About The Truman Group
The founders of the Truman Group, collectively, have years of experience living overseas and firsthand knowledge of the challenges and rewards of expatriate life. They decided to found the Truman Group after recognizing the difficulty many English-speaking expats encounter in finding adequate mental health care while living and working overseas.
Dr. Truman grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, where his father worked for the United Nations. He attended the International School of Kenya in Nairobi where his mother was a teacher. Dr. Truman graduated from Reed College where he majored in Psychology and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut, and was a National Institute of Mental Health Fellow at the Yale University School of Medicine, where he worked both at the Child Study Center and in the Department of Psychiatry. He is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he cares for adults, adolescents and couples. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Truman has worked as both a researcher and a professor of undergraduates and graduate students in Psychology.
Susan Bernstein is the co-founder and Managing Director of the Truman Group. She holds an MBA from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. As a consultant with McKinsey & Company and a senior strategist with a boutique brand strategy firm she has advised global Fortune 500 companies, major nonprofit organizations and start-ups across a range of categories on growth strategy and improved performance. Prior to earning her MBA she worked with arts and education organizations in Los Angeles and San Francisco to increase the impact of their programs and services. Earlier in her career she taught public school in South Central Los Angeles as a corps member with Teach For America. She has lived, studied and worked overseas throughout much of Asia, Western and Eastern Europe.
Lou Bartholome is a psychologist who sees older adolescents, adults, and couples. He was originally trained in both psychodynamic and family systems therapy, and over the course of his professional career he has increasingly employed an integrative approach that incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy, solution oriented therapy, EMDR, and John Gottman’s marital therapy. His approach is flexible and tailored to the needs of each client. Lou has worked in educational settings, community service agencies and medical clinics, and has been in private practice for the last fifteen years, and has worked with the expatriate population for over seven years.
Emily Boland has lived and worked as an expatriate for over a decade, and she knows first hand what it is like to live far from home. Over the course of the last 20 years she has worked as a clinical social worker in a wide range of settings, including inpatient and outpatient care, school based programs, and residential treatment. She approaches clinical work collaboratively with her patients, and she views the therapeutic process as a partnership with each individual client. As an expatriate, Emily has developed a specialty in and has completed extensive training in cross-cultural work.
Lauren Christensen holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology and is a Licensed Psychologist. She has worked in a variety of settings as a clinician, including private practice in the East Coast of the US, as well as part of a pre-deployment medical team for the Department of Defense. Lauren’s private practice work has been primarily focused on the treatment of adolescents and adults struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, trauma, grief, and adjustment to change and life transitions. Lauren uses an individualized approach in therapy, combining cognitive, mindfulness, and acceptance-based theories to help clients identify obstacles and achieve their goals.
Dr. Marilyn Cooperman has been in practice for over 30 years as a psychologist in private practice, as a therapist and supervisor in a college counseling center, and as the consulting psychologist to the director, staff and parents in a preschool setting. Dr. Cooperman’s orientation is integrative. She draws from a broad-based theoretical framework (including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) which allows her to use the strategies, modalities and skills best suited to the needs of the individual client. For the past four years, Dr. Cooperman has focused both her individual and group work on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She has found ACT, a cognitive behavioral therapy in which mindfulness is an integral part, to be particularly effective in helping clients succeed in making desired changes and achieving their goals. Her practice focuses on adolescents and adults coping with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, identity issues, trauma, PTSD, grief and adjusting to life transitions.
Vanessa Dabel is a Licensed Psychologist with a combined doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology and School Psychology. She has clinical experience in various settings, including behavioral health, child welfare, and university counseling centers. Vanessa has worked with individuals across the lifespan, with a primary focus on adolescents and young adults. She has helped clients manage depression, anxiety, adjustment difficulties, attachment and relationship issues, career decision-making challenges, and ADHD. She has also focused on issues of oppression and marginalization in minority clients, trauma, and identity concerns. Vanessa incorporates cognitive-behavioral, relational, psychodynamic, multicultural, and strengths-based approaches into her therapeutic style. She sees therapy as a collaboration between the client and the clinician, with the primary goal of meeting the client’s specific needs.
Laura Dimmick holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology and is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She has provided psychological services across multiple settings, including private practice, community mental health, university counseling centers, and a VA-sponsored center for returning combat veterans and their families. Laura’s clinical work has focused primarily on treatment of adults and older adolescents coping with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, relationship issues, trauma, grief, and adjustment issues via life changes and transitions. She has also focused on working with LGBTQ individuals and families and on peak performance work with students and athletes. Laura has an integrative style that incorporates cognitive-behavioral, relational, insight-oriented, mindfulness, and solution-focused approaches and tailors therapeutic work to the specific needs of each individual.
Michele Gilson has over 27 years of combined experience as a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, and graduate school instructor. She maintains a long-standing private practice, and in addition to her private work, is involved in schools, public health clinics, hospitals, and the state of Oregon’s refugee resettlement health program. She works with clients coping with a range of problems, including depression, anxiety, trauma, adjustment, work stress, eating disorders, grief and loss, and relationship stress. Michele comes from a family of immigrants and expats, and was raised with multinational friends and family since early childhood in the UK. An interactive therapist, Michele is insight oriented and relational in her approach. She believes that therapy can be both practical and solution focused, as well as a deeply emotional process that results in personal and relational transformation.
Lisa Hekel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who has been providing clinical treatment for over 18 years in a variety of settings including private practice, school-based, outpatient and disaster/crisis response. As an expatriate, Lisa has spent over ten years providing personalized services world-wide, using her experiences to support individuals and their families living cross-culturally, including issues related to unaccompanied deployment. Her work with active duty military and veterans focuses on adjustment and trauma issues using an integrative style of mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral interventions. She specializes in issues related to grief, loss, and attachment, through a solution focused approach. Lisa has extensive experience working alongside international schools providing guidance for teachers and administrations in regards to the unique needs of transient students and their families. She meets clients where they are at and guides them through purposeful and goal oriented practice.
Thérèse Jacobs-Stewart has been a practicing psychotherapist for more than thirty years. She also has extensive international experience, including working with the United Nations on leadership development in the Caribbean Nations, and designing cross-cultural training with companies in Europe, the Pacific Rim, and Central America. Thérèse specializes in mindfulness-based practices and cares for adults, couples and families. She is a published author; her most recent book is Mindfulness and the 12 Steps: Living Recovery in the Present Moment.
Alicia Janik is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, holding a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a master’s degree in Human Sexuality Education. She has worked in a variety of settings including private practice, community mental health, colleges, hospitals and specialized foster care. Alicia’s clinical work primarily focuses on supporting young adults and adults experiencing life transitions, depression, anxiety, interpersonal difficulties, grief and sexuality issues. She has an integrative style that incorporates insight-oriented, relational, mindfulness, solution-focused, and cognitive-behavioral approaches. In addition to addressing current stressors, she believes therapy can be used to foster long-lasting personal growth. She has researched and published on the topics of adoption, LGBT families, multicultural treatment and addiction.
Jill holds a Ph.D. in Clinical and Research Psychology and has been a practicing psychotherapist for over 20 years. While living in London, Jill ran the American Counseling Center where she worked extensively with the expatriate population. She spent more than a decade living abroad, and developed significant interest and expertise in treating the mental health needs of expatriates. In addition to her clinical work, Jill has cultural transition programming specifically for international families, and is the co-creator of Transitional Learning Curves, an organization that helps families and companies address the multiple adjustments that come with life as an expatriate. She speaks and writes regularly about expatriate experience and, in addition to her work with the Truman Group, has a private practice where she treats children, adults and couples.
Kim Leong is a licensed Psychologist who grew up in Hong Kong. She earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University, and was a Harvard fellow with joint appointments to Judge Baker Children’s Clinic and Children’s Hospital of Boston, Department of Psychiatry. Of her 28 years as a psychologist, over 21 years have been spent living and working in India, South Africa, Nigeria, Washington D.C., Macedonia, Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. Kim has treated adult, child and adolescent expatriates from diplomatic, missionary, private sector and military communities throughout her international postings. She has trained pre-doctoral students and lay counselors in in-patient, out-patient, academic and community clinic settings. Kim has a depth of experience in treatment of loss, trauma, relationship issues, adjustment, cultural and spiritual issues, and psychometric assessment.
Dr. Park holds a medical degree from the University of Vermont, and is board-certified in Psychiatry and Preventive Medicine. She graduated from Williams College, and after medical school, completed her specialty trainings at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Psychiatry Residency Program and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health General Preventive Medicine Residency program. Sylvia has lived and worked internationally, and in a variety of clinical settings, such as an outpatient clinic in New Zealand, the Veterans Administration in Baltimore, Maryland, and a quaternary trauma center at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Maryland. Her true passion is to use psychodynamic counseling to help others feel more balanced and whole. She has helped people with a wide range of problems, including anxiety, lack of focus, a traumatic past, and issues with identity and belonging. Currently, Dr. Park maintains a private practice in Berlin, Germany, where she counsels mostly expatriates.
Amber Rieff, LMHCA, is a seasoned Mental Health Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist from the Pacific NW who has studied and worked in various countries. Amber not only relies on her professional training but also on her experiences as an expatriate, allowing her to create a climate of compassion and awareness for those who may be struggling with adjusting to expatriate life. She has experience in a variety of settings including community mental health, universities, child welfare, military support programs, juvenile justice, and crisis intervention. In her private practice, she works extensively with adolescents as well as adults. Amber helps clients develop and establish a resilient, authentic, and balanced way of living through the use of psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral interventions as they face depression, trauma, marginalization, anxiety, ADHD, relationship issues, and career decision-making challenges. In addition to her work with the Truman Group, Amber is earning a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus on Positive Psychology in Madrid, Spain.
James Rosow is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. He has been in private practice for more than 15 years and specializes in individual therapy with children, adolescents and adults. He relies on both psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral interventions to treat a wide range of psychological and emotional problems. Through extensive clinical experience he has developed expertise in depression, anxiety, adjustment problems, school/professional underachievement, and relationship issues. He also offers treatment to couples and to families. His previous clinical positions include Director of Clinical Training at the Brooklyn Children’s Psychiatric Center and Assistant Director of the Proctor Academy Charter School in Trenton, NJ.
Johanna holds a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Denver and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Johanna grew up in Latin America and lived in five countries before the age of 18. She has continued to travel and live abroad as an adult, most recently in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Johanna has a passion for helping people live their best lives. She has worked with adults, families, teens, and couples for over 15 years. In addition to her clinical work with the Truman Group, she has served as an international school counselor and pro-bono psychotherapist with refugees and asylum seekers. Her background includes training in Family Systems Therapy, Trauma Recovery (EMDR), Mindfulness, and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. Johanna looks forward to getting to know you and working with you on your own healing journey.
Cynthia Tems holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and is a Licensed Psychologist. She has spent the majority of her professional career living and working internationally in Saudi Arabia, England, and Norway, as well as in the U.S. She has over 27 years of experience working with a diverse multicultural, international clientele composed of both expatriates and local clients. She has offered international telepsychology services for 15 years. Cynthia works with children, adolescents, and adults, providing individual, couple, and family psychotherapy. She also has extensive experience providing psychological and psychoeducational assessment services.
Jane Vanelli has a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University and over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples, families, children and adolescents in hospital and community settings. She has lived and worked abroad and understands the unique challenges of expatriate life and cross cultural adaptation, including issues specific to Third Culture Kids and re-entry. Jane has specialized training and experience with grief, loss, attachment and bereavement, as well as parenting issues, PTSD, anxiety, depression and crisis management. She uses a broad range of clinical modalities, including psychodynamic psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness.
Megom Wangchuk spent her childhood growing up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Thimphu, Bhutan. She recently graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a degree in International Affairs and Political Economy. She has done work with the Gross National Happiness Commission of Bhutan and the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs. In addition to her work with the Truman Group, she also works with Nonviolent Peaceforce, an unarmed, professional civilian peacekeeping force that is invited to work in conflict zones worldwide.
Jacque Wiersma holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and has been trained in the psychoanalytic traditions of both Freud and Jung, as well as more eclectic modalities. In addition to being in private practice for most of her career, she has worked as the head of the North Memorial Medical Center Child Guidance Clinic in Minnesota, and trained interns, residents and psychologists in training at numerous teaching hospitals and universities in the US. She currently teaches at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Her clinical interests center on attachment issues in children and adults, the lives of creative professionals at midlife and later, people coping with autoimmune disorders, and the unique experiences of expatriates. She spent her undergraduate career at Antioch College dropping in and out of school to live and work internationally. Currently, she works with international clients and volunteers as a psychologist in Nicaragua whenever possible.
Abbey Wiltzius holds a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Abbey has experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings and, in her private practice, works extensively with adolescents as well as adults. She has experience treating a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, academic motivation and performance, grief/loss, chronic illness management, trauma and abuse, relationships, and parenting. Abbey takes a collaborative approach to clinical work and incorporates mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral, dialectical-behavioral, insight-oriented, and solution-focused treatment modalities.