Moshe Shtuhl, Ph.D. - Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Moshe Shtuhl, Ph.D.

Dr. Moshe Shtuhl is the founder and director of Family Compass since 1996. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Clinical Psychology at George Washington University.

Dr. Shtuhl worked as an army psychologist in his native Israel before arriving in the U.S. to pursue doctoral studies in 1987. During a three year internship at the University of California in San Francisco, he specialized in working with children and families.

In 1990 he was one of fifteen health professionals nationwide to be recognized for exceptional work with children by Zero to Three, a Washington, D.C. based organization focusing on the needs of young children. In 1992, Dr. Shtuhl founded the Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program, a training program for mental health professionals at the Washington School of Psychiatry in Washington, D.C.

He served as its chairman until 1998, when he stepped down to pursue concentrated studies in neuropsychology at the Fielding Institute, which he completed in 2000. He was also on the Faculty of the Interdisciplinary Council of Learning and Developmental Disorders from 2003 to 2010.

Dan Dinsmoor, Ph.D. - Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dan Dinsmoor, Ph.D.

Dr. Dinsmoor received his B.A. in psychology from Oberlin College, and his Ph. D. from the American University in Washington D.C. During the early 70s, Dr. Dinsmoor created an outpatient program for young autistic children at the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents in Baltimore.

During the early 1980’s Dr. Dinsmoor completed extensive post doctoral work in family therapy at the Georgetown Family Center, Georgetown University Dept. of Psychiatry.

From 1983-1993 he was the Coordinator of Child and Adolescent Mental Health for Charles County Maryland. He was also the staff psychologist for the Community Mental Health Program at Liberty Hospital in Baltimore.

For the past 8 years Dr. Dinsmoor has provided neurofeedback services to a variety of clinical populations. This includes using neurofeedback to treat adults with Schizophrenia at the Springfield Hospital Center in Maryland, and children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Depression, Bipolar disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and other psychiatric disorders at Arlington County Department of Human Services.

Larisa Perez deGraffenreid, LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Larisa Perez deGraffenreid, LCSW

Larisa Perez deGraffenreid is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), and has a special interest in Mindfulness Training. Ms. deGraffenreid provides a wide range of therapeutic services including group therapy, individual and family therapy for school age children and teens, as well as marital and family therapy for couples.

Previously, Ms. deGraffenreid worked for eight years at the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) where she served as a clinical supervisor and group coordinator in addition to running groups and seeing clients of all ages individually and in families and couples. Prior to that, Ms. deGraffenreid worked at Adolescent and Family Growth Center (AFGC), where she provided intensive therapy to foster children and their families, recruited and trained foster parents, and ran therapy groups for children. Her internships were with College Park Youth and Family Services, and National Institutes of Health. Ms deGraffenreid earned her degree at the University of Maryland at Baltimore with a Clinical Concentration with Families and Children.

James Orth, Ph.D. ABPP - Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologist

James Orth, Ph.D. ABPP

Dr. Orth obtained his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Miami University in 1986.  His post-doctoral training experiences included a two-year infancy and early childhood mental health program chaired by Dr. Shtuhl with the Washington School of Psychiatry. Dr. Orth has published professional articles regarding regulatory problems (emotional and behavioral) in children, psychotherapy, and doctor-patient relationships.

Licensed in five states, Dr. Orth has enjoyed a career focused primarily upon delivery of psychological services to children and adolescents and their families.  In addition to his clinical psychology license he also possesses a highly specialized certification in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).

At Family Compass, Dr. Orth draws upon extensive experience evaluating children with complex presentations, many of whom have received multiple evaluations and treatment interventions yet continue to have difficulties functioning in different areas of their lives. Dr. Orth strives to provide comprehensive psychological, neuropsychological and psychoeducational assessments that provide meaningful and useful information for families and others concerned with the child’s well-being. Psychological evaluations are provided with aims of clarifying diagnoses, identifying strengths and supports, and developing recommendations for education, for treatment, and for enhancing development.

Shira Benhorin, Ph.D. - Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Shira Benhorin, Ph.D.

Dr. Shira Benhorin is a licensed psychologist in Virginia and Maryland who holds a doctoral degree in Clinical and Community Psychology from DePaul University. She specializes in working with preschoolers/children, adolescents, and families and treats a wide range of behavioral, emotional, and social concerns. She also specializes in working with children with feeding disorders, as well as with LGBT youth and families.

Dr. Benhorin completed her pre-doctoral psychology internship at the John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (JLG-RICA), working with children and adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral difficulties.  She completed her postdoctoral psychology fellowship at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (2008-2009), where she obtained specialized training and extensive experience in treating children and adolescents with feeding disorders, obesity, and co-morbid behavioral and emotional difficulties. She then joined the MWPH psychology faculty, and later served as the Director of Pediatric Psychology Feeding Disorder services.  Dr. Benhorin also worked as a staff psychologist at Chase Brexton Health services and in private practice.

Dr. Benhorin takes a holistic and collaborative approach to therapy, working closely with clients, families, and other professionals to develop the most effective treatment plans. She uses empirically validated interventions including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), behavior management and modification, family systems, ecological systems, and mindfulness.

Na’ama Malkesman, LCSW, LICSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Na’ama Malkesman, LCSW, LICSW

Naama Malkesman is a licensed clinical social worker, who holds a Master and Bachelor degrees in Social Work from Tel-Aviv University, Israel. Trained in psychodynamic, family therapy, cognitive-behavioral and systemic approaches to therapy, Ms. Malkesman tailors her interventions to the needs of her clients and is committed to integrative approach, involving the family in the therapeutic process.

Ms. Malkesman has a broad background in working with preschoolers, school age children and their families. Ms. Malkesman is certified PCIT (Parent – Child Interaction Therapy, an evidence-based treatment for young children with emotional and behavioral challenges) therapist. Her interests and specialties include anxiety, behavioral and emotional challenges, social- emotional development and parenting.

Prior to Family Compass, Ms. Malkesman worked at the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA), where she was providing individual therapy to young children and their families, in addition to being JSSA’s liaison to preschools in Northern Virginia and Washington DC, providing parental consultations and classroom management support to teachers and directors. Furthermore, Ms. Malkesman has a vast experience working with foster children and their families as a social worker in “Family Matters of Greater Washington”, developing treatment plans, providing clinical support and comprehensive evaluations to family court.

Preceding her arrival to the US, Ms. Malkesman worked as certified clinical social worker, in her native Israel, providing psycho-social evaluations to family court in matters of custody, family visitation and other family matters. In addition, she worked at the Family and Couple Therapy Center, where she was providing psychotherapy to children and families struggling with life stress, relationships and emotional and behavioral challenges.

Billie Harber, BCBA - Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Billie Harber,  BCBA

Ms. Harber is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is licensed by the Board of Medicine to practice as a Behavior Analyst in the state of Virginia.  She also holds a master’s degree in special education.

Ms. Harber received a B.S. in elementary education with a specialization in reading from Texas A & I University. She earned a master’s degree in special education and a graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from George Mason University.

Throughout her training, Ms. Harber gained experience working with preschoolers with autism in a preschool autism class as well as providing one on one ABA therapy in the home environment.  Ms. Harber also worked at George Mason University with college students with autism through implementation of strategies and development of skills in such areas as organization, time management, problem solving and self-management.  She also worked with college students with other developmental and intellectual disabilities by providing supports in learning and behavior management.

Prior to this, Ms. Harber worked as a classroom teacher, special education teacher as well as a reading specialist for grades 1-8 in the public school setting predominately working with students with learning disabilities.

Becky O’Neill, MSW - Therapist, Developmental Center

Becky O’Neill, MSW

Ms. O’Neill received her BS in Social Work from George Mason University in 2001 and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Simmons College School of Social Work. Her studies and experience have focused on empirically supported interventions for children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges, including traditional and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness training, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. In addition to her clinical practicum with Family Compass, Ms. O’Neill provides services to young adults with developmental disabilities in a supportive day program and acts as a life skills mentor to adolescents diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in community-based settings. Ms. O’Neill is also the Director and Legislative Advocate for Danny’s Walk, an advocacy organization promoting autism awareness, safety, and acceptance.

Elena Zaklis M.A., BCBA, LBA - Licensed Behavior Analyst

Elena Zaklis M.A., BCBA, LBA

Elena Zaklis M.A., BCBA, LBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is a Licensed Behavior Analyst in Virginia, Maryland and New York.

Elena provides services for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities, facilitates social skills groups for children, teens and social groups for girls.  She also leads parent training groups and works with families individually. She works with schools to help develop a culture and climate that promotes social emotional learning in all classrooms.  Elena leads training sessions for school administrators, school personnel on behavior management techniques, and provides training for staff to obtain their registered behavior technician certificate. Elena is a member of the ACT Matrix Academy and uses the pro-social matrix communication process to assist individuals and groups to identify their values and achieve meaningful outcomes. Elena conducts functional behavioral assessments, program evaluations and works with teams to develop behavior intervention plans for individual students. One of her goals is to provide support for young women with autism spectrum disorders in their academic and community settings.

Elena has been working in the field of special education for over 20 years. She started her career at The Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center (DDDC) at Rutgers University. While at the DDDC she worked as a Training Coordinator at Douglass Outreach.  She worked with families, consulted to public schools, and private organizations. In 2015, she joined a psychology practice Behavior Therapy Associates in Somerset NJ and was the Director of the HI-STEP social skills program at the Pennington location until she moved with her family to Virginia in 2018. Elena received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Rutgers College at Rutgers University and earned her graduate degree in Education from Rider University.

Jarred Sharar, RDT - Drama Therapist

Jarred Sharar, RDT

Jarred Sharar is an impassioned advocate for child development and education. In his current role as the resident drama therapist at the Family Compass clinic, he delivers creative therapeutic experiences informed by the power of art as a vehicle for mental health and wellness. He also instructs an arts curriculum for children with special needs at the River Terrace Education Campus of the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Prior to his work in the District of Columbia, Jarred pioneered drama therapy for over 10 years at the Cooke Center for Learning and Development in New York City, growing to establish the school’s formal art based therapies curriculum. In addition to his professional activities, he continues his volunteer advocacy work as a drama therapist with Jacob’s Color Link Initiative in Haiti, a vice president of his local chapter of the North American Drama Therapy Association, and has served as a co-chair of the 38th annual NADTA conference. Jarred is a graduate of the master of the arts program in drama therapy at New York University, and holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Central Florida.

Julie Liddle, M.A., ATR - Registered Art Therapist

Julie Liddle, M.A., ATR

Julie Liddle is a registered art therapist and founder and director of the ART IN HAND® program. Through her work, Ms. Liddle creates and implements a curriculum that engages children with their parents in developmentally appropriate art experiences designed to support healthy development.

She also serves as art specialist at The Eastern Ridge School, an arts and nature based early childhood program where she leads the art program for early childhood and early elementary classes. Previously, she practiced art therapy for nearly a decade at Accotink Academy, a therapeutic school for children and adolescents with a variety of emotional and learning disabilities where she provided individual and group art therapy and served as head of the art therapy department.

Ms. Liddle has presented extensively to both parent groups and early childhood professionals on the topic of promoting healthy early childhood development through art. Her work has also been published in various parenting publications. She received her Masters of Arts in Art Therapy from George Washington University in 1992 and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cornell University in 1988.

Ida Damkilde - Clinical Social Work Intern

Ida Damkilde

Ida Damkilde graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Art and an Art Therapy Certificate and is currently completing her Masters of Social Work degree at Our Lady of the Lake University and the Worden School of School Work.

Prior to interning at Family Compass, Ms. Damkilde worked as a preschool teacher at Christ Presbyterian Preschool where she planned and led play-based lessons and skill-based activities with an emphasis on socio-emotional development. Previously, Ms. Damkilde interned at Fairfax Family Services with the BeFriend-A-Child Mentoring Program and the Nurturing Parent and Child Education Program where she co-facilitated educational groups for parents and children dealing with stressors related to family functioning, emotional and behavioral challenges, and academic concerns. Ms. Damkilde is passionate about integrating her art therapy interests with other evidence-based strategies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in an effort to support clients of all ages with diverse needs.

Amrit Ahluwalia, RBT - Registered Behavior Technician

Amrit Ahluwalia, RBT

Amrit Ahluwalia is a Registered Behavior Technician, who has been in the ABA field for 5 years. She has earned a dual B.S. degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice, and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Amrit has experience working with toddlers to young adults providing early intervention services to assisting young adults transitioning out of high school.  She has provided services in schools, community, day programs, and in-home. She is interested in parent and family training and social skills training in group settings.

Her passion for ABA has led her to pursue her goal of becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in which she hopes to continue to provide services to children and their families, and to expand on the field of ABA.

Mary Monzigo, RBT - Registered Behavior Technician

Mary Monzigo, RBT

Mary Mozingo is a Registered Behavior Technician who has worked in the field for ten years, and in the field of ABA for the past seven years. She also holds an Associate’s Degree in Social Science from Northern Virginia Community College and will graduate with her BS in Social Work from George Mason University in 2019. She plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in both Social Work and Applied Behavior Analysis.

Throughout her time in the field, Mary has practiced ABA with a variety of learners, from toddler to adult. She has worked in home, school, vocational, and community settings. Her areas of interest include natural environment teaching, social skills, and generalization training . She has a passion for ABA and plans to become a BCBA to enable her to apply behavior analysis professionally into under-explored areas.

Elizabeth Litvany, M.Ed, RBT - Registered Behavior Technician

Elizabeth Litvany, M.Ed, RBT

Liz Litvany is a Registered Behavior Technician.  Liz holds her master’s degree in special education from George Mason University.  She also earned a B.A. in Sociology from Montclair State University and an A.A. in Social Science from Essex County College.

Ms. Litvany worked as the lead Pre-K teacher at the Federal Trade Commission Child Care Center in Washington DC.   She developed and implemented curriculum for students age three to five.

Prior to teaching preschool Liz worked at Youth Consultation Service (YCS) Holley Child Care and Development Center where she was a member of a therapeutic treatment team for children age 5-18.   Liz was also an assistant 6th grade teacher at YCS George Washington School.

Other experiences include interning at Brookfield Elementary School and Chantilly High School.  Liz has also volunteered as an ESL tutor at the Girl’s Probation House and has coordinated the GRACE Art program at Waples Mill Elementary School.