We appreciate your interest in SPS and encourage inquiries. If you would like more information please contact Bert Epstein, PsyD, Training Director at bepstein@santarosa.edu or (707) 527-4445.

Bert Epstein, PsyD, is the Training Director of Student Psychological Services and the Manager, Student Health Services, Mental Health Programs. He also provides clinical supervision. Over 25 years, Dr. Epstein has trained or worked in five counseling centers and supervised over 50 trainees. He received his BA from UC Berkeley and his doctoral degree from CSPP/Alliant, Bay Area. He works from an integrative theoretical perspective and has a background in cognitive-behavioral therapy. He is passionate about diversity in all respects and has organized several conferences on the topic. Areas of specialization include integration of technology and mental health, anxiety and mood disorders, relationship issues, prevention work including outreach presentations, and counseling center administration. Outside of work, Dr. Epstein enjoys film and TV, spending time with his family, and discovering the latest amusing technology.


Maryellen Curran, PhD, is a clinical supervisor of individual and group supervision. Dr. Curran received her BA from UCLA, a MA in Education from San Francisco State University and a doctorate from California School of Professional Psychology in Berkeley, CA. Her internships were at University of San Francisco in the college counseling center, and at the Sonoma County Mental Health Department. Her post-doctoral residency was with Kaiser Permanente and she went on to be a practicing clinician there for 22 years, ten of those as the chief of adult psychiatric services in Santa Rosa. Dr. Curran recently retired from Santa Rosa Community Health where she was the Director of Integrated Behavioral and Mental Health and she has a small private practice.

Throughout her career, she mentored interns and residents providing both group and individual clinical supervision. Her work in primary care with SRCH underscores her passion for social justice and health care as a human right. Dr. Curran promoted the philosophy of integrating mind and body in collaboration with primary care physicians. She works from a Mindfulness-based Cognitive-Behavioral approach and individualizes her care of clients in an integrative fashion.

Dr. Curran specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders using empirically based techniques, trauma recovery using EMDR and Cognitive Processing, borderline personality through Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and strength-based approaches when working with clients on women's issues, self-esteem, and relationship challenges. Outside of work, Maryellen loves to be with family and friends outdoors while appreciating our beautiful Sonoma County landscape. She is an active recreational tennis player and likes to hike.


Joe Puentes, PsyD, is a clinical supervisor. Dr. Puentes received his doctorate in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of La Verne in La Verne, CA. He completed his pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the University Counseling Center at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. There he received specialized training in alcohol and drug assessment and treatment and in Sport and Performance Psychology. Dr. Puentes spent the first five years of his career as a staff psychologist at Sonoma State University's Counseling and Psychological Services before transitioning to his current full-time work in private practice in Santa Rosa.

Dr. Puentes’ professional interests beyond his therapy practice are teaching and supervising graduate students, working in the community to promote mental health and social justice, and consulting with athletes, coaches, and teams.  He works from a Cognitive Behavioral and Strengths-based approach and his clinical interests are in the treatment of anxiety disorders, men’s issues, and alcohol and drug abuse.

Outside of his work, Dr. Puentes appreciates being in nature, spending time with friends and family, and watching and playing sports. He loves to hike and plays baseball recreationally in Sonoma County. Dr. Puentes is originally from Illinois and is a lifelong Chicago Cubs Fan.


Alan Dreifuss, PhD, is a clinical supervisor. Dr. Dreifuss graduated from New York University with a BS in Psychology and earned a master's and doctoral degree from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He did pre-doctoral Internships at Mnt. Zion West Side Crises Clinic, and Haight Ashbury Psychological Services. He continued post-doctoral work as a psychological assistant with local psychologists in Sonoma County. Work experience includes being a psychologist at Sonoma County Mental Health Resource program where he supervised pre-doctoral psychology trainees. He has been a staff psychologist at Kaiser Child and Family team and spent most of his Kaiser career on the adult team. He supervised postdoctoral students at that site. He has had a psychotherapy practice in Santa Rosa during much of his institutional work. He is currently now seeing a small number of patients on video calls only.

A long-standing primary interest of Dr. Dreifuss is the interplay of Western psychology and particularly Buddhist psychology. His dissertation was entitled “A Phenomenological Inquiry of 6 Psychotherapists Who Practice Buddhist Meditation.” As a long- time practitioner of Buddhist meditation with training and studying with teachers and texts, he has long felt the necessity of bringing forth both wisdom traditions into his therapy practice. CBT and DBT have provided helpful structures. He also finds gestalt work, existential explorations, attachment issues and training people to utilize body awareness and mindfulness practices very helpful. He has practiced and trained doing both brief and long- term therapy.

He has lived rurally in Sonoma County for many of the almost 50 years since leaving NY. He finds that being closely connected to the natural world is extremely helpful to maintain balance and joy. Playing guitar is an increasingly positive activity, visiting with family, and friends and going on local hikes.


Maria Daverede, LMFT is a clinical supervisor. She also has a private practice in Windsor, California. She is a bilingual-bicultural, Spanish speaking therapist working with adults and teens with a focus on trauma.

Ms. Daverede has a background in community mental health, having worked in different non-profit agencies, and has worked in collaboration with the Human Services Department, Family, Youth & Children of Sonoma County for over a decade. She also worked as a Family Mediator and Child Custody Evaluator for Sonoma County Superior Court.

Ms. Daverede is an EMDR certified therapist and is part of the training staff with the Sonoma Psychotherapy Training Institute. Maria received her BS from USAL, University of Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She received her MS from UBA, University of Buenos Aires.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time outdoors with friends, either hiking, riding bikes, playing tennis, or practicing yoga.