Clinicians

Barbara A. Mara, Ph. D.

Licensed Psychologist, PY 3926
Licensed School Psychologist SS169
Florida Supreme Court Certified Family and County Mediator
Parent - Coordinator
Collaborative Law - Mental Health Neutral

Dr. Barbara A. Mara, Ph.D., began her Practice in the Mental Health field in Central Florida, in 1976.  Dr. Mara earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Florida in 1975, her M.S. in Community-School Psychology in 1977 from Florida Technological University of aka: University of Central Florida, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology in 1983.  She was licensed as a Mental Health Counselor from 1982 to 1988. She is licensed in the State of Florida as a School Psychologist since 1983 and as a Psychologist since 1987.  She is a Florida Supreme Court Certified County and Family Mediator.  She is a Diplomat of the American Board of Forensic Examiners.  She has been practicing Parent Coordination since 2000 and Collaborative Law since 2008.  She currently holds licenses in the State of Florida as a Psychologist and School Psychologist.  Dr. Mara founded PWCF, Inc. and is CEO.

 Dr. Mara’s practice provides an array of psychological services, with specialization in Forensic Psychology, involving Child Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse, Parenting Plan Evaluations, Collaborative Law (as the Mental Health Neutral), Parent Coordination (P-C) and for other civil and criminal issues. Dr. Mara has testified greater than 1000 times in various courts and jurisdictions, for various Psychological – Expert Witness issues. On a regular basis, Dr. Mara provides therapy, workshops, consultations, and information for the media – nationally and internationally. Dr. Mara is a writer, publisher of many articles and co-authored a book entitled: Child Abuse: Multidisciplinary Approaches, published by Allyn & Bacon.

Dr. Mara’s work also includes extensive media experience, in which she had a Mental Health TV SHOW on Channel 9, during the late 1980’s entitled, “On Your Mind with Dr. Mara”. She also hosted a radio talk show on WKIS. Dr. Mara participates actively, within her own profession, and is a member of the American Psychological Association, Florida Psychological Association, and the National Academy of Neuropsychologists, among other organizations.  Dr. Mara has been past Treasurer and President Elect of the Central Florida Psychological Chapter and also co-chaired the Domestic Violence Committee, in the past.  Over the years, she has held positions in hospitals/psychiatric institutes (UBC Credentials Chairman), mental health centers and, residential facilities.  Her involvement in the mental health community is demonstrated by her dedication to best standards of practice for promoting better mental health.  She actively participates with professional affiliations, is a supervisor to clinical students, and a consultant to treatment centers and mental health organizations.  Dr. Mara’s background also emphasizes cultural awareness and diversity.  

One of Dr. Mara’s passions for over 30 years includes expertise regarding divorce and children, its effects and best management practices to assist families and the court’s social system.

Dr. Mara welcomes new referrals for therapy, evaluations, P-C, CL, as she is an experienced and knowledgeable clinician.

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

Kristin Grothe Arango, Psy.D.

Licensed Psychologist, PY5924

Kristin Grothe Arango, Psy.D. has been practicing in the field of mental health since 1991.  She earned her Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology from University of Central Florida in 1991, and her Doctorate of Psychology degree in Clinical Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology in 1997.  She has been licensed by the State of Florida in the area of Clinical Psychology since 1999.  She has been associated with Psychological Wellness for Children and Families, Inc. since its inception in 1993.  Her clinical interests include working with preschool, young children, and adolescent populations, conducting psychological assessment and utilizing play, individual and family psychotherapy. 

Dr. Arango’s clinical specialties include dealing with issues of ADHD, learning and behavioral disorders, pervasive developmental issues, and mood and anxiety disorders.  She further conducts comprehensive psycho-educational evaluations to address educational and learning concerns and consults with teachers and parents regarding educational issues and child management skills.  She has additional experience in working with early intervention programs and inpatient/residential programs, providing clinical supervision for clinical students/residents, and conducting psycho-educational groups.  

S. Paul Pushkarna, Ph.D.

Licensed Mental Health Counselor 0002683
National Certified Counselor, 30504
Certified Addiction Professional, 1343
Clinically Certified Sex Offender Treatment Specialist

Dr. S. Paul Pushkarna has acquired a Ph.D. in Psychology and an M.S. in Clinical Psychology.  He is a Florida licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Certified Addiction Professional, and Certified Sex Therapist.
With more than twenty years of professional experience in the field of mental health evaluation and counseling, Dr. Pushkarna’s accomplishments in the mental health field are numerous.  He has been working full time as a Psychological Specialist for the Florida Department of Corrections since October 1985, where he has extensive experience evaluating and counseling offenders specializing with anger and impulse control problems.

Dr. Pushkarna provides out patient services that include evaluation and group counseling for people with substance abuse and sexual addiction problems.  His practice includes the diagnosis and treatment of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders in adults and adolescents.  He also treats adults and juveniles with psycho-educational techniques aimed at prevention of such disorders.

Nancy Cruce, Psy.D

Licensed Psychologist, PY4760

Dr. Cruce has worked in the field of education since 1976 and in Psychology since 1991.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, her Masters degree in Learning Disabilities from Fairleigh Dickinson University, her Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida and her Doctorate from Florida Institute of Technology.  She completed her APA approved internship at the University of Florida Counseling Center.  She has taught children and adolescents with learning disabilities, ADHD and ADD.  She has also taught Gifted resource.  She is currently an adjunct faculty member at Rollins College in Winter Park.

She utilizes a cognitive behavioral approach with an emphasis on building resiliency through positive psychology and mindfulness.

Dr. Cruce specializes in the following areas:

  • Counseling for Individuals, Couples and Families
  • Educational and Psychological Evaluations
  • Grief and Loss
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Relationship/Gender Related Issues
  • Eating Disorders
  • Stress Management
  • Educational strategies and interventions, all ages
  • Evaluations for high stakes testing for accommodations under IDEA and ADA
  • Parent Coordination
  • Positive Psychology
  • Developmental concerns and transitions for high school and college students