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.

Tom
Weigel, MD

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

BS, University of Wisconsin // MD, University of Wisconsin Medical School // Psychiatric Residency & Fellowship, Harvard Medical School // MBA, MIT

Dr. Weigel joins the Anxiety Institute with almost two decades of leadership and direct client care experience. He has built his reputation at renowned institutions including the Hallowell Center, Mclean Hospital, and Mass General.

After completing his residency at Mass General and a fellowship in child psychiatry at Children’s Hospital, both through Harvard Medical School, Tom specialized in the treatment of anxiety, mood, and eating disorders. His more recent research and clinical interests are in the relationship between self-esteem, body image, perfectionism, disordered eating, and OCD.

Tom has presented at universities and conferences, published numerous articles in medical journals, and orchestrated a clinical practicum for both the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the New England Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

His Inspiration:

Tom’s passion is to promote integrative and relationship-focused treatment, where interventions related to health, wellness, and medication have equal value. He views the pharmacological treatment of anxiety from a minimalist perspective, where medications support the recovery process, with the goal of eventual discontinuation.

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.

Andrew
Barile, Psy.D., NCSP

Post-Doctoral Resident

BA, Iona College // MA, Iona College // Psy.D. in Child/School Psychology,
Duquesne University

Andrew was awarded his Doctorate of Psychology in child and school psychology with experience in private and public schools, school-based behavioral health programs, and a pediatric psychiatric hospital. As a Post-doctoral Fellow, Andrew provides experience treating children and their families with a concentration in anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and trauma. Andrew completed his predoctoral internship at Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg, NY where he helped patients and their families alleviate maladaptive coping strategies and increase positive social-emotional and mental health outcomes. Andrew has wide-ranging assessment experience in neuropsychological, psychodiagnostic and psychoeducational evaluations to assist in therapeutic and educational treatment planning. He uses CBT and DBT approaches in his therapeutic relationships.

His Inspiration:

Andrew is inspired by his clients’ courage as they tackle their fear daily. He believes that people should not be defined by their anxiety, but by their response to it. Andrew’s clients understand that in facing their fear, the only way around it is through it.

Sarah
Pauker, MS, LPC, LCAT Board Certified Art Therapist

Licensed Professional Counselor and Exposure Coach

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.

Alexandra
Grundy, BA

Exposure Coach

BA Psychology, University of Delaware

Alexandra received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware and is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work from Columbia University’s School of Social Work. She has studied various fields of psychology and helped conduct research on the brain activity of college students with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Alexandra initially studied journalism as an undergraduate, during which she was inspired by hearing others’ stories and perspectives on the world. Her desire to more deeply understand the human experience motivated her to pursue a career in mental health. Alexandra is also inspired by the transformative aspects of travel, especially strengthening her empathy and curiosity for others.

Her Inspiration:

Alexandra’s own experience with depression and anxiety, as well as her brother’s struggles with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, have shown her firsthand how mental illness affects the individual and family dynamic. She realizes that these struggles and recovery can be a life-long journey. Alexandra considers it her personal mission to help young people, like her brother, receive the help and proper care they need.

Sarah
Dzimian, MAT

Exposure Coach

BS Psychology, Sacred Heart University / MA in Teaching, Sacred Heart University

Sarah has more than 7 years experience working with children, adolescents and adults in academic and therapeutic settings. She previously worked in private and public schools as an elementary school teacher prior to pursuing a career in the mental health field. Sarah has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Sacred Heart University. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Social Work with the goal of becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Sarah has interest in the relationship between anxiety, vulnerability and resilience.

Her Inspiration:

Sarah’s own journey with anxiety in her younger years allows her to connect and better understand adolescents and young adults, while also developing a strong and authentic therapeutic relationship. Sarah is most gratified when treatment unfolds in development of grit and determination. She considers her life’s mission to be a guiding mentor for adolescents during their toughest times.

Emily
Klotz, B.A.

Exposure Coach

BA Legal Studies, Quinnipiac University

Emily has more than 4 years experience working with or mentoring youth in educational, recreational and therapeutic settings. Emily received her Bachelors Degree in Legal Studies from Quinnipiac University. After working in finance, Emily decided that her true passion lay with helping youth and their families struggling with mental health challenges. She plans to pursue a masters or doctoral degree with the goal of becoming a licensed clinician. Emily is interested in family dynamics and how they impact clients and their recovery.

 

Her Inspiration:

After struggling with generalized anxiety from a young age, Emily attended a therapeutic boarding school where she learned to change her relationship with anxiety. She finds fulfillment in helping others develop the fortitude and resiliency needed to achieve their life potential. 

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. 

Martha
K. Bradt, MBA, CPHIMS

Insurance Consultant

BS, The University of Colorado // MBA, Stanford University 

Marty has over 30 years of technology and healthcare insurance experience.  She is a HIMSS’ Certified Professional in Health Information and Systems Management and holds multiple state insurance licenses.   She is well versed in the intricacies of behavioral health claim submission and processing. Marty’s team includes claim filing and pre-authorization, clinical specialists.

Her Inspiration:

Through a confluence of personal events, Marty developed a passion for helping families submit and get reimbursed for their out-of-network claims. She believes in getting what you paid for – especially when it comes to health insurance reimbursement.

Will
Wright, BA

Admissions Associate

BA Communications, University of South Carolina

Will comes to the Anxiety Institute with experience in higher education, hospitality, and nonprofit work. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in communications. Will is currently working toward his master’s degree in business management and leadership at Coker University. His professional skills, compassion, and southern hospitality make new clients feel welcome and supported. 

His Inspiration:

Will’s passion working with adolescents and parents is rooted in overcome debilitating anxiety and depression during his freshman year of college. While initially reluctant to seek therapeutic support, the skills he learned, combined with increasing engagement with friends and campus involvement, helped him turn a year of fear and avoidance into confidence and happiness. Often the first person with whom they interact, Will helps prospective families throughout the admission process so they can begin their own recovery.