About Us

Our Mission

Our mission is to remove barriers and unlock potential for families with learning and behavior challenges.

We help families gain access to the support they need to succeed at school, work, or home. Our comprehensive evaluation and treatment services are tailored to each individual. We take the time and effort to uncover each person’s strengths and challenges.

Kingsbury psychologists understand the uniqueness of each learner and go beyond formulaic testing to get to the root of the problem. We incorporate input from teachers and observations in the classroom to bring the numbers to life. A Kingsbury evaluation pulls together a comprehensive picture that provides a roadmap for the future with recommendations for evidence-based interventions and up-to-date technological supports.

History

Boy studying

The Kingsbury Wellness & Learning Group is built on a foundation of over 80 years of service to children and adults with learning and behavior challenges.

In 1938 Marion Kingsbury founded what was then called the Remedial Education Center to provide tutoring and diagnostic services to children and adults with learning challenges. Although she began her work at a time when learning disabilities were generally unknown and almost always overlooked, her vision blossomed into a nationally recognized nonprofit that launched two schools, a master tutoring training program, and an outpatient clinic. Marion Kingsbury’s legacy is that thousands of children and adults have achieved the most precious gift of reading and access to an education once unavailable to them.

In 2019 The Kingsbury Center announced that it would close operations due to financial hardship, and so the Wellness & Learning Group was established to pick up the baton and carry forth the legacy and mission of its founders.

Future

Girl reading

Accessibility is at the heart of why the Kingsbury Wellness & Learning Group was established. High quality assessment, therapy, educational, and advocacy services are expensive. We intend to make them affordable for everyone, and we aren’t willing to compromise on quality to do it. Our affordability strategy involves a combination of using supervised doctoral and educational trainees to deliver services where appropriate, partnering with public and charter schools to deliver interventions right in the classroom, fundraising, grant-supported programming, partnering with other nonprofits, and delivering full-price services to a portion of our clientele.

We have already begun partnering with local non-profits, schools, and law firms to improve access to our services. Our training program is scheduled to launch in the Fall of 2021, and we are actively raising money to launch reduced price programs within the year.

You can help! We hope you will consider joining our campaign to improve accessibility with a donation. No gift is too large or small, and it will go to an organization serving families with learning and behavior challenges.

Our Team

Elliott L. Conklin, Psy.D.

Executive Director

Elliott L. Conklin, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist providing psychotherapy, psychological testing, and consultation to adults, children, and families. With a background in the study of personality, relationships, and neuropsychology, Dr. Conklin appreciates the complexity of human struggles and can employ an array of therapeutic methods to help people arrive at a feeling of contentment and stability. He provides treatment for depression, anxiety, relational and family problems, anger, aggression, childhood behavioral issues, and ADHD. He is also adept in helping people work through problems they don’t fully understand, such as feelings of emptiness or instability.

In his psychotherapy practice, Dr. Conklin carefully examines how individuals process and manage their emotions, thought patterns, and relationships. He employs an integrative therapeutic approach, which tailors evidence-based methods to meet individual needs and capabilities. He is well versed in relational psychodynamic, attachment, cognitive-behavioral, and family-based interventions. In his therapeutic work, he strives to create an individualized therapeutic space for people to explore their difficulties and change in ways that make sense to them.

Dr. Conklin earned his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology, where his research examined the relationship between adult attachment style and posttraumatic stress. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at Loudoun County Mental Health, and previously received clinical training at Saint Elizabeths Hospital and Neuropsychology Associates of Fairfax. In addition to his studies in psychology, Dr. Conklin is a classically trained pianist with a Bachelor of Music degree from James Madison University.

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Lauren Siegel, Psy.D.

Director of Clinical Services

Dr. Siegel is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in psychotherapy and diagnostic testing for children and adolescents with learning and behavior challenges. She has worked in both school and outpatient settings, and is passionate about validating the experiences of kids and empowering them to understand and advocate for themselves. She believes that taking the whole of a child into consideration – home environment, school and academic functioning, relationships, and interests – uncovers rich and nuanced information that promotes future success.

Dr. Siegel conducts comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults. She also provides individual psychotherapy to children and adolescents with a range of presenting concerns, including attention and executive functioning challenges, emotional regulation difficulties, and social skills deficits. Her approach is informed by psychodynamic theory, but she also employs cognitive-behavioral, relational, and play therapy techniques. Dr. Siegel believes that meeting children where they are and allowing them to direct their experience is the hallmark of growth and change.

Dr. Siegel earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, where she studied psychology and philosophy. She completed her doctorate at the George Washington University, where she gained valuable experience working in public schools in Washington, D.C. and in Maryland. She also worked with young children at a preschool in Northern Virginia. Dr. Siegel’s predoctoral internship was at a community mental health clinic in Queens, NY, where she worked with a diverse population of children, adolescents, and adults. She worked at the Kingsbury Center for seven years before founding the Kingsbury Wellness & Learning Group.

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Ann Rowe, Ph.D.

Senior Psychologist

Dr. Rowe is a licensed clinical psychologist with over twenty years of experience in assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults at the Kingsbury Center. She provides comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations, individual psychotherapy to children and adolescents, and parent consultation. Her extensive experience working directly in the special education classroom and participating in all aspects of the special education process provides insights into crafting an effective evaluation. She is also well versed in integrating social/emotional and personality assessment with neuropsychological test results. Dr. Rowe evaluates children, adolescents, and adults for learning difficulties such as dyslexia and ADHD, as well as autism and behavior and mood disorders. She specializes in the assessment of gifted individuals with learning challenges, and she is a co-author of the book Creating Effective Programs for Gifted Students With Learning Disabilities. Often called “twice-exceptional” or 2e, these students are perplexing to their parents and teachers, and they encounter considerable frustration in academic settings.

In her therapeutic work with children and families, Dr. Rowe strives for a collaborative relationship with parents and teachers. Parents and teachers are encouraged to use emotional coaching strategies to help children build stronger “emotional” muscles through accepting and understanding the full range of their emotions. Following the work of John Gottman and Ross Greene, Dr. Rowe encourages the use of a collaborative approach to resolving difficulties rather than resorting to zero-sum solutions which eventually fail or lead to further conflict.

Dr. Rowe received her doctorate in Clinical Psychologist at the Catholic University of America. She received additional training in developmental disabilities at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development and in community mental health at the DC Commission on Mental Health Services.

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Sarah Matthews, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Matthews is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents and young adults struggling with behavioral, emotional regulation, and social challenges. She provides psychotherapy and consultation to help children and families navigate anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorder, mood disorders, ADHD, and behavioral issues. Dr. Matthews believes in using every individual’s unique strengths to overcome past failures and develop new skills that foster personal growth, self-confidence, and independence.

Dr. Matthews tailors therapy interventions using CBT, play therapy, trauma-informed, family, and relational approaches.  She has nearly a decade of special education experience, and is well-versed in adapting therapy techniques for those with special education needs.  Dr. Matthews received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Salisbury University in Maryland, and achieved her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology in Washington, DC.  She completed her predoctoral internship at Loudoun County Mental Health Center and her postdoctoral fellowship at Sheppard Pratt.  Prior to joining the Kingsbury Wellness & Learning Group, Dr. Matthews worked as a child and adolescent psychologist at the Sheppard Pratt School (formerly The Forbush School at Glyndon) for nine years, with her last three years as a supervising psychologist overseeing the program’s clinical department.

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Maria Cimporescu, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist; Post-Doctoral Resident

Dr. Cimporescu is a Post-Doctoral Resident providing psychotherapy and diagnostic testing to children, adolescents, and adults. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings and specializes in providing treatment to individuals experiencing transitional stress, depression, anxiety, anger, trauma, and interpersonal/relational challenges. She has experience conducting comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations for the assessment of Specific Learning Disorders, ADHD, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Dr. Cimporescu’s clinical practice is client oriented, integrative, and evidence based. She believes in an ecological approach to therapy and assessment that pins clients’ presenting concerns within the backdrop of their environment. She has training in a variety of evidence-based modalities including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy, and she tailors her approach to the needs of the individual client.  

Dr. Cimporescu earned her undergraduate degree from George Washington University where she studied psychology and biology. She went on to complete her doctorate at George Washington University, in Clinical/Community Psychology, where her research explored the interplay between transitional stress and personality. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Spring Grove Hospital Center, and previously received clinical training at The Meltzer Center, Arlington County Mental Health, George Mason University’s Counseling Center, and Harbor Lights Treatment Center.

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Randy Gorod

Director of Development

Randy Gorod has had a long and diverse career serving in the non-profit sector. He began working as a youth director and in camping. After graduate school, he returned to Atlanta to work at a synagogue Youth Director and Executive Director for nine years. His development experience began at the synagogue and continued at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta where he helped lead the Community Campaign for Caring for three years and to its highest annual level of over $18 million in one year. He moved to Emory University to be part of the university’s $1.6 billion comprehensive campaign and worked through the campaign completion, nearly six years. After helping The Jewish Agency for Israel work on a better development process for almost two years, he left to form Pisgah Consulting. At Pisgah Consulting, he has worked with organizations like the Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Science for and others. Pisgah Consulting offers non-profits the opportunity to focus on core competencies by building strong development operations, plans and staff.

Randy holds degrees from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications in Public Relations and Columbia University’s Teacher College in Student Personnel Administration. Randy is very involved in the Association of Fundraising Professionals, having served in many chapter roles, including President. He now serves on the International level of AFP as a mentor and on the US Government Relations Committee.

Randy loves spending time outside with his wife Nancy, his adult children and their dog Jedi. He enjoys music, reading mysteries, baking and a good drink.

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Hannah Russell

Administrative Assistant

Hannah Russell is the administrative assistant, providing support to the rest of the team. She earned dual bachelor's degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Science & Technology from the University of Maryland- College Park and is dedicated to the mission of supporting learners and their families.

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