Professional Staff

Our Coping Counselors are a multi-disciplinary team of compassionate professionals with years of experience. All of our trained professionals are skilled in helping people deal with the difficult problems of day-to-day living. In addition to being confident in our services, we encourage you to feel comfortable with our professional staff and invite you to begin by looking over the following brief bios.

About Our Director

Robert H. Phillips, Ph.D.

Robert H. Phillips, Ph.D., our founder, and director, is a licensed psychologist who has been in private practice since 1975 and who has, throughout his career, published and spoken widely on coping with physical ailments and other psychological topics. Dr. Phillips, the published author of more than 40 books, has presented over 500 papers and talks at seminars, conventions, and meetings throughout the United States and internationally. He has served on the Boards of Directors of the national Lupus Foundation of America and the Nassau Chapter of the American Heart Association. Dr. Phillips currently serves on the national Board of Directors, and continues to serve on the national scientific advisory board, of the American Autoimmune and Related Diseases Association, is on medical advisory boards of, and is the psychologist for, a number of major local and national organizations.

The Center for Coping and Dr. Phillips’ work has been the focus of many articles and stories in numerous professional journals and magazines such as Medical Times and Prevention. The Ladies’ Home Journal, Vogue, and Essence magazines have also featured his work. Coverage in national and local daily newspapers includes the New York Times, Newsday, and the New York Post. Dr. Phillips has appeared on dozens of television and radio programs, and, since 1991 has been the long-time host of “Coping Conversations“, a popular nationally-available audio-streamed radio talk show, now available as a “Coping Conversations” podcast on your favorite podcast app.

Our Professional Staff Members

Samantha C. Gorman, M.S., L.M.H.C., N.C.C.

Samantha C. Gorman, M.S., L.M.H.C., N.C.C. is a licensed mental health counselor specializing in providing individual, group, and family counseling to children, adolescents, and families, and biofeedback therapy to individuals of all ages. She specializes in counseling youth for anxiety and panic disorders, depression, bereavement, female issues, and family problems. She is also a certified diagnostician for treatment of the Irlen Syndrome, a visual perception problem in individuals of all ages. She obtained her Master of Science from Long Island University- Post Campus, is nationally certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors, and is licensed by the New York State Department of Education. She is affiliated with the American Counseling Association, the New York Mental Health Counselors Association, the Association of Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback, and the Northeast Biofeedback Society.

Paula I. Goldstein, L.C.S.W.

Paula I. Goldstein, L.C.S.W., is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in working with people with chronic medical conditions, marriage and relationship issues, bereavement, and depression. She is a frequent guest speaker for many organizations including the Arthritis Foundation, American Diabetes Association, Lupus Alliance of America, and the American Lung Association, and is the co-author of “Coping with Breast Cancer” (Avery Publishing Group, 1999), and “Successful Living with Breast Cancer” (Balance, 2002). Ms. Goldstein received her Master of Social Work degree from Adelphi University and is affiliated with a number of professional organizations including the National Association of Social Workers and the New York State Society for Clinical Social Work, Inc.

David Ferrin, Psy.D.

David Ferrin, Psy.D., is a New York State-licensed psychologist providing specialized therapeutic services to individuals at the Center for Coping. Drawing on his experience as a cardiac patient himself (having undergone two triple bypass surgeries), and as the spouse of an organ donor recipient who experienced other chronic health issues, Dr. Ferrin brings to the individuals he works with a unique perspective of the impact of chronic illness on both patient and family members. He previously served for eight years as Co-President of the Long Island Chapter of the American Liver Foundation (with his wife). In addition to his work at the Center for Coping, Dr. Ferrin lectures extensively to parent and teacher groups on issues of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with a focus on home and school management.

Amy Rothstein, M.S., L.M.H.C., N.C.C.

Amy Rothstein, M.S., L.M.H.C., N.C.C., is a licensed mental health counselor specializing in providing individual, couples and family counseling for all ages to promote optimal emotional health and well being. She also has experience working with adolescents and adults who are dealing with anxiety, panic and obsessive-compulsive disorders, stress, relationship, family or parenting concerns, and problems with self esteem. In addition, Ms. Rothstein has advanced training through the Behavioral Therapy Training Institute and specializes in working with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Ms. Rothstein obtained her Masters of Science from Long Island University- Post Campus, and is affiliated with the New York Mental Health Counselors Association, American Counseling Association, and the International OCD Foundation.

Michael S. Phillips, M.S., L.M.H.C., N.C.C., EMT-CC, CAMS-II

Health Specialist Michael S. Phillips, M.S., L.M.H.C., N.C.C., EMT-CC, CAMS-II is a licensed mental health counselor who specializes in working with children, adolescents and adults dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, substance use, grief & loss, post-traumatic stress, medical problems, as well as the use of biofeedback therapy. Mr. Phillips holds certifications as a level two anger management specialist from the National Anger Management Association, and works with both mandated and voluntary clients, is trained in alcohol and substance abuse, and is a certified clinical traumatologist. Mr. Phillips is also the director of the Center for Coping Wellness Division. A certified instructor for numerous American Red Cross programs, and an expert in safety and wellness, he has presented programs to youth and adult groups and organizations throughout the New York metropolitan area as well as internationally. Mr. Phillips has been an Emergency Medical Technician – Critical Care for over 27 years and is also certified in Comprehensive Acute Traumatic Stress Management. Mr. Phillips holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University- Post Campus and a second Master of Science degree in Health Education from Hofstra University. He is a member of the New York State Mental Health Counseling Association, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, the National Center for Crisis Management.

Bonnie Koblenz, M.S.

Bonnie Koblenz, M.S., is a mental health counselor (limited permit holder) who specializes in providing individual and group counseling to children, adolescents, and adults. She is experienced in the treatment of eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, self-esteem, grief, family, and marital counseling. Mrs. Koblenz has worked in an intensive eating disorder facility, working with adolescents and young adults. She obtained her Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University- Post Campus and her Master of Arts in Education from The George Washington University.

Dana Gerasimovich, M.S., L.M.H.C.

Dana Gerasimovich, M.S. is a licensed mental health counselor who works with a variety of issues including depression, adjustment, and stress-related problems, anxiety, mood disorders, substance use, and relational matters. Ms. Gerasimovich’s aim is to provide a supportive and secure atmosphere to counsel children, adolescents, and adults. She is certified in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. She holds a Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling from Hunter College.

Meaghan Grabowski, M.S.

Meaghan Grabowski, M.S., is a mental health counselor (limited permit holder) who works with individuals of all ages. She specializes in issues such as relationship problems, social skills training, anxiety reduction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression alleviation, weight management, and many other everyday life concerns. Ms. Grabowski is also experienced in providing counseling for couples. She received a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Walden University.

Lily Hwang, M.S.

Lily Hwang, M.S., is a mental health counselor (limited permit holder) specializing in providing individual and family counseling to adolescents, teenagers, and adults. She specializes in counseling individuals dealing with stress, anxiety, relationship, and family-related issues. As a former ENL (English as a New Language) Teacher, Ms. Hwang is also experienced in working with immigrant parents and children. She is experienced in providing counseling to families struggling with stress, depression, and anxiety issues associated with immigration (e.g. cultural differences, language barriers, isolation, and conflicts with parent/children). Ms. Hwang is bilingual in Korean and English and provides counseling in both languages. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling from Hunter College.

Liz Lassus, M.S.

Liz Lassus, M.S., is a mental health counselor (limited permit holder) who takes pleasure in working with children and adults. She is a certified grief counseling specialist and uses an integrated approach to meet the needs of her clients. Liz also has a background in using techniques from behaviorism for helping children with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anxiety. Her aim is to compassionately and respectfully build a rapport with her clients to optimize their outcomes. Liz holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University in addition to a Master of Education degree in Literacy Studies from Hofstra University. She is a member of the Nassau Counselors’ Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.