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clinicians and collaborators
All mental health counseling services will be provided by a small team including a combination of the clinicians below. Dr. Rice will provide supervision and consultation to most cases, with Julie Cenzi serving as the primary therapist for most children under age 11 and Danielle Ingrassio providing primary therapy for most young people 12 and over. Speech and language and psychiatry consults are also available in special circumstances upon request. We work closely with our community partners and work closely with the clinicians on the "Collaborators" page of this website.
Dr. Robert Rice, Ph.D., LMHC
Dr. Rob Rice works with children, adolescents, and young adults who struggle with repetitive behaviors ranging from those commonly observed in ASD to OCD. Dr. Rice’s approach integrates narrative therapy with CBT to help his clients gain the perspective and skills necessary to strategically confront what constrains them from achieving their fullest human potential. Often, this process involves the use of video games, biofeedback, and other interactive games and media, as many young people with and without ASD find these tools helpful and engaging. Dr. Rice teaches these approaches full time in the St. John Fisher College Graduate Program in Mental Health Counseling. He has spoken on the integration of mental health and technology nationally and internationally. Beginning in March 2022, Dr. Rice is only accepting new clients for short-term (5-session) consultation and treatment of OCD or to see in collaboration with MindFit's other therapists.
Julie Cenzi, LBA, BCBA, LMHC
Julie Cenzi works with children and adolescents with challenging behaviors often related to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety and other mental health concerns. Julie is a licensed and board certified behavior analyst and a licensed mental health counselor. Julie believes in integrating traditional therapy (CBT) with the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to improve overall functioning, quality of life and well being. Her approach builds on clients' strengths while teaching new skills to more effectively have their needs met. Julie has presented research and behavioral strategies at Hillside staff conferences and the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis annual conference. She will provide mental health counseling services as part of an integrated team at MindFit.
Dan DeClerck, MS, LMHC
Dan has worked with various populations during his career as an LMHC. He graduated from St. John Fisher College with his Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling. Dan has over 10 years of experience in working with people with developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has particularly worked with individuals struggling with anxiety or social skill concerns in a group or individual setting. Dan has also enjoyed working with people that may be in a crisis; assisting families with assessment, behavioral strategies and potential referrals. Dan also has experience working with people in a hospital setting, where he has worked in an inpatient setting, as well as evaluating patients in an Emergency Room or community setting.
John Farrar, MS, LMHC
John has spent nearly a full decade of his professional career working with children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, in roles ranging from both direct care to behavioral health support. He is a graduate from St. John Fisher College with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. During his graduate worked with Dr. Rice to integrate games and health, and has experience working with individuals and groups. Outside of his professional work, John is an enthusiastic consumer of video, card, and board games, knowledge he is always eager to integrate creatively into his work with clients.
Katie Purtell, MS, LMHC
Katie Purtell, LMHC has worked with children, adolescents, and adults from all walks of life. Currently, Katie is focusing on working with children, adolescents, and their families. She uses an integrated approach; often utilizing CBT and narrative therapy, to help children and their families reach their full potential. Katie believes in identifying strengths within individuals and family systems to ultimately reach agreed upon goals. Katie has experience working in clinic settings with both adults and children, as well as the school setting where she collaborates with families and school personnel. She has worked directly with school psychologists, counselors, social workers, teachers and administration to integrate mental health services into the school setting. Katie is a graduate of St. John Fisher College with a B.S. in biology, and M.S. in mental health counseling.
Kirsten Nagel, LCSW
Kirsten has spent the past 11 years working with children, adolescents, and young adults in a variety of settings, connecting with individuals presenting with anxiety, depression, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and developmental disabilities. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Master’s Degree in Social Work after growing up in Boston and attending college in Vermont. The cornerstone of the therapeutic work Kirsten does stems from the initial relationship built with the children, adolescents, and families with whom she interacts. As a client-driven and family-focused therapist, Kirsten’s aim is to establish a solid base from which to create goals, assist with roadblocks and hurdles that present themselves and, ultimately, initiate forward progress and positive results. Kirsten has experience working in various school settings and is familiar with the CSE process and OPWDD services.
Diane Welch, MS, LMHC-P
Diane is a Mental Health Therapist working towards licensure. She has a passion for providing the utmost quality of services to individuals of all ages struggling with mental health and related difficulties such as: anxiety and depression, anger, school difficulties, social avoidance and conflict, and relationships and friendships. Diane received her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from St. John Fisher College and worked with MindFit as an intern during that time. She saw individual clients as well as facilitated a girl’s empowerment group.
Diane also has a Master of Science in Childhood Inclusive Education. She worked as a teacher for almost 15 years in the Rochester City School District. She has a thorough understanding of school settings including the special education system, such as the CSE process and OPWDD services. Diane’s clinical vision is to “ensure my office atmosphere is a safe environment for clients and their families to experience their vulnerabilities while sharing their stories.” Diane implements Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Person-Centered treatment interventions in her practice. “I have found that when using these interventions, individuals have the ability to overcome and understand their thought processes.”
Jania Otto, MS, LCAT, ATR-BC
Jania is a licensed and board-certified art therapist. She has worked with children and young adults as an educator, mentor, and a psychotherapist. Jania has experience counseling clients ages 4 to 20 with the following diagnoses and challenges: high-functioning autism, anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation, and adjustment/trauma-related disorders. Jania typically uses an integrative model, incorporating art and play therapy techniques with traditional cognitive and behavioral modalities to promote engagement and progress. Jania is a person-centered therapist, committed to adapting her therapeutic approach to best meet the needs of children and their families. In addition to providing counseling services, Jania currently works part time as an adjunct professor in Nazareth College’s Creative Arts Therapy department, supervising student clinicians.
Graduate Interns in Mental Health Counseling
MindFit works closely with the graduate programs in mental health counseling at St. John Fisher College and the University of Rochester to provide advanced-level intern support for our programs. Our current interns are Elya O'Brien (St. John Fisher University) and Stephanie Carpizo (Ph.D student at University of Rochester).