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Melysa Friedman, LICSW Board President (she/hers)

Melysa received her MSW from Springfield College in 1997 and currently has a full-time private practice in Northampton, MA. In her work, she draws upon the principles of relational and self-psychology, attachment theory, ego-state work, and has a strong emphasis on the use of mindfulness. She spent over a decade working closely with victims of domestic violence before moving into her work with families experiencing homelessness. Melysa went on to provide psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and groups in an outpatient mental health clinic where she was also responsible for clinical supervision and utilization management review. She completed her training in EMDR, Levels I and II, through HAP in 2004, earned her certification, and is an Approved Consultant. Melysa actively participates in various consultation groups and has been a member of the Board since 2015.

Sarah Burnham, LICSW Board Treasurer (she/her)

Sarah received her MSW from University of Maryland in 1993. Since 2012 She has worked the VA on a Residential Unit for Veterans with PTSD. Prior to that she had many years experience working in Community Mental Health Centers in New Mexico and Massachusetts. She was trained in EMDR and Acceptance Commitment Therapy in 2012. She has since gotten certified in EMDR and in the Trauma Resilience Model, a somatically based trauma approach. She believes in empowering clients by helping them to understand and befriend their nervous system through a Polyvagal lens, helping them to understand that they are not broken, they just didn’t have a manual.

Carol Ostiguy-Finneran, LMHC Board Clerk (she/her)

Carol (she/her) graduated with her MA from Antioch New England in 2007 where she majored in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy. She has worked as a sexual assault crisis counselor, as a correctional counselor and forensics clinician, in substance abuse treatment, in residential programs for adults with disabilities and in community mental health clinics. She has training and experience evaluating and treating both survivors and perpetrators of sexualized violence. She completed her EMDR basic training in 2016. She is most drawn to Feminist/Empowerment and Client Centered models of care along with the application of EMDR for trauma recovery.She is currently in full time private practice in Easthampton MA.

Desiree Lowit, LICSW (she/hers)

Desiree received her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work in 2010. In addition to being an EMDRIA certified clinician and an EMDRIA Approved Consultant, she is trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Levels 1 and 2. She works primarily in private practice in Northampton, MA. Prior to starting a private practice in 2014, Desiree worked in outpatient community mental health settings with a focus on working with children and families. Throughout her career (in both community mental health and private practice), she has specialized in supporting families (through empowerment), who navigate the complexities that come with parenting a child/teen or young adult with special needs, medical fragility, learning differences and developmental delays.

Stephanie Baird, LMHC (she/they)

Stephanie (she/they) has provided therapy, assessment, and educational talks and programs on trauma, self-care, and stress reduction in various mental health settings such as prisons, hospitals, clinics, and private practice since 1999. Her private practice specialties include EMDR therapy, trauma, and sexual health. She became an EMDRIA Approved Consultant in 2016 and provides individual and group consultation. Becoming an O.W.L. (Our Whole Lives) sex educator in April 2018, each year she voluntarily teaches alternating groups of middle-schoolers, high schoolers, or adults (young adult, adult, and older adult). She also has a certificate in Advancing Clinical Excellence in Sexuality. She loves bringing sex-positive information and sexual health into her EMDR Therapy practice and especially loves helping clients embrace healthy sexuality future templates, recently publishing a book integrating these areas: EMDR Therapy and Sexual Health: A Clinician’s Guide (Springer, 2021). She has been presenting on the integration of EMDR Therapy and Sexual Health in some form since 2018. Lastly, she writes a monthly column on positive sexual health for the Montague Reporter newspaper.

Christine Catania-Rachlin, MSW, LICSW (she/hers)

Christine has over 27 years' experience providing therapeutic services to youth and adults in various settings. Fluent in multiple treatment modalities, her expertise is in the treatment of trauma and anxiety, specializing in the use of EMDR (recently certified), mindfulness, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), and ego state techniques to address relational and complex trauma. Currently, Christine maintains a private practice and has guest lectured MSW students on the topics of trauma and the use of EMDR as a treatment method. In a continuous effort to expand skills and education, she is a DSW candidate at Southern Connecticut State University, with the hopes of contributing to educating the next generation of social work practitioners, specifically in trauma competency.

Chloe Rovitz, LCSW, LMSW (she/they)

I received my MSW from the Smith School for Social Work in 2021, and currently work as part of a group practice in Amherst and Northampton, MA. After attaining my MSW, I completed a Fellowship at the Trauma Institute, where I facilitated week-long memory-processing intensives utilizing EMDR, Progressive Counting, the Flash technique, and various ego-state methods. Following this, I completed a Fellowship with the Massachusetts Institute of Psychoanalysis. I now integrate these two worlds, bringing powerful trauma-resolution tools into a broader treatment framework that is informed by psychodynamic, attachment-focused, and anti-oppressive theories. I have been on the Board since 2022.

Michelle Marchese, LICSW (she/they)

Michelle M. Marchese is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified trauma therapist. They are a current Ph.D. candidate at Smith College. Their dissertation is on EMDR for race-based traumatic stress and they have published and presented on issues related to gender, trauma and dissociation. They teach on intersectional trauma treatment and disability justice in the MSW program, and in the Advanced Clinical Supervision Certificate Program, both at Smith SSW.

Marchese operates a group private practice in Northampton focused on trauma healing with queer and historically-marginalized communities via intensives and weekly therapy. They also mentor two clinicians in the practice and offer clinical supervision/consultation/EMDR consultation to providers in the community. They have also worked as the Director of Counseling At Smith College, as the Clinical Supervisor at The Trauma Institute, in a PTSD milieu program for The Veterans Administration, and in two community mental health clinics - always striving to center trauma healing and liberation.


Past Board / Steering Committee Members

Cheryl Case, LICSW
Joanna Vaughn, LICSW
Joel Coburn, LICSW
Jacquelyn Olmeda, LMHC
Jim Helling, LICSW - Past Board President
Stephanie Baird, LMHC
Gary Loomis, LMHC
Anna Kogan, LICSW
Jason Rose-Langston, LICSW
Lee Paddy, LMHC
Jane Laskey, LICSW
Elizabeth Barron, LMHC
Sandra Stephenson Murphy, LICSW/ACSW

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