About

CLAUDIA B. RUTHERFORD, Ph.D. – Director

I am a licensed clinical psy2015-08-26 15.03.10chologist, originally from New York City, who has been living in the Pioneer Valley since 2002. I have a PhD in clinical psychology from Adelphi University. Prior to moving to Massachusetts, I worked in medical and psychiatric settings in New York City. After moving here, I first worked at a child and adolescent clinic in the Berkshires and then a clinic for children, adults, and families in the Pioneer Valley. I opened my own practice in 2004. At Pioneer Valley Psychological Assessment, I specialize in psychological and neuropsychological testing of children and adults up to age 55. I see a wide variety of issues and enjoy helping people clarify why they are having difficulties, what their strengths are, and how to move forward. I strive to write clear, user-friendly reports that are informative, thorough, and easy to understand. In addition to my private practice, I am adjunct faculty in the clinical psychology doctoral program at UMass-Amherst, I am a fellow of the Massachusetts Psychological Association and have served on the board of the Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society. I am active in behavioral health advocacy work and have received recognition from the American Psychological Association and the Massachusetts Psychological Association for these efforts on behalf of clients.

HEATHER CRIPPS DENNO, MS/CAGS – AssociateHeather's Photo

I am a Licensed School Psychologist (All Levels) certified through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, a Certified Educational Psychologist through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Board of Professional Licensure, and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Born in Springfield, MA, I spent my formative years in Western Massachusetts. I earned a Bachelor’s of the Arts in Psychology from Westfield State University in 2004. I initially worked for the Carson Center in Westfield, MA providing behavioral health and rehabilitation services for adults with mental health needs. Following my work at the Carson Center, I took a yearlong position as a Spanish teacher for middle school aged students in Longmeadow, MA. I knew after that experience that my passion was to work with children and adolescents. I earned a MS/CAGS in School Psychology from Northeastern University in 2008. I have been in the field of education for 11 years in the roles of paraprofessional, classroom teacher, team chairperson/educational team leader for special education, counselor, and school psychologist, and have worked in both eastern and western Massachusetts. Considering the variety of roles I have had, I feel I have a unique perspective on education and understand the inner workings of the field.  I have experience at the elementary, middle and high school level and have worked with children as young as three, to adolescents, to young adults.  Though I have experience with many age groups, I particularly enjoy working with adolescents; I am  skilled in the ability to relate to adolescents and can understand their needs.  I specialize in the psychological and educational assessment. My goal in assessing and report writing is to help those that are struggling find some answers as to why. My primary experience has been in identifying educational disabilities to determine if a child or adolescent is in need of additional intervention, modifications, or accommodations that would capitalize on his/her strengths while remediating his/her weaknesses. In addition to working at Pioneer Valley Psychological Assessment, I am also employed as School Psychologist at Northampton High School.

FLANNERY GEIER, Psy.D. – Neuropsychology Associate

I am a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialization in neuropsychology.  I am originally from New Jersey but my studies and training have taken me across the country. I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from Middlebury College in Vermont in 2007. I went on to earn my doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium in Palo Alto, California in 2014. I completed my pre-doctoral internship at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio where I specialized in neuropsychology with a focus on memory disorders, posttraumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, and cognitive rehabilitation. I then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School where I served a diverse multilingual population from the greater Boston area and gained extensive experience performing evaluations for adults with suspected AD/HD, learning disorders, dementia, and other cognitive disorders. I am a board member of the Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society (MNS). flannery-geier_photo

At Pioneer Valley Psychological Assessment, I specialize in assessing adolescents and adults — from concerns about attention and learning abilities to concerns about mood, anxiety, or memory changes. I see these assessments as a way to better understand an individual in an empathic yet structured way. I welcome the opportunity to delve into the important elements of a client’s life story in order to evaluate thinking skills and emotional functioning in the context of varied life experiences. By writing accessible, targeted reports and providing therapeutic feedback, my goal is to provide clients with a greater understanding of areas of strength and weakness with an emphasis on realistic and achievable recommendations that address areas of concern and promote emotional and cognitive well-being.

MARGO TOWNLEY MSW, Psy.D. – Associate

I am a licensed clinical psychologist  who previously worked in child protection and related fields as a social worker for more than 20 years in Kansas, Missouri, South Carolina and Massachusetts. I received my Masters of Social Work from the University of Kansas in 1998 and my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2015 from Union Institute and University. In addition to my knowledge and understanding of children and families, I have training completing neuropsychological evaluations, psychoeducational evaluations, and providing therapeutic interventions.

At Pioneer Valley Psychological Assessment, I specialize in psychological and neuropsychological testing of children and adults. I use a strengths-based approach to assessment and to providing recommendations for services and treatment with the aim of improving outcomes for people. I work to make the information and results accessible and understandable so meaningful services and changes are possible. I am an Adjunct Instructor at Greenfield Community College teaching psychology courses and I teach doctoral psychology interns about testing and assessment at an APA-approved placement site.

 

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