Mark Sisti, PhD, ACT:
Mark Sisti, PhD is the founder and director of Suffolk Cognitive-Behavioral, PLLC. He is a graduate of Hofstra University, a licensed psychologist and a adjunct professor at Yeshiva— Ferkauf University, Department of Clinical Psychology. Dr. Sisti and several of our staff, are certified cognitive therapists within The Academy of Cognitive Therapy, the only official certifying agency for cognitive therapists in the United States. He is also a Diplomate & Founding Fellow, and certified CBT trainer within the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. His advanced training in cognitive therapy was under the tutelage of a CBT master clinician, Robert Leahy, Ph.D., at The American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, where Dr. Sisti was formerly the associate director.
Dr. Sisti has extensive experience with anxiety disorders through his work at Freedom From Fear, a nationally recognized anxiety and mood disorder advocacy organization, where he was formerly the director of cognitive therapy and where he also participated as a certified cognitive therapist in research trials for N.Y.S. Psychiatric Institute & Columbia Presbyterian. He has also supervised doctoral interns from both Yeshiva-Ferkauf and Hofstra Universities and is an volunteer adjunct clinical supervisor for Yeshiva University Graduate School of Psychology. He trains various mental health experts and professionals in CBT, mindfulness based CBT’s, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and has presented trainings and symposiums for the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, Association for Contextual Behavior Therapy and Suffolk County Psych Assoc. He has also given numerous seminars and trainings on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other mindfulness based CBT’s. Dr. Sisti is also a published author on cognitive therapy, mindfulness, ACT, and Compassion Based Therapy, and Functional Analytic Therapy (FAP).
As a committed life long learner, and in an ongoing effort to keep up with state of the art CBT and its newest developments, he has committed himself and his staff to ongoing supervision and training in, “third generation” CBT’s and mindfulness informed CBT, e.g., DBT, FAP, Compassion Informed Therapy and ACT. He has extensive training and experience with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) through its founders and leaders, Dr. Steven Hayes & Kelly Wilson. Additional ACT experience comes through being a past president of the NYC chapter of ACBS (Association of Contextual Behavioral Science) ACBS-NYC, and founder of Long Island ACBS, a local ACT affiliate, ACT training and peer study group. He has also trained repeatedly with master third generation clinicians such as; (DBT)Dr. Marsha Linehan & Compassion Focused Therapists (Dennis Tirch, & Tara Brach & Christine Neff/Chris Germer). He has also trained and given trainings in “interpersonal” CBT’s such as Functional Analytic Psychotherapy with Dr.’s Mavis Tsai & Bob Kohlenberg, along with completing a one year relational psychoanalytic training at the Mitchell Institute for Relational Psychoanalysis. He is also founder & president of The “Long Island-CBT Network (www.LICBT.org)”, a LI based professional CBT/EBP networking & dissemination organization as well as being on the board of Suffolk County Psych Association. Dr Sisti, also incorporates the mindfulness insights he has garnered as a life long practitioner of TM (Transcendental Meditation), Ashtanga Yoga, and Aikido 1st Dan into his life and work.
Maria Steblai, Psy.D.
Maria Steblai, PsyD., is a senior founding member of Suffolk Cognitive Behavioral beginning in 2004. Dr. Steblai’s long tenure at our center has made many patients and their families consider her a life long mental health resource. She obtained her doctorate from Hofstra University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Steblai obtained her initial clinical training in cognitive-behavioral therapy at Hofstra University.
Her clinical experience at North Shore University Hospital has given her invaluable expertise working with the most intense of crises in peoples lives and the opportunity to work as a team with medical/psychiatric professionals. Additionally her ongoing experience working as a certified school psychologist within several Long Island School districts, gives her broad experience with both children, adolescents, adults and families. We are very fortunate to have a professional with this much experience with childhood and adolescent disorders on staff. Her specialties include, cognitive-behavioral Therapy, ADHD, eating & body image disorders, and children-adolescent disorders. She has presented her research at psychological conventions on; attention & hyperactivity disorders (ADD & ADHD), eating disorders and body image disorders. She regularly conducts groups, workshops and seminars on ADHD, eating disorders and adolescent trauma.
Dr. Lou Ricci brings a broad range of clinical experience to our center, he has worked extensively with children, teens and adults in a number of different settings. He attended Brooklyn College for his Master Degree in Education and advanced certificate in school psychology. Dr. Ricci has been and continues to be a school psychologist for the past 15 years. There he has garnered valuable experience working with, individuals, families, mental health professionals and school officials implementing a variety of programs for a variety of problems including; the autism ambassadors program, school wide behavioral interventions, mindfulness based programs and pro social interventions and group workshops. His time as a school psychologist and private practitioner has developed his skill in providing psychological assessments for diagnosis of learning disabilities and functional assessment for behavioral intervention.
He continued his education and developed more extensive expertise in CBT by earning his doctorate at Hofstra University. During that time he continued to hone his CBT skills not only in school settings, but also interning at The Long Island Counseling Center. In this community mental health clinic, Dr. Ricci worked with a wide variety of problems and individuals, ranging from social & interpersonal problems, to working with foster children & families, to drug abuse, child abuse, depression, and a range of mood and anxiety disorders. His time there also helped him to learn to closely collaborate with medical and psychiatric staff. Within the larger umbrella organization of Family and Children’s Services he completed a research study investigating the use of cognitive behavioral strategies for treatment of anger disorders amongst teenage boys. Over the last few years, Dr. Ricci ‘s private practice further enhanced his now advanced CBT expertise by applying these skills to a wide variety of people and problems, e.g., anxiety disorders, phobias, mood disorders, anger control, learning disabilities , ADHD, parent training, family counseling, sibling issues, autism, asperger’s disorder and behavioral disorders.
Denise Coscia, PhD
Denise Coscia, PhD., received her doctoral degree with Psi Chi honors at Hofstra University in 2007. Hofstra’s doctoral training program is cognitive-behavioral and therefore has prepared Dr. Coscia well for helping our patients to understand their strengths and weakness in cognitive behavioral terms.
Her time at North Shore LIJ, provided a wide range of experience with psychological testing, evaluation and research, as well expertise in doing cognitive-behavioral assessments and diagnosis, and is therefore a major asset here at Suffolk Cognitive Behavioral. She had previously gained additional CBT expertise at The Bleuler Psychotherapy Group where she worked with a diverse range of, children, adolescents and adults presenting a full range of problems, e.g., from ADHD, to mood disorders to anxiety, phobias, and relationship problems. She has also developed CBT skills working individuals with more severe problems due to her valuable time interning at Brunswick Hospital Inpatient Psychiatric Unit and volunteering at Payne Whitney Cornell Medical Center. Further broadening her range of skills, she interned at both the elementary and high school levels , giving her the opportunity to develop insight and skills for helping the developing adolescent. Dr. Coscia’s experience working with aging populations and geriatrics has provided extensive experience and empathy for the challenges of growing older, something more and more American baby boomers are going to have to face and learn to thrive in. This full range of developmental experience has also provided Dr. Coscia with an understanding of adult family dynamics and the challenges of adults caring for aging parents and children.
All in all, we are very proud of the full range of life experience and CBT background Dr. Denise Coscia brings to Suffolk Cognitive Behavioral, as well as the deep care and empathy she has cultivated while working with both the challenges of adolescence, emerging adulthood, middle age, as well aging adults.
As one of our senior staff members, Dr. Dworin-Kehl earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University with concentrations in both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Relational Psychodynamic Therapy. Her doctoral training was obtained through Yeshiva University’s CBT Program for Anxiety & Depressive Disorders (directed by a distinguished CBT clinician, Academy of Cognitive Therapy Fellow Lata K. McGinn, PhD, ACT). Having her fundamentaldoctoral clinical training in a CBT specialization insures extensive CBT experience and expertise. From there, she gained more advanced expertise in CBT as an extern at The American Institute of Cognitive Therapy under the direction of Master CBT clinician Robert Leahy, PhD. There, she also deepened her experience treating individuals experiencing a wide range of difficulties including general anxiety, social anxiety, panic, depression, OCD, stress management and various phobias. Dr. Dworin continued her training at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital’s Psychiatric Recovery Center where she gained experience working with adults with severe & chronic mental illness and providing group therapy. Her experience at St. Lukes also gave her training in third generation CBT, i.e., DialecticalBehavior Therapy. Most recently, Dr. Dworin completed her pre-doctoral internship at Maimonides Medical Center. Dr. Dworin has previously held research positions at Northwestern University, studying the development of Schizophrenia, and her current research interests focus on peer influences on the development of anxiety during adolescence. Dr. Dworin works with individuals across the age span, ranging from children through elders.
Laura Bilick – Office & Insurance Manager
Laura is the executive assistant and office manager at Suffolk Cognitive-Behavioral, PLLC. She is responsible for managing the administrative responsibilities of SCB. For patients with questions regarding insurance, billing, balances, etc., which your therapist cannot answer, please contact Laura by phone at the main office (631-696-2896). We are grateful that Laura brings decades of administrative skills from various businesses to our practice. Her multi-disciplinary expertise ranges from a history in; retail management, to multiple executive assistantships in private & public sector, to university and hospital settings.
Shelli Trager – Intake Coordinator
Ms. Trager is the intake coordinator at Suffolk Cognitive-Behavioral, she is often the first person to meet and greet patients who call the center for information. With a call to the center, she will be more than happy to answer any general questions about the center. Ms. Trager has worked for mental health professionals and their patients for decades and has in that way gathered a wealth of invaluable experience in helping patients to make difficult decisions around starting therapy and answering general mental health FAQ’s (frequently asked questions). Ms. Trager also manages the calendars and appointments of our staff, and will patiently guide patients through the complex process of initial screening and referral.
In addition, to her work at SCB, Ms. Trager is an entrepreneur, with a BS in Education, from The University of Connecticut. She manages her own multi-faceted medical business by helping other mental health professionals with all aspects of office management, information Technology, etc.
Contact us to make your next appointment today or call us at:
Long Island Offices - 631–696-2896
Brooklyn Offices - 347-687-6353