Our Mission:

Volunteers In Psychotherapy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable and truly private psychotherapy for the community, in exchange for volunteer work clients donate to the charity of their choice.

You, the client should decide how long you will continue in therapy:

Not an insurance company that profits by cutting the length of therapy.

VIP has been awarded grants by:

The J. Walton Bissell Foundation

The Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Foundation

The Carse Robinson et al Foundation, Fleet Bank, Trustee

The George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America, Trustee

The Jodik Foundation

Ziv Tzedakah Fund (an international charity)

The Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation

The Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, Trustee

The Timothy Mark Capers Foundation

Wild Oats Market

Healthy People 2010 (Yale-Griffin PRC)

The Cottonwood Foundation

The Ahearn Family Foundation

The J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation

The Andrews Company Limited Partnership

The Joseph S. Stackpole Charitable Trust, Bank of America, Trustee

The Sumner Gerard Foundation

Reid and Riege Foundation

The Universalist Church of West Hartford

Radio Shack Neighborhood Answers Grants

Newington Kiwanis Club

The Greater Hartford Jaycees Foundation

The Aetna Foundation

The McPhee Foundation

Temple Sinai of Newington

The Mabel F. Hoffman Foundation, Bank of America, Trustee

The Deupree Family Foundation

The Connecticut Psychological Association Educational Foundation

Gerber Life Insurance Company

CT Association of Psychologists – PAC

The Louise and Arde’ Bulova Fund

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

The Good People Fund

Board of Directors:

Jane Clark, DNSc our Vice President and current Secretary, has been a psychiatric mental health nurse for the past twenty-eight years, working at Hartford Hospital, the Institute of Living, Hospital for Special Care on their traumatic brain injury unit, New Britain General Hospital, Birmingham Health Group and Saint Francis Hospital most recently. She received her Masters in psychiatric mental health nursing from Yale University in May 1997 and her Doctorate in 2009.  She has consulted to various nursing homes in Connecticut assessing mental health problems in the elderly and more recently has worked at Community Care Mental Health Center in Springfield, Mass.  Dr. Clark completed her doctoral dissertation through the Yale school of nursing, specializing in research related to families and mental health.  Jane is a lifelong resident of West Hartford, where she also raised her children.

Leonard Dupille, Ph.D., our President, received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Duquesne University where he began his academic career as a Teaching Fellow. He has been teaching a wide variety of psychology courses at various institutions for 15 years, and has received an award for teaching excellence. In addition to his work as an academic, he has held clinical positions at Northeastern Family Institute and The Institute for Family and Life Learning and where he was involved in conducting individual, group, and family therapy. He came to Manchester, Connecticut in January 2001 and is currently a tenured Full Professor in Psychology at Manchester Community College.  He resides with his family in Windsor.  He is committed to teaching as a vehicle for student growth and transformation.

Charles Giannelli, LCSW,worked for the State of Connecticut, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) for twenty-three years until his retirement in 2016. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University and is a graduate of UCONN School of Social Work, completing his MSW in 1993. He was employed as a Clinical Social Worker for twelve years at the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC), a cooperative endeavor of DMHAS and Yale University Schools of Medicine and Nursing, in New Haven. He worked in a range of positions at CMHC, in both inpatient and outpatient settings as a Primary Clinician and as an Administrator in Care Management roles, including two years as the Center’s designated Client Rights Officer. In the second half of his DMHAS career he held a position within the Department’s Office of the Commisioner (OOC), Forensic Division, performing a range of written forensic evaluations frequently including testimony in CT Superior Court as an Expert Witness. Since retiring he has worked part-time at his local public library and performs volunteer work at a Memory Care Assisted Living Center.

Andrew Halpern, LPC, VIP Secretary, is a bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor and a graduate of Central Connecticut State University.  Andrew worked at Alcohol & Drug Recovery Centers, Inc. in both outpatient and inpatient settings providing individual and group therapy.  He currently works as a clinician at Catholic Charities in New Britain, working with both children and adults, and has been facilitating a therapeutic drumming group at Inter-community, Inc. Coventry House for several years.  He works to find ways to incorporate participatory arts into group therapy.  Andrew had been on the Board of Directors of Focus on Recovery.

Liz Halla-Mattingly is currently the Volunteer Coordinator for the Sexual Assault Crisis Service (SACS) of the YWCA New Britain. Liz has been a part of SACS since 2010 and she has also worked as a member of the Prevention Education Team and as the Adult Advocate. She also organizes a local chapter of Threads of Compassion, which provides donated handmade scarves to survivors of sexual violence when they enter the hospital for emergency treatment. Liz is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work and lives in New Britain with her family.

Dr. Evan Pitkoff, our Treasurer, received his B.S. in psychology from Brooklyn College, attained two Masters degrees (one in Special Education) from N.Y.U., and a Doctor of Education in educational administration from Teachers College, Columbia University. He spent the first ten years of his career in the New York City High School division, serving in Brooklyn as a special education teacher and coordinator, and eventually becoming assistant principal at Erasmus Hall High School. He came to Connecticut in 1988 and has served in the following positions over the past two decades: Principal of New Britain High School, Assistant Superintendent of the Hamden Public Schools, Superintendent of Schools for Region #10 (Burlington and Harwinton) and Superintendent of Schools in Newtown. He is currently serving as the Executive Director of Cooperative Educational Services (C.E.S.) in Trumbull, Connecticut, a regional educational service center covering the sixteen districts of lower Fairfield County. He has presented workshops and written journal articles in numerous areas of education. He is an active member and Past President of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (C.A.P.S.S.).

Omayra Rodriguez LCSW is a seasoned, bilingual (English, Spanish) social worker whose clinical work has largely been with children and youth in Connecticut. Although her undergraduate studies were in graphic design, she took a job in a youth service bureau and never looked back. She did her graduate work at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work with concentrations in group work and administration. She is passionate about issues of diversity and earned a certificate in Latino Community Practice from Saint Joseph College. Omayra worked at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington for 13 years where she provided individual, family, group and crisis work to children and youth in emergency rooms, schools and clinics. Omayra has also worked as a clinical coordinator at the Hartford Juvenile Court and is currently a clinical social worker associate at the State of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families. Her most treasured therapeutic relationships have been with teenagers who thought the world was against them but told her their story anyway. She lives in West Hartford with her spouse, Carol.

Richard Shulman, Ph.D., our Past President (now ex-officio) and ongoing Director, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist.  He founded VIP after roughly a decade’s work at Hartford Hospital – Institute of Living, where he had provided psychotherapy and had supervised and trained psychologists and other therapists at the outpatient clinic.  That clinic primarily served Hartford’s poor or uninsured population.  He continues to serve as a volunteer on the Institutional Review Board of Hartford Hospital – Institute of Living, which oversees ethical and informed consent issues in psychiatric and medical research.  He previously worked at the Children’s Outpatient program of Wheeler Clinic, and served as Psychological consultant to Nutmeg Big Brothers – Big Sisters.  He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University before receiving a Rackham First Year Fellowship to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan in Sociology; after which he completed a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Toledo.