Our Navigator personally answers questions and talks with you about resources that may be available in the community to meet your individualized needs. If you have any questions about our programs or services, or aren't sure what you need, contact our Service Navigator, Rachel Arruda, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
Located in Acton, MA and serving clients in the Metrowest area, MBHC is a mental health center with expertise in general mental health, psychological trauma, teen wellness, teen substance abuse and parenting consultation.
Acton, MA 02446
Intake Phone Number: (978) 264-3553
MBHC takes pride in the quality of care provided to each client in our inviting office space. Our commitment to providing the most innovative and effective evidence-based treatments tailored to the specific needs and strengths of each client we serve makes us unique.
We offer extensive outpatient services and intervention methods to meet the needs of children/adolescents, adults, and families dealing with a range of behavioral health conditions. MBHC provides individual and family therapy, parent education, training, and coaching, and consultation to practitioners and agencies. Our clinicians have extensive training and experience in a variety of specialized treatment modalities, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), sensory motor-based approaches to regulation, Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC), and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy-Adaptations (PCIT-A). In addition, we provide comprehensive assessment services, including trauma evaluations for children and adults, IQ and psychoeducational testing, ADHD and Learning Disability evaluations, and psychological and neuropsychological testing.
Suzanne Allen, Ph.D. received her doctorate from the University of Memphis and completed her internship at the Worcester Youth Guidance Center, in Worcester, MA. She has worked for over 25 years in various community settings with children and families who have experienced trauma, particularly around adoption and attachment issues and the impact on physical, family and social functioning. She takes a multi-faceted approach to intervention. Dr. Allen has received training in many different approaches to treating families affected by trauma including Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (Dan Hughes, Ph.D.) and Internal Family Systems (Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.) and incorporates these tools in her work.
Specialized Services provided at MBHC: Treatment of Dissociation, Pathways to Permanency
Jamie Wood Chiarelli, LICSW is the Clinical Director, supervisor and clinician at MBHC. Prior to earning her Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston College, she worked in Child Protective and Adoption Services in Chicago, IL. Ms. Chiarelli has worked in therapeutic middle and high school, residential, and outpatient mental health settings. Her work and training has focused on providing trauma-informed therapy services to children, adolescents, young adults, and families. Ms. Chiarelli incorporates various evidenced-based and trauma-specific approaches into her work including ARC, CBT, DBT, Collaborative Problem Solving, EMDR, Internal Family Systems, SMART, and PCIT-A. She is also experienced in working with children, adolescents, and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse struggles.
Specialized Services provided at MBHC: ARC, CBT, SMART, EMDR (Level II), ACRA/ACC, DBT, Trauma/Sexual Abuse Evaluation
Suzanne Dirstine, MSW, LICSW is a Staff Clinician at Metrowest Behavioral Health Center. She received her MSW from Simmons College in Boston, MA and completed her clinical training and post-master's fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital in Outpatient Psychiatry. Ms. Dirstine has experience working with children and adults with complex trauma in a range of settings including inpatient treatment, outpatient clinics, sexual abuse treatment teams and adoption services. She provides an attachment-focused, client-centered approach to working with children, parents and families.
Specialized Services Provided at MBHC: ARC, Pathways to Permanency, SMART
Kristina Donahue, LICSW is a Staff Clinician at MBHC and Clinical Intake Coordinator at MBHC and the Trauma Center. She earned her MSW from Simmons College and has extensive experience working with children, adolescents and families, particularly those who have been affected by trauma, complex mental health issues, and learning challenges. Prior to joining MBHC, Ms. Donahue worked for over five years as a clinician in a therapeutic day school where she worked directly with students providing individual therapy, crisis management, animal-assisted therapy, parent/care-giver consultation, and facilitating parent/care-giver support. Additionally, Ms. Donahue is experienced in providing both outreach and in-home therapy services to children, youth and families. She has completed the Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies and has specific interests in trauma-informed approaches including SMART and ARC.
Erin Lemire, LICSW is a Staff Clinician and Supervisor at MBHC and the Clinical Intake Manager at MBHC and the Trauma Center. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in a number of settings including residential care programs, hospital facilities, inpatient substance abuse programs, and outpatient mental health clinics. Ms .Lemire received her Masters Degree in Social Work from New York University in May, 2013. She has an understanding of a variety of trauma-informed therapeutic approaches and has pursued more intensive training in the areas of EMDR, trauma-sensitive yoga, expressive arts therapy, and attachment-based psychotherapy. Ms. Lemire has provided individual, family, and group psychotherapy to clients working through complex and developmental trauma, dissociative disorders, substance abuse issues, anxiety, depression, parenting issues, and self-harming behaviors.
Specialized Services Provided at MBHC: EMDR (Level II), Expressive Arts Therapy, Treatment of Dissociation, ARC, Trauma/Sexual Abuse Evaluation, TF-CBT, CBT, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (Level 1)
Susan Lerner, MSW, LICSW is the Assistant Director at MBHC. She works with children, families, adolescents, and adults whose lives have been impacted by trauma. Ms. Lerner is trained in EMDR, AEDP and Sensory Motor Psychotherapy and integrates these approaches in her work with clients. In addition, Ms. Lerner provides parent consultation, training, and coaching. Using several evidenced-based therapies focusing on increasing attachment through increased attunement in her work with parents, Ms. Lerner's focus is on helping families understand each other and strengthen their ability to connect, accept one another and develop a sense of playfulness. She received her Masters in Social Work from Boston University in 1988 and is committed to ongoing training in trauma, attachment, dissociation and parenting issues.
Specialized Services Provided at MBHC: EMDR (Level II), Treatment of Dissociation, ARC, PCIT, P2P, SMART, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (Level 1)
Jennifer Moore, M.A., LMHC is a staff clinician at MBHC who has worked with children, adolescents and families impacted by trauma. She received her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Saint Michaels College in 2013. Her interests include attachment-based therapies for young children and caregivers, the impact of complex and multigenerational trauma, and differential diagnosis around the impact of chronic interpersonal trauma and other pathologies of childhood.
Specialized Services Provided at MBHC: SMART, ARC, Sand Play, Trauma/sexual abuse evaluations, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (Level 1)
Greta Schnee, LMHC, LCAT, RDT, holds a Masters in Drama Therapy from New York University. She is a licensed Mental Health Counselor in Massachusetts, and a licensed Creative Arts Therapist in New York. Ms. Schnee worked at the Perkin’s residential program for 9 years, with adolescents, children, and families with histories of complex trauma. She completed IFS level 1, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher training. Ms. Schnee is adjunct faculty at Lesley University. She also specializes in embodied drama therapy, practiced widely with children and adults.
Specialized Services Provided at MBHC: Expressive Arts Therapy, Treatment of Dissociation, ARC, SMART, IFS (Level 1), EMDR (Level 2), and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (Level 1)
Julie Thayer, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist whose clinical work focuses on the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults impacted by complex trauma. She is currently a staff clinician and Assistant Director of Victim Services at Metrowest Behavioral Health Center and Assistance Clinical Director at MBHC and the Trauma Center, as well as a Certified ARC Trainer and consultant. Dr. Thayer received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. She has experience working with individuals across the lifespan, and has provided a range of clinical services in school-based, in-home, college counseling, outpatient, and inpatient settings. She completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Metrowest Behavioral Health Center focused on the treatment of trauma, and has completed training in trauma-specific treatment approaches including ARC, SMART, EMDR, and PCIT-A.
Specialized Services Provided at MBHC: Trauma/Sexual Abuse Evaluation, Psychological/Neuropsychological Assessment, SMART, ARC Training/Consultation, EMDR (Level I), PCIT-A
Kara Wetzel, LMHC, MT-BC, REAT is a Staff Clinician, Expressive Arts Therapist, Board-Certified Music Therapist at the Metrowest Behavioral Health Center in Acton. Ms. Wetzel received her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Therapies from Lesley University and has also pursued post-graduate studies at Anna Maria College in their Institute for Music Consciousness. Ms. Wetzel has a great passion for the arts as well as mindfulness and meditation and incorporates this expertise into her work at MBHC. Her professional experience includes work in schools, hospitals, outpatient and residential facilities such as Germaine Lawrence in Arlington and McLean Hospital in Belmont. Ms. Wetzel has worked with clients of all ages, facing a broad spectrum of diagnoses utilizing an eclectic, client-centered approach.
Specialized Services Provided at MBHC: Expressive Arts Therapy, ARC, Pathways to Permanency, Meditation/Mindfulness, Social Skills Training, Music Therapy
Alexa Armon, LICSW received her BA from CUNY Hunter College in Psychology and her Masters in social work from Adelphi University. She has worked for five years in multiple community settings throughout New York City and New Orleans. She has worked with children, teens, adults and families who have experienced various forms of trauma. Her clinical interests include mindfulness, DBT, attachment-based therapies, TF-CBT and EMDR.
Specialized Services provided at MBHC: ARC, EMDR, Trauma/Sexual Abuse Evaluation
Ava Lorenzo, Psy.D. is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Metrowest Behavioral Health Center. She is a New Jersey Certified School Psychologist (NJCSP) and received her degree in School Psychology from Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ. Dr. Lorenzo completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Haven in Piscataway High School, a school-based mental health center for children, adolescents, and families, where she engaged in individual, group, and family therapy. She has also worked to introduce school-based social-emotional learning interventions, and studied teacher perceptions of disruptive behavior in students, toward the goal of creating safe and supportive schools.
Specialized Services Provided at MBHC: Treatment of Dissociation, ARC, Trauma/Sexual Abuse Evaluation, TF-CBT, Psychological/Neuropsychological Assessment
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Sensory Motor Arousal regulation Therapy (SMART)
- Expressive Art Therapy
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)
- Structured Approaches to the Treatment of Clinical Dissociation, including Internal Family Systems (IFS)
- Yoga Services
- Social Skills Training
- Attachment, Self-regulation, & Competency (ARC)
- Parent-Child Interaction Therapy - Adaptations (PCIT-A)
- Sandtray Therapy
- Pathways to Permanency (P2P) Parent Consultation
Trauma Center Metrowest provides comprehensive outpatient treatment and evaluation services to children/adolescents, families, and adults impacted by trauma and adversity.
Pathways to Permanency (P2P) provides caregiver consultation for foster, pre/post-adoptive, or kinship caregivers to help support them in parenting a child with a history of trauma.
VOCA provides select free-care, trauma-focused services to eligible victims of crime and their significant others.
Teen Wellness Program supports teens and young adults through their high school and college years, teaching life-long skills to manage stressors and helping teens thrive in all aspects of their lives. Substance abuse services for teens also available.
Parenting Pathways consults with parents of children of all ages and uses evidence-based therapies to support parents in managing their children’s challenging developmental stages, behaviors and/or temperaments and learning effective parenting strategies.
To learn more about the Center or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Clinical Intake Line at (978) 264-3553. Accepted methods of payment (may vary by type of service) include: Masshealth plans including Beacon, Tufts Together and Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP): Beacon Commercial Insurance, including BMC, NHP, Fallon (non-Masshealth); Victim Compensation Fund; assistance with PPO reimbursement; and self-pay. Some services (including trauma evaluations and Pathways to Permanency) are provided through our contract with the Department of Children and Families (DCF).