Our Professionals


Dr. Peter Berzins

Peter Berzins, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist (# 4806) in NJ and NY. He specializes in individual psychotherapy with children, adolescents, and adults, as well as working with athletes using sports psychology. He is an expert in treating anxiety and sports performance related issues using Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT). Dr. Berzins has an extraordinary ability to connect with clients to help them thrive in their environment. Beyond that, he has extensive experience providing therapy to college students and helping them transition into young adulthood. Dr. Berzins provides a uniquely non-judgmental environment in which clients feel free to express themselves and explore their conflicts, while creating real change. Dr. Berzins has over fifteen years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults.


Dr. Berzins has a particular interest in Positive Psychology, which focuses on the science of happiness and how to attain it. He incorporates many of these practices into his own life and is excited to share his knowledge with others. He believes the goal of therapy should be to optimize living instead of just alleviating symptoms. More simply, he helps people thrive rather than merely survive.


Dr. Berzins received his Masters Degree from Columbia University. He earned his Doctorate Degree from Fordham University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. His dissertation investigated the relationship between therapeutic alliance with adolescents and their outcome in therapy. Additionally, he was awarded a NYU fellowship in psychoanalytic treatment of children and adults. Dr. Berzins completed his APA accredited internship at the Drew University counseling center and Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. Given his research on therapeutic alliance, he believes there should be an emphasis on developing a trusting relationship or alliance with your psychologist to maximize gains in therapy.

Dr. Brittany Ryan-Berzins

Brittany Ryan-Berzins, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (# 4961) in NJ. She specializes in individual therapy with women, adolescent girls, and children. She specializes in treating depression (in teens and adults), self-injury (cutting), anxiety, and stress specifically associated with transitions for women and girls. She treats post-partum depression, stress associated with fertility treatment, and coping with divorce. Dr. Ryan-Berzins has a special talent in guiding individuals out of depression, whether it is their first experience in therapy or if they have struggled with depression throughout their lives.  


Dr. Ryan-Berzins has conducted research on cutting and other self-injurious behavior and treats adolescents who resort to self-injury to cope with their feelings. Dr. Ryan-Berzins has extensive experience helping girls develop healthy self-esteem and a positive self-image. She has vast experience working with individuals who have experienced trauma (neglect, abuse, violence, or victimization) and the impact that it has on individuals' relationships.She creates a warm, especially accepting environment where people feel free to explore their conflicts as well as hopes for the future . Dr. Ryan-Berzins is genuinely interested in what makes you who you are and how you can flourish in a world with increasing demands.


At times we all need help coping with the complexities of life. These times can be an opportunity to create change in ourselves, our relationships, and our lives. Dr. Ryan-Berzins believes that our past contributes to our current emotions, thoughts, and relationships. Understanding how our past experiences have shaped who we are today allows us to understand why we react with our particular style and actively take control of our lives.  With this depth of understanding, people are able to make lasting change which means a more fulfilling life. Dr. Ryan-Berzins incorporates Positive Psychology, CBT, and Behavioral Techniques into treatment to produce change that immediately lifts an individual's mood. 


Dr. Ryan-Berzins received her Doctorate Degree from Fordham University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Her dissertation investigated the unconscious thought patterns in individuals who engaged in cutting and other self-injurious behaviors. Dr. Ryan-Berzins was trained at the most prestigious hospitals and institutes in Manhattan. Her training includes positions at Lennox Hill Hospital as well as The New York Psychoanalytic Institute. Beyond that, Dr. Ryan-Berzins conducted research at NYU Belleview Center for Survivors of Torture. She also has copious amounts of experience working with college students and has worked at various universities in the area. Dr. Ryan-Berzins completed her APA accredited internship at the Veteran's Administration, where she served veteran's who experienced trauma.


Dr. Ryan-Berzins works primarily with adolescent girls, mothers, and women who struggle with depression, anxiety, infertility, self-injury, postpartum depression, relationship problems, difficulty finding your professional path, and academic underachievement. Additionally, She treats pre-schoolers for anxiety, depression, and anger issues.

Julie Marshall, LCSW

Julie Marshall, MSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (#44SC05632600). She earned her Masters Degree in clinical social work from New York University. Julie has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in various clinical settings. Julie Marshall finds success in working with children and adolescents struggling with anxiety, depression, and school refusal. She easily relates to children and adolescents by bringing a flexible, accepting, and warm approach to therapy. 


Julie Marshall, LCSW uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) to help children and adults to overcome difficulties and excel in life. She is certified in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. She teaches individuals the coping skills they need to change the way they think, feel, and behave.   


Julie has experience integrating Motivational Interviewing into treatment which helps individuals connect with their own motivation for treatment and allows them to continue to work on treatment goals. This makes her more effective with adolescents who are not internally motivated for treatment or struggle with depression. Additionally, Julie incorporates Mindfulness Techniques into her treatment of anxiety and depression, as well as, into her own life. 

Ferdinando Palumbo, LCSW

Ferdinando Palumbo, MSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (#44SC05834000). He earned his Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, one of the foremost institutions for Social Work. Ferdinando Palumbo has worked in private practice treating children, adolescents, and adults. His warm, disarming, and unique style create an accepting, open environment that fosters growth.


Ferdinando Palumbo, LCSW treats individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues. He has extensive training and experience in Cognitive Behavior Therapy(CBT). He employs CBT to help clients in developing the skills that they need to effectively manage their emotions and behaviors. He uses empirically supported treatments to attain results quickly. Ferdinando Palumbo has a wealth of knowledge and continues to seek out new techniques to most effectively meet the needs of his clients. Additionally, he balances clinical work with a college teaching appointment where he is engaged and committed to helping students thrive. 


Ferdinando Palumbo, LCSW has worked in a variety of settings including: K-12 education settings, a sexual violence resource center, a group practice, and as an in-home therapist. He has extensive experience treating many common treatment concerns including ADHD, depression, anxiety, issues around school performance, and behaviorally challenging youth. Fernando is committed to staying at the cutting edge of evidence based practice to provide his clients with the best treatments. He is firmly of the opinion that providing the best, evidence based treatments is an of the utmost importance for clinical practice. 


Randi-Jo Farrell, LCSW

Randi-Jo Farrell, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (#44SC05908800). She earned her Masters Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University. Randi-Jo has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in various clinical settings. Randi treats a variety of issues such as anxiety, depression, anger, school refusal, behavioral challenges, and executive functioning disorders. 


Randi-Jo Farrell, uses evidence-based treatment to help clients develop coping skills and change their thoughts which leads to changes in how one feels about themselves and the world. Randi uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to create lasting change in her clients. Randi tailors her approach to each individual client to create a comfortable intervention and promote positive change in his or her lives. Randi incorporates DBT into her practice to teach people how to live in the moment, cope with stress, regulate emotions and improve relationships with others. DBT is an extremely effective intervention in treating depression, cutting, unregulated anger, and difficulty calming down (self-soothing). Randi has great success connecting with teens and children. She uses various techniques and interventions such as play and art therapy activities to help teach coping strategies in ways that are comfortable and age appropriate for her clients.


Randi-Jo Farrell works with parents raising "challenging" children to develop positive parenting strategies. She utilizes with the ‘Nurtured Heart Approach’, which is a relationship-focused methodology that provides parents with new strategies that are appropriate for their specific child. She understands how traditional parenting techniques intensify a situation with a child who is difficult or challenging, such as those who are diagnosed with ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or other acting out behaviors. Randi will teach you alternative techniques to help parents develop more effective strategies.


Kaitlyn Valente, LCSW

Kaitlyn Valente, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (#44SC05615500.) She earned her Masters of Social Work Degree from Rutgers University. Additionally, she has a Post-Master's Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice from NYU. Kaitlyn Valente has over 10 years of clinical experience working with teenagers and adults providing therapeutic services at both the individual and group level of care. Additionally, she has experience providing crisis intervention services in an emergency setting.

Kaitlyn Valente has extensive training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and specializes in helping individuals change their thoughts and behaviors to treat anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and depression. Kaitlyn Valente has a client-centered perspective and caters her therapeutic approaches to best meet her client's individual needs. Furthermore, Kaitlyn Valente has experience utilizing multiple treatment models such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). 

Kaitlyn Valente believes that therapy is a collaborative journey and works with her clients to learn ways to cope in order to manage difficult emotions more effectively.  She has an exceptional ability to form connections with clients even at their most difficult moments. She helps her clients identify problematic patterns of thinking and the skills needed to move towards living a life that is more balanced and fulfilling. Kaitlyn Valente specializes in providing individual psychotherapy to teenagers, young adults, and adults who struggle with; anxiety, depression, family conflict, and challenging life transitions.


Sharon Bale-Pena, LCSW

Sharon Bale-Pena, MSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (#44SC05801800). She earned her  Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University. She specializes in individual psychotherapy with adolescents and young adults. She treats anxiety, mood related issues, and behavioral difficulties.  She works with parents to assist them in managing behavioral difficulties in children and adolescents and improve their behavior at home and school.  She also has extensive experience in providing mental health services to high achieving students to help them develop the coping skills they need to perform at a competitive level.

Sharon Bale-Pena believes deeply in a person’s ability to grow and change.  She uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to teach clients the skills they need to manage and overcome the symptoms of anxiety and depression. She utilizes Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to teach skills to support clients in finding better control over their emotions and to make healthier life choices.  Additionally, she uses Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) to help clients advance their emotional well-being through improving the relationships they have with the important people in their life.  Sharon Bale-Pena has training and experience working with children and adolescents who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Through teaching coping skills, and creating a supportive therapeutic alliance Sharon Bale-Pena has helped struggling individuals move on to develop healthy, fulfilling lives.


Sharon Bale-Pena has over 10 years of experience providing individual, group, and family therapy. She is dedicated to helping clients learn the skills they need to thrive even in challenging circumstances. She is passionate about providing excellent service for her clients and is always looking for creative ways of connecting, including in our current virtual space.  As a therapist she stays current with Gen Z culture, and is always happy to learn something new and innovative from her clients.  

Megan Martino, LCSW

Megan Martino, MSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (44SC05887300).  She earned her MSW degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University in 2007.  She has over a decade of experience working with children and parents in a variety of settings.  She has extensive training and experience utilizing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)  treating children and adolescents struggling with anxiety, depression, and behavioral difficulties.


Megan Martino, LCSW is passionate about evidence-based practice and uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-Based Techniques, parent training, and education in her work. She works with individuals and families to change their thoughts and behaviors, and in turn, their emotions. She has experience treating children and adolescents struggling with Anxiety, OCD, Depression, ADHD, and Grief and Loss. She is dedicated to supporting children and parents to gain the skills that they need to thrive in their current situations. She recognizes the importance of flexibility and adapts her practice to meet the unique needs of each child and family.


Megan provides a warm, supportive environment that leads to a successful relationship with clients. She has extensive experience treating children and adolescents that are struggling with more severe cases of anxiety and depression. She has honed her skill set to offer treatment that leads to lasting change with children and families.


BirchTree Psychology

498 Newark-Pompton Tpk.

PomptonPlains, NJ 07444

913 Route 23 South

Suite 9

Pompton Plains, NJ 07444



Tel: 973-839-3060

Find Us

Mon - Fri: 9am - 9pm

​​Saturday: 9am - 12pm

​Sunday: Closed

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