A. Jordan Wright, Ph.D., ABAP

Columbia University, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Columbia University, MA in Psychology in Education from Teachers College
Boston University, BA
Diplomate from the American Board of Assessment Psychology
Fellow of the American Association of Assessment Psychology
Author of Conducting Psychological Assessment: A Guide for Practitioners (Wiley, 2010)
Joined Freedom in 2011

Jordan oversees and supervises the school-based prevention programming at Freedom Institute.  In this capacity, he has spearheaded the transition to an evidence-based strategic prevention framework, which integrates the most current research on what works in drug and alcohol prevention science with the acknowledgement that the independent schools in New York are unique and have specific, individual needs.  As a researcher and faculty member at a university, he brings an evidence-based mindset to clinical and preventative services, as well as supervision.

“Freedom Institute genuinely affords its clients the opportunity to get specialized, targeted services, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to prevention and treatment.  FI listens to and evaluates the needs of each individual that needs help.”

Alex Dayton, LMHC

New York University, MA
Joined Freedom in 2009

Alex is one of our adult and adolescent counselors. He co-facilities the Evening Outpatient Program, is a member of the DBT consultation team, and works individually with adolescents, young adults, and adults. In addition to his Masters from NYU, Alex has completed training at Bellevue hospital and at FEGS working with adults with both chronic mental illness and addiction. He has worked with adults, adolescents, and children at the Brooklyn Center for Psychotherapy and on a research team at the Center for Health, Identity, behavior and Prevention Studies conducting HIV and substance abuse research. Alex has completed the Foundations in Family Therapy Course at The Ackerman Institute for The Family, received intensive training in DBT by Marsha Linehan’s organization Behavioral Tech, and has completed training in advanced practices for Motivational Interviewing.

“What makes Freedom Institute special is our ability to effectively treat a range of clients based on the diverse array of services that we provide. We have the ability to meet clients where they are in their recovery or desire to recover and we help move them towards a life worth living.”

Anne Bresnahan, CASC-G

Joined Freedom Institute in 2013

Anne has worked in the field of addiction with both adults and adolescents for over 20 years. She brings her love for and training in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy and utilizes Motivational Interviewing, CBT and DBT skills as well as Kundalini Yoga and meditation training for addiction recovery. Anne is a certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor with special credentials in treating problem gambling. Anne runs our weekly Men’s Advanced Recovery Psychodrama Group and founded and leads our Gambling Program, one of the first of its kind in the New York City area.

“Freedom Institute embodies a combination of a high quality of knowledge of addiction treatment and innovative thinking with the supportive and loving care for each other and for our clients. This is an exceptionally powerful formula for success in our field.”

Anthony Daverese

New York University, BA
St. Joseph’s Seminary, MA
Joined Freedom in 2013

Anthony is our Office Manager and Front Desk Receptionist, the first person you see as you enter our center.  He ensures a comfortable and warm welcome and performs a variety of tasks to facilitate the smooth transition of every client and visitor who presents themselves at our front desk. Anthony oversees the general operation of the office and essential needs to keep us running smoothly.

“Every organization has a beginning a reason for being. Freedom Institute’s roots are deeply embedded in its main purpose of revealing and reaffirming to all who come here the message of hope, healing, wellness and support for recovery.”

Barbara Bock, LCSW

Columbia University, MSW
Joined Freedom in 2007

After receiving her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University, Barbara started in the mental health field working with children, adolescents and adults. Over time, she developed a professional interest in the impact of neurological disease on the psychological well-being of those who were ill, as well as how their illness would change the dynamics in their family. Barbara specializes in work with adults with substance abuse issues who are considering sobriety, or who want help staying sober. She also works with friends and family members who hope to get their loved ones into treatment by way of intervention.

“What I most appreciate about Freedom, besides working with our first rate staff, is its open and inclusive philosophy. We offer services to anyone willing to consider sobriety, no matter what ‘stage’ of his or her decision process and we work collaboratively to include family and friends in the healing process.”

Bob Miller

Williams College, BA
Columbia Business School, MBA
Joined Freedom Institute in 2012

Bob Miller has been Chairman of Freedom Institute’s Board of Directors since 2012. However, as the son of its founder, Mona Mansell, he has been intimately involved with the organization since its inception in 1976. A media entrepreneur and business executive with more than 40 years of professional experience, Bob brings his business acumen and strategic vision to his role and works closely with the leadership team to develop and execute an overall strategy for Freedom Institute.

“Freedom Institute is unique. We understand substance abuse and addiction and the corresponding implications on family dynamics like no one else. Our sole purpose is to improve the lives of individuals and families. It helped my own family and I am passionate about its mission and ensuring its success and growing our services to meet the needs of our community.”

Carrie Sanders, MPH, LCSW

Columbia University- MPH
Hunter College- MSW
Ackerman Institute for the Family- post-graduate certification
Joined Freedom in 2009

Carrie manages our comprehensive and unique family therapy program and adolescent services as well as provides family, couples and individual therapy.  Carrie is also focused on developing new programs to meet the needs of the clients we serve. Carrie earned her Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University, and worked for ten years doing program development, clinical research and policy work in HIV, cancer and substance abuse. She then became a licensed clinical social worker and began her career providing family therapy and clinical supervision in the child welfare system. Carrie has a post-graduate Certificate in Family Therapy from the Ackerman Institute. She is passionate about her work with families and couples and the belief that family therapy is a crucial component in recovery and relapse prevention.

“Freedom Institute’s talented and dedicated clinicians, our commitment to clinician development to provide the highest level of counseling, and our collaborative work environment to provide the most comprehensive care to meet clients’ needs make us unique.”

Caryn Giaimo, LMSW

Columbia University, MSW
Indiana University, BS
Joined Freedom in 2015

Caryn has experience working with adults and adolescents in outpatient and inpatient settings. Before joining our team, she worked on a DBT Team providing DBT treatment to clients and their families in an acute setting. She also has experience working at a community mental health outpatient clinic in central Harlem treating adolescents, adults, and families who suffer with chronic mental illness, trauma, and substance abuse.  At Freedom, Caryn co-facilitates DBT groups, is a member of the DBT consultation team, and works individually with adolescents, young adults and adults.

“Freedom Institute team has a passion for the best care for their clients and incorporates the most effective and cutting edge treatment available. The positive energy and client dedication at Freedom is electrifying and felt by all who walk through the door.”

Dan Mierlak, MD, Ph.D

Dan joined the Freedom Institute in 2008. He completed his residency in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in 1993, and his fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry at NYU Medical Center in 1996. He served as Director for Psychiatric Services at Smithers Treatment Center prior to joining Freedom Institute. Dr. Mierlak maintains a private practice in general and addiction psychiatry in Manhattan and Montclair, NJ.

Dana Rollins

University of Massachusetts at Amherst, BA
Joined Freedom Institute in 2012

Dana Rollins is the General Manager at Freedom Institute. Dana began working with us in 2012 as a consultant helping with financial analysis. Her role has grown into overseeing finance and operations, including preparing financial statements, annual budgets, human resources and overseeing administrative and billing staff. Dana has over 20 years of experience in finance and operations in magazine publishing.

“I feel fortunate to be part of the outstanding team at Freedom Institute and that I am able to apply my financial background to something that is meaningful and helping individuals and families.”

Fran Calafatello, LCSW, CASAC

Joined Freedom in 2008

Fran Calafatello facilitates our Early Recovery group and also counsels individual adults. Her work focuses on the integration of Western psychotherapy and Eastern holistic mind-body practices as well as incorporating recovery from trauma. As both an individual counselor and group facilitator, Fran uses mindfulness and meditation practices to support recovery and strengthen an individual’s capacity to deal with issues that arise in the process of becoming abstinent and living fully.

Fran has an MSW from Fordham Graduate School of Social Services and is a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor, trained at The Gestalt Associates for Psychotherapy. She also completed a two-year training in Eating Disorders, Compulsions and Addiction as well as in Somatic Experiencing, a treatment for trauma, at the William Alanson White Institute.

“Freedom Institute is a rare New York gem in the field of substance abuse treatment in that we provide a safe, healing and compassionate environment for clients and their families to discover and sustain new lives in recovery and experience true personal freedom. Always changing and open to new and better ways to serve our population, Freedom Institute incorporates the latest and most advanced evidence-based treatments to those who come to us for help.”

Frank Wells, LCSW

New York University, MSW
Joined Freedom in 2011

Frank earned his Master’s in Social Work from New York University and previously worked as a family therapist in the child welfare system as well as a counselor in outpatient mental health area working with the chronically mentally ill population. Frank has training and experience in crisis management and suicide prevention. Additionally, Frank has completed post-graduate training, earning his Certificate in Family Therapy from the Ackerman Institute for the Family, where he now teaches.

Frank provides whole-family, couple and individual therapy. He facilitates therapeutic support groups for spouses and parents in families suffering from the effects of addiction and mental health issues. Frank also conducts trainings at other treatment programs seeking to expand the range and impact of their work with families.

“The tremendous amount of training and clinical experience of the Freedom staff is exceptional. It reflects what is clearly a priority placed on clinical depth of service well beyond the average institutional setting. I am proud to be part of this team.”

Jayci Pruitt

Hardin-Simmons University, BBS
Joined Freedom Institute in 2014

Jayci handles an array of administrative tasks for the entire office. Jayci tackles answering phone calls, greeting clients, assisting with billing, assisting with special projects, as well as many other administrative tasks. With a background in an array of occupations/interests, primarily in the theatre and art world, Jayci has found working with us to be a new and interesting adventure.

“What makes working at Freedom Institute so special is being able to come to work every day and know that your ideas and voice will always be heard.”

Jennifer Flores

Joined Freedom Institute in 2009

Jennifer’s passion for helping others began when she was a Peer Educator at Community Counseling and Mediation at the age of 14. She brings extensive experience in management, client service, and human resources to her role at Freedom Institute. As Chief Compliance Officer, Jennifer ensures that both management and employees are in compliance with the rules and regulations of regulatory agencies in our field and that company policies and procedures are followed. Outside of FI, she avidly volunteers and promotes healing through journal writing.

“The extraordinary work that we do at Freedom Institute is indicative of the respect and value we have for one another. Each individual on our team matters and their unique perspective counts – and that’s exactly how we treat every client that comes through our doors.”

Kalene Brennan

Salve Regina University, BA
Rhode Island School of Design, Continuing Education in Graphic Design
School of Visual Arts, Continuing Education in Design and Branding
Joined Freedom Institute in 2014

From newsletters and brochures to social media and website management, Kalene handles how Freedom Institute communicates with our clients, the recovery community and the world at large. Kalene worked previously in HIV/AIDS and LGBT advocacy and transitioned to substance abuse and mental health work after moving to New York. She comes to Freedom Institute with seven years of non-profit communications, event, and development experience and excited to be a part of a dynamic team.

“The staff’s commitment to providing our clients with the most innovative, quality care possible is what separates Freedom Institute from the rest.”

Katherine Prudente, LCAT, RDT

New York University, BFA
New York University, MA
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center, Licensed Psychoanalyst candidate (in-training)
Joined Freedom in 2009

Katherine works with over 40 Independent Schools in the New York City area to assist in their drug and alcohol prevention education needs. She assesses, develops and manages implementation of evidenced based substance abuse prevention programming. For the past five years, she was a counselor presenting workshops on a variety of topics including: substance abuse prevention, bullying prevention, decision-making, stress management, self-advocacy, and healthy relationships.

“I am inspired by Freedom Institute’s ongoing commitment to evolve and expand our efforts to be on the forefront of prevention education in our partner schools. It makes me smile when I meet a student who remembers a workshop I did with them years later!”

Keisha Williams

Franklin University, BS
Grand Canyon University, MS
Joined Freedom in 2014

Keisha has over 12 years of experience as an administrator working in the areas of human resources, operations, health care, and training. As the operations and billing manager at FI, she ensures we are running efficiently, and that our services meet the needs of our clients.

“Freedom Institute’s dedication to our clients overall wellness is unparalleled. It’s this superlative client service that makes Freedom Institute stand-out above other facilities.”

Maria Kratsios, LMSW

Hunter School of Social Work, MSW
Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, MIA
Boston University School of Management, BS
Joined Freedom in 2008

Maria is an agent of change across all stages of recovery. She draws from her expertise in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Psychodrama and Motivational Interviewing and work with adults, young adults and adolescents helping clients identify their goals, clear obstacles, and live the life they seek. Maria facilitates groups for adults in early recovery and writes on topics, including spirituality, parenting, work-life balance and forgiveness.

“At Freedom Institute, we offer a safe, nurturing environment for our clients to heal. While we adhere to best–practices in the field of addiction recovery, all of our counselors are encouraged to take creative and educational opportunities with cutting edge treatments.”

Mark Sturgeon, MSW

Rutgers University, MFA
New York University, MSW
Joined Freedom in 2013

Mark is one of our consultant-counselors with more than 20 years of working with individuals and families, adolescents and adults struggling with the disease addiction. He understands that chemical dependency is a disease of isolation and that recovery therefore happens within the context of relatedness and community. Mark has experience in both inpatient and outpatient treatment for adolescents as well as adults. Mark originally came to New York as an actor after earning his MFA at Rutgers University, but his passion for working with people became more and more compelling and culminated in his returning to formal studies to gain a second Master’s degree in social work from New York University in 2005. Mark is trained and worked for three years in the field of attachment, working with parent/child dyads utilizing video feedback to develop and foster healthy and secure attachment.
“What is special about Freedom is we understand that human beings learn, grow and develop within the context of relationship. We are passionate about the process of recovery and the extraordinarily gifted team at Freedom Institute is second to none in their dedication, focus, and integrity in the service of helping individuals and families impacted by the disease of chemical dependency.”

Mary Ann Call, LMSW

Columbia University School of Social Work, MSW
New York University, Post-Master’s Program in Clinical Approaches to the Addictions
Joined Freedom in 2014

Mary Ann is our Adolescent Program Coordinator, responsible for launching FI’s first program if its kind in the New York area. She has worked in both outpatient and residential drug and alcohol treatment programs where she gained experience in leading group and individual therapy with adults and adolescents who are struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. Mary Ann was most recently the Clinical Director at a large outpatient program for chemical dependence in Brooklyn, NY. Mary Ann spent the first 9 years of her career in energy commodities trading.

“FI does an exceptional job at collaborating as a clinical team to discuss each client. It’s rare to find an agency that consistently dedicates so much time on a weekly basis to discussing individuals and families. The ability to gain continual feedback from a group of multi-disciplinary experts is what sets us apart in the work we do. FI always strives to provide the best, most comprehensive treatment to each client and family – it’s not just a numbers game.”

Michael Davidovits, PhD, LCSW

Joined Freedom in 2014

Michael is part of the supervising faculty at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, a Lecturer in Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine Program, and a Supervisor in the Family Medicine Residency Program at Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Davidovits also has a private practice in Manhattan and lectures nationally and internationally on topics relating to family therapy and couple’s therapy.

“At the Freedom Institute we look at a person’s struggles with substance abuse in the context of their life as a whole.  The change that could make the difference could come from anywhere in complex constellation of factors that provide meaning, connection and happiness in an individual’s life.  We have to keep looking and examining the therapeutic work from every possible angle in order to find the right intervention.”

Michael Fayne, Ph.D

Fordham University, BA
Columbia University Teacher College, MA
Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University, Doctorate
Joined Freedom in 2007

Dr. Fayne is a clinical psychologist who has served as the consulting supervisor of adult chemical dependency treatment since 2007. Dr. Fayne has also treated addiction in hospital and clinic settings and in private practice for over 25 years, and has authored several papers regarding aspects of addiction treatment. In addition, he is a teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, trained at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society. He conducts mindfulness classes, workshops and courses, and is highly interested in the application of mindfulness-based practices to addiction treatment.

“There is a consistent level of close attention to each client, a genuine caring about the client as a person that I have not seen elsewhere. The staff is enthusiastically committed to expanding their knowledge about state-of-the-art treatment approaches, and developing the broadest possible repertoire of treatment methods, to truly provide individualized care to each client.”

Michael Noth, LCSW, CASAC

Hunter School of Social Work, MSW
Joined Freedom in 2005

Michael has over 20 years of experience working both as a clinician and administrator, including work with severely emotionally disturbed and traumatized children in secure settings; counseling individuals in adult mental health treatment; directing substance abuse in-patient detox units and out-patient treatment clinics; maintaining a private practice.

At FI, Michael works with individual clients, co-facilitating the Morning O/P DBT group (MOP Group), as well as facilitating the long-running Evening Early Recovery Group. Michael is a senior member of the DBT treatment team. Additionally, he supervises all step-down group facilitators/consultants and MSW Interns. In 2014, Michael launched our prolonged exposure therapy treatment option for clients who suffer from PTSD.

“Freedom Institute is unlike any place I’ve ever worked either as a clinician, or as an administrator. Our team of counselors – in fact and our entire staff — has a driving passion to assist the client in goal achievement and healing. And while evidence-based approaches are employed, staff offers an eclectic approach to clinical work, integrating different views and conceptual understanding of the human condition, which is essential, given how multi-dimensional and complex people are.”

Mildred Pisciotta, LCSW-R, CASAC

Columbia University
New York University
Joined Freedom in 2008

Mildred joined Freedom Institute in 2008 as a consultant.  As a certified social worker, Mildred went onto post masters training earning her SIFI certification.  She has taught and trained social work interns from Columbia University and NYU.   After 25 years, working as an Executive Director, Clinical Director and Supervisor in outpatient substance programs in the New York area, Mildred continues in her passion as a therapist at Freedom Institute.  She provides therapy for individuals addressing Chemical Dependency, Relapse Prevention, PTSD and dual diagnosis. She often states that her most compelling work was on 911 working with FEMA and providing Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and therapy to the families of the victims of 911.


Molly Bobek, LMSW

College of Holy Cross, BA
Hunter College School of Social Work, MSW
Ackerman Institute for the Family, Post-graduate training in Family Therapy
Joined Freedom in 2013

Molly specializes in couples and families and facilitates a group for significant others, as well as a group for parents with children with AD/HD. She brings to her role 10 years of experience in the drug and alcohol treatment field, including counseling in residential programs and treating adolescents and their families in outpatient community mental health centers. Molly has conducted research on the long-term outcomes of evidence-based practices for adolescent substance use in real-world settings, and adherence and process research on family intervention models. Molly is the co-author and lead clinician on a treatment development protocol for substance use by adolescents with AD/HD.

“Freedom Institute has a truly systemic view on problem origins AND problem solving. We understand addiction as fundamentally a disease of isolation, and actively engage clients and their families with the belief that people get better in the contexts of relationships.”

Rachel Henes, LMSW

Hunter College School of Social Work, LMSW
University of Michigan, BA
Joined Freedom in 2014

Rachel Henes brings to FI an impressive background as a social worker and prevention educator. She launched our new School Program model, which is based on the newest research and methods in Prevention Science and offers middle and high schools a comprehensive and innovative program to educate faculty, staff and students alike. Rachel brings 10 years of experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating local, national and international prevention programs with a focus on youth, relationships and gender.  Rachel has worked extensively within public middle and high schools in New York City, providing training and prevention programming to parents, faculty, and students. She is passionate about offering youth, their families, and their school communities with evidence-based services that promote wellness and prevent unhealthy behaviors and decisions.

“I am thrilled to be part of Freedom Institute, especially as we bring our new cutting edge prevention programming to so many schools in New York City.”

Rachel Ravin, LCSW

New York University School of Social Work, MSW
Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy & Training, Post-graduate training
Joined Freedom in 2007

Rachel works with individuals in recovery to assist them in navigating their journey toward healing and wholeness. She supports clients in their decision to enter recovery and take responsibility for their own lives. Recovery is a re-parenting process, and Rachel provides a safe and encouraging environment so clients can experience and feel their feelings without judgment. She works with clients to teach them how to listen to and hear their own healthy inner voice (as opposed to their addict voice), create boundaries, build trust where it has been ruptured, and develop compassion for themselves and empathy for others. Rachel facilitates an early recovery group and a group for women who have been in recovery for a year or more.

“Freedom Institute affords me the opportunity to do healing work, and the best work I can do, sharing expertise and treatment insights with a group of caring, competent colleagues, who have sincere respect and true affection for our clients and for each other.”

Rachel Russell, MA

St. Mary’s University, MA
Joined Freedom in 2007

For nearly 20 years prior, she worked in youth and family programs, primarily in underserved communities, as a therapist then program director and grant writer. Initially hired to work alongside Freedom Institute’s executive director implementing a development infrastructure to better support Freedom Institute’s clinical practice, Ms. Russell then assumed operational responsibilities and increased her collaboration with the clinical team. Rachel was appointed a member of Freedom Institute’s leadership team in 2010, and has been highly involved in supporting new initiatives in clinical programming.

“What makes Freedom special is the caliber of people here.  Everyone is excellent at what they do, and personally fantastic on top of that.  Whenever I go to conferences or speak with outside consultants, I invariably hear glowing feedback about our staff.  It makes me proud to be here, and grateful to have such an amazing team.”

Ryan Murphy, MS, CASAC

New York Institute of Technology, MS
York College of Pennsylvania, BS
Joined Freedom in 2013

Ryan has worked in the field of addiction for the past 10 years. He has experience as an individual counselor for client’s inpatient and outpatient programs, facilitating IOP (intensive outpatient program), and working with doctors on medication management. At Freedom Institute, Ryan conducts the initial assessments and makes sure the client is set up with the best possible care we can offer.

“I enjoy working at Freedom because I strongly believe the staff really cares and truly wants the best for their clients. We work well together as a team and are always looking to learn more about addiction.”

Syd Hap

Pratt Institute, BFA
New York University, MA
Joined Freedom Institute in 2004

Syd Hap brings the healing and transformative powers of art making to those facing specific life challenges, including grief and loss, trauma, chemical dependency recovery and other compulsive behaviors. For over thirty years Syd has led workshops and classes for children and adults, helping them to explore and express their natural creativity and imagination.

Syd directed the art therapy program at Samaritan Village Veterans Treatment Center in NYC for ten years (1998-2008), and facilitated Life Enrichment Workshops at the Caron Foundation. She also works as a consultant to the Sexual Addiction Treatment and Training Institute and as the Creative Arts Director at Center for Personal Growth and Creativity in NYC. Dr. Andrew Weil, best-selling author and leading practitioner of Integrative Medicine, has cited her work in his publications and social media. As an artist, Syd is a doll sculptor and mixed media artist.

“Art making is a highly effective therapeutic intervention for people in recovery. Freedom Institute recognizes that the creative process can be healing and a powerful tool for self-exploration and increasing self-esteem, and art therapy has been a valued component of Freedom’s IOP for over ten years.”

Tessa Kleeman, LMHC

Brown University, BA
Lesley University, MA
Gestalt Associates for Psychotherapy, Certificate, Gestalt Therapist
Behavioral Tech, Dialectical Behavior Therapy Intensive Training
Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute, Advanced Student
Joined Freedom in 2001

Tessa Kleeman joined us as an Adult Counselor and is now FI’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Coordinator and DBT Program head. She coordinates our Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Treatment, across each modality, individual group and family, to maintain adherence to empirically proven protocols and consistency in application.

“What makes FI special is the level of skill clinicians bring to their relationships with clients. FI supports on-going personal and professional development so that clinicians here are versatile, comprehensive, and have deep understanding of their impact on others. It helps us be the best at helping our clients.”