M.A. Program Faculty

Faculty play a crucial role in the academic life of the master's program, as they model the skills and values of the integration of the art and science of clinical practice, and provide essential mentoring for our students.

Experienced practicing clinicians are particularly able to help students develop the critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills students need to function effectively when presented with the complex problems that characterize counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy practice. Experienced clinicians are central to the execution of our model of education, which emphasizes both the unique demands of professional education and the importance of mentoring and modeling. Through modeling a life that combines clinical practice with the awareness of current research and literature, the master's faculty enable students to form a strong identification with the multi-faceted roles and responsibilities of contemporary clinicians.

The Master's faculty exemplify the core tenets of our mission statement and program philosophy. Namely, our faculty champion social justice and an appreciation of diversity, while embodying an orientation that focuses on client and student strengths, and emphasizes resiliency, recovery and evidence-based practices. The program has assembled a team of professionals who come from a broad range of personal backgrounds and clinical experiences in order to mirror our culturally diverse student body and their future constituents. Our faculty members are critical thinkers who engage people easily, possess integrity and the ability to communicate effectively, and above all, know how to instill students with a sense of hope and excitement about the counseling field. The Wright Institute is committed to basing all recruitment, hiring, admissions and promotion decisions upon individual qualifications, merit and competency. It is the Institute's policy to provide equal opportunity for all students, faculty and employees.

 

  • The Wright Institute Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling PsychologyRaymond Buscemi, Psy.D. - Core Faculty
    Dr. Buscemi is a licensed clinical psychologist who maintains a private practice in San Francisco. Dr. Buscemi has worked in a variety of settings, including providing treatment to male perpetrators of intimate partner abuse; clinical assessments for children in foster care; and developing and researching interventions to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for people who struggle with alcohol and substance related problems... Read more »
  • The Wright Institute Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling PsychologyStephanie Chen, Ph.D. - Full-Time Faculty
    Dr. Chen is a licensed clinical psychologist with passion and commitment in providing mental health services to children, youths, adults and families. She has 12+ years of extensive training and experience working with diverse children, adolescents, young adults and adults who struggle with emotional, behavioral and interpersonal difficulties including but not limited to anxiety, depression, complex trauma and grief and loss... Read more »
  • The Wright Institute Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling PsychologyMary Clarke, Ph.D. - Full-Time Faculty
    Dr. Clarke is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in complex trauma recovery, PTSD, LGBTQ concerns, eating concerns, and relationships. Additionally, she has long-term therapy experience with personality concerns and dissociative identity disorder. In over 12 years as a clinician, she has provided crisis assessment and treatment in a variety of settings, including at a psychiatric hospital, in several university counseling centers, at a women's group practice, and at an LGBTQ-centered practice... Read more »
  • The Wright Institute Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling PsychologyKristin L. Dempsey, Ed.D. - Full-Time Faculty
    Dr. Dempsey is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and professional clinical counselor (LPCC). She has provided psychotherapy in the Bay Area for almost 25 years in public non-profits and county mental health settings, schools, and medical clinics. Her current psychotherapy practice is located in San Francisco and San Bruno... Read more »
  • The Wright Institute Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling PsychologyMilena Esherick, Psy.D. - Program Director
    Dr. Milena Esherick is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in the areas of eating disorders and substance abuse. She is the former Program Director of El Camino Hospital's Intensive Eating Disorders Treatment Program - a partial hospitalization program for adults with severe eating disorders, mood, and anxiety disorders... Read more »
  • The Wright Institute Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling PsychologyBowbay Liang-Hua Feng, M.A., L.M.F.T. - Core Faculty
    Ms. Feng is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has worked in community mental health and has extensive clinical experience working with children, adolescents, schools, families, elders and adults. She currently has a private practice in Berkeley and also teaches at the University of San Francisco in the M.A. Counseling Program... Read more »
  • The Wright Institute Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling PsychologyKatherine Tarnoff, M.A., L.M.F.T. - Core Faculty
    Katherine Tarnoff is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with extensive experience and a passionate commitment to working in community mental health. Her primary focus has been in home and school based settings in Alameda and Contra Costa County, serving families, children and adolescents in individual and group therapy... Read more »
  • The Wright Institute Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling PsychologyUlash Thakore-Dunlap, M.S. - Full-Time Faculty
    Ms. Dunlap has extensive clinical experience working with children, adolescents, schools, families and adults. Her work experience includes Richmond Area-Multi Services, San Francisco where she works in school-based settings with the Wellness Program and also with children, adults and families at the outpatient clinic... Read more »
  • The Wright Institute Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling PsychologyTaquelia Washington Toland, L.C.S.W. - Core Faculty
    Ms. Washington is a licensed clinical social worker and holds a pupil personal services credential. She has extensive experience working in community mental health, specializing in providing services in the school systems. For over 10 years she worked at a continuation school, providing mental health related services to "at risk" and "hard to engage" youth while also developing systems of care to help best support them... Read more »