Our Therapists

William James
Executive Director

Dr. James is the Executive Director of South Shore Counseling, and has worked at our practice for over 30 years. He is a Psychologist who received his doctorate from Hofstra University, and has focused his clinical practice on working with children, adolescents, adults and families. Initially trained in Behavior Management, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), Dr. James has, over the years, been trained in numerous other approaches including Family Systems, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Affective-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ACBT).  Dr. James teaches mindfulness across all therapeutic approaches and believes that through self-awareness we can become self-determined. He believes that each client requires their own treatment plan and treatment approach, necessitating an eclectic blending of what he has learned over the years. He has extensive experience with Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Trauma. 

Max Benezra
Assistant Director

Max is the Assistant Director of South Shore Counseling, and sees clients at our Amityville location, and virtually. He is a graduate of Columbia University, where he earned dual Masters Degrees (EdM and MA) in Counseling Psychology. He specializes in therapy for young adults and adolescents through a wide range of presenting issues. He works primarily through a relational-psychodynamic framework, while incorporating other modalities as appropriate. He listens sensitively, towards an unbiased understanding of his clients and their stories. He believes that "you cannot change the wind, but we can adjust the sails," and guiding psychotherapy with such principle has led his clients to describe him and his style of psychotherapy as "warm, empathetic, different, and personal." As such, Max believes the relationship and the rapport created between client and therapist is crucial for successful outcomes, self-compassion, the fostering of insight, and ultimately, improved quality of life. In addition to his work with clients at South Shore, he very much enjoys supervising therapists-in-training. Max has been fortunate to work in a variety of clinical settings before private practice: Stony Brook University’s Student Counseling Center (CAPS), Columbia University’s Dean Hope Center, The Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, and SUNY New Paltz’s student-run crisis hotline and walk-in center, Oasis/Haven. He also teaches Psychology at Molloy University. Outside of work, Max enjoys being with his family and friends, going to the beach, going to concerts, exercising, and trying new foods and drinks. He loves his clinical work, and considers it a privilege to support his clients. 

Kathleen Halley

Kathleen sees clients at our Wantagh location, and virtually. She is a graduate of New York University’s Ehrenkrantz School of Social Work.  She has provided therapy for children, adolescents and adults in a residential treatment center, counseling centers and private practice. In life, we all have problems, stress and challenges to overcome, and Kathleen offers a safe place for clients to unload their burdens, explore their causes and develop the coping skills to deal with the past and future pressures that can effect quality of life.  She believes everyone deserves to live their best life and love their best selves. She has extensive experience in educating clients to find a healthy perception of themselves and strengthen their relationships so they know themselves as peaceful, whole and safe. 

Beth Kalenka

Beth sees clients at our Wantagh location, and virtually. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who earned both her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work Degrees from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. She is a dedicated professional with a passion for working with individuals, couples, and families. Beth works with a variety of diverse clients both long term as well as for brief interventions, using various therapeutic approaches tailored to the unique needs of each client. Beth believes that change happens when people are given the guidance to draw on their own strengths. She uses a collaborative approach to help assist her clients in clarifying their goals for treatment. Beth provides a safe environment of compassion and support to help individuals, couples, and families to overcome obstacles and move forward to succeed. 

Amber Ross

Amber sees clients virtually. Amber is a National Board Certified Counselor and holds several degrees in her educational field. She graduated from Monmouth University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and continued her education at American International College in which she obtained a Master of Science degree with Honors in Forensic Psychology. Amber then continued on to graduate with Honors from Hofstra University in Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. Amber was an integral part of Hofstra Counseling faculty as she was the Graduate Assistant to the Director of the Counseling Programs and was a member of Chi Sigma Iota the Counseling Honor Society on campus. She also obtained certification from The Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the New York Mental Health Counseling Association. She is very passionate about her career in helping individuals find more adaptive ways to cope with their presenting issues. She has experience working with all ages and families in where her psychodynamic-eclectic approach encompasses several psychological modalities such as: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Amber values and facilitates a strong therapeutic open communication environment in order for her patients to feel comfortable to help build the therapeutic alliance. She strongly feels that building a resilient therapeutic bond between each and every patient will help foster the growth that allows necessary changes to improve success and overall quality of life. Amber is a very empathetic, kind hearted, down to earth, welcoming spirit and her hobbies include dance, Zumba, painting, and walking her dog. She holds dear the enjoyment and happiness one can have and is dedicated to helping her patients foster a more adaptive happier lifestyle. 

Lucinda Manzi

Lucinda sees clients at our Great Neck and Wantagh locations, and virtually. She is a NYS Licensed Master Social Worker and Psychotherapist, having earned her Masters degree in Social Work from Adelphi University, with 'highest distinction'. She holds postgraduate certificates in the Fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT), Therapist Training in CBT for Anxiety Disorders, and Psychodynamic Therapy for Personality Disorders, marking some of her favored interventional modalities in which to treat adolescents, adults, couples, families, those with disabilities, severe mental illness and high-risk populations. Also certified in Mental Health First Aid by the National Council for Behavioral Health, Lucinda is trained in spotting and averting crises that present in the forms of panic attacks, mood dysregulation, and suicidal / para-suicidal ideologies and behaviors. The Gottman Method for couples and an overall Integrative Solution Focused approach have also supported the scope of Lucinda’s clinical work in mental health facility and residential foster care settings. Lucinda enjoys facilitating group work practice in addition to individual therapy. A former opera singer and thespian, and since wife and mother, Lucinda draws from all of her life’s experiences to humbly study and embrace human behavior at large. As serving the community has always been her interest, it remains Lucinda’s passion and privilege to help others achieve empowerment and betterment, and is proud to be doing so at SSC.

Brian Ward

Brian sees clients virtually. He is a licensed Mental Health Counselor who has worked at South Shore since 2010. He is a graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in Psychology. He earned his dual Masters Degree in School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling from LIU C.W. Post. Brian is also a full-time School Counselor since 2001. Brian works with children, adolescents, adults and families on a very wide range of issues. He looks forward to continuing his work with our clients! 

Betty Garrison

Betty sees clients virtually. She is a versatile practitioner who specializes in Psychodrama. Betty’s therapeutic style draws from many theoretical orientations ranging from behavioral interventions to talking therapy to expressive and creative modalities. She has earned two masters degrees in Theatre Ed/Drama Therapy and Film/Social Reform with over 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults using theatre arts and film to engage, inspire, educate, and heal. She has developed theatre programs for varies schools on Long Island. She served at Five Towns College where she advised, taught, and directed. She founded DreamCatchers Theatre, a non for profit organization which served youths in Huntington Station for 9 years.

Christin Gianola

Christin sees clients virtually. She is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) in New York State. She approaches clients by first meeting each client where they are at to both learn who they are and to assess their needs and goals. She places great importance in creating both trust and connection to help clients feel safe, heard, and understood. Christin strongly believes that counseling is a collaboration in which she and her clients work as teammates to create strategies to empower them to grow and enhance various areas of their individual lives by identifying and challenging core beliefs and problematic thoughts that hinder growth. Accurately understanding how the client experiences themselves and the world is a vital part to her process and creating insight to facilitate the growth that can be made through the counseling process. These tenants combined with an emphasis on creating effective communication both within and outside of the counseling process allows her clients to achieve the goals they set for themselves. She has a passion for helping individuals throughout various stages and struggles of life. She has experience working with teens and adults from a wide range of backgrounds with a variety of issues. She holds dual Masters’ degrees from Columbia University: a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and a Masters of Education in Mental Health Counseling. In her work she draws from various approaches including insight-oriented, self-compassion, interpersonal process, cognitive-behavioral, multicultural, and mindfulness to create a treatment plan tailored to each individual client’s needs.  

Webb Garrison

Webb sees clients virtually. He has been practicing since 1993 and supervising since 2003. In this time, Dr. Garrison has worked in a variety of settings including community mental health, psychiatric hospitals, child welfare/foster care settings, skilled nursing and rehabilitation and private practice.  He  offers a range of psychotherapeutic services, from individual to couples and family therapy.  Deeply interested in spirituality, medicine and the arts, Dr. Garrison works in an integrative, holistic way.  He treats a spectrum of difficulties, including anxiety, depression, trauma, bereavement, adjustment issues, medical and somatic concerns, as well as identity and spiritual issues. The foundation of Dr. Garrison’s approach to therapy is rooted in a deep, intuitive engagement of the complexity, dignity, and uniqueness of every person and how each of us has to navigate through challenges and difficulties at different times in our lives.  Psychotherapy provides a sacred space for attending to such suffering.  Dr. Garrison believes that we are largely moved in life towards a deeper sense of meaning, connection and wholeness. Engaging life consciously, finding inspiration and living creatively facilitates this and increasingly helps us experience connection while striving toward our highest potentials and possibilities. In addition to his work as a Psychologist, Dr. Garrison plays and composes music and retreats into the arms of nature, as time allows.

Jasmin Bonilla

Jasmin sees clients virtually. She is a psychology graduate of Lehman College, and has attained continuing mental health counseling education in The College of New Rochelle and Mercy College. She has certifications in creative approaches to counseling in Advanced Motivational Interviewing, Clinical Practices and Treatment of Depression across various ages, Bereavement and Grief Related Issues, and Telemental Health. Jasmin also has several years of care coordination experience, along with working with the developmentally and intellectually disabled populations, both children and adults. She has background and knowledge in case management, Medicaid waiver services such as Home and Community Based Services, Individualized Services and Supports, and OPWDD regulations. Jasmin combines characteristics of person-centered therapy with aspects of cognitive-behavioral approaches which encompass her theoretical orientation. She believes that every client's care and therapy is not only tailored to their specific needs, but also that each client has the tools that they need to make their own healthy choices, as she guides and assists clients in reaching their therapeutic goals.

Kristie Lomangino

Kristie sees clients virtually. She graduated from Fordham University with a Master of Social Work; from The New School of Social Research with a Master’s in Clinical Psychology with a focus on Attachment Theory; from New York Institute of Technology with a Masters in Childhood Education; and from Goucher College with a Bachelors in Biology and Relational Psychology. Her eclectic knowledge base allows for a unique combination of skills; her experiences guide her, allowing her to truly meet each client "where they are." She enjoys working with adults, young adults, children, couples, and families, as well as Worker Comp and No-Fault clients. Her clinical work encompasses attachment, psychodynamic, family systems, cognitive behavioral, gender-affirming, trauma focused, and mindfully based modalities. Her treatment philosophy is the promotion and accepting of self through breaking the accepted and expected roles played, to match the authentic whole person through fostering the relationship and rapport between the therapist and client. Kristie has had the privilege of working in a variety of clinical settings, including: Community Mediation Services, Community Assistance Program (CAP) at a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community, Long Island Crisis Center, and Nassau Community College. Her passion for working with individuals and families stems from her experiences working with students as a Biology Tutor at Nassau Community College. Kristie looks forward to continuing to work with South Shore Counseling’s team!

Caitlyn Foglietta

Caitlyn sees clients at our Wantagh location, and virtually. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Communication Studies from Marist College. Caitlyn studied at Queens College where she received her Master’s Degree and NYS certification in School Counseling. She continued on to receive an Advanced Certification in Mental Health Counseling from Alfred University. Caitlyn is a school counselor at Half Hollow Hills High School West with a specialty in working with special education. Caitlyn has extensive experience working with adolescents and young adults with a range of presenting issues, including behavior management, anxiety, depression, anger management, ADHD, and relationship issues.

Ronnie Silverstein

Ronnie sees clients virtually. Ronnie is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW-R) who has been working in the field for over 30 years. She has extensive experience working with adolescents and adults suffering from a wide range of emotional issues, including depression and anxiety. She is an extremely caring and empathetic therapist who utilizes an eclectic approach to meet the specific needs of her patients. 

Jennifer Eberhardt

Jennifer sees clients at our Wantagh location, and virtually. She is a New York State Licensed Master Social Worker. Jennifer completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from the City University of New York, Queens College. She then received her Masters in Social Work from Fordham University. Jennifer has years of counseling experience across a variety of treatment settings including: private practice, inpatient substance use, and community-based services. She uses an array of modalities including, but not limited to, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Strength-Focused Therapy, Psychoeducation, Play Therapy, and Behavior Modification. Jennifer believes client-therapist collaboration and utilizing client strengths helps when setting attainable goals and sorting out life's challenges. She utilizes a holistic approach with clients’ by exploring and educating them on the interconnectivity of physical health, mental health, environmental influences, support systems, and spirituality, as it impacts their overall well-being.

Heather Rotter

Heather sees clients virtually. After rehabilitating from a catastrophic car accident, she pursued her Masters Degree in Social Work from Adelphi University because she wanted to help others through life’s transitions. She is a multi-modality practitioner who effectively combines her personal experience of recovery with her professional training as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, CASAC (Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Use Counselor), CCTP (Certified Clinical Trauma Professional), RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) and DBT skills training certification, which encompasses mindfulness for a holistic approach. Heather is genuine, compassionate and non-judgmental. She has a unique ability to connect and create a safe space in individual and group settings and successfully motivate people of all ages, backgrounds and psychosocial problems including anxiety, depression, stress, anger, trauma and addiction to achieve their full potential and live more meaningful lives. Heather’s passion, creativity and eclectic approach earned her a nomination for the 2020 President’s Award for patient experience for New York’s largest health system. “Thank you for reminding us that no matter what we go through in life there is always hope and healing if we are open to extraordinary possibilities”. Heather believes, has hope, doesn’t give up and won’t let you give up.

Marco Lopez

Marco sees clients at our Wantagh location, and virtually. He earned his Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University. Marco currently works with children, adolescents, and adults on a wide range of issues. Marco’s previous experience includes working in supported housing, working in an adult day program, and  working with homeless and at risk seniors through in-home therapy. He is an empathetic therapist who uses an eclectic approach in order to meet his client's needs.  

Danielle Hershkowitz

Danielle sees clients virtually. She is a New York State licensed social worker. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Psychology at Hofstra University and graduated with an Honors distinction. While at Hofstra University, Danielle initiated the Delta Alpha Pi Chapter for students with disabilities where she served as President for two consecutive years before graduating. She earned her Masters degree from Columbia University's School of Social Work. Danielle has worked in a variety of settings including: hospital, non-profit organizations, and schools. She utilizes various therapeutic modalities including: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Strengths-Based Therapy, Solutions-Focused Therapy, and Mindfulness. Danielle believes in meeting clients where they are, and creating a safe and collaborative atmosphere in order to guide her clients through the challenges they are facing in their daily lives. She takes great pride in establishing a trusting relationship in order to have a deeper understanding of what her clients are searching for, and goals that they would like to achieve. Danielle specializes in supporting individuals through periods of anxiety, depression, relationship strain, low self-esteem, career-related concerns, ADD/ADHD, executive functioning issues, motivational interviewing, and life transitions. Danielle is compassionate, warm, relatable, empathetic, and sympathetic in her approach, which allows her to easily establish and maintain a strong rapport with her clients. 

James Hoppner

James sees clients virtually. With a Masters Degree from Columbia University as well as over 15 years of person-to-person advocacy, including direct clinical practice, supervisory, directorial, and group dynamics experience, James possesses an authentic, open, and natural approach towards the clinical process.  James often tells his clients "the only thing in life you truly control, is how you react." He believes that we have no true power over what surrounds us, but we could control how we react to it. This philosophy is incorporated into every one of his therapy sessions, as every human being has the power to control what is inside of them; to dig deep and take the first step towards self-awareness and the first leap towards true change.

Taylor Del Valle

Taylor sees clients at our Amityville location, and virtually. She graduated from Towson University with her Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Teachers College, Columbia University with Masters of Arts and Masters of Education degrees in Mental Health Counseling.  As an undergraduate, she interned at Thrive Behavioral Health, a community mental health clinic in Baltimore. She completed her graduate clinical training at South Shore. Taylor’s therapeutic style is influenced by both the psychodynamic and humanistic perspectives.  Her goal is to meet clients where they are, help them gain insight to their presenting problems, and work together to find solutions to best address their concerns.  She believes that we all have the strength and capabilities to grow within ourselves, and she wants to help clients tap into that strength. In her free time, Taylor loves to try new restaurants, go stand up paddle boarding, read, and spend time with her family and friends. 

Daniella Valencia

Daniella sees clients at our Wantagh location, and virtually. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Summa Cum Laude, from Mercy College. She continued at Mercy and received her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling, with distinction. She completed her graduate clinical training at South Shore. Daniella is fascinated by the mind and its connection to behavior; her passion for learning and building connections with others helps her in building therapeutic relationships with her clients. As a person-centered therapist, Daniella believes every individual has the power to save themselves; what she aims to provide is unconditional support and understanding to help them get there. She also believes that it is not our experiences that make us who we are, but how we interpret and react to them. By learning about the way clients respond and react to their own experiences, Daniella seeks to help her clients find inner strengths they don’t always see in themselves. 

Richelle Nelson

Richelle sees clients at our Wantagh location, and virtually. She obtained her Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Molloy College, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at Capella University. Richelle has experience providing individual, couples, family, and group counseling in a private practice setting where she has worked with children, adolescents, and adults diagnosed with a wide range of disorders, including Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, Moral Injury, Trauma Disorders, and Adjustment Disorder. Her treatment modalities include Person-Centered Therapy, Adlerian Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. Richelle was most recently a Doctoral Teaching Assistant at Capella University's Counselor Education and Supervision program teaching Masters-level courses in Introduction to Mental Health Counseling, Residency, and field courses for Mental Health Counseling students.

Jacki Jones

Jacki sees clients at our Amityville location, and virtually. She completed her graduate clinical training at South Shore. Her therapeutic style Is an integrative approach of Psychodynamic, Relational, Mindfulness-Based CBT, and Humanistic Therapies.  She feels therapy is not a “one-size-fits-all” practice. Practicing mindfulness is something she believes to be extremely beneficial in everyday life and for self-awareness; she believes such strongly promotes the journey of healing within each person. Her goal is to assist clients in their growth process and enhance coping of their current experience. Jacki strongly encourages the exploration of the “root” of issues that may impact the client, at a pace that feels natural and comfortable for them, rather than only addressing the symptoms that are present. Jacki hopes to meet the client exactly where they are in the “here-and-now” to allow the client to exercise the benefit of the authentic therapeutic relationship to better their life. In Jacki’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, practicing yoga and meditation, dancing, traveling, nature, practicing Reiki and other alternative energy healing modalities, and is a coffee enthusiast!

Susan Lewis

Susan sees clients at our Great Neck location, and virtually. She completed her graduate clinical training at South Shore. Raised in a Spanish-speaking home with a traditional Sicilian/Argentine background is part of how she defines herself. After working in the corporate world, taking time off to raise her children, and starting a chocolate-covered pretzel business, she knew it was time to complete her lifelong dream of becoming a therapist. Susan's belief is that the most important factor in therapy is the rapport between therapist and client. She often quotes "if you want to get there fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together." She chooses to work together with her clients. Susan works with clients with a diverse range of age and presenting issues. Working with young children, including children with autism, is where she feels especially fulfilled. Her therapeutic style includes integrating a Humanistic Approach with CBT, Dream Analysis, and Positive Therapy. She believes that everything has energy, and she feels her relationships are especially important to her. She values her clinical work and relationships with clients at South Shore.

Taylor Chodash

Taylor sees clients at our Amityville location, and virtually. She completed her graduate clinical training at South Shore. Taylor utilizes an eclectic therapeutic style, integrating psychodynamic and humanistic theories through a multicultural lens. However, she ultimately strives to collaborate and tailor her approach to the unique needs of her clients. Taylor has experience working with a wide-range of individuals, including those with anxiety, depression, autism, self-esteem concerns and relationship challenges. She aims to provide a safe and supportive space for her clients to foster growth and inner strength. 

Natalie DeGrijze

Natalie sees clients at our Great Neck and Wantagh locations, and virtually. She completed her graduate clinical training at South Shore. As a psychotherapist, her goal is to create a warm and affirming space for her clients. She believes it’s important to build therapeutic relationships based on empathy, collaboration, and mutual respect. Natalie takes an eclectic approach to therapy, incorporating Person-Centered, Gestalt, Psychodynamic, and Multicultural theories. She also has special interests in EMDR and Play therapy. Outside of the office, Natalie enjoys reading, watching scary movies, and eating good food.

Samantha Wedderburn

Samantha sees clients at our Great Neck and Wantagh locations, and virtually. She completed her graduate clinical training at South Shore. Samantha integrates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with components of Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Psychodynamic Therapy into her counseling. She believes mental health is as important as physical health, and in order to be the best version of one's self, mindfulness is key. Mental health awareness, as well as acceptance, is very important to her; she is happy to be working at South Shore Counseling to help support her community overcome their struggles. In Samantha's free time, she is writing a fiction novel about experiencing symptoms of Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in early adulthood. She hopes to one day be a published author, as well as a psychotherapist.

Jackie Shikora

Jackie sees clients at our Wantagh location, and virtually. Jackie has many years of experience working with seniors, children, families, groups, and adults in different mental and behavioral health care settings. She believes in utilizing a collaborative and strengths-based approach when working with her clients, and empowers them to achieve their goals. Her clinical practice employs different therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Trauma Systems Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Play Therapy, and Behavior Modification. She enjoys working with clients of all ages and demographics, and enjoys learning more about the best practices to help her clientele.

Jaclyn Kolkhorst

Jaclyn sees clients at our Great Neck and Wantagh locations, and virtually. Recovering from a traumatic experience, she began to understand the importance of emotional regulation and communication skills in the journey to recovery. Inspired to help support others who struggle and suffer, she felt called to do this work, believing she has something to contribute. Drawing from a variety of techniques and approaches, Jaclyn integrates aspects of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Psychodynamic Theory, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy into her work, while tailoring treatment to each client's individual needs. She is particularly interested in working with individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder and their families, as well as those struggling with suicidality, addiction, PTSD/trauma, depression, grief, and bereavement. She is committed to making the lives of her clients better and more productive, while also helping them reach their full potential.

Ally Good

Ally sees clients at our Amityville and Wantagh locations, and virtually. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from St. Lawrence University and is her Masters Degree in Forensic Mental Health Counseling at John Jay College. She completed her graduate clinical training at South Shore. She began her Masters Degree initially interested in the forensic population, but after some time working at South Shore Counseling, she grew to absolutely love the clinical side of working with individuals from her community. Ally believes everyone can benefit from therapy by utilizing different techniques specified to each individual client. Her therapeutic style includes a mindfulness centered cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavioral techniques. She believes being fully immersed in the present moment can help release the anxieties of everyday life to help create a more healthy and balanced lifestyle. She looks to form strong therapeutic bonds with all of her clients and believes in creating a judgment free space. In her free time, Ally is a movie buff, loves to play volleyball and journal about her day. 

Julien Smith

Julien sees clients at our Amityville location, and virtually. Julien is working towards his Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling at SUNY Old Westbury. His therapeutic style includes an integrative approach of Humanistic, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Mindfulness influences. He believes that as a therapist it is important to be fluid with theoretical approaches as every client is unique and experiences different needs. Julien believes mindfulness to be vital to both the therapeutic process and everyday. He appreciates that mindfulness has the potential to make a major impact through a gradual change in perspective. His goal is to help clients reach a feeling of comfort and confidence, while also learning and maintaining healthy coping mechanisms. He aims to work closely with clients to create a space where they feel that their most authentic self is always welcome. In his free time, Julien enjoys gymnastics, meditation, and fashion design!

Nirja Mistry

Nirja sees clients at our Amityville location, and virtually. She is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness at New York University. Coming from India, Nirja is fluent in English, Hindi, and Gujarati. She understands that taking the first step to begin a therapeutic relationship can be challenging, and strives to develop an understanding and comfortable relationship with her clients. Integrating the Relational-Cultural approach, she looks to provide an empathetic and non-judgmental space where her clients can introspect on their personal life, and explore self-love and compassion. Nirja believes in implementing Insight-Oriented, Multicultural, Cognitive, and Behavioral modalities in her work. More than anything else, she tailor-fits her sessions to the specific needs of each client, keeping in mind their individuality.

Ashley Chan

Ashley sees clients at our Amityville location, and virtually. She completed her Bachelor of Arts with honors in Intensive Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness, with a dual degree in LGBT Health, Education, and Social Services at New York University. While Ashley integrates her therapeutic style through a relational-cultural and feminist-multicultural lens, she tailors her approach to the unique needs of each client, with components of mindfulness, humanistic, and psychodynamic perspectives. She strives to create a safe and supportive space to collaborate on an effective treatment plan with her clients, while cultivating meaningful therapeutic relationships. Ashley aims to meet her clients on their path to healing with compassion and empathy to encourage them to live authentically, which she believes is essential to improving their quality of life.

Ketchaina Milcent

Ketchaina sees clients at our Wantagh location, and virtually. She received her Bachelors of Art and Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is currently pursuing her Masters for Forensic Mental Health Counseling. She believes that therapy should provide an environment for individuals to express themselves freely and without judgement. Ketchaina would describe herself as down-to-earth nature, sense of humor, and personable demeanor. She utilizes various therapeutic approaches including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy to foster a safe space where clients can tell their story, gain insight into how that has impacted them, and create a new reality that is more fulfilling.

Maddie Moses

Maddie sees clients at our Great Neck location, and virtually. Maddie is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She previously graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University. Her therapeutic style is a blend of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Humanistic Therapy with emphasis on Mindfulness and Meditation. Maddie wholeheartedly believes that every individual has the capability to be the best version of themselves, when provided with the right tools and techniques to help them succeed. Maddie is extremely passionate about fitness, yoga and being a confidant to friends and family. When Maddie is not working with clients you can find her reading, meditating, or enjoying sushi.

Kaela Ason

Kaela sees clients at our Great Neck location, and virtually. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from the State University at Fredonia. Her therapeutic style focuses on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Integrative Therapy, and a Humanistic Approach. She believes that therapy is about allowing an individual to become self-aware of their emotions and assisting them with tools to become their best selves. She uses empathy and encouragement in order to help her clients form effective therapeutic goals. Kaela prides herself on being a safe space for her family and friends and aims to provide that same comfort to her clients. In her free time, she enjoys music, spending time with loved ones, tropical vacations, and being a foodie. 

Katie Prior

Katie is sees clients at our Wantagh location, and virtually. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology from CUNY John Jay College. She is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Forensic Mental Health Counseling at CUNY John Jay College. Katie’s therapeutic style includes a cognitive-behavioral approach with aspects of mindfulness and meditation. She believes in creating a safe, non-judgmental space for individuals to work through life challenges. When Katie is not seeing clients, she enjoys doing yoga, reading, and going to the beach.

Melanie Vinueza

Melanie sees clients at our Great Neck location, and virtually. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at John Jay College, and is currently working towards her Masters in Mental Health Counseling at Manhattan College. She aims to help clients live more consciously with more control, more clarity, and a better understanding and acceptance of self. She makes an effort to meet each client where they are, and works to tailor treatment towards individual needs. Melanie has experience working with diverse populations, and recognizes that we as individuals do not exist in a vacuum. She utilizes a systematic approach to assess the ways in which your position as a member of a family, community and society impact your lived experiences.

Tara Stark

Tara sees clients at our Amityville location, and virtually. Tara’s pathway to become a therapist began after becoming a certified Yoga Teacher. Through this experience she found there is a unique harmony between mind, body and spirit. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Hofstra University. Tara seeks to offer clients the most valuable elements in a therapeutic relationship: empathic listening, support, nonjudgement, collaboration and trust. She strongly believes in honoring your emotions, thoughts and overall wellness. With a varied set of mindfulness strategies and techniques, Tara looks to work with you collaboratively by using both mind/ body and traditional evidence based practices. In her free time, Tara enjoys teaching Yoga and Pilates, going to the beach and watching too much reality TV. Tara is excited to be at South Shore Counseling and considers it a privilege to support you; wherever you are.

Sarah Salameh

Sarah sees clients at our Great Neck location, and virtually. Sarah is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree for Mental Health and Wellness at New York University. She is committed to providing support to clients and helping them to better understand and overcome the inner obstacles. She tends to gravitate towards person-centered, mindfulness, and a holistic approach in her therapeutic modalities. She aims to empower her clients while providing a nonjudgmental and compassionate space for them to grow. Aside from counseling, Sarah enjoys nutrition, fitness, and traveling.

Christina Macaluso

Christina sees clients at our Amityville and Wantagh locations, and virtually. She received her Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology from Farmingdale State College and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Forensic Mental Health Counseling from CUNY John Jay College. Prior to being at South Shore, Christina had an interest in working with forensic clients which shifted as she gained more experience and knowledge of working with clients of other populations. Christina’s therapeutic style is an integration of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Psychodynamic Therapy. She emphasizes that each client is on their own journey, and aims to meet her clients where they are. She believes that therapy is a safe space where clients should feel supported and comfortable while navigating the road towards meeting their mental health goals. Christina would describe herself as empathetic, genuine and considerate. She is committed to forming strong therapeutic relationships with her clients. In her free time, Christina enjoys going for long walks, going to the gym, and spending time with her family. 

Elena Frishman

Elena sees clients at our Wantagh location, and virtually.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication/ Theater Arts and English Language Arts/ Secondary Education.  Midway through her teaching career, she gave up tenure and seniority to become a Special Education teacher because there was a population of students whose needs were unmet.  As an educator, she has dedicated herself to empowering young adults with social-emotional experiences that build their self-awareness, so that they create a life that is congruent to who they truly are. After 23 years as an educator, she is now pursuing her Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling because her experiences showed her that mental, emotional and spiritual health supersedes any text-book knowledge. Elena believes therapy is transformative. Her therapeutic style includes a mindfulness-centered and relational- psychodynamic approach.  She believes being fully immersed in the present moment will open up one’s life and its truth.  She seeks to create strong therapeutic bonds with her clients as the basis of therapeutic work that creates real change and freedom. In her free time, Elena enjoys traveling the world with family and friends.  She is also a movie buff, especially any movie or series about superheroes, zombies or vampires.

Hanson Qin

Hanson sees clients at our Great Neck and Amityville locations, and virtually. He is currently completing his M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling at Columbia University. As an Asian-American gay man who grew up in the US South, Hanson knew from a young age that he lived in a world that did not offer him freedom to author his own narrative. Thus, he has always been passionate about building critical consciousness, self-awareness, and self-confidence to counteract oppression and live in the world with empowerment and authenticity. Hanson hopes to offer the journey of personal growth to a greater audience and is passionate about serving marginalized clients suffering from issues of identity and societal invalidation. His experience living in three countries and his bilingual fluency in English and Mandarin Chinese have allowed him to understand clients from the context of their cultural environments. He firmly believes that clients are the ultimate authors of their futures, and he hopes to help clients create the inner tools to live lives filled with meaning and joy. He practices therapy using a combination of psychodynamic, person-centered, existential, and cognitive-behavioral orientations.

Gabriella Ribaudo


Gabriella sees clients at our Amityville and Wantagh locations, and virtually. She received her Bachelor and Master's degrees in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Macaulay Honors College. She is currently pursuing her second Masters degree in Forensic Mental Health Counseling at John Jay. She has previously worked with South Shore Counseling during her graduate training and is excited to be returning. Gabriella’s therapeutic style includes integrating both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy into her work with clients. She believes in a client-focused approach to therapy and is here to help provide the therapeutic skills that each individual client needs to help them reach their own goals. When she is not with clients, Gabriella enjoys music, cooking, and spending time by the beach.