A message from our Director

Fugen Neziroglu, Ph.D., ABBP, ABPP

Psychologist, Co-Founder / Executive Director at Bio-Behavioral Institute

What kind of care would you want for a loved one fighting mental illness?

That is the question Dr. Yaryura-Tobias and I asked ourselves when we established the Bio-Behavioral Institute in 1979. Our goal was to develop a cutting edge facility to provide patients with the most up to date treatments available for mental illness.


For over 30 years, we have been conducting research, teaching and disseminating information to professionals and to the public, forming a team of talented professionals who work collaboratively to help patients overcome their struggles.
Our ongoing clinical research efforts have contributed extensively to providing current psychological and medical knowledge. Each of our staff members are dedicated to providing scientifically based treatment in a nurturing and supportive environment.
Established in 1979, our outpatient intensive cognitive behavioral treatment program for OCD was the first in the nation.

Patient Care

We work closely with each and every patient, with attention given to the social, biological and psychological factors contributing to their current situation. Patients come to Bio-Behavioral Institute from all over the country (and internationally) to receive the latest treatments available. Today our program serves children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.

Dr. Fugen Neziroglu is a board certified behavior and cognitive psychologist, and leading researcher on anxiety disorders. She is the co-founder and director of the Bio Behavioral Institute in Great Neck NY, where she provides direct clinical services, supervises all clinical staff, sponsors many doctoral dissertations, and conducts research. Dr. Neziroglu is Adjunct Full Professor at Hofstra University, Department of Psychology and The Hofstra School of Medicine. Dr. Neziroglu has presented and published over 150 papers in scientific journals, including the American Journal of Psychiatry, Behaviour Research and Therapy, and the Journal of Anxiety Disorders. Additionally, she is the author and co-author of fifteen books on obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders, including, most recently Children of Hoarders, Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding and Overcoming Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Her books have been translated into several different languages, including German, Italian, Spanish and even Korean. Dr. Neziroglu has appeared numerous times on the TLC television series Hoarders,CNN, the Today Show, and Good Morning America. She received her Ph.D. in clinical, school-community psychology from Hofstra University and completed her post-graduate work in behavior and cognitive therapy at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is Board Certified in Cognitive and Behavior Therapy from the American Board of Behavioral Psychology (ABBP) and in Clinical Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). She is a Fellow of ABBP’s Academy. She is also intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and co-leads weekly Skills Groups. Dr. Neziroglu is a member of many national and international societies and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation (IOCDF) and President of OCDNY. Last year she received the IOCDF’s Lifetime Achievement Award along with Dr. Yaryura-Tobias (posthumously).


Psychologist /Clinical Director


Sony Khemlani-Patel, Ph.D.

Sony Khemlani-Patel, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive related, anxiety, and mood disorders. In addition to providing direct clinical care, Dr. Khemlani supervises psychology externs and participates in various research projects. She is intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and co-leads weekly Skills Groups. She also has been trained in CBIT for tics and Tourette Disorder. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical/School Psychology from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York and her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Dr. Khemlani is a Board Member and Secretary of OCD New York, which is the NY Affiliate of the non-profit international OCD Foundation. She has presented at numerous local agencies as well national conferences for more than 15 years. Dr. Khemlani has appeared has been a guest on radio shows, including the Psychiatry show on Dr. Radio SiriusXM. She has published many scientific articles and book chapters on OC related disorders including body dysmorphic disorder. Dr. Khemlani has co-authored two books, “When Your Child Is Cutting” and “Overcoming Body Dysmorphic Disorder.”

Psychologist/Externship & Internship Coordinator


Matthew Jacofsky, Psy. D.

Matthew Jacofsky, PsyD. is a licensed psychologist specializing in the treatment of obsessive compulsive related disorders in children, adolescents, and adults. He received his Psy.D. from St. John University, located in Jamaica, N.Y. In addition, to extensive cognitive-behavioral experience, Dr. Jacofsky’s clinical approach incorporates positive psychology interventions in order to not only relieve suffering, but enhance individuals’ overall well-being and quality of life. He has presented and published various papers and book chapters on a range of topics including body dysmorphic disorder, refractory obsessive compulsive disorder, and self-injurious skin picking. In addition, to his clinical duties he is also the Bio-Behavioral Externship & Internship Coordinator where he supervises and instructs students providing psychological services to various clinical populations.



Yvette Fruchter, Ph. D.

Dr. Yvette Fruchter is a licensed psychologist at Bio-behavioral Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. Dr. Fruchter has extensive experience providing empirically-supported treatment for OCD, anxiety, trauma, and mood disorders.  She is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Dr. Fruchter completed her pre-doctoral  internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the New Orleans Veterans Healthcare Systemwhere she worked with a diverse veteran population presenting with a variety of concerns, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. Through her various clinical positions, Dr. Fruchter has utilized exposure therapies extensively with individuals and families across the lifespan, including Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Exposure and Response Prevention (EXRP). As a clinician, she emphasizes client values and building a life worth living as a way to connect with clients and inspire meaningful change.



Danielle Gardini, Psy. D.

Dr. Danielle Gardini is well known to Bio-Behavioral having served as a research assistant in 2010 and having helped organize the First All Day Conference on OCD for OCD New York. She went on to get her doctorate in school psychology at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She completed her clinical internship at Centerstone in Sarasota, Florida and found her roots back to Bio-Behavioral Institute.  Dr. Gardini specializes in the treatment of full-spectrum anxiety disorders and mood disorders for children, adolescents, and adults.  Due to thorough training in psychological evaluations, she conducts and provides proficient comprehensive evaluations.  Previous research focused on school-based mindfulness interventions for children and adolescents to improve social-emotional learning and academic performance.  Additionally, Dr. Gardini has received advanced training in the treatment of OCD and Related Disorders such as OCD, BDD, and hoarding with comorbid conditions through the Behavior Therapy Institute (BTTI) of the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF). Furthermore, she has received advanced training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) through Behavioral Tech Institute. Dr. Gardini practices evidence-based treatment, always focusing on the latest advances and always looking to provide individualized treatment depending on client needs involving both traditional CBT, as well as, third wave CBT modalities such as Mindfulness, DBT, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Licensed Clinical Social Worker


Darius Muller, LCSW

Darius Muller, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 15 years of experience providing psychotherapy to a diverse population of children, adolescents, adults, and families.  Darius received his Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in biopsychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  He received additional supervisory certification at Columbia University and advanced training in psychotherapy at the Martha K. Selig Advanced Institute and has provided extensive training and supervision to other clinicians.  Darius began his career as a psychotherapist at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in New York City at its renowned Madeleine Borg Outpatient Clinic, where he worked for 12 years.  Upon returning to his native Long Island, Darius was selected to join the founding team of clinicians at the Northwell Health Wellness Center of Manhasset, a hospital-affiliated group practice providing co-located psychotherapy and psychiatric services to the community.  Trained in a variety of modalities, Darius embraces an integrative approach focused on understanding what makes individuals unique in facing common struggles with living, relationships, work and personal growth.  He believes that treatment is most effective when coupled with a deep appreciation of the forces that shape one’s personal experiences, and that meaningful change stems from new ways of experiencing ourselves, others and the world around us.




Michael Upston, LCSW, has been working in the field of clinical social work since 1997.  He received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from The Catholic University of America and his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of Maryland.  Before coming to the Bio Behavioral Institute, he was the Director of the Community Advisory Program for the Elderly (CAPE), a mental health clinic serving older adults in Queens.  Prior to that he was the Assistant Director of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services Pelham Madeleine Borg Mental Health Clinic.  In addition, he had a private practice for 13 years.  Mr. Upston has extensive experience providing individual, family and group psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and adults. He has received advanced training in a range of modalities including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and family therapy.   His approach to treatment is integrative and evidence-based. He also has many years experience providing clinical supervision, as well as running training seminars on a range of topics related to mental health treatment.