Licensed 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.
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 and Clinical 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).
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 has co-lead 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 where her dissertation was nominated for the Robinson Award for Dissertation Excellence. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Dr. Khemlani is on the Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board of the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation (IOCDF) and on the Faculty of their Behavioral Therapy Training Institute (BTTI)). She is also a Board Member and Vice President 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 three books, “When Your Child Is Cutting” and “Overcoming Body Dysmorphic Disorder and in 2022, co-authored her third book with Fugen Neziroglu "Body Dysmorphic Disorder" in the Advances in Psychotherapy Series from Hogrefe Press.
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.
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, Exposure and Response Prevention, 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.
Susan Leshen, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 29 years of experience providing psychotherapy to a varied population of adults, children, adolescents, couples, and families. Susan received her master’s degree in social work and a post-graduate degree in Clinical Therapy from Adelphi University. She has been the director of social work services in agencies such as JASA, Visiting Nurse, and non-profit foundations where she created supportive programs to enrich the quality of the lives of the participants. She was a professor of social work for 12 years at Touro College. She has also supervised social work students in their clinical studies for 20 years. These experiences allowed Susan the opportunity to contribute to the future growth of the social work profession. Susan has received advanced training in a range of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Response Prevention, Play Therapy, Mindfulness, and family therapy. Based on her many years of experience and extensive training, she has an evidence-based practice approach and specializes in treatment for OCD, Panic Disorder, Hoarding, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and other related disorders. Susan’s central focus in all of her work is to help others improve the quality of their life. She believes in empowering people to live their best life.
Susan D’Ambrosio, Psy.D, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in the treatment of depression, anxiety, personality disorders, stress linked physical symptoms, and psychogenic erectile variability. Originally from Manhasset, NY, she is delighted to be joining the Bio Behavioral team. Clinical practice focus was previously both outpatient, inpatient, as well as private practice in the Connecticut region. She has mentored younger psychologists and values helping early career psychologists in the field. She received her Psy.D., from Nova Southeastern University and Master’s Degree in psychological services from The University of Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree from Muhlenberg College. She has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Training in a variety of modalities, she uses an integrative approach to conceptualizing and treating her patients in an effort to collaboratively help them achieve their aspirations and goals in life, reduce symptoms, and improve overall level of functioning. She has experience working on multidisciplinary teams and collaborating with other professionals in order to provide the base care for her patients. Susan was a multiple award winner of government based scholarships. These scholarshipswere awarded for her dedication and commitment to helping diverse populations at different clinical and medical sites in the Hartford and New Britain areas of Connecticut. She has a strong background working with diverse populations and a particular research interest insocial injustice, i.e. discrimination, ageism, sexuality, and gender.
Jessica Jacobs, Psy.D. earned her doctorate in School and Community Psychology from Hofstra University; there, she received training in Dialectical-Behavior Therapy. Dr. Jacobs is a certified school psychologist, and she completed her internships in the Long Beach, Valley Stream, and North Shore school districts. During her time in the school setting, she provided individual and group counseling using CBT, to a wide array of children and adolescents, including those with social, attentional, oppositional, and anxiety and mood regulation difficulties. While pursuing her doctorate degree, Dr. Jacobs worked in the Child and Family Trauma Institute and the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic, where she provided parent training, goal oriented CBT sessions, and incorporated exposure exercises. Additionally, Dr. Jacobs completed her clinical internship at South Nassau, Mount Sinai's Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic where she ran weekly individual DBT skills training sessions for individuals with mood dysregulation difficulties. Dr. Jacobs also conducted community based and clinic-based support groups, as well as Emotion Processing and Art Therapy groups in the Partial Hospitalization Program. Dr. Jacobs has worked with a wide range of individuals, while utilizing CBT and incorporating mindfulness and DBT techniques to help meet the needs of each client.
Lauren Pucci, Psy.D., is a full time Post-Doctoral Fellow. She earned her doctorate in School Psychology from St. John’s University in Queens, New York. She was previously an Extern at Bio Behavioral Institute providing direct clinical care to patients, conducting research, and psychological assessments. Dr. Pucci has experience in cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention, and dialectal behavior therapy, both in person and via telehealth. She previously worked as a school psychologist in in a school for young children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Delays, and Other Health Impairments in Lewes, Delaware. There Dr. Pucci provided consultation and individual assessments to students. While pursuing her doctorate degree, she completed her internship in the Great Neck school district on Long Island. Dr. Pucci also co-developed and facilitated a virtual clinical group therapy for children with emotion regulation difficulties. Through her previous experiences, Dr. Pucci has become proficient in administering different types of treatment within an inclusive environment which is sensitive to everyone’s unique needs and circumstances. Dr. Pucci strives to cultivate such an environment that allows for children, adolescents, and adults to achieve optimal growth.
William Sanderson earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Hofstra University. Throughout his education he received extensive training in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Dr. Sanderson completed externships at Mount Sinai’s Eating and Weight Disorders program and here, at Bio Behavioral Institute.While completing his externship at Mt. Sinai, he was trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders and the Maudsley Method (FBT) and he focused on providing individual care to both children and adults with a wide range of eating disorders. During his time completing his second externship here, at the Bio Behavioral Institute, he focused on the treatment of individuals diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorders utilizing CBT and exposure-response prevention. Dr. Sanderson completed his education with an internship at Hofstra University’s Counseling Center. During his internship, he provided cognitive behavioral based treatment to students with a wide range of diagnoses, engaged in student outreach for mental health awareness, and led group therapy focused on the behavioral treatment of Social Anxiety. Throughout Dr. Sanderson’s education he took primary interest in thetreatment of anxiety and mood disorders and has a commitment to utilizing evidence based approaches, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Therapy, to assist in the recovery of the individuals he works with. He is well versed in OCD and Related Disorders, such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Hoarding, Trichotillomania and Skin Picking. He also is well versed in Eating Disorders and Mood Disorders.
Yvonne Wroblewski-Parikh, M.D. received her medical degree at the Medical University of Lublin, Poland. She has previously participated in medical clinical research and brings her medical expertise to coordinate Bio Behavioral's participation in a pharmaceutical trial of an investigational medication for OCD.
Darla DiLorenzo, M.S., BCBA, has worked as a New York certified school psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst for over 14 years. Mrs. DiLorenzo is committed to the well-being of her clients with a down-to-earth and pragmatic approach and her varied training and experience allows her to individualize the treatment plan for each client. She has training in Cognitive Behavior therapy, parent training, and devising behavior plans. Mrs. DiLorenzo is excited to be a psychology extern at BioBehavioral Institute.
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