Our Team

Dr. Stuart Ablon

J. Stuart Ablon, Ph.D., is the Director of Think:Kids in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ablon co-founded the Center for Collaborative Problem Solving where he also served as Co-Director from its inception until 2008. Dr. Ablon is co-author of Treating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem Solving Approach and author of numerous articles, chapters and scientific papers on the process and outcome of psychosocial interventions. A dynamic and engaging speaker, Dr. Ablon was recently ranked #5 on the list of the world’s top rated keynote speakers in the academic arena.

Dr. Ablon’s research has been funded by, amongst others, the National Institute of Health, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the International Psychoanalytic Association, the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Institute, and the Endowment for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. Dr. Ablon received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and completed his predoctoral and postdoctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ablon trains parents, educators, and clinicians and consults to schools and treatment programs throughout the world in the Collaborative Problem Solving approach.

Dr. Marjorie Berkowitz

Marjorie Berkowitz, Psy.D., is a Licensed Psychologist and Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and full-time staff clinician at Think:Kids. Dr. Berkowitz has worked with many behaviorally challenging youth in diverse settings which include outpatient, inpatient, and school-based services. Dr. Berkowitz has specialized training and experience in the field of forensic psychology, including the assessment and treatment of childhood trauma and the challenges faced by families connected with the juvenile justice system.

Dr. Berkowitz earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at the George Washington University and completed her internship training at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, in Washington, D.C. She also completed postdoctoral fellowship training in the area of child maltreatment at Hackensack University Medical Center. Dr. Berkowitz completed postdoctoral coursework in both Family/Civil and Criminal Forensic Psychology at Montclair State University.

Amefika Desir

Amefika Desir is Think:Kids’ Patient Services & Training Coordinator and the first person many of our new partners and patients talk to when they find Think:Kids.  As the front desk manager, she assists patients and clinicians in booking appointments, handles inquiries and information requests, and serves as a welcoming presence to all who work with us.  In her other role, Amefika coordinates the full slate of New England trainings, overseeing registrations, confirmations and operations at sites across the region.  Amefika joined Think:Kids in 2015 after training in the Partners Career & Workforce Development program. She was previously employed in the Campaign Department of the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), and she is currently completing a bachelor’s degree in Communications.

Dr. Larry Epstein

Larry Epstein, Ph.D., is Director of Training and Implementation at Think:Kids, Assistant in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Clinical Instructor in Psychology the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Epstein has extensive experience utilizing and teaching the Collaborative Problem Solving across a variety of settings including educational and clinical programs and outpatient practice. For 17 years before joining Think:Kids, Dr. Epstein worked for the Cherry Creek School District in Denver, Colorado during which time he helped develop the district’s intensive treatment program for students with significant behavioral challenges. He is also a nationally certified bullying prevention trainer and helped found the non-profit organization Creating Caring Communities.

Dr. Epstein received his Ph.D. in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver and completed his internship at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Tai Katzenstein
Tai Katzenstein

Tai Katzenstein, Ph.D. is Director of Clinical Training and Certification at Think:Kids. She is also a staff psychologist and Clinical Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Katzenstein began helping families using the Collaborative Problem Solving approach as part of her post-doctoral fellowship. Since then, Dr. Katzenstein has been on staff at Think:Kids working with families individually, running parent groups, developing our parent group curriculum, and co-leading national trainings. Dr. Katzenstein also helps families utilizing CPS through her private practice in Newton.

Dr. Katzenstein received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Katzenstein thoroughly enjoys her work with Think:Kids. She believes deeply in the philosophy underlying CPS – that all kids and parents do well if they can.

Naomi Kling

Naomi Kling, MA is the Program Manager for Think:Kids in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Naomi received her BA and MA in Economics and Finance from Brandeis University. Prior to joining Think:Kids, Naomi served in a variety of other roles at Mass General including Practice Manager for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program and Project Manager for the MGH Substance Use Disorders Strategic Initiative. Naomi has a passion for supporting innovation and quality improvement in the way we care for marginalized and vulnerable populations.

Julia Lesnick

Julia Lesnick is a Research Intern at Think:Kids, assisting in data organization, management, and analysis. Julia graduated Wellesley High School in 2014, and is currently enrolled in Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology where she majors in human development and minors in feminist, gender and sexuality studies (expected year of graduation 2018). Her specific interests lie in the intersection between developmental psychopathology and feminist studies, specifically the influence of exposure to family and partner abuse on youth health outcomes. In addition to working at Think:Kids, Julia is a Research Assistant in Cornell’s Adolescent Transitions Lab where she works with a team studying how different aspects of puberty influence development. Julia also volunteers in the childcare program at REACH, a domestic violence outreach organization serving the Greater Boston area.

Dr. Alisha Pollastri

Alisha R. Pollastri, Ph.D., is Director of Research and Evaluation at Think:Kids. For the last decade, Dr. Pollastri’s research has focused on the identification of neurobiological, social, and environmental factors that contribute to disruptive behaviors, particularly in children. At Think:Kids, Dr. Pollastri is responsible for evaluating how, and for whom, Collaborative Problem Solving works best. Through the analysis of data collected in our clinic and in our partner schools and agencies, Dr. Pollastri strives to promote a clearer understanding of challenging kids and to improve child outcomes.

Dr. Pollastri earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at Clark University, and completed a clinical internship in community and school-based mental health at South Shore Mental Health Inc. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Kristen Paadre

Kristen Paadre is a Research Coordinator at Think:Kids, assisting with all aspects of research and evaluation tasks including project planning, data management, and research publications.  She earned a BA in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross and prior to joining Think:Kids, she worked as an early childhood educator and a developmental psychology and education researcher. Kristen is passionate about helping children and families and enjoys conducting research that influences practice.

Ben Stich

Ben Stich, LICSW, M.Ed is a Clinical Trainer and Consultant for Think:Kids.  In his role, he supports a wide range of individuals and organizations seeking to learn CPS and integrate the model within organizations. Ben facilitates coaching sessions for schools, residential facilities and community-based providers, and provides Group Supervision to those working toward certification as Think:Kids practitioners and trainers. He also supports the ongoing development of the Parent Mentor program and conducts Think:Kids trainings in the community.

Ben has extensive experience in working with young people with challenging behavior: he worked for eight years as a Program Director at Germaine Lawrence, a residential treatment program for adolescent girls, and six years as an Adjustment Counselor at a Massachusetts high school where he introduced and helped the district adopt CPS.  In addition to his work at Think:Kids, Ben has a robust private Family and Divorce Mediation practice in Natick, MA.   He earned an MSW from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work and an M.Ed in Organizational Development from Endicott College.


Jennifer Tierney

Jennifer Tierney is the Training and Services Coordinator for Think:Kids in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. Jen earned her BA in Corporate Communications at Framingham State University. Prior to joining Think:Kids, Jen worked as a Service Coordinator in home care where she managed a team of over 100 home health aides in the Boston area. Jen has an eagerness to help others and is excited for the opportunity to work with children and their families.