Jacqueline Alvarez directs the Counseling Center. She received her BA in psychology and sociology from the University of Notre Dame and her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, where after she completed a doctoral internship at the University of Texas at Austin. Her approach to therapy integrates many theories, and at heart she is a developmentalist who believes strongly in biopsychosocial and systems models. She often works within a solution-focused framework, and draws heavily on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT). Some areas of particular clinical interest include complex intersections of identity, positive psychology, self-esteem and shame, anxiety and perfectionism, depression, couples counseling, and family dysfunction.
Mary Breen is the Office Manager/Administrative Assistant. She has several years of administrative support experience both within and outside of the College, and provides administrative assistance to the Counseling Center’s Director and staff. She arranges and schedules appointments for students wishing to utilize the Counseling Center’s services. Mary will respond to students’, parents’, faculty, staff and administrators’ concerns and inquiries while maintaining confidentiality. She is available to assist students and outside providers with questions regarding the Amherst College Student Health Insurance. Mary also assists the Director of Training in coordinating the recruiting of practicum students for each academic year.
Annery Lola Brown received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Springfield College. She has previously worked at the Hampden County Sherriff’s Department and Community Substance Abuse Centers, Baystate Medical Center, and Providence Behavioral Health Hospital. She was instrumental in implementing a grant funded program at Baystate Medical Center that addressed substance use disorder and pregnancy. She has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Elms College and Holyoke Community College. Fluent in Spanish and English, she provides clinical services in in both languages. Her clinical and therapeutic works encompass the fields of addiction, trauma, chronic mental illness, domestic violence and mood disorders. Her theoretical orientation integrates psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, strength focused, feminist and systems theory. Her varied clinical interests include positive psychology, narrative psychology, identity development, anxiety, depression and self-care. Annery enjoys working collaboratively with individuals to self-advocate, build resiliency and explore an individual’s infinite potential to author and narrate their own stories.
Min Cheng received her B. A. in English from Shanghai University, her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida, and her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. After receiving externship training from various college counseling centers, she completed her pre-doctoral internship at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. She is primarily psychodynamic in her theoretical orientation, with an emphasis on multicultural counseling and social justice issues. Her clinical interests include adolescent/young adult identity development, acculturative stress and cross-cultural adjustment, depression and anxiety, and severe chronic mental health disorders, such as personality disorders and substance abuse.
Alethea Desrosiers received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University and completed her pre-doctoral internship at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in substance abuse prevention research at Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. Her theoretical orientation is integrative, incorporating aspects of psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, developmental, and multicultural frameworks. She has experience in community mental health, hospital outpatient, inpatient, and college counseling center settings with highly diverse populations. Her clinical interests include anxiety, depression, stress, substance abuse and addictive behaviors, emotion dysregulation, interpersonal relationships, and identity development. She also has specific interests in mindfulness and compassion-focused approaches and in the intersection of mood disorders, substance use, and self-regulation.
Sarah J. Erickson received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology. She completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Sarah has a broad range of experience having worked in inpatient, community mental health, and college settings. Her theoretical orientation integrates psychodynamic, developmental, cognitive behavioral, feminist, multicultural, and systems theories; however, she believes that the relationship is the most important aspect of therapy. Sarah has particular interest in work that encompasses identity development and the intersections of identity, white privilege, trauma, adjustment, anxiety, family dysfunction, self-care, depression, and sexual orientation, and assistance with the integration of newly diagnosed mental illness into one's self-concept.
Laura Fusari received her B.A. in Psychology from Amherst College and her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work. She has experience in hospital, community, residential, and outpatient settings, doing assessments as well as individual, couples, group, and family work. She is particularly interested in issues related to sexual respect and has experience working with trauma, sexual assault, and domestic violence issues. She also enjoys working within a holistic approach to manage issues related to anxiety, depression, self-harm, and chronic mental illness. Her clinical orientation is psychodynamic, holistic, and strengths focused. She also integrates extensive training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) into her work. She enjoys working collaboratively with the individual to self-advocate effectively within larger systems.
Eileen Hirsch is an R.N., a certified family nurse practitioner and psychiatric nurse practitioner. She received her Bachelors in Nursing from Salve Regina College, Masters in Nursing from University of Massachusetts and was credentialed as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from Northeastern University. She worked as a nurse in acute care settings including: medical and surgical neurology, pediatric clinical research, surgery, and cardiac intensive care unit. She spent several years working in primary care and developed interests in the effects of sleep deficit, concussion management and behavioral health issues. Her background in primary care provides a comprehensive approach to behavioral health management. Her most recent position was working at the Child Partial Hospitalization Program at Baystate Medical Center, an acute care day program for pediatric and adolescent patients with emotional, behavioral or psychiatric difficulties. Eileen appreciates working in a multidisciplinary setting applying a collaborative and biopsychosocial model of care.
Alex Kim received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington in Seattle and a Masters in Social Work from Smith College. He completed field internships with the Northampton Public Schools and the Northampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and was a Social Work Fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital. His clinical and scholarly interests include anxiety, trauma, and mood issues, narrative therapy, queer theory and sexual identities, religion/spirituality, video-gaming and game culture, and anti-racism work in organizations, relationships, and individuals. Alex practices a strengths-based, collaborative approach to counseling and also uses cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based techniques to help people develop more options for dealing with difficult thoughts and emotions.
Darien McFadden received his BA in psychology and English Literature from Colgate University and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his doctoral internship at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Center for Counseling and Psychological Health. Darien initially worked at the Amherst College Counseling Center from 1992 to 1998. Following that, he worked at Behavioral Health Network/Pioneer Valley Mental Health Services in Springfield, MA. and later, at Hampshire College Counseling Services, before returning to Amherst in 2006. Darien's varied clinical interests include college mental health, identity development and awareness, sexual orientation, gender, and coming-out issues, conflicts around race, culture and ethnicity, male body-image, family systems, depression, and self-care.
Zamir Nestelbaum is a licensed psychiatrist. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Nestelbaum has his MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and an MPH from the University of Michigan. He has held a variety of leadership positions, including chief of Psychiatry at community hospitals. He has spent many years teaching psychiatric residents and medical students. In addition, he has spent his entire career seeing outpatients in various settings, which has included work with college students. Dr. Nestelbaum believes strongly in a biopsychosocial model of treatment that emphasizes that every person is a unique individual. He believes strongly in a collaborative model of treatment with other therapists and specialists.
Deborah A. Potee, a LICSW, has a degree in history from Beloit College, a Masters in Library Science from Simmons College, and a Masters in Social Work from Boston College. She did her field work at Hello House, a halfway house for men with addictions, and at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. She has years of experience working as clinician and case manager at Boston Medical Center, the Brattleboro Retreat and at ServiceNet. Much of her clinical and therapeutic work has been with mentally ill children, young adults and families, in the fields of addiction, trauma, bereavement, attachment and sexual assault. She is both a state certified sexual assault advocate and a Planned Parenthood sexuality health educator. She enjoys combining her love of research with her work as a clinical case manager and therapist. As a former school social worker, she believes in the importance of balancing the stresses of academic success with finding personal, meaningful and authentic engagement with activities beyond the classroom as key to managing one’s mental health. Her therapeutic approach is primarily CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), solution focused and strengths based.