Birch Tree Psychology

Specializing in Therapy for Children, Adults, and Families

Staff Psychologist

Dr. Peter Berzins

Anxiety Psychologist

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

Depression Psychologist

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.

Dr. Yadira Sanchez

Child Psychologist

Yadira Sanchez, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (# 5392) in NJ and NY. She specializes in individual psychotherapy with children, adolescents and young adults.  She treats anxiety, mood related issues and behavioral difficulties.  She works with parents to assist them in managing child behavioral difficulties and improve child behaviors at home and school.  Dr. Sanchez creates an environment where individuals can be open to discuss their concerns without judgment. She is bilingual in English and Spanish, which allows her to work with a range of clients. Due to her background in community psychology, Dr. Sanchez seeks to understand individuals within the larger environment in which they live and helps individuals learn ways to thrive in their daily lives. 

Dr. Sanchez has extensive experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which focuses on the link between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. She works to help clients develop skills to change thinking patterns and behaviors in order to create change. She has conducted research on the role of stress on mood and behavioral issues and factors that can assist individuals in managing life stress such as coping skills. She is able to help clients identify ways that they can use the concepts learned in therapy in everyday situations.

Dr. Sanchez received her Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her Doctorate Degree from The George Washington University. Her dissertation focused on understanding differential responses to life event stress. Dr. Sanchez completed her APA accredited internship at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital where she worked with children, adolescents and parents and received specialized training in the treatment of anxiety disorders. 

Devon Rizzo, L.P.C., L.C.A.D.C.

Devon Rizzo is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She received her Master Degree in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine with a Concentration in Sport Psychology at Boston University School of Medicine. She is continuing to hone her expertise as a candidate at the New Jersey Couples Therapy Training Program (NJCTTP), a division of the Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (CPPNJ). In addition, Devon has had extensive training in Structural Family Systems therapy.

Devon specializes in working with children, adolescents, young adults, individuals, couples, and families. She has considerable experience working with issues such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, life transitions, and parenting. She has a special talent in helping those individuals who are engaging in problematic, harmful, or self-medicating behaviors. She is able to relate to teens who are struggling in this particular way while also guiding them out of their depression and anger. She has a strong ability to balance the needs of a client as well as those of the whole family. Devon has trained in mental health, school settings, and substance abuse settings, which affords her the flexibility to tailor treatment to fit the needs of her clients.  Devon’s approach to therapy integrates both a family system and psychodynamic approach and she has a strong ability to create a safe environment to explore and gain a better understanding of the issues that maintain maladaptive behavioral and relational patterns. She also employs behavioral and CBT skills to help others manage difficult emotions and stress better.

Julie Sisselman, LCSW

Adolescent Psychologist

Julie Sisselman, 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 Sisselman 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 Sissleman, LCSW uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) to help children and adults to overcome difficulties and excel in life. 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

CBT Psychologist

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.

Fernando 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. 

Birch Tree Psychology ~ 498 Newark-Pompton Turnpike ~ Pompton Plains, NJ ~ 07444 

(973) 839-3060