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Dr. Joanna Bronfman, MS, LCSW, Psy.D

Founder & Executive Director of Backcountry Wellness, LLC

As a Psychologist, Clinical Social Worker, and Educator, Dr. Bronfman is uniquely qualified to understand the struggles children, adolescents and adults go through when facing an Eating Disorder. Her work has focused on private clinical practice in conjunction with New York Presbyterian Hospital / Cornell Medical Center and the Pleasantville Public School District. Dr. Bronfman was formerly the Clinical Supervisor at the Renfrew Center For Eating Disorders of Greenwich, Connecticut.


Dr. Cheryl Appel MD

Medical Consultant

Dr. Appel, a board certified pediatrician, practices medicine with teens and young adults struggling to regain good health and well-being. Her expertise is with patients with a variety of disorders, anxiety, depression, life transition issues and developmental disabilities. She enjoys working as part of an interdisciplinary team of professionals to help create the most holistic solutions possible for patients and their loved ones.


DR. Natalie Richton, PhD

Program Director

Dr. Richton earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University.  Prior to Backcountry Wellness, she completed her predoctoral internship at Westchester Jewish Community Services and held externships at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Jewish Child Care Association. Dr. Richton has extensive training in outpatient and residential treatment, working with children, adolescents and adults. She is a published author in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. She is an empathic clinician, who uses her clinical training and compassion to promote motivation, hard work and change.


Molly Gerster, RD


Molly has her masters in clinical nutrition from NYU.  She has a strong background in biology and uses her scientific knowledge to develop nutritionally appropriate meal plans for the whole body.  She is attuned to the emotional role food plays for many people, and factors this in when creating a plan that works for both mind and body.


Jessica Lora, LCSW


Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with extensive training in Feminist-Relational Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Jessica has worked in clinical leadership positions at several Eating Disorder Treatment Centers and currently maintains a private practice in New York City and Greenwich, CT with specialization in Eating Disorders, Body Image, and Trauma for adolescents and adults. Jessica has a Masters degree in Social Work from Columbia University and extensive psychotherapy training from The Women's Therapy Centre Institute in New York City.


Brook Pieri, LCSW


Brook has a masters in social work and advanced training in psychodynamic psychotherapy. She establishes a foundation for therapy built on trust, curiosity, empathy and honesty. She believes it is a process that necessitates vulnerability, which can be difficult and painful -- as trust, honesty, change and vulnerability are. She creates a safe space to facilitate growth at a tolerable pace, with the right amount of humor too.


Mallory Bonarrigo, MS

Art Therapist

Mallory provides art therapy in a safe and creative environment for groups and individuals.  Mallory is trained in psychoanalysis, attachment theory, object relations theory and studio art.  She utilizes the process of creating and reflecting on art to allow clients to safely gain insight into who they are, their current challenges, and what motivates them to maintain recovery.


Emily Johnston, BSW

Social Work Intern

Emily is currently studying at Rutgers University to obtain a Masters in Social Work. She has three years of experience working with eating disorders, during which she has worked with very young children, adolescents and adults. Upon graduating with her MSW she plans to continue a specialization with eating disorders.

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Lori Nevins, LCSW


As a clinical social worker for the past 18 years, Ms. Nevins provides comprehensive assessment and treatment planning through a cognitive behavioral model of therapeutic interaction with patients across the age spectrum.  Ms. Nevins educates her patients on the role of family dynamics, lifestyle choices and personal accountability,  She assists patients in creating new paths to success while enjoying a greater overall quality of life through reflection, connection and action.


Melissa Liebre

Culinary Director

Melissa has a culinary Arts Diploma from ICE, the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She believes that healing begins through the changing of one’s relationship with food. At Backcountry Wellness, that is accomplished through meal planning, grocery shopping outings, and hands on cooking groups.  

To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with a specific member of our team, please contact us today.