Larry is the Co-Founder of Riverside Trauma Center. He has provided direct therapeutic services for over 20 years and managed mental health services for over 15 years. His clinical areas of expertise include work with children, adolescents, adults, and families who are trauma survivors and/or suicide survivors. He coordinates and provides disaster response services and post-suicide intervention for individuals, schools, workplaces, and communities, and conducts trainings on suicide prevention. Larry holds a doctoral degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University and is a licensed Psychologist in Massachusetts. He is on the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, serves as the Co-Chair of the Northeast Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, and holds an appointment as a Teaching Associate in Psychology, Part Time, at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry.
Jim is the Co-Founder and Associate Director of the Riverside Trauma Center. Jim provides mental health support for schools, workplaces, and communities affected by traumatic events. He has consulted with numerous schools and communities in Massachusetts and New England on trauma responses. He gives consultations and trainings on suicide postvention services, suicide clusters, and suicide prevention coalitions. He has presented at statewide, national, and international conferences on these topics. He also has extensive experience providing therapy to children, adolescents, and adults and previously managed outpatient mental health clinics and programs for children for more than 20 years. Jim is a graduate of the Boston University School of Social Work and also was a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology Department at Suffolk University for more than 30 years. An Army veteran, he has a special interest in developing and providing services for returning vets. Jim is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).
Languages: English, American Sign Language
Joanna is the Clinical Director for Riverside Trauma Center where she responds to community disasters and provides training on trauma, resilience, trauma-informed care, and suicide prevention and postvention. She has worked with youth, families, adults, and communities that have experienced traumas in a wide range of settings in the U.S. and abroad for more than 20 years. Joanna has an MSW from the University of Michigan with a concentration in Health, and a Certificate in Traumatic Stress Studies from the Trauma Center at JRI. She has training in a range of trauma and loss specific therapeutic modalities.
Languages: English, Spanish
Program Coordinator – MassMen Project
Joe Conant’s thirty-one-year career in the Springfield, MA Fire Department included six years as the Commissioner of the Department as well as various positions: President of the Western Mass Fire Chiefs Association, 2nd Vice President of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, President of the New England Association of Fire Chiefs, and Governor-appointed member of the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations. He was instrumental in bringing suicide prevention training to the Massachusetts Fire Service, co-founded the Western Mass Fire Chiefs Behavioral Health Coalition, and was presented the 2015 Leadership in Suicide Prevention Award by the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention. At Riverside Trauma Center, he spearheads the MassMen Project – a program designed to promote wellness and decrease suicide among working-age men in Massachusetts. He will work with leaders in several disciplines, including public safety, corrections, building trades, the fishing industry, and others to help develop peer support programs in the workplace. He will also collaborate with the Department of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, and Riverside programs that support the mission of the program. He holds an Associate’s degree in Fire Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts.
Suicide Prevention Specialist
Sarah Gaer began working in human services in 1998 and has experience in substance abuse, mental illness, developmental disabilities, and forensics. Sarah has specialized in trauma treatment of veterans and women survivors of sexual abuse. As a member of the trauma response team, she has responded to natural disasters, homicides, suicides, and terrorism within the community. She was a Team Leader for the trauma team that responded to the June 1st tornado in western and central Massachusetts through a FEMA grant managed by Riverside. At Riverside Trauma Center her specific focus is on developing initiatives for suicide prevention related to middle-aged men, and she is an active member of the trauma response and community training teams. Sarah is a Master’s level clinician and graduate of Antioch New England University. She is trained in Psychological First Aid, Skills for Psychological Recovery, and has most recently been accepted as a Master Trainer for the QPR Institute.
Senior Clinician – Coordinator for Program Development
Nanci is a seasoned clinician and trainer with 20 years of experience. Her specialties include adolescent mental health; family systems; school-based programming, community-based psychotherapy; program analysis, development, and management; and suicide postvention. She has been a Trauma Responder at Riverside Trauma Center for broad-scale events like the Boston Marathon bombing, and for more localized events such as suicides and other sudden losses in schools and communities. At Riverside Trauma Center, Nanci conducts trainings and is responsible for program development and trauma responses. She holds a specialty certificate in family therapy, is a Certified Instructor for QPR Gatekeeper Course for Suicide Prevention, a Certified Instructor in Youth Mental Health First Aid, and a Certified Trainer for the Signs of Suicide school-based prevention curriculum. She is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers – Massachusetts Chapter and is President Emerita of Boston University School of Social Work Alumni Association.
Since 2004, Jenny has been providing individual and family therapy services in various outreach settings. She started working at Riverside Community Care in 2008 as a home-based family therapist for Riverside Alternative Youth Service – a town funded home-based family services program. Her position evolved as the program grew and she took on the role of intake coordinator and on-call supervisor. Jenny’s wide range of skills make her indispensable to Riverside Trauma Center as she develops and manages fiscal systems; implements methods to improve daily productivity, efficiency, and organization; and supports the work of our staff by assisting with trainings, screenings, research and resource development, and critical incident responses. Jenny has a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Suffolk University.
Coordinator, Trauma and Loss Counseling service
Marlene has 17 years of experience as a trauma clinician working with children, teens, and families. She has provided therapy to survivors of sexual assault, bullying, terrorist attacks, suicide, and other traumatic loss. At Riverside Trauma Center, she conducts trainings on resilience, crisis management, and suicide prevention and postvention, and is a Trauma Responder providing support and consultation to schools, communities, and individuals after traumatic events. She is an EMDR International Association Approved Consultant and practitioner of EMDR therapy, and trained in Internal Family Systems (IFS), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Trauma-Focused CBT. Her Social Work Master’s degree is from the National School of Social Service at the National Catholic University and her Master’s degree in Anthropology is from Northeastern University.
Waheeda has worked with adolescents and adults for over 10 years, providing therapy to survivors of abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Prior to that, she served as a Guardian ad Litem for the Florida court system. She has been with Riverside Trauma Center since 2008, providing consultation after traumatic events, as well as conducting trainings on a range of issues regarding trauma and suicide. She served as a Team Leader in our FEMA-funded response to the tornados in central and western Massachusetts in 2011. Waheeda is trained specifically in trauma therapy modalities, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She has a graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College.
Languages: Urdu/Hindi, English
Photos of L. Berkowitz, J. McCauley, J. Bridger, S. Gaer, J. Huynh, M. Kenney, and W. Saif ©Ellen Schub 2014