Behavioral Associates Staff

Behavioral Associates Staff 2019-10-04T13:29:07+00:00

Meet the Behavioral Associates Team

Dr. Robert Reiner has been directing a diverse team at Behavioral Associates since he founded the company in 1988. Each staff member was chosen for their unique specialty and ability to add value to the Behavioral Associates team. This includes licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, as well as a team of supervised trainees from the top programs across the country.

Our Staff

Robert H. Reiner, PhD BCN BCB, Executive Director and Founder, has been practicing psychology since 1981. After receiving his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania, he went on to get his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Alabama and serve his clinical internship at Bellevue Hospital.

Dr. Reiner is well known for his work in treating anxiety and phobias through biofeedback and Virtual Reality Therapy. He has been credited for this work in articles in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York Daily News, USA Today, Newsweek and Time Out magazine. He has specifically had great success in treating patients for fear of flying as an innovator in Virtual Reality Therapy. Learn more about Dr. Reiner

Michael Fraser, PhD, Chief of Staff, is a New York State-Licensed Clinical Psychologist who works with adults, teenagers, children, couples, and families. He received his Bachelor in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University and went on to earn a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Temple University. Over the past 23 years, Dr. Fraser has been providing psychological services in both Philadelphia and New York City in a wide range of settings. Outside of Dr. Fraser’s private practice, he has worked in hospital outpatient and inpatient psychiatric units, elementary, middle and high school settings, and college counseling centers.

Dr. Fraser has recently increased his attention on what is known in the field as “positive psychology.” While many individuals use therapy effectively to alleviate what can be considered “negative symptoms,” such as depression, phobias and anger, he believes it is possible to benefit from therapy to enhance performance in certain areas, such as relationship building, public speaking, and athletics.

Heather Fichtel Davidson, PsyD BCN, Director of the Children’s Center, received her Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University and both Master of Arts and Doctorate from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She also holds certifications from Columbia University in suicide assessment and The Albert Ellis Institute in RBT.

Dr. Fichtel has specific expertise in the treatment of childhood anxiety and the disruptive behavior disorders. Her current focus of research includes the effectiveness of neurofeedback on children presenting with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiance disorder, and trichotillamania. In addition to private practice, she has experience working in a psychiatric hospital, medical orphanage, and community mental health center.

Scott Lloyd, PhD BCN, Director of Therapeutic Technology, has been helping to grow the technology department at Behavioral Associates since joining us in 2009. He obtained a double major in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Cincinnati before receiving his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with health emphasis from Yeshiva University. Concurrently, he pursued a minor in Neuropsychology continuing his role as a multicultural psychologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital in the divisions of aging and dementia and the child learning center. In the area of health psychology he also received training from the accredited Tobacco Treatment program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

Dr. Lloyd has contributed extensively to our advancement in the use of biofeedback and neurofeedback as treatment protocols. He has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals of independence from disabling symptoms of anxiety, addiction, depression and learning disabilities. An experienced interpreter and translator, he has helped tailor studies on patient-provider communication, panic disorder and asthma for use within a monolingual Spanish-speaking population.

Pamela Castineiras, PsyD BCB, received her undergraduate degree from NYU before earning her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Widener University. While pursuing her PsyD, she specialized in Health Psychology and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Dr. Castineiras has also obtained certifications in military and veterans behavioral health, general biofeedback, heart rate variability biofeedback, and capnometry biofeedback.

Dr. Castineiras specializes in treating anxiety disorders, chronic health and pain conditions, and attention difficulties as well as helping individuals improve their focus, reduce stress, and succeed academically and professionally.

Ralph Speken, MD, studied psychiatry at the University of Colorado holding his internship at the Montefiore Pediatric Center after receiving a Master’s degree at Columbia College. Dr. Speken is currently the psychiatric consultant to an array of city agencies offering protective services for adults in New York City. He spent many years in private practice and has held staff and teaching positions at various hospitals in the New York area.

As a psychiatrist on staff at Behavioral Associates he will prescribe medication when deemed necessary. He is also trained in acupuncture and has extensive knowledge in environmental and nutrition medicine. While in certain cases medication is recommended, Dr. Speken shares in our belief that alternatives exist that may be worth exploring when making treatment decisions.

Gabriela A. Hundorfean, MD, studied psychiatry at the Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania and did her residency the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. In addition to seeing patients at Behavioral Associates, Dr. Hundorfean is the Medical Director at two substance Abuse Clinics and, works at the Rockland Psychiatric Hospital and is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine.

Dr. Hundorfean has performed research in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Seasonal Variation of Attempted Suicide and Transcultural Issues in Sex Therapy. She is a valuable member of our staff with her vast experience in the field of psychiatry as well as her fluency in Romanian, Spanish and English.

Susan J. Manin, LCSW, is a Psychiatric Social Worker receiving both her Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Science at the New York University School of Social Work. Susan has been seeing patients at Behavioral Associate since 2002. Following 9/11 she worked as a senior therapist for Project Liberty, which offered psychological support to local survivors of the attack.

Susan has worked extensively with clients suffering from a wide range of diagnoses including polysubstance abuse, depression, character and psychotic disorder, and with a history of trauma.

Anya Shumilina, LCSW, BCN, MA, Director of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, received her Master of Social Work at the Columbia University School of Social Work in the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Program after receiving a Master of Arts at the City College of New York. She has held positions at both Mount Sinai and Bronx Lebanon Hospitals giving her in depth experience with patients dealing with depression, anxiety and addiction.

Specializing in DBT and Mindfulness, Anya has had great success in the treatment of patients suffering from borderline personality disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, addictions and phobias. She has also helped numerous patients exhibiting extreme mood swings, self-injurious behaviors and emotional dysregulation. Anya is fluent in Russian and has worked both internationally and domestically devoting many hours working with the LGBTQ, minority, and immigrant populations.

Natalie Wallace, LMSW, received her Master’s in Social Work at the Columbia University School of Social Work after receiving her Bachelor’s in Psychology at the University of Delaware.  She specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy and has experience treating a range of disorders including anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Natalie has had great success helping patients increase motivation for change, minimize negative behavior patterns and cope more effectively with painful emotions.  In addition to private practice, she has worked in an elementary school and an outpatient mental health facility.

Sarah Friedman, MS, LMSW, holds a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, a Master of Science in Applied Statistics from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked in multiple human care organizations and mental health research settings, and is experienced helping patients with anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders build skills that bring greater well-being to their lives. Sarah admires the courage that all patients demonstrate by engaging in therapy and enjoys the collaborative nature of the cognitive behavioral approach. Prior to Behavioral Associates, Sarah worked with individuals with cognitive disabilities and survivors of trauma.

Stephanie Ganor, MHC-LP, NCC, studied at Adelphi University where she received her Bachelor’s degree and first Master’s degree in General Psychology. She continued her education at LIU Post where she received her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Stephanie interned for an outpatient PROS Program through Zucker Hillside Hospital where she gained experience treating patients with various disorders including anxiety, depression, panic disorder, and ADHD. Stephanie has conducted both individual therapy sessions using CBT, Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution Focused interventions as well as facilitated several groups in Social Skills, Meditation, Coping Skills, and Emotional Intelligence. Stephanie is truly dedicated to supporting and assisting her clients with overcoming their mental health barriers in order for them to live a healthy, happy, and successful life.

Meredith Mirabile – Bizzak, MHC, holds a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Walden University, A Master of Science in Education in School Counseling from St. Johns University and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from The State University of New York at New Paltz. Working collaboratively with clients to build on their strengths, her treatment approach is to provide the tools, support and practical feedback to help clients resolve current problems and long-standing patterns. Her treatment approach includes interventions from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). Prior to Behavioral Associates, Meredith worked as a counselor in a dual diagnosis addiction treatment facility determining appropriate care and assisting clients whose lives were impacted by substance use and mental health concerns. She enjoyed her role as as a school counselor for 14 years addressing the social and emotional needs of school aged children and their families both in NYC and Internationally.

Clinical Postdoctoral Fellow

Deniz Sidali, PhD, received her Bachelor of Arts and Masters degree in Psychology from New York University. She went on to receive her second Master degree and her Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology from Hofstra University. Ms. Sidali worked at the BioBehavioral Institute, where she conducted intensive individual and group therapy utilizing cognitive behavioral therapies such as exposure and response prevention to treat adults, adolescents and children diagnosed with severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, specific phobias, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, hoarding and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Ms. Sidali was trained in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) at the Albert Ellis Institute, where she worked for several years. She has extensive experience working with various age groups, and patient populations in both inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities.

Genevieve Izzo, PhD, received her Master of Arts in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College Columbia University and Master of Arts and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University. She completed her APA accredited clinical internship at Girard Medical Center in Philadelphia where she worked on an inpatient unit with individuals suffering from severe mental illness. Dr. Izzo has advanced clinical training in cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy, with a particular interest in the treatment of OCD and other anxiety-related disorders. She has experience integrating neuroscience and technology in clinical settings.

Clinical Psychology Externs 

Chelsey Laurito, MS, COMS, St. John’s University
Sagal Ahmed, MA, Fordham University

Clinical Trainees / Social Work Interns

Cara Camacho, MHC-LP, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Laura Wu, MSW Candidate, Columbia University School of Social Work

Keanu Jackson, MSW Candidate, Columbia University School of Social Work

Dorin Roth, Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate, Long Island University Post

Levi Rapoport, MS, MHC-LP, Tauro College

Administrative Team

Andrew Permaul, BS, Office Manager, has been at Behavioral Associates for six years. Andrew received his Bachelor of Science at The City College of New York majoring in Psychology and with a double minor in Jewish Studies and Biology. We are lucky to have Andrew as part of our staff considering his vast technical knowledge and excellent interpersonal skills.

Brieanna Scolaro, LMSW, Director of Community Relations, received her Master in Social Work from Columbia University and Bachelor in Psychology from the University of Delaware. She has five years experience in mental health and human rights program development, and has worked in both non-profit and for-profit settings.

Brieanna oversees all internal and external relationships at Behavioral Associates. This includes coordinating research programs, organizing presentations in the community and leading our online communications team. Additionally, she is the Project Coordinator for the Myndlift Home Neurofeedback Project, an innovative technology that enables patients to train their brain from the comfort of their own home.

Alethia Williams, Executive Assistant/Insurance Specialist, assists in the processing of insurance claims and managing the front desk. Currently, she is halfway done with her Bachelor in History and double minor in Criminal Justice and Creative Writing. After she completes her current studies, she looks forward to pursuing a law degree.

Brandon Bernardi, BA, Administrative Assistant, started out at Behavioral Associates as an intern in the office internship program. Currently, he assists the administrative team in various duties. Brandon received his Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College where he majored in Social Psychology and minored in Political Science. He plans on going to graduate school to complete a doctorate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

*Photos Credit: Mad Shots Photography

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