The HALP Team

HALP team

The HALP team

Linda Pfiffner, PhD

Pfiffner

Linda Pfiffner, PhD

Linda Pfiffner, PhD, is a professor and director of the Hyperactivity, Attention and Learning Problems (HALP) Program in the Department of Psychiatry, and is a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her BA from UCLA and her PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Prior to joining UCSF in 2001, she held academic appointments at UC Irvine and the University of Chicago. Her program of research centers on the development and evaluation of collaborative school-home psychosocial treatments for school-aged children with ADHD, the inattentive presentation of ADHD, and family/social factors in developmental models of ADHD and related problems. She has over 190 refereed articles, chapters, and scientific conference abstracts and has published a second edition to her handbook for teachers “All About ADHD: The Complete Practical Guide for Classroom Teachers” (Scholastic, 2011). For the past 25 years, her research has been supported by multiple grants from the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) and Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

She developed the Child Life and Attention Skills (CLAS) Program, an integrated multi-component behavioral intervention for children with ADHD-inattentive presentation. CLAS has been evaluated in two NIMH-funded randomized controlled trials, one being a dual-site study, with positive effects on inattention symptoms and impairments. The program was awarded Innovative Program of the Year in 2004 by Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). She and her team adapted the program for youth with attention and behavioral concerns, developing the Collaborative Life Skills Program (CLS) for delivery by school-based mental health professionals in school settings. A recently completed IES-funded randomized controlled trial shows significant treatment-related improvement on children’s ADHD symptoms, behavior, and academic and social functioning. She is currently developing a web-based, remote training program for school mental health providers in implementation of CLS with funding from IES.

Dr. Pfiffner also serves as director of the Clifford Attkisson Clinical Services Research Training Program, an NIMH-funded T32 which provides education and support to postdoctoral scholars from a variety of disciplines who plan to pursue careers in mental health services research. She serves on multiple editorial boards of leading psychology journals, was a former standing member of the NIMH Interventions Committee for Disorders Involving Children and Their Families Initial Review Group study section and a principal member of the IES Social and Behavioral Education Research Scientific Review Panel. She frequently lectures and leads workshops about ADHD for mental health professionals, teachers and parents. Dr. Pfiffner was inducted into the CHADD Hall of Fame in 2012. She is president of the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (2017–2019).


Keith McBurnett, PhD

Keith McBurnett, PhD

Keith McBurnett, PhD

Keith McBurnett, PhD, trained in child clinical psychology and neuropsychology at the University of Georgia, New York University Medical Center, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. After faculty appointments in pediatrics at UC Irvine (1990-1997) and in child psychiatry at the University of Chicago (1997-2001), he joined the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute at UCSF, where he is a professor in psychiatry.

Dr. McBurnett maintains an active clinical research program (multiple grants, over 25 clinical drug trials; over 100 scientific publications), focusing on treatment and diagnostic categorization of ADHD, ODD, and CD; and on hormonal factors in child psychopathology. His work linking chronically low cortisol to persistent conduct disorder and aggression has been widely disseminated. Dr. McBurnett’s research is currently focused on sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) and its relationship to attention disorders, and on evaluating new pharmaceutical treatments for ADHD.


Christine Zalecki, PhD

Christine Zalecki, PhD

Christine Zalecki, PhD

Dr. Christine Zalecki is a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and director of clinical services in the HALP Clinic at UCSF. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in diagnostic assessment of ADHD and learning disorders, and psychosocial treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD and behavior disorders. In the HALP Clinic, Dr. Zalecki conducts diagnostic evaluations, leads parent management training groups and child skills groups, and also provides individual and family therapy services and school consultation. Dr. Zalecki also is a clinical professor and supervisor in the UCSF-UC Berkeley Schwab Dyslexia and Cognitive Diversity Center at UC Berkeley.

Dr. Zalecki received her BA in psychology from UC Berkeley and her PhD in clinical science from UC Berkeley. She subsequently completed her predoctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at UCSF in the Department of Psychiatry. She has been the director of two NIMH-funded studies of ADHD: the Adult Follow-up Study of Girls with ADHD at UC Berkeley, and the Child Life and Attention Skills Program at UC Berkeley and UCSF. She has published research articles and book chapters in the area of ADHD, has presented her research at national conferences, and regularly is invited to speak at Bay Area schools, mental health professional meetings, and CHADD parent meetings on topics related to ADHD assessment and intervention.


Lauren Haack, PhD

Lauren Haack, PhD

Lauren Haack, PhD

Lauren M. Haack is a UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences associate clinical professor and attending psychologist specializing in 1) cultural influences to mental health conceptualization, assessment, and treatment, and 2) accessible, culturally appropriate, and technology enhanced evidence-based services for vulnerable youth and families worldwide. She provides behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and clinical supervision in the UCSF Mood/Anxiety Clinic and the HALP Clinic. Dr. Haack also provides instruction and consultation/supervision in the UCSF Multicultural Psychology Training Program, the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program, and the Juvenile Justice Behavioral Health team. She is a member of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Diversity Committee.

Dr. Haack completed her BA in psychology and Spanish at Clemson University, her PhD in clinical psychology at Marquette University specializing in ADHD services for Latinx youth, and her clinical internship in UCSF’s Clinical Psychology Training Program. Dr. Haack then received a National Research Service Award for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. This mixed-method investigation of the Collaborative Life Skills (CLS) Program inspired her subsequent National Institute of Health Fogarty Global Health fellowship pilot-testing an adapted version of CLS (CLS-FUERTE) in Mexico. Dr. Haack is a current Hellman fellow with a project focusing on adapting a web-based CLS provider training to serve Spanish-speaking, Latinx families. She also collaborates on UCSF-funded projects examining the use of text messaging to improve youth and family engagement in mental health services.


Jennifer Ly, PhD

Jennifer Ly is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and an attending psychologist in the HALP Clinic. She completed her undergraduate training at UCLA and received her doctorate in clinical science from UC Berkeley. She has extensive training and experience in screening, evaluating, and treating children and adolescents with developmental delays and behavioral or emotional difficulties.

Prior to joining UCSF, Dr. Ly specialized in the treatment of young children with complex trauma. She has trained at San Francisco General Hospital, UCLA Medical Center, and UCLA TIES for Families. Dr. Ly’s research and clinical interests are in the development and dissemination of evidence-based and culturally-sensitive treatments for youth who are at high risk for negative developmental outcomes due to factors such as prenatal substance exposure, disrupted attachment relationships, impoverished environments, and developmental disabilities. In the HALP Clinic, Dr. Ly has a variety of clinical, teaching, and supervision responsibilities.


Sarah Crouch, PsyD

Sarah Crouch is a licensed clinical psychologist and assistant clinical professor at UCSF. She completed her bachelor of science in psychology at UC Davis and her doctorate in clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Crouch completed her postdoctoral training at the UCSF Child Trauma Research Program and specializes in working with families who have experienced trauma.

Dr. Crouch focuses on building security and resilience in the relationships that matter most to patients. She provides family therapy, parenting support and couples therapy to promote optimal health of the whole family. Dr. Crouch is a passionate teacher and has a personal mission to spread knowledge of attachment theory to the next generation of UCSF child and adolescent providers. She is a Bay Area native, a new parent, and an amateur karaoke star. Dr. Crouch believes healthy relationships heal.


Ann Parsons, MS, LMFT

Parsons

Ann Parsons, MS, LMFT

Ann Parsons is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with an extensive background working with children, adolescents and their families.

After completing her undergraduate degree at UC San Diego, she received her masters of science in counseling from San Francisco State University. During the course of her program, Ms. Parsons focused on attachment theory and the role of neuroscience in relationship and social development.

In addition to a certificate in early childhood education and development, Ms. Parsons is also trained in parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) through the Children’s Hospital at UC Davis.

Ms. Parsons trained in community mental health for several years at the Family Service Agency of Marin where she focused on supporting families through pregnancy and early parenting. She gained expertise in family systems, while working with families with children and teens of all ages, at Networks Family Counseling Center in San Francisco. Ms. Parsons has over a decade of private practice experience serving individuals, couples, and families in San Francisco and Marin County, in addition to performing duties of clinical supervision to MFT interns.

Ms. Parsons often combines skills-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with mindfulness-based education. Prior to being at UCSF, Ms. Parsons worked at the NW Anxiety Institute in Portland, Oregon, where she specialized in individual, parent, and family therapy treating anxiety and mood disorders through CBT and exposure and response prevention (ERP).


Anna Swan, PhD

Swan

Anna Swan, PhD

Anna Swan is an assistant clinical professor and attending psychologist in UCSF’s HALP Clinic and CBT Program for Depression and Anxiety. In the HALP Clinic, Dr. Swan conducts diagnostic evaluations and provides individual and family therapy for children with ADHD, behavior disorders, and common comorbid concerns.

Dr. Swan received her BA in psychology at Yale University and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Temple University under the mentorship of Dr. Philip C. Kendall. Her dissertation examined the impact of response to anxiety treatment in youth on functional outcomes during the transition to adulthood, using data from the Child and Adolescent Multi-modal Extended Longitudinal Study (CAMELS). She subsequently completed her predoctoral internship at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in the Integrated Behavioral Health Track and her postdoctoral fellowship at the NYU Child Study Center on the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Service.

Prior to coming to UCSF, Dr. Swan was a clinical assistant professor at the NYU Child Study Center. Dr. Swan has published research articles and book chapters on the assessment and treatment of child and adolescent anxiety disorders. Her clinical and research interests focus on evidence-based assessment and intervention for youth anxiety and common related concerns (e.g., OCD, ADHD, selective mutism, depression, trichotillomania, Tourette disorder, and school refusal).


Elizabeth Owens, PhD

Owens

Elizabeth Owens, PhD

Elizabeth Owens is a health sciences clinical professor and licensed psychologist in the Hyperactivity, Attention, and Learning Problems (HALP) Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry. She received her BA in Human Biology from Stanford University (1988) and her MS (1995) and PhD (1998) in clinical and developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her internship in clinical psychology at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA (now called the Semel Institute), and her postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Human Development at UC Berkeley, where she then worked as a research psychologist until 2017.

Her research interests center on the developmental progression of and psychosocial treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents, and she has authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on ADHD, parenting, and developmental precursors of antisocial behavior. Dr. Owens’s clinical expertise involves family- and school-focused behavioral treatments for children with ADHD. Specifically, she conducts diagnostic evaluations, leads parent management training groups and child skills groups, and meets individually with parents to help them learn to manage their child’s ADHD. Dr. Owens is also an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychology at UC Berkeley where she supervises doctoral students leading parent management training groups.


Caitlin Costello, MD

Caitlin Costello, MD

Caitlin Costello, MD

Caitlin Costello is an attending psychiatrist with the HALP Clinic. She is also the medical director for Child and Adolescent Ambulatory Services at LPPHC and the program director for the UCSF Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program. In addition to her work with the HALP Clinic, she is also an attending psychiatrist in the General Evaluation and Short Term Treatment Clinic and the OCD and Tic Disorders Clinic.

She completed medical school at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and residency in general psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia and Cornell Universities and a fellowship in forensic psychiatry at UCSF. She has interests in OCD and tic disorders, medical education and curriculum development, and child and adolescent forensic psychiatry.


Lauren Schumacher, MD

Schumacher

Lauren Schumacher, MD

Lauren Schumacher is an attending psychiatrist in the HALP Clinic and an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry. She is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in treatment of children and adolescents. In the HALP Clinic, she has a variety of clinical, teaching, and supervisory roles. She is also an attending psychiatrist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland and for the Fellows Longitudinal Outpatient Clinic at UCSF.

Dr. Schumacher completed her undergraduate training at Harvard University, medical school at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, and residency in general psychiatry at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She completed her fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at UCSF. She has published and presented at national conferences and been honored with several awards, including from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Association for Academic Psychiatry, and the Northern California Regional Organization of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is currently working on a chapter on pharmacologic treatment of ADHD for an upcoming book on pediatric psychopharmacology. She has particular interests in ADHD, anxiety, and medical education.


Laurence Greenhill, MD

Laurence Greenhill, MD

Laurence Greenhill, MD

Laurence Greenhill is an attending psychiatrist in the HALP Clinic and volunteer clinical professor of psychiatry at UCSF. His clinical expertise is in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, depression, and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. He is board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry and psychiatry. He was previously the Ruane Professor of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center. He is also past president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Greenhill has been in private practice for over 40 years.

Before joining UCSF, Dr. Greenhill engaged in research on the safety and efficacy of medications to ameliorate psychiatric symptoms in youth, with specific projects in determining the long-term benefits and safety of medication treatments on preschool children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and conducted research trials on the efficacy of different types of treatment to reduce suicidal behaviors in depressed adolescents..


Sara Chung, MA

Chung

Sara Chung, MA

Sara Chung is a predoctoral clinical psychology fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Linda Pfiffner. Sara received her BA in psychology from UC Berkeley and her MA in clinical psychology at Columbia University's Teachers College. She is currently completing her PhD in clinical psychology at UC Berkeley under the mentorship of Dr. Qing Zhou.

Sara’s research program explores risk and protective factors for the psychosocial adjustment of children and youth from low-income immigrant and ethnic minority families. Her projects have examined how individual and familial processes such as children's language development and coping styles, parenting behaviors and parent-child interactions, and sociocultural characteristics influence children’s social and emotional development.

Sara has received clinical training in conducting neuropsychological and psychoeducational evaluations as well as individual and family-based interventions across inpatient and outpatient settings. At the UCSF HALP Program, Sara conducts assessments and evidenced-based interventions for children, youth, and families.


Alicia Nijdam-Jones, PhD

Alicia Nijdam-Jones is a clinical psychology postdoctoral fellow in the Clinical Psychology Training Program (CPTP) and HALP Clinic. She has an MA and PhD in clinical psychology from Fordham University, as well as an MA in criminology from Simon Fraser University. Her clinical and research interests focus on providing culturally responsive psychological assessment and treatment services to members of linguistically, ethnically, and culturally diverse groups. For her dissertation, Dr. Nijdam-Jones examined the accuracy of a culturally adapted version of a violence risk assessment measure in predicting institutional violence with offenders in a Mexico City prison. Dr. Nijdam-Jones is currently involved in several projects with collaborators at UCSF, Fordham University, and researchers in Spain and Latin America.

Dr. Nijdam-Jones has received clinical training in conducting neuropsychological and psychological evaluations as well as individual and family-based interventions across inpatient and outpatient settings. At the UCSF HALP Clinic, Dr. Nijdam-Jones conducts evidenced-based interventions for children, youth, and families.


Elizabeth Hawkey

Elizabeth Hawkey is a predoctoral clinical psychology fellow. She received her BA in psychology from the University of Missouri and her MA in clinical psychology from Washington University. She is currently a PhD candidate in clinical psychology at Washington University.

Her research focuses on how aspects of ADHD are related to network organization in the developing brain. Her dissertation work investigated how behaviors such as screen media use in childhood were related to symptoms of ADHD and large-scale network organization in systems involved in cognitive control. Her research has been supported by a fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Her goal moving forward is to integrate her research on neurodevelopmental disorders with impactful clinical services for youth and families.

Elizabeth has experience providing neuropsychological assessment and psychotherapy with children and adults across a number of hospital and outpatient settings. At the UCSF HALP Program, under the mentorship of Dr. Linda Pfiffner, Elizabeth conducts evidenced-based interventions with children, youth, and families. She conducts research with Dr. Pfiffner and the HALP team to improve access to these interventions for families.


Aya Williams

Aya Williams is a predoctoral clinical psychology fellow in the HALP Clinic. She received her BA in psychology and linguistics from Stanford University. She concurrently belongs to the Family and Culture Laboratory at UC Berkeley and is completing her PhD in clinical science.

Aya conducts research on bilingualism, cognitive control, and emotion in immigrant families. Her doctoral research focuses on how bilingual parents and children use multiple languages (or code-switch) as a tool to express and regulate emotions. In the HALP Clinic, she provides comprehensive evaluations and group-based treatments for children with ADHD and their families.