Consultant Service

What is it?

The Consultant Service offers professional help of trained psychiatrists, psychotherapists, nutritionists, acupuncturists, and speech therapists for short-term assistance and/or referral. The Consultant Service was established to help co-op families with all questions or concerns arising from any type challenges with relationships (i.e., child/parent, spouse, partner, extended family, etc.) and situations (behavioral concerns, educational concerns, developmental concerns, moving, family illness, depression, medication, divorce, trauma, etc.).

Who May Use this Service?

This service is for all of the people who are members of the San Francisco Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools (SFCPPNS). Any person who lives in the home of a child enrolled in a SFCPPNS member school; directors; paid staff members; and alumni families can all use the consultant service.

How Do I Pay For an Appointment?

The SFCPPNS has an arrangement for Consultants to provide their services to co-op families, staff, and alumni at a greatly discounted rate for up to four sessions per school year, per family. In certain circumstances SFCPPNS may approve additional sessions for a family in the same school year.

  • Current co-op families and staff pay $35 per session for up to four sessions per school year.
  • Alumni families pay $70 per session for up to four sessions per school year.

The fee is paid directly to the consultant at the time of your appointment. If you are unable to keep an appointment, the consultant must be given 24-hour notice; otherwise you must pay for missed appointments. If you wish to continue seeing the consultant beyond the four sessions per school year, you can discuss payment arrangements directly with the consultant.

How Do I Make an Appointment?

You do not need to inform anyone connected to your school. This service is confidential. You may contact the consultant directly or you may contact the Consultant Liaison at, to help you make an appointment, if you prefer.

Speakers Bureau/Mediation/Consultations

Consultants are also available to speak at parent education meetings, at member meetings to speak to specific points relevant to your school, for mediation, and for on-site observation and consulting at school. Please contact at for more details.

Meet Our Consultants ...

Here is a list of the consultants who currently offer their assistance through the SFCPPNS Consultant Service. We hope that you will find this informative and that you will be encouraged to use this very valuable service available to all co-op staff, co-op parents and their families.

Psychotherapists/Marriage & Family Therapists

Steven Abrams, MFT | (650) 692-6071 | 3877 25th St., San Francisco 94114 & 1601 Bayshore #123, Burlingame 94010

Steve is a psychotherapist with offices in Noe Valley and Burlingame, a 20-minute drive from San Francisco with ample free parking at the door. He has worked extensively with children, adolescents, and their parents, dealing with the myriad emotional issues affecting children and families. His diverse practice, collaborative in nature, also includes individual adults and couples. He provides parent education in the form of private sessions and group presentations, consults as counselor at three K-8 schools, and serves as a Clinical Supervisor and Professional Development Coordinator at the University of San Francisco Center for Child and Family Development. His work is non-judgmental, relationship-based and goal directed. Steve’s children attended cooperative pre-schools in the city.

Gabie Berliner, Ph.D., LCSW

(415) 751-7476 | 120 Commonwealth Street, San Francisco 94118

Dr. Gabie Berliner, a licensed Clinical Social Worker, has been in private practice over 40 years and worked in San Mateo County Mental Health for 31 years. She specializes in play therapy with children, consultation to parents, adult and couples therapy, parent support groups, and consultation to schools. She has given workshops on discipline, anger management, effects of divorce on children amongst other topics. Practice focus includes parent-child struggles, marital conflict, behavior and emotional problems, grief, and divorce. Her son is a co-op graduate.

Susan R. Bernstein, MFT | (415) 282-7447 | 3841 24th Street, San Francisco 94114

Susan is a licensed psychotherapist who enjoys working with children and their families. Her work in both school and clinical settings includes understanding developmental stages, behavior and emotional problems, as well as discipline and limit setting. In addition, she has experience working with adoption, the effects of divorce, sexual abuse, and gay and lesbian parenting. She is also an active member of A Home Within (working with foster children) and the Child and Adolescent Gender Center.

Sarina Castro, Ph.D.

(415) 820-3932 | 2196 Union Street, San Francisco 94123

Dr. Sarina Castro is a clinical psychologist in private practice in San Francisco. She sees adults in individual psychotherapy, couples therapy, and parenting consultations. She sees people for a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, marital/familial conflicts, and during times of life change and transition. She also specializes in working with women and couples throughout pregnancy, post-partum adjustment (including Post-Partum Depression), infertility struggles, and the ongoing stresses and challenges of parenting. In addition to being a long time member of the San Francisco Cooperative Preschool Council Consultancy she is a member of the Preschool Psychotherapy Project of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.

Elizabeth Corsale, MFT | (415) 267-6965 | 110 Gough St. Suite 401, San Francisco, CA 94102

Ms. Corsale is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice on Union Street in San Francisco. She works primarily with individual adults and couples. In her private practice she specializes in issues concerning depression, anxiety, loss, marital conflict and parent support of children with developmental delays and learning disabilities. She is also the co-founder and clinical director of a treatment program for individuals with compulsive stealing behaviors. Through this work she is experienced working with all types of compulsive behaviors including over spending, alcohol and drug problems and sexual compulsivity. Her son is a co-op graduate.

Isela Cueva Rizzi, MFT | (415) 267-3903 | 3974 24th St, San Francisco 94114

Isela is a bi-cultural and bilingual Spanish-speaking psychotherapist with an office in Noe Valley. She has provided relationship-based treatment to children, families, adult individuals and couples for over 11 years. Isela has extensive experience working with the parent-child dyad, and focuses on strengthening their relationship. She provides developmental guidance, assists with attaching new meanings to behavior, and helps parents find new ways of responding and relating to their children. Her nurturing and holistic approach is informed by her interest and studies in Daoism and Chinese Medicine. She aspires to help her clients live in alignment with their true nature, ultimately leading them to a more harmonious and balanced existence. She works interactively and collaboratively to support clients at their pace, and provides a safe holding environment where lasting changes can occur.

Lauren Cunningham, MSW, LCSW | (415) 585-4551 | 35 Vicente Avenue, San Francisco 94127

Ms. Cunningham is a child and adult Jungian analyst in the West Portal neighborhood of San Francisco. She has worked with preschool through high school aged children for over 30 years using play, sandplay, art, and talk therapy. She meets with parents to discuss parenting issues and also sees adults for individual and couples therapy. She is experienced in the effects of divorce, alternative families, anxiety, anger, depression and acting out in children. She is an adjunct associate professor at California Institute of Integral Studies. Her son and daughter are co-op graduates.

Aimee Rozen, MFT | (415) 407-3936 | 1246 Castro Street, Suite 2, SF, CA 94114 |

Aimee offers a genuine, compassionate and respectful relationship with her clients so they can reach greater self-awareness and insight. Through development together, clients can get greater satisfaction with the overall quality of their lives and attain the personal tools needed to strengthen their intimate relationships. She views mental health similarly to physical health: when there’s an injury or illness, seeking professional guidance, intervention, and support can improve overall wellness. Working with parents is not only an area of specialty but her passion. It is the one clinical focus that has remained ever present from the beginning of her clinical work in 1995, through present. She participated in Hand in Hand's Emotional Understanding training workshops which have offered great guidance and inspiration in her work with clients.

Kym Sites, M.S., MFT| (415) 922-9446 | 3249 Sacramento Street (at Presidio), San Francisco 94115.

Ms. Sites is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist who works extensively with preschools, both public and private, including infant centers: providing services to teachers, parents, children and administrators, both onsite and in private consultation. She offers co-parenting counseling for parents who are raising their children in separate homes. She also teaches in the Graduate Program in Clinical Psychology at San Francisco State University.

Carol S. Winetsky, Ph.D. | (415) 923-9170 | 3637 Sacramento Street, Suite H, San Francisco CA 94118

Dr. Winetsky received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and is a licensed psychologist in private practice for over thirty years. Her psychotherapy practice includes work with children, adolescents, individual adults and couples. She has a special interest in developmental issues throughout the life cycle and seeks to help clients promote growth and improve relationships whether in the family, the classroom, the community or the workplace. She has led workshops on child rearing and stress reduction for parents and has also consulted widely to teachers. Her professional experience includes supervising post-doctoral students in psychology for California Pacific Medical Center's training program in the department of Psychiatry. Her own children are co-op graduates.

Cecilie Herring, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist | (415) 517-9319 |

I am a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist offering psychotherapy to adults, adolescents, and children. My training focuses on helping my clients improve their relationships with themselves and others, navigate life transitions, and heal from traumatic experiences. My overall approach seeks to provide a warm, trusting, nonjudgemental relationship in which you are deeply listened to and can safely and freely discuss your challenges, concerns, and vulnerabilities. I specialize in working with pre and postnatal moms, supporting parents as they navigate and adjust to parenthood, strengthening the parent-child connection, grief surrounding the loss of a loved one, coping with a chronic illness and/or pain, and working with the challenges of anxiety and depression. I am also an art therapist and offer art, play, and sand tray therapy when my clients are drawn to these modalities. Creating art can be a safe and non-threatening way to share, explore, and release feelings and emotions that may be difficult to express verbally. Art Therapy is a modality that can lead children and youth especially to discover new ways in which they can safely work through issues surrounding areas such as grief, loss, anger, body image, fear, confusion, and conflict.

Special Education and Learning Behaviorists

Susan Dambroff, Special Educator/Consultant

(415) 279-8090 | On-site visits

Susan is a Special Educator who has been working with children and their families for over 25 years. Both as a Special Education Teacher and as a home-based Consultant, she takes into account the unique needs of each child and family to help facilitate growth in the areas of communication, social interaction, behavior, play, and academic skills. Her services include direct relationship- based work with children, and consultation to families and teachers. She has extensive experience providing support and training to preschool teachers and their staff to help provide appropriate educational and therapeutic interventions for children. She most enjoys closely collaborating with families and teachers to help children become joyfully engaged in learning and play.

Elizabeth Corsale, MFT | (415) 267-6916 | 5758 Geary Blvd. #227, San Francisco, CA 94121 |

Pathways Institute offers a weekly therapy group for parents of children with learning and/or attention differences. This group is therapist-led, and will offer a place of therapeutic support, information, and healing for parents grappling with the complex issues and challenges of raising children who don’t fit neatly inside of our current educational system.

Speech and Language Therapists

Jill Flores, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist | (415) 690-9249 | On-site visits

Jill Flores is the owner of Bridges to Communication, a private speech language therapy practice specializing in helping families with young children. Jill has worked in a variety of settings both prior to and within her role as a private speech and language consultant. She offers play-based speech language consultation that takes place in the child’s natural environment, either home or school. Jill believes that parent involvement and team collaboration are key components towards helping children better their communication skills. She has helped children with a variety of difficulties that include poor articulation, difficulty expressing or processing language and social communication skills.

Liesl Wenzke Hartmann, M.A., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist | (415) 310-6269 | 672 2nd Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118 |

Liesl provides individualized speech and language services to children in her clinic as well as in home and school settings. She believes that collaboration with family members and other professionals working with her clients is key to their success. She enjoys developing a trusting relationship with each of her clients and builds on each child's interests to make therapy an enjoyable and meaningful experience. Specialization includes autism spectrum disorders, receptive and expressive language delays, speech disorders and peer socialization. Liesl also provides training to pre-school teachers and other professionals in the area of social communication.


Holly N. Boland, MS, L.Ac. | (415) 282-1766 | 220 Montgomery Street, Suite 1212, San Francisco, CA 94104 |

Holly is a licensed acupuncturist specializing in family health. Her treatment expertise includes children's health, acute and chronic pain, reproductive health, insomnia, stress, allergies, colds and flu. In addition, she treats children of all ages with neurological conditions such as autism, ADHD, and Tourette Syndrome. Ms. Boland works in collaboration with Sandy Newmark, MD, at UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. As a former co-op preschool parent, she understands that parents, particularly those who have children with special needs, are far less likely to care for themselves. She encourages all parents to come in for some stress-relief acupuncture!

Occupational Therapists

Michelle Kemper, MS, OTR/L, RYT | (415) 800-7674 |

Michelle is a pediatric occupational therapist with over 15 years of professional experience working in a variety of settings with children: school, home, community, and clinic. She is the co-founder of COAST SF, a modern play space in SF that houses both occupational and speech therapy. She has extensive expertise in providing a full scope of services to children and their families in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of motor coordination, sensory processing, attention, behavioral responses and social skills. Michelle is a highly sought after presenter specializing in sensory motor development and other myriad topics that support families and professionals who work with children. Already a Registered Yoga Teacher, Michelle is currently pursuing advanced studies in order to fulfill requirements for the children’s yoga certification, a life-long goal and an evidence-based adjunct to her work as an occupational therapist.

Meilani Connolly, OTR/L, Pediatric OT | (415) 702-0028 |

Meilani has 15 years experience in occupational therapy, the last five of which have been focused on treating children and being a part of the Pre-K Assessment Team in a school setting. Since graduating from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in 2001, Meilani has worked in a variety of settings including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home-based, early intervention, and school setting in San Francisco. She traveled as an occupational therapist for two years all over the United States prior to meeting her husband in Washington, DC in 2006. In 2008, Meilani and her family moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Meilani’s husbands job. In Malaysia, Meilani used her knowledge in occupational therapy to mentor occupational therapists in Kuala Lumpur, where she volunteered at a children’s clinic to help treat underserved children with cerebral palsy, learning disorders, and other neurological conditions. Meilani has her advanced certification in Physical Agent Modalities (PAM) and has used this to treat patients who have had a stroke. Meilani has participated in continuing education programs in Sensory Processing and Regulation, the ALERT Program, the Zones of Regulation, the Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, and Handwriting Without Tears. She recently took courses on Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia, and Executive Dysfunction skills and treatments for kids with or without disabilities. Meilani has used her knowledge in all settings to treat children of all ages in order to increase a student’s learning and abilities. Meilani enjoys spending time with her family during her free time.

Sarah Gragnani, OTR/L, Pediatric OT | (415) 702-0028 |

Sarah has been practicing Occupational Therapy for 7 years since graduating from the University of Sydney, Australia. Sarah worked in the field of pediatrics in the school based setting for 4.5 years and is now working for a private therapy company in San Francisco providing Occupational Therapy services to children in the home. Sarah runs weekly play based therapy groups alongside a speech therapist at Hunter’s Threads. Sarah has experience working with children with fine and gross motor delays, difficulties with visual perception and visual motor skills, sensory processing difficulties, autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays. Sarah has continuing education in the Handwriting Without Tears program, the Alert Program (How Does Your Engine Run?), Sensory Integration, Pediatric Yoga and Oppositional and Defiant Behaviors. In her spare time, Sarah likes to explore the bay area and spend time outside, as well as relax with her family and friends.

Ushma Sampat, MS OTR/L, CAS | (415) 878-5151 |

Ushma is a passionate Occupational therapist living in San Francisco since 2012 with her husband and puggle. She loves working with children of all ages and has been doing so in multiple settings- schools, home, clinic and community since 2012. She followed up her bachelor’s in occupational therapy degree from India with a post professional master’s degree in occupational therapy from San Jose State University. Ushma provides holistic, play based interventions to maximize development and learning. She strongly believes that collaboration between team members is of upmost importance to enable the child to reach his/her highest individual potential. Her approach includes direct services to the children coupled with consultation services to family and teachers and her interventions focus on (but are not limited to) motor skills, perceptual skills, sensory processing, behavior interventions, social skills and play skills. Ushma is also a Certified Autism Specialist and trained in Handwriting without Tears and Zones of Regulation curriculums.

Physical Therapists

Bethany Gradert, MSPT | (415) 654-5324 |

Bethany is the owner of Pinnacle Kidz Pediatric Physical Therapy, a private outpatient clinic specializing exclusively in physical therapy services for infants and children. Bethany has over 10 years of experience in various inpatient and outpatient pediatric settings. She works with a wide range of pediatric diagnoses including gross motor developmental delay, torticollis and plagiocephaly, abnormal muscle tone, gait disorders, and balance and coordination issues. She uses a variety of developmental and orthopedic approaches in her treatments to help children and their families reach their goals. Bethany is passionate about the role of education and preventative care in promoting healthy development and believes strongly that physical therapy can benefit children of all ages and abilities.

Alexandra Franceschi, PT, DPT | (415) 654-5324 |

Alex is a recent addition to the Pinnacle Kidz team and brings with her extensive experience treating children ages 0-5 with both orthopedic and neurological conditions. Alex works with children of all ages with physical therapy needs, with a special interest in gross motor delay in early childhood.