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Therapy Session

School-Based Services Team

Danielle Cooke, MA, BCBA, LABA

Danielle Cooke, MA, BCBA, LABA

Director of School-Based Services

Danielle (she/her) is a product of a Westfield State University education, having received both her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as a WSU Owl. Danielle came to JLA shortly after becoming a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), and she has spent the last 5 years strengthening her experience as a school-based behavior consultant and as an in-home ABA therapy practitioner. During her time as the ABA Program Coordinator, Danielle built relationships with many local Graduate programs, and JLA’s “BCBA Services Team” has grown rapidly to support these partnerships. Danielle provides high-quality, effective supervision and ongoing training, and models evidence-based best practices for her BCBA colleagues and Behavior Technician supervisees. Danielle now serves as the BCBA Services/Behavior Consultation Team Supervisor and continues to liaise the important work of her team throughout the region.

When she isn’t working, Danielle spends her time with her son, Jack, and their dog, Lucy. Danielle enjoys being an active participant in the community, and volunteers in many ways to provide meaningful inclusion opportunities for children. Danielle grew up playing sports year-round, and she now coaches Jack’s soccer, basketball, and baseball teams, too. Danielle’s involvement as a youth coach pushed her to want to do even more for the children in her town, so she also serves her community as a School Committee member.

Consultants

Jim Levine, Ph.D., LICSW

Jim Levine, Ph.D., LICSW

James Levine, Ph.D., LICSW is the company’s founder and former director.  He served in this leadership role from 1998 through June 2022. During that span, JLA grew from a small practice of three clinicians into an organization of more than 40 clinicians, with three interdisciplinary teams that offer outpatient psychotherapy services, school consultation/professional development, and a full array of testing services. He continues to provide consultation, supervision and training across New England as well as nationally, including previous professional development sessions for groups in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Montana and Arizona as well as through Harvard Medical School’s Continuing education series.  Dr. Levine’s clinical interests focus on the intersection among trauma, mental health, learning and behavior. He has worked directly with clinical and teaching staff, families, public agency staff and administrative teams. Dr. Levine’s first book,Learning from Behavior, was issued in hardcover, paperback and international editions.  His second book, When Trauma Grips our Children, was published in January 2021 by ABC-Clio.

Allison Schlachter, LICSW

Allison Schlachter, LICSW

Alli Schlachter is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker serving on both the School Based Services and Outpatient Mental Health teams at James Levine & Associates, P.C. Alli has spent over twenty years working with and advocating for children and families. After receiving her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Plymouth State University in 1999, she started her career as an elementary school teacher. In 2005, she earned a Masters in Social Work at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. Throughout her career as an LICSW in private practice, she has continued to work in and consult with schools in a variety of capacities. 

On the School Based Service Team, Alli works with schools across the region to provide group clinical consultation, individual supervision, specific case consultation, and professional development. She offers professional development in Trauma, Mental Health in Schools, Suicide Prevention and will work with school systems to create a customized professional development course based on the unique needs of each school.

 

Alli also provides evidenced-based and supportive therapy to adolescents and adults in our Outpatient Program. Alli believes that the relationship between the therapist and client is a powerful tool in facilitating emotional growth, therefore she strives to create a comfortable, collaborative and open environment. Alli uses a strengths-based perspective and works with each client to increase awareness and self-understanding in challenging situations.

 

Additionally, in 2004 Alli completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training. She continues to study and train in Iyengar Yoga. She has offered yoga and mindfulness classes as part of the SEL curriculum in Longmeadow, MA. Alli believes strongly in public service and is currently serving as a Town Meeting Member, is the chairperson of the South Hadley School Committee and sits on the Board of Directors of the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton, MA. She also continues to provide psychotherapy in her private practice which she opened in 2008.

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Kirsten Bonaiuto, M.S., BCBA

Kirsten earned her bachelor’s in child psychology from Bay Path University in 2019 and her Master’s in ABA in 2022.  Kirsten has worked with children and families for over 15 years and has experience working with children ages 2-years through 19-years old. She has provided educational and behavioral support in various settings, such as a private early childhood institute, various elementary schools and secondary schools, and in-home services. Her professional interests include social skills training, functional communication training, and teaching daily living skills. Kirsten enjoys doing direct intervention work, as well as providing consultation services to schools.  Kirsten’s biggest passion is supporting and advocating for children and their families, as well as helping clients achieve their goals.

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Katelynn Brzezinski, M.Ed, BCBA

I earned my Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Family Child Studies from the University of Guelph, Canada, and graduated from Northern Vermont University with a Master's degree in Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. I passed the BCBA exam in October 2020. I have great experience in supervising and training behavior interventionists, collaborating with educational teams and families as the primary care coordinator, providing crisis support, facilitating the reintegration of students into a less restriction educational environment, and conducting behavioral assessments and development comprehensive behavior intervention plans. I have a passion for working with students with trauma and social emotional deficits.

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Rina Lavoie, LICSW

My name is Rina and I specialize in the areas of pediatric OCD and Anxiety Disorders. I graduated in 2009 with my Masters in Social Work (MSW) from the Springfield College School of Social Work. I am part of the Outpatient Team as well as the School-Based Team at James Levine & Associates, and am also bilingual in English and Spanish. Throughout the years while working with children, families and schools, I’ve engaged in the delivery of a variety of treatment modalities. It wasn’t until later in my life, when I had a first hand experience in helping someone near and dear to me with OCD, that I decided to journey down the path of learning how to equip, encourage, and empower others effectively through their own experiences with OCD and feelings of anxiety. I ultimately became certified through the IOCDF (International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation) as a pediatric OCD specialist, as well as a Clinically Certified Anxiety Treatment Professional. I offer education and support to parents and loved ones raising or living with a child or loved one with OCD and/or Anxiety Disorders. My goal is to see my clients and their families grow with confidence and flourish as they actively participate in gaining the necessary knowledge, skills and tools needed to overcome feelings of uncertainty and doubt. As author Bob Goff so greatly states, “Courage doesn’t mean we’re not afraid anymore, it just means our actions aren’t controlled by our doubts.” I hope you find joy and gain valuable insight throughout this process. I applaud you for taking this next step. You’re an overcomer.

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Monica Ardolino, LMHC

I bring my genuine, authentic self to each session, practicing with patience, empathy, compassion, kindness, care, curiosity and humor to build connections, the foundation of a good therapeutic relationship.

 

Using a person-centered, solution-focused, strengths-based approach, I believe we all have an innate ability to come up with our own strategies to make the changes we want to make.  And while I have the training to do this work, I do not believe I am the expert on your life - I believe you are.  Ask yourself, “What do I want from my therapy experience?  What is important to me?  How will I know therapy is working?”  Answers to these questions will inform and guide you, as well as help you make the changes you desire.  During your therapy journey, please know that I am your ally and will support you in your self-discovery.  Simply put, I will walk alongside you when it is challenging and when it is fun, when there is laughter and when there are tears.

 

In the field I regard myself as a generalist, having training and experience working with those who are struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and adjustment and trauma-related disorders.  Likewise, I have experience companioning those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.  My therapeutic style and use of interventions is eclectic because each human is unique and has individual preferences and needs.  Some of the techniques I use include elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, creative arts, and therapeutic play. While my primary focus has been working with children and adolescents, I work with people of all ages.

 

I earned an M.Ed in Therapeutic Recreation from Springfield College and an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Bay Path University.  Additionally, I bring counseling experience from college, community mental health, and school-based settings.

ABA Behavior Specialists 

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Molly O'Donnell, M.S., Behavior Specialist

Molly earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Westfield State University in 2020, and her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from Elms College in 2023. She is currently working towards completing the necessary fieldwork and supervision hours to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam. Molly is passionate about providing progressive, assent-based ABA services and is excited to collaborate with the schools that JLA serves. The majority of Molly’s experience lies in serving preschool and elementary-aged children in both public and private schools. Outside of work, Molly enjoys spending time with her family, especially watching her son Jack play sports.

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Stephanie Brochu, M.Ed, Behavior Specialist

Stephanie completed her Bachelor’s Degree at Springfield College back in 2020 where she was a double major in English and Elementary Special Education. In January of 2024 she completed her Master’s Degree in the field of Autism / ABA at Cambridge College. In the near future she hopes to sit and pass her exam to become a BCBA. She has been working in the field of ABA since 2018 gaining experience in both the school setting and in-home setting. Most of her experience is working with children between the ages of 3-15 years old. She has gained much of her experience working in sub-separate programs in public schools where she provided support to students who needed ABA services. She is now happily working for JLA as a Behavior Specialist and looks forward to continuing her career. 

In her free time, Stephanie spends most of her time with her friends, family, and boyfriend Wyatt. She enjoys trying new places to have good food and drinks. She also loves Boston sports and attends a couple games each year!

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Felicia Ewing, B.A., Graduate School RBT

Felicia completed her undergraduate degree at Elms College and received her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2020. She was sure she wanted to be a Speech-Language Pathologist, and completed an internship at a local public school. While completing her undergraduate experience, Felicia also started her career in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2018 as a Behavior Technician. During her time as a Behavior Technician, Felicia worked with a wide range of populations aged 3-28 in their homes and in the community. Felicia loved seeing the wide variety of skills between the populations and the different programs based on those skills. Felicia enjoyed both going out into the community with her older clients and working on safety awareness skills, as well as completing activities of daily living with her younger clients. Since starting her journey with James Levine and Associates a few years ago, Felicia has completed her Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification and has worked in multiple public school systems. Felicia is working towards her M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis at Westfield State University, and has elevated her role again at JLA, now to a Behavior Specialist. In addition to learning about how ABA works with individuals diagnosed with Autism and other developmental disabilities, Felicia is strongly interested in helping those who struggle with addiction. Her goal is to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and continue providing support to individuals so they may gain the skills they need to live as independently as possible. When Felicia is not working or at school, she enjoys spending time with her pets and husband, as well as partaking in game nights with friends and family!  

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Monica McComas, B.A., Graduate School RBT

Monica is a highly motivated and energetic technician with a passion for helping individuals communicate effectively and live fulfilling lives. She graduated with her Bachelors degree in Speech Language Pathology Assisting from Elms College. Monica was introduced to Applied Behavior Analysis during her undergraduate studies and chose to continue her journey with Elms College to pursue her Masters degree in ABA. Upon graduating with her Masters degree, Monica plans to become a BCBA. 

 

In her free time, Monica enjoys spending time with her family and spending time outdoors with her dogs, Walter and Clark. 

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Jillian Nichols, MSW, Graduate School RBT

Jill graduated from Elms College in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in social work, minoring in psychology. Jill continued on to graduate school at Springfield College where she earned her master of social work degree in 2017 through the Advanced Standing Program. Jill has had experience working with the elderly and veterans for three years as a licensed certified social worker (LCSW) before shifting her professional interest toward Applied Behavior Analysis. Jill had previously worked as a personal care attendant (PCA) gaining experience working with a young man diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum throughout her undergraduate and graduate education. She has always been intrigued by the field of ABA.  This curiosity led her to work the last several years as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), providing in-home and center-based services. She has worked with ABA clients ranging from 3 to 32. Jill has enjoyed working as an RBT and witnessing first-hand how ABA positively impacts individuals’ socialization, as well as enhancing their independent living skills. Jill is continuing her education to earn a graduate certificate in ABA through Westfield State University where she started in September 2022 with a goal to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Jill’s passion for helping people and her diverse experience will enhance the support she is able to provide to others.

ABA Behavior Technicians  

Jayden Chapin, Behavior Technician

Jayden Chapin, Behavior Technician

Hi there! My name is Jayden. I graduated from Franklin County Technical School’s Culinary Arts program in 2019. I started working as a PCA when I was 17 for a young girl, assisting her in completing activities of daily living. I worked with her for more than two years and took a break to pursue a job in baking (which is a passion of mine). I ultimately decided that working with individuals with special needs was my path and began working in a group home for adults, providing direct care. I worked there for two years as full-time staff and began to seek opportunities to work with children. I started working at JLA in May of 2022 and have since been able to work in schools with children at the elementary, middle, and high school level. When I’m not at work, I enjoy spending time with my younger siblings and going on hikes with my dog!

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Shyanne Jackson, B.A., BT

Shyanne is attending Bay Path University where she has completed her Bachelor's coursework in Early Education and is beginning her Master's Degree coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Shyanne started at JLA as a Behavior Technician. Previously, she worked at the Holyoke YMCA as a supervisor for summer camp as part of the membership services team, and she has also served as a substitute teacher for public schools in the area. She enjoys working one-on-one with students and helping them gain confidence inside and outside of the classroom. She also has a passion for helping students meet their goals, whether they are educational or behavioral. 

In her free time, Shyanne enjoys spending time with her fiancée and two sons. They spend many weekends going to her middle schooler’s soccer and basketball games, where she often volunteers as a coach.

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Kathleen Orzechowski, B.A., RBT

Katie completed her undergraduate degree at Elms College, majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is currently pursuing her master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Emerson College. Katie began working as a RBT over two years ago, after switching career paths from being a speech assistant for over six years. While earning her undergraduate degree, she began to work as a personal care attendant to an autistic individual and his family. After she began to work with the family, she instantly knew she wanted to teach in the special education atmosphere. Katie has experience working with individuals with special needs from ages three to thirty-two. She loves combining her ABA skills as an RBT, and her speech and language skills from graduate school to facilitate and encourage communication for all individuals. When Katie is not in class or working, she loves to be with her family. Her three sisters are her best friends! She enjoys walking her dog Mable with her sister Jill, and Mable’s dog BFF, Daisy!

Consultants
Behavior Specialists
Behavior Technicians
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