Squirrel Hill Psychological Services

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Meet our Staff

 

Jordan Golin, PsyD

Director of Clinical & Elder Care Services

In his role as director for Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, Dr. Jordan Golin brings with him years of psychological expertise conducting individual, family and group therapy; supervising therapy staff and conducting psychological testing. He has advanced the programming and offerings of counseling services provided through Squirrel Hill Psychological Services and its parent agency, Jewish Family & Children's Service (in the areas of special needs services and critical needs assistance).

As director also of Elder Care service, Jordan has taken on a leadership role in administering AgeWell Pittsburgh, a collaborative program with Jewish Family & Children's Service, Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Association on Aging, which provides comprehensive services to the community's older adults. Dr. Golin was also instrumental in the development of a nationally recognized outcome measurement tool for older adults that tracks risk factors for institutionalization.

Jordan previously served as the director of the Department of Psychology for Sharon Regional Health System. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association.

Jordan obtained his doctorate in clinical psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master's in clinical psychology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a bachelor's from University of Florida.

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Aprilynn Artz, NCC, LPC

Quest Camp Director

Aprilynn Artz is the director of our Quest summer therapeutic program for youth. She will work with children with diagnoses including attention deficit disorder, chronic anxiety, chronic depression and high-functioning Asperger’s syndrome.  

April is a licensed professional counselor who comes to us from Western Psych's Merck program and has many years of experience in working with families and children, especially those with special needs. She has been working with children and their families since 2001 in varying capacities. She worked in the wraparound (BHRS) field for over 6 years as a Therapeutic Staff Support, Behavior Specialist Consultant and Mobile Therapist, and provided support to children in their homes, schools, and communities. She has several years of experience related to designing curriculum for, and running, play-based and therapeutic social skills groups for children on the autism spectrum.

April is an outpatient counselor who utilizes a multi-faceted approach to addressing the needs of children and their families which includes play based, cognitive behavioral, and Gestalt based techniques. She is well versed in the behavioral interventions typically used when working with individuals on the autism spectrum, including discreet trial, verbal behavior, floor-time, and the picture exchange system. April is committed to working with her clients to help them to be as independent and successful as possible. 

April is a nationally board certified (NCC) and licensed professional counselor (LPC) who earned her Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Carlow University.

Bari Benjamin, LCSW, BCD

Psychotherapist

Bari Benjamin, LCSW, BCD has two decades of experience with individual, couples and families dealing with a wide range of issues, including depression, anxiety, relationship issues, anger management, domestic violence and adoption. With Bari's specialized training in stepfamily therapy, she has helped many non-intact families become cohesive family units. This model of therapy addresses issues such as determining who is responsible for discipline, building strong relationships with one's non-biological children and supporting one's spouse.

Bari also provides support to Family Hope Connection, the foster care and adoption department of Jewish Family & Children's Service, where she leads a group for parents of internationally adopted children. Outside of JF&CS, Bari also maintains a private practice and has experience working with a diverse group of clients.

Previously, Bari worked as a psychotherapist in an outpatient mental health facility.

Bari graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a master's in social work and post-graduate training in psychotherapy. She also completed a master's of art in teaching from the same university. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Step Family Association of America.

Ellie Bruner, MPS, MSW

Program and Resource Coordinator

Ellie joins JF&CS to fill two roles. As Cognitive Enhancement Program Coordinator for our Seniors department, Ellie is involved in the continued development and evolution of the Brain Builders program, a series of structured workshops for seniors to help maintain and strengthen brain health. Ellie will be responsible for the ongoing coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the program. As Critical Needs Resource Coordinator, Ellie will work as part of the Counseling Unit assessing clients' needs and connecting them to services to address multiple issues and achieve stability.

Ellie relocated from New York, where she was supervisor for the Intake and Assessment Department at the Center for Urban Community Services for four years. She was involved in the start up and development of the department, which serves formerly homeless, mentally ill, HIV/AIDS, and chemically dependent adults in need of supportive housing. In addition, she has worked in a variety of settings, including residential housing for formerly homeless seniors with mental health issues, the Brooklyn VA Outpatient Treatment Program, and in a geriatric long-term care facility. She also worked in the publishing field, and as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader.

Ellie has a bachelor's degree in English and Art History from Allegheny College, a master's of Professional Studies in Creative Arts Therapy from Pratt Institute, and a master's in Social Work from Hunter College.

Sandy Budd, LCSW

Psychotherapist & Geriatric Care Coordinator

Sandy Budd is a licensed, clinical social worker with 30 years of social work experience, specializing in geriatrics. As a psychotherapist, Sandy counsels older adults suffering from the many losses and adjustments that can occur in later life.  She also provides geriatric care coordination services to Jewish Family & Children's Service clients in the greater Pittsburgh area.

Sandy also coordinates the Pittsburgh Region Holocaust Survivors Program with funds provided by the Jewish Material Claims Conference Against Germany, Inc. She speaks to members of the community as part of team presentations on how to talk to one's loved ones about aging and other educational topics that relate to older adults.

Prior to coming to Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, she held positions in various community based, non-profit, social service agencies.

Sandy received her bachelor's and master's in social work from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin.

Claire Burbea, LCSW

Psychotherapist

Claire Burbea, a licensed clinical social worker, providing psychological and care coordination services to older adults for more than 15 years.  Her psychotherapeutic work with older adults focuses on strengthening their ability to cope with life changes and to maximize their emotional well being.

Claire currently provides psychotherapy services to select older adult clients of Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, while serving full-time as Social Service and Critical Needs Coordinator for the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, a “sister” division to Squirrel Hill Psychological Services. Claire also facilitates a Multiple Sclerosis Support Group.

Claire has been a field advisor for the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work for the past several years, providing training and supervision to a number of graduate students interested in geriatric social work.

Her formal education includes a bachelor's in English literature and education from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, a master's in educational counseling from San Jose State College and a master's of social work from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.

Amanda Chamberlain, MSCP

Clinical Administrator

Amanda Chamberlain, as a Clinical Administrator, is responsible for program development, data analysis, and quality improvement, as well as the provision of direct clinical services to clients.  She will be working with the Squirrel Hill Psychological Services staff and the Older Adults unit.

Prior to accepting this position at Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, Amanda joined our staff as an intern with our Older Adults unit. She previously worked for Milestone Centers, Inc. as a Lead Outpatient Care Coordinator. There she provided case management and crisis management services for clients and monitored clinician productivity for the department. Her past experiences have afforded her the opportunity to work with a variety of different populations in both clinical and administrative capacities.

Amanda received her bachelor's in Psychology with a concentration in Forensics from Point Park University and a master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University. She is currently pursuing publication for research completed as a graduate student and is working toward her LPC.

Ari Gildengers, MD

Psychotherapist

Ariel "Ari" Gildengers, MD: Dr. Gildengers received his M.D. in 1997 from New Jersey Medical School. He completed residency and fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and has been a faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine since 2005, where he is now an Associate Professor of Psychiatry.

Wendy Levin-Shaw, LCSW

Psychotherapist

Wendy Levin-Shaw, a licensed clinical social worker, has worked for over twenty-five years with individuals, couples and families as they seek to respond to life's challenges. Relationship enhancement, effective parenting, marital conflict and interfaith marriage are some of the varied concerns that Wendy addresses with her clients. In therapy, Wendy uses her extensive training in Family Systems Theory, which recognizes that individuals are deeply influenced by the significant relationships in their lives.

In addition to psychotherapy, Wendy has provided education and support to groups on parenting, bereavement, interfaith couples and adoption. She has been a speaker on a range of topics, including communication, family relationships, and managing the challenges of our daily lives. As an adjunct faculty member at the Western Pennsylvania Family Center, she has authored and presented, "The History of Parent Education from 1850 to 1952." She also co-authored training materials entitled "Enhancing Self-Esteem in Parents."

Wendy is a member of the National Association of Social Workers. She has also been a family therapist for a local community mental health clinic and co-founded a support organization for mothers.

Wendy holds a master's of social work from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Maria Luczkow, MSW, LCSW, ACSW

Psychotherapist (Consultant)

Maria Luczkow is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked as a psychotherapist for more than 25 years in a variety of clinical settings.  She began her career as a children's psychotherapist at a residential treatment facility for severely disturbed children in Chicago, Illinois.  After a short time, she moved back to Pittsburgh, where she has worked as a psychotherapist for children, adolescents, and adults at several large private practices.

In addition to her work at Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, Maria is a school-based therapist in the Riverview School District.

Maria received her bachelor's in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her master's in social work from the University of Pittsburgh. She also is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.

Kelli McElhinny, LSW

Geriatric Care Manager

Kelli McElhinny is a licensed social worker who provides geriatric care coordination services to Squirrel Hill Psychological Services clients throughout the Pittsburgh area. With her extensive knowledge of community resources, Kelli helps clients access the services they need to remain in their own homes or assists clients in planning for a transition to a higher level of care when necessary.

Kelli also provides psychotherapy to clients, assisting them with issues such as aging-related transitions, bereavement and caregiver burden, among other concerns.

Before joining Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, Kelli was a medical social worker with Excela Health Home Care and Hospice and UPMC/Jefferson Regional Home Health.

Kelli also previously had a career in marketing communications, working with organizations including UPMC, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Kelli also has owned her own freelance writing business.

Kelli earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Northwestern University and a master's in social work from California University of Pennsylvania.

Steve Root, LCSW

Psychotherapist (Consultant)

Steve Root is a Psychotherapist with Squirrel Hill Psychological Services. During his 30+ years as a social worker, Steve has worked in settings that include family and children’s service agency, mental health center, hospitals and community healthcare centers, and private practice offices.  He has worked as a caseworker, counselor, educator, consultant, community organizer, and program coordinator.   A constant focus in his work with individuals, couples, families, and groups has been to identify the strengths, abilities, and uniqueness of the individuals he works with as a foundation for problem solving and personal growth.  

As a psychotherapist, he works with clients treating a broad spectrum of problems. These include marriage/couple counseling, anxiety, depression, stress management, loss and grief counseling, and living with chronic illness and disability.  His treatment orientation is eclectic and includes mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy and emotionally focused couples therapy. 

Steve graduated from the University of Tennessee with a master’s degree in Social Work.  He received a bachelor of fine arts degree at Alfred University.

Stefanie Small, LCSW

Psychotherapist & Clinical Services Supervisor

Stefanie Small is a licensed clinical social worker and Clinical Services Supervisor. In her work as Clinical Services Supervisor, Stefanie works closely with the staff of both the Older Adult and Clinical departments, ensuring that programs and services are delivered to the populations who need them. She collaborates with other departments and organizations on projects and ventures to advance the mission of the agency.

She also works with older adults, providing geriatric care coordination services to Jewish Family & Children's Service clients in the Greater Pittsburgh area. As a psychotherapist, Stefanie counsels older adults suffering from losses and adjustments related to late life experiences.  She also facilitates the caregiver support group, one of the few non-disease-specific support groups in Allegheny County.

Stefanie speaks to members of the community as part of Elder Care team presentations on how to talk to one's loved ones about aging, older adult depression and other educational topics that are relevant to her work.

She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Barnard College in New York and a master's of Social Work with a certification in gerontology from University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.

Gila Lux, LCSW

Psychotherapist

Gila Lux is a licensed clinical social worker with experience providing individual, family, and couples therapy in a variety of clinical settings. She began her career as a therapist at The Family Center, an agency in New York City for families affected by life threatening illness and loss. While there, she also participated in an intensive clinical externship program in family therapy with the Ackerman Institute. Gila has worked with individuals and families experiencing challenges with anxiety, depression, trauma related to childhood sexual abuse, family transitions, adjustment to illness and bereavement, and cultural dissonance between family members. Gila is fluent in English and Spanish and has been active in providing counseling services to the Spanish-speaking community both in New York City and here in Pittsburgh. Her work has also included assisting families who were dealing with loss from the World Trade Center tragedy.

In addition to working for Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, Gila volunteers at the Jewish Community Center, facilitating support groups for mothers of newborns and toddlers.

Gila received her bachelor's in social work from Queens College, and her master's in social work from New York University.

 

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Highlights
Quest Therapeutic Programs
Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, in collaboration with Quest Therapeutic Camps, is offering a summer day camp program and an ongoing after school program for children with mild to moderate emotional challenges.
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Mom's Coffee Club
Are you a mom who has adopted internationally? Check out our monthly group (it meets the last Friday of every month).
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