Head In The Right Direction Counseling Services, LCSW, P.C

Our Practice


Head in The Right Direction Counseling Services was incorporated in 2008 as a community based model of service delivery. We researched available treatment services and locations available in the counties we serve. Most service locations had 9 - 5  business hours and old  or outdated physical locations.   We wanted an  ideal  environment  to call home.  We found it in our current office locations.  We know that by providing flexibility in location, scheduling, and  up to date physical locations that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, we are able create an atmosphere of trust and comfort that our clients value and appreciate.  We have been able to develop Head In The Right Direction Counseling Services to what it is today.  It serves as a vehicle for positive change.  It is always  growing and changing to best meet the demands of a growing  and diverse community.  We serve the communities of the lower Hudson River Valley.  At this time our focus continues to be finding good therapists and credentialing with insurance companies to be better able to serve all who may need our services.

Our Therapists
Adam Barta, LCSW-R

I incorporated Head in The Right Direction Counseling Services in 2008.  Over the years, I have had the opportunity to develop several meaningful relationships which have encouraged me to take the next step in my personal mission.  I want to help as many people as I can and leave a mechanism in place to continue to this work after I am gone.  As the practice grows, we look forward to identifying ways to better serve the needs of our community.  Together, with a well experienced team of clinicians, I am looking forward to making this happen. 

As a therapist, I work to create a space where people can feel comfortable sharing their view of the world.  In doing so, we identify patterns, positions, and better ways of interacting with the world.  I have worked in a variety of settings with a variety of populations that gives me the confidence to hold the space for what is required.  I benefit from the discussions I am privileged to have.  I believe that that the insights from some serve others. The process continues to evolve everyone involved. 

Annmarie Crispino, LCSW

I have been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for the past 11 years, working with individuals and couples in a clinical setting, as well as private psychotherapy. I am  creative, compassionate and provide a welcoming style of psychotherapy that encourages every patient to work towards and attain their goals and dreams.  I am focused and attuned to the patient’s needs and will be able to create a safe and positive environment.  I believe that every person can reach their potential, strive towards their goals, heal from their past and obtain happiness by learning how to be present in their lives while learning how to be insightful about oneself and gain empowerment.    

I am a solution-based psychotherapist with specialties that include trauma, anxiety, depression, anger, ADHD, relationship problems and self-esteem.   8 years of experience working with victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault, as well as experience working with the perpetrators of domestic abuse.  I am a graduate of Rutgers University and obtained a Certificate in Violence Against Women and Children.    

Iris Vasquez-Rojas, LMSW

I started my career fourteen years ago working in non-profit agencies, Family, Criminal and IDV courts with children and homeless single mothers. I earned my Master Degree from Adelphi University in 2010 and have been a Licensed Social Worker for the past 7 years working with individuals of various populations to overcome depression, anxiety, anger management, relationship challenges, grief, and loss, and other life stresses.

I use an eclectic approach tailored to the unique needs of each client. I am compassionate, encouraging, honest and caring without judgement.  Since the pandemic started, I have had the opportunity to work with more children and teens than ever before.  I have seen the effects of chronic stress, isolation, existential anxiety on our children first hand.  I create a safe space for our youth to process their thoughts and feelings about themselves and their view of themselves in this ever changing world.   We focus on coping, developing and fostering social supports / skills, and learning more adaptive ways to adjust to our circumstances.  I consider myself an active therapist, combining experience, education, creativity and sense of humor with a realistic approach to counseling.  

Shauntay Jackson, LP MFT

I have my master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy with 11 years of experience in the human services field. I have worked with people who have dual or single diagnoses in the ID/DD population within an array of professional settings, including care coordination, residential, or day habilitation.  I have assisted families that needed immediate or long-term crisis interventions. My academic studies and personal experience have allowed me to develop my niche working with relationship issues ( couples, married, premarital, divorce, etc.). However, I am not limited to relationship issues. I also work with families and individuals who may be experiencing parent-child issues, sibling cut-offs, self-esteem, trauma, anxiety, and more. I am an integrative therapist that uses a person-centered approach that is not limited to Gottman, Solution Focused, Bowen, or even CBT.  I bring to you a compassionate and empathetic listening ear that provides honesty without judgment. My therapeutic goal is always to meet my clients where they are and provide a safe space for any need.

Kernisha Ottway, MFT Second Year Intern

Every day we face battles that some people don't understand. Many people feel locked in their thoughts or feelings, like they  don't have an out.

In therapy, everyone encounters a different experience, and with experiences comes a variety of emotions and insights.

I chose this field to give people the space to heal, strengthen, and develop themselves.  A space to process thoughts and feelings, address their hurt, and help bring awareness to self-love. 

This is an opportunity to learn, build,  and develop a stronger sense of self. . I am committed to the families and individuals I have the privilege of working with.  We will  utilize theory to build confidence, solidify motivation, and develop a variety of strategies that will manifest as an improved experience of life.

pulcastro pic.jpeg
Danielle Pulcastro, LCSW-R

I have been a social worker for 17 years and have worked with various populations, comorbid disorders, intellectual disabilities, and trauma history. While in the field, I have assisted my clients with increasing their distress tolerance skills, provided crisis intervention, and conflict resolution.  I have a vast array of knowledge in working with those who struggle with substance abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, interpersonal relationship issues, low self-esteem, ADHD, depression, and anxiety to name a few.

Through my years of experience, I have found that helping one feel empowered to help themselves has led to a positive increase in their quality of life.  My goal is to continue helping people help themselves.

Kourtney Wood, LMSW

Therapy should feel like an exclusive experience. It should not be a cookie cutter or one size fits all process. I believe in incorporating various evidence based modalities to create an individualized treatment plan that focuses on one’s unique and specific needs. Therapy is simply a guided journey. I want clients to understand their challenges are not areas of weaknesses, but rather areas of opportunity to gain insight, resilience, self awareness, and decision-making skills. 


I have over 10 years of Human Service experience working with individuals, couples, and families of diverse backgrounds. Most recently, I have been working with clients navigating through difficulties in life relating to; complex trauma, chronic health issues, anxiety, depression, PTSD, intimate partner violence, substance use, and co- occurring disorders. I believe in creating and maintaining a safe space free of judgement through client/ therapist collaboration.


The process of beginning therapy or finding a therapist can feel overwhelming and even scary. I want to congratulate you on being courageous and taking the first steps. I am very passionate about empowering clients. I am here to help support your journey, at your pace, one session at a time. 

Taylor Nyberg, MFT Second Year Intern

It seems easy to find ourselves stuck. Stuck in an everyday routine, stuck with our feelings, stuck in bad situations. If you are feeling this way, this is the perfect time to try out therapy. At some point in our lives, we have all felt these feelings. Maybe we feel we are not good enough or worrying about the future. Maybe we have anxious feelings around the COVID-19 pandemic. All of this can be stressful, overwhelming, and hard to deal with alone. Well, in that case, I am here to help.

Not every treatment works the same for everyone. That is why I utilize a person-centered approach to treatment. I have a passion for helping others achieve their goals. My approach emphasizes the mutual development of goals for therapy and the provision of ongoing evaluation of the therapeutic approach. I believe in working in partnerships with clients to utilize their strengths to help them sort out their challenges and achieve their goals. I enjoy working with an array of populations ranging from individuals, couples, and families.

Are you ready to seek help? Now is the time to start.

Our Mission

Head In The Right Direction’s mission is to promote wellness by making behavioral health services more accessible for all individuals and families. We seek to assist individuals and families in reaching their full potential for living enriching and satisfying lives and gaining better understanding of their world through the interventions of qualified, competent therapists.

Our Values


We are committed to take actions consistent with these values: We value the strengths and assets of our clients and their families and maintain that the individual is the center of the therapeutic relationship.  Their decisions guide the direction of therapy. We respect and observe the cultural and other diverse qualities of each client. We treat all individuals with respect, equality, courtesy, and fairness.


What is therapy?

Individual, couples therapy, family therapy , marriage counseling; whatever name you decide to call it, may or may not be an experience you're excited about. If you're a little worried about what might happen, here are a few things you can expect.

Evidence-based approaches are key to understanding effective therapy, whether for individuals, couples, or families. This means that the therapy you are receiving was tested against alternative methods, preferably in randomized controlled trials. Psychologists who provide evidence-based treatment don't stick to one particularly theoretical orientation just because they learned it in graduate school. Instead, they adapt their approach to ensure that they are following the best evidence - both clinical and research.

Some people seek counseling to strengthen their bonds with others and gain a better understanding of self and the world.  You can use counseling to address many specific issues, including:

  • General Angst in life

  • Communication problems

  • Relationship difficulties

  • Substance abuse

  • Anxiety

  • Lack of purpose

  • Anger

  • Depression

  • Unsuccessful attempts to make meaningful lasting change

  • Gain a better understanding of our world

Once someone enters therapy, the therapist's interpretation of issues may offer a new perspective, which permits a change in feelings and behavior. The therapist may act as a facilitator to clear up misunderstandings in our view of things.. This is often difficult for people to do themselves because they are emotionally caught up in the situation. The therapist may also help consider alternative ways of handling problematic situations.

We all want to feel happy, and each one of us has different ways of getting there. Our goal is to help improve satisfaction, increase helpful thinking, gain realistic expectations, overcome challenges and help you to reach your unique personal goals and maximum potential.

We will address and try to integrate the impact of any mood disorder, past trauma, and the effect of unhealthy relationships.

By gaining awareness, we can see where we have maintained self-limiting beliefs, and can then experiment with more self-fulfilling beliefs and behavioral options which haven't been considered before.