ABOUT USOur Soulful Team
Frances Thuro has been a practicing psychotherapist for over 20 years. Frances received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ithaca College. Mrs. Thuro then went on to pursue and complete a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work at Adelphi University. Finally, due to her passion for teaching others, Frances completed her Masters Degree in Education at Dowling College. Frances is trained and certified in EMDR as well as hypnotherapy. Most recently, Frances completed a certificate program in Clinical Meditation and Imagery. Her breadth of experience includes working in schools, clinics, counseling centers and hospitals.
Susan is a clinical social worker with over 20 years experience in the area of interpersonal violence and trauma, as an educator and an advocate. Ms. Koenig has had the privilege of working individually and in groups with children, adolescents and adults. The belief that a trusting therapeutic relationship can help make lasting, positive changes in people’s lives is the foundation of her work as a therapist.
Steve Interrante, CH, is a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, Certified Advanced Integrated Energy Therapist (IET) and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor. He has dedicated his life to helping people achieve balance and happiness in their lives. Steve’s calm,relaxing techniques allow his clients to experience more favorable results in dealing with anxiety and self confidence. Utilizing effective hypnosis techniques has proven to assist in weight Loss, smoking cessation.
Deborah Peretz is among the few certified Kabbalah Life Coaches on Long Island, with a BA in Psychology from Binghamton University and an MA from Stony Brook University. Deborah began her soul quest after graduate school, when she decided to take up residency in Israel, the birthplace of Lurianic Kabbalah. She has been blessed to have studied under premier experts on Authentic Kabbalah, and has also been certified as a Reconnective Healing Foundational Practitioner. Deborah finds much congruity between Kabbalah and Reconnective Healing, and helps her clients bridge the gap between the practicality of everyday existence and the divinity of living an exalted life. Her warmth and intuition, combined with her passion for helping others find their Truth, is the cornerstone of her life’s work.
Toni-Cara Stellitano is a licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has practiced individual and family therapy in both outpatient clinics and private practice, tending to the needs of children and families in their pursuit of emotional wellness.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Siena College and her Master’s of Social Work degree from Stony Brook University’s School of Medicine.
Toni- Cara is an active member of Woman Within International, an international not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide a space for women to discover the power and beauty that reside within them. She has been published in Social Work with Groups, a peer reviewed scholarly journal, and she has presented internationally at the First Annual Children’s Forum in Beijing, China
Iris Eplan is a KRI Certified Kundalini teacher as well as a Certified Health Coach/graduate of the Institute or Integrative Nutrition. Her love of yoga, meditation and all things esoteric has been a guiding force her whole life – but really blossomed when she beganto practice the ancient form of yoga called Kundalini Yoga, or “the yoga of awareness.” As a professional singer, the beautiful mantras spoke to her, and the deep healing work of the meditations and kriyas led to personal transformation in her own life. She has studied under Mahan Rishi Singh Khalsa and Nirbhe Kaur Khalsa and is so grateful to be able to share these sacred teachings. She hopes to help people find inner peace that is their birthright, which can be achieved by developing a strong daily spiritual practice. She also seeks to create a class where people can come together to find their own excellence!
Raena Pastore is a licensed social worker with 17 years experience in the human services/social work field. Raena obtained her MSW in May 2004 from The State University of New York at Stony Brook and became a licensed social worker in 2007. Her passion for helping others started in working with adults with special needs, intellectual and physical disabilities, as well as people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and various mental illnesses. This work evolved into work with adolescents, children, families and business agencies- using the behavioral and communicative dynamics of any relationship as the starting point to explain and then work through any issues/concerns or disturbances. Raena also has a focus on co-parenting therapy work- where parents come together as partners in parenting which is often a difficult transition from being former partners in a deeper relationship. Raena bases much of her work with others on the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach- assisting her patients in becoming present with their thoughts and feelings.
Mrs. Pastore is also a Registered Yoga Teacher who wholeheartedly believes in teaching others to live in the present moment, where true happiness resides (and in many cases waits to be felt); this is taught through various methods including Yoga, Meditation, Chakra Balancing and other mindfulness practices. Raena believes that mentally living in the past often serves as an emotional anchor and often leads to depressive symptoms; just as mentally living in the future often increases anxiety and likelihood for some level of disappointment in people’s lives. Her approach is a holistic one, where she works with the ‘entire person’ and their overall wellness (or lack-thereof) acknowledging and addressing lifestyle, self-care, life balance, self-talk, nature/nurture factors, diet, sleep, coping skills and thought process habits. It is within her core beliefs that one factor will affect another which will affect another, and so forth. Being able to get to the core of someone’s spirit and then work outward with love, compassion, patience and peace is of the utmost importance for true progression of her clients into emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellness.
Raena’s work through yoga therapy includes working in schools (pre-school through high school), mental health clinics, group homes, shelters and private practice.
Her enthusiasm for creating a positive and healthy balance is evidenced through her various creative methods and activities for people of all ages and functioning levels. She is a firm believer in the power of positivity and manifestation; and she works through some of the basic principles of behavior modification to set up goals and procedures for her clients.
First as a student, Karisa learned that Kundalini Yoga is the Yoga of Self Mastery. It is a Yoga that makes you drop your self-limiting beliefs so you can fulfill your destiny, your purpose, and understand what you are here to do. Karisa is one of those rare teachers that brings the teachings of Kundalini Yoga into a safe space so people can rediscover the joy and wisdom that already lives inside of them. Connecting with the practitioners through breath, mantra, movement and music she brings a unique modern fun twist to her Kundalini Yoga classes. Karisa incorporates her intense love of music and dance using that sound vibration in all her classes, helping us to reconnect to the rhythm and to connect to our strength. She has studied internationally, Greece, Costa Rica, Canada, New York and India, bringing a deeper level profound authenticity that is both powerful and profound to her students. Karisa’s classes are designed to detoxify the glandular system, cleanse and strengthen the immune system on a physical level; as she’s works equally, and as powerfully, on a mental and spiritual level to de-stress the body and mind. The practice provides clarity, embraces one’s personal and individual challenges and aids the practitioner in letting go of the unnecessary clutter. The classes are created for every single individual. It doesn’t matter if you have never done yoga before, Karisa’s classes are designed for all walks of life, all levels. We come together, we breathe through our kriyas, dance with the music and sweat through the mantras.
Gemma Saylor is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified ACE Health Coach. Gemma cares passionately about preventing disease through healthy lifestyle choices. Whether her clients are seeking to lose weight or learning to live with a new diagnosis, Gemma uses evidence-based strategies to work with the unique needs of each client to reach realistic and attainable goals. Gemma does not promote “quick-fixes” – instead she motivates and empowers her clients to make positive and long-lasting changes in their lives. Her enthusiasm for positive change is contagious and it encourages her clients to confidently seek a healthier version of themselves.
Siobhán Cassidy strives to create a safe and encouraging environment for her students. She is a registered yoga instructor and licensed psychotherapist, who draws on experience in emotional anatomy, mindfulness, and holistic counseling to provide supportive, open space for the process of healing and transformation. Her lighthearted and inspirational style of yoga instruction encourages personal expression, authenticity, and interconnection through movement and breath. Her practitioner roots are in Prana Flow Vinyasa and Anusara Hatha method. In addition to teaching yoga, she uses the practice as mind-body medicine in clinical psychotherapy practice in the substance use and mental health populations.
Eric Perez found yoga (or yoga found him) about 15 years ago. Ever since he has pursued as much knowledge and experience on the divine subject as possible, a journey which eventually took him all the way to India to the feet of his guru. Eric has also been an English teacher for 22 years in Central Islip High School where he runs an after school yoga/service club called S.O.U.L (Sending Out Universal Love).
Eric is certified in Iyengar yoga which he has had the pleasure of teaching to various groups in the community, including children, teens, visually impaired and individuals with special needs. In addition, Eric practices and teaches meditation, and is a voracious reader of Vedic (yogic) literature. It is been his belief and experience that all actions we perform as human beings is one of two things: either an expression of love, or a cry for it. With this as his mantra he is honored and excited to share his practice (and love) with you all!
Patty has practiced as an Occupational Therapist (OT) in various sub-acute and skilled nursing facilities for over 15 years. The geriatric population has become her passion, and her skills as an OT have helped numerous patients afflicted with a broad spectrum of clinical conditions, return to their highest level of functioning. Life progress and personal growth are at the center of who Patty is as an individual, health care professional, and mother.
Patty found Reconnective Healing (RH) is an extremely effective approach toward change and growth in her own life, and in the lives of her loved ones. Patty became a Reconnective Healing Foundational Practitioner in 2017. It is her belief that Reconnective Healing affords people the opportunity to experience an alternative form of healing, with a unique and personal goal in mind, delivered exactly as intended from the universe. Reconnective Healing sessions often accelerate an overall sense of balance, vitality and connectiveness to all that is. The world is full of infinitive possibilities.
Aviva Chansky Guttmann, LMSW, Certified Imago Therapist, is a seasoned social worker and psychotherapist with over 25 years experience counseling couples, individuals and families experiencing challenges ranging from marital conflict, sexual and emotional intimacy, chronic and terminal illness, special needs parenting stress, forensic home studies and other areas of suffering and difficulty. In addition to individual and couples’ therapy Aviva offers relationship workshops to introduce clients to a “taste” of the Imago process. Imago Relationship Therapy offers a safe, focused and non confrontational method of dealing with relationship conflict.
Aviva holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Queens College of CUNY, and an MSW in Clnincal Social Work from New York University School of Social Work. She continues to pursue additional trainings in Certified Sex Therapy, Trauma, Mind-Body work, and is becoming a Reiki practitioner.
Mike Opisso has taught meditation and spirituality for nearly a decade at the Kadampa Meditation Centers in Port Jefferson and Huntington bringing clarity, warmth, and enthusiasm to each class he teaches. A native Long Islander, Mike has also lived and traveled extensively throughout Japan, Mainland China and Europe. Mike has an exceptional propensity for taking the wisdom of Kadampa Buddhism and applying it to our daily lives. He welcomes all to share in these life-changing teachings that have persisted for over 2,500 years as a source of guidance and liberation for countless individuals throughout history.
Melanie has always been pulled towards spirituality, even as a kid. Her interest in all things spiritual eventually led her to learn about Eastern Religion and Beliefs. She didn’t know then, but her interests would lead her into a world of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and alternative healing arts. Melanie is a graduate of the New York College of Health Professions, and a practitioner of both Massage Therapy and Acupuncture. In 2004, she graduated from the Massage Program, and completed her Master’s Degree for Acupuncture three years later. To further her education, she studied with the Institute for Classical Asian Studies for almost ten years. These studies lead her to travel to the source of her medicine, in the Sichuan Province of China. She is also trained, and certified, in Kyo Jung Therapy, which is a traditional Korean form of physical manipulation. Melanie is also certified in Medical Qi Gong Healing, a style of energy healing traditionally used in China. Being a dual licensed therapist, musculoskeletal issues, and pain management are a specialty of focus. Melanie also specializes in stress and anxiety relief, depression issues, fertility acupuncture (when used in conjunction with IVF), as well as smoking cessation and addiction recovery.