Athena Drewes – Founder and Past President Emeritus

Athena Drewes - President Emeritus

Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, MA, MS, RPT-S is a licensed child psychologist, certified school psychologist and Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor. She is Director of Clinical Training and APA-Accredited Doctoral Psychology Internship at Astor Services for Children & Families, a large multi-service nonprofit mental health agency in New York. She has over 40 years of clinical experience supervising clinicians and in the treatment of children and teens, specializing in sexual abuse, complex trauma, and attachment issues in school, outpatient and inpatient settings utilizing an integrative, prescriptive, play therapy approach. Dr. Drewes has worked over 20 years with therapeutic foster care children in treatment.

She is a former Board of Director of the Association for Play Therapy (2001-2006) and Founder/Past President of the New York Association for Play Therapy (1994-2000; 20012-2016). She has written extensively about play therapy in journals, book chapters and articles, and has been a frequently sought-after invited guest lecturer throughout the US, England, Wales, Taiwan, Australia, Ireland, Argentina, Italy, Denmark, Mexico and Canada on play therapy. Her edited/co-edited books include School-based Play Therapy (also translated into Chinese); Cultural Issues in Play Therapy; Supervision Can be Playful: Techniques for Child and Play Therapy Supervisors; Blending Play Therapy with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Evidence-Based and other Effective Treatments and Techniques (also translated into Chinese); School-based Play Therapy: Second Edition; Integrative Play Therapy (also translated into Chinese); Integrating Expressive Arts and Play Therapy with Children and Adolescents; The Therapeutic Powers of Play: 20 Core Agents of Change, 2nd Edition. Her most recent book, published by the American Psychological Association, Play Therapy for Children in Middle Childhood (6-12 years) includes a companion clinical video of Dr. Drewes working with a child using her integrative prescriptive play therapy approach.

 Dr. Drewes was Chair of the Child and Adolescent Special Interest Group of Division 56 Trauma of the American Psychological Association and has given numerous workshops at APA conferences on the use of play therapy in the treatment of children’s trauma. She is a Red Cross Instructor and Supervisor, and on the Leadership Team of Disaster Mental Health Services for the Metro New York North branch of the Greater New York Red Cross. Dr. Drewes has assisted with local flooding, snow and fire disasters, at Pier 94 Kid’s Corner after 9/11 and post-Katrina in New Orleans.

She is the author of a Children’s Activity Workbook created for Israeli, Arab and Russian children to use post-traumatic events, through US-AID. She was part of a special envoy to the Dead Sea in Israel through US-AID meeting with Palestinian and Israeli mental health professionals in May 2012.

Dr. Drewes was senior author in 2011, in collaboration with the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz. She created a special training module for the United Nations (General Assembly) International Emergency Preparedness and Support Teams (EPST) for overseas disasters that impact children, youth and families (e.g. loss of a UN worker/parent due to riots, terrorism, etc.) which has since been used around the world.


Maryann Assini – President

Maryann Assini - PresidentMary Anne Assini had served on the NYAPT board in the capacity of president from 2008-2012. Prior to this she held the positions of vice president and corresponding secretary.

Mary Anne is a reimbursable licensed clinical social worker and registered play therapist supervisor. She is an outpatient therapist at Ellis Child and Adolescent Treatment Services in Schenectady, NY where she works with children, adolescents and families. She also provides play therapy supervision and training and is an Adjunct Professor at Sage Graduate School where she teaches courses in play therapy.

Mary Anne has over 25 years of experience in the field, and has worked in counseling centers, in-patient programs and educational programs for children with special needs. She presently serves as an advisory board member on the Strong Families Schenectady board.

Mary Anne is committed to focusing on expanding the availability of play therapy trainings throughout the state and to increasing awareness of the importance of working with, and supporting, a family focus throughout the treatment process. Of all her involvements the most important by far to Mary Anne is being a mother to her two teenage boys and a partner to her husband.


Jillian E. Kelly – Vice President

Jillian Kelly - Vice PresidentJillian E. Kelly, LCSW is a psychotherapist working with children (ages 3-12) and their families at a community health center in the south Bronx. Jillian earned her MSSW at Columbia University, where she was a student in the schools of Social Work and Public Health. Jillian’s interest in play therapy was cultivated while interning with the Child Life Specialist team in Ireland’s leading children’s hospital. It was there that Jillian marveled at the therapeutic powers of play in aiding children’s ability to cope, heal, and smile during incredibly challenging life experience. Jillian is a graduate of the Association for Play Therapy’s Leadership Academy, a frequent presenter at Play and Expressive Arts Therapies conferences, and co-author of several publications regarding play therapy and resilience. In addition to her passion for play therapy, Jillian completed certification in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF CBT) and is dedicated to integrating these modalities to meet the needs of every child and family.

Jillian is a Gold Award recipient from Girl Scouts of America and during her free time she enjoys practicing American Sign Language, baking goodies for family and friends, hiking the magnificent outdoors, and teaching figure skating to children in her Brooklyn neighborhood.


Ann Beckley Forest – Recording Secretary

Ann Beckley Forest - Recording SecretaryAnn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in the Buffalo area, but has just returned from a year spent in Beijing, China, where she offered trainings in play therapy in several cities in China and in Singapore. Ann has focused on interventions with children and adolescents throughout her career. She likes to say she became a registered play therapist because she never really grew up and loves having toys in her office! She is a registered play therapy supervisor and approved provider of play therapy education, and her specialties include intervention with very young children, as well as problems of attachment and child and adolescent trauma. She is also certified in EMDR and a faculty member of the Child Trauma Institute, through whom she has had the chance to offer trainings locally, nationally and internationally, and published an article about the use of EMDR in play therapy in the fall 2015 issue of Play Therapy magazine. Ann is committed to raising the profile of play therapy especially in Western New York by offering more trainings to make our play therapy community bigger and by bringing play therapists together for consultation and networking.


Hilary Sutliff – Corresponding Secretary

Hilary Sutliff - Corresponding SecretaryHilary Sutliff is a new addition to the mental health field. She holds a BA in Psychology from SUNY Plattsburgh and a MA in Counseling and Community Psychology from The Sage Colleges. She was fortunate enough to complete a one year graduate internship with Ellis Child and Adolescent Treatment Services during her final year of graduate school. This is where she was first introduced to the New York Association for Play Therapy while helping coordinate their 16th Annual Play Therapy Conference in Albany, NY. Since graduation, Hilary has been working towards becoming a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). She is currently employed by The Family Counseling Center of Fulton County where she provides outpatient therapy services to individuals, families, and couples of all ages. In addition to seeing clients in her office, she also provides off site therapy services in four of the local Elementary schools. As a board member, Hilary will strive to share her passion for the field and fresh insight with both current and future members of the NYAPT. Her strong advocacy skills and dedication to continued professional development will greatly aid in sustaining and increasing the positive impact this organization has on clinicians throughout the state.


Ashley Fiore, LMHC – Treasurer

Ashley Fiore - TreasurerAshley Fiore received her Bachelor of Science from Marist College where she also completed a one-year internship in the Emergency Psychiatric Unit at Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York. Ashley then went on to complete her studies at Sage Graduate School’s where she earned her Master of Arts in Counseling and Community Psychology. During her graduate studies, she completed a one and a half-year internship at Ellis Child and Adolescent Treatment Services. During this internship, Ashley developed a passion for families and play therapy. Ashley previously worked as a therapist at The Family Counseling Center where she provided outpatient therapy to all ages. In addition, this agency worked closely with local schools which allowed her to provide school based and agency based therapy.

She is presently working towards becoming a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). Ashley currently works full time at Forest Clinical Services and provides psychotherapy to individuals, families, and couples, working with individuals of all ages. Ashley approaches treatment from a systems perspective and additionally utilizes the therapeutic powers of play in her work with parents, families and children.


Annie J. Monaco, LCSW-R- Board Member

Annie J. Monaco, LCSW-R- Board MemberAnnie J. Monaco, LCSW-R has been a certified social worker since 1995. She has extensive training in play therapy, family therapy, offender work, and trauma therapy. She specializes in working with parents, teenagers, children, and foster care kids. In addition to her private practice, Annie is an independent affiliate of Child Trauma Institute and she trains therapists nationally and internationally about trauma, working with children and teenagers. Annie is also an EMDR trainer and consultant and provides consultation to many therapists around the country on integrating EMDR and play therapy.


David Schatzkamer – Board Member

Photo of David SchatzkamerDavid Schatzkamer is a licensed mental health counselor and clinical supervisor, with distinguished knowledge in providing play therapy and counseling to children and their family. David has obtained incomparable training at the University of North Texas where he was a participant of the Intensive Play Therapy Supervision Program. He continuously receives play therapy supervision by a world known play therapist (Alan Gonsher, LCSW, RPT-S). David has also facilitated a play therapy group supervision group, which used to meet monthly. This work, as well as his ongoing training at the Family & Play Therapy Center in Pennsylvania, has helped him facilitate change in the lives of countless children struggling with ADHD, ODD, conduct disorder, abuse/trauma, and depression and family issues. He specialized in ADHD while working at the NYU Child Study Center and provided counseling to children suffering from post-9/11 trauma at Columbia University. David served as the Director of Clinical Services at a local Brooklyn, NY non-profit. David currently has a private practice (Center4PlayTherapy).


Paola Cummings – Director

Paola Cummings - DirectorPaola Cummings is an LCSW-R and up until recently a psychotherapist at Samaritan Counseling Center in Scotia. She worked primarily with children and families, using a systems perspective along with family play therapy. She is still at Samaritan, but part time, but has started a new position as a middle school social worker at Draper Middle School in the Mohonasen School District. She continues to work toward her registration as a play therapist, and she hopes to bring a systems perspective to the board when using play with children and families.


Kaylene Mason – Student Representative

Kaylene MasonI obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Science from Messiah College in 2014. Soon after graduating I began a job at an Early Intervention Daycare and Special Education Preschool in Suffolk County, Long Island as a Teacher’s Aide. I always knew I wanted to have a career involving children, but working this job solidified my decision. I applied for Graduate School in the beginning of 2016 and was granted admittance into the Masters of Social Work Program at Adelphi University. In my first field placement as a graduate student, I learned a good amount about working with children in counseling through research and direct experience. My enthusiasm for Play Therapy was ignited during this time. I discovered NYAPT and attended my first, of hopefully many, Play Therapy Conferences. To get more involved I decided to apply to be the the Student Board Representative and am both grateful and excited to currently hold the position. I will be entering my MSW advanced year this fall and hope to learn even more skills and techniques this upcoming year to use for my future as a children’s counselor, in which I plan to utilize plenty of play therapy techniques with my clients!

Photo Gallery – Board Induction Ceremony
2017 Annual Play Therapy Conference