Staff Biographies

Frances Brookner, Psy.D. Psychologist

brookner_francesDr. Frances Brookner received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, an M.B.A. from New York University Graduate School of Business Administration, a M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University, and her doctorate in psychology from George Washington University. Prior to becoming a psychologist, Dr. Brookner was a senior executive in the financial services industry. Dr. Brookner’s background in business combined with her training and experience in psychotherapy provides her a unique therapeutic perspective. After completing her Psy.D., Dr. Brookner received extensive training in Object Relations Couples Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Emotion Focused Therapy for couples (EFT), and Prolonged Exposure therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dr. Brookner worked at the National Institute of Mental Health examining familial risk factors and vulnerability for childhood-onset schizophrenia. She also worked at the John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents treating severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents in a community-based day and residential treatment center. At the Wake Kendall Group, Dr. Brookner conducts neuropsychological and psychoeducational evaluations of children, adolescents, and college-aged adults, and serves as a consultant to independent schools. The primary focus of her therapy practice, utilizing both cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic approaches, is adolescents, adults, couples, and parent guidance. Top

Alexandra P. Cargo, Ph.D. Psychologist

cargo_allieDr. Cargo received her B.A. in Psychology from Smith College, her M.Ed. in Special Education-Learning Disabilities from the University of Maryland, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from American University. She taught in the public schools and then worked at The Kingsbury Center for many years as an educational diagnostician, school consultant, and tutor before receiving her clinical training. Her dissertation research at NIMH examined the role of IQ, executive dysfunction, and risk for learning disabilities in preschool misconduct. In 1992, Dr. Cargo joined The Wake Kendall Group where she does admissions testing and evaluation of young children through adults for a wide range of issues. In Columbia, MD, she is a therapist at Family and Children’s Services of Central MD, a nonprofit community counseling center. There she specializes in play therapy with children and treatment of adolescents and adults. Top

 

Courtney Conn, Ph.D. Psychologist

conn_courtneyDr. Courtney Conn received a B.A. in English from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from George Mason University. During her graduate studies, Dr. Conn received neuropsychological assessment training through Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) while also gaining extensive therapy experience through local community mental health agencies. Dr. Conn received specialized training in the treatment of eating disorders at CNMC’s Eating Disorders Outpatient program as well as during her clinical internship at Miami Children’s Hospital in child and family therapy and assessment. Dr. Conn rounded out her training with a postdoctoral fellowship in the Child and Family Therapy Clinic at the Kennedy Krieger Institute of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Conn’s practice at the Wake Kendall Group includes neuropsychological and psycho-educational assessment for all ages, as well as individual and family therapy for children, adolescents, young adults, and parents. Dr. Conn specializes in child, adolescent, and family therapy. In addition, she has a strong interest in working with AD/HD, anxiety, depression, and families in transition. Her approach to therapy is integrative, as she has a strong belief in the importance of tailoring therapy to the individual client’s needs. Dr. Conn utilizes evidenced based treatment approaches including cognitive behavioral, insight oriented, and dynamic therapy practices to help her clients achieve their goals. Top

Sunita Duggal, Ph.D. Psychologist

duggal_sunitaDr. Sunita Duggal is a clinical psychologist experienced in working with adult women, parents, and adolescents. She uses cognitive-behavioral and dynamic techniques to address anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties and other types of life stress and challenges. Recently, Dr. Duggal has become interested in the use of mind-body approaches and has completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training and specialized training in yoga for depression and anxiety. Dr. Duggal received a B.A. from Williams College and a Ph.D. from the joint program in Child Development and Adult Clinical Psychology at the University of Minnesota. After graduate school, she completed a postdoctoral internship at the Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic and supervised research at NIMH. Dr. Duggal has practiced at The Wake Kendall Group, PLLC since 2001. Top

Carol Gage, M.A. Educational Diagnostician

Ms. Gage received her M.A.T. from New York University and an M.A. in Education (Reading) from George Washington University. Her B.A. was in Art History from Finch College. Prior to joining the Wake Kendall Group as an educational diagnostician in 1993, Ms. Gage was an educational and admissions diagnostician for ten years at a private elementary school in Washington DC, a professional staff member at the George Washington University Reading Center, a Lecturer and instructor in the GWU Department of Education, and an educational diagnostician at the Kingsbury Learning Center. She has also taught in the elementary grades in the New York City School system. Ms. Gage is a member of the American Counseling Association and is proficient in the administration of numerous diagnostic and admissions tests.

Sara Geisser, Psy.D., Psychologist

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Dr. Sara Geisser is a clinical psychologist who provides individual and group therapy to adults, adolescents, and their families. Dr. Geisser received her BA from Wheaton College in Massachusetts and her PsyD from Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP). Dr. Geisser completed intensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in graduate school and during her internship at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She has additional experience applying evidence-based treatments to alcohol and substance use, personality disorders, mood disorders, sleep problems, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Dr. Geisser’s approach to treatment is collaborative, direct, and non-judgmental.  She draws on evidence-based treatments, primarily CBT and DBT, to best help clients reach their treatment goals. At Wake Kendall, Dr. Geisser serves as an individual and group therapist for adults and adolescents in their DBT program. She also sees adult and adolescent clients in individual therapy focused on a broad range of issues including anxiety and depression, sleep problems, relationship issues, and dissatisfaction in work and school. Her focus in treatment is on helping clients make lasting changes in the way they think, feel, and act in order to build more fulfilling lives, while simultaneously acknowledging the challenges that accompany making life changes. Top

Margo Genderson, Ph.D. Psychologist

genderson_margoDr. Margo Genderson received her B.A. from Emory University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Boston University. During her graduate studies, Dr. Genderson pursued a broad range of clinical experiences. She trained at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CARD), Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Danielsen Institute in Boston, in addition to Georgetown University’s Counseling Center in Washington, D.C. She completed her clinical internship at the Baltimore Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center. Prior to joining Wake Kendall, Dr. Genderson worked in Sydney, Australia at the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD), where she expanded her expertise related to the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Genderson’s practice at the Wake Kendall Group focuses on individual psychotherapy with adolescents and adults, and she serves as a group and individual therapist in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy program. She also co-leads group treatment for individuals struggling with anxiety. Her interests include providing evidence-based treatments for a range of concerns, including mood and anxiety disorders, trauma-related disorders, relationship difficulties, and other life stressors and challenges, with the goal of helping clients to achieve meaningful insight and change. Dr. Genderson has published numerous articles and co-authored the following books focused on best treatment practices: Andrews, G., Mahoney, A., Hobbs, M., & Genderson, M. (2016). Treatment of generalized anxiety disorder: Therapist guides and patient manual. Oxford University Press. Andrews, G., Dean, K., Genderson, M., et al. (2014). Management of Mental Disorders: 5th Edition. Top

Amber Groomes, Ph.D., Psychology Associate

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Dr. Amber Groomes received her B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park and both her M.A. in Educational Psychology and her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. Groomes has a comprehensive training background in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, family therapy, school consultation, and psychological and psychoeducational assessment. She has experience treating a broad range of concerns including educational difficulties, trauma, depression, anxiety, suicidality, self-harm, and serious conduct problems. Dr. Groomes also has ample experience completing comprehensive psychoeducational and psychological assessments and providing feedback to individuals, families, schools, treatment teams and the court system. Her particular interests are in the assessment and treatment of youth trauma, attachment challenges, disruptive behavior, and high-risk adolescent behaviors. At The Wake Kendall Group, Dr. Groomes utilizes an integrated, collaborative approach to therapy with children, adolescents, and families. She also provides treatment as part of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program. Top

 

Margaret Isenman, M.A.T. Educational Diagnostician

isenman_margaretMs. Isenman received a B.A. in history from Wellesley College and a M.A.T. from Harvard University. She worked at The Kingsbury Center from 1977 – 1990, first as a tutor and then as an educational diagnostician. Ms. Isenman joined the Wake Kendall Group in 1991 as an educational diagnostician, conducting individual educational evaluations and consultations and independent school admissions testing. She has been an educational consultant at independent schools and has conducted workshops for schools and parent groups. She administers the Admissions Testing component of the Wake Kendall practice as well as doing individual admissions tests. Top

Anne Kendall, Ph.D. Psychologist

kendall_anneDr. Anne Kendall received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and then earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from Wesleyan University. After teaching history in high school and middle school for 7 years, she realized she was more interested in how students learn than what they learn. She received a Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Maryland. Dr. Kendall worked at The Kingsbury Center before starting this practice in 1990 with Dr. Wake. Since then she has focused on treatment of children, adolescents and adults. Her approach to therapy follows a cognitive and behavioral therapy orientation. Often family work is a part of her intervention. She is very interested in learning issues as well as emotional concerns, and works closely with schools to help children and adolescents. She has consulted with many area schools and presented training workshops on a variety of subjects: how to deal with children with anxiety and depression; how findings from neuropsychology give guidance into what teaching strategies work best; understanding learning differences and exploring what strategies can help. In addition to individual therapy, Dr. Kendall enjoys working with couples where she follows an Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) approach. She has also taught child development and abnormal behavior at American University, The Washington School of Psychiatry and the Jewish Social Services Association. Currently Dr. Kendall is a member of the Dialectical Behavior Therapy team at Wake Kendall and has presented the DBT program in many settings. She is the coauthor with Georgia DeGangi of Effective Parenting for the Hard-to-Manage Child, which was published by Routledge Press in 2008. She frequently works with parents on managing difficult children and has lectured on parenting techniques. Top

Sarah Uzenoff Mintz, Ph.D. Psychologist

mintz_sarahDr. Sarah Uzenoff Mintz received her B.A. from Princeton University and both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During her graduate studies, Dr. Mintz pursued a program of research investigating psychological interventions for individuals with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, as well as specialized treatment for individuals recovering from initial psychotic episodes. Her research on fostering recovery and well-being in first-episode psychosis has been published in peer-reviewed journals. She completed her clinical internship at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where she received intensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy through the hospital’s Adolescent Depression and Suicide Program. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in inpatient psychology at Saint Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C. Dr. Mintz’s practice with the Wake Kendall Group focuses on individual psychotherapy with adults and adolescents, and she serves as an individual therapist in the Wake Kendall Dialectical Behavior Therapy program. Her approach to therapy is integrative, with strong cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic influences. She has experience treating a broad range of concerns including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, relational difficulties, and trauma, as well as with assisting individuals in changing longstanding patterns in their lives and addressing internal obstacles to growth. Top

Katherine Nitz, Ph.D. Psychologist

nitz_kathyDr. Nitz is a licensed psychologist who received her B.A. from Kent State University (1986), M.S. from Pennsylvania State University (1987) and Ph.D. from George Washington University. (1993). She trained at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine. Prior to joining the Wake Kendall Group in 1999, Dr. Nitz was on the faculty in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the University of Maryland and on staff at Children’s Hospital and Health Center in San Diego, CA, working in the area of childhood traumatic brain injury. She specializes in assessment of learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and emotional disorders in children, adolescents, and young adults, and is a consultant to independent schools. Dr. Nitz is the author or coauthor of numerous book chapters and articles on child and adolescent development. Top

Anna Rosch, Psy.D. Psychologist

rosch_annaDr. Anna Rosch received her B.A. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University and a Psy.D. in School-Clinical (Child) Psychology from Yeshiva University in New York. Dr. Rosch has worked in a variety of hospital and outpatient settings in the New York, Connecticut, and Washington, DC areas.  Dr. Rosch specializes in working with children and uses play therapy and cognitive-behavioral techniques to help children deal with issues including ADHD, anxiety/depression, mood disorders, disruptive behaviors, attachment/separation issues, divorce, grief/loss, and trauma. She works with children individually and/or with their families, in addition to providing parent guidance. With adolescents and adults, Dr. Rosch primarily uses insight-oriented psychodynamic therapy, while also weaving in cognitive-behavioral techniques, to help her patients become more self-reflective and feel empowered to help themselves. In her work with adolescents and adults, Dr. Rosch specializes in helping her patients deal with issues related to identity development, anxiety/depression, mood disorders, and grief/loss. Dr. Rosch conducts psychoeducational, neuropsychological, and psychological evaluations of children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Rosch is a member of the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis.  Top

Janell Schweickert, Ph.D. Psychologist

schweickert_janellDr. Schweickert received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although trained as a research scientist, her focus of postdoctoral study was on acquired language disorders in adults in collaboration with researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She accrued general knowledge of neuropsychological testing through a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at Boston University Hospital. Upon moving to the DC area, she received training in clinical psychology from George Washington University while performing neuropsychological and psychological testing for the George Washington University Medical Center. She did her clinical internship at George Washington Hospital and returned to work at GW in assessment and therapy before moving onto private practice. She completed the Child & Adolescent Therapy program through the Washington School for Psychiatry. She has taught graduate classes in statistics and research design as well as clinical neuropsychology. At The Wake Kendall Group, Dr. Schweickert conducts neuropsychological, psychoeducational and psychological assessments from age six years through adult. She provides supervision in assessment. Her therapy incorporates cognitive, supportive and insight-oriented approaches with older adolescent and adult clients. Top

 

Lenette Gimple Snyder, M.A. Licensed Professional Counselor

snyder_lennetteLenette (Lenni) Snyder, M.A., LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor at the Wake Kendall Group. She received her B.S. in Family Studies from The University of Maryland and her M.A. in Counseling from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. While pursuing her Masters, she interned at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington with Adolescents and Adults in the Expressive Therapy Department. She has post-graduate training from The Washington School of Psychiatry in Infant and Young Child Mental Health, where she is a frequent speaker. She is a DBT group and individual therapist at Wake Kendall. She is a faculty member at the George Washington University Medical Center. Her special interests are with attachment disorders, children and families, adolescents and adults with mood and regulatory issues, anxiety and depression, grief and loss and trauma related issues. She currently is receiving extensive training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and is planning a group for adolescents and adults in Mindfulness Techniques. Top

Sarah Spencer Sumwalt, Ph.D. Psychologist

spencer_sarahDr. Sarah Sumwalt received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. During her graduate studies, Dr. Sumwalt’s research focused on the developmental significance of close relationships, particularly friendships, during late childhood and early adolescence. Her specific interests focus on the development and expression of emotion and the interplay between emotions and social functioning. Dr. Sumwalt’s therapeutic orientation is primarily cognitive-behavioral with an emphasis on helping clients learn how to modify thoughts and behaviors in order to achieve positive and meaningful change.  At Wake Kendall, Dr. Sumwalt conducts neuropsychological and psychoeducational evaluations for children and adolescents. Dr. Sumwalt currently serves as the Director of Social and Emotional Learning and 5-8th Grade Counselor at the Langley School in McLean, Virginia. Top

 Anne Wake, Ph.D. Psychologist

wake_anneDr. Anne Wake received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the George Washington University. She interned at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center. Dr. Wake has long championed the needs of learning disabled children. Her dissertation demonstrated that children with untreated learning disabilities developed psychological problems. Dr. Wake has testified about the needs of learning disabled students before Congress as well as in local, state, and federal courts. Her practice focuses on assessment and treatment of school-age children, adolescents and adults. She serves as a skills group leader and individual therapist in the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy program at the Wake Kendall Group; and she has presented Dialectical Behavioral Therapy in front of numerous professional groups, including the Maryland Psychological Association and the Washington School for Psychiatry. Dr. Wake has taught psychological assessment in the graduate school of the George Washington University. She has been on the Steering Committee of the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Program of the Washington School for Psychiatry, and she has taught and supervised for this postgraduate program. Top

Alison L. Weintraub, Ph.D. Psychologist

weintraub_alisonDr. Weintraub received her B.A. in Psychology from Smith College, her MA in Child Development from Tufts University and her Ph.D. in School Psychology from University of Maryland. She has received intensive postdoctoral training in Child and Adolescent Therapy from The Washington School of Psychiatry and in Dialectical Behavior Therapy through Behavioral Tech. Dr. Weintraub has over thirty years of experience working with children and adolescents. Prior to joining the Wake Kendall Group she was an educational diagnostician and resource teacher at The Kingsbury Center, Kingsbury Day School and American Embassy School in New Delhi, India. She worked as a school psychologist in Fairfax County and Howard County public schools. Dr. Weintraub has specialized in assessment and treatment of young children and parent guidance. In addition to continuing this work, she does neuropsychological and psycho-educational evaluations of students from age three to adult, brief child therapy, and consultation to help with educational planning and parenting techniques. Top

Kimberly (Parrotte) Wolfe, MSW, LICSW

wolf_kimKimberly (Parrotte) Wolfe  received both her BSW and MSW in Social Work with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health from University of Maryland where she was a Magna Cum Laude graduate. Ms. Wolfe is a psychotherapist with over 20 years of clinical mental health experience in all aspects of mental health treatment including inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and emergency psychiatric services at Frederick Memorial and Washington County Hospitals. Her experience also includes residential, psychosocial, and vocational rehabilitation at Way Station and clinical supervision of those services at Turning Point. Ms. Wolfe has presented at Mental Hygiene Administration sponsored seminars in conjunction with University of Maryland and provided corporate wellness trainings on Mindfulness in the D.C. Metro area. She completed training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), as well as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) training with its founder, Albert Ellis. Ms. Wolfe’s practice within the Wake Kendall Group focuses on individual psychotherapy with adults and adolescents, and she serves as an individual and group therapist in the Wake Kendall Dialectical Behavior Therapy program. She also has experience with marital and family therapy, especially blended families. Her primary clinical interests include the treatment of depression and anxiety through deep breathing, visual imagery, and progressive relaxation techniques,  anger and conflict management through assertive communication strategies, self-esteem and self-concept issues. Her approach to therapy is integrative, combining years of medical practice with experience in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.  Top

Rachel Altvater,Psy.D.,RPT

Rachel_altvaterDr. Rachel Altvater received a B.S. in Psychology, with a minor in Family Studies from Towson University, a M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Maryland, and a M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington, D.C. Campus. She trained at the Child and Adolescent Day Hospital at Sheppard Pratt Health Systems, the Child Care Clinic at University of Maryland School of Medicine, the D.C. Superior Courts, Expressive Therapy Center, and both the Southeast Baltimore Early Head Start and the Child and Family Therapy Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Dr. Altvater completed her doctoral internship at The Children’s Assessment Center in Houston. Prior to joining The Wake Kendall Group, she worked as a clinician at MPB Group and at the Counseling and Child Sexual Abuse Program at Family and Children’s Services. She is also presently a clinician at The Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education. Dr. Altvater received extensive specialized training in both trauma work and play therapy and is presently a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and Registered Play Therapist.  Throughout her training and clinical experience, she has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families presenting with a wide range of emotional, behavioral, academic, and relational concerns. Dr. Altvater is a contributing author to the textbook Integrating Expressive Arts into Counseling Practice: Theory-Based Interventions (2nd ed.) and has published two articles on technology and play therapy in the International Journal of Play Therapy. Her practice at The Wake Kendall Group includes assessment, independent school admissions testing, and therapy with children, adolescents, adults, and families. While she draws upon a variety of therapeutic approaches and interventions tailored to meet the needs of each individual, her primary approach to therapy is humanistic.  Dr. Altvater believes it is essential that each individual find his or her own truth, happiness, and acceptance, and she aims to foster a safe and comfortable therapeutic space for learning and growth.

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