Dr. Lucene Wisniewski, Ph.D., FAED
Dr. Wisniewski is an internationally recognized leader in eating disorder treatment and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, with more than 25 years of clinical and training experience. She has taught hundreds of workshops and continuing education seminars around the globe and has authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and invited book chapters. Dr. Wisniewski has also provided consultation and training to eating disorder clinics around the globe.
In addition, she has earned some of the highest awards and accreditations in the industry. In 2013, she received the Outstanding Clinician Award from the Academy for Eating Disorders, demonstrating her leadership in the field and her commitment to providing the best solutions for those with eating disorders.
Amy Kalasunas, LPCC-S, NCC
Chief Operating Officer and Director of DBT Services
Amy Kalasunas, LPCC-S, NCC, is a behaviorist with over 20 years of experience working within evidence-based treatment models. She has extensive training in DBT and its sub-specialty area of DBT-Prolonged Exposure (PE), as well as supervision and consultation team adherence practices.
Kalasunas is one of the few therapists in Ohio who is a DBT LBC Certified Clinician through the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, an independently certified board that identifies providers and programs that reliably offer DBT in a way that conforms to evidence-based research. She is co-chair of the DBT LBC Publications Committee, and serves on the DBT LBC Communications Committee. A sought-after presenter, Kalasunas consistently achieves the highest evaluation scores when presenting two- and three-day workshops on the topics of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, DBT and Complex Eating Disorders, and DBT-Prolonged Exposure and Eating Disorders.
Her clinical work has included developing, implementing, and evaluating program outcomes across the spectrum of clinical milieus, including inpatient psychiatric hospitals, Partial Hospitalization Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs, community mental health agencies, specialty practice clinics, and private practice offices. Her current clinical practice includes providing comprehensive DBT to adults as well as treating symptoms of PTSD with DBT-PE. She also as provides evidence-based interventions to parents of adolescents and young adults who struggle to meet expected milestones.
In her spare time, Kalasunas enjoys gardening, tending to more pets than she can count, barely keeping up with her kids, and making sure everyone in her family knows the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars. She also watches every version of “90 Day Fiancé” available internationally but will adamantly deny it if you ask her.
Dean Malec, Ph.D.
Therapist, Director of Training
Dean Malec, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and Director of Training for CEBTOhio. He completed his doctorate in counseling psychology from Cleveland State University in August 2020.
Dr. Malec has received intensive training in Dialectical Behavior and Cognitive Behavioral therapies, and has worked with clients in settings such as university counseling centers, community based mental health, and eating disorder specialty clinics. He treats adolescents and adults with a variety of presenting problems, including eating disorders, anxiety and mood disorders, and difficulties with emotion regulation. Valuing evidence-based practices within the context of cultural humility, Dr. Malec welcomes working with people of all identities and life experiences.
As the Director of Training, Dr. Malec oversees CEBTOhio’s practicum/internship program and provides clinical supervision to trainees. Dr. Malec has several years of experience collaborating and training with members of the CEBTOhio leadership team. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends and watching (and quoting) episodes of "The Golden Girls."
Cindy Pikus, Ph.D., CEDS-S
Senior Clinical Advisor
For more than 25 years, Dr. Cindy Pikus has worked with children, adolescents and adults with eating disorders at all levels of care, as well as teens and adults with mood or anxiety disorders. She also has extensive experience in program development, leading interdisciplinary treatment teams and providing clinical supervision.
Dr. Pikus received her B.A. and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from UCLA and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital. She joined the UCLA hospital staff as a therapist in the UCLA Eating Disorder Program and later served as Associate Director of that program. From 2013 to 2018, Dr. Pikus was the Senior Clinical Director of an adult inpatient and residential eating disorder unit in Colorado. She moved to New Jersey in 2018 to help design and open the first residential eating disorder program in the state and served as Executive Clinical Director of that program. She has received the Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and Supervisor designation from the International Association of Eating DisordersProfessionals (iaedp) and is a member of iaedp, the American Psychological Association and the Academy for Eating Disorders.
Dr. Pikus currently offers virtual sessions for individuals and families living in New Jersey, California or Ohio.
Leah Barron, LPC
Leah Barron, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor with CEBTOhio. Her clinical experience includes treating clients struggling with adjustment issues, anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation, and traumatic experiences. Barron has previously worked in residential, agency, and private practice settings.
In her role at CEBTOhio, Barron works with individual adults and adolescents using evidence-based treatments, such as Unified Protocol and DBT, and serves as a DBT skills training group facilitator. Leah leads with compassion and creativity while practicing evidence-based interventions.
Barron graduated with her M.A. in counseling and art therapy from Ursuline College in 2022. She has a background in visual art, earning her BFA in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2015 and working in studio, museum, and gallery environments prior to training as a therapist.
In her free time, Barron enjoys reading, making art, and keeping up with the Real Housewives cinematic universe.
Denise Ben-Porath, Ph.D.
Dr. Denise Ben-Porath earned her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Kent State University. In addition to her role as a treating clinician at CEBTOhio, she is a professor in the Department of Psychology at John Carroll University.
Dr. Ben-Porath has over 20 years of experience as a DBT practicing clinician with difficult-to-treat multi-diagnostic individuals, including but not limited to those diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety/depression, eating disorders and personality disorders.
As a seasoned clinician and researcher, her experience of applying DBT to various treatment settings extends to residential settings, day treatment programs, inpatient units, VA hospitals, correctional facilities, community mental health centers, and private practice settings. She has provided hundreds of trainings, both national and internationally; and is a DBT trainer for Behavioral Technology (B-Tech), which was founded by Marsha Linehan, the developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Dr. Ben-Porath is the author of over 30 publications, including recent publications Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: An Update and Review of the Existing Treatment Models Adapted for Adults With Eating Disorders, and Physical Health-Related Counseling Issues: Eating Disorders, Elimination Disorders, and Chronic Illness/Disability Counseling.
Kathy Benhamou, M.A.
Kathy Benhamou, M.A, is fifth year doctoral candidate at Case Western Reserve University and is a psychology assistant at CEBTOhio. She earned an M.A. in clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University in 2021 and a B.A. in psychology from Binghamton University in 2016.
Benhamou has clinical training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and several evidence-based, manualized interventions including Exposure and Response Prevention (Ex/RP) for OCD, Prolonged Exposure (PE) for PTSD, and CBT for chronic pain. She has several years of experience working with adults with anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD, chronic pain, and depression. Kathy has worked in various settings including the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, MetroHealth's Emergency Department, and the Cleveland Clinic Comprehensive Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program.
As a psychology assistant at CEBTOhio, Benhamou conducts initial intake evaluations with adults and adolescents and provides individual therapy. She also has experience co-facilitating adult DBT skills groups. In her free time, Kathy enjoys spending time with her husband and pup, exploring the Cleveland Metroparks, and crafting.
Jennifer Campbell, LISW
Jennifer Campbell, LISW, comes to CEBTOhio with her Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University. She has several years of experience delivering evidence based treatments, including comprehensive DBT, CBT-E, ACT, and DBT-PE for clients across various levels of care.
Her specialties include treating teenagers and young adults struggling with eating disorders, chronic emotion dysregulation, trauma, and concerns with rigid cognitions and fixed thinking.
In addition, Campbell serves as co-chair of the Residential & Inpatient Special Interest Group for the Academy of Eating Disorders and serves on the Academy's SIG Oversight Committee. She has also served as team leader for the Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action (EDC) for the state of New Jersey.
Campbell is independently licensed in New Jersey and Ohio. When not in practice with her certified therapy dog, she volunteers at Comfort Zone Camp for grieving children, and enjoys water sports and competing in triathlons.
As the intake coordinator at CEBTOhio, Stacy Goldberg schedules patients for initial assessments and consultations. She enjoys speaking with patients, answering questions about our practice and clinicians, and generally helping support our practice and patients in any way she can.
Prior to working at CEBTOhio, Goldberg was a business manager at The Emory Clinic and Blackboard, Inc. She also worked as the director of marketing for an arts education non-profit in Cleveland, Ohio, and most recently she was a ghostwriter at Braun Ink, helping people capture their life stories. Utilizing her 25-plus years of business and writing experience, she ensures CEBTOhio’s day to day operations run smoothly.
In the fall of 2022, Goldberg will begin classes at the Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Social Work. She earned a B.A. in English and Spanish literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business. A mother of three teenagers, Goldberg brings a wealth of empathy and humility to her role as intake coordinator at CEBTOhio. When she’s not spending time with her family, you can find her on a tennis court, traveling, cooking and feeding the hummingbirds in her backyard in Ohio.
Stephanie Gomez, M.A.
Stephanie Gomez, M.A., is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Case Western Reserve University. In 2017, Gomez earned a B.S. in psychology from Northeastern University, and in 2021 she earned an M.A. in clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University.
Gomez has worked in a variety of clinical and research settings, including residential treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, and university counseling centers. Her clinical interests include mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, and eating disorders in both adults and adolescents. Stephanie’s approach to therapy is based on empirical research while addressing a client’s individual goals. She believes that building a strong therapeutic alliance with each client is the foundation for effective growth and change. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys reading and going for walks with her dog.
Amanda Groves, LPC
Amanda Groves, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor with CEBTOhio. She completed her MA degree in clinical mental health counseling from John Carroll University in 2020, and her MA in higher education from Baldwin Wallace University in 2014.
Serving as an individual therapist and DBT skills trainer, Groves is trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and evidence-based treatments of emotional disorders. Her areas of interest include the treatment of anxiety, depression, emotional eating, adjustment and life transitions, academic and career exploration, relationship issues and bereavement.
Groves has over 10 years of experience working at various college and universities across the United States supporting the diverse needs of young adults. In addition to her experience in the collegiate setting, she has worked in the community as a mental health counselor in therapeutic foster care, supporting children and adolescents who have suffered severe neglect and trauma.
Sarah Hope Lincoln, Ph.D.
Sarah Hope Lincoln, PhD., is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in working with children, adolescents and families. She has an expertise in treating anxiety, depression, self-harm, trauma/PTSD, autism spectrum disorders, psychosis, and behavioral disorders of childhood (e.g., ADHD).
Her theoretical orientation and training experiences include both Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Harvard University and completed her internship at Bellevue Hospital and New York Langone Medical Center. She is also an assistant professor in the department of psychological sciences at Case Western Reserve University.
Kathryn Koepke, B.A., is a second-year master's student at Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in psychology from Rutgers University.
As a psychology aide at CEBTOhio, Koepke assists in initial assessments and write-ups. Other responsibilities include assisting in scheduling, billing and general clinician support. Koepke has a particular interest in DBT outcome research as well as adolescent psychology. She has worked and volunteered in numerous health care and developmental settings, including Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center and Rutgers Psychology Child Development Center.
In her free time, you can find her cuddling with her beloved cat, Daisy, and taking long strolls in the park with her best friend.
Michelle Lupkin, Ph.D.
Dr. Michelle Lupkin specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents with eating disorders, including those presenting with suicidality and non-suicidal self-injury. She is the founder and former clinical director of the Eating Disorders Program at Montefiore, and has extensive experience providing supervision and training in DBT and FBT to psychology interns, psychology externs, and psychiatry and pediatrics residents and fellows.
Dr. Lupkin earned a B.A. in economics from Barnard College, Columbia University; and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with health emphasis from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University.
She has presented at international conferences on the integration of DBT and eating disorders, and provides ongoing consultation and supervision to hospitals and clinicians on the implementation of evidence-based treatments for eating disorders across different levels of care. Dr. Lupkin is the owner and clinical director of Lupkin Psychology PLLC, a private practice in New York City, Westchester, and New Jersey. She trains CEBTOhio clinicians and consults with CEBTOhio on Adolescent DBT as well as the integration of DBT and FBT.
Adrienne Lombardi is an advanced-level master’s student completing her degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Malone University (conferred, Dec 2022). Lombardi completed her M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Ashland University in 2018. At CEBTOhio, she serves as a DBT Skills trainer in both the Adult and Multi-Family Skills Group programs. Additionally, she works as an individual therapist applying evidence-based treatments to mood and anxiety disorders, ensuring that the model meets each client’s specific needs. Adrienne works with both adult and adolescent clients.
Adrienne has received clinical training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and the Unified Protocol. She is also informed by an extensive career in the field of education, where she worked as a classroom teacher, mentoring and training educators, school consultant, and director of recruitment. In her spare time, Adrienne enjoys hiking, kayaking and paddle boarding, along with spending time with her children, dog, friends, and family….in no particular order.
Liz O'Connell, LISW
Liz O'Connell, LISW, is a licensed and independent clinical social worker. She specializes in working with adults with eating disorders, mood disorders, pervasive emotion dysregulation, and a history of trauma/PTSD.
O'Connell completed her foundational training in DBT through Behavioral Tech in 2016 and has subsequently completed several advanced trainings in DBT, including the DBT Prolonged Exposure Protocol for Borderline Personality Disorder in 2018. She was previously the associate clinical director of an outpatient and IOP eating disorder treatment center in New York City, where she received ongoing consultation from Dr. Wisniewski and trained in Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders (CBT-E). She has also trained in Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for OCD.
In addition to her DBT training, O'Connell has trained in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Processing (AEDP), an attachment-oriented trauma therapy. She received her MSW from NYU and her BA from Brown University.
Alexandra Piedra, M.A.
Alexandra Piedra, M.A., is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Case Western Reserve University. She has several years of clinical experience working with children and adolescents with anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, ADHD, and ODD. Alex employs variety of evidence-based interventions, including CBT, ACT, DBT skills training, and Parent Management Training, and has seen patients in many settings, including The Cleveland Clinic ADHD Center for Evaluation & Treatment, MetroHealth, Trysa Shulman & Associates, and the Lawrence Schafer Center for Learning Differences. In 2016, Piedra earned her B.A. in psychology from Vanderbilt University. In 2021, she earned her M.A. in clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University.
As a psychology assistant at CEBTOhio, Piedra completes initial assessments with adults and adolescents seeking treatment, leads DBT Skills Groups, and conducts individual therapy. In her free time, Alex enjoys baking and watching reality TV.
Melanie Rista, LMSW
Therapist & Training Coordinator
Melanie Rista LMSW, graduated from Columbia University’s School of Social Work where she participated in the intensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) training program and lab under the supervision of Dr. Andre Ivanoff, Ph.D. Prior to completing her graduate work, she graduated Cum Laude from Hunter College with a B.A. in psychology.
Rista received her foundational training through Behavioral Tech in 2020 and subsequently completed several advanced trainings in DBT for eating disorders and families. Rista has received training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) from the Beck Institute for personality disorders, anxiety, and depression. Rista works to provide comprehensive DBT to adults and families in Ohio and the greater NY/NJ area. In addition to her work as a therapist, Melanie also provides training and consultation management at CEBTOhio.
In her free time Melanie enjoys long walks around NYC and spending time with friends and family!
Sandra Rublee, LISW
Sandra Rublee, LISW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker. She earned her master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Maryland in 2018.
Rublee offers evidence-based treatments for adults and adolescents for a range of problems such as mood disorders, eating disorders, anxiety disorders and trauma. She has experience in individual therapy, family therapy and group therapy.
Previously, Rublee worked in different clinical settings in U.S., Europe and South East Asia. She has experience in the field of eating disorders at all levels of care – from in-patient hospitalization to outpatient. Her clinical practice is informed by research, and her style of therapy is collaborative with a focus on the client’s needs and goals.
Rublee has extensive training and experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Family Based Treatment (FBT) or Maudsley, Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT-E), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), and techniques from psychodynamic therapy. She has extensive DBT training from The Linehan Institute and through consultation with CEBTOhio founder Dr. Lucene Wisniewski.
In 1989, Rublee received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with a minor in microbiology; and in 1991 she earned a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Zürich, Switzerland. At the Birkbeck College, University of London, U.K. she received a postgraduate diploma in psychodynamics in 2002.
Will Schutt, M.A.
Will Schutt, M.A. is a fourth-year doctoral student in Case Western Reserve University’s clinical psychology program. Schutt recently completed a clinical rotation at CEBTOhio, where he conducted intake assessments, provided individual therapy, and led dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills groups. Schutt continues to provide these services as a psychology assistant.
Schutt has extensive training in several evidence-based interventions, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), DBT, and mindfulness-based psychotherapies. His clinical focus is on adults with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, trauma, and emotional eating. A particular area of interest is spiritual struggles, which is the focus of his graduate research.
Schutt has authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and gives talks at academic conferences around the country. Schutt earned his M.A. in psychology from Case Western Reserve University and a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. His overarching goal is to help clients understand, overcome, and find meaning through their challenges. Outside of graduate school, Will enjoys hiking, yoga, traveling, music, and (of course) a good meal.
Lindsay Varkula, Ph.D.
Dr. Lindsay Varkula is a licensed psychologist with years of experience providing evidence-based treatment. In addition to generalist experience addressing a variety of mental health concerns, she is a specialist in treating eating disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and complex trauma.
Dr. Varkula utilizes CBT, DBT, Radically Open DBT, Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Schema Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). In her work with PTSD, Dr. Varkula is especially interested in treating individuals who have survived multiple traumatic events across their lifespan. She has completed EMDRIA-approved training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), an evidence-based treatment for PTSD.
She is also provides Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) for trauma treatment. She has provided supervision, consultation and professional training, especially on topics related to eating disorders, diversity, and complex trauma.
As a counseling psychologist, Dr. Varkula believes in assisting clients in achieving wellness and balance across life domains. As part of building wellness, she has additional expertise in assisting individuals with career exploration and career transitions. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the EMDR International Association.