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THE PREEMINENT MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER TREATMENT PROGRAMS FOR ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG ADULTS

Dr. Hassan Minhas, MD

Medical Director

Hassan M. Minhas MD is a board-certified psychiatrist with training in Adult Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Forensic Psychiatry.

In addition to serving as the Medical Director of Turnbridge, Dr. Minhas is also the Chief of Autism Services at the Hospital for Special Care, and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale University School of Medicine Department of Law and Psychiatry.

He graduated medical school from Rawalpindi Medical College in Pakistan, then completed his internship, residency, and pediatric psychiatry fellowship at Brown University. Following his clinical training, he completed a fellowship in forensic psychiatry at Yale University.

Dr. Minhas has been the recipient of many awards and fellowships. Some of these include the APA Leadership Fellowship, the Brain Conference Travel Award, the Martin B. Keller Award, and the Haffenreffer Family Resident Award. Most recently, he was recognized by the Hartford Business Journal as one of their 40 under Forty honorees.

Achievements

Education and Training

  • M.B.,B.S., Rawalpindi Medical College, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
  • The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI
  • Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • Harvard-Macy Program for Post-Graduate Trainees

Honors and Recognition

  • 2011 – 2013 Brown Psychiatry Residency Research Track Awardee
  • 2011 Second Prize Psychiatry Residency Research Poster, Fourteenth Annual Research Symposium on Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
  • 2011 Runner-up to the Weinshilboum Prize (invited to attend the 10th Annual Psychiatric Genomics Course), Department of Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • 2012 Second Prize Psychiatry Residency Research Poster, Fifteenth Annual Research Symposium on Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
  • 2012 Travel Fellowship awardee, 17th Annual Research Colloquium for Junior Investigators, American Psychiatric Association
  • 2012 – 2014 American Psychiatric Leadership Fellow, American Psychiatric Association
  • 2013 Brain Conference Scholar Travel Award, American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training
  • 2013 International Medical Graduate Fellow, American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training
  • 2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry, 68th Annual Convention, Mentor-Mentee Program Participant
  • 2013 Martin B. Keller Award for the Outstanding Resident in the General Psychiatry Residency Graduating Class, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
  • 2015 Haffenrefer Family House Staff Excellence Award; awarded to 5 graduating house staff across specialties for demonstrating excellence in clinical service, professionalism, leadership and scholarly activities, Rhode Island Hospital

State and National Organization Committees

  • American Psychiatric Association
  • Rhode Island Council for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

Hospital and Training Program Committees

  • Brown University
  • Bradley Hospital
  • Butler Hospital

Publications

  1. Minhas HM, Pescosolido MF, Schwede M, Piasecka J, Gaitanis J, Tantravahi U, Morrow EM. An unbalanced translocation involving loss of 10q26.2 and gain of 11q25 in a pedigree with autism spectrum disorder and cerebellar juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A. April 2013;161(4):787–791
  2. Minhas HM, Vahabzadeh A. Autism Spectrum Disorder in DSM-5. The Residents’ Journal, American Journal of Psychiatry, May 2013;8(5):4-6
  3. Banerjee R, Liu JJ, Minhas HM. Lyme Neuroborreliosis Presenting with Alexithymia and Suicide Attempts. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. October 2013;74(10):981
  4. Minhas HM, Lowenhaupt EA. Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor, 2015 edition.
  5. Minhas HM, Philip N. Antipsychotics. The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology, First Edition, 2015.
  6. Minhas HM, Lowenhaupt EA, Xavier, SL. Conduct Disorder. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor, 2016 edition.
  7. Minhas HM, Elliot MB, Price LH. Altered mental status due to hand sanitizer ingestion. British Journal of Psychiatry, December 5 2011. bjp.rcpsych.org/letters/
  8. Aoun EG, Minhas HM, Hunt JI. Synthetic Marijuana: a serious emerging substance use problem in adolescents. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter (CABL). January 2014; 30(1)

Christopher Cutter, PhD

Chief of Adolescent Psychology

Assistant Professor, Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Cutter is one of the world’s foremost behavioral healthcare researchers and clinicians in the fields of psychotherapy development, behavioral medicine, and addiction medicine in urban and rural environments. He received his PhD in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern University, his Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Southern California, and his BA in Psychology from California State University. He has held teaching and/or research positions at Yale University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, and University of Hartford.  Dr. Cutter is currently a tenure-tracked faculty member at Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center.

Previously, Dr. Cutter was a clinical program developer within some of Harvard’s teaching hospitals, and directed the Pain Treatment Services Units for Yale’s Department of Psychiatry and Silver Hill Hospital. A former assistant dean of Yale College and a Beck Institute Scholar, Dr. Cutter has received numerous professional honors over the course of his career and his work has been widely cited in peer-reviewed manuscripts and continues to direct a highly active and prolific behavioral science clinical research laboratory out of Yale’s Child Study Center.

Dr. Cutter hopes to one day leverage the exceptional outcomes produced at Turnbridge to lobby congress to support legislation that will increase access to long-term dual diagnosis treatment for all populations.

Turnbridge is a leader in adolescent care where young people become better and caregivers become their best. Compassion for each young person and family we are privileged to help is at the center of everything we do.

Achievements

Education and Training

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University School of Medicine (School of Arts and Sciences), 2009
  • Predoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, 2007
  • Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, Northeastern University, 2007
  • M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy, University of Southern California, 2002
  • B.A. Psychology, California State University, Long Beach, 1998

Honors and Recognition

  • 2017 Eastern Pain Association, Outstanding poster presentation
  • 2013 Beck Institute Scholar at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • 2011 National Institute on Drug Abuse Travel Award co-sponsored with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and American Psychological Association Division 28 (Psychopharmacology and Drug Abuse) and 50 (Addictions)
  • 2010 National Institute on Drug Abuse Psychotherapy Development Center Pilot Project Grant
  • 2010  National Institute on Drug Abuse Junior Investigator Travel Award
  • 2010 Psi Chi National Psychology Honors Society Summer Internship Teaching Grant
  • 2009-14 National Institute of Health Clinical Loan Repayment Program by National Institute on Drug Abuse

Awards and Grants

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
    • 1 R01 DA019511-03: “Counseling for primary care office-based buprenorphine”
    • 1 RO1 DA020576-01A1: “Buprenorphine maintenance vs. detoxification in prescription opioid dependence”
    • 1 R01 DA019511-03: “Pain and Opioid Dependence”
    • 2 P50DA009241: “Psychotherapy Development Center Pilot Program”
    • 5 R01 AA01892303: “Reducing Heavy Drinking to Optimize HIV/AIDS Treatment and Prevention”
    • 1 R01 DA034678: “Automated Recovery Line for Medication Assisted Treatment”

Select Publications

  1. Moore, B.A., Barry, D.T., Cutter, C.J., Sullivan, L.E., O’Connor, P.G., Schottenfeld, R.S., & Fiellin, D.A.  (2012).  Counseling and directly observed medication for primary care buprenorphine/naloxone maintenance: A pilot study.  Journal of Addiction Medicine. 6(3):205-211.
  2. Beitel, M., Savant, J. D., Cutter, C. J., Peters, S., Belisle, N., & Barry, D.T. (2012). Psychopathology and pain correlates of dispositional optimism in methadone-maintained patients. The American Journal on Addictions, 21, S56-62.
  3. Moore, B.A., Fazzino, T., Garnet, B., Cutter, C.J., Barry, D.T. (2011).  Computer-based treatments for drug abuse and dependence: A Systematic Review.  Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 40: 215-223
  4. Garnet, B., Beitel, M., Cutter, C.J., Savant, J.D., Peters, S., Schottenfeld, R.S., Barry, D.T.  (2011)  Pain catastrophizing and pain coping among methadone maintained patients. Pain Medicine; 12: 79-86.
  5. Barry, D.T., Beitel, M., Cutter, C.J., Garnet, B., Joshi, D., Rosenblum, A., Schottenfeld, R.S. (2011). Exploring relations among traumatic, posttraumatic, and physical pain experiences in methadone-maintained patients. Journal of Pain,12: 22-28.
  6. Barry, D.T., Beitel, M., Breuer, T., Cutter, C.J., Savant, J.D., Peters, S., Schottenfeld, R.S., Rounsaville, B.J.  (2011). Group-Based Strategies for Stress Reduction in Methadone Maintenance Treatment: What Do Patients Want? Journal of Addiction Medicine, 5: 181-187.
  7. Barry, D.T., Beitel, M., Breuer, T., Cutter, C.J., Savant, J.D., Schottenfeld, R.S., Rounsaville, B.J. (2011). Conventional and unconventional treatments for stress among methadone-maintained patients:  Treatment willingness and perceived efficacy.  American Journal of Addiction, 20: 137-142.
  8. Barry, D.T., Beitel, M., Cutter, C.J., Joshi, D., Falcioni, J., Schottenfeld, R.S. (2010).  Conventional and non-conventional pain treatment utilization among opioid dependent individuals with pain seeking methadone maintenance treatment: A needs assessment study. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 4: 81-87.
  9. Barry, D.T., Beitel, M., Cutter, C.J., Garnet, B., Joshi, D., Schottenfeld, R.S., Rounsaville, B.J. (2009).  Allopathic, complementary, and alternative medical treatment utilization for pain among methadone-maintained patients: An exploratory study.  The American Journal on Addictions, 18: 379-385.
  10. Weinberg, I., Gunderson, J.G., Hennen, J., Cutter, C.J. (2006). Manual-Assisted Cognitive Treatment for the Deliberate Self-Harm for Borderline Personality Disorder Patients.  Journal of Personality Disorders, 20: 482-492.

JOANNE RUGGIERO, LCSW

Clinical Director

Joanne Ruggiero is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience. She received her Masters’ in Social Work from the University of Vermont and her Bachelors in Psychology from Providence College. Joanne began her career working as a direct care staff in a residential program for adolescents with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

Joanne has worked extensively with people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders in a variety of settings from in-home to the wilderness to group homes to outpatient. Most recently she managed an FQHC Behavioral Health Outpatient clinic for Wheeler Clinic in New Britain CT.

Joanne’s practice is strongly informed by a whole person, solution focused approach. Most recently she has completed her training to be an EMDR therapist. Joanne has a passion for helping people recover from addiction in part by her own experience with recovery.

Mark Beitel, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Associate Research Scientist, Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Mark Beitel is a practicing clinical psychologist, researcher, and professor. Dr. Beitel holds degrees in psychology from the University of Michigan, Fordham University, and the New School for Social Research. Beitel completed post-doctoral work at the Yale University School of Medicine. 

Beitel serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, trains students and conducts clinical research. Beitel is a prolific author who has contributed more than 40 research papers and peer-reviewed articles on psychotherapy, substance use, chronic pain, and connections between culture and psychology. 

Dr. Beitel brings a passion for helping people understand and manage their mental health conditions and in-depth knowledge of the theory and practice of effective, evidence-based therapy to Turnbridge clients and families. 

Achievements

Education and Training

  • Ph.D. Fordham University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 2003
  • MA New School for Social Research, The Graduate Faculty, 1996
  • BA University of Michigan, Psychology Honors Program, 1994

Professional Affiliations

  • American Psychoanalytic Association, Research Associate (2004-08)
  • American Psychological Association, Member (2003-08)
  • Connecticut Psychological Association, Member (2004-present)
  • Mind, Brain, Consciousness & Culture Faculty Group, Yale University, Member (2003-07)
  • Society for Psychotherapy Research, Member (2003-present)
  • The Diversity Initiative, Fordham University, Founding Member (2000-03)
  • University of Michigan Alumni Association (2004-present)
  • Yale Group for the Study of Native American (2013-present)

Select Publications

  1. Oberleitner, D.E., Marcus, R., Beitel. M., Muthulingam, D., Oberleitner, L., Madden, L. M., Eller, A., Barry, D. T. (in press). “Day-to-day, it’s a roller coaster. It’s frustrating. It’s rewarding. It’s maddening and it’s enjoyable:” A qualitative investigation of the lived experiences of addiction counselors. Psychological Services.
  2. Mun, C. J., Beitel, M., Oberleitner, L., Oberleitner, D.E., Madden, L. M., Bollampally, P., & Barry, D. T. (2019). Pain catastrophizing and pain acceptance predict pain severity and interference among methadone-maintained patients. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 75, 2233-2247.
  3. Barry, D. T., Beitel, M., Cutter, C. J., Fiellin, D. A., Kerns, R. D., Moore, B. A., Oberleitner, L., Madden, L. M., Liong, C., Ginn, J., & Schottenfeld, R. S. (2019). An evaluation of the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy for opioid use disorder and chronic pain. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 194, 460-467.
  4. Beitel, M., Wald, L., Hutz, A., Green, D., Cecero, J.J., Kishon, R., & Barry, D. T. (2015). Humanistic experience and psychodynamic understanding: Empirical associations among facets of self-actualization and psychological mindedness. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, 14, 137-148.
  5. Beitel, M., Bogus, S., Hutz, A., Green, D., Cecero, J.J., & Barry, D. T. (2014). Stillness and motion: An empirical investigation of mindfulness and self-actualization. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, 13, 187-202.
  6. Barry, D. T., Savant, J. D., Beitel, M., Cutter, C. J., Moore, B. A., Schottenfeld, R. S., & Fiellin, D. A. (2013). Pain and associated substance use among opioid dependent individuals seeking office-based treatment with buprenorphine-naloxone: A needs assessment study. American Journal on Addictions, 22, 212-217.
  7. Beitel, M., Hutz, A. E., Hopper, K. M., Gunn, C., Cecero, J. J., & Barry, D. T. (2009). Do psychologically-minded clients expect more from counseling? Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, 82, 369-383.
  8. Barry, D. T., Bernard, M. J., Beitel, M. (2009). East Asian child rearing attitudes: An exploration of cultural, demographic, and self-disclosure factors among U.S. immigrants. International Journal of Psychology, 44, 342-350.
  9. Cecero, J. J., Beitel, M., & Prout, T. (2008). Examining the relationships among early maladaptive schemas, psychological mindedness, and adjustment to college. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, 81, 105-118.
  10. Hutz, A. E., Martin, W., & Beitel, M. (2007). Ethnocultural person-environment fit and college adjustment in light of relevant demographics: Some implications for college counselors. Journal of College Counseling, 10, 130-141.
  11. Beitel, M. (1997). Nuances before dinner: Exploring the relationship between peer counselors and delinquent adolescents. Adolescence, 32, 579-591.

Ayotunde Ayobello, MD

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Ayotunde Ayobello, MD, is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist practicing at the Turnbridge Adolescent Primary Treatment Centers in Woodbury and Killingworth, Connecticut, and a clinical instructor at the Child Study Center at the Yale School of Medicine.

Dr. Ayobello’s fascinating background and unique talents help him to appreciate the human condition and relate with patients, families, and colleagues. Dr. Ayobello, who speaks Russian, attended Crimea State Medical University in Ukraine during Russia’s annexation of the region. After earning his MD, Dr. Ayobello completed his psychiatry internship at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute. While at Virginia Tech, Dr. Ayobollo was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and received the Arnold P. Gold Award for Humanism and Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Ayobello completed his specialized training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Yale’s Child Study Center, where he continues to practice and instruct.

Among his many achievements, Dr. Ayobello is an accomplished oil painter whose works are inspired and influenced by his fascination with the subject of the mind. His paintings and commentary, which often include themes rooted in his creative interpretations of psychiatric concepts, have been published in some of the most prestigious psychiatric journals.

In his 2019 article “Sunflowers and Mortality,” published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. Ayobello cites the importance of appreciating “…the often-overlooked everyday pleasures that make life worth living: having breakfast with a loved one, the smell of fresh air in the morning, driving with the windows down, a laugh exchanged with a friend. Appreciating these little moments helps put things in proper perspective and, in so doing, ensures a life of fulfillment and contentment.” Dr. Ayobello’s exceptional intellect, talent, and relatability make him a tremendous asset to the patients and families he serves.

LAUREN SPRINGER, LMSW

Director of Family Relations

We know that mental health and substance use disorders are diseases which affects the entire family.  As the Family Liaison for Turnbridge families, Lauren offers support, caring guidance and education to parents and families as they negotiate the pathway to their own recovery.   She believes that parents having their own recovery program is not only essential to their own health and well-being, but in turn aids in their sons’ or daughters’ recovery.

Much of the insight Lauren brings to the position of Family Liaison is from her personal experience as the mother of a son who has the disease of addiction.  Lauren believes that much of her strength comes from involvement in recovery programs as well as in helping other parents build a program of recovery to find peace and serenity in their own lives.  Lauren is a Licensed Master of Social Work.  She earned her Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in adolescent health care.  She has worked with adolescents and their families throughout her career in hospital setting, child protection, judicial system, special education and social service development in NJ.  Lauren currently facilitates a Caron Foundation support group for parents of addicted children in Northern NJ.

Lauren Fournier, RN

Director of Nursing

Lauren is a Registered Nurse; she has dedicated her career to helping individuals with mental health challenges. Before becoming a Registered Nurse, Lauren received an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Quinnipiac University. She went on to pursue her nursing degree from SUNY Adirondack and is currently pursuing her Masters in Nursing as an Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.  

Throughout her career, she has worked in a variety of psychiatric settings including psychiatric emergency room, substance abuse treatment, and psychiatric home health services. However, her specialty has been working with adolescents. She spent six years working on adolescent inpatient psychiatric units, until her passion for helping adolescents led her to working at Turnbridge where she has continued to grow in her career.  

When not caring for others, Lauren enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors with her family. 

Clara Chasse, LMSW

Primary Therapist

Clara Chasse is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Susquehanna University where she majored in Psychology with a minor in Leadership Studies. During this time, she engaged in research opportunities focused on disrupted attachment styles in young adults. Clara earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Saint Joseph where her research explored anxiety presenting as selective mutism and measuring effective forms of therapeutic approaches.

Prior to joining Turnbridge, Clara served as an AmeriCorps volunteer working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence in counseling, case management, advocacy, and in crisis management. Predominantly, Clara’s clinical experience has been working with children, adolescents, and their families. These various settings of experience include community based outpatient, school based, and inpatient psychology. Also, in addictive medicine for young adults struggling with substance dependency utilizing a medication assisted treatment (MAT) approach.

Additionally, Clara specializes in several therapeutic approaches including, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Strengths-based, Solution Focused, trauma focused, Positive Psychology, and Motivational Interviewing. She believes in a person-centered approach, supporting client identified goals, and exploring identified barriers to bridge strong and sustainable futures.

In her free time, Clara enjoys an active lifestyle, creating music, and international travel with friends and loved ones.  She’s a life long learner and seeks out skills and new information to utilize her in practice on regular basis.

Erica Amato, LMSW

Primary Therapist

Erica Amato is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut where she majored in Psychological Sciences with a minor in Crime and Justice. Erica received her Master of Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University with a concentration in Mental Health and Substance Use: Co-Occurring Disorders.

Prior to joining Turnbridge, Erica has experience working with adults experiencing behavioral, mental health, substance use, and life skill challenges. During groups, individual, and family sessions, Erica uses a person-centered and strength-based approach with a focus motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and narrative therapy.

Outside of work, Erica enjoys exercising, music, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Abigail Horowitz, MSW

Senior Academic Advisor

Abigail Horowitz completed her Master in Social Work degree at Springfield College in 2022. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree(s) in Psychology, Spanish, and Youth Services from University of Saint Joseph. A certified school social worker in Connecticut, she has also participated in ADHD and academic coach training. 

Prior to Turnbridge, she was a Residential Supervisor at a sub-acute psychiatric facility for children ages 6 to 13 and a Supervisor at an Extended Day Treatment Program. She has spent time abroad, volunteering with the elderly and youth in Central and South America and a semester studying abroad in Ecuador. Additionally, she was paramount in facilitating youth programs at a local YMCA and a key player in coordinating the YMCA College Tour in the mid-west and south for students for a number of years. She is passionate about mental health and education, which led her to her current position as the Senior Academic Advisor here at Turnbridge.