Morrissey-Compton Staff Psychologists
|Surina Basho, Ph.D.
Director of Research in Learning Differences, Executive Function Psychologist
Dr. Basho has expertise in cognitive neuroscience, executive function, and learning differences. While earning her Ph.D. in Child Development from Tufts University, Dr. Basho worked with renowned executive function expert Dr. Lynn Meltzer, conducting neuropsychological assessments, individualized intervention for students, and research in the classroom. She also co-authored a chapter with Dr. Meltzer in the book, Executive Function in the Classroom: Fostering Strategic Mindsets across the Grades and Content Areas (2010). At Morrissey-Compton, Dr. Basho is currently building a research program around executive function and learning disabilities in children; providing one-on-one individualized educational therapy to students; training teachers and schools in how to integrate executive function into the classroom for all students; and providing educational talks to the parent community.
|Laura Guthridge Chyou, Ph.D.
Dr. Laura Guthridge Chyou is a Bay Area native and completed her B.S. in Psychology at Santa Clara University. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. During her time at Boston College, Dr. Chyou conducted research on children's peer relationships, particularly how children respond to interpersonal challenges within their friendships and how their response styles affect their social and emotional wellbeing. She also completed research examining the role of friends as bystanders and potential allies in dating violence prevention efforts among college aged adults. Additionally, a central focus of Dr. Chyou's clinical work has centered around understanding best practices in providing mental health services to underserved individuals, families, and communities. Dr. Chyou served as a co-facilitator and member of the Diversity Committee both at Boston College and at the Massachusetts General Hospital Health Center in Charlestown, MA. She also founded and co-chaired a consultation and support group for Spanish speaking clinicians at Boston College. Dr. Chyou completed her predoctoral internship at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford and Children's Health Council in Palo Alto, CA. She has strong clinical training and experience in working with children and adolescents experiencing depression, anxiety, ADHD, and traumatic stress. Dr. Chyou also enjoys working with young children in play therapy and assisting parents and families in supporting youth with mental health challenges. Dr. Chyou studied Spanish in college and throughout her graduate training. She has experience providing therapy and assessment services to Spanish-speaking children and families and is passionate about the importance of increasing the accessibility of mental health treatment to the Spanish-speaking community.
|Patrice Crisostomo, Ph.D.
Dr. Patrice Crisostomo is a licensed clinical psychologist who is passionate about working with children, adolescents, parents, and families. She has extensive experience conducting comprehensive psychological assessments and providing evidence-based treatments for youth and families. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Psychology, with honors. Thereafter, she coordinated a longitudinal research study evaluating treatment outcomes for children with ADHD. She pursued graduate studies at the University of Denver (D.U.), where she completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Child Clinical Psychology. At D.U., her research focused on understanding components of psychotherapy that lead to improvements in the treatment of adolescent depression. She completed an APA-accredited pre-doctoral psychology internship at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University/Children's Health Council consortium. She sought continued training in comprehensive psychological assessments and evidence-based treatments of anxiety and mood disorders, autism and developmental disabilities, and eating disorders through a postdoctoral fellowship within the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University (APA-accredited). She has previously served as the clinical director of an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for adolescents and young adults with moderate to severe mood, anxiety and other comorbid disorders. A California native, she enjoys cooking, hiking, practicing yoga, reading, and traveling.
|Janet Dafoe, Ph.D.
Dr. Dafoe completed a B.S. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Child Psychology at Stanford University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford University Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Dafoe then worked at the Children's Health Council from 1985 until 2005. She served as a staff psychologist, a diagnostician on the young child, school-age, and adolescent teams, and conducted complex evaluations of adolescents. Her specialty areas include Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, school-related issues, and special education law for parents, school administrators, teachers, and probation officers. Dr. Dafoe has conducted numerous workshops on ADHD for school administrators, teachers, and probation officers. She is on the Steering Committee of the community Advisory Committee for Special Education in the Palo Alto School District, and leads an ADHD support group for parents of Palo Alto students. She served on the Board of Trustees of the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology for 15 years, on the Board of Directors of the Children's Center of the Stanford Community for three years, and is currently President of the Board of Trustees of the Mental Research Institute of Palo Alto. In addition, Dr. Dafoe has been a Girl Scout Leader for 12 years, winning the Outstanding Leader Award for Santa Clara County.
|Kate Ekman, Ph.D.
Kate Ekman is a clinical psychologist specializing in treatment of children and families. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Psychology in 2009. After three years in various roles including teaching abroad and counseling children on the inpatient psychiatric unit of Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., she came out west to begin graduate training in clinical psychology. Kate graduated from the Wright Institute in 2017 and completed her postdoctoral residency on the Kaiser Richmond Child & Family Team in 2018. Kate specializes in psychodiagnostic assessment, treatment of child anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy, and trauma-based interventions. Her approach is Family Systems oriented, believing that treating the child often requires healing the family dynamic and improving communication.
|Ben Morsa, Psy.D.
Dr. Morsa completed his undergraduate education at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He is a bilingual psychologist and has studied Spanish for nearly two decades. Dr. Morsa later completed doctoral training at the APA-accredited Professional Psychology Program at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. He has worked with a range of individuals from two to ninety-one years of age with a particular focus on the treatment of complex trauma and the impact of cultural oppression on individual development and functioning. He completed his predoctoral internship at the APA-accredited West Coast Children's clinic in Oakland, CA serving children and families in a community mental health setting. He later completed his pre-licensure hours through the Ann Martin Center as a school-based clinician in Oakland, CA.
Dr. Morsa utilizes a collaborative approach to psychological assessment informed by psychodynamic, attachment, and family / community systems theories. He has taught training psychologists in subjects including child / adolescent development, psychometrics, and child / adolescent psychopathology. In addition to providing bilingual assessment services at Morrissey-Compton, Dr. Morsa has a private practice in Berkeley, CA. Dr. Morsa is passionate about serving in the intersection of psychology and social justice, with particular attention to bilingual development, immigrant populations, sexual orientation and gender diversity, feminist practice, and neurodiversity.
|Jennifer Nehme, Psy.D.
Dr. Nehme is a postdoctoral fellow with a strong interest in providing psychological assessments and evidence-based treatments for children, adolescents, and caregivers. Dr. Nehme received her masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University, and during her masters studies she worked at Harbor UCLA's Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Clinic conducting clinical research on DBT outcomes in a community-based setting. Dr. Nehme then earned her doctorate from Pepperdine University where she received intensive clinical training in community, forensic, and hospital settings. She completed her predoctoral internship at Stanford University's Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children's Health Council, where she received thorough training in conducting comprehensive psychological assessments, and providing evidence-based treatments to medically fragile children, including adolescents and young adults with eating and feeding disorders.
Dr. Nehme is committed to providing culturally-informed evidence-based treatment to meet the needs of each individual and their family. In addition to providing cognitive and emotional assessments, specific areas of therapeutic interest include helping children and adolescents struggling with anxiety, trauma, and depression, as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Additionally, Dr. Nehme empowers caregivers through support and parent coaching.
In her spare time, Dr. Nehme enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, dining, and reading.
|Erica Ragan, Ph.D.
Dr. Erica Ragan earned her B.A. in Psychology with Highest Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at the university, Dr. Ragan worked on a research study on child development, the transition to parenthood, and the effects this has on the broader family system. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Denver's Clinical Child Psychology program, where she conducted research and received extensive clinical training in psychosocial assessment as well as evidenced-based therapies for children, teens, families, and couples. She completed her predoctoral internship at Stanford University's Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children's Health Council. Dr. Ragan completed a two-year APA accredited postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University's Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Mood Disorders and Eating Disorders clinics. She has a strong background in evidence-based treatments for mood and anxiety disorders including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). She also has extensive training in the assessment and treatment of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and picky eating. In her spare time, Dr. Ragan enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring the Bay Area, listening to live music, and going hiking with her dog.
|Mark Westerfield, Ph.D.
Dr. Mark Westerfield graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in Biopsychology with honors. Following his undergraduate degree, he worked as a behavioral counselor at the Manville School of Judge Baker Children's Center, a therapeutic day school affiliated with Harvard Medical School. He next earned his Psy.D. from William James College in Newton, MA and was a student in the Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience (CFAR) program, a course of study that focuses on delivering evidence-based and culturally-competent evaluations and treatments to underserved populations. He completed his APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at The Brenner Center, where he provided comprehensive neuropsychological assessments to children and adolescents throughout the greater Boston area. As part of this internship, he conducted individual therapy with clients across the lifespan at Charles River Community Health. Dr. Westerfield has also been a consultant to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (now Eliot Human Services), completing evaluations of the trauma-focused CBT and early childhood mental health consultation programs. He has particular interest in evaluating children and adolescents who may be on the autism spectrum, and is trained in the ADOS-2 and ADI-R. He joined Morrissey-Compton as a postdoctoral fellow in 2018. Dr. Westerfield is a Bay Area native who enjoys playing soccer, reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.