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About My Associates

Crystal Brooks, LCSW


I have always been guided by the mantra that we never get more than we can handle. Life taught me that there is always a solution, no matter how unbearable a problem may seem. This became the basis of my approach to treating people suffering from even the most severe mental illness or devastating addiction. Helping my clients realize that they possess the innate ability to overcome the greatest of emotional challenges is both my purpose and my passion. I would love the opportunity to be your guide and cheerleader along the way!

Most people don’t really know ‘what they’re made of’, and their self esteem suffers because of it. They underestimate their ability to tackle the issues that make them feel discouraged, depressed, and they give in to the same vicious cycles they feel trapped in over and over again, not because their comfortable there, but because they figure it’s the best they can do. Strength-based counseling means you and I will identify your most valuable personality characteristics in a supportive and non-judgemental relationship. We can then direct the very best things about you–your resiliency, intelligence, compassion, courage– towards achieving your goals. You will quickly begin feeling more optimistic–more truly yourself. Because these things are who you really are!

Outside of my role as a therapist, I enjoy traveling, and discovering new places with my love of 14 years and our two wonderful young children. I truly value my family and friendships, many of whom I have known for 20 years. I strive to maintain a healthy life balance through mindfulness, meditation, nutrition and exercise. And the occasional spa day is a great treat!



Dina Niewood, LCSW

Dina Niewood

Dina is a licensed clinical social worker with 20 years of experience working with adults and teens in different cities across the country, as well as internationally.“I really enjoy helping people tap into their inner strengths in order to succeed with major life transitions, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder”. Dina uses a positive, solution-focused approach with her clients, based on the idea that they already possess many tools for self-healing and greater life satisfaction. She also uses cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness techniques depending on what the individual needs because “one size doesn’t fit all”.Dina continues “I am forever fascinated by people and their stories”. She finds transitional periods to be especially compelling and rewarding to work with in both individuals and couples, as they are the greatest growth spurts we can have as human beings. “I will help you focus on the obstacles you face in your life by providing a warm, caring, and safe environment. Together as a team, you and I will work to find the best solutions to improve your life and relationships. The feeling I convey in every session is warm, safe, and inspiring.”Dina also enjoys spending time with her husband of almost 17 years, three young daughters and two bulldogs.



Jeanne Palazo, LCSW

Jeanne Palazo

Jeanne believes in helping her clients to heal themselves so they can live joyfully, above all else. She is very upbeat and down to earth, and quotes Milton Berle that “humor is an instant vacation”. to compassionate and educated professional with over 18 years of experience in different treatment settings including outpatient therapy, intensive case management, and hospice. A graduate of Marywood University, Jeanne has 18 years of experience counseling individuals to implement skills which reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, Bipolar disorder, and Attention Deficit Disorder. Jeanne is also very effective at helping people make ordinary and extraordinary life adjustments. She works with couples and families to develop effective communication and other coping skills.
She has worked in a variety treatment settings including private practice, intensive case management, and hospice, which she loved. Jeanne’s scope of practice includes Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. She integrates various approaches including empowerment, life coaching, wellness and attachment theory. Jeanne also utilizes Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples and has been accepted to The New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis.
Jeanne shares a relaxed and comfortable rapport with her clients. She wants you to be yourself as she guides you through life’s losses, challenges, and opportunities. Jeanne also believes that “fun is mandatory for mental health” and considers fun a valuable issue to explore in counseling.
Jeanne enjoys visiting her family in Sarasota, FL, spending time with her new grandson, excursions to NYC, boating, bluegrass and blues performances, and photography. She is also passionate about physical fitness and Paleo nutrition.
Spiritually, she believes that Love always prevails, and considers compassion her way of life.



Stephanie Shapiro, LSW, PhD Candidate

Stephanie Shapiro

Stephanie has an MSW in clinical social work. She is equally skilled helping children age six and older, teens aw well as adults. Her emphasis is building a strong set of coping skills to succeed with anxiety, depression, other mood issues, and OCD, Since her very first psychology class as an undergrad, Stephanie knew that psychotherapy was her calling. She comments, ” I’m happy and grateful to have found a career that I am truly passionate about.” Graduating from Montclair State University with a BA in psychology, she went on to earn her MSW from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. She is now completing her dissertation to earn a PH.D. in psychology.

Stephanie is also very proud to have contributed to major advancements in the mental health field. She was directly involved in developing the Diagnostic and Symptom Calculator [DSC], which has revolutionized the way accurate diagnoses are established around the world.

For Stephanie, every client’s needs and aspirations are unique, and deserve the utmost individual attention to help them reach their goals. She states “I am very confident that together you and I can reduce your stressors and design a personalized treatment program to maximize your strengths, reduce your stress, and deal effectively with your challenges I will guide you to regain a sense of control over your life, and to feel inspired about living it.”

Stephanie is blessed with 3 great children, and a wonderful spouse of 10 years. In each of the roles she has as a wife, mother and therapist, she is guided by very strong moral values. Stephanie takes pride in teaching her family the importance of ‘giving back’ to others, and volunteers her time at her children’s school. She also loves to cook and travel.



Steve Rego, LCSW


Steve has a passion for helping his clients get to the core of deeply rooted disorders. His strategy thrives in finding effective short term interventions. As a graduate of New York University, Steve has used his education to focus on treating adolescents, adults, and couples. Throughout the years, he has been successful in addressing a range of disorders stemming from depression, anxiety, OCD, and ADD/ADHD. Steve has also distinguished himself with 10 years of trauma experience treating war veterans, sexual assault victims, and perpetrators. He utilizes an eclectic mix of therapy techniques and finds humor to be one of his best tools. He also speaks Spanish fluently and feels very comfortable working with Spanish speaking clients.

Steve’s success, in part, is due to his fascination of human behavior and psychology. “I got into this work because I am fascinated by human behavior”, Steve says. “My goal is to not only understand why people do the things they do, but to help them find different and more effective ways of doing things.”

Outside his role as a therapist, Steve has been married for 15 years and has one beautiful daughter and two dogs. He enjoys spending quality time with his family and his two dogs. He also loves to play music and hunt the Big Apple for used record albums.



Alan Silberberg, BS, Career Coach

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Alan decided to become a Career Coach because he is passionate about helping people reach their full potential and highest fulfillment in their careers. He sees how his clients’ career satisfactions have led to greater everyday happiness, abilities to live fuller lives, improved self-esteem, and lower stress.

He has a 25-year track record of delivering superior results for his clients in terms of landing new positions and achieving top-rated satisfaction. Alan has worked with entry-level individuals to C-level executives across all professions and industries. He is known for being an active listener with the ability to pinpoint a client’s priorities, and he quickly provides practical, thoughtful solutions that have a positive impact upon his clients.

How does he help clients accelerate their job searches? By applying marketing principles to build a plan and then taking action! This includes the following:

  • Defining a clear career goal.
  • Writing compelling resumes and LinkedIn profiles that act as Sales Brochures.
  • Generate interviews by strategically and proactively utilizing all job search methods – networking, recruiters, job postings, social media.
  • Landing offers by communicating their honest, genuine experience during interviews.
  • Evaluating offers and negotiating optimal compensation – safely and effectively.
  • Supporting clients to develop and maintain focus throughout their search and help them navigate unpredictable situations.

Prior to becoming a Career Coach, Alan held business management roles with Fortune 500 and startup organizations. He gained a deep understanding of business drivers through this work. Alan also worked in recruitment; enabling him to understand the hiring process from the individual’s, company’s, and agent’s perspective.

Alan has a Master’s-level Career Coaching Certification from Career Partners International. His educational background consists of a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Liberal Arts, extensive accounting education, and a Certification in Career Assessment from the Federation Employment & Guidance Services (F.E.G.S.).

Outside his role as a Career Coach, Alan is married, enjoys comedy, listens to classic rock music, and goes on road trips. Another interesting fact about him is that he has been to 49 of the 50 states in the United States of America. His life philosophy is that he believes each day should be celebrated uniquely in some way.


Michele Valone, LCSW

Michele is an NYU graduate with over 15 years experience working with teenagers, adults and couples.

“Helping you create the life that you want is my passion. Perhaps you want to work on your self-esteem, relationships, a struggling career, the demands of your family life…or the grief and change that comes with a separation, divorce or any kind of loss. I have been told that my therapeutic style is warm and engaging. I also appreciate each and every person’s journey, and I understand the strength and courage required to change.”

I will help you identify your strengths. I am confident that I can enhance the skills and positive attributes you already possess. Through my therapy, I will provide you with the framework and support to help you reach your goals.

Along with traditional forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, I also use an innovative and effective energy practice called EFT (emotional freedom technique) widely know as “TAPPING”.  Tapping helped me change my life and because of the personal success I experienced, I now bring this technique to my clients. Together, we can explore what type of treatment works best for you.

Michele also enjoys writing, theatrical performing, film making, and the never ending antics of her two Corgis, Patrick and Finn.




Jonathan Ausubel, PsyD


Jonathan received his Psy.D. from Pace University in School-Clinical Child Psychology. During graduate school, he interned in a school in Pelham, NY for two years. Jonathan trained in a fast-paced emergency room and on two inpatient psychiatric units during a clinical internship at St. Barnabas Hospital for one year. He completed multiple rotations and gained numerous valuable learning experiences during his year long APA-approved internship at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.

After graduating, Jonathan worked with young children and families at the League Center in Brooklyn, NY. As a Level II Psychologist at Jacobi Medical Center, Jonathan provided individual, couples and group therapy to clients in an Adult and Geriatric Outpatient Department for four years. He currently works with a geriatric population and their caregivers. He thus has experience with the entire gamut of the population, though his passion is working with children, young adults, and their families.

Jonathan uses an integrative approach in treatment. He focuses on developing a warm therapeutic relationship with each and every client. He uses many elements from the four core Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) principles: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness. He provides numerous practical coping skills, often based upon Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and DBT principles. He believes in helping clients’ learn to use their own strengths to help improve their lives and find meaningful, effective, long-lasting solutions to their struggles.


Outside of his career as a psychologist, Jonathan is blessed with a wonderful spouse of over 10 years and four adorable young children. He enjoys sports, reading and playing chess as well.