CARA C. BUCIAK, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker who earned her master's degree in social work from the University of Connecticut with a focused area of study in mental health and substance abuse. Cara has experience providing individual, couples and family counseling as well as group therapy to both children and adults. Cara’s clinical expertise includes treatment of trauma, depression, anxiety, life transitions, relationship issues and addiction/recovery. She has formal training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing and Psychodynamic Theory. Cara’s approach to therapy is holistic and collaborative, assisting clients with defining their own personal goals for treatment to aid in the healing experience. Cara cultivates a warm, non-judgmental space for clients to explore and process difficult issues throughout the therapeutic process. In her sessions clients gain a healthy foundation to thrive by developing coping skills and tools to maximize overall functioning and improve their sense of wellbeing and inner peace.
LARISSA CABRAL, L.M.F.T. is a licensed marriage and family therapist who earned her Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies and completed the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Connecticut in 2009. She received her undergraduate degree from Clark University in Worcester, MA in 2007 where she completed honors research on couples and relationships. She completed her clinical internship at Waterbury Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Behavior Health center in 2009. She then worked for three years at Natchaug Hospital’s Joshua Center in Enfield as a therapist for children and adolescents in the partial hospital and intensive outpatient programs. Ms. Cabrals’s clinical practice has included treatment of mood disorders, anxiety, personality disorders, couples therapy and substance abuse. She also has several years of experience running groups on parent education and family support, anger management, social skills, distress tolerance, relaxation, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills. Ms. Cabral enjoys utilizing creativity, art and music into her therapy with children and adults. Her approach to therapy includes a collaborative, strengths-based approach to helping people achieve personal growth and change.
JOAN D. CAHILL, L.C.S.W., B.C.D. is a state licensed and board certified independent clinical social worker. She received her M.S.W. from the University of Connecticut in 1974 and practices in Southington. Her specialties are in the area of chemical dependency, bereavement and traumatic loss, anxiety disorders and marriage and family therapy. Ms. Cahill has extensive experience in providing a variety of psycho-educational groups to parents, families, and adolescents. In addition, she is affiliated with local and national EAPs. She is on the Affiliate Clinical Staff of the Department of Psychiatry at Hartford Hospital and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Connecticut Society for Clinical Social Workers, and the Academy of Certified Social Workers . She holds Diplomate status in clinical social work and is Board Certified by the ABECSW.
SANDRA J. CHRISTIANSON, L.M.F.T. is a licensed marital and family therapist who received her graduate degree in marital and family therapy from Central Connecticut State University in 2002. She received an undergraduate degree in human development and family relations from the University of Connecticut in 1997. Sandra is a member of the American Association of Marital and Family Therapists. Her graduate work included working at Wheeler Clinic co-leading an intensive outpatient program for dual-diagnosis adolescents and working in the general child outpatient services. Sandra continued to work for almost three years as a full-time therapist in Wheeler Clinic’s child outpatient services gaining more experience with a wide range of issues affecting children, adolescents, and their families. She developed more experience in the area of substance use by leading an adolescent substance use group that was part of a grant funded research project through the University of Connecticut. She also ran anger management, social skills, and divorce groups for children, as well as a mood management group for adolescent females. Sandra has five years of experience working as a special education tutor in a public school system. Since entering private practice in 2005, her clinical practice has evolved to include individual, couples, and family therapy with adolescents and adults. Her clinical interests include adjustment issues, anxiety, depression, ADHD, parenting/divorce/blended family/general family relationship issues, and marital issues. In order to help people achieve any positive changes, she uses a cognitive-behavioral approach as well as various other strategies appropriate for each presenting issue. Gaining self-awareness and understanding of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and the skills to challenge and change them are the key to creating long-lasting change and a healthier sense of well-being.
KEVIN J. CONNOLLY, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist with expertise in the treatment of trauma victims, PTSD, anxiety disorders and disruptive behavior disorders. He graduated from the University of Delaware in 1983 and completed his internship at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic, specializing in family therapy. He practices in Bloomfield and Bristol and is a consultant to the Bristol School System and to the Hartford Vet Center. Formerly, Dr. Connolly was the Director of the Sexual Abuse Program at the Wheeler Clinic and served as a consultant to Protective Services for th
e state of Connecticut and New York City. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Connecticut Psychological Association where he serves as a Key Psychologist.
CHANEL HILDEBRAND, L.C.S.W. is a licensed clinical social worker who received her Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut where she also completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Human Development. Chanel has experience providing: individual, family, and group therapy to adolescents and adult clients. Chanel's clinical expertise includes treatment of depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship conflicts, disruptive behaviors, parenting issues and addiction/recovery. She has formal training in Cognitive Behavioral, Dialectical Behavioral and Multi-Systemic therapies as well as Motivational Interviewing. Chanel has prior experience working in a variety of treatment settings ranging from in-home and hospitalization programs to traditional outpatient settings. Chanel's approach to treatment is strength focused with an eclectic style. She seeks to empower individuals and families to take control of their life experiences, improve their relationships, and take the steps needed to reach balance, personal fulfillment and emotional wellbeing.
VINCENT A. HOLLISTER, L.C.S.W. is a licensed clinical social worker who earned his master’s degree from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, where he received specialized training in mental health and substance abuse treatment. He works with adults, adolescents and children to support clients in their efforts towards personal and positive changes in their lives. Mr. Hollister believes that most people share similar personal, family, and predictable challenges in their lives, and he assists clients in managing those events in a positive manner. By developing and nurturing a healthy therapeutic relationship, Mr. Hollister works with his clients as they seek to cultivate greater self-awareness, confidence, and more meaningful relationships with their partners and children, while achieving greater satisfaction in their emotional well-being. Mr. Hollister has been formally trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), solution focused theory (SFT), family systems and psychodynamic theory. These models of treatment provide the framework for Mr. Hollister to treat individuals, couples and families experiencing depression, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma, behavioral and interpersonal relationship issues. He has an extensive executive corporate business management and coaching background that enhances his ability to engage and motivate clients. Mr. Hollister considers people to be the experts in their own lives, but that sometimes even experts need assistance.
THOMAS PATENAUDE, Psy.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and forensic examiner providing psychotherapy and diagnostic assessment services. Dr. Patenaude earned his Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology in 1995 and his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1997 from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Patenaude works with adults, adolescents, and children. Dr. Patenaude provides individual, couples/marital, family, and group therapy. His areas of interest include, but are not limited to, depression and anxiety, stress management, marital and relationship difficulties, divorce & life transitions, job stress, life stress, substance abuse, child and adolescent adjustment and behavior problems, parenting skills training, psychotic disorders, and crisis intervention. Dr. Patenaude also provides psychological testing, intellectual/cognitive assessment, and forensic evaluation. His approach to therapy is founded in multiple treatment methods that include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Client Centered Therapy, emotional / behavioral management, self-exploration, development of insight and awareness, and focus on the therapeutic relationship as change agents. Dr. Patenaude also provides expert testimony in criminal and civil legal matters, as well as consultation to psychiatrists, medical practitioners, and attorney. Dr. Patenaude is a member of the American Psychological Association.
CHRISTOPHER PENTA, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist. He received his MA in clinical psychology from the University of Hartford in 1985 and completed the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Antioch New England Graduate School, the psychology internship program at the Yale University School of Medicine, and the addiction training program at the University of Connecticut Graduate School of Social Work. Before beginning full-time private practice, he enjoyed a long association with the University of Connecticut Health Center where he served as a clinician and faculty member. He has worked extensively in the field of addiction and its treatment at both UConn and Yale. His interests include forensic psychology, trauma, family therapy and treatment of complex addictions. An experienced psychotherapist, Dr. Penta has a special interest in cognitive-behavioral therapy and techniques for engaging individuals who are often resistant to traditional psychotherapy. He is a member of the American and Connecticut Psychological Associations.
JANE ROMANO, APRN is a licensed and board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She has been providing medication management and psychotherapy for almost 30 years. She received her BS in behavioral science from Mercy College in Dobbs ferry New York in 1983 and her MS in psychiatric nursing from St. John's University in West Hartford Connecticut in 1988. Ms. Romano has an extensive medical nursing background working in critical care, emergency care, and intensive care units at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset New York and the Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. Ms. Romano worked at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford Connecticut for 21 years in all areas of psychiatry. She worked for many years at the Western Connecticut Mental Health Network and the University of Connecticut Health Center Department of Psychiatry. She is particularly interested in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) which is helpful in assisting clients with emotion regulation, coping skills development, and in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
DALE C. THIELERT, L.C.S.W. is a licensed clinical social worker who received his master’s degree in 1999 from the University of Connecticut, School of Social Work. He is currently in his second year of advanced training in Gestalt Therapy and Bioenergetics at the Harford Family Institute. He is interested in the influence of childhood development and family of origin dynamics on self- image and relationships in adulthood. He brings 24 years of experience to his current private practice working with adult individuals and couples in the Windsor office. His social work career began in 1991 as a case manager supporting the homeless population in their efforts to maintain dignity and re-gain autonomy. He then completed internships at New Britain General Hospital counseling older adults struggling with depression and anxiety and at the Wheeler Clinic in Plainville treating adults of all ages with a broad range of mental health issues. He was then hired by the clinic and worked there from 1999 through 2007 facilitating substance abuse, anger management and domestic violence groups. While at the Clinic, he helped launch the DOVE program for male domestic violence offenders and provided supervision for student interns. He has also received extensive training in the treatment of psychological trauma, a condition often underlying mood disorders and impulsive behaviors. Mr. Thielert draws from a wide variety of therapeutic theories and techniques in collaborating with clients to individualize a treatment approach that best meets their needs. His guiding principle is to mobilize existing strengths and resources while encouraging personal growth through the development of new insight and life skills. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.
LISA UMANITA, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker who received her undergraduate degree from UMASS Boston and her master’s degree in social work from Boston University. Ms. Umanita has worked with patients and assumed leadership positions in a range of treatment settings, including outpatient, inpatient, rehabilitation, and substance abuse facilities. She utilizes a range of evidenced-based treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavior, solution-focused, reality, positive, and strength-based. Ms. Umanita provides therapy services for adults with anxiety, depression, chronic mental illness, bereavement and loss, life transitions, LGBTQ, phobias, panic, strengthening coping skills, stress-management, and trauma. She creates a caring, nonjudgmental, and compassionate therapeutic environment and feels fortunate for the opportunity to work with her patients.
DANIEL E. WEISS, Psy.D.is a licensed psychologist who earned his doctorate from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology in 1999. After completing his internship at the Village for Families and Children, Inc., Dr. Weiss worked in the children’s outpatient department at the Wheeler Clinic for five years. He joined Spectrum Psychotherapy Centers in 2004 and practices out of the Windsor office, where he serves as the Director of Child and Family Services. Dr. Weiss’ primary emphasis is with children, adolescents, young adults, and families. His treatment specialties include anxiety, depression, social skills training, positive parenting strategies, ADHD, adjustment disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and bereavement. In addition, Dr. Weiss works with adults, with typical referral issues including anxiety, depression, and stress management.