WYFS therapists believe in helping individuals and families connect to their innate wisdom and strength by providing a nurturing, compassionate and judgment-free zone to share their stories.
We work from a strength-based, systemic perspective which focuses on human connection as a source of healing and growth and on identifying the resources we each have within ourselves to overcome many of life’s obstacles. Click here to find out more about our counseling services.

sara2Sara Zaientz, LCSW, Clinical Director

  • Parent-Child Psychotherapy
  • Parenting a child on the Autism Spectrum
  • Life Transitions
  • Young Children
  • Group Therapy
  • Mental Health

Sara Zaientz, LCSW, directs the WYFS clinic as well as working with individuals and families. Sara completed her Masters in Social Work from Boston University where she focused on clinical and group work. Sara has had training and experience in the area of group work, trauma, child-parent psychotherapy, childhood development and behavioral concerns, and coping with and managing mental illness. She has been an administrator for outpatient and home-based clinical programs.

In treatment, Sara strives to create a safe and judgement-free space for individuals and families to identify and create a path towards their own goals. She understands that each person’s experiences are unique and she takes a non-judgemental stance while exploring both what has been working and what has not in their lives. By understanding a client’s motivations and believing that individuals are doing the best they can with the resources they have, she can help people cultivate additional internal resources and lead clients towards positive change. In her work with young children, she uses creative play-based therapy to help children access, identify and communicate thoughts and feelings.

shannon (3)Shannon Murphy, MFT, Counselor and Program Coordinator

  • Teens
  • Family Conflict
  • Life Transitions
  • Self Esteem
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Dialetical Behavioral Therapy Trained

Shannon creates a judgment-free zone for her clients by compassionately listening to their stories and highlighting their strength, resources and resilience. Shannon brings hope and lightness into therapy room through play and humor. Clients leave feeling heard, validated, and strengthened to take on whatever challenges life may throw their way. Many even admit that therapy is kind of fun (even teens!). Utilizing strength-based, positive psychology models, she challenges her clients to try something new and helps alter their narrative into one of hope and power.

  • In her role as Program Coordinator, Shannon supervises WYFS’s programming initiatives, including social and emotional skills groups for students in all Westbrook Public Schools. She facilitates teen groups designed to develop healthy relationship skills and foster responsible engagement in the community.

carolyn2 (2)Carolyn Gumbrecht, LMFT, MALS, BS Ed, Counselor

  • Family and Relationship Challenges
  • Parenting Support
  • Divorce and Co-Parenting
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Life Transition/ Adjustment Issues
  • Grief and Loss
  • Self Esteem and Self Empowerment
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation

Carolyn’s integrative, strength-based approach to therapy offers clients an opportunity to work through challenging issues in a caring and supportive environment. By blending elements from different approaches such as structural family therapy, solution-focused and mindfulness-based therapies, Carolyn assists clients in resolving current issues, improving relationships and restoring life balance. She helps clients to recognize that discomfort and pain are often signals that change is needed, and that struggles present opportunities for growth. In this process, individuals reach their desired goals by building upon their inherent strengths and pursuing new paths. Carolyn works with individuals, couples and families. At WYFS, she facilitates two groups: a Women’s Support Group for adults developmental disabilities and Parent Exchange, a group for single parents and their children. Carolyn’s passion for helping individuals overcome obstacles initially began as a special education teacher. In addition to her background in education, she has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University. Carolyn also completed two years of study in mindfulness and meditation.

jillJill Scott Enerson, MFT, Counselor

  • Child and Family Support
  • Parenting Support
  • Children
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Trauma
  • Self Esteem and Self Empowerment
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation

Jill works with children in Westbrook Public Schools, teaching emotional regulation skills, facilitating groups and providing individual and family therapy. Using her unique background as a figure skating coach for National level competitors, Jill brings a deeply compassionate, centered approach to assisting clients identify personal strengths while encouraging hope, and empowering them to find their own solutions. She believes helping is an honor; everything is possible; change is constant, and our options are limitless even though it may not feel like it at the moment.  Jill works from a strength-based systemic approach with an emphasis on mindfulness and emotion regulation skills and specializes in working with children with behavioral issues.

 

scottScott Tordoff, MFT, CAC, LADC, Counselor

  • Life Transitions
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Substance Abuse
  • Self Acceptance

Scott has a B.S. in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Central Connecticut State University.  He is certified by the Connecticut Certification Board as an addiction counselor (CAC) and he is also certified through the Department of Public Health as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC).  Prior to his current position as a Substance Abuse Counselor for the State of Connecticut, Scott found his passion for facilitating groups at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, CT and Crossroads Inc. in New Haven, working with individuals battling substance abuse and mental health diagnosis.  Scott also worked at Turning Point in New Haven, CT, a sober living community where he worked with young men struggling with substance abuse.  Scott is trained as a level two Reiki practitioner and practices meditation regularly.

Picture 011Kim Wood, MS Ed, MFT Intern Therapist

  • Children and Families
  • Individuals and Self Reliance
  • Identifying Strengths
  • Emotional Regulation

Kim is pursuing her second master’s degree, this one in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has over twenty years of experience in education as both a Language Arts teacher and a Special Education teacher. Kim received a B.A. in English from ECSU and an MS in Special Education from SCSU. She has experience working with children from special needs and diverse backgrounds and believes that each and every child has his or her own unique gufts. As a special educator, Kim has a passion for working with children and families in a shared partnership. Her work as a special educator and the rewards of working to strengthen families began to fuel her desire to move into the field of marriage and family therapy. Through a strength-based systemic approach, Kim aspires to work collaboratively with families to elicit strengths and competencies and to empower families to be self-reliant.

 

Kristen_gKristen Gaedeke, MFT Intern Therapist

  • Children and Adolescents
  • Autism
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Empowering Families

Kristen is pursuing a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Central Connecticut State University. She has spent the last five years working with youth and adolescents with neurological disabilities, developmental disorders, autism or mental health issues. She worked closely with families to provide support in implementation of treatment plans and management to improve children’s well being. Her experience with strengthening the support systems of family and school for children led her to pursue a marriage and family therapy degree to further support these families. MFTs work through a strength-based systemic approach to elicit strengths and competencies and empower families to be self-reliant.

 

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