Meet the BPAR Team
BPAR has built a team of mental health professionals who are passionate about our mission. As specially trained adoption competent therapists, we have a unique understanding of how challenges or behaviors may be connected to the adoption experience. We believe the relationship between client and therapist is the most important piece of our therapy, and we will work at your pace, meeting you or your family wherever you are on your adoption journey.
Jennifer Eckert, LICSW
Founder, Board Chair
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Founder of BPAR. An adoptee myself, my life turned around when I found a source of specialized post adoption therapeutic support. Inspired by my experience and aware of a shortage of similar resources, in 2003 I returned to school and earned my Masters Degree in Social Work at Simmons College, where I currently serve as a member on their Board of Trustees. I made it my mission to increase awareness of post adoption challenges through education and training, building and offering resources, and providing a safe space for therapeutic support to all those touched by adoption and foster care. After training with adoption and post adoption agencies, in 2012 I founded Boston Post Adoption Resources. I work with adoptees of all ages, adoptive parents, foster parents, and birth parents. My strength-based and person-centered approach stems from my belief that adoptees have the capacity to live healthy and whole lives, with the understanding that challenges may ebb and flow throughout the entire lifespan. I am here to support you as you move through your own unique journey.
Kelly DiBenedetto, LMHC, ATR
Executive Director, Clinician
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Art Therapist and I love the work that I do here as Executive Director, Clinical Director, and clinician at BPAR. I have had the privilege of working with individuals and families touched by adoption since 2011. I have worked in outpatient, milieu and residential settings. I have been the Clinical Director of Boston Post Adoption Resources since February 2014. My specialty is working with children and teens who have experienced trauma, loss, anxiety, and depression as a result of adoption. Many of the clients I work with struggle with impulsive behaviors, emotion regulation, questions or confusion regarding their adoption, or identity and attachment challenges with their primary caregiver. It is extremely important to me to work closely with caregivers and children. I will often provide dyadic therapy to help strengthen their relationship. I have a warm, playful approach and integrate play and art therapy, trauma informed cognitive behavioral therapy, developmental theories, and a variety of other therapeutic approaches into my work. I believe that every client already has the tools and strengths inside of them that they need to live a healthy life. It is my job to help guide, strengthen and reveal these strengths.
Kristen (KC) Craig, LICSW
Clinical Director, Clinician
I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. I am passionate about working with children and families, and most of my career I have focused on helping individuals and complex-blended families who are adopted, divorced, experiencing major life changes or have a history of trauma. My work often centers on depression or anxiety related to relationships. Since 2011, I have specialized in working with adopted individuals and families, including identity work around loss and parent consultations. I focus on empowering the family system by incorporating cognitive-behavioral, narrative and solution-based techniques as well as some art and play interventions. I value self-care and meditation. I am EMDR trained, Reiki Level I trained, and completed an MBSR course. I love the way BPAR encourages wellness both for our families and for our staff!
Lisa "LC" Coppola, M.Ed, LMHC, Addictions Specialist, MA PGS
I am a licensed mental health counselor with over a decade of expertise counseling adult adoptees and others touched in any way by adoption as well as the experience of addiction and its fallout. I myself am a domestic adoptee through the department of children and family services and before all else, I consider myself an advocate for those relinquished. I believe strongly in the healing power of peer-to-peer connections and work through BPAR to create opportunities for these connections through the Voices Unheard: Real Adoptee Stories speaker series and writing workshops. In 2022 I wrote Voices Unheard: A Reflective Journal for Adult Adoptees, a 52-week journal with prompts based on core themes that emerge in therapy with adult adoptees. I find that writing one’s story and sifting through fears and hopes on paper can be incredibly powerful. My process with clients often involves using a narrative lens combined with Parts theory to help clients work their way through difficult and confusing emotions and memories, to identify common threads throughout their lives, and ultimately to connect to the truth of their uniquely personal stories.
Elena Li, M.A.
I am a master’s level mental health counselor specializing in art therapy. I came to the US at the age of fifteen, as an exchange student from China; my experiences of learning a different language and adjusting to a new culture while living with a new family for years have inspired me to explore the complexity and growth behind how a person adapts to new environments, builds emotional strength between different cultures, processes racial trauma, and strengthens relationships with others. I have eight years of clinical experience with children, teens, and adults, in various settings and treatment modalities, utilizing trauma-informed therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy, play therapy, group therapy, and expressive arts therapy. I care about the impact of traumatic separation, transracial trauma, microaggressions, and disenfranchised grief in the adoption community, and I am passionate about supporting my clients with a strength-based and humanistic therapeutic approach.
Darci Nelsen, LMHC, BC-DMT
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Dance/Movement Therapist. I graduated from Lesley University in 2013 with a degree in Mental Health Counseling and Dance/Movement Therapy. Currently, I am pursuing further doctoral education in Expressive Therapies. My clinical experience has been focused on supporting children, adolescents, and families within a variety of therapeutic and educational settings. Clients I have worked with struggle with emotional regulation, challenging interpersonal and family dynamics, and have experienced trauma, loss, anxiety, and depression. As an expressive therapist, I use a creative lens in my work with clients, through movement, play, art, and storytelling. My aim is to always work collaboratively with clients to foster self-exploration, and support movement toward deeper connections with self and others.
Seana Peterson, LICSW
I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, and I am thrilled to be joining the BPAR team as a group therapist. I provide therapy that is relational, affirming, and trauma-responsive. My work centers on healing one's relationship with the self, lineage, and community, and is informed by my lived experience as a Black, queer, transracial adoptee. I work intuitively and creatively, weaving together evidence-based approaches (EMDR and IFS), somatic approaches (EFT Tapping), and the cosmic language of astrology and the tarot.
Marta Isabella Sierra, LMHC
I am a licensed mental health counselor specializing in Internal Family Systems therapy. I am very passionate about the capacity of IFS to support those touched by adoption help and heal all of their internal parts. As a proud Latina, queer, polyamorous therapist, I bring all of my personal intersectionality as a strength when I work with adoptees. As a transracial and international adoptee, I also have a specific interest in racial identity development for adoptees of color and how that affects overall health and self esteem. I believe community is the medicine, both internal and external, and am honored to be part of this team and create important group spaces for BPAR clients.
Angela Smith, LICSW
I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. I started my journey working with families and children after completing my MSW from New York University in 2015. I have welcomed the opportunity to work in multiple settings, with clients from all stages of life, providing individual and group therapy as well as advocacy and support to survivors of abuse within the legal and child welfare systems. I specialize in working with children, teens, and adults to address a wide range of issues such as anxiety, parenting skills, depression, life transitions, foster care, adoption, attachment difficulties, relational issues and trauma. In sessions, I utilize a holistic approach which includes a trauma-informed lens, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, as well as systems and structural approaches. I am deeply interested in amplifying the strengths and creativity of each person, and the most rewarding part of my work is the progress I see in my clients.
Alyson Summer Del Castillo
I am studying at Lesley University for my Masters in Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy. As a lifelong artist, I know the power of the artistic process, and am grateful to be able to bring it into the therapeutic process where it is beneficial to my clients. I have worked in residential, community-based, therapeutic afterschool and summer camp, school, and hospital settings with children and adolescents experiencing behavioral and mental health challenges. As a neurodivergent, queer, Afro-Latina, I enjoy considering the intersections and complexities in every situation. Coming to BPAR, I am excited to use my personal and professional experience and a trauma-informed, systems-focused lens to meet clients from all walks of life wherever they are in their journeys.
I am a clinical intern at BPAR pursuing a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and drama therapy at Lesley University. I have previously worked in a variety of settings: with children of many ages as both a drama educator and a behavioral therapist, with adults as a Spanish/English medical interpreter, and with older adults in an independent living facility as a creative arts intern. In my role at BPAR, I am supporting adoptee kids of all ages and their families with their personal and interpersonal goals. As a drama therapist, I offer a creative space (utilizing storytelling, poetry, drama techniques, movement, and more) for adoptees and their families to process their adoption and related themes such as identity, grief and loss, and belonging. I am amazed by the expertise of the BPAR team and feel incredibly lucky to be learning from them, as well as learning from my clients, this year.
Erica Kramer, MSW
Operations and Intake Director
I am so excited to work with this incredible group of BPAR clinicians to help further our mission and support all members of the adoption constellation. Many years ago, I earned my Masters in Social Work and for 15 years I worked as licensed therapist, supervisor and Clinical Director within the trauma field. After my third child was born, I left the work world to take care of my wonderful children. Recently, my youngest child started college, and I am so happy to re-enter the work world again. At BPAR, I am responsible for intakes and operations - this covers a variety of areas including billing, social media, blogs, and intakes. I am available to answer any questions you might have about our services.
Larry Kramer, MBA
I began my role as BPAR’s outsourced CFO on Day #1 in summer 2012. With over 35 years of finance, accounting, and operations experience, I serve this organization as well as a dozen other for-profit, venture firm, and non-profit clients in my role as a Managing Partner at Foundation Management Associates. My philanthropic interests include fundraising for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, the Pediatric IBD Foundation, Walks for Hunger, and various pediatric cancer causes. Since 2009 I have raised over $2 million through my three Boston-area cover bands. I also served on Boston’s Chapter Board of Financial Executives International and ran the organization's Career Services and Career Planning Committee.
Lucy Davis, MBA
Director of Marketing & Communications
I’m the lucky one who gets to shine a spotlight on all the amazing work performed by the BPAR team. On an outsourced basis, I help develop educational content and find creative ways to connect the adoption constellation to BPAR’s resources and to attract prospective donors. I grew up on a block with nine adoptive families. Yes—nine! Whether I’m designing a new feature for the BPAR.org website or compiling a book about post adoption mental health, I can’t help but wish that I could take BPAR back with me in a time machine to help my friends and their families. My background includes corporate advertising and communications; digital content marketing; author services; and non-profit leadership and fundraising.
Brittany Purrington, MA Expressive Arts Therapy
I started my work here as a clinical intern, and now I am so excited to work with the BPAR community once again as a content creator! As a second-generation adoptee, I feel very passionate about the complexity and, ultimately, the grief that comes with adoption. How I wish I could meet my first grandmother, to hold her hand, to hear her voice, to see my mother—to see myself—in her. It is such a unique loss and one that not everyone understands. I love that I get to write and give voice to notable issues within the adoption constellation. I bring with me my master’s degree from Lesley University in clinical mental health counseling: expressive arts therapy, as well as over 10 years of experience working with people of all ages and abilities in therapeutic settings, schools, and community organizations.
My name is Mr. Roger, but feel free to call me Roge. I was trained as a service dog at The Seeing Eye in Morristown, New Jersey. I’m partial to cable knit sweaters, and I get along with every kind of animal you can imagine—cats, birds, you name it. But I especially love people. I’m affectionate, gentle, caring, compassionate, and I’m a really good listener.
My name is Loki, I am a Shiba Inu. I have lived in Seattle, Washington and Cali, Colombia, and am excited to come to work with my mom, Marta, here at BPAR. I love people and am very comfortable with lots of big emotions. Whether you need space or comfort, I am here to offer love.