Get to Know Our Clinicians
We have included some helpful information below to help you learn more about our experienced clinicians. If you have any additional questions regarding what you see here, contact us
and we'll be happy to answer any questions that you have!
Randi Schnur, PhD — Clinical Psychologist and Owner of Paragon Behavioral Health
My passion for psychology began in college, in an introductory psych course taught by Dr. Ron Mack, a smiling, energetic man who did not lecture but told stories, making all the concepts come to life not as abstract ideas but as meaningful ways of understanding people. I was so enthralled by what I was learning that, despite there being nearly 500 students in the auditorium, the professor singled me out and nicknamed me “Twink” because of the twinkle in my eye that he could see from the stage! Dr. Mack became my mentor for many years, and although I lost him, too early, when I was 30, his legacy lives on as I still feel that twinkle every day when I go into my office to listen to people share their stories.
I do think of psychotherapy as being all about helping people find the words for their own stories. My unwavering goal is to listen carefully and without judgment to your story. Even the most confusing aspects of a person –negative patterns that get repeated, self-sabotaging behaviors, irrational fears – can come to make sense if they are understood in the context of one’s life story. And when you can make sense of your own story, you are then presented with the possibility for growth and change.
My areas of interest are diverse and varied. However, I do have specific areas of expertise including women’s issues, abuse and trauma survivors, relationship issues, loss and grief, lifestyle change and depression and anxiety. I am also pleased to offer Wellness Coaching for people who do not need traditional therapy but are seeking help to make changes and reach goals in their personal and professional lives.
I received my Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and my Master’s and Doctorate degrees at the University of Massachusetts. My internship and postdoctoral fellowship were completed at Yale University School of Medicine’s Psychiatry Department. After working in community and consulting psychology at Yale, I began providing psychotherapy in the Central Connecticut area in 1989…and never left. I have been serving this community since then, and opened Paragon Behavioral Health in 2001. If you feel that I can be of help to you in understanding your life story and starting a new chapter, please contact me.
Barbara Brien, LCSW
I first became committed to being a psychotherapist at age 8 after reading a magazine article written by a psychotherapist about how to help a child develop self-esteem and emotional health. My sense that this was work I could wholeheartedly embrace has never faltered. I received my BA in psychology at the University of Connecticut and my MSW at the UConn School of Social Work. My interests have always been eclectic, as I have never believed that one school of thought had all the answers. I place a high priority on diligently working to hear and see people as accurately as possible, and to help them build a connection to their own wisdom about their lives and inner psyches. My curiosity has brought me from studying Gestalt Therapy and Family Therapy in the 70’s, to Jungian analytical psychology in the 80’s, to Relational Psychoanalysis in the 90’s, to Cognitive Therapy based on Mindfulness Meditation in the 2000’s.
My current fascination is the integration of each of these, with emphasis on the most recent concepts of Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness Meditation. Every session is an exciting opportunity to work with a person in an authentic honest exploration of their stuck points and their growing edge, which is creative and alive in that moment. This is enlivening and rewarding and I love it.
Jacqueline Ercole, APRN
I have always enjoyed listening to people and being someone that others felt comfortable turning to with their problems or concerns. When I entered my Nurse Practitioner program, I began to truly appreciate the value of a holistic approach. I believe that understanding not only the workings of the mind, but of how the body and mind work together, enables me to give my patients a better level of care. As a clinician, it is important for me to work collaboratively with my patient in developing the best treatment plan, whether medication management, therapy, or both. While I have the knowledge and experience to offer recommendations, I do not pretend to know your body better than you do. It is vital that patients feel comfortable sharing with me what does and does not work for them. My goal is that my patients and I will make the journey to recovery together.
I earned my MSN from Yale University School of Nursing and completed my clinical training at Connecticut Mental Health Center (CCMC) and Hamden Behavioral Health. I received my BA in Psychology, with a minor in Criminal Justice, from the University of Connecticut. I am ANCC Board Certified as a Family Psychiatric / Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I provide medication management, evaluations, assessments, and individual therapy for adolescents and adults. It would be my privilege to work with you on your journey to recovery.
Erin Martin, LCSW
My first encounter with the term “EQ” (which stands for “Emotional Quotient” or Emotional Intelligence) happened during my second year of graduate school while working on an inpatient psychiatric unit. An astute nursing supervisor casually praised my EQ as “exceptional and uncanny.”
Naturally, gobbling up her feedback, I quickly did some research, and learned that EQ is “the capacity of an individual to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” Since then, I have always tried to live up to that compliment, as I have dedicated my life to helping people make positive changes and learn more about themselves by better understanding and managing their emotions.
I believe that we are all meant to do something in this world. For me, I know I was meant to work with people who are struggling, and to help them reach their true potentials. My ease with people of all ages, cultures, and socioeconomic statuses dates back to far earlier than my first work in the mental health field, which was with emotionally troubled adolescents assigned to a residential facility. I have worked with clients across the lifespan and in every level of treatment, from the crisis intervention department of the emergency room to Distress Tolerance skills groups to cognitive behavioral therapy work in outpatient settings.
I received my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of CT in Human Development and Family Relations and my MSW from UConn School of Social Work. I believe that good therapy is an art, and I am so pleased and honored to be part of the respectable commitment to treatment offered at Paragon Behavioral Health.
Kate LeBlanc, APRN
My passion for psychiatry began in my teenage years when one of my closest friends suffered a psychotic break and began a brave struggle with paranoid schizophrenia. It was a very confusing and difficult time in my life, and in an effort to understand and come to terms with what was happening, I read every book and article on the subject that I could get my hands on. I became most fascinated with memoirs of individuals living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and addiction. Marya Hornbacher captured my heart in one of her several memoirs, Madness: A Bipolar Life, which bravely details her trials and tribulations living with bipolar disorder, and her achievement of stability. My strong interest in the field led me to pursue a work-study program during nursing school, where I worked on an inpatient psychiatric unit. Spending those years working with individuals grappling with some of the most difficult times they would ever encounter left no doubt about what I would do in the future.
I earned my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT. After spending some time working in a medical setting, I returned to my alma mater to obtain my Master’s of Science in Nursing and to become certified as a Family Psychiatric / Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I first gained experience at the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT, working with individuals with a gamut of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, and psychosis. I also received more extensive training and experience in mood disorders occurring during pregnancy and postpartum.
My approach to mental health treatment centers on active listening and understanding. I help people recognize that they know themselves better than anyone else can know them, so working to get better is truly a collaborative effort. I also support evidence-based treatment and believe it is my responsibility as a trusted provider to stay current on the best practices and the highest standards of care. My mission as a provider is to understand your struggle, to go beyond hearing and really listen, and to come to mutually agreed upon treatments and goals. I look forward to working with each and every client and am grateful to be a part of such a dedicated and compassionate group.
Carol Lamson, LCSW
I’m a dynamic and compassionate therapist who believes that every person has the right to heal their wounded places and become who they were meant to be. For over 20 years, I’ve been devoted to helping my clients fulfill their goals and potentials in a safe and nurturing relationship. I jump in and become your guiding partner through a healing and reparative process, which brings you to a new place of self-acceptance and possibilities. Together, we’ll replace barriers with building blocks through the use of cutting-edge therapies to heal trauma, regulate emotions, sustain healthy behaviors, gain self-confidence and see yourself as the hero in your life. Your new relationship with yourself will create more satisfying relationships with others, promote your natural tendency to embrace life and learning, and deepen your spiritual capacity with a new-found freedom. If this is the direction you want to go in, take a deep breath, grab my hand, and let’s start the journey!
Some of my specialty areas include:
- Low self-esteem
- Stress management
- Relationship issues
- Addiction and recovery
- Chronic mental illness
- Education and career issues
- Life transitions
- Medical / illness
- Elder issues
- And more - call for details
Therapeutic approaches I use include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Stress reduction
- Imago therapy (couples)
- Accelerated resolution therapy (trauma)
- Strategic steps to effective parenting
Jason Perez, LCSW
Throughout my professional career, I have tried to help people improve their lives. Whether as a teacher, a community organizer, an advocate, a volunteer, and now a therapist, I have always gotten my energy from seeing someone emerge from their personal struggles to find happiness, peace, and purpose.
I earned my Master's in Social Work from Hunter College in New York City in 2013. Since then, I have had the privilege of working with many clients of diverse race, class, age, and sexual orientation. I have training and experience working with a wide variety of issues, though my particular expertise lends itself towards treating anxiety, depression, anger, grief, and trauma. I also have a particular affinity for helping adolescents and young adults move through difficult transitions in their lives. Finally, though much of my practice has been wholly secular, I have experience weaving spiritual and religious themes into treatment, if a client finds it helpful for their own healing.
Like many of my colleagues at Paragon, my approach to therapy is very eclectic. Of course I provide talk therapy, which is a cornerstone of all good therapy practice. However, I am also open to many different techniques such art, writing, meditation, body movement, and other creative approaches. If someone needs to use a session to cry, or to remain silent and simply breathe, I will support that choice. I find that new approaches bring new perspectives to problems that might have seemed unsolvable before. Wherever a person is, I will try to meet them there and open a path for them to realize and become their best selves.