Expertise You Can Trust

With over 60 years of collective experience, our team has extensive professional and personal knowledge of anxiety disorders.

Our clinicians have honed their treatment expertise in a range of settings, including inpatient and outpatient programs, public and private schools, and college counseling centers.

Daniel
Villiers, Ph.D

Director of Admissions and Outreach, Founder

BA, Kenyon College // M.Ed, Kent State // MA, Dartmouth College // Ph.D in Counseling and School Psychology, Northeastern University

Dr. Dan brings over 10 years of experience working with children, adolescents, young adults and families in a range of clinical and educational settings. In 2011, Dan co-founded Mountain Valley Treatment Center, the first non-hospital residential program for the treatment of adolescent anxiety in the United States. His successful intervention model – described as a “compassionate approach to assess, educate, and motivate avoidant and resistant school-aged anxiety sufferers” – has assisted more than 500 families in their pursuit of treatment.

Dan has presented at universities and conferences across the country, authored numerous articles on child mental health, and appeared on radio and TV as a subject matter expert on adolescent anxiety.

His Inspiration:

Dan struggled with debilitating social anxiety and panic disorder throughout high school and college. His personal recovery experience drives the empathy and care used throughout the Anxiety Institute treatment model.

Steven
Bennett, MEd, LPC

Associate Clinical Director

BS, Secondary English Education, University of Wisconsin // M.Ed., University of Wisconsin

Steven has 33 years of experience working with adolescents and their families. His career spans a wide range of settings: from public schools to private practice to residential anxiety programs, including Mountain Valley Treatment Center. Steven has special expertise in academic-related anxiety, OCD, perfectionism, and school refusal. He also brings advanced skills in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Exposure/Response Prevention and Adventure Therapy.

A licensed Professional Counselor in Connecticut, Steven considers freeing children from anxiety to be his life mission. His personal interest and work with Yu’pik Eskimos in Alaska and impoverished residents of Recife, Brazil, fuel his passion for working with children and families of all cultures.

His Inspiration:

Steve's own circuitous adolescent journey helps him establish an authentic relationship with his adolescent and young adult clients. He finds it immensely gratifying that these deep connections with clients and their families last many years after successful treatment.

Tina
Sandora Psy.D.

Psychologist

BA, University of Hartford // Psy.D. Adler School of Professional Psychology

Dr. Sandora received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois. She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship in the Adolescent Anxiety IOP at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health in Naperville, Illinois. Tina most recently worked at the Anxiety Treatment Center in Farmington, CT and Newport Academy in Bethlehem, CT where she expanded on her experience working with youth in outpatient, partial hospitalization, and residential settings.

Tina has extensive experience and training in evidenced-based treatments for anxiety, trauma, and depressive disorders integrating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Exposure/Response Prevention (ERP). Her focus is treating children and adolescents (ages 4-18) as well as young adults (ages 18-24) with a specialization in assessment and treatment of perfectionism/academic anxiety, school refusal, OCD, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Her Inspiration:

Tina’s own struggles with anxiety as an adolescent and young adult fuel her passion for helping others to change their personal relationship with anxiety. She finds purpose and joy in supporting and encouraging clients while they push the boundaries of their comfort zones, pursue their values, and accomplish what they never thought possible.

Stephanie
Doudounis, Psy.D.

Post-Doctoral Resident

BA, Long Island University // MA, Argosy University // Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Florida School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University

Stephanie was awarded her Doctorate of Psychology with a child and adolescent concentration honed in private, community, and university settings. As a Post-doctoral Fellow, Stephanie provides experience treating children and their families with a particular focus on anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and trauma. Stephanie completed her predoctoral internship at The Clifford Beers Clinic, a trauma-focused program in New Haven, Ct. and underwent extensive training in Trauma-Focused CBT. Stephanie has wide-ranging experience in diagnostic testing for IEPs and targeted behavioral interventions.

Her Inspiration:

Stephanie has seen first-hand the profound impact therapy can have on an adolescent who has undergone trauma. Stephanie brings this passion to her work at Anxiety Institute, a perfect milieu for creating awareness and understanding of anxiety disorders and other mental health issues within the family system. She finds it rewarding to have a positive, lasting impact on the lives of her adolescent and young adult clients.

Andrea
Nave, M.A.

Advanced Predoctoral Fellow

BS, Le Moyne College // MA in Clinical Psychology, Fordham University

Andrea is an advanced predoctoral fellow who has trained at preeminent programs including the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital, the Program for Anxiety and Mood Disorders at the Yale Child Study Center, and the Compulsive, Obsessive, and Anxiety Program (C.O.A.P.) at Fordham University. She has also received training in Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) from the New York University Child Study Center and the SPACE Program (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions), a parent-based treatment intervention for parents of children with anxiety.

Andrea works with middle and high school students suffering from Anxiety and Mood Disorders with a specialization in the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders.

Her Inspiration:

The anxiety, fear and joy associated with becoming a new parent reaffirmed Andrea’s commitment to supporting the family system on their journey to recovery.

Sarah
Pauker, MS, LCAT Board Certified Art Therapist

Exposure Coach and Intervention Specialist

BA, Binghamton University // MS, The College of New Rochelle

Trained at The Beck Institute for CBT, Sarah is a counselor and nationally certified art therapist with therapeutic experience at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Four Winds Hospital, and the FDR Veterans Hospital. Sarah joins the Anxiety Institute as both an Intervention Specialist, conducting one-to-one ERP therapy customized for each client as well as an Art Therapist, directing the Art Therapy program.

Her Inspiration:

Drawing upon her personal experience, love of art, and desire to help others, it is Sarah’s mission to empower young people with the self-discovery, skills, and confidence to navigate the challenges of adolescence. Through the integration of traditional and expressive therapies with a holistic mind-body-spirit approach, Sarah offers an encouraging, empathic, and contemplative environment to support the client’s journey towards health and wellness.

Debbie
Singer, M.S.

Exposure Coach, Post-Masters Counseling Intern

BA, University of Maryland // MS in Counseling Psychology, Northeastern University

Debbie has more than 10 years’ experience in counseling children, teens and families in a variety of settings including schools, treatment programs and hospitals. Debbie has extensive experience in the assessment and evaluation of psychiatric disorders and therapeutic placements. Most recently, she worked as Community Outreach Counselor assessing the social and psychological needs of children/adolescents in a local public-school district and collaborating with the school psychologist, principal and teachers to deliver appropriate services.

Her Inspiration:

As a mother of three, Debbie knows first-hand the impact that anxiety has on the child and family system. Through this shared experience, she brings empathy and partnership to her interactions with clients and their families.

Samantha
Roller, B.A.

Exposure Coach

BA Psychology, SUNY Binghamton University

Samantha received her Bachelors’ Degree in Psychology from SUNY Binghamton University in Vestal, New York. She studied Applied Behavioral Analysis and implemented curricula to increase or decrease behaviors of children with autism and learning disabilities. Upon graduation, Samantha studied to become a certified Kripalu yoga instructor and Souluna Life Coach. She utilizes mindfulness, meditation, movement, breathing, and reiki, skills to overcome limiting beliefs and help others create a sense of freedom in their lives. Outside of the Anxiety Institute, Sam works with traumatized teens, seniors, and preschoolers.

Her Inspiration:

Fueled by her past adversity with body image and perfectionism, Samantha’s mission is to join with her clients in developing a secure and stable sense of self. Sam’s belief in an integrative and holistic approach to health and healing inspired her training as a coach, yoga instruction and behaviorist. She describes her life mission as giving her clients a renewed sense of hope, and a belief that by changing self-destructive thoughts and self-sabotaging behaviors, health and happiness awaits them with open arms.

Linda
Geiger

Chief Executive Officer, Founder

BA, Bowdoin College // MBA, Stanford University

Linda is a highly experienced business and operations strategist with expertise in start-ups (stand-alone and within complex organizations) and financial turnaround for troubled companies, functions, and divisions. She brings a proven business track record in market strategy, marketing, and product development.

Linda is currently on the Board of Directors for a non-profit organization focused on leading-edge anxiety research, training, and education. She also served as an officer in the PTA and as a board member for 8+ years for the Los Altos Educational Foundation (LAEF), a non-profit that funds enrichment programs and more intimate learning through reduced class sizes.

Her Inspiration:

Linda is the mother of children who suffer from anxiety disorders.  Her personal experience fuels a deep desire to help other parents navigate the challenges of anxiety, and find effective solutions for their children.

Devin
Norkowski, B.A. Psychology

Clinical Coordinator

BA, Western Connecticut State University

Devin joins us from Chamberlain University where she coordinated clinical partners in magnet hospitals, long-term care facilities, educational institutions, clinics, prisons, and community-based centers. Devin pursued her passion in mental health and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She worked from the ground-up to truly understand the mind and body connection with her experience in fitness, yoga, nutrition, meditation, managing chronic illnesses, and the art of holistic healing. Devin’s background and interests motivated her to work towards her master’s degree in Public Health.

Her Inspiration:

Devin struggled with hyperactivity and associated anxiety as a child. Through trial and error, it was discovered that she was unable to metabolize medication through her liver. While this was terrifying for her parents, these struggles shaped Devin’s life, challenging her to find freedom through the power of mindfulness.  She finds joy and fulfillment by serving others who are currently on their own journey to awareness, peace, development, and change.