Treatment and Services

Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) staff focus on the best ways to serve the children and adolescents who come to the program

Our StaffEllen Braaten, PhD -- Director, Learning and Emotional Assessment Program;
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Licensed Psychologist

Publications and TV appearances by Dr. Braaten

Drew Coman, PhD -- Post Doctoral Fellow

Kimberly Dooley

Nathan Doty, PhD -- Staff Psychologist
Publications by Dr. Doty

Susan Gennaco -- Front Desk

Madeline Levitt -- Psychometrician/Front Desk

Nancy Lundy, EdD

Darlene Maggio -- Practice Manager

Alyssa Milot

Johanna Nielsen -- Psychometrician/Front Desk

Ellen O’Donnell, PhD -- Staff Psychologist
Publications by Dr. O'Donnell

Jill Pineda

Christine Sadowski, PhD -- Assistant Director, Learning and Emotional Assessment Program;
Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School.

Seth Sorensen

Brian Willoughby, PhD -- Staff Psychologist
Publications by Dr. Willoughby

Kent Wilson, PhD -- Staff Psychologist
Publications by Dr. Wilson

 



BraatenEllen B. Braaten, Ph.D.
Director, Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP)

Massachusetts General Hospital
Track Director, Child Psychology Training Program
MGH/Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor of Psychology Harvard Medical School

Dr. Ellen Braaten is the Director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Track Director of the Child Psychology Training Program at MGH/Harvard Medical School. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Braaten received her M.A. degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Colorado and her PhD in Psychology at Colorado State University and completed her internship training at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has been affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital since 1998.

Dr. Braaten is widely recognized as an expert in the field of pediatric neuropsychological and psychological assessment, particularly in the areas of assessing learning disabilities and attentional disorders. She has been the recipient of funding to conduct research studies on children with nonverbal learning disabilities and attentional disorders and has published numerous papers, chapters, and reviews on ADHD, learning disabilities, gender and psychopathology, intelligence, and neuropsychological and psychological assessment of children.

She is the co-author of Straight Talk about Psychological Testing for Kids, a book that has become a classic for parents and professionals. She has also written The Child Clinician’s Report Writing Handbook, which has been called “the most comprehensive child assessment handbook available.” Her most recent book for parents is entitled Finding the Right Mental Health Care for Your Child, published by the American Psychological Association.

In addition to being the director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program, Dr. Braaten also is the director of child psychology internship training and is the primary assessment supervisor for child psychology interns and post-doctoral fellows. She routinely teaches and supervises child psychiatry fellows and is actively involved in the School Psychiatry Program at MGH.

She is the past recipient of several teaching and mentorship awards from the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School Clinical Psychology Internship Program. Dr. Braaten has maintained broad research interests in the field of learning and attentional disorders. She is also frequently asked to write articles for parenting and consumer publications and maintains an active speaking schedule.


DotyNathan Doty, PhD,
Staff Psychologist

Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP)
Department of Psychiatry

Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Nathan Doty is currently an Instructor in Psychology in the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) within the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He received his undergraduate degree in Human Biology from Stanford University in California and completed his graduate work in the Child and Family Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Miami. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, followed by a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Doty specializes in neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents with developmental, neurological, emotional, and behavioral concerns. He has a broad foundation of training in child, adolescent, and adult assessment. His areas of specialty include autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, mood and anxiety disorders, learning disorders, and acquired brain injury.

Dr. Doty’s research interests focus on resilience factors in youth at risk for emotional difficulties. He has conducted empirical studies examining the role of family and peer relationships in promoting positive outcomes among at-risk youth. Most recently, Dr. Doty has advocated for the use of family-based approaches in child and adolescent neuropsychological assessment. In addition, he currently serves as a co-investigator for a longitudinal study of the relationship between human genetic variation, neurocognitive impairments, and psychiatric symptomatology. Dr. Doty’s work has been published in well-known scientific journals, including the American Journal of Psychology, the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, and Parenting: Science and Practice.


O'Donnell

Ellen O'Donnell, Ph.D
Staff Psychologist, Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP)
Staff Psychologist, Outpatient Child Psychiatry Department

Massachusetts General Hospital for Children (MGHfC)
Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Ellen O’Donnell is a Staff Psychologist in the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) and the Outpatient Child Psychiatry Department at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children (MGHfC). She is an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. O’Donnell graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Honors from Boston College. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Clark University where she received the Monte Bliss Fellowship in Child Psychology and was a Rosenblum Fellow in Public Policy at the Massachusetts Psychological Association. Dr. O’Donnell completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship in child clinical psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and health care provider in the State of Massachusetts.

Dr. O’Donnell specializes in child and family therapy and in neuropsychological and psychological assessment of children and adolescents. Much of her research has focused on the impact of parenting styles on children’s motivation, cognitive style, and emotional well-being. Since coming to MGH, Dr. O’Donnell has developed a specialized interest in applying her skills in therapy and assessment to working with children and families affected by medical illness. She is currently the neuropsychologist for the Partners Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center at MGHfC. She conducts research on the neuropsychological effects of MS in collaboration with five other centers of excellence across the country funded in part by the National MS Society. Dr. O’Donnell consults to the MGHfC Pediatric Pain Clinic and provides outpatient therapy to children and adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes through the MGHfC Diabetes Clinic. She is also a member of the Parenting at a Challenging Time (PACT) team and provides consultation to parents with cancer regarding how to talk with their children about their illness.

Dr. O’Donnell is particularly interested in the well-being and adjustment of children with executive function deficits like those associated with ADHD who are affected by pediatric or family illness. She is currently conducting research on the impact of problems with executive function on adolescents’ adherence to diabetes self-care. Dr. O’Donnell is interested in developing interventions for children affected by both medical illness and learning disabilities. She is also interested in ways that positive parenting practices protect children with both medical and learning or emotional disabilities against problems in adjustment.

Dr. O’Donnell’s work has been published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence and The Journal of Interpersonal Violence and she has presented at conferences of The American Psychological Association, The Society for Research in Child Development and the Society for Research on Adolescence.


Christine Sadowski, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP)
Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School
Dr. Christine Sadowski is the Assistant Director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) within the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She is an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. She is board-certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). Dr. Sadowski graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors in psychology from Swarthmore College. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University and completed a pre-doctoral internship at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Medical Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Child Psychology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She subsequently assumed a staff position in the division of Child & Family Psychiatry & Psychology at Mayo Clinic where she worked for fifteen years before moving back to New England. At Mayo, Dr. Sadowski served as associate program director of the Clinical Child Psychology track of the Medical Psychology fellowship and was a member of the Departmental Education Committee and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Training Committee. Prior to joining LEAP/MGH, Dr. Sadowski was a staff psychologist in the Developmental Medicine Center at Boston Children’s Hospital for several years.

Dr. Sadowski has expertise in psychological and neuropsychological assessment and evidence-based treatment of children and adolescents in multiple settings, including inpatient psychiatric hospitals, specialty pediatric clinics, and outpatient clinics. She has specific expertise in the assessment and treatment of adolescents with complex or confounding symptoms that often reflect developmental disabilities, learning disorders, and/or psychiatric conditions in the context of difficult psychosocial experiences. Although Dr. Sadowski’s current practice primarily focuses on assessment, she has expertise in evidence-based treatments, including cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders; family-based based treatment for eating disorders; and the use of dialectical behavior therapy and acceptance & commitment therapy to treat adolescents with multiple co-morbid conditions. Lastly, Dr. Sadowski has a strong commitment to teaching, education, and mentoring. She also is a site visitor for internship and post-doctoral fellowships programs for the American Psychology Association.


willoughby

Brian Willoughby, Ph.D
Instructor in Psychology
Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP)
Massachusetts General Hospital
and Harvard Medical School

Dr. Brian Willoughby is currently an Instructor in Psychology in the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) within the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec and completed his graduate work in the Child and Family Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Miami. Dr. Willoughby received a four year fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), which funded his graduate training and research. He completed his pre-doctoral internship and fellowship in child clinical psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Willoughby specializes in neuropsychological assessments of children and adolescents with learning, emotional, and behavioral concerns. He has particular interests in the evaluation of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including Asperger’s Disorder, Autistic Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Prior to his arrival at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Willoughby spent two years as part of a specialized assessment program at the University of Miami evaluating children, adolescents, and adults suspected of having ASD.

Additionally, Dr. Willoughby is interested in family psychology. He is currently conducting a longitudinal study of families struggling with their child’s learning and emotional concerns. He is particularly interested in the ways that parents react to and cope with their child’s psychiatric diagnosis following a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation. Further, Dr. Willoughby is interested in the ways family strengths (e.g., cohesion, warmth, adaptability) may serve to protect against the development and maintenance of psychiatric and learning problems in children and adolescents. Dr. Willoughby’s work in the areas of child clinical and family psychology has been published in some of the nation’s top psychology journals, such as Psychological Bulletin and Parenting: Science and Practice, as well as the New York Times.


Wilson

H. Kent Wilson, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist, Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP)

Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Kent Wilson is currently an Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School and a staff psychologist in the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) within the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He graduated with highest honors at Emory University and spent two years working professionally for the American Psychological Association before completing his doctoral training at the University of Virginia Curry Program in Clinical and School Psychology. He completed a pre-doctoral internship in pediatric psychology at the Children’s Hospital – Boston, which included a rotation in neuropsychological assessment, and he was a post-doctoral fellow at the LEAP program where he received further specialized training in neuropsychological assessment. Dr. Wilson is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.

Dr. Wilson has experience with neuropsychological and psychological assessment in multiple settings including pediatric clinics, outpatient clinics, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and public schools. During his doctoral training he completed practica in the public schools where he served as a school psychology intern counseling children and adolescents, consulting with teachers, completing classroom observations and psychological/educational assessment, and leading IEP meetings. He specializes in neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents with learning, emotional, and behavioral concerns and in school consultation and observation.

Dr. Wilson is particularly interested in the evaluation of children and adolescents with learning disabilities, ADHD, anxiety, and depression. His research, professional, and clinical interests involve helping to bridge the gap between understanding children and adolescents’ needs through assessment and successfully implementing needed interventions in the schools through training, research, and policy work. He has previously been involved with policy as a member of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Accreditation and of the Virginia Psychological Association’s Board. He has interests in training psychologists to successfully collaborate with school systems and in research that furthers knowledge and effectiveness of neuropsychological assessment as an intervention. Dr. Wilson’s work has previously been published in journals such as The Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology and The Elementary School Journal. He has presented at meetings for the Society for Research in Child Development and the American Psychological Association.

 


LundyNancy Lundy, Ed.D.
Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School
Interests: Neuropsychological assessment of pediatric patients with medical conditions including epilepsy, stroke, leukodystrophies and head injury and with neurodevelopmental disorders and learning disabilities.