All clinical services are provided by graduate student therapists and supervised by senior clinical faculty of the Department of Family Science. Supervisors are experienced Couple & Family Therapists who bring a variety of theoretical approaches and a broad experiential base to the students.
Clinical and Faculty Supervisors
Norman Epstein, Ph.D. is a clinical fellow and approved supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Epstein’s special interests include: cognitive-behavioral therapeutic approaches; sex therapy; domestic violence; treatment of depression, anxiety, and major mental disorders in the family context; and cross-cultural research factors in family relationships.
Norman Epstein, Ph.D
Director of Clinical Education
Reduced Fees for Veterans
A special fund has been established to provide couple and family therapy services to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (OEF & OIF) -- 5 sessions at no cost. Please contact the CHF directly to inquire about utilizing this service.
Carol Werlinich, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland and a clinical fellow and approved supervisor of AAMFT. She is the former vice chair of the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists in the state of Maryland, and a current member of both the executive board of the Middle Atlantic Division of AAMFT. Her special interests include: clinical training, CFT supervision, and family violence.
Carold Werlinich, Ph.D
Director of Center for Healthy Families
Leigh Leslie, Ph.D. is a clinical fellow and approved supervisor in AAMFT and a Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Maryland. She is a fellow of the National Council on Family Relations. Her special interests include gender and ethnicity issues, military families, interracial couples, and work and family issues.
Leigh Leslie, Ph.D
Couple and Family Therapy Faculty
Reena Bernards, M.S., LCMFT graduated from the University of Maryland CFT program in 2008, and joined a private group practice providing therapy for children, adolescents, families, and individual adults. Reena approaches therapy from the perspective of building on the strengths of the individuals and creating a supportive environment for change within the family. She is certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy, an attachment based clinical treatment for couples and families. Her other preferred models include Narrative Therapy and Child-Centered Play Therapy. She has a special interest in multicultural and adoptive families. She received a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University. Reena is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, certified as a mediator, and has experience working as an organizational development consultant and a diversity trainer.
Merlene Blair-Brown, M.S., LCMFT is a licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes with individuals ages two through a hundred-and-two. She is the founder of a holistic practice located in Baltimore County, Maryland called The Thusong-A Place of Help. Merlene is a clinical fellow of the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy (AAMFT) and is also a Registered Nurse. Merlene is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and has experience dealing with marital issues, anger problems, depression, and stress. Through the use of varied therapeutic techniques, Merlene encourages clients to build bridges; tear down communication barriers and begin on the road to wholeness with deeper levels of self-realization. She is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Nursing & Masters of Family Therapy.
Emily Cook, Ph.D., LGMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland. She completed her graduate work at the University of Maryland, College park, receiving her Masters of Science in Couple and Family Therapy in 2010 and her PhD in Family Science in 2014. She is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and began supervising at the University of Maryland Center for Healthy Families in 2012. Emily approaches supervision with empathy and thoughtfulness. She believes wholeheartedly in the value of supervision and she is dedicated to fostering the clinical creativity of her supervisees. Emily encourages her supervisees to think independently, develop model-based treatment plans, and be mindful of self-of-therapist issues. Emily brings her genuine self to supervising, using gentle challenging and warm encouragement to case consultation. She also works in thriving private practice in Bethesda, Maryland.
BreAnna Davis, M.S., LGMFT is a fourth-year Family Science doctoral candidate and a licensed graduate marriage and family therapist who graduated from Maryland’s Couple and Family Therapy program in 2012. She is a Pre-Clinical Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate. She has had experiencing working with families at the Center for Healthy Families in College Park, Maryland and Greenbelt CARES Youth and Family Services and Growth Point Therapy in Largo. Additionally, she has been trained as a therapeutic grief mentor by the Hospice of Chesapeake’s Camp Nabi, and she is certified in providing Play Therapy techniques with children and families. BreAnna believes therapy is a safe place where people can tap into abilities and strengths that they might have not realized they possessed. She believes supervision should mirror this experience- a place for her supervisees to be challenged, to try new things, to be validated, and encouraged as they develop as therapists.
Mary “Nicki” Drotleff, M.S., LCMFT is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Family Therapy Program in 1981. She is a clinical fellow and Approved Supervisor of the American Association Of Marriage and Family Therapy. She developed and co-taught the Approved Supervisor Refresher Course for eight years. In 2014 she retired from Montgomery County Government where she was the Manager of Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services. She received additional training at the University of Maryland’s Department of Psychiatry in Baltimore developing skills in providing and supervising Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has extensive court and Child Welfare experience. She currently has a private practice in Silver Spring, Md. where she sees adolescents, couples and families. Her interests include communication and life stage transitioning.
Mary “Nicki” Drotleff
John Hart, M.S., LGMFT is a fourth-year Family Science doctoral student and an associate therapist at Meg Tenny & Associates in Columbia, MD. He is a licensed graduate marriage and family therapist who graduated from Maryland’s Couple and Family Therapy program in 2012. He is also a Clinical Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate. His interests include couples’ struggles with attachment and co-parenting, and family issues revolving around parenting and coping with transitions.
Brian Livelsberger, M.S., LCMFT is a clinical fellow and approved supervisor in AAMFT and a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Maryland. He works in a medical clinic setting and has a client base of primarily couples. His main clinical interest is in exploring ways that different models overlap and augment one another, and on the in-session interplay between theoretical models and the therapist's own learned experience.
Liz Parker, M.S., LCMFT is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Couple and Family Therapy Program, a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland as well as an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate and Clinical Fellow. Liz works at a youth and family services bureau, working with families, and works with couples in a private practice. Her areas of professional interest include anxiety, couple conflict, parenting skills, and childhood traumatic experiences.
Ainisha Persaud, M.S., LCMFT is a graduate of the University of Maryland's CFT program and has provided therapy in a variety of settings over the past 20 years. She's a trauma specialist, and has worked in public schools, foster care, mental health clinics, and correctional facilities. She has also been in private practice in Largo, Maryland since 2003 and specializes in couples therapy using a variety of modalities including EFT and CBT. She is an approved supervisor candidate who supports new therapists in exploring self of therapist issues, attending to diversity and contextual issues, and maintaining a client-centered focus.
Kara Savory, M.S., LCMFT is a team supervisor at a Baltimore area company that provides therapy services to children and thier families within the Baltimore city and county school systems. She is a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate, and a Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists Approved Supervisor. She holds a M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Maryland at College Park and a B.S. in Sociology and a B.A. in Family Science also from the University of Maryland. In addition, she has her own clinical practice in Arnold, Maryland where she offers individual, couple and family therapy. She specializes in military families and service members and their unique circumstances; as well as communication issues within couples and families; behavioral issues with children and parenting skills.
Annie Scheiner, M.S., JD, LCMFT works in private practice in Maryland and is a clinical fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). She is the current president of the Mid-Atlantic Adlerian Psychology Society (MAPS). Her special interests include parenting and co-parenting, play therapy, anxiety and depression, and working with families with members with autism or other special needs.
M.S., JD, LCMFT
Wendy Wilcox, M.S., LCMFT is a graduate of the department’s Couple and Family Therapy Program, and has been a supervisor with the Center of Healthy Families since 2007. She is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist in Maryland as well as an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and Clinical Fellow. Wendy is the Director of Bowie Youth & Family Services, where she has been on staff for twenty years. Her areas of professional interest include parenting issues, as well as the family treatment of addiction and traumatic experiences. Wendy also owns a private practice, where she specializes in EMDR and other treatments for trauma.