Linda DeBalzo, MSN, CNS
“I am a native Clevelander and have had the privilege of treating thousands of patients in our local communities over my years in practice. I am a board certified Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing, skilled in providing psychotherapy and medication evaluation and management for patients struggling with a wide range of emotional difficulties and life stresses. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Case Western Reserve University and my Masters of Science in Nursing at Boston University. My goal and focus with my patients is to partner with them in building a therapeutic relationship that allows us to thoroughly evaluate and understand their problem and concerns, and to develop, implement, and evaluate a quality plan of care to address them.”
Larissa Elgudin, MD
“In my youth, reading and learning about human relationships and the way people experience the world always fascinated me. I chose psychiatry as a field in the early years of my medical school training. I was interested in treating the complexity of people’s emotions, mind, and body. During my adult psychiatry residency, I selected to pursue a subspecialty in child and adolescent psychiatry. I am skilled in treating children, adolescents, and adults as well as families. As a psychiatrist, I value a psychotherapy approach that helps me to recognize the whole person within the scope of his or her family, culture, and health status. I have an extensive expertise and knowledge in major psychiatric illnesses, including attention deficit disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, gender dysphoria, sexual health and intimacy issues. For many years, I have also been working closely with internationally adopted children and their families.
Prior to joining DeBalzo, Elgudin, Levine, Risen LLC, I served as Chief of Department of Behavior Health at Kaiser Permanente Ohio and worked as a psychiatrist there for many years. I am a Clinical Instructor at the Department of Psychiatry at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. I am Board Certified in both General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.”
Aryeh Graber, PhD
“I am a licensed clinical psychologist at DELR LLC. I have had the benefit of being trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches, across diverse treatment settings, which have collectively informed my clinical practice. Above all, I aim to foster a genuine and trusting therapeutic relationship which I believe to be the cornerstone for any type of personal growth, and strive to match treatment interventions to each person’s goals, strengths, and motivation. I enjoy working with individuals across the age spectrum experiencing difficulties with anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, coping with chronic or serious medical illnesses, and various relationship challenges. I also have a particular interest in providing psychological and cognitive assessments for both children and adults who are interested in gaining a greater understanding of their particular challenges. I believe strongly in utilizing a collaborative and integrative therapeutic stance, and I often incorporate cognitive-behavioral, schema-oriented, and mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches in my work. I aim to assist people in developing concrete and achievable goals over the course of therapy and to carefully monitor progress along the way. I provide brief and longer-term psychotherapy and am happy to provide appointments in the evenings.”
Julia Leb, LPC, M.Ed
“I began my career journey in education and social justice work in Boston, which eventually led me to mental health counseling. I completed my Master’s in Counseling at John Carroll University and my clinical internship in Cleveland. I later worked in correctional settings and established a private practice in Madison, Wisconsin. I have lived in places all over the world, where I have loved learning about different cultures and people, and I am excited to be back in my hometown of Cleveland.
I find that I have always been interested in and inspired by people. Life transitions, relationships, daily stressors, and our individual journeys have the potential to bring us joy and growth as well as pain. I love helping my clients develop their self-awareness and to build strategies to cope with life’s challenges. We can work together to help you to move forward in life and achieve your goals.
I feel that it is a privilege to provide a non-judgmental and safe space for us to explore whatever comes up for you. I work with adolescents through older adults and I utilize mindfulness, strength-based and insight-oriented approaches. Sessions are tailored to individual client needs. I specialize in depression, anxiety, identity issues, life transitions, relationship and family dynamics, and postpartum concerns.”
Stephen B. Levine, MD
Dr. Levine is an experienced psychiatrist who values psychotherapeutic processes with individuals, couples, and families, with or without the use of psychotropic medications. He has a long interest in sexual problems and in teaching young professionals how to assess, understand, and treat problems that occur within the ambition to love and be loved. He is the author of a number of books and journal articles on this subject.
Mark Lovinger, Ph.D.
“My training in both child and adult assessment and treatment from Case Western Reserve University and Montefiore Hospital at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, along with over 30 years of clinical and teaching experience, has enabled me to develop a unique set of diverse skills and a nuanced approach to assessment and treatment. In addition to conducting individual child, adult, marital and family therapy, my practice specialty focuses on helping families going through divorce, particularly in preserving children’s best interests. This includes mediation and parent coordination, reunification therapy in cases of parent contact problems, and court ordered custody evaluations in order to determine allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.
Prior to joining DELR, I served as the founder and clinical director of Advanced Therapy Center, Co-director of the Eating Management Center and Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. I have also made presentations to local and national audiences and have been a radio and TV guest. Currently, I am on faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), the American Psychological Association (APA), Ohio Psychological Association (OPA), Cleveland Psychological Association (CPA), and the Society for Sex Therapy and Research.”
Bonnie Miller Ladds, LISW
“I have had the privilege of having a 25+ year career as a licensed clinical social worker / psychotherapist, certified divorce coach, supervisor and administrator in New York City. My passion and commitment to helping others on their journey has been steadfast throughout my life. I have a master’s degree in clinical social work from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, and post master’s training in family systems, trauma treatment, psychodynamic psychotherapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), psychotherapy and spirituality, and additional training as a certified divorce coach.
By fostering a safe, trusting, therapeutic environment, I help people through the emotional rigors and complexities of their lives. I utilize a customized approach for each person in recognition of each individual’s unique present circumstance and history. It is an honor for me to offer my experience and tools to do the work of my heart and soul.”
Lois Nicholson, MSN, CNS
“I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. I earned my degree as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing from Case Western Reserve University and have made the Akron/Cleveland area my home and center of psychiatric practice.
I have a love of nature and travel which helps me with understanding people from all walks of life. I believe it is important to have a holistic approach to psychiatric care. Assessing the physical pain is only one part of healing. Addressing emotional health and evaluating social aspects impacting one’s life is equally important. I believe in using all the clinical tools available for treatment that include psychotherapy and medication management.”
Anna Novak, LISW-S
“When I started my master’s degree at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, one of the things I was confident about was my desire to work with children and their families. My field placement at Crossroads in Lake County only solidified that as I had the chance to work with many families of various socioeconomic statuses and with a wide variety of issues. I became passionate about helping parents find more effective parenting and discipline strategies and became a certified Love and Logic Facilitator.
Over time and through my private practice journey, I realized I had a special interest in specific areas of sexuality including sexual compulsion/deviance and gender dysphoria. As a way of combining my experience with children and families, I specialize in treating children and adolescents experiencing varying degrees of gender dysphoria. I also enjoy treating couples and individuals.”
Candace Risen, LISW-S
“I came to Cleveland to pursue a graduate degree in social work at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, not knowing that I would establish roots here and make Cleveland my home. My graduate internship at the University Hospitals Department of Psychiatry confirmed that I was where I wanted to be and that working with people who were suffering from emotional issues was my calling.
I have always strived to bring the core values of my social work background into my practice of psychotherapy-values of compassion, acceptance, and respect for the multiple forces that come together to make us who we are. While I have enjoyed a professional career of treating a wide range of issues and problems, I developed along the way a special interest in reaching out to people with problematic sexual behaviors who might not otherwise be understood or helped. My patients have taught me a lot over the years and for that I will always be grateful.”
Brittany K. Sommers, PhD
“I was drawn to psychology because I value learning about my clients as they share their stories of both challenge and resiliency. I received my PhD in Counseling Psychology from Andrews University and have experience working with diverse clients in community and university settings. I enjoy working with adolescents, adults, and couples with concerns related to anxiety, bipolar, depression, emotion regulation, personality, relationships, sexuality, spirituality, and trauma. I have a special interest in working with clients with self-injurious behaviors. In the counseling room, I aim to build a safe therapeutic relationship which fosters both acceptance and change. I draw mainly from relational therapy and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) approaches. I look forward to working together as you develop new skills, meanings, and ways of relating.”
Sholom Stern, LPCC, PhD
“One of my core beliefs is that no two individuals are the same. I work hard to understand, at a deep level, the person I’m working with in the therapeutic setting. My practice is informed by a variety of psychological modes of practice and theory including psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, gestalt psychology, behavioral theory, and developmental theory. I also have a deep interest and training in mindfulness techniques and clinical hypnotherapy. My original training was from John Carroll University where I received my Masters in Counseling. This was followed by a doctoral program at Kent State University where I earned my Ph.D. This formal training is constantly enhanced by the discussions I have with my patients in session. I often see patients for issues including depression, anxiety, sexual disorder, interpersonal issues, and grief. In addition, I work with families and children around family dynamics, difficult or defiant behaviors, and ADHD. I learn a significant amount from each of the individuals I work with and am grateful for each one’s unique story and perspective.
Seeking to understand a person from a variety of perspectives provides me with a more complete picture, which can be drawn on throughout the therapeutic relationship. One’s family, social, medical, spiritual, educational, and vocational history are valuable areas that often lend helpful perspective. Combining understanding with warmth and compassion allow me to connect deeply with the person in front of me. It is an honor to be given permission to enter another person’s life in this meaningful way.”