Meet Our Team

Nancy Distel, Ph.D.


Dr. Nancy Distel is a licensed psychologist and founding Partner of Positive Developments. She uses both short- and long-term therapy approaches to treat adults, couples, families, and children of all ages. Her passion is to help people promote their own emotional growth and to learn how to fully engage in their relationships and the world. Dr. Distel specializes in the treatment of a wide range of anxiety disorders, depression, interpersonal difficulties, and phase of life/adjustment challenges. She integrates various therapeutic techniques so as to provide a tailored treatment for each client, including cognitive-behavioral, family systems, mindfulness,  insight-oriented approaches, and EMDR for simple and complex trauma and more. Dr. Distel earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her doctorate from Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus. She interned at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn and continued as an employee at the SUNY Downstate Anxiety Disorders Clinic. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in marital and family therapy at the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Distel worked in clinics throughout the New York area and has been in private practice in Millburn, NJ since 2001. She taught psychology as an Adjunct Faculty member at CUNY-Brooklyn College and continues to be dedicated to teaching others, as a supervising psychologist and through community education forums. 

NJ License #3927, APIT (Interstate Telehealth) #9972


Elena Jeffries, Ph.D.


Dr. Elena Jeffries is a co-founder of Positive Developments and licensed psychologist with specialties in child and adolescent therapy and parenting techniques. She earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and doctorate from New York University, and then completed her internship at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia Medical Center. Her past experience includes private practice and hospital positions, where she worked with children of all ages in various treatment modalities and taught and supervised trainees. In her current practice, Dr. Jeffries treats children, teens, and young adults using a goal-oriented, collaborative approach that integrates cognitive-behavioral and systems techniques. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, behavioral and anger management difficulties, depression/problems in mood, and social skills issues. In her work with parents, Dr. Jeffries focuses on evidence-based positive discipline strategies to enhance the parent-child relationship, empower parents, and encourage communication and cooperation at home. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Jeffries enjoys supervising colleagues and presenting to parents and teachers in the community.  

NJ License #4120, NY License #015487, APIT (Interstate Telehealth) #10012

Nancy Corral Ziebert, Ph.D.


Dr. Nancy Corral Ziebert is a licensed psychologist with specialties in child clinical psychology and neuropsychological assessment. She earned her undergraduate and doctoral degrees from New York University. She also received extensive training in neuropsychological assessment and psychotherapy at Bellevue Hospital Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia Medical Center, where she completed a one-year internship and then worked as a staff and supervising psychologist for several years. Dr. Ziebert was a member of the Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University-New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she taught psychology interns and psychiatry residents. She continues to teach and supervise psychologists at various stages of their professional development. Dr. Ziebert is a founding partner of Positive Developments and her current practice focuses on the psychoeducational and neuropsychological assessment of children, adolescents, and young adults. She also provides individual psychotherapy for children of all ages and young adults presenting with a variety of emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal difficulties. In addition to her private practice, Dr. Ziebert is the consulting psychologist at a local private school.

NJ License #4122, NY License #015409

Daam Barker, Ph.D.


Dr. Daam Barker has extensive experience working cross-culturally with children, adolescents, young adults, couples, and groups.  He earned his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis.  He then earned a Master’s degree in Community Counseling from The University of Cincinnati and a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Fordham University.  Dr. Barker completed his pre-doctoral internship training at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Manhattan specializing in cognitive-behavioral, dynamic, and group psychotherapy interventions for adjustment disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, and trauma.  He also completed externships at The Manhattan Psychiatric Center and Student Counseling Services and at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where he trained in Time Limited Brief Psychotherapy and Emotion Focused Therapy for couples.  Dr. Barker’s clinical and research interests include multiculturalism and cross-cultural psychotherapy, intersectionality and identity development, adjustment disorders, complex anxiety, trauma and resilience, post-traumatic growth, and group therapy.  He lived and practiced in Guyana, South America for 12 years working with clients of all ages and completed several consultancies for non-governmental organizations including UNICEF and IOM.  As a clinician, he works to develop a strong therapeutic alliance with clients to support their investment in the process of change.  This empathic relationship provides a safe space for clients to fully understand their concerns, devise a personalized treatment plan, and learn new coping skills to respond to their circumstances.

NJ Temporary Permit #203-072

Meredith Carleton, Psy.D., ATR

Senior Associate

Dr. Carleton earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Lehigh University, and a master’s degree in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute. She then earned a master’s degree in School Psychology and her doctorate in Clinical & School Psychology from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology of Yeshiva University. Dr. Carleton completed clinical externships at New York Center for Children and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center’s Child and Family Institute, and her internship at Jewish Child Care Association’s Pleasantville Cottage Schools. She specializes in treating individuals coping with anxiety, depression, trauma, LGBT issues, medical illness and bereavement. Additionally, Dr. Carleton has worked extensively with youth experiencing behavioral difficulties, ADHD, and learning disabilities, addressing the impact of these issues on interpersonal relationships and academic performance. Dr. Carleton is a New Jersey certified School Psychologist with experience working on Child Study Teams, and is also a board-certified Art Therapist. Dr. Carleton integrates a variety of therapeutic modalities in treatment and encourages her clients to express themselves both verbally and creatively. 

NJ License #5669, NY License #024374, APIT (Interstate Telehealth) #11279

Meredith Cregg-Wedmore, Psy.D.


Dr. Meredith Cregg-Wedmore earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling from The College of New Jersey. She earned her doctorate from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. Dr. Cregg-Wedmore is a New Jersey certified school psychologist and has provided a range of services in schools while working with Child Study Teams. Prior to her doctoral training, Dr. Cregg-Wedmore acquired valuable experience in several educational and non-profit settings, and completed one year of service as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow. During her doctoral work, she performed externships through the Elizabeth Board of Education and the Center for Social and Character Development at Rutgers. Her internship was completed through the Hazlet Public Schools where she refined skills in psychological evaluations, functional behavioral assessments, social skills training and individual counseling. Dr. Cregg-Wedmore was awarded a U.S. Department of Education Preparation of Leadership Personnel Training Grant Fellowship in Psychological and Systems Support for Learning. She was also the recipient of the 2013 NJPA Foundation Winifred Starbuck Scott School Psychologist Training Award. Dr. Cregg-Wedmore is dedicated to improving outcomes for children and families and has served as a board member of the New Jersey Division for Early Childhood since 2006.

NJ License #6239

Sarah Hassan, Ph.D.


Dr. Sarah Hassan specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and their families presenting with a range of emotional, social, and/or behavioral difficulties including anxiety and trauma, depression, low self-esteem, ADHD, disruptive behaviors, and social skills difficulties. She has treated children and adults in a variety of settings, including outpatient clinics, schools, hospitals, and college counseling centers. Dr. Hassan has a particular interest in treating childhood trauma and has specialized training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). She enjoys collaborating with parents and is skilled in Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). She earned a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She completed her clinical internship at the University of California Davis Children’s Hospital and a post-doctoral fellowship at Hackensack Meridian Health. Dr. Hassan’s approach to treatment is informed by cognitive-behavioral therapy, parenting interventions, and mindfulness perspectives.

NJ License #6238, NY License #023450

Parin P. Kamdar, Psy.D.

Senior Associate

Dr. Parin Kamdar is a licensed psychologist whose interventions are drawn from cognitive behavioral (CBT), dialectical behavioral (DBT), psychodynamic, and family systems approaches. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and doctorate in Clinical Psychology, with a concentration in Psychological Assessment, from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Dr. Kamdar has expertise in treating anxiety, depression, trauma, behavioral issues, ADHD and related learning disabilities, developmental disorders, and family conflict. She also has extensive training and experience working with eating disorders, in both residential and outpatient settings, through internship and fellowship placements at The Renfrew Center of Philadelphia and Florida. In addition, Dr. Kamdar is well versed in the administration and interpretation of comprehensive psychological assessments. Dr. Kamdar works with children, adolescents, and adults, helping to optimize inherent strengths to better cope with the demands of their academic, social, professional, and family contexts.

NJ License #5437

Brian Kaufman, Psy.D.

Senior Associate

Dr. Kaufman is a licensed psychologist who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and utilizes Mindfulness-Based CBT techniques and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) when working with children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Kaufman’s treatment philosophy is geared towards fostering a highly supportive, compassionate, and collaborative relationship with clients. Dr. Kaufman received his undergraduate degree from Hofstra University, Masters of Science and Advanced Certificate in School Psychology from Brooklyn College, and doctorate from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his clinical internship training at Trinitas Hospital and has provided clinical services in a number of treatment facilities including St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children and Bergen County Regional Medical Center. Dr. Kaufman  is also a certified school psychologist and behavioral specialist and has worked in a local public school system for over 15 years. His areas of specialty include anxiety disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, individual executive functioning training/coaching, depression, social skills, autism spectrum disorders, and relationship issues. Dr. Kaufman also offers specialized parenting behavioral training sessions in which he applies his CBT expertise to target specific parent-child relationship challenges. Dr. Kaufman currently serves as a field supervisor for doctoral level clinical/school students at local universities and is also on staff at Morristown Medical Center. Dr. Kaufman’s experiences in private practice and the schools have provided him with an extensive background in psychological assessment, learning disabilities, and interventions for a wide variety of social-emotional concerns.

NJ License #5141, NY License #020007, APIT (Interstate Telehealth) #10786

Kathryn Rhindress, Ph.D.


Dr. Kathryn Rhindress is a clinical psychologist whose research in neurodevelopment has  informed her cognitive and emotional understanding of clients across the lifespan.  This developmental approach enhances her clinical assessments and the formation of strong therapeutic relationships with clients of all ages.  Dr. Rhindress has extensive experience treating behavioral disorders, depression and other mood disorders, anxiety, and trauma. During her training, she treated children, adolescents, and adults at multiple sites throughout New York City, including Kings County Hospital, Maimonides Medical Center, and the Zucker Hillside Hospital.  Her practice is informed by evidence-based approaches including cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, structural family therapy, and parent-child interaction therapy.  She provides a warm, accepting therapeutic environment where clients may gain necessary tools and insight to thrive and families may strengthen bonds and build positive memories.  Dr. Rhindress earned her undergraduate degree from New York University and her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from St. John’s University.  She most recently worked at Bellevue Hospital Center, where she supervised staff psychologists and directed a training program for psychology doctoral candidates, while also holding the position of Clinical Assistant Professor at the New York University School of Medicine.  

NJ License #6213, NY License #021685, APIT (Interstate Telehealth) #10422

Zenia Ruby, Psy.D.


Dr. Zenia Ruby is a licensed psychologist and NJ certified school psychologist with specialties in child clinical and school psychology as well as assessment. She earned her undergraduate degree from New York University and masters and doctoral degrees from Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP). In addition to experience in clinical and assessment private practice work, Dr. Ruby comes with over 15 years of experience within both the private and public school settings. She completed her internship and worked for many years within the East Brunswick Public Schools at the elementary and secondary levels. Within both private practice and through the school system, Dr. Ruby completed numerous psychoeducational and neuropsychological assessments of children, adolescents, and young adults that included recommendations to guide the development of evidenced-based academic instructional strategies and interventions. She has experience working with unique educational needs stemming from a variety of cognitive, academic, attentional, emotional, and behavioral strengths and challenges. Dr. Ruby also provides individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for children of all ages and young adults presenting with a variety of emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal difficulties. 

NJ License #6254

Yadira Sanchez, Ph.D.


Dr. Yadira Sanchez is a licensed psychologist who is bilingual English/Spanish and works with children, adolescents, young adults and parents. She earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and doctoral degree from The George Washington University. Dr. Sanchez received specialized child and adolescent training during her internship at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and two years of postdoctoral fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Her past experience includes work at hospitals, a community health center, a college campus, and a private practice, where she treated children of various ages and adults with a range of emotional and behavioral difficulties. Dr. Sanchez currently treats children, adolescents and young adults using cognitive-behavioral strategies and assists parents in managing challenging child behaviors. She has extensive, specialized experience treating a range of mental health disorders and behavioral issues, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, ADHD and behavioral difficulties. Dr. Sanchez works collaboratively with clients and their families to develop a tailored treatment plan that integrates the various areas of a person’s life in order to create change across settings, develop coping strategies, and build resilience.

NJ License #5392, NY License #020155

Mandi Silverman, Psy.D., M.B.A.


Mandi Silverman, PsyD, MBA is a licensed psychologist who provides treatment to children, adolescents and young adults. She has extensive experience with parent and teacher coaching and consultation and values comprehensive behavioral healthcare for children. Her areas of expertise include Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NVLD), anxiety, and other behavior and emotional disorders. Dr. Silverman has training and experience in a wide array of evidence-based and empirically informed practices, including behavioral parent training, cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems intervention, social skills training, adaptive skills support, and school collaboration. Dr. Silverman earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lehigh University and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Northeastern University. She obtained her doctorate in clinical and school psychology at Widener University, where she concurrently obtained a master’s in business administration with a concentration in healthcare management. Prior to joining Positive Developments, Dr. Silverman was the Senior Director of the Autism Center at the Child Mind Institute. During her five-year tenure there, she developed a number of programs aimed at providing critical interventions for groups of children. Dr. Silverman is committed to raising mental health awareness so that all children can obtain clinically sound treatment and reach their full potential.

NJ License #6232,  NY License #020592



Alison Steiner, L.C.S.W.


Alison Steiner, LCSW, has over 25 years of clinical and supervisory experience in the fields of school social work and mental health counseling. She has been providing school-based individual and group counseling and programming to children and parents in the South Orange-Maplewood school district for 15+ years, supervision of social work interns, as well as child-study team assessments and IEP’s.  As a clinician Ms. Steiner works primarily with older teens, young adults, and adults with whom she builds strong and compassionate connections.  She enjoys parenting work, providing support and strategies.  Ms. Steiner uses a client-centered, problem-solving approach to help her clients overcome challenges, strengthen relationships, and develop strategies for lifelong growth. She formulates a treatment plan based on the unique presentation of her clients and utilizes evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based interventions, and supportive techniques to help them reach their goals.  Ms. Steiner treats anxiety and mood disorders, suicidal ideation, self-injury, ADHD, executive function disorders, behavior and emotion regulation issues, social skills deficits, parenting difficulties, and relationship issues, as well as challenges associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is an Anti-Bullying Specialist.  Prior work settings include: Division Head and on-site counselor for campers and staff at a day camp; Primary Therapist at community outpatient and hospital-based mental health clinics, and Adult Psychotherapist at a private practice.  Ms. Steiner earned her undergraduate degree from Kenyon College and her Masters of Social Work from New York University.

NJ License #44SC04985300


Caryl Distel, M.A.

Intake Coordinator

Ms. Caryl Distel earned an undergraduate degree from Montclair State University and a Master’s in Health Advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College. She was at the forefront of the field of Patient Advocacy, beginning with her work as a Patient Representative Coordinator at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. She served for many years as the Administrative Director of Patient Rights and Biomedical Ethics at JFK Health Systems in Edison, NJ. Ms. Distel was a critical and compassionate resource to patients and their families. She advocated for their rights and provided education, counsel, and support at the end of life. She held additional leadership positions as Assistant Director of Community Affairs of Raritan Valley Hospital and President of the NJ Society of Patient Representatives. Ms. Distel currently contributes her time, passion, and leadership to the Brandeis National Committee, a community-centered organization committed to philanthropy and education.


Maya Lopez

Office Manager

Maya Lopez earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business at Drexel University and a Holistic Health Coach Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. A licensed realtor, she completed course work at the American School of Business. Maya managed a family business with responsibility for the smooth functioning of the company including scheduling, payroll, tax records. A multitasker, she is accustomed to wearing many hats – skills that serve our staff and clients well at Positive Developments.