Infant-Parent Program Clinical Staff

Janelle Albanes, MS, MFTA

Ms. Albanes is a registered marriage and family therapist associate at the Infant-Parent Program, where she provides infant-parent psychotherapy for families and early childhood mental health consultation to daycares and preschools. She began with the Infant-Parent Program as a trainee for two years, and prior to her IPP training, she worked as an early interventionist supporting young children ages 0-3 in meeting their developmental milestones. Currently, Ms. Albanes continues her work as an infant-parent psychotherapist and primarily provides services to multicultural and Spanish-speaking families in their home using psychodynamic interventions and trauma-informed practice. As a consultant, she is in daycares and preschools collaboratoring with teachers and other services providers in supporting the social-emotional needs of children and their families. Ms. Albanes is a Bay Area native who takes pride in continuing to work with the population and community in which she grew up.

María Cristina Borges Cruz, LMFT

Ms. Cruz is a multicultural and bilingual mental health consultant and early childhood mental health clinician at the Infant-Parent Program. She provides trauma-informed and culturally sensitive mental health consultation, infant-parent psychotherapy, and child-parent psychotherapy services at a diverse range of childcare and community-based agencies in San Francisco serving families with children from birth to age five. In support of the Infant-Parent Program’s training efforts, she collaborates in the design, implementation, and facilitation of an integrated multicultural seminar at the Child Trauma Center.

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ms. Cruz migrated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004. Since then, she has been working in the field of infant mental health at a diverse range of capacities in organizations such as Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Services to Enhance Early Development at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, Family Paths, the Ann Martin Center, and Mujeres Unidas y Activas.

Lea Brown, LCSW

Ms. Brown has been the clinical supervisor of both infant-parent psychotherapy and early childhood mental health consultation for the past 15 years and serves as a field instructor/field placement liaison for social work students training at the Infant-Parent Program. Ms. Brown also provides direct services in infant-parent psychotherapy, group intervention, and ECMH consultation, as well as training both in the Infant-Parent Program/Daycare Consultants Program and to local and regional infant mental health and early intervention agencies. She has served as a faculty member in the Advanced Clinical Supervision Certificate Program at the Smith College School of Social Work.

Amee Jaiswal, LCSW

Ms. Jaiswal has provided early childhood mental health consultation in childcare centers with Daycare Consultants, a component of the Infant-Parent Program, since 2001. She also works with families as an infant-parent psychotherapist. Ms. Jaiswal has worked with children of various ages and their families in a variety of capacities, including working with children who have developmental delays. She has also provided child and family therapy in a multitude of clinical settings. Ms. Jaiswal has particular experience with persons from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, including Spanish- and Hindi-speaking families. She is endorsed by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist.

Kristin Reinsberg, MS, LMFT

Ms. Reinsberg is a licensed marriage and family therapist and serves as the director of the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Training and Direct Services Program at the Infant-Parent Program. She received her MS in clinical psychology from San Francisco State University, where she focused on infant mental health through her internship at the Infant-Parent Program. During this internship, almost 20 years ago, she began her work in early childhood mental health consultation.

After graduating, she continued her work and training in ECMH consultation, infant-parent psychotherapy, and child therapy as part of a collaborative program between Jewish Family & Children’s Services (JFCS) and the Infant-Parent Program. In 2001, Ms. Reinsberg was asked to develop and coordinate an expansion of the ECMH consultation services in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties as part of her work with JFCS. In the ten years that followed, Ms. Reinsberg developed a high-quality, highly respected ECMH consultation program providing services to over 45 programs serving young children and their families. She developed a comprehensive practice-based training program for new consultants and trained and supervised approximately 20 consultants and seven supervisors during her time with JFCS. Ms. Reinsberg also expanded the presence and awareness of mental health consultation through her community partnerships and advocacy efforts.

Beginning in 2012, Ms. Reinsberg returned to “where it all began” at the Infant-Parent Program to serve as the director of their Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Training and Direct Services Program. In her role at UCSF, Ms. Reinsberg has been able to continue her focus on training and developing professionals in the area of ECMH consultation. Additionally, she is responsible for supervising and supporting the work of approximately 13 staff that provide ECMH consultation and therapeutic direct services to over 60 programs serving young children and their families in San Francisco. Ms. Reinsberg also has a private practice in San Francisco where she works with adults, children and families, and has been a contributor, author, and content expert in the area of early childhood mental health for, a website supporting families with children with disabilities.

Andrea Scott, LMFT

Ms. Scott is a licensed marriage and family therapist who comes from a long tradition of relationship-based modalities. She divides her time between the Infant-Parent Program at UCSF and private and collaborative practice in the Bay Area.

Before becoming a therapist, Ms. Scott was a movement analysis practitioner who trained in the Duggan/French Approach in Barcelona, Spain. This training was uniquely instrumental to Ms. Scott’s professional trajectory. Upon moving back to the United States after 14 years abroad, Ms. Scott trained in somatic psychotherapy at John F. Kennedy University under the tutelage of then-program director, Mark Ludwig, LCSW. Ms. Scott sought out a specialization in trauma informed therapy with Infants, toddlers, and parents. The supervision and mentorship of Dr. Linda Perez and Sister Fran Kearney at the Mount St. Joseph/St. Elizabeth recovery program for women with substance abuse challenges helped Ms. Scott develop needed infant and toddler skills.

Ms. Scott went on to work in the SEED Program for six years with founder Dr. Kathryn Orfirer, an Infant-Parent Program alum, at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. By way of the Infant-Parent Program diaspora, Ms. Scott came home to roost in the Infant-Parent Program in 2016. There, she has been immersed in daycare consultancy work. Ms. Scott consults to a variety of sites, all of whom work with socially and economically vulnerable populations. She is keen to bring to the forefront notions of social justice, diversity, inclusion and belonging as she continues to develop a trauma-informed, relational and somatic perspective in her infant-toddler mental health consultancy work.

Maria Seymour St. John, PhD, LMFT

Dr. St. John is an associate clinical professor with the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Co-Director of Training for the Infant-Parent Program. Endorsed by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist, a Reflective Facilitator II and a Mentor, Dr. St. John’s areas of expertise include infant-parent psychotherapy, diversity and inclusion, and reflective supervision. Dr. St. John is licensed as a marriage and family therapist and completed her doctoral training in the UC Berkeley Department of Rhetoric, an interdisciplinary critical studies program. She has published on subjects related to race, class, gender and sexuality in infant mental health work in numerous books and journals including Infant Mental Health JournalZero to Three, Feminist Studies, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, Attachment and Sexuality, and the World Association of Infant Mental Health Handbook of Infant Mental Health. She is a core member of a collaborative group that publishes and trains on the Diversity-Informed Infant Mental Health Tenets, which are being disseminated via the Irving B Harris Foundation, Zero to Three: the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, and the World Association of Infant Mental Health. Her book, Focusing on Relationships: An Effort That Pays was published by Zero to Three in 2019.

Adriana Taranta, LCSW

Ms. Taranta has been an early childhood mental health clinician, consultant, and supervisor at the Infant-Parent Program since 1996. She has worked with families with young children in a wide variety of settings, and has brought her early childhood clinical lens to her work in settings traditionally focused on adult needs, such as residential settings for homeless families and domestic violence shelters. Ms Taranta is endorsed by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist and has been trained and fostered in trauma-focused child-parent therapy. She co-authored, along two colleagues at the Infant-Parent Program, an article for a special edition of The Infant Mental Health Journal on the work of early childhood consultation in crisis-focused, adult-centered settings.

Abby Waldstein, MEd

Ms. Waldstein has worked as an infant mental health clinician for the past 18 years. She holds a master's degree in child development from the Erikson Institute of Chicago, with a specialization in infant studies and at-risk children from birth to three from the Erikson Institute’s Irving B. Harris Infant Mental Health Certificate Program. Ms. Waldstein is endorsed as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Core Provider and Reflective Practice Facilitator by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health.

As part of her work with the Infant-Parent Program, Ms. Waldstein has provided mental health consultation to subsidized childcare centers, consulted to residential and out-patient substance abuse treatment programs for mothers and their infants, facilitated therapeutic play groups, provided clinical supervision to staff, and developed and taught on-going seminars in infant and preschool development to the Infant-Parent Program’s training program, as well as to other agencies in San Francisco. Her publications include Inclusive Interaction in Infant-Parent Psychotherapy, published by the Zero to Three Press.

Esther Wong, LCSW

Ms. Wong is a licensed clinical social worker who obtained her master’s degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. As an early childhood mental health consultant in the Infant-Parent Program, Ms. Wong provides trauma-informed and culturally sensitive program consultation to staff and administrators at childcare centers and a residential substance abuse treatment program for mothers, as well as direct therapy services to young children and families. She has previous experience providing crisis and outpatient therapy services to children, adolescents, adults, and families in home, community, and clinic settings and providing individual, family, group, and milieu therapy in daycare and therapeutic preschool settings. Ms. Wong is currently a fellow in the Napa Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship Program.