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. We house the Metrowest location of the world-renowned Trauma Center at JRI led by Bessel van der Kolk, MD.
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
Elisabeth Bailey, DNP is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston College’s Connell School of Nursing. In addition to teaching in the graduate psychiatric nursing program at BC, she provides psychiatry services for children, adolescents and adults at the Trauma Center and Metrowest Behavioral Health Center. She received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Northeastern University and her Master’s in advanced practice psychiatric nursing from Boston College. Her current clinical and teaching interests include depression, anxiety, trauma, and working to educate healthcare providers who employ a compassionate and holistic approach to care.
Jamie Wood Chiarelli, LICSW is the Clinical Director 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. 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
Marla Saint Gilles, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow at MBHC. She received her doctoral degree in School Psychology from Michigan State University and completed her predoctoral internship at the Children’s Trauma Assessment Center (CTAC) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as well as in several mid-Michigan area schools. Dr. Saint Gilles has clinical experience working in outpatient mental health and school settings with children, adolescents, and adults who have experienced complex trauma. Her research interests include implementing school and district-wide interventions for children who have experienced trauma, specifically within the Head Start preschool setting.
Specialized Services Provided at MBHC: Trauma/Sexual Abuse Evaluation, TF-CBT
Erin Lemire, LICSW is a Staff Clinician and Clinical Intake Coordinator at MBHC. 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 I), Expressive Arts Therapy, Treatment of Dissociation, ARC, Trauma/Sexual Abuse Evaluation, TF-CBT, CBT
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
Katryn Little, LICSW is a Staff Clinician at MBHC. She completed her MSW at Smith College in Western Massachusetts and has worked in residential treatment programs for youth with trauma and complex mental health and behavioral issues. She has experience providing individual, group and family therapy to those struggling with attachment issues, developmental trauma, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and self-harm issues. She is passionate about providing trauma-informed care to children and adolescents who have experienced trauma as well as educating and supporting parents, educators, and caregivers of trauma-impacted individuals.
Jennifer Moore, M.A. 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
Tia Savage, MSW, LICSW is a staff clinician and Life Coach at MBHC as well as the Transitions Coordinator at The Victor School at JRI. Ms. Savage earned her MSW from Simmons College in 2006 and her Life Coaching Certificate from UNH in 2016. She has been working with adolescents clinically as well as coaching them through the transition out of high school and into college or the working field. Ms. Savage is passionate about helping her clients see their potential and learn the skills they need to live a happier and more positive lifestyle.
Specialized Services Provided at MBHC: ARC, SMART, Collaborative Problem Solving, CBT/DBT, Social Skills Training
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
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 Clinical Intake Coordinator at 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, MA, MT-BC is a Staff Clinician and expressive arts therapist at the Metrowest Behavioral Health Center in Acton. She is an LMHC candidate and a Board-Certified Music Therapist. Kara 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
Program Director at MBHC and the Trauma Center at JRI, Dr. Zucker received her Ph.D. from Georgia State University in Atlanta and completed her Clinical Psychology Internship at Duke University Medical Center and Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Trauma Center. Dr. Zucker is a Staff Psychologist and Supervisor at the Trauma Center and MBHC, working clinically with traumatized children, adolescents, and adults, as well as specializing in psychological and neuropsychological assessment. Dr. Zucker has authored numerous publications and scholarly conference presentations in the areas of trauma and trauma treatment and developmental learning and attention disorders.
- 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: Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP), 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).