The staff is comprised of Psychologists, Social Workers and Counselors each of whom brings to CEC many years of training and experience in working with children, adolescents and adults. Many of the staff members are recognized as experts within their fields, and serve on various Boards and Committees throughout the state, which are dedicated to addressing mental health issues and the provision of mental health services.
Executive Director – Margaret Pittaluga, MSW, LCSW
Margaret Pittaluga, MSW, LCSW, ACS is a co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Evaluation and Counseling, Inc. She received a BSW from Kean University in New Jersey and a MSW from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Ms. Pittaluga has a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work. She is a “Qualified Clinical Social Worker” through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker through the State of New Jersey. She is certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Ms. Pittaluga has testified as an Expert Witness on issues pertaining to custody and child abuse/neglect in multiple counties in New Jersey. She holds numerous certifications in advanced professional training. Ms. Pittaluga volunteers on many county advisory boards. Ms. Pittaluga has been a staunch advocate for others for over forty years. Favorite quote: “When Your Past Calls, Don’t Answer; it has nothing new to say.”
Clinical Director – Michael J. Fiore, Ph.D.
Michael J. Fiore, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist with over 30 years of experience providing and supervising clinical and forensic services to a child abuse and neglect population. Dr. Fiore completed two master’s degrees (Psychology and Mental Health Services) as well as a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research. Dr. Fiore’s post-doctoral studies were in the area of Family Therapy at the New Jersey Center for Family Studies. Dr. Fiore has completed advanced training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. He was on the faculty for the New Jersey Child Abuse Training Institute and is a founding member of N.J. APSAC (American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children). Dr. Fiore is a co-author of the NJ Governor’s Task Force Best Practices Manual Chapter on Forensic Assessments. He is also the author of “Jonathon’s Journal,” a novel which deals with the therapeutic recovery of an adult survivor of child sexual abuse. Dr. Fiore is the Clinical Director and co-founder of Center for Evaluation and Counseling, Inc. He has developed innovative approaches to service provision in child abuse, including Forensic Team Assessments and Therapeutic Supervised Visitation. He is highly respected as a teacher, clinical supervisor, forensic evaluator, psychotherapist, and expert witness.
Psychiatrist – Jenny Blanchard, D.O.
Jenny A. Blanchard, D.O. is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine who graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her residency at the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Services. Dr. Blanchard is affiliated with Newton Medical Center and is Board Certified in Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry. She has over twenty years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Blanchard joined the CEC team in 2010. She uses an integrative approach where she combines her medical and psychiatric training to relieve her clients of the psychiatric symptoms they experience.
Forensic and Clinical Coordinator, Sparta – Amanda Catizone, MA
Amanda Catizone, MA obtained a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology from Montclair State University. She has been an employee of CEC since 2008. She then obtained the position of the Team Leader in 2010 and since transitioned to the Forensic and Clinical Coordinator. Amanda has served as an active member of the Sussex County Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) since 2010. Amanda has been trained and certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Child First/Finding Words Assessments, and the Nurtured Heart Approach. Amanda believes in utilizing an integrative approach with her clients, driven by case goals and client needs. Aside from her dedication to helping others, Amanda’s greatest joys are spending time with family, being at the beach, and going on hikes.
Heather Diamond, MSW, LCSW, ACS is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) in the State of New Jersey. She graduated from New York University with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree in 2001. Since that time, Heather has worked at CEC where she started as a clinician and is now responsible for overseeing the staff and clinicians of the Parsippany office. In the past 20 years, Heather has gained significant experience in the areas of child abuse and neglect, trauma, mental illness, substance abuse, and attachment through the work she has done as a therapist and a forensic evaluator. She continuously enhances her knowledge, having completed such trainings as TF-CBT, EMDR, Evidence Based Assessments, and Nurtured Heart Approach.
Forensic Team Leader, Sparta – Christopher Friedrich, MA, LPC
Christopher Friedrich, MA, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of New Jersey. He graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Forensic Psychology and a MA degree in Forensic Mental Health Counseling. He has been employed by the Center for Evaluation and Counseling, Inc. (CEC) since 2006. Chris provides outpatient individual psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and adults regarding abuse, neglect, trauma, co-occurring disorders, adjustment difficulties, and substance abuse. He approaches therapy from a strength-based and goal-oriented perspective. Chris has been trained and certified in the Strengths and Needs Assessment through the Children’s System of Care in New Jersey, as well as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Nurtured Heart. In his free time, Chris enjoys traveling, sports, and spending time with his family.
Forensic Team Leader, Parsippany – Stephanie Kurilla, MA, LPC
Stephanie Kurilla is a Licensed Professional Counselor and holds two Master’s Degrees from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Forensic Psychology and Forensic Mental Health Counseling. Stephanie is currently attending Saint Elizabeth’s University to obtain her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Stephanie works with children, adolescents, adults, and families in an outpatient setting. Stephanie is also employed as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at the New Jersey City University. Stephanie approaches treatment with an integrated approach, having completed such trainings as TF-CBT, EMDR, DBT, Evidence Based Assessments, and Nurtured Heart Approach.
Jessica Large MA, Ed.S, LPC, ACS is both a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) in the State of New Jersey. She graduated from Seton Hall University with a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Counseling and Psychological Studies and an Educational Specialist (Ed.S) degree in Mental Health Counseling. Jessica has extensive education, training, and experience in the areas of child abuse and neglect, trauma, severe and persistent mental illness, co-occurring disorders, and forensic assessments. Jessica has been employed by the Center for Evaluation and Counseling, Inc. (CEC) since 2010. She is the Coordinator of Outpatient Services for CEC. Jessica completed the Evidence-Based Assessment Training Project and has been trained and certified in the Strengths and Needs Assessment through the Children’s System of Care in New Jersey. Jessica has also been trained in the Nurtured Heart Approach, Psychological First Aide, and has been certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In addition, Jessica is a member of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and serves on two different policy committees. Jessica has been a member of the Sussex County Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC) since 2017 and in 2019, became the Coordinator for the TLC in Sussex County. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys cooking, gardening, reading, and glamping!
Melissa Ciottone, Psy.D
Melissa A. Ciottone, PsyD graduated from College of Saint Elizabeth with a Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology degree. Dr. Ciottone has extensive education, training, and experience in the areas of child abuse and neglect, trauma, severe and persistent mental illness, co-occurring disorders, and forensic assessments. Dr. Ciottone has been employed by the Center for Evaluation and Counseling, Inc. (CEC) since 1999. She conducts forensic assessments and provides treatment for children and families who are involved in the Child Protective Services’ system. Dr. Ciottone has provided supervision to a team of clinicians and has provided court-ordered visitation for families. Dr. Ciottone has also been qualified as an expert in the areas of child abuse and neglect, risk assessments, parental fitness, and child sexual abuse by the New Jersey Family Court in various counties. She served as a stand-in member of the local Multi-Disciplinary Team, which is made up of various professionals working together to support abused/neglected children through the civil and criminal systems. Dr. Ciottone also served as a stand-in member of the local Multi-Disciplinary Team Advisory Board to improve decision making and productivity among various agencies in the county. Dr. Ciottone is trained in the Nurtured Heart Approach, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
Chloe Bland, Ph.D.
Chloe G. Bland earned her MA in Research Psychology and her Ph.D. in Cognitive, Social, and Developmental Psychology from The New School for Social Research, The New School. She received her BA in Literature, Writing, and the Arts from Eugene Lang College, The New School. She is currently practicing with a Three-Year Temporary Permit, issued by the New Jersey Board of Psychological Examiners. She has conducted and presented research on parenting skills, microaggressions, the psychology of racism, social-emotional learning, gender bias, adaptability, and cultural aspects of development in the United States, India, and the Dominican Republic. Chloe has experience working with parents, children, and adolescents experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, adjustment issues, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, school refusal, and substance abuse. In her free time, Chloe enjoys spending time with friends and family, and playing with her dogs.
Dana Brodhecker, MA, LAC, NCC
Dana Brodhecker is a Licensed Associate Counselor who received her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY. Prior to that, Dana received her BA in Human Services with a minor in Psychology from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY. Dana employs an integrative approach to therapy, including skills and techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Person-Centered, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, to meet the client’s needs. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults, who are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, behavioral difficulties, coping and adjustment difficulties, eating disorders, and trauma. She has experience in outpatient, residential, and inpatient settings with adolescents with eating disorders and with individuals with developmental disabilities/Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dana enjoys traveling, nature, and spending time with her dogs in her free time.
Stefanie D’Amore, MA, LPC
Stefanie D’Amore is both a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a school counselor in the state of New Jersey. She graduated from the College of Saint Elizabeth with a Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. She specializes in individual (teens and adults) and group therapy. She has 15 years working with children and young adults in a school setting with developmental challenges, such as Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Her goals and areas of focus with this population revolve around self-regulation and executive functioning. Her therapeutic approach is person-centered and she believes every human being strives for and has the capacity to fulfill his or her own potential. She believes we can change the way we think to feel or act better, even if the situation does not change. Although she uses a variety of proven therapeutic techniques, she relies most heavily on the concepts defined by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Stefanie is also trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). During her free time, Stefanie enjoys hiking, camping and anytime spent in the great outdoors.
Tara Devine, MS, Ed., LPC
Tara Devine received her MS. Ed. from CUNY-Hunter College. She is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has experience working in schools and outpatient settings with children, adolescents, and adults experiencing anxiety, depression, domestic abuse, trauma and grief. She is also trained in TF-CBT and Finding Words. In her free time, Tara enjoys cooking, spending times with her three children and attending their sporting events.
Colin Gass, MA, LPC
Colin Gass received his BA in Psychology from Hartwick College and his MA in Applied Clinical/Counseling Psychology from William Paterson University. He is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor. Colin has almost 10 years of experience working in the outpatient setting with children, adolescents, and adults. He has primarily worked with individuals who have experienced anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, family difficulties, substance abuse, trauma, and grief. Colin is trained in TF-CBT and PSB therapy. Colin is an avid sports fan, who enjoys playing, coaching, or watching baseball, softball, soccer, and football. He also values quality time with his family and pets.
Charlene Armstrong Mayer, MA, Ed.S, LPC, NCC, ACS
Charlene Armstrong Mayer received her BS in Criminal Justice from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and her MA/Ed.S in Professional Counseling from Seton Hall University. She is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has experience working in outpatient settings with children, adolescents, and adults experiencing anxiety, depression, oppositional behaviors, adjustment issues, trauma and grief. Charlene is also trained in EMDR and TFCBT. In her free time, Charlene enjoys traveling and going to Yankees games.
Cindy Melo, MA, LAC
Cindy Melo, MA, LAC is a licensed associate counselor in the State of New Jersey. She graduated from New York University with a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness. She received her Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Social Work from York College. Cindy is bilingual in Spanish and uses an eclectic and multicultural approach to address and treat the various needs of her clients. In her free time Cindy enjoys reading, nature, running, and spending time with her family and friends.
Stephanie Nieto, MSW
Stephanie Nieto received her Bachelor’s degrees in Social Work and Criminal Justice with a minor in psychology from Seton Hall University and her Master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University. Her vast work experience entails of case management, psychoeducation, substance use treatment, and community outreach in residential and community settings, primarily serving adolescent and adult clients. She recently became a Licensed Social Worker and is fluent in Spanish. She is trained in TFCBT and REBT, specifically with at-risk/disadvantaged populations. Stephanie enjoys traveling to new places with her son and dog and welcomes the opportunity to utilize her knowledge and skills to promote clients’ well-being at CEC.
Caitlin O’Brien, MSW, LCSW
Caitlin O’Brien is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New Jersey. She obtained her BA in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and her Master of Social Work at Wheelock College in Boston. Caitlin has experience in working with children, adolescents and adults with emotional and behavioral difficulties in an outpatient setting. She has been trained in TF-CBT and Finding Words. Although a resident of New Jersey for some time, she continues to root for her native New England sports teams.
Preeti Patel, MA
Preeti Patel, MA graduated from Montclair State University with a Masters of Arts (MA) degree in Clinical Psychology with a Concentration on Children and Adolescents and Certification in School Psychology. Preeti has been working in the field of child abuse and neglect for six years, and has extensive training and experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in the areas of trauma, severe and persistent mental illness, and co-occurring disorders. As the adolescent program coordinator, she also has experience with conducting psychoeducational groups for adolescents. In addition, she is trained in Problematic Sexualized Behavior Cognitive Behavior Therapy (PSB-CBT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), and the Nurtured Heart Approach (NHA). In her free time, Preeti enjoys baking, hiking, and traveling.
Nicole Pittaluga, MA, LPC
Nicole Pittaluga received her B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University and her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the College of St. Elizabeth. Nicole is a Licensed Professional Counselor in NJ, a National Certified Counselor and a Board Certified Coach. She has experience in outpatient counseling with adults, adolescents and children. Nicole provides a safe, supportive environment and a strength-based, solution-focused approach to help her clients achieve their goals in therapy. In her free time, Nicole enjoys yoga, time in nature and reading.
Nydia Rolón, Psy.D.
Nydia Jeannette Rolón is bilingual in Spanish and received her Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, New Jersey. Nydia has served as an Adjunct Professor for the university, Behavior Specialist/Mobile Therapist and Immigration Specialist on the East coast. She has experience working in outpatient settings with children, adolescents, and adults experiencing anxiety, depression, oppositional behaviors, adjustment issues, trauma and grief. Nydia is also trained in TF-CBT and ABA. In her free time, Nydia enjoys hanging out with her twins, family/friends, traveling, concerts, dancing, METS games, and outdoor activities.
Jaime Seeley, MSW, LSW
Jaime is a licensed social worker who offers a safe space for her clients to feel seen and heard. Her approach is first and foremost non-judgemental and the hallmark of her practice is treating each client with kindness and respect. She believes there there is no one size fits all method and utilizes a variety of therapeutic modalities to help meet each individual client where they are at. The desired outcome of the work is to identify the clients goals and together come up with a plan to execute and work through any obstacles. Jaime has worked with family units, adolescents and adults navigating familial conflict, divorce, reunification, and substance abuse. Additionally, Jaime has experience working with court mandated and child welfare involved families.
Cassidy Spohn, MA, LAC
Cassidy Spohn is a Licensed Associate Counselor who received her Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling from Centenary University. Cassidy views therapy as an opportunity for the client to process and untangle complex emotions, increase resiliency, and gain knowledge, to best help themselves reach their fullest potential in life. Cassidy practices an integrative approach intended to meet the client where they are. She utilizes components of various therapeutic approaches, including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and EMDR. Cassidy has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults who may be experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, adjustment difficulties, and trauma. Cassidy has training and experience working with individuals with eating disorders, in a residential and outpatient setting. She identifies herself as a LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist and ally. In her free time, Cassidy enjoys being active in nature, reading, and spending quality time with her loved ones.
Vikki Szabo, MA, LPC
Vikki Szabo is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Approved Clinical Supervisor. She received her masters degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and has nearly 20 years of experience working with clients with many concerns including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, OCD, self esteem, and substance abuse. She has worked in many different treatment settings including outpatient, inpatient, hospital, in home, school based, and private practice. Her approach to counseling is eclectic and client centered. She believes it is important to meet the client where they are at. She uses several different techniques in her counseling sessions including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, solution focused therapy, motivational interviewing, and psychoeducation. Her approach is friendly and inviting and she promises to provide you with a nonjudgmental, safe, and empowering space for us to work in. She loves helping others and she thinks it shows in her sessions! In her free time you can find Vikki chasing her 2 daughters, reading a good book, hiking, skiing, or on the beach!
Lynn Tucci, MA, LPC
Lynn Tucci received her BS in Psychology from Saint Thomas Aquinas College and her MA in Counseling from Montclair State University. She is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has experience working in a school setting as a School Counselor and as a Student Assistance Counselor. She also has experience working as an in-home counselor with children and adolescents experiencing a crisis, trauma, anxiety, depression, and more. Lynn enjoys playing tennis and spending time with family.
Laura van der Hulst, MA, LAC
Laura van der Hulst received her BA in Psychology from Webster University in Leiden, The Netherlands and her MA in Counseling from Montclair State University in New Jersey. She is a member of the Chi Sigma Iota International Counseling Honor Society and the American Counseling Association (ACA). Laura completed her graduate internship at CEC and recently joined the team as one of their newest part-time clinicians in the Parsippany office. She is currently earning hours towards her Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) title. Laura has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults managing symptoms of anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, ADHD, and substance use disorders. Laura has also received training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).
Tierney Veliz, MA, Ed.S, LAC
Tierney Veliz is a Licensed Associate Counselor who received her MA/ Ed.S in Professional Counseling from Seton Hall University. Tierney practices from an eclectic and trauma informed orientation in order to treat the diverse needs of her clients. Tierney is trained in providing Trauma- Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy treatment. Tierney also enjoys teaching and providing mental health psychoeducation, and in her free time spending time with family and friends.
Diane Uhler, MA, LPC
Diane Uhler is a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor. Diane is a professional helper, who works with clients of all ages and cultural backgrounds who are facing problem situations.