My Professional Background:
I am a Licensed Psychologist who manages the Marriage & Family Schema Therapy Institute of Healing International, Inc. (the non-profit I co-founded in 1986). I have been in private practice since 1992 (Wisconsin Family Growth & Reconciliation Center, LLC), and am employed by Healing International Inc. Doing clinical work since 1990, my background has been in multiple settings: Native American Indian reservations as an officer in the U.S. Commissioned Corps Public Health Service; forensic (Chief Psychologist and Consulting Psychologist, multiple prisons), rural mental health care, Mississippi; Boston City Hospital; a San Diego university clinic; and in a medium size mid-western city, Oshkosh, WI, outpatient community mental health and most predominantly private practice for the past 23 years, and now also in Virginia at select locations for Marital Intensives.
I was licensed by the State of Wisconsin in 1990 as a Psychologist, and in 2014 in Virginia as a Clinical Psychologist.Previous to being licensed, Romuald B. Simeone, co-founder and current President of Healing International, Inc. , and I taught Reconstructive Relational Dialog (SM) together since 1974. Over 7,000 people made our trainings to assist in healing marriages and families through easy-to- access workshop venues in churches, convents, rectories, retreat centers, prayer groups, Marriage Encounters, ecumenical interfaith centers, college pastoral centers, federal prison, and home gatherings in California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and Ohio.
Since being licensed, I have provided training for couples and individuals in workshops and seminars domestically, ... been quoted in many newspaper articles, interviewed on radio, and have had two radio shows, the most recent being in Oshkosh for a year and a half with the former owner of WXOL in a call-in series entitled: “Talk Life with Dr. D.”.
I have just co-authored a book published by Wiley-Blackwell, Schema Therapy with Couples, A Practitioner's Guide to Healing Relationships, being released internationally and in the U.S. A. (July 20, 2015).
I provide training for cliniciansin Schema Therapy for Couples domestically and internationally.
Workshops include: Schema Therapy for Couples for the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST)
New York City, NY
In 2009 I started the ISST Marital and Couples Workgroup, and ran it till mid-2014 when I was elected as Chair of the Couples Subcommittee to the ISST Board.
My clinical approach is primarily Schema Therapy, which integrates cognitive, analytic, gestalt and other experiential treatments into a sophisticated and cohesive treatment plan. Additionally, I realize that psychology needs to have theory based on the principles of logic, reason, and the nature of the human person. These together work towards fulfilling basic human Needs and the creation of meaning in life, essential ingredients of human fulfillment and happiness.
In my academic preparation, I graduated with Honors from Holy Apostles College, Connecticut with a double B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies as their first female graduate. This was a rigorous program which taught me to think logically and philosophically. This enables one to see deeper issues and separate them from come-and-go symptoms and hot issues. This essentially dove-tails with Schema Therapy, which also strives to form a deeper conceptualization of what is actually happening from a "Mode Perspective". It is these mode cycles connected to early formed coping mechanisms in response to environmentally caused "Early Maladaptive Schemas", commonly called schemas, that cause an individual or a couple to "get stuck" and seek out therapy. From there I received an M.A. in “Psychology in Education”, and an “M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology and Rehabilitation” from Columbia University, New York. I proceeded to obtain my Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Education in the Counseling Psychology program.
My mental health training & experience has deliberately been very varied, from rural Mississippi mental heath centers, to the V.A. Medical Center in Memphis as a graduate student, to Northern Nevada Mental Retardation Center while at Columbia University. My doctoral internship encompassed sites at Massachusetts maximum state prisons, as well as at Boston City Hospital. A second period of internship was pursued at U.S. International Psychology Clinic including teaching graduate students at their Irvine campus in California. After my degree I became a Commissioned Corps Officer in the Federal Public Health Service doing general psychotherapy and performing special assignments regarding sexual abuse victims. I then moved to Oshkosh to lead a psychology unit in the State of Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections as Chief Psychologist, and to eventually pursue private practice. In 1992 I opened Wisconsin Family Growth and Reconciliation Center, LLC which reached out to a wide variety of people of all backgrounds, faiths, or no faith. In the Spring of 2007 I opened up the division: Catholic/Christian Marriage Center, with a second office in Appleton, Wisconsin. Then, in 2015 I started the Marriage & Family Schema Therapy Institute, a division of Healing International, Inc., specializing in providing services for the healing of marriages and families, a life-long devotion of mine.
My credentials: Besides my licenses as a psychologist (WI and VA), after graduating, I was accepted as a member of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology and also received the Interjurisdictional Practice Certificate, from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. I attained Level II training in Gottman Couples Therapy, finished my Externship in Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), became certified in Medical/ Analytical Hypnotherapy, and was trained and supervised in EMDR. I turned my focus to Schema Therapy as I noticed the remarkable effect it had on clients. Schema Therapy is designed also for those with entrenched patterns and complex and difficult marital cycles (see research references on the Client and Professional Resources page). It allows me at the same time to utilize the skills developed via these other psychotherapeutic perspectives which I studied and practiced. I achieved Advanced and Trainer/Supervisor Certification in Individual Schema Therapy, and was also a certified at the highest level for Couples Schema Therapy, i.e. Trainer/Educational Consultant.
Professional Associations and Affiliations: I am active member of the International Society of Schema Therapy and meet with an international Workgroup & Subcommittee for Couples Schema Therapy on a monthly basis across 4 continents. I am also a member of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association, the Catholic Society of Social Scientists, and the Wisconsin Psychological Association.
The Institute was opened January 2015. It offers (under my certification and provision):
For Individuals & Couples/Marriage:
●Psychotherapy or Counseling (multiple areas) (See further listing on Therapy Services Offered page.)
●Packets of skill-based coaching.
●Couples Intensives, click here for further information
●Couples Psycho-educational Groups
●Educational Consultation for Schema Therapists in ST and ST-C
●Training for Therapists in Schema Therapy and Schema Therapy for Marriage/Couples (general/secular & Christian specialized trainings)
●Specialized services for clients who have a Christian background and wish to have a Gospel-based applications foundation to their therapy.
Coaching Services in Areas Including:
●Healing After Affairs
●Building a sound relationship home
●Healing missed bids for connection and "other disasters"
●Understanding the role of early trauma
●Understanding how affection shapes a baby's brain
●Renewing affection & sharing dialog
●Understandig your marital/couple's cycle
●Conceptualizing why you clash
●Resolving sexual issues
●Buidling a vision for the future
●Creating shared goals and meaning
●Resolving parenting clashes
●Calming one's reactivity
●Effectively learning to manage anger & frustration
●Filling "unmet Needs", such as for connection and personal sharing.
For furtherinformation on services offered and issues treated, click here. Your phone call is the first step in changing your life for the better! Take time to care for yourself & your marriage! CALL:920-233-2347
Who Do We Serve:
Intensives and psychotherapy/counseling and coaching are for persons of all faiths or not. We do not primarily or only serve dedicated Christians. Our goals are to tend to the deepest Needs and Goals of all who call to be clients.
For those who are Christians or seekers of something more in the spiritual/religious area with a Gospel-modeled therapeutic application, Jesus can step into your heart in Spirit and through imaging, through His Word and Life-Model. You may find help in Christian transformational Chairwork (or even secular traditional Chairwork, for that matter) and Healthy Adult Mode dialogues. This may assist in upholding a healthy perspective and version of yourself, providing coping techniques, comfort, guidance and wisdom that you are free to reference and connect with . Praying the Scriptures to encounter HIs abiding Presence, when carefully applied with guidance, may bring healing to the deepest of heart-wounds.
(Please Note: nothing in this web site including article content is meant to create any client relationship with any person. Neither Dr. Simeone-DiFrancesco nor Healing International, Inc., nor its division, the Marriage & Family Schema Therapy Institute…are engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal or other professional services through any content contained herein. Nothing written in this web site is meant to give specific counsel or psychological advice, and Dr. Simeone-DiFrancesco and Healing International, Inc. do not take responsibility for anyone’s interpretation, application, or other use or misuse of the information contained herein, including misunderstandings of psychological, spiritual or religious concepts.)
About the Institute:
Marriage & Family Schema Therapy Institute
Schema Therapy with Couples
January 1, 2015