Meet Our Staff

The HVCCT offers a free telephone consultation with Dr. Christine Ziegler, the HVCCT Director, to assess each client’s specific therapeutic needs. We understand the importance of choosing a therapist. Our priority is making the best match to ensure our clients feel comfortable with their therapists and confident they are receiving the highest quality care.


HVCCT Staff Psychologists

See also: Staff Publications


Christine Ratto Ziegler, Ph.D.

Dr. Ziegler is the Founder and Director of the HVCCT. She earned her Ph.D. from Hahnemann University and completed her two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Cognitive Therapy at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania. Her specialties include:

  • Depression
  • Panic Attacks / Agoraphobia
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Trichotillomania/Excoriation (Compulsive Hair Pulling/Skin Picking)
  • Generalized Anxiety / Excessive Worry
  • Social Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Fear of Flying
  • Relationship Issues
  • Stress-related Medical Conditions (including headaches and irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Low Self-esteem
  • Schema-focused Cognitive Therapy

The author of several published articles and book chapters, Dr. Ziegler regularly offers talks and seminars to both professionals and the general public. She is a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, an organization that certifies those who have demonstrated an advanced level of expertise in Cognitive Therapy.

Dr. Ziegler was honored by the Rockland Economic Development Corporation and the Rockland Business Association for its award for professional leaders who have demonstrated commitment to professional excellence and to the positive impact of individuals in the Rockland community.


Emily Becker-Weidman, Ph.D.

Dr. Becker-Weidman earned her B.A. in Psychology and Health & Societies from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University. She completed her Psychology Internship at New York University/Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, NY and is completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the NYU Child Study Center.

She is certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, an organization that certifies those who have demonstrated an advanced level of expertise in Cognitive Therapy. In addition to her intensive training in (CBT) Dr. Becker-Weidman is certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy and has training in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. She has also received specialized training in the assessment and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Dr. Becker-Weidman provides individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for children, adolescents, and adults. Her specialties include:

  • Childhood and Adult Depression
  • Childhood and Adult Anxiety
  • Generalized Anxiety / Excessive Worry
  • Panic Attacks / Agoraphobia
  • Social Anxiety, phobias
  • Childhood Adjustment Disorders (e.g., school, death)
  • School and Academic Issues
  • Childhood Behavioral Problems
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Autism
  • Perfectionism
  • Family Therapy
  • Parent Training and Coaching
  • Post-Adoption Issues and Parent-Child Attachment Related Concerns
  • Preventing and Managing Bullying
  • School Refusal
  • Social Skills Training
  • Academic/Learning Difficulties
  • Behavior Modification/Constructing Behavioral Plans for Home and School Settings

In addition to her work at the HVCCT, Dr. Becker Weidman is on the clinical faculty of NYU. She teaches undergraduate students and supervises pre-doctoral interns in CBT. She is active in a number of national and local professional organizations, including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), the American Psychological Association (APA), the New York City Adoption/Foster Care Therapist Network, and the New York City Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Association (NYC-CBT). She has also presented research at several national conferences, co-authored book chapters on child/adolescent psychopathology, and published several articles in peer reviewed journals.


Janelle Brown, Ph.D.

Dr. Brown earned her doctorate in School, Community, and Clinical Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Child Study Center at New York University. She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents and adults. Her specialties include:

  • Childhood and Adult Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks / Agoraphobia
  • Generalized Anxiety (Excessive Worry)
  • Social Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Childhood and Adult Depression
  • Developmental Disabilities (e.g., Autism, Asperger Syndrome,
    Pervasive Developmental Disorder)
  • Childhood Adjustment Disorders (e.g., school, death)
  • Childhood Behavioral Problems
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Impulse Control Problems
  • Academic/Learning Difficulties
  • Perfectionism
  • Behavior Modification
  • Parent Training and Coaching
  • Grieving and Loss
  • Psychoeducational/Psychological Testing

As well as receiving specialized training in Cognitive Therapy, Dr. Brown has significant experience in Psychoeducational/Psychological Testing and expertise in evaluating cognitive and academic skills, learning aptitudes, personality and emotional development, social skills, learning environment and school climate, giftedness, and eligibility for special education.

Dr. Brown has been invited to speak at various schools and professional conferences. Topics have included the evaluation and treatment of child sexual abuse, psychological assessment, and violence in teen dating.

Dr. Brown was honored by the Rockland Economic Development Corporation and the Rockland Business Association for its Forty Under 40 list of Rockland’s professional leaders who have demonstrated commitment to professional excellence and to the positive impact of individuals in the Rockland community.


Jennifer Buchwald, Psy.D.

Dr. Buchwald earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Yeshiva University and completed her internship at North Shore University Hospital – Long Island Jewish Center. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center and served as the Program Director of Adolescent Inpatient Services at Westchester Medical Center.

Dr. Buchwald has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. Her specialties include:

  • Childhood and Adult Depression
  • Childhood and Adult Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks / Agoraphobia
  • Generalized Anxiety / Excessive Worry
  • Social Anxiety
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Emetophobia (Fear of Vomiting)
  • Childhood and Adult Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) / Excessively Picky Eating
  • Adjustment and Coping with Medical Illness (e.g., cancer, diabetes)
  • Insomnia
  • Grieving and Loss
  • Childhood Adjustment Disorders (e.g., school, death)
  • Childhood Behavioral Problems (e,g., oppositional behavior)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Impulse Control Problems
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Behavior Modification
  • Family Therapy
  • Parent Training and Coaching

Dr. Buchwald is active in teaching and in the supervising and training of her students and colleagues. She holds positions as Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at New York Medical College and as Associate Professor of the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. She has also participated in research projects that investigated a wide range of topics, including genetic and psychosocial risk factors for ADHD and the efficacy of relaxation training. Dr. Buchwald is a board member of the Westchester County Psychological Association.


Katharine Donnelly, Ph.D.

Dr. Donnelly earned her doctorate in Clinical-School Psychology at Hofstra University and completed her post-doctoral training at the Bio-Behavioral Institute in Long Island, N.Y. She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. Her specialties include:

  • Childhood and Adult Anxiety
  • Generalized Anxiety / Excessive Worry
  • Panic Attacks / Agoraphobia
  • Social Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Emetophobia (Fear of Vomiting)
  • Health Anxiety
  • Depersonalization
  • Childhood and Adult Depression)
  • Childhood and Adult Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) / Excessively Picky Eating
  • Trichotillomania/Excoriation (Compulsive Hair Pulling/Skin Picking)
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Tic Disorders
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Autism
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
  • Childhood Adjustment Disorders (e.g., school, death)
  • School Refusal
  • Social Skills Training
  • Assertiveness Training
  • Childhood Behavioral Problems (e.g., Oppositional Defiant Disorder)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Impulse Control Problems
  • Academic/Learning Difficulties
  • Behavior Modification/Constructing Behavioral Plans for Home and School Settings
  • Parent Training and Coaching
  • Insomnia and Sleep-Related Difficulties
  • Grief and Loss

In addition to providing psychotherapy, Dr. Donnelly provides consultations for parents seeking information on academic and social programs for which their child may qualify and guides parents in the process of receiving these services.

Dr. Donnelly also teaches psychology at the undergraduate level and has been invited to speak about at various professional national conferences. She has been involved in several clinical research projects investigating the efficacy of mindfulness-based therapeutic techniques. She is the co-author of Children of Hoarders, as well as a number of professional journal articles and book chapters related to the treatment of OCD.


Alexa Gaydos, Psy.D.

Dr. Gaydos earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Long Island University and completed her post-doctoral training at Saint Dominic’s Home in Blauvelt, NY and Bronx, NY. She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with medical/mental health and developmental disabilities. Her specialties include:

  • Childhood and Adult Anxiety
  • Generalized Anxiety / Excessive Worry
  • Panic Attacks / Agoraphobia
  • Social Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Emetophobia (Fear of Vomiting)
  • Health Anxiety
  • Childhood and Adult Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) / Excessively Picky Eating
  • Trichotillomania/Excoriation (Compulsive Hair Pulling/Skin Picking)
  • Tic Disorders
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Autism
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Childhood and Adult Depression
  • Childhood Adjustment Disorders (e.g., school, death)
  • Preventing and Managing Bullying
  • School Refusal
  • Social Skills Training
  • Assertiveness Training
  • Childhood Behavioral Problems (e.g., Oppositional Defiant Disorder)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Impulse Control Problems
  • Academic/Learning Difficulties
  • Behavior Modification/Constructing Behavioral Plans for Home and School Settings
  • Issues Related to Foster Care and Adoption
  • Family Therapy
  • Parent Training and Coaching
  • Weight Management
  • Stress-Related Medical Conditions
    (e.g., headaches, irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Insomnia and Sleep-Related Difficulties
  • Adjustment and Coping with Medical Illness
    (e.g., cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, cardiac conditions, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease)
  • Grief and Loss

In addition to providing psychotherapy, Dr. Gaydos provides consultations for parents seeking information on academic and social programs for which their child may qualify and guides parents in the process of receiving these services.

Dr. Gaydos also teaches psychology at the graduate and undergraduate levels and has been invited to speak at various professional conferences. She has been involved in several research projects investigating autistic spectrum disorders and has authored several journal articles on this topic.


Karen Hebert, Ph.D.

Dr. Hebert earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maine and completed her internship in behavioral medicine at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. She received intensive training in Cognitive Therapy during her two-year postdoctoral fellowship through Brown University School of Medicine, where she remained on staff as a faculty member until starting at the HVCCT.

Dr. Hebert has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and couples. Her specialties include:

  • Childhood and Adult Depression
  • Childhood and Adult Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks / Agoraphobia
  • Generalized Anxiety / Excessive Worry
  • Social Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Emetophobia (Fear of Vomiting)
  • Childhood and Adult Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Trichotillomania/Excoriation (Compulsive Hair Pulling/Skin Picking)
  • Health Anxiety
  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) / Excessively Picky Eating
  • Childhood Adjustment Disorders (e.g., school, death)
  • School and Academic Issues
  • School Refusal
  • Childhood Behavioral Problems
  • Health Psychology
  • Insomnia
  • Stress-Related Medical Conditions
    (e.g., headaches, irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Adjustment and Coping with Medical Illness
    (e.g., cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, cardiac conditions, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Perfectionism
  • Behavior Modification
  • Marital / Couples Counseling
  • Family Therapy
  • Parent Training and Coaching
  • Grieving and Loss

In addition to her clinical work at the Center, Dr. Hebert serves as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University. Her research has focused on a range of topics, including treatment of ADHD, social anxiety, the development of romantic relationships in adolescence, social skills, and aggression in children. She has co-authored a number of professional journal articles and book chapters related to these topics and has presented at numerous national conferences.


Jody Muhlmeister, Psy.D.

Dr. Muhlmeister earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University and completed her pre-doctoral internship at Montefiore Medical Center’s Child and Adolescent Outpatient Program. She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, adults and couples. Her specialties include:

  • Childhood and Adult Depression
  • Childhood and Adult Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks / Agoraphobia
  • Generalized Anxiety / Excessive Worry
  • Social Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Childhood Adjustment Disorders (e.g., school, death)
  • Childhood Behavioral Problems
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Developmental Disabilities
    (e.g., Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome)
  • Foster Care and Adoption Related Issues
  • Parenting Skills
  • Behavior Modification
  • Impulse Control Problems
  • Issues Related to Health Problems and/or Reproductive Difficulties
  • Grieving and Loss

Dr. Muhlmeister has been invited to speak on several occasions at schools and treatment centers in our area, as well as at professional conferences. She has conducted workshops for teachers and parents on how to deal with adolescents who are depressed and exhibit self-destructive behaviors.

Dr. Muhlmeister was honored by the Rockland Economic Development Corporation and the Rockland Business Association for its Forty Under 40 list of Rockland’s professional leaders who have demonstrated commitment to professional excellence and to the positive impact of individuals in the Rockland community.


Staff Publications

Newman, C. F. & Ratto (Ziegler), C. L.. Cognitive therapy for narcissistic personality disorder. In M. Reinecke and D. Clark (Eds.), Cognitive therapy across the life span. New York: Cambridge.

Ratto (Ziegler), C. L. & Capitano, D. L.. New directions in cognitive therapy: A schema-focused approach. Cognitive-Behavioral Practice, 6, 68-73.

Newman, C. F. & Ratto (Ziegler), C. L.. Cognitive therapy for substance abuse. In E. T. Dowd & L. Rugle (Eds.), Comparative treatments of substance abuse (pp. 96-126). New York: Springer.

Ratto (Ziegler), C. L.. Gender differences in the relationship between academic self-esteem and academic achievement. Der Zeitgeist, 1, 109-118.

Becker-Weidman, E., Jacobs, R., Reinecke, M., Silva, S., Curry, J.F., et al. (2010). Social problem-solving among adolescents treated for depression. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48, 11-18.

Becker-Weidman, E., Jacobs, R., Reinecke, M., Zoran, M., Silva, S., Curry, J.F., et al. (2009). Predictors of hopelessness among clinically depressed youth. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 37, 267-291.

Becker-Weidman, E., Reinecke, M., Silva, S. (manuscript). Change in Hopelessness and Acute Treatment Outcomes Among Depressed Adolescents.

Bornstein, R., Becker-Weidman, E., Nigro, C., Frontera, R., & Reinecke, M. (2007). The complex pathway from attachment to personality disorder: A life span perspective on interpersonal dependence. In Freeman, A. & Reinecke, M. (Eds.). Personality Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Brown, A., Becker-Weidman, E., & Saxe, G. (2014). A developmental perspective on childhood traumatic stress. In Friedman, A. (Vol. Ed.). Handbook of PTSD, Second Edition. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Curry, J., Silva, S., Rohde, P., Ginsberg, G., Kratochvil, C., Simons, A., Kirchner, J., May, D., Kennard, B., Mayes, T., Albano, A.M., Jacobs, R., Lavonier, S., Feeny, N., Reinecke, M., Weller, E., Becker-Weidman, E., Emslie, G., Walkup, J., Kastelic, E., Burns, B., Wells, K., March, J. (2012). Onset of alcohol or substance use disorders following treatment for adolescent depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80, 299-312.

Curry, J,, Silva, S., Rohde, P., Ginsberg, G., Kratochvil, C., Simons, A., Kirchner, J., May, D., Kennard, B., Mayes, T., Albano, A.M., Jacobs, R., Lavonier, S., Feeny, N., Reinecke, M., Weller, E., Becker-Weidman, E., Emslie, G., Walkup, J., Kastelic, E., Burns, B., Wells, K., March, J. (2010). Recovery and recurrence following treatment for adolescent major depression. Archives of General Psychology, 68, 263-269.

Jacobs, R., Becker-Weidman, E., Jordan, N., Reinecke, M.A., Rohde, P., Silva, S., March, J., et al. (2010). Treating depression and oppositional behavior in adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 39, 559-567.

Reinecke, M., Washburn, J., & Becker-Weidman, E. (2007). Depression and Suicide. In Dattilio, F. & Freeman, A. (Eds.). Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies in Crisis Intervention (3rd Edition). New York: Guilford Press.

Sokol, L., Fox, M. G., & Becker-Weidman, E. (2014). Dealing with difficult cases: What are the roadblocks and how to overcome them? In D. J. A. Dozois (Vol. Ed.). CBT: General Strategies. Volume 1. In S. G. Hofmann (Series Ed.), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: A Complete Reference Guide. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Borda, T., Neziroglu, F., Rivera, R., Santos, N., & Donnelly, K. (2011). Status of body dysmorphic disorder in Argentina. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25(4), 507-12.

Donnelly, K. & Velayo, R. (2004). Visual and auditory elaborative imagery: Modality effects on paired-associate learning. Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research, 9 (3), 114-118.

Neziroglu, F. & Donnelly, K. (2013). Children of Hoarders: How to Minimize Conflict, Reduce the Clutter, and Improve Your Relationship. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Neziroglu, F. & Donnelly, K. (2013). Dissociation from and acceptance oriented standpoint. In F. Kennedy, H. Kennerley, & D. Pearson. (Eds.), Cognitive Behavioral Approaches to the Understanding and Treatment of Dissociation (pp. 236-248). New York: Routledge.

Neziroglu, F. & Donnelly, K. (2010). Overcoming Depersonalization Disorder: An Acceptance and Mindfulness Guide. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Neziroglu, F. & Donnelly, K. (2008). How to get hoarders into treatment. Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation Newsletter, 9 (3), 114-118.

Neziroglu, F. & Donnelly, K. (2008). Dissociative disorder: Experiential similarity to philosophical obsessions and rumination on distress. Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation Newsletter, 22 (3), 12-13.

Neziroglu, F. & Donnelly, K. (2008). Body dysmorphic disorder: Treatment is effective. Anxiety Disorders Association of America Newsletter.

Carmody, D.P., Kaplan, M., & Gaydos, A.M.. Spatial orientation adjustments in children with autism in Hong Kong. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 31 (3), 233-247.

Kaplan, M., Carmody, D.P, & Gaydos, A.M. Postural orientation modifications in autism in response to ambient lenses. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 27 (2), 81-91.

Hebert, K.R., Nangle, D.W., Fales, J., & Grover, R.L. Linking social anxiety and adolescent romantic relationship functioning: Indirect effects and the importance of peers. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Grover, R.L., Nangle, D.W., Serwik, A. & Zeff (Hebert), K.R. Girlfriend, boy friend, girlfriend, boyfriend: Broadening our views of adolescent heterosocial competence. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36, 491- 502.

Barreto, S., Zeff (Hebert), K.R., Boekamp, J., & Paccione, M. Fire behavior in children and adolescents. In A. Martin & F.R. Volkmar (Eds.). Lewis’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: A Comprehensive Textbook, Fourth Edition, Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.

Grover, R.L., Nangle, D.W., & Zeff (Hebert), K.R. The measure of adolescent heterosocial competence: Development and initial construct validation. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34, 282-291.

Nangle, D.W., Zeff (Hebert), K.R. , & Rivera, M. Peer intervention. In M. Hersen Series Ed.) & A.M. Gross & R.S. Drabman (Vol. Eds.), Encyclopedia of behavior modification and therapy: Vol. 2: Child clinical applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Nangle, D.W., Erdley, C.A., Zeff (Hebert), K.R., Stanchfield, L.L., & Gold, J.A. Social status and behavioral-style concordances and discordances among children and the peers who like and dislike them. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 32, 425-434.