About Me and Connect-Talk®, LLC

“A solid therapy has to be theoretically based on truth; factually producing results, and respectful of human rights in every respect.” 

-Chiara Simeone-DiFrancesco, Ph.D.

​​My Professional Background:  ​

I am a Licensed Psychologist who manages Connect-Talk®, LLC.   I have been in private practice since 1992 with a specialty in marriage/relationship.   Doing clinical work since 1990, my background has been in multiple settings:  Native American Indian reservations as an officer in the U.S. Commissioned Corps Public Health Service; forensic (Chief Psychologist and Consulting Psychologist, multiple prisons),  rural mental health care, Mississippi; Boston City Hospital; a San Diego university clinic; and in a medium size mid-western city, Oshkosh, WI, outpatient community mental health and most predominantly private practice for the past 23 years, and now also in Virginia at select locations for Marital Intensives.

I was licensed by the State of Wisconsin in 1990 as a Psychologist, and in 2014 in Virginia as a Clinical Psychologist. Previous to being licensed, Romuald B. Simeone,   and I taught  Reconstructive Relational Dialog together since 1974.  Over 7,000 people made our trainings to assist in healing marriages and families through easy-to- access workshop venues in churches, convents, rectories, retreat centers, prayer groups,  Marriage Encounters, ecumenical interfaith centers, college pastoral centers, federal prison, and home gatherings in California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and Ohio.

Since being licensed, I have provided training for couples and individuals in workshops and seminars domestically, … been quoted in many newspaper articles,  interviewed on radio, and have had two radio shows, the most recent being in Oshkosh for a year and a half with the former owner of WXOL in a call-in series entitled: “Talk Life with Dr. D.”.

DR. CHIARA SIMEONE-DIFRANCESCO'S FULL BIO

I have just co-authored a book published by Wiley-Blackwell, Schema Therapy with Couples, A Practitioner’s Guide to Healing Relationships, being released internationally and in the U.S. A.  (July 20, 2015).

I provide training for clinicians in Schema Therapy for Couples  and related topics domestically and internationally.

Workshops include: Schema Therapy for Couples for the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST) 

Conferences at:  

  • Coimbra, Portugal
  • New York City, NY
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Brookfield, Wisconsin

In 2009 I started the ISST Marital and Couples Workgroup, and ran it till mid-2014 when I was elected as Chair of the Couples Subcommittee to the ISST Board.  I subsequently started and trained a multi-national special interest group for ISST, “Schema Therapy for Organizational Development”, that has a particular emphasis on multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-national and minority inclusive dialogue between schema therapists and with their clients.

My clinical approach is primarily Schema Therapy, which integrates cognitive, analytic, gestalt and other experiential treatments into a sophisticated and cohesive treatment plan.  Additionally, I realize that psychology needs to have  theory based on the principles of logic, reason, and the nature of the human person.  These together work towards fulfilling basic human Needs and the creation of meaning in life, essential ingredients of human fulfillment and happiness.

In my academic preparation, I graduated with Honors from Holy Apostles College, Connecticut with a double B.A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies as one of their first female graduates.  This was a rigorous program which taught me to think logically and philosophically.  This enables one to see  deeper issues and separate them from come-and-go symptoms and hot issues.  This essentially dove-tails with Schema Therapy, which also strives to form a deeper conceptualization of what is actually happening from a “Mode Perspective”.  It is these mode cycles connected to early formed coping mechanisms in response to environmentally caused “Early Maladaptive Schemas”, commonly called schemas,  that cause an individual or a couple to “get stuck” and seek out therapy.    From there I received an M.A. in “Psychology in Education”, and an “M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology and Rehabilitation” from Columbia University, New York.  I proceeded to obtain my Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Education in the Counseling Psychology program.

My mental health training & experience has deliberately been very varied, from rural Mississippi mental heath centers, to the V.A. Medical Center in Memphis as a graduate student, to Northern Nevada Mental Retardation Center while at Columbia University.  My doctoral internship encompassed sites at Massachusetts maximum state prisons, as well as at Boston City Hospital. A second period of internship was pursued at U.S. International Psychology Clinic including teaching graduate students at their Irvine campus in California.  After my  degree I became a Commissioned Corps Officer in the Federal Public Health Service doing general psychotherapy and performing special assignments regarding sexual abuse victims.  I then  moved to Oshkosh to lead a psychology unit in the State of Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections as Chief Psychologist, and to eventually pursue private practice. In 1992 I opened Wisconsin Family Growth and Reconciliation Center, LLC which reached out to a wide variety of people of all backgrounds, faiths, or no faith.  In the Spring of 2007 I opened up the division: Catholic/Christian Marriage Center, with a second office  in Appleton, Wisconsin. Then, in 2015 I started the Marriage & Family Schema Therapy Institute, a division of Healing International, Inc., specializing in providing services for the healing of marriages and families, a life-long devotion of mine.  Wanting to focus more on the provision of therapy and writing, I have now gone back to private practice with Connect-Talk®, LLC.

My credentials:  Besides my licenses as a psychologist (WI and VA), after graduating, I  was  accepted as a member of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology and also received the Interjurisdictional Practice Certificate, from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.  I attained Level II training in Gottman Couples Therapy, finished my Externship in Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), became certified in Medical/ Analytical Hypnotherapy, and was trained and supervised in EMDR.  I turned my focus to Schema Therapy as I noticed the remarkable effect it had on clients.  Schema Therapy is designed also for those with entrenched patterns and complex and difficult marital cycles (see research references on the  Client and Professional Resources page).  It allows me at the same time to utilize the skills developed via these other psychotherapeutic perspectives which I studied and practiced.    I achieved Advanced and Trainer/Supervisor Certification in Individual Schema Therapy, and was also a certified at the highest level for Couples Schema Therapy,  i.e. Trainer/Educational Consultant.

Professional Associations and Affiliations:  I am  active member of the Wisconsin Psychological Association, the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and  the Catholic Society of Social Scientists.  I am involved with the Catholic  Psychological Association, and have been appointed its representative for Wisconsin.​

WHO WE SERVE

Intensives and psychotherapy/counseling and coaching are for persons of all faiths or not.  We do not only serve dedicated Christians.  Our goals are to tend to the deepest Needs and Goals of all who call to be clients.

For those who are Christians or seekers of something more in the spiritual/religious area with a Gospel-modeled  therapeutic application, Jesus can step into your heart in Spirit and through imaging,  through His Word and Life-Model.  You may find help in Christian transformational Chairwork (or even secular traditional Chairwork, for that matter) and Healthy Adult Mode dialogues.  This may assist in upholding a healthy perspective and version of yourself, providing coping techniques, comfort, guidance and wisdom that you are free to reference and connect with .  Praying the Scriptures to encounter HIS abiding Presence, when carefully applied with guidance, may bring healing to the deepest of heart-wounds.

(Please Note: nothing in this web site including article content is meant to create any client relationship with any person. Neither Dr. Simeone-DiFrancesco nor Connect-Talk®, LLC nor its division, the Jesus-Centered Schema Therapy Institute…are engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal or other professional services through any content contained herein. Nothing written in this web site is meant to give specific counsel or psychological advice, and Dr. Simeone-DiFrancesco and Connect-Talk®, LLC.  do not take responsibility for anyone’s interpretation, application, or other use or misuse of the information contained herein, including misunderstandings of psychological,  spiritual or religious concepts.)

Additionally, while I have taken training in the Gottman Method of couples therapy, I want you to know that I am completely independent in providing you with clinical services and I alone am fully responsible for those services. The Gottman Institute or its agents have no responsibility for the services you receive.

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