(212) 769-4851   Fax: (212) 769-4863


441 West End Ave. Suite 1K. NYC 10024

About PerDev

About PerDev

PerDev's mission is to help children and adults increase their sense of control, improve their flexibility in performance settings, and to be more resilient in the face of their vulnerabilities. The goal is to enhance the capacity to learn and to function in the world.

PerDev treatment improves many aspects of performance by addressing perceptual difficulties. This allows individuals to access strategies and to develop personal tools in order to achieve goals, reduce stress, and feel more competent.

To learn more about PerDev or to arrange an appointment, please call 212-769-4851.

About our Director

Sarah Hahn-Burke
Executive Director

Dr. Sarah Hahn-Burke integrates her experiences as a parent, an early childhood teacher and educational reformer, into her work as a clinical psychologist. She holds a masters in education from Bank Street College of Education and a doctorate from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University. Dr. Burke�s doctoral and post-doctoral research includes investigations of child development, gender identity, attachment, and temperament. As a founding staff member of several alternative New York City public schools, she was instrumental in implementing full inclusion programs for children with special needs. She has always focused her work with children to include the wider system in which they live (teachers, caregivers, and family members), ensuring that every aspect of the child�s life becomes part of his or her educational experience. Dr. Burke attributes the success of her work to long lasting relationships with colleagues in the field of education and psychology with whom she has collaborated over the course of decades.

About our Staff

Roberta Roper, Ph.D. is a New York State-licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist who was also a classroom teacher for over ten years. From 1988 until she retired in 2003, she was the school psychologist for Central Park East 1 and, for periods of time, the school psychologist for River East School, Central Park East 2, and Central Park East Secondary School in NYC District 4 Public Schools. Dr Roper has been associated with PerDev since 1989, acting as a consultant in school and providing clinical services at PerDev.

Suzanne Marten, M.S.Ed, has worked as a teacher and literacy specialist for learners from preschool through high school, and as a facilitator of professional development in literacy and learning for teachers and after school providers. In her work with children she integrates active and explicit support of language and literacy with the perceptual development approach. Suzanne conducts initial assessments that provide beginning information about the learner�s knowledge and use of sounds, symbols, grammar and understanding, as well as her/his interests and orientation to work and learning. She creates an individualized plan that uses explicit literacy instruction and perceptual development activities to develop the learner�s literacy competence and confidence.

Alison Ferst, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Dr. Ferst joined PerDev as a member of the team in September of 2013. She is also the Clinical Psychology and Substance Abuse Consultant and Clinician at Hunter College High School, providing clinical support and education to students and families. Alison completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at The City College of New York, The Graduate School and University Center of the City College of New York. She trained at The New York Psychoanalytic Institute and at Mount Sinai School of Medicine on the adult inpatient unit, and worked with parents and young children at the Bernard Pacella Center. Prior to her doctoral studies in clinical psychology, Alison worked for over 11 years with women, children and families living with HIV and AIDS at Gay Men's Health Crisis, and for 3 years as the Director of Institutional Relations at Children's Hope Foundation.

Marie-Laure Rottman

About our Founder

"Follow the child and he will show you where he needs to go."

Mordechai "Motke" Pomerantz founded PerDev in the early 1980s. A psychologist trained in Israel, Motke focused on early stage development, motor development, and overall perceptual development as essential, underutilized areas of therapeutic attention. His Perceptual Development Therapy changed the lives of thousands of children and adults through the enhancement of their perceptual skills and performance potential.

About our Board

Leslie Alexander began her collaboration with Per Dev when her daughter was evaluated and received clinical support when she was eight years old. Through that experience, she learned about and valued the work of the organization. Leslie has been a public school educator since 1970, and during her career in NYC schools she served as a classroom teacher, an art director and a school leader. She was the founder of the Muscota New School in Washington Heights in 1992, where leaner centered education, and teacher collaboration was the core. She also worked at Queens College as the project director and was responsible for the creation of a new elementary school on its campus in 1999. Leslie finished her full time career as principal of the Six to Six Magnet school in Bridgeport, CT. This pre-kindergarten to eighth grade school was nationally recognized as a CoZi school, as it exemplified the work of Dr. James Comer, and Dr. Ed Ziegler both of Yale. After her "official" retirement, Leslie became a teacher trainer for the Northeast Foundation for Children, traveling throughout the country supporting the Responsive Classroom efforts in schools. Her most recent work was supervising graduate students for City College's Early Childhood department.

Liz Jaroslow has worked in a variety of educational settings since moving to San Francisco from NYC eighteen years ago. While in NYC, Liz earned a MS in the field of Child Development and and Ed.M in the field of Special Education from Bank Street College of Education. Liz joined the Brightworks School after serving in leadership roles in early childhood settings and a K-8 charter school with a focus on the arts. Liz has also served as a school admission consultant to San Francisco families and on an Advisory Council to the San Francisco Unified School District. Liz lives in San Francisco with her husband, their four children, two dogs and a tarantula. When not working, playing and building with the Brightworks community, Liz can be found taking long walks, agility training with her dogs, or learning to be creative through fiber arts.

Jane Andrias began teaching in New York City public schools in 1969. She founded the art program at Central Park East I Elementary School and Central Park East Secondary School and was the director and then principal of the elementary school until 2003. Since her retirement from the NYC public school system, she has served as an adjunct professor at Long Island University, teaching graduate courses in Teacher Inquiry and supervising student teachers. She has been involved in the design and implementation of an alternative assessment project with several NYC progressive public elementary schools, and she founded and directed the Long Island University Teacher Resource Center. Through her affiliation with The Elementary Teachers Network at the Center for Literacy Studies of Lehman College, she has been teaching a course to public school teachers from several public schools in NYC. She also has been collaborating with Deborah Meier to address the crisis in early childhood and elementary school education. Jane Andrias is President of the Board of Directors of PerDev. She graduated from CCNY, received a Masters degree from NYU, studied at the Froebel Institute of London University and has been a longtime participant of the Prospect Institutes on Descriptive Inquiry and Practice.

Katherine Olivetti, M.A., M.S.S.W. is a psychotherapist who has been in practice since 1982. She is particularly interested in feminine psychology, creative processes, life transitions, helping individuals develop their fullest potential and the intersection between learning patterns and psychopathology. After receiving her MSSW from Columbia University in 1982, she trained as a family therapist at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic and as a Jungian psychoanalyst the C. G. Jung Institute of New York where she served on the faculty and as President. She was a clinical instructor at the Child Study Center at Yale University, part of the Yale School of Medicine, where she taught and supervised postgraduate fellows. Katherine maintains a private practice in Woodside, California where she now lives. She is also the Editor-in-chief of the Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche, a scholarly quarterly published by the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco.

Carol D. Schaefer, M.S.S.W. is a psychotherapist who practiced in Ridgewood, New Jersey for many years. She was a clinical instructor at the Yale Child Study Center, part of the Yale School of Medicine, where she supervised and taught postgraduate fellows. She is on the Executive Council of the Associates, a leadership group at the Yale Child Study Center. Carol serves on the boards of Ramapo College, the Hackensack Medical Center, the New York Philharmonic, the American Skin Association of which she is secretary, and the Little Orchestra Society of which she is co-president. Carol is committed the PerDev approach, recognizing and being a spokesperson for how perceptual issues influence mental health and perceptions. She has been a board member and she and her husband Charles Schaefer have been ardent supporters of PerDev for over 20 years.

Sippio M. Small, LCSW-R is the Co- Director of the Ackerman Institute�s Diversity and Social Work Training Program and one of its creators. He has been affiliated with the Ackerman Institute since1989 where he has been a clinical and externship supervisor, and a member of projects including AIDS/HIV, Making Families Safe for Children, Substance Abuse and Community Training. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 30 years of post-master�s experience in working with children, adolescents, adults and elderly in a variety community-based mental health and educational settings, residential and out patient drug treatment programs, diagnostic and residential treatment programs and preventive service agencies.

Barbara Diane Barry is an artist and art teacher in New York City. Barbara knows the value of Per Dev first hand. As an adult struggling with many of the same perceptual differences she�d experienced since childhood she enthusiastically signed on for this unique therapeutic process. The benefits have been manifold. Her new book, Painting Your Way Out of a Corner: The Art of Getting Unstuck (Tarcher/Penguin Group, 2014) is a guide to personal transformation through the practice of journal keeping and image�making. She is the creator of Art for Self-Discovery, an art program for adults and children. As a teaching artist at Symphony Space, she teaches in public schools throughout NYC's five boroughs and gives tours in the city's museums. She is also on the faculty of Continuing Education at The C.G.Jung Foundation of New York and the South Street Seaport Museum, enhancing curricula with art making.

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