adam began working at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2009, where he currently works as a therapist to children, adolescents, and families impacted by trauma. He provides individual, family and group therapy. Along with his clinic work, Adam is an active member in the Cultural Awareness Committee, the Performance Evaluation Performance Improvement Committee, and the Youth and Family Partnership Committee.
Daniel Kleiner, PhD, is a senior supervising psychologist at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger. He is the coordinator of the New Start Clinic, which treats children and families who have been referred through the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office because of physical abuse. Dr. Kleiner received his doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Hartford. He worked with homeless families in the District of Columbia before moving to Baltimore in 1994. In Baltimore, he has supervised the Mental Health Screening Unit within the Baltimore City Department of Social Services and has worked with children and families involved in the foster care system. He has participated in trainings and consultations with Dr. David Kolko on AF-CBT, as well as the train-the-trainer program to help broaden the implementation of the model. He provides intensive trainings, along with follow-up consultation on the AF-CBT model. Dr. Kleiner has received basic and advanced training in trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy. Dr. Kleiner is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, where he co-teaches a course on evidence-based mental health treatment of children and adolescents.
Mi-Kyong Kwon, PhD, earned her doctorate degree in counseling with a specialization in play therapy at the University of North Texas. At that time, she studied under Dr. Garry Landreth, internationally known for child-centered play therapy. She worked with Dr. Landreth to implement child-parent relationship therapy (10-week filial therapy) to immigrant Korean parents in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Kwon has six publications predominately related to play therapy and filial/family play therapy, including a book on play therapy supervision in Korean. She has been working with traumatized children and their families for 16 years through play therapy, filial/family play therapy, sand tray therapy and expressive arts therapy. Dr. Kwon is currently a child psychotherapist at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Teresa Loya, LCSW-C, graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1999, with a bachelor’s of science in psychology. In 2001, she earned her master’s degree in clinic social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, with a specialization in family and children's services. Loya has been working with at-risk children since 1995. Her roles have included one-to-one behavioral aide, mentor, tutor, residential counselor, social worker and therapist. She has been a therapist at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute since 2001, where she specializes in family therapy and working with children ages 0-6. Loya coordinates the Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Clinic and facilitates a professional development group for master's level trainees.
Justine E. Murphy, LCPC, LMT, is a mental health therapist working with children, adolescents and their caregivers at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger. She has worked with children and families exposed to trauma since 1999. She received her bachelor of arts in psychology from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland in 2001. In 2002, Murphy went on to study anatomy, kinesiology and massage therapy at the Applied Kinesthetic School of Massage in Virginia. She completed her master's of arts in holistic counseling at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island in 2005. She completed post-graduate work in clinical community counseling at Johns Hopkins University in 2008. Murphy has studied the role of culture on healing traditions in the US, Europe and West Africa. She has a diverse background as a counselor, educator, massage therapist and practitioner of mindfulness meditation. She has presented on yoga-based movement therapy as a clinical intervention, as well as the role of spirituality in healing trauma. She specializes in holistic, expressive, mind/body approaches to health and healing.
Sally O’hara,MA, has experience working with children, adolescents and adults (including geriatric) in individual, family and group work. She has worked in a clinical setting providing training to students, hospital personnel and community members on various mental health topics since 1980. In more recent years, she has provided training on TF-CBT to mental health providers and on a variety of other mental health topics to school personnel and parents. O'hara completed her master's of arts in community counseling psychology in 1989, and has worked in a variety of settings, including inpatient, partial hospitalization, regular outpatient clinic, crisis hotline, court advocacy, ER, shelter and -- since 1999 -- in a school-based environment in West Baltimore (including sessions in clients' homes). Since 2006, she has been the coordinator of the school-based program for the Family Center. Her work with clients has included individuals experiencing a range of challenges, including ADHD, ODD, serious and persisting mental illness, substance abuse, mood disorders, anxiety and trauma.
Betsy Offermann, LCSW-C, is co-director of the Trauma Training Academy. She received her bachelor's degree in social work in 1984, and her master's degree in 1985 from the University of Maryland. In 1988, she completed a post-master's certificate in marital and family therapy. She has more than 23 years of experience providing treatment services to sexually abused children and their families. The SMART Model (Safety, Mentoring, Advocacy, Recovery, and Treatment) was developed by Offermann to address problematic sexual behavior in young children with sexual abuse. Offermann also helped to develop a video now used state-wide to train child care workers, investigators, mental health providers and parents on the impact of sexual abuse. She has presented locally and nationally, and served as co-chair of the 2006 Governor's Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Offermann has trained staff, mentors, investigators and child welfare workers to improve understanding of the impact of trauma and effective treatment strategies.
Julie Pratt, LCPC, is a licensed clinical professional counselor and pastoral counselor, with a master's of science from Loyola University of Maryland. In her six years at the Family Center, Pratt has provided a range of services from individual, family and group psychotherapy to counselor training and focus groups. She has been trained in and provides training for others in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. She has been a primary contributor of the Children of Incarcerated Parents Toolkit, a resource created with the help of a SAMSHA grant awarded to the Family Center over the past four years. Julie enjoys opportunities to explore with, glean knowledge from, and walk with fellow human beings as we face the uncertainties, unpredictability and mystery of life.
Rachel Rentch, LCSW-C, is a clinical social worker at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She received her undergraduate degree from Penn State University in 2000, and her Master's in social work from the University of South Carolina in 2005. She has more than five years of clinical experience working with trauma populations and providing individual, family and group therapy. She utilizes empirically-based methods in her clinical work, including TF-CBT, SMART, and SPARCS. She has also provided supervision for social work interns. Currently, Rentch is the coordinator for the Unity Clinic at the Family Center. This clinic specializes in providing mental health treatment to clients and families who are deaf or hard of hearing. She has spent time advocating for and implementing culturally appropriate and accessible mental health services for the deaf and hard of hearing population.
Cynthia Rollo, LCSW-C, has ten years of training and clinical experience focusing on treating traumatized children and adolescents at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She utilizes evidence-based treatment with this trauma-based population, is a trainer for trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and has provided trauma training to clinicians' state-wide. She is currently a clinical faculty member for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's 2010 TF-CBT Learning Collaborative. She has also specialized in working with children with problematic sexual behavior and utilizing group therapy. She is an instructor for the University of Maryland School of Social Work, where she teaches a course entitled, "Evidence-Based Mental Health Treatment with Children and Adolescents."
Jamie Wilson, LCSW-C, is a clinical social worker at the Family Center at Kennedy Krieger Institute. She has five years of experience working in community mental health settings. She received her bachelor's of science in family studies at the University of Maryland, College Park and master's degree in social work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Jamie's areas of interest include children with an incarcerated parent and substance abuse.
Deneen Wysocki, LCSW-C, CRCCPA, has been a licensed clinician for 24 years and a certified residential child care program administrator since 2008. She received her Bachelor's Degree in criminal justice and Master's Degree in social work from the University of Maryland. She is currently a Kennedy Krieger school-based clinician, who provides services in a Baltimore City Elementary School. She has worked in a variety of settings, including the prison system, psychiatric hospital and affiliated programs, residential care facilities, and mental health programs. As a parent of three learning disabled children, her passion is outreach and advocacy for appropriate services, which she has been able to pursue through volunteer work as past president of the Learning Disabilities Association of Howard County and as a parent surrogate for Baltimore City students.