(973) 898-0505

F: (973) 898-9399

145 Washington St.
Morristown, NJ 07960

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Steven Tobias, Psy.D.

NJ License #35SI00271900

Dr. Steven Tobias is the Director of the Center for Child & Family Development. He has over 25 years experience working with children, parents, families, and schools. Dr. Tobias primarily utilizes a short-term cognitive-behavioral model focusing on practical skill development for children and adults; however, treatment programs are developed individually in collaboration with clients. While he utilizes a pragmatic approach to psychotherapy, he values the relationship with the client, and believes in establishing a caring commitment to each client.

Dr. Tobias provides treatment for a range of emotional, social, and behavioral problems:

  • Difficulty with emotional regulation, such as anxiety, depression, and anger

  • Behavioral difficulties including oppositional behavior and attention deficits

  • Difficulty establishing peer relationships and social skills

  • Family conflict and parenting

  • Eating and toileting resistance related to anxiety

 

Dr. Tobias also provides consultation to schools and believes in a team approach to children’s difficulties. Communication with and involvement by parents, teachers, and other professionals is crucial to helping children.

 

Dr. Tobias has coauthored several books, including Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Teenager,and Social Problem Solving: Interventions in the Schools. He is often a contributor to the radio station NJ 101.5, and has given lectures throughout the country on topics related to children’s emotional development and parenting.

 

Dr. Tobias is a consultant for ToysNTales which is a team of top-notch children specialists who have created all sorts of fun educational products for helping kids handle the tough stuff of growing up. Parents and children discover life lessons through imaginative books, educational toys and board games. ToysNTales provides families playful and friendly ways to discover what they are truly capable of as unique individuals. To find out more, visit www.toysntales.com.

Margaret Tobias, Psy.D.

NJ License # 35SI00579900

Dr. Margaret Tobias is a licensed psychologist in New Jersey. She has specialized training in cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, family therapy, and parenting skills. Dr. Tobias enjoys working with children, adolescents, young adults, and parents. Her treatment covers a range of concerns, including anxiety and stress-related disorders, depression, mood disorders, behavior problems, and ADHD. 

Dr. Tobias also conducts psychological and psychoeducational evaluations to assess and make specific recommendations for cognitive strengths and weaknesses, processing deficits, learning disorders, ADHD, and problems with social, emotional, and behavioral functioning. As a psychologist, Dr. Tobias addresses the individual needs of each client while recognizing and building on their strengths. She believes that a collaborative relationship between the therapist and client is paramount to therapeutic success and that most progress is made when all parties (family, school, physicians, and others) work together toward common treatment goals.

Dr. Tobias is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Dickinson College where she majored in psychology. She earned her Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Maryland. Dr. Tobias completed an APA Accredited Pre-Doctoral Internship with the Psychological Services department of Virginia Beach City Public Schools in Virginia Beach, VA. Dr. Tobias’s additional training experiences included the outpatient psychology department of Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore, MD, and the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Program at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC.

Dr. Tobias is a member of the Morris County Psychological Association, New Jersey Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, and Anxiety and Depression Association of America. She has held leadership positions within both local and national psychological associations. Dr. Tobias has delivered parenting workshops and presentations at regional and national conferences on topics including supervision, self-care, and ethical decision-making.

Steven Tobias, Psy.D., Director

NJ License #35SI00271900

Dr. Steven Tobias is the Director of the Center for Child & Family Development. He has over 25 years experience working with children, parents, families, and schools. Dr. Tobias primarily utilizes a short-term cognitive-behavioral model focusing on practical skill development for children and adults; however, treatment programs are developed individually in collaboration with clients. While he utilizes a pragmatic approach to psychotherapy, he values the relationship with the client, and believes in establishing a caring commitment to each client.

Dr. Tobias provides treatment for a range of emotional, social, and behavioral problems:

  • Difficulty with emotional regulation, such as anxiety, depression, and anger

  • Behavioral difficulties including oppositional behavior and attention deficits

  • Difficulty establishing peer relationships and social skills

  • Family conflict and parenting

  • Eating and toileting resistance related to anxiety

 

Dr. Tobias also provides consultation to schools and believes in a team approach to children’s difficulties. Communication with and involvement by parents, teachers, and other professionals is crucial to helping children.

 

Dr. Tobias has coauthored several books, including Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Teenager,and Social Problem Solving: Interventions in the Schools. He is often a contributor to the radio station NJ 101.5, and has given lectures throughout the country on topics related to children’s emotional development and parenting.

 

Dr. Tobias is a consultant for ToysNTales which is a team of top-notch children specialists who have created all sorts of fun educational products for helping kids handle the tough stuff of growing up. Parents and children discover life lessons through imaginative books, educational toys and board games. ToysNTales provides families playful and friendly ways to discover what they are truly capable of as unique individuals. To find out more, visit www.toysntales.com.

 
 

Perry Bell, Psy.D.

NJ License # 35SI00608600

Dr. Perry Bell received his doctorate in Psychology from the Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. He also holds a masters in School Psychology and a New Jersey Certification as a School Psychologist from the same institution. Dr. Bell completed his undergraduate degree at Brandeis University. Prior to joining CCFD, Dr. Bell worked for public and private educational and clinical institutions.

Dr. Bell practices from a family-systems, cognitive-behavioral orientation. This means that his focus is on the teaching and acquisition of skills to manage the emotional, cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal demands of life. Additionally, Dr. Bell takes into account the family as the context in which children live and the important role of parents in the lives of children.

Dr. Bell specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents and families. His areas of focus include the treatment of depression, anxiety, stress, obsessive- compulsive behavior, developmental and social challenges related to autism, inattention and hyperactivity challenges, behavior challenges in young children, parenting strategies for difficult behaviors, learning challenges and time management. 

 

Dr. Bell’s interest is in the field of social- emotional learning (SEL) or the avenues, strategies and methods by which children, parents and teachers can learn the skills of emotionally intelligent living, parenting and teaching. His writing, curricula and research has been published in the Journal of Education and Urban Policy, the Australian Handbook of School Psychology, the American Educational Research Organization as well as local newspaper outlets, state and professional organizations.

 

Outside of clinical work, Dr. Bell develops programs, trainings, consultations, talks and curricula on SEL, character development and stress management for private and public schools, athletic teams, parent organizations and teacher organizations.

 

Dr. Bell is a former High School Varsity Basketball coach and is a Morris County native.

 
 

Marilyn Ruiz, M.D.

NJ License #25MA04989100

Dr. Marilyn Ruiz is a physician licensed to practice medicine in the State of New Jersey with specialty in pediatrics and additional medical training in neurodevelopmental pediatrics. She received her M.D. from Howard University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1983 after completing a selective 7-year B.S.-M.D. program initiated at The Sophie-Davis School of Biomedical Education at The City College of New York, CUNY (from where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1981 plus achieved the academic requirements of the 1st two years of medical school then transferred to 3rd year medical school). Notably, Dr. Ruiz was particularly drawn to the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education 7-year-B.S.-M.D. program’s mission to expand access to excellent medical education and medical services to individuals from underrepresented, underserved communities of as well as the program’s vision of: access – excellence – community.

After receiving her M.D. degree, Dr. Ruiz completed her pediatric internship and residency in 1986 and subsequently a Fellowship in Developmental Pediatrics in 1988 both through Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons at St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospitals in NYC. She became Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in 1989.

Throughout her career as a pediatrician, Dr. Ruiz has been addressing the health and developmental concerns of children consistently providing hospital- and clinic-based pediatric care as well as school- and community-based pediatric medical services in New York and New Jersey. As a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician, Dr. Ruiz has vast experience in addressing the neurologically-based developmental concerns of children at hospitals, private settings and various schools. Her experiences have included evaluation and consultation of special needs children at The Lighthouse School for the Blind, The Lexington School for the Deaf and the New York Institute School for Special Education in NYC.

In 1988, Dr. Ruiz was employed at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Department of Pediatrics and Child Development Center in various functions including: Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician in the Child Development Center; Supervising Attending Physician in the Pediatric Clinic; School Physician to regular schools; School Physician/Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician consultant to schools for children with special needs; and, Instructor of Clinical Pediatrics through the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons for the Pediatric Residency program at Morristown Memorial Hospital. Within a year, Dr. Ruiz was offered the position of Course Director of the Developmental Pediatrics Resident’s Rotation, teaching residents in training as well as formulating and presenting the Developmental Pediatrics Resident Lecture Series. In 1989, Dr. Ruiz was offered the position of Medical Director of the Child Development Center and Special Care Infant Follow-up Program continuing in all prior roles as well. Additionally, from 1992-1998, Dr. Ruiz was also a part of a child sexual abuse response team as a child sexual abuse pediatrician consultant providing child sexual abuse evaluations of child victims and involved in training of pediatric residents in child sexual abuse evaluations.

Since 1998, Dr. Ruiz has been practicing as a Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician consultant at the Center for Child & Family Development in Morristown, NJ and as a School Physician/Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician consultant to schools including for children with neurodevelopmental conditions, such as the Park Lake School, The Regional Day School and The Allegro School.

Dr. Ruiz has given presentations on neurodevelopmental pediatrics topics including for the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Developmental Disabilities, Grand Rounds, etc. for pediatricians, physicians-in-training, school staff, parents and family child care providers. Ruiz has also co-authored journal articles on neurodevelopmental topics published in medical journals including pediatrics.

Dr. Ruiz has also appeared on television (e.g. ABC Eyewitness News) selected by her supervisor at Morristown Memorial Hospital as an expert in child development. Dr. Ruiz has also testified in court as an expert in her field as a neurodevelopmental pediatrician. Additionally, Dr. Ruiz has also testified in court as an expert in child sexual abuse evaluations on behalf of the child victims.

Since 2010, Dr. Ruiz has been proud to be on the Board of Trustees for El Primer Paso, a unique, non-profit, multi-service agency serving its predominantly underserved Hispanic community including offering a much-needed, high-quality, nationally-accredited, developmentally, culturally and financially responsive, affordable bilingual preschool education program at a research-supported critical time for initiating the first steps that can significantly and positively have an impact towards lifelong learning, as well as, providing English as a second language curriculum for adults, family childcare services, professional staff training and community advocacy.

Dr. Ruiz has been and continues to be a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a designation by the American Academy of Pediatrics for pediatricians who have obtained board certification and made ongoing commitment to lifelong learning and advocacy for children.

Moreover, Dr. Ruiz is bilingual, speaking English and Spanish. She brings a personal connection to the underserved and disadvantaged especially those of Hispanic communities as a first generation Latina child of parents emigrating from Puerto Rico whose first language was Spanish and who grew up in the New York City’s projects in an inner city underserved and disadvantaged community. She also brings a personal connection to children with developmental, learning and neurological disorders and special needs experiencing children with neurodevelopmental disabilities in her own extended family. She is personally invested in the advocacy for the ongoing optimal health and development of all children and families with a special place in her heart for those of underserved and disadvantaged communities and for children with developmental, learning and neurological disorders.

She maintains an investment towards continuing to pursue the vision that drew her to her initial training of: access – excellence – community.

 

David Leigh, Psy.D.

NJ License #35SI00413200

Dr. David Leigh is a licensed psychologist in New Jersey and a NJ certified school psychologist who has worked with children, adolescents and their parents for more than two decades using a cognitive behavioral approach to mental health issues. 

Having graduated from the S.U.N.Y at Stony Brook in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Dr. Leigh went on to earn a master’s degree and certification as a school psychologist from Montclair State University in 1991. Dr. Leigh enrolled in the doctoral program in school psychology at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology of Rutger’s University in 1993, completing that program in 1999.

Dr. Leigh began his career as a school psychologist in 1992, working with children and adolescents within a school setting for eight years until advancing to the position as Director of Special Services.  He subsequently worked for seventeen years as a Director of Special Services in public school settings, overseeing the special needs programs for students presenting with a wide range of educationally disabling conditions.  Dr. Leigh has extensive knowledge of school based services as he has worked closely with child study teams, as well as other professionals, to develop and implement individualized education plans (IEPs) and Section 504 Individualized Accommodation Plans (IAPs) for students.  Dr. Leigh's knowledge of school based services allows him to understand the most appropriate and effective methods for attaining reasonable supports.  Dr. Leigh is presently serving as the Principal of the New Alliance Academy, a private therapeutic high school for adolescents with psychiatric conditions.

Dr. Leigh joined the Center for Child & Family Development in 1999 where he has worked as a private practitioner using a cognitive behavioral approach to mental health issues impacting children and teenagers. Dr. Leigh works closely with parents to understand the nature of the condition that is impacting the functional behavior of the client, while establishing targeted goals that require specific, practical interventions.

Dr. Leigh’s experiences in private practice, and as a school psychologist and director of special services, have allowed him to develop expertise in the following areas:

  • School related challenges (ie. disorders of learning, program options)

  • Effective Parenting Techniques

  • Anxiety based disorders

  • Mood disorders

  • Behavioral disorders

  • Bullying related matters

  • ADHD

  • Adolescent Substance Abuse

 

Joseph (J.J.) Ferrito, Psy.D.

NJ License #35SI00582400

Dr. Joseph (J.J.) Ferrito is a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist in New Jersey. He specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Dr. Ferrito has experience working 

with children, adolescents, and adults across a variety of levels of care including schools, outpatient therapy clinics, intensive outpatient treatment programs, partial hospitalization programs, residential treatment centers, and inpatient hospital settings. Dr. Ferrito provides individual and family therapy, as well as psychological and psycho-educational evaluations to address a wide variety of mental health concerns. Treatment offered by Dr. Ferrito can address a variety of concerns ranging from depression, anxiety, trauma, and behavioral difficulties, to parenting skills, social skills, and methods for promoting general well-being. Dr. Ferrito is strengths-oriented, solution-focused, and emphasizes active collaboration and communication with clients, families, and others involved in the client’s life (e.g., school, physicians, programs). Evaluations typically address questions related to accurate psychiatric diagnosis (e.g., depression, anxiety, ADHD), patterns of cognitive and academic functioning (e.g., learning disorders, processing difficulties), and social, emotional, and behavioral functioning so as to best inform treatment and intervention planning (e.g., to inform ongoing therapy, educational interventions, behavior interventions).

Dr. Ferrito’s research has focused on sustainable methods for fostering and assessing Social Emotional Learning and Character Development (SECD) in children and adolescents. He co-authored several articles on SECD and co-authored a book on the topic with Dr. Maurice Elias  and Dr. Dominic Mocceri (The Other Side of the Report Card, https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/the-other-side-of-the-report-card/book245000).

Dr. Ferrito earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Marist College, Master’s Degree in School Psychology from Rutgers University, and Doctorate in Applied Psychology from Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. He completed an APA Accredited Pre-Doctoral Internship at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital in San Diego California. He then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Forensic Psychology at Hackensack University Medical Center during which he received advanced training in the recognition, treatment, and assessment of risk associated with child abuse and maltreatment, as well as earned additional certifications through Montclair State University in Civil and Family Forensic Psychology and Criminal Forensic Psychology.  

 

Nanette Sudler, Ph.D.

NJ License #35SI00420900

Dr. Nanette Sudler is a New Jersey licensed psychologist who has been practicing clinical psychology for over 20 years. Since 1999 she has provided both individual and group therapy as part of the team at the Center for Child & Family Development.

Dr. Sudler primarily works from a cognitive-behavioral orientation with a focus toward positive psychology. In addition, she draws from an eclectic range of approaches in order to facilitate an individualized treatment plan. Her areas of expertise include anxiety, specific phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression, trichotillomania, coping with hearing loss, social skills deficits, sexual abuse, adolescent issues, improving parenting skills and formulating coping skills for a wide range of concerns. Having three children of her own, and family members who are hearing impaired, as well as working with a diverse range of clients, has given Dr. Sudler a broad perspective on treatment issues.

           

Majoring in psychology as well as in business, Dr. Sudler earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Delaware. Continuing her studies in psychology, she focused on both research and clinical work, and received both her master’s and doctorate from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, PA. Her training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and Monmouth Medical Center provided her with an expansive scope of experiences in treating various client populations.

           

Dr. Sudler has published several articles with topics such as childhood attachment and depressive symptoms during adolescence, and the management of chronic pain. In the “Textbook of Adolescent Health Care”, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, she co-authored two chapters with Steven Tobias, Psy.D; these chapters focused on academic overachievers and underachievers, and gifted/twice exceptional adolescents. Currently, she is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA), Morris County Psychological Association (MCPA), and the New Jersey Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (NJACT).

 

Susan Estes, M.S., LDTC

Mrs. Susan Cavalieri Estes M. S. joined the Center for Child & Family Development in 2005 as our Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant. Mrs. Estes services our clients by administrating educational assessments and provides in depth reports with test results, summaries of the testing and recommendations for the individual needs of our clients.

 

Mrs. Estes has had a long career in education. She received her B.A. in education from S.U.N.Y Potsdam NY. While teaching as an elementary teacher, she pursued her masters in Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities, from the College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY.

 

Mrs. Estes continued her career at NY School for the Deaf, where she successfully developed a program for 15-21 year old deaf students with multiple disabilities. This program included academics, vocational training, life skills and daily living skills. She was a job coach for many of her students and continued as an advocate as they graduated from her program. Mrs. Estes received her Deaf Education certification from Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. During this time Mrs. Estes studied with Behavior Management specialists and developed specific programs for teachers and colleagues to utilize and support their students and their classrooms.

When Mrs. Estes moved to NJ, she found that she could continue her work with deaf and hearing impaired students at the Lake Drive School in Mountain Lakes. Mrs. Estes was soon approached to provide educational testing to hearing impaired and deaf students.

Mrs. Estes’ ability to communicate through sign language and her certifications as a Learning Consultant facilitated those assessments. She provided evaluations for the State of New Jersey, as well as, many districts throughout the state and Catholic Charities, who required assessments for both deaf and hearing students. She soon started her private practice.

Mrs. Estes’ evaluations examine each client’s strengths and investigate areas that present difficulty or concern. Through diagnostic testing, observations, and experience, she strives to provide for each client the information that is necessary to address their individual needs and improve their academic development. She believes that the remediation process can be complex and while addressing an identified concern, it is essential to build and maintain a positive self-image and concept. Positive self-esteem establishes feelings of confidence, independence and competency which is essential to support academic growth and personal success.

 

Affiliated Staff

Richard Kleinmann, J.D., M.D.

NJ License #25MA06983300

Dr. Richard Kleinmann maintains an independent practice within the Center for Child & Family Development building.

 

Dr. Kleinmann has over 14 years of experience providing psychiatric care to children, adolescents and adults. He also provides independent psychiatric evaluations for 

elementary, middle and high schools. Areas of interest include depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and Bipolar Disorder (manic depression and psychotic disorders.) Dr. Kleinmann believes in a collaborative approach when recommending utilization of medication. He recognizes that all medications have side effects and that it is therefore important to discuss the relative advantages and risks of any medication under consideration.

Dr. Kleinmann grew up on Long Island, the son of an English war bride and an American GI. He attended the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania), Columbia Law School and New Jersey Medical School. He believes his legal education is often helpful when advising families with school age children.