Below you will find some information on each of our therapists in North Reading, MA and Amesbury, MA. All of our staff are fully credentialed and licensed by the appropriate state boards. Keep in mind that if you are interested in receiving counseling with us, your first contact will be with our referral coordinator, who will work with you to find the best match between you and one of our therapists. This matching is based on several criteria, including your preference for a male or female therapist, areas of special expertise, who can take a specific insurance or HMO, hours of availability, and the available openings of each therapist.
To schedule an appointment or to get more information, please call (978) 664-2566 and press “2” at the prompt to speak to the referral coordinator.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed mental health counselor and a health service provider with almost 30 years of treatment and management experience. I have served as a clinical director and director of psychological testing for 3 large agencies, as well as having served as the director of several other clinical programs. Currently, I am the Co-Director of Psychotherapy Associates of North Reading and Amesbury. This is a practice that I started with Rick Kaufman, LICSW in 1990. Most of what I do now is oversee programs, program development and consult with the 19 therapists we have on staff. I maintain a small to medium caseload of clients.
I have a great deal of experience in the field of psychological testing, teaching, supervision, medical psychology, PTSD treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. Two groups of clients that I currently work with the most are adolescents and adults with traumatic experiences. I also work a lot with couples. I have interned in 3 VA hospitals and understand the dynamics of veterans and their families. I have an extensive background in testing and working with children but largely consult to child therapists at this time. Currently, I am working on developing expertise in the treatment of sleep disorders.
I am an instructor and the coordinator for our parent education program. This is a court ordered educational program for divorcing parents. It is psychoeducational in nature and designed to help families cope better with divorce.
I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, and I received my MSW from Simmons School for Social Work in 1980. Prior to that, I received my BA in Psychology from Hampshire College in 1978.
As Co-Director of Psychotherapy Associates, I oversee all aspects of the practice, along with Donna Whipple. Prior to this I was the Clinical Director and Associate Executive Director of Associates for Human Services, a large clinic in Taunton Mass.
Earlier in my career, I worked in adoption, and then went on to work with adults and adolescents with more serious mental health issues in a therapeutic school, psychiatric day treatment, and outpatient mental health settings.
Donna and I founded Psychotherapy Associates in 1990, and this soon became my full time job. I work with adolescents, adults and couples, addressing issues such as anxiety, depression and relationship issues.
My original training was psychodynamic, and since then I have trained extensively in the Cognitive Behavioral Treatment model. I also bring aspects of DBT and ACT into my work. The approach I take in any particular case is tailored to your needs. I usually take an eclectic approach, drawing on several schools of thought, but I’m primarily a Cognitive Behavioral therapist.
I enjoy working with people on exploring destructive patterns in their lives and relationships, working with them to determine where in their past these issues come from, and sorting out how they can make changes in these patterns.
Vanessa DavidReferral Coordinator
I am one of two intake coordinators at PANR. I may be your initial point of contact when you call for an initial appointment. I enjoy helping you find the best match for you in our practice after hearing a brief description of the issues you are seeking help for. I sit at the front desk and enjoy greeting our clients.
I have been at PANR for 10 years. In addition to being the referral coordinator I manage the front desk workers as well as assist the therapists in a range of administrative functions.
I coordinate the schedule and registration for the parent education program. I am bilingual English/Spanish and assist a number of our Spanish speaking clients with registration for our program.
I am deeply curious about human relationships and the conditions necessary for repair. For many years, I worked with seriously disturbed teens and their families in inpatient, group care and alternative school settings. I appreciate what emotional distress looks like in relationships as well as the various interpersonal, experiential and treatment interventions that effectively promote healing. My wife and I have raised two children who are now self-actualized adults with successful careers. I know first hand what relationship closeness, conflict and repair feel and look like as a man, father and husband. Making no claim to be perfect, I have endeavored to learn from my relationship mistakes as well of those I have observed practiced by others.
Throughout my career, I have been a student of psychodynamic and systems treatment models. I am currently attending The Relational Life Institute working with Terry Real and specializing in couples treatment issues. I think of my clinical style as a combination of coach, mentor and fellow life traveler committed to advancing individual and relationship change for people seeking to improve their quality of life. My current caseload includes adolescents, adults, families and couples.
My first graduate training in psychology and social work was at Glasgow University in Scotland where I met my wife. We lived and worked in Scotland for several years. Returning to the USA, I attended Smith College where I earned an MSW. Relevant post-graduate experiences include intensive training at The Family Institute of Cambridge treating family systems, several Solution Focused therapy workshops with Insu Kim Berg, Brief Systemic Family Therapy from faculty at the University of Miami and several months of consultation and supervision with Sal Minuchin (Structural Family Therapy). I also value my experiential education training at Project Adventure in group and family activity-based therapeutic interventions. I have trained extensively in The Sanctuary Model (therapeutic milieu) and SITCAP (a sensory-based trauma treatment therapy).
I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker having received my Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston College. I have also received certification as a Life Coach. I have a wide-range of experience with teens, adults and couples.
My specialties include anxiety/stress management, depression, grief, trauma, self-esteem, marital/relationship issues, divorce, transitions/adjustments, parenting and health issues. As a psychotherapist, my strength building, compassionate, cognitive-behavioral (CBT) and problem-solving approach have helped people change their behavior, alleviate symptoms and improve their life situation. My lens is compassionate, tolerant, non-judgmental so I can see in people their strengths and help individuals gain self-acceptance.
I offer couples the tools for communicating and resolving conflicts effectively. Couples learn what they are doing that contaminates the relationship and what they can do to heal, grow and become the partnership that is mutually satisfying to both.
It is not easy to be a teenager today. My work with teens and young adults include helping them navigate the stress of school, social issues, family issues, and adjustments they may be going through along with offering them strategies for depression, anxiety and their self-esteem. Sometimes children/teens do not want to attend therapy and progress can made with parents themselves seeking help. I respect how hard it is also to be a parent and I offer effective parenting strategies to help improve the parent-child relationship and navigate raising children to become well-adjusted adults.
My career has also included training and supervising staff, developing programs, teaching self-help courses and workshops.
Carol MeuseReferral and Billing Coordinator
I am one of two intake coordinators at PANR. I may be your initial point of contact when you call for an initial appointment. I enjoy helping you find the best match for them in our practice after hearing a brief description of the issues you are seeking help for. I have been at PANR for over 4 years and know the therapists and their specialties well. Prior to coming to PANR, I have done billing in a variety of medical offices including such specialties as dermatology, dental, optometry and audiology.
I graduated from Boston University with a BA in psychology and am certified in Billing and Coding by American Training Inc.
As a psychotherapist, I work with a wide variety ages from children through adults, and in a range of circumstances from individuals to couples and families. My formal credential is as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), and I earned my counseling degree at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. In addition, I have always been interested in a psychodynamic perspective on human behavior, and completed two years of post graduate fellowship training with the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis.
Over the course of the past year I have begun to specialize in couples counseling. I am currently enrolled in the Basic Training Program of Imago Relationship Therapy. Over the course of the next year I hope to become a certified Imago Relationship Therapist. Developed by Harville Hendrix, Imago Relationship Therapy (www.imagorelationships.org) facilitates a process of open communication in which safety and connection are enhanced, and childhood wounds, which severely complicate our relationships, given an opportunity to heal in relationship.
Also, for the past ten years I have worked with men who have been unable to be effective and supportive partners in their primary relationships because of mismanaged anger or a desire to control their partner’s behavior. In this work I employ a cognitive behavioral approach to helping men more accurately consider their options, and make choices to behave in a responsible and respectful manner. My involvement with abusive men has given me a valuable perspective for my work with individuals and couples.
My work with adults spans a wide variety of issues from depression and anxiety to substance abuse and addiction, from intimacy to workplace behavior, and from communication and problem solving skills to stress management and relaxation. My work with older adolescents and children often is concerned with school and family adjustment, particularly adjustment to challenging living situations after divorce.
I entered the mental health filed as a second career following my first professional interest as a teacher and educator. I have taught from the college to the preschool level. My undergraduate and graduate degrees in education were earned at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Much of my education career was devoted to the provision of high quality early childhood education in multi-cultural university settings. For many years I worked with young children and their parents, both as a teacher and a program director. I was always drawn to children who struggled to adapt to the expectations of school and home, and to the parents and caregivers who tried to help them. About half of my current work is with children and families, for which my early work with young children has been an invaluable preparation.
Outside of work, I am active in my community in anti-violence work around issues of bullying and domestic violence. I find much of my recreation in nature, and enjoy skiing and tennis whenever I can. My self-care includes regular visits to the gym, and my ongoing commitment to learning to play the violin.
My name is Sarah Bush and I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. I completed my Bachelors degree in Psychology at Clark University in 2006. At Clark, I participated in a parent-child attachment theory research study. I helped start a domestic violence program at Clark that focused on education, prevention, outreach, counseling, and support. In my free time I volunteered with the Special Olympics and a half way house. After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I attended Boston College for my Masters in Social Work. While attending graduate school, I was able to intern at a residential program for adolescent boys and girls that struggled emotionally and behaviorally. My second internship was at Andover Middle School; where I provided individual counseling, mediation between student peer relationships, and lunch bunch groups. After graduating with my Masters in Social Work in 2008, I stayed in the Boston area and worked for Somerville Mental Health Community Treatment Team. There I worked with adults who had severe and persistent mental illnesses, some dealing with substance abuse and homelessness issues as well. Before coming to Psychotherapy Associates of North Reading, I had the opportunity to work at Wayside Youth and Family Support Network. At this job, I was a therapist conducting intensive in home family therapy through the Children Behavioral Health Initiative program, as well as being a therapist for the Continuum program run by the Department of Mental Health.
During my social work career, I have had experience working with individuals as young as 1.5 years old through adulthood. I have worked with a wide range of mental health issues that include Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, ADHD, Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Substance Abuse, Oppositional Defiant D/O, learning disabilities, and self harm with high risk suicidal behaviors. I have experience with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), play therapy, art therapy, mindfulness, motivational interviewing and have been trained in Trauma Focused CBT. In addition, I’ve had experience collaborating with school systems and working with parents and their children to help strengthen their communication and parenting skills. I have a flexible personality, starting where the client is at and I try my best to see things from my clients perspective.
I am a Licensed Independent Clincial Social Worker. I received my Masters Degree from Columbia University in New York, NY. I worked in psychiatric Emergency Rooms and on inpatient psychiatric units. Shortly after graduating from graduate school, I found myself drawn to the adolescent population. I worked intensively with them at an RTF (Residential Treatment Facility) in Manhattan. While in this position, I worked with teenagers, their families, the court system, schools and agencies designated to help and advocate for their well-being. For the past three years, I have been working with adolescents on an outpatient basis.
I also have found myself working with children as well by engaging in play therapy. Children are often the most difficult to work with as sometimes, they do not possess the communication skills to communicate what is exactly going on with them. As a result, the play therapy component comes into play.
In addition, I also work with adults and work with an array of disorders, from anxiety, PTSD, depression and relationship issues. I tend to use an eclectic approach to therapy, as it is in my belief that no two clients should be looked at the same. I integrate CBT, DBT and the psychodynamic approach.
And lastly, over the past three years, I have been working with couples and families. I find it fascinating that individuals can have gone through the same event and will interpret the event differently. It has been in my experience that when an outside, unbiased sounding board is introduced, real change can happen.
It is hard for many to take the step to begin therapy, but it can be so helpful for those who give it a chance. If you have gotten far enough to be reading this – I’m glad! I am not here to judge you or your situation; I am only here to lend an unbiased ear and perspective to help you discover how to empower yourself and/or your loved one on the road to healing. My philosophy of care is humanistic in nature, meaning I want to meet you where you are at and help you decide what the right choices and changes are for you based on your belief system and values, and not anyone else’s. I also believe firmly in the power of relationships, for better or for worse. The relationships we invest in (including the relationship we have with ourselves) have significant power to help us heal, or to tear us down, which is something I can help you assess, reflect on, and repair if desired. I work with all ages and genders, and with individuals, couples, and families. My specialties include women/women’s issues, trauma and its impact on development and the brain, issues related to young adults (13-30), and diagnoses of depression, anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, and PTSD.