About Dr. Pantaleno
I am a New York State
Certified School Psychologist and a New York State Licensed
Psychologist. Please see my formal
curriculum vitae for details about my education and training.
I am proud that I was named the 2007 NYS School Psychologist of the
Year by the New York State Association of School Psychologists (NYASP),
the 2008 Psychologist of the Year by the Suffolk County
Psychological Association (SCPA), the 2013 School Psychologist of
the Year by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP),
and honored with a profile by NYSUT (NYS United Teachers) I am
deeply honored by these recognitions from my colleagues, and strive
every day to meet the ideals of these treasured recognitions.
I believe that the
process of change depends on the expectations of the person coming
in for a consultation, within the context of that person’s family.
Sometimes, a young person is feeling significantly stressed and is
highly motivated to feel better. In other cases, some young people
may state that they are being brought for treatment against their
will and that everything would be fine if the adults in their lives
just left them alone.
The truth is that life’s
very real problems, challenges, and obstacles most often do not “get
better” on their own. Feelings get hurt. Parents try to impose
disciplinary measures as they feel a loss of control and sometimes
unintentionally only magnify the hurt. Young people feel
invalidated, misunderstood, resentful of parental authority. They
may learn to avoid their parents altogether or may act out in many
different ways. The wall that divides parents and children grows
higher, until one day, a crisis occurs.
attempts to lower the wall, to restore communication within a
family, and to rediscover the path towards greater happiness and
having personal preferences met in a more healthy way.
I was trained primarily
as a cognitive therapist in the school of Rational Emotive
Behavior Therapy (REBT). This self-help model of cognitive therapy
teaches us to look for the cause of our emotional reactions in
ourselves and NOT in people and situations “out there” in the
world. While there may be various triggers all around us, our
feelings are largely generated by how we view and think about
those very triggers.
I also have been trained
in the integration and application of mindfulness to the
process of cognitive therapy. Mindfulness-based cognitive
therapy teaches us that while we may experience tremendous
relief in learning how to catch and alter our irrational views and
expectations about life, or we may take another approach
altogether, learning to shut off the flow of our thinking minds
altogether and dwell in the present moment. A mindful approach to
life teaches us that yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, and
that all we have to live for is the gift of the present moment.
I present workshops for
the professional community and for the public. Recently, I
presented a three-hour workshop
entitled “An Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR)
and a half-day workshop entitled “A
Buffet of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Practices for the REBT/CBT
Practitioner.” Both were at the
prestigious Albert Ellis Institute.
In my life as a School
Psychologist, I have evaluated and treated young people with a
variety of disabilities which impact their education. I bring
thirty-plus years as a Committee on Special Education member, and
have developed significant expertise in the process of assisting
young people transition from the public school system to the college
level and the adult services delivery system.