Our Therapists

The Center utilizes the services of a wide range of professionals, including social workers, psychologists, and counselors. Our value statement is grounded in the belief that self-awareness evokes the ability to give and receive love, express compassion toward self and others, and sustain growth and learning. In addition, we believe most people have spent a lifetime fleeing emotional pain adding to the idea that they are powerless and incompetent to cope with their grief. By working with one of our therapists you can feel more comfort with your inner emotional states, more open to the beauty of life, and more active and independent with a heightened feeling of competence to live forward through your life transitions. All of our therapists have graduate level degrees, are licensed to practice mental health, have obtained extensive training in helping clients through intense emotional experiences, and are committed to continue learning and refining their professional skills.

David Fireman

MSW, LCSW, Executive Director

In addition to directing the Center, David holds a psychotherapy practice grounded in Self and depth psychologies. His extensive background helping others grows out of a sincere respect for inherent individual differences, social learning, the interplay of Love and Loss throughout the life span, finding purpose and meaning, and placing value in the power of the therapeutic relationship. He is an active and involved therapist who believes that the rare combination of honesty and courage bring about lasting change. In tandem with his client work, he also provides professional consultation services to therapists in private or agency settings. Finally, to round out his traditional training in social work and psychotherapy, David draws from his experience as a black belt [student and senior class member] in judo, Tibetan forms of meditation, and Jewish spirituality. [read more]


Paul M. Martin

PsyD, Assistant Director

Paul M. Martin is a licensed clinical psychologist and the assistant director of The Center for Grief Recovery. He has a genuine passion for being a psychotherapist and a deep respect for the healing process that ensues when people are able to express their feelings without fear, discomfort, or inhibition. He is also sensitive to the traumatic experiences of hurtful relationships throughout life that continue to haunt people. By helping people move beyond these disappointments, Paul has been amazed to see how well people can make sense of what once seemed confusing and disorienting while also gaining a better understanding of how they function in relationships. Ultimately, Paul’s aim is to nurture the growth of individuals who are able to affirm their authentic selves and enjoy their lives as they unfold. [read more]


Joe Byrne

M.Ed., Psy.D.

Joe Byrne is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alder University. He brings to The Center the experience of a first full career in education. His area of expertise was Reading and Learning Disabilities with an emphasis on thought, language, the process of comprehension and meta-comprehension. This influences his work as a therapist in the belief in the power of narrative in the journey of one’s life. [read more]


Derek Vincent


Derek is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who values establishing the therapeutic relationship as a means to providing a safe, nonjudgmental, supportive, and collaborative environment where clients can contemplate new perspectives, and regain more balanced, satisfying, and fulfilling life. [read more]


Annie Grossman


Annie Grossman is a licensed clinical social worker with over 13 years’ experience working with children, adolescents and adults on a variety of issues related to grief and loss. Annie feels privileged and honored to have the opportunity to provide therapeutic services to clients as they navigate their lives both during and after a loss. [read more]

Ali Vernasco


Ali Vernasco is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 11 years of experience working with adults from various backgrounds. Ali believes that letting her clients tell their story is an important part of the therapeutic process, especially working through grief. [read more]

Jim Manzardo


Jim Manzardo is an intern completing his Masters in Pastoral Counseling degree at Loyola University Chicago.  If you are looking to work with someone who is non-judgmental, compassionate, and genuinely interested in understanding your life’s journey, Jim might be a good fit for you.  He brings to his internship many years of experience as a certified pediatric hospital chaplain… [read more]

Jenna Brooks


Jenna has extensive experience working in inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, having served as a medical social worker on hematology and oncology, neurosurgery, stroke, palliative and hospice units. She has also worked in psychiatric settings with adolescents experiencing eating disorders…[read more]