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Marriage and Family Therapy Faculty and Staff

Full-Time Core Faculty

Julie Liefeld, Ph.D., LMFT, RN - Clinic Director

Julie Liefeld, RN, LMFT, PhD graduated in 2006 from the University of CT with a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies, she earned her Master’s from UCONN in 1999 in Marriage and Family therapy and was licensed in 2001 and became an AAMFT approved supervisor in 2005. Her undergraduate degree in nursing from Boston College was granted in 1987 and she is a registered nurse in CT who worked in pediatric oncology before pursuing her advanced degrees in family therapy. Dr. Liefeld is a tenure-track faculty member of the MFT department whose practice specialties focus on positive youth development, adjustment (in families and systems) to difference esp. learning and mental health disabilities and healing and recovery to child sexual and other trauma. Her clinical training model with MFT students is integrative and she believes in letting trainees co-create their practice model with guidance from her supervision. Dr. Liefeld’s research and presentation focus is on millennial student adjustment in college and university systems and the promotion of cross campus suicide prevention in colleges and universities. At SCSU, she is the chair of the Suicide Prevention and Education Task Force, a member of the Campus Behavioral Intervention Team and Student Affairs Team member. She is currently pursuing a certification in Yoga Teacher Training and is very excited to explore how yoga and mindfulness augment her supervision and practice of MFT.

Associate Professor 
Davis 20B
(203) 392-5480  
liefeldj1@SouthernCT.edu

Rebecca Harvey, Ph.D., LCSW - Admissions Coordinator 

Dr. Rebecca Harvey is an Associate Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). She previously taught at Seton Hill University near Pittsburgh where she served as clinic director, faculty member and Program Director over the course of her 10-year tenure. She joined the faculty at Southern’s MFT program in the Fall of 2014.

Dr. Harvey has taught a variety of MFT courses over the years including couples and family systems, introductory theory, advanced theory, interpersonal process, and multi-cultural counseling. She has a special interest in clinical supervision and human sexuality courses as they are central to her professional interests and identity. As a professor, clinician and scholar she is committed to social justice. Her central ambition as a Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy is to help students develop into skilled clinicians able to use their intellectual, emotional and relational capacities to become a healing presence for the people they work with.

Dr. Harvey’s scholarship confirms her dedication to issues of social justice as she continues to contribute to the evolution of the MFT field’s theoretical development and clinical practices. She specializes in sexuality issues and has published and presented widely on effective and affirmative clinical work with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people and their families. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a PhD in Family Therapy from Syracuse University. She is an AAMFT Clinical Fellow and an Approved Supervisor.

Associate Professor 
Davis 22A
(203) 392-7262  harveyr7@southernct.edu

Paul Levatino, LMFT - Program Director, Offsite Placement Coordinator

Paul is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University’s Marriage and Family Therapy program. His resume includes clinical experience as Clinical Faculty member at Yale University’s Child Study Center and Clinical Supervisor at Wheeler Clinic’s Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) program.

Paul received post-graduate training in Gottman Level 1 Couples Therapy, the Theraplay Institute’s Marschak Interaction Menthod (MIM), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and the International OCD Foundation. He has presented at conferences including the American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA), True Colors and Transcending Boundaries. His research and practice interests include trans, gender and queer theory, in addition to mindfulness practices that augment and support systemic functioning. Currently he divides his time between private practice work (New Haven & Branford) and as an Adjunct Faculty member at SCSU, where he has mentored therapists-in-training since 2009.

In his teaching and clinical supervision roles Paul strives to create a learning environment that is professional, personable and respectful so students can learn and integrate sound clinical theory with their individual styles and strengths. 

Assistant Professor 
Davis 20B
(203) 392-7274  
levatinop1@southernct.edu

Sebastian Perumbilly, Ph.D., LMFT

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Dr. Sebastian Perumbilly joined the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program within the Department of Social Work at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in the Fall of 2012. As a tenure-track assistant professor, Dr. Perumbilly currently teaches several core courses in the MFT program, and serves as a Clinical Supervisor at the Family Therapy Clinic on campus. Three areas of his current research projects are: Substance use disorders (SUDs) treatment in couple and family relational systems; core-components of parental growth and their clinical implications for couple and family therapists; and treating moral injury in military-service-professionals and families. During his time at SCSU, he has published four (4) research-based articles as the first author; presented eighteen (18) peer-reviewed/refereed research projects in national and international conferences; received seventeen (17) research grants; and solely created four (4) graduate level courses, which became required courses in the MFT program, and taught them effectively.

Dr. Perumbilly is a Clinical Fellow and an Approved Clinical Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). As a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), he has practiced in the states of Washington and Connecticut. As a clinical supervisor, he has worked in the states of Oregon, Washington and Connecticut. He has received specialized training to work with a wide range of clinical population, especially high conflict couples, at-risk youth, and individuals and families struggling with SUDs. As a clinician, he has worked both in intensive outpatient clinics and in inpatient psychiatric hospital settings along with multidisciplinary teams of SUD treatment professionals. He has also worked in prevention programs. His current research on treating moral-injury among military service members and their families, and mentorship under Dr. Edward Tick and Ms. Kate Dahlstedt (co-founders and co-directors of the Soldier’s Heart) has informed his clinical work with this unique population. 

Dr. Perumbilly holds two master’s degrees, a doctoral degree, and certifications in several clinical training specializations. He received his M.A. in Bioethics from the Holy Apostles College and Seminary, CT; and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS) with a focus in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from the University of Connecticut, CT. Dr. Perumbilly’s postgraduate specialized clinical training include successful completion of Level-1 and Level 2 training in Internal Family Systems (IFS) co-sponsored by Central Connecticut State University and Center for Self-Leadership, IL; Level 1 and 2 training in Gottman Method of Couples Therapy from the Gottman Institute, Seattle, WA, under the directions Drs. John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman; and graduate level curriculum training in “Current Trends in Family Intervention: Evidence-Based and Promising Practice Models of In-Home Treatment” under the direction of Dr. Elisabeth Cannata at Wheeler Clinic, CT. 

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Perumbilly, S.A., & Anderson, S.A. (2017). Indian perspectives on treating substance use disorders. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 3, 1-17. doi: 10.1080/07347324.2017.1322433

Perumbilly, S.A., Anderson, S.A., & Boylin, W.M. (2017). Parents’ personal growth: Expanding the view of therapy for child behavioral problems. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 28(1), 59-75. doi: 10.1080/08975353.2017.1279882

Perumbilly, S. A. (2017). Moral injury among combat veterans: A clinician’s reflections from a healing journey with veterans through Vietnam. Family Therapy Magazine, 16(3), 28-32.

Perumbilly, S.A., Anderson, S.A. (2015). Substance abuse prevention: Perspectives from India’s addiction treatment professionals. Artha Journal of Social Sciences, 14(2), 9-32. doi:10.12724/ajss.33.2

 

RECENT RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS

Perumbilly, S.A. (2018) (Research Poster Presentation). Treating moral injury in military service professionals: An ethnographic stud. Scheduled to be presented at the World Family Therapy Congress of the International Family Therapy Association (IFTA) 2018, Bangkok, Thailand. (March 8-10) (Proposal accepted for a research poster presentation).

Perumbilly, S.A. (2018) (Research Poster Presentation). Core-components of parental-growth from the perspectives of Indian and U.S. parent. Scheduled to be presented at the World Family Therapy Congress of the International Family Therapy Association (IFTA) 2018, Bangkok, Thailand. (March 8-10) (Proposal accepted for a research poster presentation).

Perumbilly, S.A. (2018) (Research Presentation). Addressing moral injury in military service members through family therapy. Scheduled to be presented at the World Family Therapy Congress of the International Family Therapy Association (IFTA) 2018, Bangkok, Thailand. (March 8-10) (Proposal accepted for a 45-minutes research presentation).

Perumbilly, S.A. (2018) (Research Poster Presentation). Indian perspectives on facilitators and barriers in treating substance use disorders. Scheduled to be presented at the World Family Therapy Congress of the International Family Therapy Association (IFTA) 2018, Bangkok, Thailand. (March 8-10) (Proposal accepted for a 45-minutes research presentation).

Perumbilly, S. A. (2017) (Research Paper Presentation). Clinical strategies for engaging families of patients in substance addiction treatment programs: Results from an exploratory study with leading family therapists in the United States (Proposal accepted for presentation). Research findings will be presented at the Lisbon Addictions 2017, Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviors and Dependencies, October 24-26, Lisbon, Portugal. Three Conference Themes are: Understanding addiction; from evidence to action; and addiction horizons.

Perumbilly, S. A. (2017) (Research Poster Presentation). Facilitators and barriers in seeking treatment for substance use disorders among India’s patients: Findings from a mixed-method survey research focusing on India’s clinical treatment professionals (Proposal accepted for presentation). Research findings will be presented at the Lisbon Addictions 2017, Second European Conference on Addictive Behaviors and Dependencies, October 24-26, Lisbon, Portugal. Three Conference Themes are: Understanding addiction; from evidence to action; and addiction horizons.

Perumbilly, S. A., (2017) (Two Hour Workshop). Defining and treating the impact of moral injury among veterans. National conference of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Atlanta, GA (October 5-8, 2017). (Proposal accepted for presentation).

Perumbilly, S. A., *Battipaglia, A., & *Papastefanidou, V. (2017) (One Hour Workshop). Core-components of parental growth: Mothers’ perspectives. National conference of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Atlanta, GA (October 5-8, 2017). (Proposal accepted for presentation).

            (NOTE: *These co-presenters are MFT students from SCSU)

 

Perumbilly, S. A. (2017). Treating moral injury among veterans: An ethnographic study. Connecticut Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CTAMFT) Annual Conference, Trumbull Marriott, Trumbull, CT (April 28, 2017). 

Perumbilly, S. A., *Parker, L.S., *Williams, L.N. (2017). Engaging families in treating substance use disorders: Benefits, challenges and clinical strategies. Connecticut Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CTAMFT) Annual Conference, Trumbull Marriott, Trumbull, CT (April 28, 2017).

(NOTE: *These co-presenters are MFT students from SCSU) 

Perumbilly, S.A. (2017). Critical Factors in Substance Addiction Treatment: Asian Indian Perspectives (Research Poster). International Family Therapy Association (IFTA) 2017, World Family Therapy Congress, Malaga, Spain. (March 15-18).

Perumbilly, S.A. (2017). Clinical strategies for involving families in substance addiction treatment (45 minutes research presentation). International Family Therapy Association (IFTA) 2017, World Family Therapy Congress, Malaga, Spain. (March 15-18).

Perumbilly, S.A. (2017). The U.S. mothers’ perspectives on the meaning of parents’ personal growth (20 minutes research presentation). International Family Therapy Association (IFTA) 2017, World Family Therapy Congress, Malaga, Spain. (March 15-18).

Perumbilly, S.A. (2017). Parents’ personal growth: A literature review and suggested clinical framework (Research Poster). International Family Therapy Association (IFTA) 2017, World Family Therapy Congress, Malaga, Spain. (March 15-18).

Perumbilly, S. A. (2016). Treating substance addiction: Asian Indian perspectives. National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), Minneapolis, Minnesota. (November 2-5).

Perumbilly, S. A., Anderson, S. A., & Boylin, W. M. (2016). Parents' personal growth: Implications for clinical practice. Connecticut Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference (CTAMFT), Hartford Marriott, Farmington, CT. (April 28-29).

Perumbilly, S.A. (2015). Systemically-focused substance abuse prevention strategies from India’s addiction treatment professionals: Results from a national survey using a mixed-method research design. Translating research into policy and practice. Research presented at Lisbon Addictions, First European Conference on Addictive Behaviors and Dependencies, September 22-25, Lisbon, Portugal.

Cannata, E., Marlowe, D., & Perumbilly, S.A. (2015). Behavioral health and academic program collaboration: Promoting workforce Evidence Based Practice (EBP) readiness. Research paper presentation at the symposium, “Workforce development: integrating academic and behavioral health care program responsibilities. 28th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health, March 22-25, 2015, Tampa, FL.

Assistant Professor 
Davis 29
(203) 392-6410  PerumbillyS1@SouthernCT.edu

Emeritus Faculty

Suzanne Carroll, Ed.D., LMFT

Davis Hall 020
CarrollS1@SouthernCT.edu

Suzanne Carroll joined the faculty first as an adjunct professor and later as a full-time member. She is trained in Structural and Systemic Therapies and has a particular speciality in Cultural Competence and Life Cycle Issues from a systemic perspective. She has a background of depth and breadth that includes experiences in Africa and Europe. She has been instrumental in the growth and development of the Supervised Visitation Program at the Family Clinic, and her dissertation research focused on children's experience in supervised visitation programs.

Patricia De Barbieri, Ed.D., LPC

Patricia De Barbieri   Davis 126 A
 DebarbieriP1@SouthernCT.edu

Dr. Patricia De Barbieri is a licensed professional counselor with 38 years of experience in education.  She began her career as a high school vocational education teacher, a kindergarten and pre-school teacher, and an elementary school counselor in a public school setting.  Dr. De Barbieri has experience in urban, sub-urban and rural environments; working in public and private education, not-for profit-social service agencies, private practice and institutions of higher education.  Her early work centered on child development and family life and children at risk for abuse and neglect.  

She began her work in higher education at Gateway Community Technical College as an instructor in the Human Services program and later as an adjunct instructor at Albertus Magnus College and Sacred Heart University.  During her 11 years of experience serving as both a university student counselor in a mental health counseling center and director of a university mental health counseling center, her professional interest in eating disorders began. Dr. De Barbieri is a member of the NCAA Speakers Bureau and visits colleges and universities throughout the United States to consult with student athletes, coaches and athletic department administrators regarding issues related to the development of programming and support for athletes with eating disorders.

Dr. De Barbieri currently holds a tenured position as professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Southern Connecticut State University. She also served as former department chair, program coordinator for School Counseling, and faculty member within the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at Southern from 2000-2010.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta in Child Development and Family Relations and a Master of Science degree in Counselor Education from Southern Connecticut State University. Her Doctorate in Education is from Teachers College, Columbia University, in the field of Adult Learning from the Department of Organizational Behavior and Leadership.  Her dissertation research focused on "The Role of Learning in Recovery from Bulimia."

Dr. De Barbieri is past Vice President and National Board member of the American Anorexia and Bulimia Association [AABA] as well as first chair of AABA's College Task Force.  She also served as a member of Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, a national organization for the prevention of eating disorders.  The American Anorexia and Bulimia Association and Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention merged in 2001, to form the National Eating Disorders Association [NEDA]: the leading eating disorders organization advocacy group for the treatment and prevention of eating disorders in the United States.  Dr. De Barbieri is a charter member of the Connecticut College Eating Disorders Task Force and is currently a member of the American Counseling Association, the Connecticut Counseling Association, the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, the American Mental Health Counseling Association, the American Association of University Women and the American Association of University Professors. She remains a well-known presenter in the field of eating disorders.  Her publications, both in print and media, focus on the treatment and prevention of eating disorders. Her current research is in the primary prevention of eating disorders and building resiliency in school-age girls, most notably through the North Star Program, which is part of the True North Youth Development Non-Profit Organization.

Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct faculty are carefully selected from community professionals known for their integrity, visibility and contribution to the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.  All Clinical faculty maintain AAMFT Approved Supervisor status.  These faculty members are frequently engaged as educators, clinicians and clinical consultants to prominent clinical agencies in the State of Connecticut.  All are practicing professionals. 

Erin Cushing, LMFT

Ed Federici, LMFT

federicie1@southernct.edu

Ann Gabriel, LMFT

Supervised Visitation Manger, has been a marriage and family therapist for 30 years, trained at the Southern Family Therapy Clinic. While completing her AAMFT Supervision training over 10 years ago, she was in the process of retiring from West Haven Education System where she was a librarian and guidance counselor during her 34 years there. In 2003, Ann was delighted to be asked to return to the Clinic to help train current graduate students in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. She has served as Clinic Manager, adjunct faculty for supervision groups, and currently serves as Supervised Visitation Manager.

(203) 392-6432  GabrielA2@SouthernCT.edu

Norja Cunningham, Ph.D., LMFT

William Kania, LMFT

Kate McGetrick, MFT

Asha Patlikh, LMFT

Asha graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a masters in MFT in 1999 and worked for a residential facility for 7 years. In 2004 she decided to go into private practice. She is an adjunct faculty member in the MFT department since 2005 and as an approved AAMFT supervisor she strives to challenge students to be outstanding therapists. She loves how these two roles compliment each other, teaching ensures staying current with the field and having  her own clients allows her to bring raw data into the teaching.

After graduating Asha has pursued approaches that are creative and outside ofnormal talk therapy. She has training in Neuro Linguistic Programming, Ericksonian Hypnosis, Family Constellations, Adoption and Foster Parenting, and the most passionate to her: Impact Therapy.

Asha's style as a therapist and supervisor is Experiential and she strongly believes that in order for people to change in this fast paced society therapy needs to be provided in 3D, that is to engage the clients ears, eyes, body and brain differently. This allows therapy to be multi-sensory, visual, creative, direct and theory driven. She challenges her students to be creative in their interventions and to think outside of the box. Asha is also a presenter for this 3D Impact Therapy approach to therapy.

patlikha1@southernct.edu

Heidi Siebert, LMFT

Heidi is a graduate of the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Southern Connecticut State University and a licensed marriage and    family therapist. She worked at several community mental health agencies and a residential program for children before opening her private practice in Norwalk. Her clinical interests include couples therapy, trauma and grief work.

She is passionate about engaging students in developing their skills experientially, helping them to find their own voice and remove personal blocks in an empathic, safe and collaborative way. Her theoretical focus is Emotionally Focused Therapy, a systemic and attachment based model that incorporates components of Structural therapy, with Rogerian techniques. Working eclectically within the EFT framework, she then incorporates additional models of therapy.

Heidi is a Certified EFT Therapist and Supervisor, as well as an AAMFT supervisor  and a certified Gestalt therapist. She has advanced training in AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy) - another attachment oriented model, and non-directive, client centered play therapy. In addition, she has presented on EFT and offers groups for therapists interested in learning more about the model, as well as those experienced with EFT. For more information on her practice, please see her website at www.heidisiebert.com.

SiebertH1@SouthernCT.edu

Normajean Cefarelli, LMFT

cefarellin1@southernct.edu

Staff

Carmen Padua - Program Secretary

Carmen has been with the department for approximately 25 years. She is bi-lingual and instrumental in facilitating clients with supervised visitation and other matters related to appointments at the Family Clinic. In addition to administrative duties, she is welcoming to students, new and old, and a support to faculty, students, and staff. She brings a wealth of life experience to her position and is the first person most prospective students encounter.

(203) 392-6414
PaduaC1@SouthernCT.edu

Miller, Elizabeth - Graduate Assistant

Ehle-Meher, Robin - Clinic Manager