Superkids has found a new home at The
Southfield Center for Development in
Darien! For information on their
September programs, please call
203-202-7654 or go to
Barbara Cooper, LMHC, MPS, ATR-BC, is a licensed mental health counselor and a registered, board-certified art therapist with 22 years of experience treating both children and adults in school, hospital and private practice settings. In addition to being a co-founder and co-director of SuperKids, Barbara teaches parenting skills at local schools and for SuperKids families. Barbara received her masters in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute, where she is now an Associate Professor in the Graduate Art Therapy program. Barbara also co-authored the books Knowing Yourself, Knowing Others: A Workbook for Children with Asperger’s Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disorder & Other Social-Skill Problems and The Social Success Workbook for Teens.
Nancy Widdows, MS, ATR-BC, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and registered, board-certified art therapist with 14 years experience treating children in school and hospital settings as well as in private practice. She is a co-founder and co-director of SuperKids. Nancy helps children with social skills challenges in both groups and in individual sessions using cognitive-behavioral strategies coupled with art therapy. She received her masters in Art Therapy from the College of New Rochelle. Nancy also co-authored the books Knowing Yourself, Knowing Others: A Workbook for Children with Asperger’s Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disorder & Other Social-Skill Problems and The Social Success Workbook for Teens.
Mark Beitel, Ph.D. Dr. Beitel earned a bachelor’s degree from the Psychology Honors Program at the University of Michigan, a master’s degree from the New School for Social Research, and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Fordham University. Dr. Beitel began his career at Yale as a full-time member of the Psychiatry faculty and now serves part-time as an Assistant Clinical Professor. He also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry) in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. He has published more than 30 scientific articles on personality, psychotherapy, substance use, chronic pain, and integrative medicine.
Kristen Backus, MSED is a Special Education teacher in the Darien Public Schools. Kristen has ten years experience teaching children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a variety of settings. Kristen earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with dual certification in elementary and special education from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She has her Master's in Education from Western Connecticut State University.
Sara Callahan, LPC, NBCC, MA is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a National Board Certified Counselor and a Connecticut Certified School Counselor (K-12). Sara earned her undergraduate degree at Bucknell University and received her Master's degree in Counseling at Fairfield University. Prior to joining the SuperKids team Sara worked as a School Counselor at the middle school level providing both individual and group counseling to children and adolescents; addressing social, behavioral, emotional and educational concerns. She also worked closely with parents, educators and community agencies to support student success. Her role as a School Counselor also incorporated developing behavior management plans, consultation with special education services, crisis intervention and the development and delivery of comprehensive developmental guidance lessons.
Carol Cardillo-Skolas,MA, ATR-BC; LCAT, is a licensed creative arts therapist and registered, board-certified art therapist with 30 years experience treating children and families in private practice and school and hospital settings. Her practice focuses on child centered art psychotherapy along with experience in facilitating parenting and co-parenting groups. Prior to working at Superkids she worked on the schools in the capacity of student assistance counselor in high school and an art and humanities teacher in an alternative school setting as well as regular school setting. Prior to this Carol was Director of Therapeutic Activites at Danbury Hospital where she provided group service on the psychiatric inpatient and outpatient units. She has taught at University of Bridgeport on graduate studies and Westchester Institute of Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in New York. She received a Masters degree from College of New Rochelle and post graduate work at Westchester Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She is also a certified fine arts teacher.
Kate Dayton, LPC, MS, is a licensed professional counselor with over 20 years experience working with children and families, including 15 years in the early childhood education field. She has also received certified training in working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Kate received her Master's in Community Counseling from Western Connecticut State University.
Danielle Koczarski, MA, received her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy from New York University. Danielle earned her Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology also from New York University. Danielle has over four years of experience facilitating groups and working individually with children and adolescents with social, behavioral and emotional deficits. In addition to working at SuperKids, Danielle currently works as a therapist at St. Vincent's Behavioral Health Services in Westport. Danielle joined the staff of SuperKids in the Fall of 2009.
Alison McBride, MA, CAGS, is a School Psychologist. She received her Master's and CAGS from Tufts University. She has worked in the public school system since 2000 with both general education and special needs children. Alison has provided individual and group counseling, behavior management, consultation, crisis intervention, as well as psycho-educational evaluations in both the elementary and middle school levels.
Joanne Ponzo.,MA received her Masters Degree in Art Education from the College of New Rochelle. She has owned and operated a local art center, taught and designed curriculum for ages 6-12 years of age. Joanne worked as an art therapist for 9 years providing group and individual sessions in both a special education program and an alternative high school in the public school system. She has experience working with children with autism spectrum disorders, learning, emotional, and behavioral disabilities. In addition, Joanne is an active water colorist.
Nancy Rhoda, MAAT is a Masters Level Clinician and Art Therapist. Sher received her Bachelor's degree in Art Education from SUNY Buffalo and her Master's degree from Albertus Magnus College in Art Therapy and Counseling. She has worked as an Art Therapist at the Newington Veterans Hospital, Hospice, The Kennedy Center, and Stonington Institute before pursuing a career in Private Practice. Currently she works with adults and children with varying diagnosis and specializes in substance abuse, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Nancy's theoretical approach stems from the humanistic approach, and is an eclectic blend of CBT, DBT, and Gestalt Therapy. Nancy Has worked at Superkids since 2012.
Mary Kate Robb, MSW, RYT, has a Master's Degree in Social Work with a specialization in children and families. She interned at Head Start in Stamford helping families to meet their goals of attaining concrete needs to help their children function more optimally in school. She has also interned at the Child Guidance in Stamford working with children to help decrease their depression and anxiety through the use of play therapy and cognitive therapy techniques. Prior to attaining her master degree she worked as a teacher in a Montessori classroom with three to six year old children teaching them life skills and strove to aid the child in healthy social/emotional development. Mary Kate is a yoga teacher and incorporates her knowledge of yoga and relaxation techniques into her practice with children.
Sara Taussik, ATR-BC, LCAT is a Board Certified and Licensed Creative Art Therapist who received a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT and a Master's degree in Art Therapy with a specialization in sculpture from the College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, NY. Sara has been working at SuperKids as well as the Behavioral Health Unit at Northern Westchester Hospital for the past four years. She has done internships at St. Vincent's MICA program in Harrison, NY as well as the Bennett Cancer Center in Stamford, CT. Sara has also developed a weekly art group with adults with Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Marisol Troche, MSED, is a licensed school counselor with 11 years experience working with students in school as well as counseling parents. She began her work with children as a bilingual teacher and received her Master's in Counseling from Long Island University. Marisol has provided group and individual counseling services in the elementary, middle and high school setting. Marisol has worked at SuperKids since 2003.
Pam Walker, CADC is a counselor with over 25 years experience working with children, adolescents and their families. She has worked at SuperKids since 2004. She has worked in inpatient, hospital and school settings and is presently a Student Assistance Counselor at Joel Barlow High School in Redding, CT.
Ashley Walsh, M.A., C.A.S. is a Certified School Psychologist. Ashley received her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, Master’s in school psychology and a Certificate of Advanced Study in school psychology from Fairfield University. While working as a school psychologist at both the elementary and middle school levels, Ashley placed special emphasis on work in the area of social skills. She ran small and large social skills groups and programs in the schools, led individual and group counseling sessions, and performed psycho-educational assessments. While completing her degree in school psychology, Ashley worked as a preschool teacher.