Donna Gallagher, MS, RD, CEPC
Donna Gallagher, MS, RD, CEPC is co-founder of the “BeginWithin” Center for Nutritional and Psychological Wellness. She is a Masters level registered dietitian and a Certified Eating Psychology Counselor. She has been in private practice in New Jersey treating individuals with eating disorders, body image issues, disordered eating, as well as athletes and individuals with learning disabilities (ADD, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders) and other various nutritional concerns for the past twenty-five years.
She completed her undergraduate work in human foods and nutrition at Rutgers University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree. She performed her post-graduate internship at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, NJ. She received her Master’s Degree in nutrition and physical fitness at New York University and simultaneously designed and performed a research study on bulimia at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Women’s Hospital in New York. She received much of her early training at Bayshore Community Hospital, Riverview Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center. She has worked on the staff of the eating disorders unit at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, NJ. She was an adjunct professor in the Department of Nursing and Health Studies at Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ.
Donna often lectures to elementary, middle, high schools, colleges and other various groups and organizations on the topic of nutrition and eating disorders. She has authored numerous articles in professional journals, local newspapers, and magazines, and recently finished writing her first book titled Behind the Mask: Our Secret Battle, about the lifelong struggles that many adult women have with food. She also completed an intensive training through the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and became professionally certified as an Eating Psychology Counselor.
Donna has personally recovered from anorexia and bulimia. She uses the insight she developed through her recovery, in combination with nutrition knowledge and genuine deep understanding for those suffering with eating, weight, and body image issues, to provide individuals with a safe supportive environment to work on their personal healing journey. She helps her clients carefully challenge their negative beliefs in themselves and make improvements in their self image and body image. She helps them develop insights relating to the connectedness between their feelings and their eating/exercise behaviors and helps them take gradual steps toward a healthier lifestyle. She supports them in challenging the “toxic nutritional beliefs” that keep them in their struggle with food and body.
Although Donna is an expert in the treatment of all forms of eating disorders, she is uniquely adept at treating adults with binge eating disorder and those who have been on the “diet roller coaster” for years. She is one of the very few nutrition professionals who helps individuals learn how to co-exist with food and their body in a more peaceful, nurturing way, instead of perpetuating the belief that unsustainable, restrictive weight loss methods will create lasting weight loss.
When she’s not working, Donna enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and multitude of pets. They love going to the beach, hiking in the woods, skiing and just relaxing at home.
Marnie Fegan, Psy.D.
Marnie Fegan, Psy.D., is co-founder of the “BeginWithin” Center for Nutritional and Psychological Wellness. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from McGill University and her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Yeshiva University in New York. She completed an internship and a two year post doctoral fellowship specializing in eating disorders and related issues at New York Presbyterian Hospital. There she received the “Alan G. Rosenthal Award” for “…an advanced intern in psychology who shows outstanding promise as a clinician” from the Westchester County Psychological Association. Prior to relocating to New Jersey, she was the Director of the Intensive Outpatient Program at The Renfrew Center in Connecticut and simultaneously had a private practice in New York. She is also published in multiple books and journals.
Dr. Fegan has been working with eating disorders and related issues for approximately 15 years. She has been on the board of the New Jersey Eating Disorders Association, is a member of the American Psychological Association and the New Jersey Psychological Association, and currently is on staff at Monmouth Medical Center. Dr. Fegan strongly believes in the importance of self care and prevention, and as a result she routinely speaks to students and families on the awareness, prevention and intervention of eating disorders and related issues.
Dr. Fegan is committed to the specific needs and specialized recovery process of each individual. She provides a supportive environment necessary to address both the eating disorder symptoms as well as the underlying issues. Her goal is to help each individual achieve self growth, enhance their well being, and gain freedom from their struggles with food and body issues.
Being born and raised in Canada, Dr. Fegan has a deep appreciation for nature, animals and has always enjoyed outdoor activities. Currently she is thrilled to be settled at the Jersey Shore with her husband and two young children. She enjoys spending time with her family at the beach, playgrounds and parks, and loves going to concerts, Yankee and hockey games in her free time.
Dena Seifer Friedman, MD
Dr. Friedman joins BeginWithin with over twenty five years of experience as a psychiatrist. She received her undergraduate degree at Cornell University, her medical degree at University of Chicago, and did her residency training at Long Island Jewish-Hillside Medical Center. She has worked at UMDNJ, Carrier Clinic, and at the University Medical Center of Princeton Eating Disorders Unit. She has had a general psychiatric private practice since 1995. Dr. Friedman is the President of the Central Chapter of the New Jersey Psychiatric Association and a Fellow in the American Psychiatric Association.
Hilary Turett, MS, RDN
Hilary is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Therapist (MS, RDN) who has made it her life’s mission to help individuals who struggle with food, weight, and body image issues find relief from the cruel “headspace” of dieting and deprivation.
Hilary’s teenage struggles with food and body image catapulted her into a career of health and wellness. After earning a degree in dietetics from the University of Maryland, she continued her education at Columbia University (Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition). She then supplemented her knowledge and experience with a Fellowship in Adolescent Nutrition (University of Washington, Seattle) focusing on eating disorders and teen pregnancy. It was at the UW that Hilary honed her counseling skills using the non-diet approach to eating (no food police here!)–now known as Intuitive Eating or mindful eating.
“My nutrition therapy style is one that combines the traditional services of a Registered Dietitian; such as translating the science of how the body works and explaining metabolic changes, with therapeutic awareness training that helps identify the connections between the thoughts and feelings that accompany daily food choices. We collaborate as a team while you learn how to listen and respond to your body while choosing the foods you enjoy.”
Eating disorders are illnesses largely affecting teens and young adults however Hilary has found that males and females of all ages have struggles with food—many having unresolved issues from their youth. Adults and teens find that Hilary’s kind, genuine, and charismatic personality helps them rediscover peace with food from the inside out and regain their direction in life that includes living in harmony with food and their body.
In addition to individual nutrition therapy sessions, Hilary is pleased to offer meal support for those who struggle with the food selection and eating portion of their recovery. In these sessions, she and her clients eat a meal or snack together and practice supportive eating at a mutually agreed upon location, or in the center. Please call or ask Hilary for details.
For fun, Hilary enjoys going to the theater, knitting, Pilates, gardening and watching her sons play soccer.
Kait Fortunato Greenberg, RD, LD, CEDRD
Kait Fortunato Greenberg is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian specializing in restrictive eating disorders, binge eating disorder, and emotional eating. She individualizes her approach to help clients form a healthy relationship with food and to not let food get in the way of what truly matters in their life. She works closely with clients and their loved ones to make eating less stressful by developing meal plans and guidelines with compassionate and understanding, and providing activities and skills for a successful recovery.
Kait completed her undergraduate program and Registered Dietitian internship at the University of Maryland in College Park and worked for 7 years as a Registered Dietitian with the Empowered Eating Program at Rebecca Bitzer and Associates in Maryland, before moving to New Jersey to be closer to family. She is also active in the eating disorder community as a volunteer for Mothers Against Eating Disorders (MAED) answering nutrition questions for families who have a loved one suffering from an eating disorder. She is also a member of the Association for Size Diversity and Health and The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation (iaedp). Kait was also awarded Outstanding Young Registered Dietitian of the Year in 2014 by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Kait is thrilled to be back in her home state of New Jersey where she lives with her husband and baby girl.
Joanna (Jo) Hughes, RD
Joanna Hughes, (please call her Jo!) has been a practicing Registered Dietitian for over 13 years. She has a strong passion for helping people find joy in living a healthy lifestyle. She strives to help her clients develop a positive relationship with food while dealing with the stresses in their lives, and overcome the negativity in the relationship with their body.
Jo went through her own personal struggle with an unhealthy body image and a self-destructive battle with food during most of her adolescence and early adult life. As a result, she began her own journey into the field of nutrition.
Jo received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in nutrition at James Madison University. After graduation, she embarked on the adventure of her life in the United States Peace Corps, and traveled to Malawi, Africa. While there, she spent two years living in a remote village teaching high school biology and nutrition. It was through helping others that Jo began her own personal journey of self-awareness and healing. Once back in the United States, her path in life had become clear-to help others with their own nutritional struggles.
She attended Rutgers University in pursuit of her master’s degree but, instead followed the
educational path to become a Registered Dietitian. Jo started her career working at UMDNJ’s Behavioral
Health Care Center as the lead clinical nutrition manager for nine years. She worked with both inpatient
and outpatient residents struggling with various behavioral and nutritional issues. She implemented her
own nutritional education program for the facility’s therapeutic day school. Jo has also worked for many
years in private nutrition counseling settings.
Now married with her own two small children, Jo’s goal is to continue working with people
struggling with food, body image and self-criticism, and guide them to a path of healing. She hopes
to always be a positive role model, not only for her own daughter, but her clients as well. She feels
she can create a friendly and warm environment to help her clients on their journey to a healthier way
of living and banish the negativity related to food and body image. Jo believes in taking small positive
steps to succeed.
In her free time Jo can be found spending time with her children and husband, and developing
her other passion in life, photography.
Geralyn Hyland, MS, RD, CDE
Geralyn has been practicing nutrition healthcare for over 25 years. She is a professional and experienced nutritionist and educator. She began her career upon graduation from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. While working as a clinical nutritionist at St Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Patterson, she began her master’s degree at New York University and completed it at the University of Nebraska with a full scholarship. She taught college courses at the University of Nebraska and since then has been a professor at Brookdale Community College and now at Monmouth University.
Geralyn’s clinical and education skills were developed while working at various healthcare systems in New Jersey. While Chief Clinical Dietitian at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey she learned how to improve many childhood diseases through nutrition therapy. Within the Meridian health care system, she developed outpatient programs for adult and pediatric weight management and taught individuals and groups about diabetes care. She has provided nutrition services for many of the pediatric groups in Monmouth County.
Geralyn is a registered dietitian, a certified diabetic educator, and a certified health education specialist. In addition to teaching at Monmouth University, she is a member of the BeginWithin team of professionals. She treats clients with diabetes, cardiac issues, gastrointestinal issues, weight management concerns, menopause, and has subspecialties in pediatric nutrition as well as pediatric and adolescent weight management.
Geralyn’s dietetics career has provided her with the ability to do what she does best, empower adults, children, and teens to manage their illnesses and maintain a healthy weight in order to lead better lives. She does this by combining her strong nutrition knowledge and excellent communication and teaching skills, a recipe for success. She has a friendly, client-centered approach to treatment which helps to empower clients to make the kind of lifestyle changes they can take ownership of.
Carole Doorley, MSW, LCSW
Carole is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) who provides general counseling services and specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. She also works extensively with women who have low self-esteem, never feeling quite “good enough.”
Carole has a private practice in Somerville, New Jersey and has maintained a part-time office in the Red Bank area for the past five years. She is delighted to join The Begin Within Center.
Carole’s theoretical approach to treating eating disorders is cognitive behavioral/psychodynamic. Carole’s goal is to provide a warm, non-judgmental environment to help her clients identify and address issues that are underlying eating disorder behavior. Anxiety, depression, low self-esteem are just some of the issues surrounding eating disorder behavior. Carole prefers to work with a team (Registered Dietitian and Psychiatrist/Pediatrician/Internist/GP.)
Carole holds a B.S Degree. from Ramapo College of New Jersey and an M.S.W. Degree from The Silver School of Social Work at New York University. Carole also completed one year of training in family therapy at the Ackerman Institute of Family Therapy in New York City.
Prior to private practice, Carole worked as a therapist in the inpatient and outpatient programs at Somerset Medical Center’s Eating Disorders Program. She is a member of The National Association of Social Workers and can be frequently seen as a guest therapist on “Through the Looking Glass,” Channel 280 Comcast.
When she is not at work Carole loves to attend the theater, ballet and movie classes at NYU. She and her husband are the parents of two grown children.
Sally Sauter MS, LPC
Sally is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor.
She received her B.A. in Psychology from The College of New Jersey, where she was involved in extensive interdisciplinary research in the biological basis of alcohol abuse. Sally continued on to earn her graduate degree in Professional Counseling from Monmouth University.
Sally completed an intensive clinical internship at The College of New Jersey’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), where she provided individual and group counseling to undergraduate and graduate students. It was at CAPS that she began to truly appreciate the role of the client as the chief agent for change.
After finishing her coursework and training, Sally became licensed as a counselor, and was employed by CentraState Medical Center as a Health Educator who presented a variety of dynamic, theatrical, and interactive courses on health and wellness within schools and organizations.
Sally’s therapeutic approach is always tailored to the needs of the individual client and is informed by her extensive training in cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy. She stays up-to-date on the latest research in the field of eating disorder treatment and psychotherapy.
Above all else, Sally believes in the healing properties of a strong, authentic therapeutic relationship. She views her clients as heroes and heroines who can surmount enormous obstacles, initiate action, and maintain positive, lasting change in their lives. Rather than limiting the focus of therapy to problems alone, she listens for both the confusion and the clarity, the suffering and the endurance, the pain and the coping, the desperation and the desire.
In her own experience, Sally has prevailed through tremendous obstacles, let go of pain, and created room for joy in her life. Sally considers it possible to make it through absolutely anything, and to emerge with greater strength, vibrancy, and courage to clear the next hurdle.
She treats male and female clients of all ages with all types of presenting issues, including eating disorders/disordered eating, anxiety and depression, and issues of identity. Outside of the office, Sally loves to listen to music, read, and write. She enjoys relaxing with family and friends.
Jessica Melillo, MA, LAC
Jess is a Licensed Associate Counselor who is thrilled to be joining the Begin Within team. She earned her Bachelor’s in psychology at Wagner College in Staten Island and her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Rowan University in 2014. During her two years of graduate education, Jess received extensive training in a variety of treatment modalities and began developing and building her clinical and therapeutic identity. She had the great fortune of completing an internship at Rowan University’s esteemed Wellness Center in their Counseling and Psychological Services department, working with a remarkable interdisciplinary team. She was an individual and group counselor for graduate students, undergraduate students, couples, families, and faculty with a variety of presenting problems, including eating disorders, body image issues, bereavement, phobic responses, interpersonal difficulties, emotional dysregulation and dyscontrol, post-traumatic stress, and existential concerns. Jess attended weekly DBT consultation sessions, received weekly clinical, interactive trainings, and facilitated DBT skills groups to undergraduate and graduate students, as the Wellness Center operated largely from a DBT modality. Additionally, she also gave regular presentations to the student body on mental health and wellness; her most successful presentation, about body image and eating disorders, drew in over 100 students! Jess also completed a thesis while in her graduate program, performing research about sexual assault and substance use, with exclusive focus upon revictimization and assault prevention.
After completing her coursework and clinical training, Jess became a licensed counselor in the state of New Jersey. She has been working at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, serving as a crisis specialist in their Screening Crisis Intervention Program and developing her knowledge of high risk populations and solution-focused therapies. She has also continued working on her thesis research and has been pursuing publication.
Jess is overjoyed to be returning to working as an individual and group therapist, especially with individuals with eating disorders. Once a client herself at Begin Within, she recognizes how valuable receiving treatment from practitioners who’ve “been there” can be. Jess’ personal recovery journey – trials, tribulations, and tremendous triumphs – has molded her therapeutic style, allowing her to provide unique and empathic treatment for every client, with special attention given to each client’s inimitable personality, strengths, goals, and psychological presentation. She believes that every client is deserving of compassion and respect and aims to meet individuals where they are, without bias or judgment. Jessica’s hope as a therapist is to provide a uniquely safe space in which clients can be the fullest, most genuine versions of themselves and feel comfortable to pursue wellness and fulfill their highest potentials in their recoveries and otherwise. Jess is an advocate for “recovery on your own terms,” body positivity and “body love,” and developing an accepting and gentle relationship with yourself. She draws primarily upon mindfulness, relational, emotion-focused, acceptance-based, and cognitive-behavioral approaches, but is always open and willing to educate herself and implement new treatment approaches to best aid a client in his/her movement toward emotional and psychological wholeness.
Jess works with men, women, adolescents, couples, and families and works toward engaging, understanding, and mending each piece of every unique, connected puzzle. A true lover of DBT and Marsha Linehan’s nonpejorative view of clients, Jess enjoys working with “challenging” cases and providing a balance between irreverence and compassion for individuals otherwise “failed” by the system. Jess also has interest in treating other health professionals, including other counselors, nurses, etc.
When Jess isn’t working, she can usually be found laughing with her fiancée, snuggling with her cat, Eowyn, doing crossword puzzles, and concocting new and interesting recipes that usually look nothing like the picture on Pinterest. She is also an avid reader, writer, and thrift store adventurist.
Elisabeth (Beth) Almerini, RN, BSN, CHPN
Beth is a Registered Nurse and spiritual healer who offers individual sessions to people looking for an additional therapeutic option on their healing journey.
Beth brings a unique set of skills to her work with people. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Catholic University and Washington, DC and began her career specializing in the geriatric population at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC. During her 30 year career, she has specialized in caring for people with metabolic and nutritional disorders, chronic illness and cancer and has worked in inpatient, outpatient and home care settings. As a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse, her work has focused on helping people with severe, chronic and/or life limiting illnesses and their families to find ways to cope, to heal and to find peace. It was in working with this group of people that the benefits of including a spiritual approach in providing care became readily apparent. She pursued seven years of study in spiritual approaches to healing and now offers Integrated Kabbalistic healing as an adjunct to traditional care. This gentle form of support can be very calming and helpful, especially when a person is faced with multiple difficulties.
Beth also works with clients struggling with disordered eating. As a result of her own experiences and successful recovery from disordered eating, she brings a deep compassion and understanding to clients facing these issues. Her goal in meeting with clients is that they feel heard and seen in whatever space they are in.
In addition to seeing clients at the Begin Within Center, Beth will also make house calls for geriatric or homebound clients and their families.
Beth is the mother of three adult children and a fine art photographer whose work can be seen in local galleries. She enjoys the beach and traveling with her family.
Jeanne Roberts Office Manager
Jeanne is the BeginWithin Nutrition Office Manager. She is often the first contact for new clients. She takes confidential information and answers questions about services offered at BeginWithin. She is warm, friendly and caring and has a way of putting people at ease when they are searching for the care they need. When she isn’t working at BeginWithin, she likes to spend time with her husband and teenage daughter. She loves to hike with her dog, ski and spend the summers on the beach at the Jersey shore.