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New York City Symposium | Speakers


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Courtney Bancroft, Psy.D.
Private Practice and Senior Psychosocial Faculty & Primary Care Psychologist, Montefiore Medical Center

Courtney Bancroft, PsyD, is a primary care health psychologist who owns a private practice in downtown Manhattan where she specializes in Insomnia treatment and sleep wellness. Additionally, Dr. Bancroft works full time at Montefiore Medical center in a clinical role and as a medical educator/faculty member of a family medicine residency program.

Dr. Bancroft completed her pre and postdoctoral clinical residencies at Yale School of Medicine. She attended internship at the Substance Abuse Treatment Unit and Connecticut Mental Health Center, and a specialized postdoctoral residency at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in Clinical Health Psychology. During her postdoc, Dr. Bancroft began to focus on integrating mental health into primary care settings, specifically targeting substance use in primary care. It was then that she became interested in sleep as a major health and wellness issue and became nationally certified in the gold-standard treatment for insomnia, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia. Prior to this, she graduated with her PsyD from Pepperdine University's Clinical Psychology program and completed undergraduate and master's degrees from Loyola University in Maryland. Her extensive clinical background also includes certifications and training in efficacious treatments for substance use, dual diagnosis, motivational interviewing, chronic pain, the intersection of chronic pain and opioids, smoking cessation, auricular acupuncture for detoxification and stress relief, and responding to patients' disclosures of trauma. She has also been trained in more traditional clinical skills that span the cognitive, mindfulness, and dynamic realms, and has expertise in the areas of cognitive, personality, and forensic assessment.


In her clinical practice, Dr. Bancroft emphasizes a balance of combining efficacious and proven all-natural treatments, with the power of presence, compassion, and understanding. She strongly values the idea of client-centered, holistic treatment and the importance of focusing on wellness and growth.

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Karen M. Carlucchi, LCSW
Psychotherapist and Professional Coach

Karen Carlucchi is a licensed Psychotherapist and Professional Coach in New York City specializing in helping people through the unexpected. Since losing her fiancé suddenly on September 11th, she has been working on strengthening her own resiliency both personally and professionally through writing, speaking and connecting with others.

In addition to a BA in Human Resources and an MSW from New York University's School of Social Work, she holds certificates in Training and Organizational Development and Adult Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Karen has experience providing clinical supervision and program management as well as in recruiting, staff development and relationship building, working several years in the information/referral and crisis contact center environment.


She has been an adjunct instructor of Short-Term Therapies and Crisis Intervention at NYU's Silver School of Social Work and currently serves on the Advisory Board for Aircraft Casualty Emotional Support Services (ACCESS).


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Deb Del Vecchio-Scully
Former Clinical Recovery Leader
Newtown Recovery and Resiliency

Deb Del Vecchio-Scully, LPC, NCC, DCMHS is a licensed professional and nationally-certified counselor. She holds American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) diplomat status as a Clinical Mental Health Specialist in Trauma Counseling. Ms. Del Vecchio-Scully has a Master's from Southern Connecticut State University and was appointed to serve on the American Counseling Association Anti- Bullying/Interpersonal Violence Task Force.

She is nationally known as a stress and trauma expert, having worked with survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as well as adults and children impacted by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Ms. Del Vecchio-Scully previously served as Clinical Recovery Leader and Trauma Specialist of the Newtown Recovery and Resiliency Team. She is currently embedded in the Sandy Hook Elementary School as a staff support clinician.


Ms. Del Vecchio-Scully uses a trauma-informed approach with clients coping with psychological issues utilizing evidenced-based and practice-informed mindfulness, mind-body, and somatic release approaches including Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Brainspotting, Biofeedback Therapeutic Aromatherapy and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).


In addition to her clinical work, Ms. Del Vecchio-Scully is a clinical supervisor and consultant on all aspects of mental health and wellness, trauma, communal mass tragedy, resilience and well-being. She is faculty for the American Counseling Association's Disaster Mental Health Learning Institute, and has presented on various aspects of PTSD, Traumatic grief and loss and communal mass tragedy at mental health and law enforcement conferences.


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Mary Fetchet, LCSW
Founding Director, Voices of September 11th (VOICES)

Mary Fetchet is the driving force behind Voices of September 11th (VOICES), an organization she co-founded in 2001 following the death of her 24 year old son Brad at the World Trade Center. Her unique background as a mother of a victim, along with 20 years of expertise as a clinical social worker, shaped VOICES creation of a new paradigm in providing long-term support services.

Using social work practices, she guided the development of programs that provide continuity of care and promote resiliency in the lives of victims' families and survivors. As a family member, she was instrumental in campaigning for the creation of the 9/11 Commission and the implementation of reforms based on their recommendations. Under her leadership, VOICES also created the Living Memorial project, an online digital archive of 70,000 photos and personal keepsakes, which is also a core component of the In Memoriam exhibit at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.


Today, Ms. Fetchet is dedicated to establishing VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience to help communities heal after other acts of mass violence or natural disasters. An expert on the long-term needs of victims and survivors, mental health care, preparedness, and national security reforms, she has made hundreds of appearances on national television and at conferences in the U.S. and abroad, and contributes regularly to print and radio.


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Kimberly Flynn
9/11 Environmental Action
Chair WTCHP Survivor Steering Committee

Kimberly Flynn co-founded 9/11 Environmental Action, a grassroots organization of residents, school parents and experts formed to call attention to the environmental health risks of the WTC disaster and to press the EPA for a proper clean-up in the neighborhoods affected by the attacks.

She currently serves as Chair of the WTC Health Program's Survivors Steering Committee, which is charged under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act with guiding the program to best meet the 9/11-related health needs of survivors.


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Allison Gilbert
Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11 and Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive

Allison Gilbert is one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on grief and resilience. The author of numerous books including the groundbreaking, Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive, her stirring work exposes the secret and essential factor for harnessing loss to drive happiness, spark creativity, and rebound from adversity.

Passed and Present reveals 85 practical and innovative ways to remember and celebrate the family and friends we never want to forget. The book has been featured in People Magazine and Arianna Huffington and Maria Shriver have tweeted about it.


O, the Oprah Magazine named Allison a contributor for her inspiring essay, "The Reflection Effect," about the power of nostalgia to improve lives and help individuals and families thrive.


Allison Gilbert serves as Executive Family & Memories Editor for Legacy Republic, the fastest growing memory-preservation company in the world.


On Allison Gilbert's popular grief and resilience blog, she features Q & A's with some of the most notable names in our culture today including, Arianna Huffington, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Soledad O'Brien, and New York Times bestselling authors Gretchen Rubin and Christina Baker Kline. She also reports on new and creative opportunities for remembering loved ones, further underscoring that honoring these essential connections has the capacity to bring enormous joy.


Allison Gilbert is a sought-after expert on grief, loss, resilience, cancer prevention, and September 11, appearing on Today, CNN, and MSNBC. She's been interviewed by Megyn Kelly, NPR's John Hockenberry, and appeared at New York Open Centerwith Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Soledad O'Brien. She's frequently quoted in print and online, her perspective featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and numerous other publications.


Allison Gilbert is a popular workshop leader and keynote speaker. She also partners with funeral homes, religious institutions, hospitals, and hospices to bring jubilant and meaningful celebrations of remembrance, her one-of-a-kind Memory Bash, to communities all over the country. She has partnered with many groups such as New Song Center for Grieving Children in Phoenix, Hospice of the South Shore in Boston, and NorthShore University Hospital and Hospice in Chicago, to name just a few.

Allison Gilbert graduated from Georgetown University and lives outside New York City with her husband and two children. You can learn more about her here:


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David Grand, Ph.D.
Founder and Developer
Brainspotting Method

David Grand, PhD is the founder and developer of the groundbreaking brain-body based Brainspotting method. Through his Brainspotting Trainings, Inc he has trained over 10,000 therapists internationally and has developed 30 trainers worldwide.

Dr. Grand is the author of the acclaimed book, Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Chance and the Co-author of This is Your Brain on Sports. Dr. Grand is in demand as a lecturer on a variety of topics. He is very involved in humanitarian activities supporting survivors of 9/11, Katrina and Sandy Hook/Newtown. Dr. Grand is the playwright of I Witness, a 9/11 play and the producer/director of Come Hell or High Water, a Katrina documentary.


He has accomplished breakthroughs in performance and creativity with his Brainspotting Sports Work and Brainspotting Acting and Singing Coaching. Dr. Grand has been widely featured in the media including The NY Times, NBC National News, The Discovery Channel, CNN, MSNBC, Sports Illustrated and Sirius Radio. Dr. Grand still finds time for a full-time private psychotherapy and performance practice in Manhattan, NY.


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Amy Nitza, Ph.D.
Director of Institute for Disaster Mental Health
State University of NY at New Paltz

Amy Nitza, Ph.D., is the Director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is a psychologist who specializes in disaster mental health and group counseling training in international contexts, with a particular interest in the role of cultural factors in group dynamics and disaster response.

Dr. Nitza was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Botswana in 2008-2009, where she studied the use of group interventions in HIV/AIDS prevention among adolescents. In 2014, Dr. Nitza was a sabbaticant at the National Referral Hospital in the Kingdom of Bhutan, where she provided direct service to patients and training to hospital staff and substance abuse counselors. Currently, she is consulting with the University of Notre Dame in Haiti to develop trauma-related interventions for children who have survived disasters, and to provide training for teachers in dealing with traumatized children in the classroom.


As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, she has worked directly with a variety of populations including refugees, children in foster care, and at-risk adolescents and their families, as well as provided clinical supervision to others doing this work. Dr. Nitza is President and Fellow of the Association for Specialists in Group Work. She also serves on the Executive Board of the Society for Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy (Division 49) of the American Psychological Association. She is the author or co-author of numerous articles, book chapters, and two books, as well as the co-editor of two handbooks of group work activities. Dr. Nitza received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University. She formerly served as an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Professional Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).


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Amy O'Neill, MS
Massachusetts Resiliency Center
Survivor Advocacy Panel Member

Amy O'Neill has been working for the past 20 years with direct service in the counseling field in a variety of different settings. She is an avid runner, a Boston Marathon Runner Finisher/Survivor and a 3x Ironman finisher. She is a part of the Resiliency Center Advocacy Panel as a survivor voice, Haiti Ministry Medical Mission Team/Teen Mission Team and DAT trainee with the Red Cross.

Amy is a wife and mother of two teenage boys.


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Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D.,ABPP,CGP,FAGPA
Adjunct Full Professor of Clinical Psychology, Long Island University
Faculty, Suffolk Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
Fellow, Board Member, Co-Chair of Community Outreach of the AGPA

Suzanne Phillips is a licensed Psychologist, Psychoanalyst, Diplomate in Group Psychology, Certified Group Therapist, Fellow and Board Member and Co-chair of Community Outreach for the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA).

She is Adjunct Full Professor of Clinical Psychology in the psychology doctoral program at LIU Post, N.Y. and on the faculty of the Suffolk Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She is the Trauma/Disaster Chair for the Suffolk County Psychological Association. She is a clinician for The Soldiers Project Long Island.


Dr. Phillips has provided services and training nationally and internationally on trauma and disaster. In February 2008, as Community Outreach Chair of AGPA, she gave testimony before Congress for the needs of military and their families. On a yearly basis she runs the weekly AGPA's Camp Galaxy for military children at the 106th Rescue Squad, Westhampton, NY. She is presently engaged in a research study on the Barriers and Pathways to Healthcare for Military Women.


She has written and presented on many topics including couples, marriages, uniformed services, bereavement, divorce, depression, happiness, the psychological impact of medical illness and injury, couples coping with cancer, homecoming, healing and recovery in the aftermath of suicide, etc. She is the co-author of three books, and over 40 articles and chapters. Most recently she co-authored, Healing Together: A Couple's Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress. She is a weekly blogger for Psych Central and has also blogged for This Emotional Life and .She has appeared on national TV – Fox 5 Good Day New York and Good Day Street Talk. She has been a frequent radio guest and hosts her own weekly radio show and podcast " Psych Up" on CoSozo and on live Radio at WMIQ 1450 AM in Michigan.


She has a private practice in Northport, N.Y.


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Dr. M. Katherine Shear M.D.
Director, The Center for Complicated Grief
Columbia School of Social Work

Dr. M. Katherine Shear received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and an MD degree from Tufts University Medical College. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City and a residency in Psychiatry at Payne Whitney Clinic Weill Cornell Medical Center. She is a diplomate of both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Shear is the first clinical researcher to develop an efficacious treatment for complicated grief and her work in this area led to collaboration with New York State Office of Mental Health and FEMA in the response to the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks. She ran numerous trainings for Project Liberty counselors and developed a video to facilitate recognition of complicated grief as well as a Guidebook for a 10-session intervention that was adapted for the enhanced services initiative. She is currently the Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia School of Social Work and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the Center for Complicated Grief at the Columbia School of Social Work.


Dr. Shear has spent nearly four decades researching and developing successful treatments for anxiety disorders, depression and complicated grief. She has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and received more that $7 million in Federal grants including three large NIMH-funded studies of complicated grief treatment, an approach rooted in the empirical science of love. This treatment is strength-based and incorporates methods from other proven efficacious of psychotherapy to provide a short-term, focused approach to fostering adaptation to loss. She has been recognized internationally for her work in bereavement, including both research and clinical awards from the Association for Death Education and Counseling. She lectures widely, both nationally and internationally. She served on the Scientific Advisory Council of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and on the World Health Organization ICD11 workgroup for Mood and Anxiety Disorders.


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Danny R. Stebbins
Colonel Connecticut State Police (Retired)

Dan Stebbins is the retired Colonel of the Connecticut State Police. He has 40 years of combined law enforcement experience having working at both the State and Federal levels. He was the on-scene commander at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on 12/14/12.

The lessons learned from the Sandy Hook shootings continued long after this horrific event as many first responders suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Injuries. Dan will share the difficulties the agency experienced by not being prepared for the traumatic stress suffered by so many people associated with the initial and follow-up investigation.


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Thomas Veivia
Supervisory Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Thomas Veivia is a 26-year law enforcement veteran having served 21 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and five with the New York State Police. Tom recently retired as a Supervisory Special Agent last assigned to the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit III specializing in crimes against children.

During his FBI career Tom spent 11 years on the Northeast Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team and served as its team leader. Additionally, Tom served on the FBI New Haven Field Office SWAT team and was the Senior Team Leader for the FBI's tactical response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in December of 2012. Tom is currently employed at a firm in Connecticut and operates the 302 Consulting Group, LLC. in Hamden, Connecticut.


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Ann Webster, Ph.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine

Ann Webster, Ph.D., is a scientist and a health psychologist at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

She is the director of the Mind/Body Cancer Program, Healthy Lifestyles, and Successful Aging. She earned her doctoral degree in health psychology at Albert Einstein Medical School/Yeshiva University. For 28 years, she has been lecturing on mind/body health and conducting Healthy Lifestyles workshops at various corporations, such as SunLife Financial, State Street Bank, Tufts Hospital, Fidelity, and at the Smithsonian, Suffolk Law School, Boston Center for Adult Education, and numerous hospitals and universities all over the world. She was a major contributor to "The Wellness Book" and the director of "21st Century Medicine" on Brookline Access Television. She is currently writing a book entitled "Aging Without An Expiration Date" and working on a documentary, "Everything Matters," based on the lives of five of her patients who were told they did not have a long time to live. Five, 10, 15, even 28 years later, they are alive and thriving


VOICES Provides Support Services

VOICES Staff Provides Support Services Including: Assessments, Support Groups, Referrals, Commemorative Events, Workshops.

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