Wilma Busse, Director, Psychologist
I received my training in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, as well as in Higher Education Administration, at Western Michigan University. I attended Marquette University as an undergraduate, where I pursued a double major in psychology and sociology. Prior to working at Suffolk University, I worked as a psychologist in Michigan, Maryland and at the University of California, San Diego. While living in San Diego, I obtained certification in Gestalt Therapy from Miriam and Irving Polster. I am a licensed psychologist in MD, CA, and MA. In addition to my academic and clinical work, I serve as the training director for our doctoral interns. I really enjoy meeting and learning from each intern class, as well as, facilitating in their growth as professional individuals. I have learned a lot from my work with interns and I hope to continue to do so in the years to come.
Several years ago I designed and taught a course entitled, "Psychology of Genocide," focusing on the Nazi Holocaust and how individuals and groups become marginalized and/or become perpetrators. This class grew out of my personal experience and work with an organization called One By One, Inc. A major function of the organization is to offer Dialogue Groups in which descendants of the Holocaust and Third Reich are brought together in an attempt to open dialogue.
On the lighter side, I enjoy bird watching, nature walks and traveling. I feel I have learned many lessons as a result of my travels to Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Poland, Germany and, most recently, Africa. No matter the language, I love to engage in the universal language of laughter and to hear the laughter of others.
Lynda Field, Psychologist
Lynda D. Field, Ph.D. is the Training Director for the Counseling Center's APA accredited Doctoral Internship in Profession Psychology. She is currently President-Elect of the National Latina/o Psychological Association. As a Puerto Rican psychologist, she is committed to multicultural approaches to understanding human development. Although Dr. Field is not fully bilingual, she comprehends and speaks Spanish. In the past, she has conducted research in order to better understand the factors that impact upon the academic achievement of Latino adolescents and the self-concept of biracial adolescents.
Dr. Field received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Denver. She subsequently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Field went on to become a staff psychologist specializing in the field of child, adolescent, and family forensic psychology which also granted her an academic appointment as Instructor of Psychology in the Harvard Medical School. From 1993 until her departure in the summer of 1998, she supervised Postdoctoral Fellows, taught, provided consultation, offered expert testimony, and conducted psychological evaluations in the context of civil, criminal, and juvenile legal matters. Dr. Field developed expertise in assessment and treatment of individuals who were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, anxiety, and other serious mental health problems.
In her free time, Dr. Field enjoys outdoor activities, spending time with her family and good friends, and trying out new recipes.
Kathryn Jackson, Psychologist
As a licensed psychologist, I bring to the Counseling Center experience working with individuals, couples and families. Areas of clinical interest include enhancing self-esteem, relationship development, family dynamics, racism's impact on group and self-identity, career exploration and personality style, and the therapeutic use of poetry, memoir and other creative modalities. I especially value the mutual learning that is inherent in working with "psychologists in training" and look forward to having the opportunity to supervise interns.
In the past I developed and led a graduate ALANA group whose members have continued to meet and expand their circle by reaching out to students from other colleges and universities. I am hopeful that I might be able to share experiences garnered from running this group with students and colleagues at Suffolk.
Educated in the public schools of Brooklyn, New York, I attended and graduated from Goddard College in Vermont where I focused my senior study on the Harlem Renaissance and African American writers of the 1960s. I then went to Reed College in Portland, Oregon where I obtained an M.A.T. in English. After acquiring further work and life experiences, I entered the doctoral program in Counseling Psychology at Temple University, graduating in 1992. Advanced training in family therapy has helped to widen my therapeutic lens by taking into greater account the social context of client concerns.
Nowadays for sustenance, I take yoga and Alexander technique lessons, read and write--more often nonfiction and poetry--and relish sharing stories of laughter and struggle with family and friends.
Paul R. Korn, Psychologist
As I am completing my thirty-seventh year with the Suffolk University Counseling Center, I am well aware of the yin and yang of my work. There is so much that is familiar -- comforting and predictable -- and there is so much that is new, exciting and challenging. And I like it that way. At times, I can rely on the familiar; and, at other times I can seek the unexplored. These are sentences written by someone whose life is bracketed by Abbot and Costello's "Who's on First?" and the Zumba craze.
The University Counseling Center, my colleagues, and the students here have been both my work site and the foundation for my own learning, development, and maturation. That's not to say that I don't have a life outside my job. It just seems important to start by saying that I am happy and nurtured by what I do as a psychologist at our school.
The Smiling Juggler is a metaphor for how I live my life. I'm not one of those intense performers, gritting his teeth to keep an astounding number of odd objects in the air, demonstrating both prowess and determination. Nope. Juggling is for fun, for focus, and for rhythmic meditation, paying attention to how I feel and moving with comfort and balance, while I remain curious and interested in getting things done.
If I have learned nothing else over the years, it's the lesson from Baba Ram Dass that therapists and teachers can be helpful only as much as they've helped themselves. Ram Dass also warned (to paraphrase): Half of what I say is brilliant and half of what I say is B.S., and I don't know the difference; so be very careful.
My work as a professor of psychological services and a staff psychologist at the UCC is my first and only full-time job, after holding multiple part-time positions through and directly after graduate school at the University of Connecticut. I was an undergraduate on the banks of the Genesee at the University of Rochester. I've been pulsing to the education rhythm of the year since nursery school.
What I am currently doing will let the reader know something about my interests and my latest juggling act. The clinical clients I have worked with over the past years range in age from 18 to 52. They include: a first year law student, a Latina, who is the first of her family to get an advanced degree and is suffering from the pressure to succeed; a freshman struggling with questions about the impact of reporting her abuse as a child; an African American who has ADHD and is also battling health problems and depression; a Muslim student, dealing with a raft of phobias as well as financial problems; and a student whose struggle with sexual identity and career issues lead to questions about what is normal and what is the way to live that will bring most satisfaction.
As we complete another school year, I am looking forward to September. I will be starting to work half-time at the Counseling Center, which will be a big transition for everyone involved. I am eager to develop a working relationship with each of the three graduate interns arriving in August. I am continually updating the training seminar that I teach, helping our interns develop skills in outreach, training, and consultation (OTC), including more focus on co-leading workshops and learning hands-on consultation skills.
My time at the Counseling Center will be devoted primarily to clinical work and the OTC training seminar. I have reduced my involvement in some cherished university activities including: being a trainer in the Safe Zone program; coordinating our ADAPT program, Action for Depression Awareness, Prevention, and Treatment, which we have been running for the past nine years; chairing the President's Commission on the status of AHANA Faculty, Staff, and Students; and participating in the search committee for the Suffolk University Chief Diversity Officer.
I will also reduce my 23-year involvement with the Society Organized Against Racism in Higher Education (SOAR), a regional network of professionals and students, which, among other programs, is offering regular meetings to students from member campuses to discuss racism, discrimination and anti-bias activities.
This year, I am teaching for the umpteenth semester a psychology course, "Introduction to Counseling Skills," a skills-based course that is always a pure joy.
Finally, I have just finished reading a memoir by Martha Gellhorn, global journalist who covered everything from the Spanish Civil War in the 1030's to the Vietnam War; and, with a brief pause to struggle with some crossword puzzles from the New York Times Sunday Magazines that I have collected, I will probably start a book about the making of the wonderful musical, "Avenue Q". I have planted our annual vegetable garden at our home in Gloucester. I am adjusting to the distance I feel from my sons who are growing up and away from me; I am running most mornings on the beach, missing my beautiful black dog, Sheba; and I am working, playing, and dancing with my wife, Sue, who is an independent organization consultant and professional writer.
And all the time, what's important is keeping my balance and not dropping any balls as I juggle, but choosing which ones to put down temporarily, as I continue on my merry way.
Bryan Mendiola, Psychologist
"You should examine yourself and ask how many times you have tried to connect with your heart, fully and truly...how much have you connected with yourself at all in your whole life?" (Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche)
When asked once why we do this work, a supervisor of mine responded simply, "Because we wanted more." He was not referring to accolades or material success; he was talking about living more fully. I have long been someone driven to seek more from life. During much of my life family, art, and religion represented an opportunity to explore the range of experience and see life more clearly. I was blessed with a family that valued achievement, community, responsibility, and faith. While in art school, I began a practice of meditation and self-exploration that fostered my interest in both psychology and Eastern spirituality. But especially influential at this time were my close relationships that showed me just how trying and sorrowful life could be.
What I eventually found in both Zen Buddhism and clinical psychology was yet another way of looking at the world and the problem of suffering. I became intimately concerned about freedom. Not necessarily freedom from pain and suffering, but rather freedom to be with life and live it more fully. And the paradox became clearer: perhaps freedom comes when we don't have to be more, when we don't have to have things any different than how they are, when life is exactly how it is. And in that space, there is nothing wrong; nothing wrong with us or with what we go through. And in those moments, we are free to be more.
Those people in my life who have shared their struggles (and shared in mine) so intimately have given me a rare gift; the gift of seeing life more completely. Pain is what makes life full; it tells us that we are alive, that we feel, and that we care passionately. I see now that one of the great gifts you may offer another is to sit with their pain as it is; to sit with them through the unknown and uncertainty of their pain and not move to change. I believe therapy is an opportunity to be present to life, to wake up to life's realities and possibilities, to understand life's limitations as well as the transcendence of limits.
---Bryan is a native of Milwaukee, WI, where both his parents emigrated from the Philippines. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an emphasis on Painting/Drawing and Art Education. Prior to joining Suffolk, he earned his M.A. and Psy.D. degrees from the University of Denver and trained as a psychology resident at the Bedford VA Medical Center. Bryan's areas of interest include anxiety and stress, suicide and depression, crisis intervention, issues of identity, and addictions, working from an acceptance-, exposure-, and mindfulness-based approach. Currently Bryan spends his leisure time working on small art projects, attending meditation groups, going for walks, visiting family, eating good food, dancing salsa, taking naps, being near water, reading on spirituality, trying yoga, wishing he could cook, learning and laughing with loved ones
Kinga A. Pastuszak, Psychologist
I find myself being especially contemplative about beginning my role as a staff psychologist with the Suffolk University Counseling Center. I look forward to offering my clinical strengths in ways that will supplement the diverse yet complimentary clinical perspectives that so clearly have made the counseling center a tremendous resource for the University. I am also looking forward to continued professional and personal growth through dynamic interactions with staff and students alike.
I come to the Counseling Center as a licensed psychologist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the George Washington University where I earned concentrations in child and adult psychodynamic psychotherapy. I went on to complete an APA accedited pre-doctoral fellowship at Tewksbury Hospital, Hathorne Mental Health Units, where I worked providing short- and long-term individual and group psychotherapy with an adult inpatient psychiatric population. I pursued intensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and psychodynamic group therapy during my post-doctoral fellowship at the Two Brattle Center in Harvard Square. Since completing my fellowship, I have worked as a clinical affiliate at the Two Brattle Center and as a staff psychologist in the Women's Treatment Program at McLean Hospital, where I remain on staff as an instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry of the Harvard Medical School. Areas of clinical interest include mood disturbances, anxiety, relationship challenges and relational difficulties, as well as affective dysregulation leading to self-harm, maladaptive, or self-defeating behaviors.
I also enjoy maintaining a diverse private practice in Cambridge assisting adults, adolescents, and families with promoting adaptive change and mastery of problems through identifying and understanding difficulties and competencies in diverse aspect of daily living.
Leora Bernstein, Ph.D.
Leora Bernstein, Ph.D. received her doctorate from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2009 and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Seattle University, Seattle, Washington in 2000.
Faedra Backus, 2012-2013 Doctoral Intern
I grew up in New York and completed my BA in Psychology and Educational Studies at Colgate University. After college, I worked for two years outside of Albany, where I had the opportunity to work with children and adolescents in the community. My clients had a wide range of concerns and deepened my appreciation for the role of oppression and systemic barriers in psychological development and mental health.
I moved to the big city of Boston in 2006 to pursue my MA in Mental Health Counseling at Boston College. I am currently a doctoral candidate in Counseling Psychology at BC and have worked in a number of settings, including two university counseling centers and an adolescent inpatient unit. While each of my experiences has been formative, I have felt the strongest connection to my work in university counseling centers and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work at Suffolk and to get to know a new academic community and group of students.
My approach to counseling and therapy is integrative and fundamentally based on my belief that it is a privilege to be in a position to help others. I value that each individual client comes into counseling with a unique set of experiences, priorities, thoughts, and hopes. I strive to understand each client's goals for therapy and to apply my training and style in a way that facilitates the processes of self-examination/awareness, healing, and if desired, change.
In addition, my clinical interests have been informed by my research experience, and vice versa. I am particularly interested in gender role, constructions of masculinity and femininity, and how these aspects of identity influence psychological health and development. My dissertation focuses on the role of gender role socialization in the cognitive emotion regulation strategies that one tends to use and in turn, on levels of depression and anxiety.
In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors, exploring New England, and spending as much time as possible with my family, friends, and two very spoiled cats.
Susan Lambe Sariñana, 2012/13 Doctoral Intern
I am a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB). Before entering the Clinical Psychology Program UMB, I earned a master's degree in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During that time, I worked in the Department of African and African American Studies for a Professor writing a book on the social movement that emerged around mixed race identity in the 1990's. As a multiracial woman, this experience was both personally and professionally meaningful to me. I began to imagine how sociology and ethnic studies could inform psychology to help understand people's experiences in and perceptions of the world.
My clinical experiences have spanned a range of settings, including Massachusetts General Hospital's Chelsea Healthcare Center, UMB's Counseling Center, and public schools. Through these clinical opportunities, I have gained experience working with linguistically, ethnically, and economically diverse individuals, families, and couples. Also, I have also conducted groups using a strengths-based, culturally-relevant framework for enhancing academic performance, and psychosocial engagement, and racial identity development among racially diverse adolescent girls.
In addition to my clinical work, I am also working on various research projects. My dissertation involves two studies. In the first, I examine ways that parents communicate knowledge about culture, race, and ethnicity to their children. In the second, I am interested in understanding how 7th-12th graders understand ethnic identity and inter-ethnic group relations.
When I am not working, I am often taking long walks or cooking with my friends and family. Recently, I began to sew again and have made some clothing that is reasonable looking - unless you inspect it closely! I also enjoy crocheting amigurumi.
Stacy Taniguchi, 2012/13 Doctoral Intern
As a doctoral candidate at the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium, I am very excited to expand my clinical training within a diverse university community. I am continually inspired by the strength and energy of students, and I feel extremely fortunate to be working at the Suffolk University Counseling Center.
Although I have spent my last few years in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am originally from Honolulu, and received a B.A. in English from Tufts University and a M.A. in psychology from New York University. Throughout my life, I have been drawn to issues of identity, culture and social justice. I have had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients during my graduate training, including college students, recent immigrants, individuals living with HIV, and survivors of violence and war. In both my personal and professional experiences, I am constantly reminded that multiculturalism encompasses much more than simply race and ethnicity.
I believe that my interest in social justice is derived in part from my fascination with resilience and the human spirit. I am repeatedly inspired and humbled through my work with others who demonstrate a remarkable capacity for change, especially those who do so in the face of barriers or circumstances that are out of their control. As a clinician, I feel honored to participate in the process of facilitating awareness and insight, and look forward to discovering the nuanced meaning of this experience with each individual client.
In my spare time, I most enjoy surrounding myself with good food and loved ones. I also love learning, playing, laughing, slowing down and unplanned adventures.