Director: Moshe Shtuhl, Ph.D. - Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Moshe Shtuhl is the founder and director of Family Compass since 1996. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Clinical Psychology at George Washington University. Dr. Shtuhl worked as an army psychologist in his native Israel before arriving in the U.S. to pursue doctoral studies in 1987. During a three year internship at the University of California in San Francisco, he specialized in working with children and families. In 1990 he was one of fifteen health professionals nationwide to be recognized for exceptional work with children by Zero to Three, a Washington, D.C. based organization focusing on the needs of young children. In 1992, Dr. Shtuhl founded the Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program, a training program for mental health professionals at the Washington School of Psychiatry in Washington, D.C. He served as its chairman until 1998, when he stepped down to pursue concentrated studies in neuropsychology at the Fielding Institute, which he completed in 2000. He was also on the Faculty of the Interdisciplinary Council of Learning and Developmental Disorders from 2003 to 2010.
Dan Dinsmoor, Ph.D. - Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Dinsmoor received his B.A. in psychology from Oberlin College, and his Ph. D. from the American University in Washington D.C. During the early 70s, Dr. Dinsmoor created an outpatient program for young autistic children at the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents in Baltimore.
During the early 1980's Dr. Dinsmoor completed extensive post doctoral work in family therapy at the Georgetown Family Center, Georgetown University Dept. of Psychiatry.
From 1983-1993 he was the Coordinator of Child and Adolescent Mental Health for Charles County Maryland. He was also the staff psychologist for the Community Mental Health Program at Liberty Hospital in Baltimore.
For the past 8 years Dr. Dinsmoor has provided neurofeedback services to a variety of clinical populations. This includes using neurofeedback to treat adults with Schizophrenia at the Springfield Hospital Center in Maryland, and children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Depression, Bipolar disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and other psychiatric disorders at Arlington County Department of Human Services.
Alison Gardner, Psy.D. - Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Gardner is a clinical child psychologist who has been practicing since 2003. She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Clinical Psychology at George Washington University. Dr. Gardner has been with Family Compass since 2004 working to support families and preschool and school-aged children who are struggling with anxiety, life and relationship stress as well as and other emotional and behavioral regulation challenges. Dr. Gardner takes an integrative approach to her work with children and families. In so doing, she works strategically with children, parents and schools as needed in order to leverage multiple pathways towards fostering emotional well-being and secure relationships. Dr. Gardner completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh then gained experience in mental health crisis intervention and conducted research with the University of Pittsburgh. In 1998, Dr. Gardner sought her doctoral degree from the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology which is jointly sponsored by the College of William and Mary, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Old Dominion University, and Norfolk State University. She received training in psychological assessment and family and individual therapy before coming to Northern Virginia in 2001 to complete her pre-doctoral internship with the Fairfax - Falls Church Community Services Board. During her internship, Dr.Gardner received advanced training in play therapy and became a member of the Infancy and Early Childhood Team. After receiving her Psy.D. in 2002, she stayed on to work full time with this team where she has gained a great deal of experience working with families and young children with emotional and developmental challenges.
Mark Gardner, LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Mr. Gardner has been working as a social worker with children and families for thirteen years and specializes in treating infants, toddlers, preschoolers, elementary-school-aged children and their parents. In 1997, he completed his Master of Social Work degree from the Virginia Commonwealth University, which included training and postgraduate work at the Inova Kellar Center. Thereafter, he spent six years working as a psychotherapist with the Infancy and Early Childhood Program, part of Fairfax County's community mental health system. In addition to expertise in play and family therapy, Mr. Gardner is a certified trauma and loss specialist. Mr. Gardner has provided family therapy and grief groups to children whose parents have died and for two years co-led a grief group for children who lost a parent in the 9/11 attacks.
Sara Markese, Ph.D. - Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Markese is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in treating infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged children and their parents. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Clinical Psychology at George Washington University. Dr. Markese provides play-based therapy for children with emotional, social and behavioral issues, developmental delays, anxiety, mood dysregulation and trauma as well as parent guidance. She received her B.A. in psychology from Brown University, and her Ph. D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where she received specialized training in play therapy. In her internship, Dr. Markese worked within a therapeutic preschool program, and continued to work in New York City as a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University coordinating a research and treatment project for women, and their infants and young children, who were widowed as a result of the 9-11 disaster. She also worked as a staff psychologist at the St. Luke's-Roosevelt Child and Family Institute, co-directing the newly developed treatment program of the Parent-Infant Center. Since leaving New York City in 2008, Dr. Markese has worked in private practice in Northern Virginia with families with children of all ages with emotional and developmental challenges.
Joshua Metz, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Mr. Metz is the Program Director of Together for Success Program, providing therapy and early intervention to young children with pervasive developmental and autism spectrum challenges and their families. Mr. Metz received a masters of social work from the National Catholic School of Social Service, Catholic University of America, concentrating his studies on infant and early childhood development. Mr. Metz is also a 2008 graduate of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (LEND) Fellowship program located at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. In 2012, Mr. Metz joined the faculty of the National Catholic School of Social Service, serving as a Field Instructor for the Foundation Year Field Education & Integrative Seminar. He has been with Family Compass since 2008 (following a clinical internship in 2007-2008), and brings experience working with parents and young children, using play-based, developmentally-grounded strategies to foster interaction and engagement (DIR/Floortime, RDI, SCERTS). In addition to his work with children with autism, he has specialized in therapy with children with emotional and behavioral challenges and their families.
Abram Sterne, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Abram Sterne has a PhD in developmental psychology from the University of Cambridge in England, and a clinical doctorate in psychology from University College London. He has worked as a clinical psychologist in the National Health Service in the UK, specializing in working with children and adolescents, and psychological and neuropsychological testing. He also worked in private practice in Jerusalem with children, adolescents and young adults. In addition, Dr. Sterne has worked in a variety of clinical research posts including studies looking at the role of genetics in mental health in both adolescents and adults. Dr. Sterne uses cognitive-behavioral and solution-focused approaches with children and families, with an emphasis on the here and now. He works both with parents and their children to develop their own problem-solving skills for dealing with behavioral and emotional challenges.
Kristin S. Swanson, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Kristin Swanson completed her undergraduate degree in psychology and child development at Tufts University . She sought her doctoral degree from The American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University/Washington, DC and obtained her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology with a Child and Family concentration. Throughout her externship, pre-doctoral internship, and post-doctoral training she worked in psychological assessment, individual therapy, and parent guidance, with particular focus on young children and their families, including work in therapeutic preschool programs. Following completion of her studies, Dr. Swanson worked at the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants and Young Children where she provided individual and family therapy as well as parent training within the therapeutic school and clinic programs. Dr. Swanson specializes in working with families of toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children presenting with a variety of developmental, emotional, and behavioral challenges.
Mecca Burns, RDT-BCT - Drama Therapist
Mecca Burns received her undergraduate degree in both Psychology and Performing Arts from Washington University in 1984, and her master's degree in Counseling Psychology (Emphasis: Drama and Movement Therapy) from Lindenwood University in 1992, She is a Registered Drama Therapist and a Board-Certified Drama Therapy Trainer, and has served on the Board of the National Association for Drama Therapy as Standards & Ethics Chair. For over twenty years she has taught creative drama and movement, written and directed plays for children, and provided drama therapy for both adults and children. She lives in Charlottesville, Va. where she maintains a private practice in drama therapy for children with special needs. She is also co-director of PRESENCE Center for Applied Theatre Arts, which applies theatre to social issues. She has raised two daughters and a stepdaughter.
Brad Stoller, Drama Therapist
Brad Stoller received his BA in Theatre Arts and Dance from Sonoma State University and his MFA in Drama from the University of Virginia. He has worked with youth and adults with drama and dance for over twenty years. He is an award winning playwright and teaches playwriting in the Young Writers' summer program at UVA. He has been a secondary school theatre director as well as a university professor in theatre and dance. He was drama and music director at the Charlottesville Center for Dyslexia. Brad is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique (a movement re-education work) and holds a black belt in Aikido. He teaches Aikido and Alexander Technique to youths and adults in Charlottesville. Brad has co-presented with Mecca Burns at four National Association for Drama Therapy conferences. He has a daughter and two stepdaughters who are all musicians.
Leslie Stelljes Nanson, Testing Associate and Cogmed Coach
Leslie received her undergraduate degree from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. During her time there, she developed an interest in neuropsychology and conducted lab work on the neuroanatomy and social behavior of bumble bees. After graduating with a degree in Psychology and English, Leslie specialized in chemical dependency and was certified as a substance abuse counselor in both Washington State and the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more than five years, she enjoyed working with adolescents, adults, and families in a wide range of substance abuse treatment settings. In 2009, Leslie and her husband moved to Reston, VA, and she began pursuing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the George Washington University in Washington DC. Since then, Leslie has received extensive training in psychotherapy and psychological assessment, and she has had externship placements at the Whitman-Walker Clinic, the George Washington University Center Clinic, and the Child Guidance Clinic at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.