About MHC Florida…

The Mental Health Center of Florida (MHC Florida) was founded in an effort to integrate the mental health needs of today’s individuals with state of the art care at affordable prices. At MHC Florida, our staff of nearly twenty fully credentialed therapists, offer comprehensive psychological care for a broad spectrum of mental health issues and disorders. Our office staff and clinical team are multi-lingual (English, Spanish, Hebrew, Russian and Hindi) and sensitive to the unique cultural diversity of South Florida’s residents and their needs. Our clients not only value our skills, but also the timely, respectful and compassionate manner with which their cases are handled.

 

MHC Florida’s Licensed Psychologists, Pre-Doctoral Psychology Interns, and Post-Doctoral Residents have advanced training and expertise and use a variety of approaches suited for your individual needs. We respect and honor our client’s commitment to their health and well-being by treating our clients, their families and our treatment professionals with the utmost care and respect. The MHC Florida clinical team is Broward Sheriff’s Office Certified to provide services throughout Broward County’s jails. We also work extensively with ChildNet (including being a contracted provider for Human Trafficking cases), Department of Children and Families, and the Charlee Program, helping children and families in crisis.

 

MHC Florida in conjunction with Dr. Ann Monis PA is proud to present the Mental Health Center of Florida Internship Program. This program offers training, knowledge, and first-hand experience to a select group of Pre-Doctoral Interns and Post-Doctoral Residents. Our Pre-Doctoral Internship Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and is a member of the prestigious American Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers. We take great joy in passing on our knowledge, expertise, and total dedication to client service.

A Few Words About Our Founder, Dr. Ann Monis:

Dr. Ann, CEO and Intern/Post-Doc Supervisor

drann

Dr. Ann, as she is known to her clients, has been extensively trained in individual, group and family therapy. She works in all areas of assessment and evaluation and is particularly active in the forensic aspects of her practice. She is a substance abuse, sex offender, and forensic expert and an on-site immediate/emergency crisis intervention authority. Dr. Ann’s many accolades and qualifications include a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology; Master’s in Business Administration; Masters in Psychology; and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Dr. Ann is certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as a Family Mediator and is qualified as a Parenting Coordinator under statutory guidelines. She is trained as a neutral mental health professional in collaborative law and as a Guardian Ad Litem by the Florida Bar Family Section. Dr. Ann also has extensive experience in conducting Social Investigations and Risk Assessments for the Florida courts.

Dr. Ann is also a proud mentor to other psychologists-in-training. After being trained by such renowned experts in the field as Dr. Edward Sczechowicz and Dr. Brian Weiss, she knew that her career would also involve mentorship. She has opened up her practices (Dr. Ann Monis, PA, Visiting Mental Health and Mental Health Center of Florida) to offer knowledge and first-hand experience to a select group of Pre-Doctoral Interns and Post-Doctoral Residents. Her firms have been approved by the prestigious American Psychological Association (APA) as well as the American Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). Although no longer serving as the program’s Training Director, Dr. Ann still takes great joy in mentoring, while passing on her knowledge, expertise and total dedication to client service. Dr. Ann also donates her time and services to several charitable organizations around the tri-county area. For more info, go to drannmonis.com.

Download Dr. Ann’s complete CV

John Tar, Director of Operations

Dr. Rick Buitrago, Clinical Director and Intern/Post-Doc Supervisor

drRickDr. Rick Buitrago is a Bilingual Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the South Florida area with 15 years of extensive and solid experience in operations administration/management/service delivery of behavioral health care services. His 15 years of experience include member of Senior Management, management of overall program operations and clinical services/programs; development and administration of long term residential and community based treatment settings; development and implementation of policies and procedures; risk management; contract negotiations; continuous quality improvement;  budgeting and program supervision.

Dr.Buitrago earned a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Albizu University, Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Miami Institute of Psychology, and Bachelor’s in Psychology from Florida International University. His wealth of professional experience includes his previous position at HomeSafe in West Palm Beach, FL serving the foster care population as the Director of Residential Services for 8 years. Dr. Buitrago began his career in New York at MercyFirst, where during his 7 year tenure served the adolescent forensic population as Clinical Coordinator, Program Coordinator and, ultimately, Program Director.

Click Here to download Dr. Rick’s complete CV

Dr. Edward Kornuszko, Chief Psychologist and Intern/Post-Doc Supervisor

unnamedDr. Eddie is a native of the Finger Lakes of western New York. He recently relocated to central Florida after ten years in Boston working with youth presenting with complex trauma including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and with their families. During his tenure in New England, he studied under Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and Dr. Janina Fisher of the Boston Trauma Center. Dr. Eddie also focused on evaluating, developing and directing a wide range of programs from juvenile justice to multi-unit campus settings to community based acute treatment facilities contracted with the Massachusetts’ Department of Children and Families. He brings a wealth of experience doing individual and group work, along with psychological assessment, and program and staff development.

A graduate of the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco, Dr. Eddie initiated his research on juvenile delinquency, personality and spirituality studying youth in the California Youth Authority. During that same period, he also began working with geriatric populations, which he has continued here in Florida.

Dr. Eddie has a strong commitment to child abuse prevention and he sat on the Board of the Harvard University Catholic Student Center and the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School’s Child Abuse Prevention Committee where he offered trainings and gave seminars on abuse prevention and detection to both professional and lay audiences. His passion for teaching and the formation of graduate students in the field of Psychology is affirmed by his longstanding support of such opportunities, and is encapsulated in the description afforded him by the Award’s Committee of the North American Family Institute: “Dr. Kornuszko is a dynamic teacher and compassionate listener. He leads by example and effortlessly draws people together.”

Click Here to download Dr. Eddie’s CV

Dr. Elizabeth Hooper, Training Director and Intern/Post-Doc Supervisor

Dr. Betsi is a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida currently working at the Mental Health Center of Florida as the Senior Staff Psychologist and Training Director for the Visiting Mental Health Internship Program. An Ohio native, Dr. Betsi relocated to the warmth of South Florida in 2002 and earned her Doctor of Psychology degree from Nova Southeastern University in August 2007 after completing her internship through the South Florida Consortium Internship Program where she worked providing counseling and assessment services at the North Broward Bureau which houses the mental health units of the Broward County Jail. She went on to earn a post-doctoral Master of Science Degree in Psychopharmacology. She also has a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from Chatham University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Kent State University. She has worked in many areas which combine psychology and the law including as a Psychological Fellow in a private practice working on complex civil litigation cases involving psychological and neuropsychological assessments, a mitigation specialist for the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office Capital Litigation Unit, and a forensic psychologist in a secure forensic treatment center conducting competency evaluations and risk assessments for the courts. Dr. Betsi also has experience providing supportive psychology services in Assisted Living Facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities, and Independent Living Centers as well as providing community based case management services to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. Her interests include psychological testing, forensic assessment, working with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, and fostering personal and professional development in future mental health professionals. She has a dedication to helping trainees grow and blossom into competent, ethical, and independent contributors to the field of psychology.

Click Here to download Dr. Betsi’s CV

Dr. Maxie Harris, Adjunct Faculty, Licensed Psychologist

maxPhD in clinical psychology; Student of the Year and recipient of Max Hutt Memorial Scholarship for 3 years Center for Psychological Studies Nova Southeastern University (NSU); adjunct faculty NSU in clinical doctoral program and psychodynamic concentration; licensed psychologist in Florida; private practice psychodynamic psychotherapy in Boca Raton, FL; work with chronically mentally ill; psychological and educational testing/reports; co-author of seven peer reviewed published articles in the area of psychodynamic psychology; past President, board member, Section IV representative for Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) APA and editor of Psyche & Sol for Southeast Florida Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology (SEFAPP); member steering committee for Division 39 Spring 2004 Meeting in Miami, FL; candidate at Southeast Florida Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (SEFIPP); current member of board and chair of the curriculum committee of SEFIPP; member APA, Division 39 APA, Florida Psychological Association, International Forum for Psychoanalytic Education (IFPE); presentations at Grand Rounds, Center for Psychological Studies, Nova Southeastern University, SEFAPP Scientific Meeting, SEFAPP Sunday Brunch, Division 39 Spring Meeting, and IFPE. He has interests in implicit/unconscious thoughts, feelings and attitudes and their impact on human behavior, in the interaction of evolutionary, genetic, cultural, interpersonal, family and personal dynamics on our becoming the persons we are, and on the relationship of neuroscience to psychoanalysis.

Click Here to download Dr. Max’s CV

Dr. Maria Karilshtadt-Byk, Adjunct Faculty, Licensed Psychologist

drmariaDr. Karilshtadt-Byk is a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida currently working at the Mental Health Center of Florida as a clinical supervisor. She earned her Doctor of Psychology degree from Nova Southeastern University, and has since worked in a variety of settings, including private practice and a psychiatric hospital. Dr. Karilshtadt-Byk’s clinical interests include assessment, working with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness, development of behavior plans, personality disorders, and supervision. During her post-doctoral training, she became involved in research pertaining to Battered Women’s Syndrome, the Broward Sherriff’s Office Quality of Life Grant, and the Survivor Therapy Empowerment Program (STEP) for battered women at the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The results of the latter research was presented in August of 2008 as part of a symposium at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Boston, MA. Dr. Karilshtadt-Byk is bilingual, being fluent in Russian, which has become an asset in the growing diverse South Florida community.

Click Here to download Dr. Karilshtadt’s CV