about us

Meet our staff

Thomas Knudsen, Psy.D., ABPP


Psychotherapy and Psychological Testing

Psy.D., Wheaton College Graduate School, Wheaton, IL (1999)
B. A., The King's College (1991)

Dr. Knudsen is Licensed in New York State as a psychologist and board
certified in clinical psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). He received his Doctor of Psychology degree (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College Graduate School (1999) in Wheaton, IL and his bachelor's degree in Psychology from The King's College in 1991.

Dr. Knudsen also trained for a year as a predoctoral intern at Madison State Hospital where he did rotations in Adult, Adolescent, and Substance Abuse Treatment. His areas of specialty include adult severe and persistent mental illness, object-relations psychotherapy, stress management, adult psychological assessments, and parental capacity evaluations. He has also done additional research with the MMPI-2 and co-authored a book in 2005 titled, The Clinical Interpretation of the MMPI-2: A Content Cluster Approach (Erlbaum).


knudsens book2Clinical Interpretation of MMPI-2:A Content Cluster Approach (Hardcopy). Co-Authored with Edward E. Gotts, Ph. D.

Under managed care pressure, the MMPI-2 is now called on to generate more and more of the assessments that a battery of instruments once did. Integrating old and new empirically-supported scales, this book lays out a content cluster interpretive approach



Professional Associations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Society for Personality Assessment (SPA)

Samuel Rubenzahl, Ph.D.
samPsychotherapy & Psychological Testing for children and adolescents

Ph.D., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
B. S., Hamilton College

Samuel Rubenzahl, Ph.D., earned his Doctoral degree in Clinical-Child Psychology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in December, 1997. He earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology from Hamilton College in 1992. He is a New York State licensed psychologist.

Dr. Rubenzahl is the Chief Psychologist and Coordinator of Children's services at LCCMHC where he has worked since August, 1997. His responsibilities include providing individual, family, and group therapy to children and adolescents, and conducting psychological and forensic assessments. He also supervises several clinical staff, is the chairperson of the Ethics Committee, and a member of the Incident Review Committee and Quality Council. His past experience includes working in a variety of clinical settings, including community mental health centers, a specialized sexual abuse treatment program for victims and offenders, the Illinois Impact Incarceration Program, and with Head Start programs in Illinois and New York.

Professional Associations:
American Psychological Association (APA), APA's
Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)
Sharon Shumac, MA, LMHC


Psychotherapy for adults, adolescents, and families

  • M.A., Marymount University (2003)
  • B.S., Utica College of Syracuse University (1993)

Ms. Shumac is a licensed mental health counselor with seven years in the mental health field and four years in the criminal justice field.  She obtained her undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1993 after completing an internship at Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C. She then began working with the District of Columbia Pretrial Services Agency which provided supervision, case management, and counseling to individuals facing criminal charges in the District of Columbia.

In 2002, she relocated New York and began working at Lewis County Community Mental Health Center while completing her Master's Degree.  At Lewis County Community Mental Health, she worked with at-risk youth in a grant-funded program until completing her Master's Degree in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia in 2003.  She then began providing psychotherapy to individuals and families as well as managing the Trauma Survivor's Resource Center of Jefferson and Lewis Counties.

Ms. Shumac’ s specialties include domestic violence, sexual abuse/assault, trauma, family and couples counseling, and eating disorders. She is currently offering individual, group, family, and couples counseling for adolescents and adults.  She will be practicing in both the Watertown and Lowville offices of Danser and Knudsen.


Heidi Abbey, LCSW

heidiPsychotherapy for children, adolescents, and families

M.S.W Syracuse University

B.S.W. The College of Saint Paul

Ms. Abbey joined the staff at Danser and Knudsen in 2008.  Ms. Abbey’s areas of specialty include providing psychotherapy for ADHD, disruptive behaviors, child abuse/trauma, anger management, depression, anxiety, and attachment disorders (including attachment parenting).

Prior to her work at Danser and Knudsen, Ms. Abbey was the Single Point of Access (SPOA) Coordinator and child therapist at the Lewis County Community Mental Health Center in Lowville, NY.  She provided psychotherapy to children, adolescents and families in both clinic and school settings.  Ms. Abbey worked with numerous schools and community agencies to identify those children at the highest risk of placement in out-of-home settings.  She developed strategies to manage these children in their home communities, while ensuring that individuals referred for services were matched to the appropriate levels of care based on need.  She also with children in a therapeutic foster care program and with families to prevent foster care placement.

Ms. Abbey is a member of the National Association of Social Workers


Tiffany McLallen, MA, LMHC
Ms. McLallen is a new member of our full time staff seeing adults, children, and families.  Check back soon for more information.
Kirsty Macdonald Ruparelia, LMSW
Kirsty Macdonald Ruparelia has rejoined our practice, having relocated back to Watertown with her children.
Kirsty holds a Bachelor and a Master of Social Work and has been a practicing Clinical Social Worker for 26 Years.  Although she has built a General practice in Individual, Family and Couple Counselling, Kirsty has a sub specialty training in Children and Adolescents and more specifically Child Abuse and Neglect and Child Sexual Abuse Validation Assessments.
Prior to joining Danser and Associates in 1998 she worked on a Child Abuse Team in a large Pediatric Hospital, whilst practicing in a Private Practice.  She has worked in Outpatient and Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitals, dealing with both an adult and a child population. She is well versed in the Court System and has been sworn in as an Expert witness in Child Sexual Abuse matters.
Kirsty's most recent employment was working in a High School Testing Room for students with 504 and IEP plans.
Kirsty is very excited to be back in Watertown and rejoining her team of Associates at Danser and Knudsen.

Amy Adams, MSW
Ms. Adams is a part time therapist for children and adolescents.  Check back soon for complete information Laughing
Jason Wise, Psy.D.
Dr. Wise is a part time consulting psychologist.  Check back soon for complete information.
Craig Brower, Psy.D.


Psychotherapy and psychological testing.

Psy.D. Wheaton College (2000)
B.A. Wheaton College (1991)

Craig Brower has over 18 years of experience as a psychotherapist.  A graduate of Wheaton College in 1990, he began his clinical training in vocational rehabilitation counseling/family therapy with persons who are hearing-impaired and graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL in 1993.  He earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Wheaton College in 2001.  He is a New York State licensed psychologist.  His pre- and post-doctoral training focused upon learning intensive marital therapy, conducting a wide variety of evaluations, grant writing, and directing the Clergy Care program at Philhaven Behavioral Healthcare Services in Lancaster, PA. 

His past professional experience has involved work in a variety of settings including intensive psychiatric rehabilitation treatment, group homes for persons with developmental disabilities, church-based counseling and leadership development services, private practice, and most recently in community mental health in Lewis County, NY. Dr. Brower specializes in emotionally focused marital therapy, college-age and adult individual psychotherapy, family therapy, addressing protective personality features, psychological/ADHD/learning disorder evaluations, and the integration of spiritual, emotional, and personal growth in the context of relationships.


Professional Associations:
American Psychological Association (APA)

Pamela Brower, LMSW
Ms. Brower is a part time therapist seeing children and families.  Check back soon for more information.