Debra D. Castaldo, PhD
Fort Myers Field Site Coordinator/Assistant Professor
Dr. Debra Castaldo has traveled a diverse career path that has been enriched by working in a variety of settings. She has provided guidance to others for over twenty-five years as a psychotherapist specializing in family therapy, couples and marital issues, women’s issues, and child therapy. She has developed expertise in couples relationship empowerment and marriage recovery, women’s psychology and development, mid-life issues, separation and divorce recovery, children’s self-esteem, adoption foster care, and children’s attachment issues. Debra brings a deep sensitivity to her work with women’s issues, due to her own experience with early marriage, midlife divorce, and childlessness. Dr. Castaldo is currently the host of Solution Talk on Rockland World Radio, and has been a frequent guest on Family Talk on Comcast CN8 and on Rockland Radio.. She is the author of : Divorced without Children: Solution Focused Therapy with Women at Midlife, published by Routledge/Taylor Francis in 2008.
Dr. Castaldo received a Ph.D. form New York University in Clinical Social Work, a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from West Chester University. She also completed post graduate training at Ackerman Institute for the Family, The Brief Family Therapy Center, The New York Training Institute, and the Relational Life Institute. She holds expertise in Solution focused Brief Therapy and Couples Relationship Empowerment Therapy.
She has been an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University from 1990 to 2009, and at Rutgers University since 2004 where she teaches Family Therapy, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Group Therapy Dynamics, Solution Focused Management, Individual Therapy with Adopted Children, and Group Therapy in Adoption. She has also served as adjunct faculty at New York University, Montclair State College, and Ramapo College of New Jersey.
She has worked as a consultant, trainer, and facilitator to corporations and non-profit organizations. She has presented workshops in the areas of solution-focused management, conflict resolution, strategic planning, teambuilding, stress management, and customer service excellence. Other areas of expertise include crisis and trauma response, and managing imposed organizational change. Her diverse clients have included the fields of health care, pharmaceuticals, aerospace engineering, law enforcement, family businesses, multi-level marketing, and human service organizations. She has also facilitated numerous professional and personal growth seminars for Columbia University, Rutgers University, The New Jersey State Police, and the National Family Therapy Networker Symposium.
She has also worked as a director of social work programs, including as Director of Pediatric Social Work at the Babies and Children’s Hospital at New York Presbyterian Hospital from 1998 – 2000, and as Director of Clinical Services for the Children’s Aid and Adoption Society of New Jersey from 1985-1998.
She is also the author of Guidelines for Assessment of Foster and Adoptive Families for Placement of Sexually Abused Children, and a chapter on Managing Sexually Reactive Children in Foster Care anticipated in the upcoming book, A Handbook of Relational Therapy for Children in Foster Care, published by Child Welfare League of America.
In addition to teaching, consulting, and training, she maintains a private practice in family therapy as Director of the Center for Couples and Family Solutions in Midland Park and Englewood, New Jersey.