358 Veterans Memorial Highway, Commack, NY 11725 | (631) 543-8336

About Dr. Pantaleno

I am a New York State Certified School Psychologist and a New York State Licensed Psychologist. Please see my formal curriculum vitae for details about my education and training.

I am proud that I was named the 2007 NYS School Psychologist of the Year by the New York State Association of School Psychologists (NYASP), the 2008 and 2016 Psychologist of the Year by the Suffolk County Psychological Association (SCPA), the 2013 School Psychologist of the Year by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and honored with a profile by NYSUT (NYS United Teachers) I am deeply honored by these recognitions from my colleagues, and strive every day to meet the ideals of these treasured recognitions.

I believe that the process of change depends on the expectations of the person coming in for a consultation, within the context of that person’s family. Sometimes, a young person is feeling significantly stressed and is highly motivated to feel better. In other cases, some young people may state that they are being brought for treatment against their will and that everything would be fine if the adults in their lives just left them alone.

The truth is that life’s very real problems, challenges, and obstacles most often do not “get better” on their own. Feelings get hurt. Parents try to impose disciplinary measures as they feel a loss of control and sometimes unintentionally only magnify the hurt. Young people feel invalidated, misunderstood, resentful of parental authority. They may learn to avoid their parents altogether or may act out in many different ways. The wall that divides parents and children grows higher, until one day, a crisis occurs.

Outpatient psychotherapy attempts to lower the wall, to restore communication within a family, and to rediscover the path towards greater happiness and having personal preferences met in a more healthy way.

I was trained primarily as a cognitive therapist in the school of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). This self-help model of cognitive therapy teaches us to look for the cause of our emotional reactions in ourselves and NOT in people and situations “out there” in the world. While there may be various triggers all around us, our feelings are largely generated by how we view and think about those very triggers.

I also have been trained in the integration and application of mindfulness to the process of cognitive therapy. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy teaches us that while we may experience tremendous relief in learning how to catch and alter our irrational views and expectations about life, or we may take another approach altogether, learning to just observe the flow of our thinking minds altogether and dwell in the present moment. A mindful approach to life teaches us that yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, and that all we have to live for is the gift of the present moment.

I present workshops for the professional community and for the public. Recently, I presented a three-hour workshop entitled “An Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR) and a half-day workshop entitled “A Buffet of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Practices for the REBT/CBT Practitioner.” Both were at the prestigious Albert Ellis Institute.

In my life as a School Psychologist, I have evaluated and treated young people with a variety of disabilities which impact their education. I bring thirty-plus years as a Committee on Special Education member, and have developed significant expertise in the process of assisting young people transition from the public school system to the college level and the adult services delivery system.

Appreciation to NYSUT (New York State United Teachers) and to photographer El-Wise Noisette.

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