Meet Our Team

Life can be difficult and overwhelming at times; however, you do not have to experience it or work through it alone. Taking the first step in asking for help is a courageous one and I will meet you where you are in your process. I believe in creating a safe and nonjudgmental space to collaboratively help you develop an understanding of your challenges and identify action steps in working toward desired change and enhancing overall quality of life. I utilize an integrative approach tailored upon your individualized needs through evidenced-based practices. I have worked with a wide range of age groups in both inpatient and outpatient settings presenting with various challenges including mood and anxiety disorders, life transitions, trauma, perinatal and parenting issues, and interpersonal conflicts. In addition, I have received intensive training in and specialize in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders and EMDR.

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a Master’s Degree from Iona University. I have over 10 years of experience helping adults and adolescents with a wide range of problems, including ADHD, trauma, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, career issues, and adjustment stress. I provide therapy that is solution-focused and tailored to the needs of each individual client. I strive to provide a safe, non-judgmental space to understand your feelings, develop better insight, and use your strengths to navigate life’s challenges.

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with over 6 years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families with various behavioral, mental health and relational issues. I provide services in both English and Spanish. I treat a multitude of disorders, but specialize in treating anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, ADHD/behavioral issues, mood disorders, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders. In my clinical work, I will utilize Cognitive Behavioral Techniques, Dialectical Behavioral Techniques, and Mindfulness Skills to best suit my client. Many of the clients I have worked with have benefited from these approaches and have learned how to lead happier and more productive lives.

*Provides Services in Spanish and English

With any concern, I work with the client and at times, their family, to develop an individualized plan for treatment. I work with clients facing a variety of mental health concerns including, but not limited to ADHD, ODD, anxiety, OCD, depression, trauma, and behavioral dysregulation. I also specialize in working with individuals/families experiencing serious illness or medical issues. I work with my clients to develop and implement coping strategies to improve their emotional and behavioral wellbeing.

In addition, I have experience guiding parents through the process of having their child evaluated to receive an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as well as providing them with the tools necessary to improve child and parent communication.  Together, we can overcome challenges so that you can create the life you want to live.  I look forward to working with you!

I am passionate about my work as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor; because it allows me the opportunity to help many incredible, resilient people reach their fullest potential. I graduated from Columbia University with a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and an Advanced Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Manhattan College. My experience includes individual and group counseling with adults, children, and adolescents. I believe that compassion, understanding, and trust are important to the therapeutic process. I utilize a variety of therapeutic modalities, according to the client's individual needs.

Ready for change? Give us a call.

I understand how difficult it can be to take that step in pursuing therapy. If you are feeling stuck and would like to make a change in your life, I am here to help. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who will provide a warm, supportive and safe environment to allow you to feel heard. I use an eclectic approach which will be tailored to fit your needs since every individual is unique. I have experience working with children, adolescents and adults of all backgrounds, as well as couples. I will remain supportive and empathetic, to allow you to navigate life’s transitions and overcome interpersonal challenges. Some of my specialties include working with people who are struggling with anxiety, depression, life transitions, relationship issues, and self esteem.

I am an experienced Licensed Mental Health Counselor who believes everyone deserves happiness and personal peace. This is not always easy to come by, but therapy can help. I work with teens and adults, and provide a safe place for my clients to examine their past, understand their personal responsibilities, and uncover possibilities for their future. My counseling approach is person-centered - I meet you where you are, and together, we navigate your way to a better future. I use empathy, humor and directness to help you along your journey. My clients have described me as "warm", "down to earth", "helpful", and "easy to talk to". I believe I can help you. Let's get started!

Making the leap to find the right therapist, setting goals to improve your life and letting yourself be vulnerable to make those changes are brave tasks. As a therapist, I prioritize creating a supportive and nonjudgmental space to help you to explore emotions, gain insights, learn coping strategies, and to work towards improving overall quality of life.

I believe in utilizing an integrative and client-centered approach in an effort to best meet your needs.  I have worked with clients in both inpatient and outpatient settings with various diagnoses and goals. I have completed intensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy training through Behavioral Tech LLC, level one and two EMDR training, as well as advanced training in the treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders through Postpartum Support International.

Ana Loew, LMHC

I am a bilingual counselor with clinical experience working with adolescent and adults with both addiction and mental health disorders. My goal is to provide the most effective treatment possible for men, women and adolescents through the use of person centered techniques including motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy. I pride myself in being innovative, creative and flexible to help my clients attain their personal treatment goals and set a strong foundation for future success.

*Provides Services in Spanish and English

My motivation to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor was to give people the opportunity to have support and a judgement free space as they begin to explore the challenges they are facing. My goal is to provide an environment for my clients to share and work through challenging times so that I can help make a difference in their lives. My background includes working in both a school and clinical setting. As a professional, I use a variety of approaches to ensure my clients learn and utilize skills they can take with them throughout the therapeutic process. My areas of focus have included working on anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. I look forward to the opportunity to help you navigate our world and to give you the tools you will need to be successful.

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with five years of counseling experience in schools, hospitals and agencies. I help children, adolescents, adults, and their families find the treatment they need so they can thrive. I use an eclectic, person-centered, strength based approach. I tailor the treatment process to fit each unique individual. As your therapist, I'll support you as you break down your barriers and grow to your fullest potential. Consider me a partner on your path to empowerment--listening to you, holding space for you, and encouraging you along the way. Whatever the obstacle, I'm here for you.

Marianne Castellana, LMHC

Samantha Potapchuk, MS

Taking the first step to begin therapy and find the right therapist can feel challenging and overwhelming. I am here to help ease those feelings and work with you to get you on the path to being happier and more successful in your life and relationships. I became a therapist because I believe that everyone deserves to have a full and meaningful life. I use a solution-focused, person centered, and strength based approach that can be modified and personalized to each individual client. I believe in building a strong therapeutic relationship and creating a completely safe, supportive, and accepting space to share, grow, and better process and understand your feelings and experiences. Whether you are going through a challenging time in your life, having difficulty in your relationships, at home, or at work, or feeling like you are stuck in a negative spot, I am here to help. We will work together to overcome challenges and set meaningful goals that will get you on the path to future success.

Melissa Ryan, LMHC

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University. My expertise is working with adolescents and adults to manage and overcome their difficulties with anxiety, depression, self-esteem, grief/bereavement, life transitions, and interpersonal relationships. I’m a person-centered therapist. I have experience working with individuals who struggle with chronic and acute illnesses. I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), solution-focused strategies, and mindfulness techniques to help my clients reach their goals. I believe that each experience in therapy is unique.My goal is to help my clients feel supported and understood. I prioritize making a safe space for my clients, as I understand this is an important first step in empowering clients to overcome their obstacles.

It can seem scary to talk to someone about your struggles in mental health. My goal is to create a safe, comfortable, and judgement-free environment for you to express your concerns. A space where we can work together to facilitate growth. I aim to build an empathic relationship for you to know that you are seen and heard. My experience working with children, adolescents, and adults from different cultural backgrounds has taught me that each of our cultures and experiences are unique and personal. As an Asian American myself, I value different cultural backgrounds and strive to work with your culture. I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy, and strength-based approach to help you achieve your goals and find the best potential in yourself. Whatever challenging time you are going through, you’ve come to the right place. You are not alone; let’s work through it together!

*Provides Services in Korean & English

Jenny Park, MS

Raquel Fernandes, MS

I am a graduate of Long Island University - CW Post with my Masters in Mental Health Counseling. I have experience working with substance abuse and a variety of mental health disorders. I typically utilize different therapeutic techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness and person-centered therapy to assist in guiding individuals throughout their therapeutic journey.

I believe that clients benefit from exploring their personal experiences and challenging their views to become more aware of how their inner world affects their daily lives. I am committed to creating a safe space for all individuals to feel heard.

Here you will find a judgment-free therapeutic environment that supportively embraces
individuals of all ages. My caring approach is rooted in collaboration, and unwavering support,
with a deep commitment to helping you navigate life's challenges. I believe in the importance of extending acceptance and understanding, and my passion for this work drives me to provide you with the utmost nurture and guidance. Together, we will explore your individual journey toward healing and personal growth, making every step of the process a meaningful experience. Your well-being is my priority, and I am dedicated to fostering a space where you can thrive. Let's embark on this journey together.

Daniella Natale, MS

Christina Garbarino, MA

I am a strong advocate that everyone has the ability to change and live a purposeful life. No matter what reason an individual decides to seek out therapy, I am determined to work with my clients to promote positive change, navigate any challenges they may face, and equip them with the necessary tools to move forward. I believe in building a strong therapeutic relationship and creating a non-judgmental, safe environment for my clients. My goal is to facilitate exploration of any thoughts, emotions, and experiences that may be affecting their lives. I have experience working with clients of all ages with varying mental health diagnoses. My approach to mental health counseling embodies components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Therapy, Humanistic Client-Centered Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. I blend elements from each of these different approaches, and tailor the method of treatment specifically based on my client’s needs. The best way out is always through and we will get through it together, one step at a time.

Michelle "Mitch" Sampaga, Insurance Specialist
I am a detail-oriented Medical Biller with more than 6 years of experience handling billing and clerical tasks to ensure accurate and timely patient billing. I have a proven track record in processing claims with accuracy and confidentiality. I make sure to be precise and efficient and I specialize in filing accurate claims, adjusting rejected claims, solving claim denials and understanding insurance contracts, appeals, and EOBs. I also have experience in quality control and implementing improved processes to enhance accuracy of the business end of things and billing.
Valerie Horne, Intake Coordinator

As one of the first people you’ll speak with upon calling The Long Island Mental Health Counseling Group, I try my best to make you feel welcomed, comfortable and heard. I know how hard it can be making that first initial call and my first priority will always be to help you in any way that I can.

I strive to create a safe and non-judgmental space for my clients to explore their experiences and address what brings them into therapy. I believe in the importance of the therapeutic relationship; therefore, my approach is supportive, compassionate, and collaborative. I see the importance in understanding clients entirely, from their interests to their past and current experiences. I utilize a person-centered approach while incorporating interventions from modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy, strength-based therapy among others to best fit the needs of my clients. I received my undergraduate and graduate degree in General Psychology from Adelphi University and a graduate degree in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University. I have experience working with LGBTQIA+ individuals at Pride for Youth, and working with children, adolescents and adults with anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorders. In my free time, I enjoy playing video games, and spending time with my loved ones.

Kimberly Velazquez, LMHC

As a Bilingual Mental Health Counselor, I strive to utilize person centered therapy to provide the best quality care throughout sessions. Growing up in a first-generation family in an immigrant family, representation is crucial for myself and the counseling services I can provide for you. Through utilizing creative and flexible techniques, I strive to aid clients to become the best version of themselves with a combination of approaches, such as CBT, MI, REBT, and DBT to name a few. My educational background entails obtaining an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Rutgers University and a graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling from Hofstra University. Some of the areas of focus have included working with substance use disorders, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, interpersonal relationships, trauma, etc. In working with the adolescents and adult population, I look forward to supporting and working with you in your next steps.

*Provides services in Spanish and English

Johana Lastor Montes, MS

I believe therapy is a place where one can facilitate their growth. I am an integrative therapist that uses a variety of therapeutic approaches, which are personalized and tailored to each client. I offer a relaxed, supportive, non-judgmental environment where you will be able to express yourself, explore coping skills and receive positive feedback. I have worked with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings. I maintain a supportive yet direct approach, in which clients and I jointly identify problems, create goals, and develop a treatment plan to reach those goals.  Myareas of specialization include anxiety, depression, anger management, vocational related stress, relationship issues, and adjustment issues.  Together we can help you make the changes you desire.

As a passionate and driven advocate for mental health, I believe that therapy is an important journey. I believe that we all have the ability to find inner peace, but sometimes we need the right support to get ourselves started. I have extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. I am a therapist who believes all clients heal differently and will work with you to tailor your treatment plan in the most effective way for you. I use skills from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and more. I strive to provide a comfortable environment for my clients and to help them find the best parts of themselves. I believe each one of my clients has the ability to heal and would love to help you begin your journey. Therapy might sound overwhelming and scary at first, but through our work together in this safe and supportive space, I will help you begin to live the life you absolutely have the ability to achieve!

Life can be scary at times and often we find ourselves feeling alone, misunderstood, wishing we could just vent and have someone listen with a non-judgmental ear. As a clinician, I will walk alongside you and offer support, empathy, kindness, understanding, and compassion. But please know, I will also challenge and empower you to step out of your comfort zone. I believe by establishing a strong therapeutic relationship, built on trust, honesty, warmth and openness, together we can promote healing. The overall goal in my practice is for you to feel safe, supported and heard.

I have two Master Degrees from Long Island University/CW Post Campus, one in Mental Health Counseling and the other in School Counseling. My years of experience have led me to counsel individuals struggling with a multitude of disorders including anxiety, ADHD, substance use, trauma (physical/sexual abuse), mood disorders, dual diagnoses, academic difficulties, adjustment disorders, life transitions and interpersonal issues. While my expertise resides in the adolescent population, I have also worked with adults, children, and families. I utilize an eclectic approach to treatment and begin with meeting you where you are. Next steps are tailored to your specific needs. I draw from such therapies as Cognitive-Behavioral, Acceptance and Commitment, Person-Centered, Motivational Interviewing and Mindfulness but am flexible. I am excited to accompany you on your journey of self-discovery.

Liz Carino, LMHC

Kim Miller, LMHC

Christina Colon, LMHC

Samantha Maresca, LMHC

Patricia Ramjohn, LMHC

Heather Quinn, LMHC

Stephanie LaPenta, LMHC

Caitlin Alagna, LMHC, Clinical Supervisor

Danielle Milack LMHC, Clinical Supervisor

Brianna Quirk, LMHC

Brittany Hageman, LMHC

Danielle Nitkewicz, MS

Asking for help can be difficult and feel overwhelming, which is why it is important to me that you feel comfortable and confident in doing so. I have experience providing individual and group counseling for children, adolescents and young adults who are navigating anxiety and/or depression, self-discovery, life transitions, self-esteem and substance use. Counseling looks unique for each individual, which is why I use a person-centered approach and incorporate different interventions to help you feel empowered and in control. I believe in the power of being aware of our environment and how it plays a role in the way we function. My goal is to provide a non-judgemental space for us to build a collaborative, working relationship that consists of support and compassion. I want you to know that you are not alone, and that I am here for you.

Leanna Jerolimov, MS