Meet the DBT®-A+Team

Deanna Walsh-Bender, M.S.Ed., L.M.S.W.

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DBT®-A+ Creator:
Primary Treating Therapist, Skills Group Leader, Clinician Trainer & Clinical Lead of the Consultation Team

Deanna engages in the ongoing development and implementation of a Comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT®) Program for adolescents, young adults and adults with high functioning ASD and related neurological conditions entitled “DBT®-A+.”

As a primary treating therapist, skills group leader, & clinical lead of the consultation team, she strives to maintain fidelity to the DBT treatment model while concurrently creating adaptations for the ASD population. Her strong desire to implement effective, empirically supported, and well informed treatment is demonstrated by her attendance at a multitude of DBT trainings culminating in 300+ devoted education hours taught by the world's experts in DBT, including the creator, Marsha Linehan herself.

In 2016, Deanna presented her treatment model, along with Faith, at the International Society for the Improvement & Teaching of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (ISITDBT). This was an honor Deanna is extremely grateful for & hopes to have the opportunity to grow her DBT®-A+ collaborative relationships with other interested DBT practitioners around the world.

Lastly, Deanna conducts presentations & trainings and consultations for professional groups, agencies, schools, parents, and the general population on ASD, DBT, various special education topics, and mindfulness based stress reduction strategies from both a therapeutic and educational viewpoint. For more information on all of the services Deanna provides at CAPES please see the "About Deanna" tab

View Deanna’s CV Here

Catherine Faith Kappenberg, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.-R

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Catherine Faith Kappenberg, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.-R
DBT®-A+ Consultation Team Member, Treating Provider, Consultant & Advocate with Expertise in ASD

Catherine Faith is the Director of the Long Island Early Childhood Direction Center at The Center for Community Inclusion, LIU Post. Her extensive experience spans child development, social work education, special education, childbirth counseling, psychotherapy, behavioral assessment, and transition planning. Dr. Kappenberg’s doctoral research was in cognitive behavior therapies for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. For 30 years, she has provided staff development and parent training in these areas. She is co-founder of Westbrook Preparatory School, a therapeutic school for students with autism and related learning disabilities, and she is frequently sought by special education and mental health professionals for her expertise in leading teams and guiding programs that are strengths-based, collaborative and foster skill-based solutions for children with disabilities.

View Faith's CV Here

Eric Walter, Psy.D.

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Eric Walter, Psy.D.
DBT®-A+ Consultation Team Member 

Eric received his Master of Arts degree from Adelphi University. He most recently received a Master of Science in clinical psychology from Antioch University New England focusing on the treatment of children and adolescents diagnosed with emotional/behavioral disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is presently completing his Psy.D research focusing on the development and implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and its utilization in schools and special education settings.  His experience spans a diverse population of clients, including individuals diagnosed with major mental illness, those who struggle with substance abuse, and adults and children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.  Eric also has experience working in a multitude of milieu providing therapeutic services including group homes, day habilitation programs, community mental health settings, homeless shelters, alcohol and drug rehabilitation units, and schools.

Eric presently interns at Devereux Massachusetts where he provides therapeutic, consultative, and assessment services for children and adolescents with mood and anxiety disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Conduct Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder in both residential and educational settings. He utilizes evidence-based practices including Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to meet the unique needs of each client.

Eric has had a consultative alliance with Deanna for an excess of 5 years where they have collaborated on a number of programmatic, educational, and client concerns. He has joined the  DBT®-A+consultation team as a virtual member.

Donna Nesteruk, L.Ac.

Donna Nesteruk, L.Ac.
DBT-A+ MBSR Practitioner, Life and Mindset Coach, Emotional Freedom Technique Facilitator, & Instructor & Practioner of Sound Healing 

Donna L. Nesteruk, L. Ac., is a Nationally Board Certified  Licensed Acupuncturist who earned her Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Donna is also a Certified Life and Mindset Coach for Entrepreneurs and individuals who struggle with daily thoughts and behaviors that hold them back from achieving the life they envisioned.  Additionally, as a Certified Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner (EFT/Tapping), Donna incorporates this technique with positive affirmations to help individuals change their self-limiting beliefs and behaviors.

Moreover, she is an instructor and practitioner of Sound Energy Therapy with the use of tuning forks and has extended her practice of sound  into facilitating drum circles.  Since 2011, Donna has facilitated drum circles at the Long Island Stony Brook Veterans Home, including the Alzheimer’s Dementia Unit. Her drum circle facilitation has extended into school districts for students with ASD and other special needs and/or alternative schools for students with troubled backgrounds.

Some of the components of the DBT®-A+ programming Donna is offering include the facilitation of Drum Circles and Meditation Groups with Sound Healing using quartz crystal bowls, Tibetan bowls, gongs, drums, and other instruments to provide a mindful, focused, and relaxing experience.

Donna's love of sound and its resonance within the body, naturally supports an increase in the healing process.  She is very passionate about her profession and is also an active member of the Sound Healers Association.

E-mail:    Website:  Mobile:  631-848-8856

Denise Squillante, RYT

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Denise Squillante, RYT
DBT®-A+MBSR Practitioner & Private Yoga Instructor

Denise Squillante received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from SUNY Stony Brook in 1993.  Having worked for years in the medical and dental field, she first turned to yoga as a way to alleviate her chronic back pain. Denise discovered, through years of practice, that the benefits of yoga are far more than physical.  Her passion for yoga inspired her to receive her 200hr certification through the Integral Yoga Institute of New York.

Seeing how beneficial the practice of yoga would be to the teen population, Denise was prompted to receive her teen yoga certification through Karma Kids in NYC.  She later had the opportunity to volunteer with “Yoga in Schools,” a program created by the Integral Yoga Institute teaching yoga to at-risk teens in High Schools throughout NYC.

Denise is a member of Fitness Pro International, and teaches yoga in resort settings throughout the Caribbean and Mexico.  Additionally, she is a co-creator of Mind Body Adventures, a company that creates and implements retreats throughout the United States. She is also a yoga instructor at Yoga For Life in East Setauket, NY. Denise and Deanna have collaborated on projects in the past and being like-minded in approach, they will be continuing to collaborate yet now in the DBT®-A+ Program at CAPES. Additionally, Denise offers private yoga sessions at the CAPES office by private appointment only and will be involved in MBSR and Meditation programs as well.