MAMFT Board Members 2014-2015 


Executive Officers 

Nancy Knudsen: President (term ends 2015)  

 Nancy received her master’s degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of  Education in 1984, and then followed up with a two-year certificate program in family therapy at the Kantor Family Institute, becoming a clinical member of AAMFT in 1986.

Over the course of her 28-year career, Nancy has worked both in agency settings and in private practice. She developed a specialty in trauma and how traumatic events can impact family relationships, and her interests have evolved over the years to bridge the intrapsychic world of emotions with the systemic view of how families operate.

Nancy is an EMDR trained clinician and consultant, a trained Bowen therapist, and certified as an Emotionally Focused Therapist and Supervisor. She has supervised extensively and taught many workshops and seminars for therapists over the years, and is now serving MAMFT as division president in order to more fully support the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy. Nancy’s website is

Rick Hendricks: President Elect (term ends 2015)

Rick Hendricks retired from active duty in the U.S. Army as a Sergeant Major in the Army Chaplain Corps in March 2011after 27 plus years of service. He did his internship and Associate status in Virginia and Kentucky while still serving on active duty. He was in private practice in Kentucky while also serving in Community Mental Health as a PRN clinician doing intensive in-home therapy with adolescents. In addition, he served as the director of The Inner View’s Employee Care Partnership (EAP) Services. He currently works with Combat Veterans and their families through the Springfield Veteran’s Center as part of the Department of Veteran Affairs.

While in the military, Rick served in many volunteer and leadership positions in the church, youth sports, and as the School Board President for Fort Knox Community Schools. Rick has been a member of the AAMFT since 2005 as a student, associate and now clinical fellow. While a student, he served as a volunteer for the national conference beginning to establish his professional identity. He was elected and served as Secretary to the Kentucky Association for MFT Board prior to moving to Massachusetts. Since being in MA, he has volunteered and worked with the MAMFT Media Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee.

Rick has had myriad experiences from administrative support to training development to leadership in a public relations context to having served on a variety of Boards of Directors throughout his career. This is apart from his current therapeutic experiences, which suggests he will bring a new perspective to help move MAMFT to the next level to further our profession.

Kathy McMahon: Secretary (term ends 2016)

Kathy McMahon, Psy.D., earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Antioch University New England in 1988.  She is a licensed and certified psychologist in Massachusetts. For well over a quarter century she has been a clinical member of AAMFT. Dr. McMahon is certified as a diplomat in sex therapy and sex educator by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. She was formerly the Director of the Master's Program in Counseling Psychology at Antioch New England, and teaches courses in three New England graduate schools.

Known as the “Peak Shrink,” she offers advice to an international readership who contacts her about their efforts to craft more sustainable lifestyles. This work can be found at Her clinical specialty is sex and couples therapy, completing training to become a Gottman Methods Couples Therapist. She maintains a private practice in Western Massachusetts, and previously served on the MAMFT Executive Board from 1992-1996.

Howard Wolfe, Treasurer (term ends 2015)

Howard’s background includes training as a Family Sociologist and completing two Marriage and Family Therapy  programs, one at Penn State (MA) in Human Development and one at the University of Minnesota (PhD Program, ABD) in Home Economics.

He has been practicing for 36 years in a variety of settings including street work with youth, clinics (as a clinician, supervisor, and director), and in private practice. He has directed two successful Center for Substance Abuse Prevention substance abuse prevention grants and spends about 20% of his time providing training and consultation on child guidance and substance abuse prevention and treatment for youth.

Howard’s career is dedicated to helping children grow up and changing the things that keep them from growing up. He believes that MFTs can play a unique role by promoting healthy parenting through couple and family therapy and parent education. Howard is the treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee. His hope is that through working with our state association, MFTs can become recognized for the special resource that we are. Howard's website is

Ronnie Zuessman, Treasurer Elect (term ends 2017)

Ronnie Zuessman’s background includes a BA in Psychology and Education from Friends World College / Long Island University, a Master's degree in Counseling from Antioch University New England, a Professional Diploma in Counseling from Hofstra University, and a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Union Institute and University. 

Dr. Zuessman has been a Clinical Fellow of AAMFT since 1982 and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor since 1985. He became a Certified Sex Therapist in the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists in 1986. He has engaged in clinical practice in the United States, New Zealand and Australia. Having worked with culturally diverse populations, Dr. Zuessman appreciates the importance of sensitively engaging peoples from diverse backgrounds and actively empowering them in therapeutic processes with relationships and families.

Dr. Zuessman has served in senior roles and have provided leadership within community mental health, child and family, substance abuse, corrections, and disability services, and has maintained an ongoing private practice. He also has taught as an Associate Professor of psychological sciences, integrating a systemic perspective into courses on assessment, psychopathology, therapeutic intervention, and ethics, in addition to having taught family therapy and human sexuality. A significant aspect of his work has been provision of clinical supervision for clinicians as well as other supervisors. He has supervised across the range of clinician development, from practicum student to intern, postgraduate, and ongoing practitioner.

With regard to experience in professional organizations, Dr. Zuessman served a combined five years as legislative liaison, scholarship and nominations committees, of the Central Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. As family therapy is not licensed in Australia, he served on the national committees of the Colleges of Clinical Psychology and Forensic Psychology. He served six years as Chair of Professional Development for the Forensic College and three years as Treasurer for the Clinical College.

Board of Directors

Grace Chen: Board Member (term ends 2016)

Grace Chen is originally from Taiwan. She received her Master Degree in Counseling from Syracuse University in 1994 and PhD in Family and Child Ecology, Marriage and Family Therapy Specialization, from Michigan State University in 2008. She is currently the Marriage and Family Therapist at the Lowell Vet Center. Prior to joining to the Lowell Vet Center, Grace has primary worked with survivors of family violence, especially sexual trauma and the family work with the sexual trauma survivors. She worked with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and victims of domestic violence in Taiwan. She also worked as a foster care social worker in California with children in the foster care systems and their foster families. During her doctoral training, she interned in the Child and Adolescent Unit with children and their families in the Community Mental Health in Lansing, MI.    

After receiving her Ph.D., she taught at the Department of Counseling at The University of Akron training Master Level Marriage and Family Therapy students. Grace started to participate in the service of the professional organization as a student at the Michigan State University. She attended the Michigan MFT Conference, AAMFT Annual Conference, and Nation Council on Family Relation, and presented in the conferences many times. She also served as the Board Member at Ohio Council on Family Relation. She develops her professional identity through the participation of the professional organization and the interaction with other professionals in the field. She believes the importance of the professional organization to enhance the understanding and service for the MFT field and hopes to contribute her experiences to serve the members in MA.

Patricia Gorman: Board Member (term ends 2016)

 Patricia Gorman, Ed.D., LMFT directs the Springfield College Marriage and Family Therapy Program. Dr. Gorman has twenty -two years experience as a teacher and supervisor of MFT students, including serving as Program Director of the University of Saint Joseph Marriage and Family Therapy Program in West Hartford, Connecticut. She is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and has served as site visitor for the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.

Dr. Gorman previously served as MAMFT Board Member for two terms, 1994-1997 and 1997-2000. Dr. Gorman is also a clinician at ServiceNet, a community mental health agency serving Western Massachusetts. She is currently working with the Massachusetts Child Trauma Project as a member of an ARC (Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency) Team.

Dr. Gorman is eager to promote the recent achievement of MAMFT vendorship and is seeking board membership to in advocate for the next generation of LMFTs in Massachusetts. As MAMFT Board Member, she will work to make mental health employers across the state aware of the specialized skill set of LMFTs, and to make it the sought after licensure for hiring clinicians.

Jeremiah Gibson, Board Member (term ends 2017)

Jeremiah Gibson has spent the last two years as a board member for MAMFT, serving as the chair of the media and public relations committee. Jeremiah directs the MAMFT Facebook page, presenting quality essays and current event issues to MAMFT members. He assisted in vendorship efforts by communicating with South Shore politicians.  He has also written numerous articles for MAMFT’s monthly emails, annual newsletter, and website, with the goal of launching a new website by September, 2014. Jeremiah also works closely with The Mentoring Project, MAMFT’s efforts to create multigenerational, professional relationships amongst its members. His interests for MAMFT include increasing membership amongst newly-licensed clinicians and pre-clinical fellows, marketing the value of marriage and family therapy to other organizations, and expanding the efficacy of media efforts. Jeremiah got licensed as a marriage and family therapist in September, and recently joined the South Shore Family Health Collaborative, where he works with couples, families, and individuals struggling with the anxieties of relationship fraught.

Mirza Lugardo, Board Member (term ends 2016)

For the past three years, while working as Director of the Intensive Family Services Program at Harrington Hospital, Mirza Lugardo has also dedicated herself to working on her PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. She would like to complete her degree to better serve families of diverse backgrounds that are underserved and belong to immigrant populations. She has a very special place in her heart for families that struggle with mental illness, trauma, and substance abuse on top of trying to learn and understand a new language, culture, systems, and services. In her opinion these families can best be served by clinicians trained and experienced in marriage and family therapy. Yet not many minority students are enlisting in the field of MFT. Therefore, she would like to advocate for and bridge out to other minority students in the hopes of increasing their awareness of, and involvement in, the field and MAMFT.

Tracy Starr, Board Member (term ends 2015)

Tracy Starr identifies as a 35-year-old queer female, able-bodied, spiritual, white (Native American, German, French, English, Irish), poor/working to middle class, US born. Tracy is the sole parent of a child that is a person of color. Tracy cares most about issues of social justice and stands against and works to understand how to best navigate issues of violence, specifically sexual violence.

Tracy has an MS in Family Therapy from UMass Boston and has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since July 2013. She has been working for the Home for Little Wanderers as an In-Home-Therapist, first as an intern and after graduating from UMass as a clinician. Tracy has recently been promoted to clinical coordinator at The Home, where she supervises a team of six full-time staff and three interns. She has a special understanding for the families and clients that she serves, as she comes from a home with a teenage mother and grew up in poverty. Furthermore, Tracy understands the stress that single parents face, as she is one herself.

At the Home for Little Wanderers, Tracy has taken on many leadership roles since graduating, including training interns, supervising interns from UMass Boston, and working to co-create a Narrative class for clinicians and new interns starting in the summer of 2014. She is working to begin an initiative at The Home for clinicians that would like to specialize in working with clients around issues of sexual violence and sexual trauma that many families face.

Tracy has completed a series of classes with the Narrative Therapy Initiative and is certified as a Narrative therapist. Furthermore, she has presented at the Narrative Therapy Initiative annual conference on “Making sense of sexual violence: Practice dilemmas and responses.” Tracy continues to be a part of the task force and committee’s for the Narrative Therapy Initiative where she has found a “home” in regards to her professional community.


Peter Williams, Board Member (term ends 2015)

Peter has been a family therapist for 35 years and  member of AAMFT since 1994. He conducts Multi-Family Therapy Groups for the Phoenix House of Springfield, and is a Professional Guardian for developmentally impaired persons. He provides trainings and lectures on Multi-Family Therapy Groups throughout the area.

Peter completed seven years of post-graduate training as a Stage 1 trainee at the GC Jung Institute-Boston in 1997. He has brought a unique translation of the psychoanalytic field to social work behavioral psychology.

Peter hopes to advance MAMFT community networking in Western Massachusetts. He also contributes his expertise and passion in the expansion of Marriage and Family Therapy as a broadly accepted professional field, while maintaining its integrity as a unique family systems theory.


Maria Zygmont, Board Member (term ends 2015)

Maria is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. She received a master's degree in MFT from Springfield College in 1984. She is currently employed at Brightside for Family and Children in Holyoke, MA. She has been directing the home-based program there since 1993. 

Maria is an approved supervisor for interns in MFT at Antioch University in New Hampshire, Springfield College, and Boston College. She also has a small private practice in Holyoke where she specializes in working with clients with a trauma history. She uses Accelerated Resolution Therapy in a systemic family system model.


Updated 7/26/14