About CBT NOLA
Dr. Sean Ransom, the founder of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of New Orleans, trained in CBT at the University of South Florida, a member institution of the Academy of Clinical Psychological Sciences, where he received his doctorate. He received additional training with the founders of CBT at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research.
Dr. Ransom’s doctoral research was performed at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, one the nation’s top cancer hospitals, where he studied the positive personal changes claimed by people dealing with breast and prostate cancer. After completing a clinical internship at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Dr. Ransom was appointed in 2006 to the faculty of theUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa and Brigham Young University’s Hawaii campus. In 2009, Dr. Ransom began serving as a clinical faculty member in theTulane University Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and led the Patricia Trost Friedler Center for Psychosocial Oncology. Through his affiliation with Tulane, Dr. Ransom continues to lecture and to provide service to psychiatry residents and medical students.
Dr. Ransom has applied behavioral and cognitive-behavioral approaches to diverse sets of problems, such as medical illness, relationship difficulties, mood problems, spiritual concerns, stress and anxiety. He has been trained in mindfulness-based therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, as well as Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Dr. Ransom has been a member of the Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis, the nation’s premier hypnotherapy research association, and is currently a member of the Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies. He is licensed as a clinical psychologist in Louisiana and Hawaii, where he also founded and continues to help lead the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of Hawaii.
Dr. Ransom has presented nationally and internationally and is the author of numerous research articles on coping with cancer, social cognition, cultural psychology, post-traumatic growth, and other notable topics. His research has been published in well-respected journals such as the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Cancer.
Dr. Ransom is involved in local community service through numerous organizations, including the New Orleans office of the American Cancer Society, where he has volunteered to lead support groups for individuals with cancer and their loved ones.
Tory Tomassetti, Ph.D.
Dr. Tory Tomassetti provides unique expertise in the treatment of anxiety and trauma to the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of New Orleans and has been a leader in providing effective, research-informed care. In addition to treating patients, Dr. Tomassetti serves as associate clinical director of the clinic.
For two years prior to joining the clinic, Dr. Tomassetti provided mental heath treatment at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System (New Orleans VA Hospital), where she completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship. During this time, Dr. Tomassetti gained substantial experience working with individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder and served in the administration of the VA’s PTSD clinic. Dr. Tomassetti was also a lead researcher in a clinical trial examining the effectiveness of a novel intervention for individuals with chronic sleep difficulties.
Dr. Tomassetti completed her doctoral studies at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), where she worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings in Hattiesburg, Miss. during her training. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Tomassetti served as the student coordinator of the Community Counseling and Assessment Clinic, where she developed procedures and policies and served as the liaison between faculty and student clinicians. Her doctoral research, part of which was subsequently published in the academic journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, examined how personality factors, social support, and other factors could lead to resilience and help reduce the negative effects of traumatic stress. She has authored posters at both regional and international conferences.
In addition to her expertise in the treatment of trauma-related disorders, Dr. Tomassetti provides evidence-based treatments for individuals and couples with mood, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Her practice is informed by her focus on strength and resiliency. She is licensed as a Louisiana psychologist.
Mark Schexnaildre, Ph.D.
Dr. Mark Schexnaildre joined the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of New Orleans in August, 2015, as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Schexnaildre recently completed his doctoral internship in the Child and Family Therapy Clinic at the Kennedy Kreiger Institute in Baltimore, MD, a part of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Dr. Schexnaildre’s doctorate of psychology was earned from Louisiana State University, and while there he saw both adult and pediatric patients. Clinical experiences included work at the Pediatric Psychology department of the Baton Rouge Clinic, the Early Intervention HIV Clinic, and as part of an outpatient consultation team at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, and these provided him with a broad foundation of treatment of psychological disorders upon which he has continued to build. Dr. Schexnaildre also has experience with inpatient psychiatric disorders through his work at Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge.
Academic contributions by Dr. Schexnaildre include work published in the journal Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development. His dissertation was a longitudinal model of posttraumatic stress and posttraumatic growth within the New Orleans community after Hurricane Katrina. He has also presented on posttraumatic growth and recovery at several conferences including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Dr. Schexnaildre’s training under some of the pioneers of Child and Family Therapy at Kennedy Kreiger have prepared him to assist with the challenges facing New Orleans families today.
Emily Prather, Ph.D.
Dr. Emily Prather joined the practice in 2016. She has training in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She uses these evidence-based therapies to work with mood (depression and bipolar) and anxiety disorders, difficulties managing medical conditions such as chronic pain and diabetes, and eating disorders. She also has extensive experience working with adult and adolescent survivors of childhood trauma, sexual assault, and domestic violence.
Dr. Prather completed her doctoral training at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she received specialized training in Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for anger management and chronic pain. Her dissertation entitled ‘Predictors of Binge Eating in College Women’ examined the role of emotion dysregulation, impulsivity, and anger suppression on binge eating in young women. She has used these results to create group interventions for individuals struggling with binge eating that combine traditional CBT techniques with newer concepts from DBT and ACT.
Dr. Prather completed her pre- and post-doctoral training at WellSpan Behavioral Health, one of the first large hospital systems to integrate behavioral health into primary care and specialty medical clinics. While at WellSpan, she received further training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy under a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and specialized in primary care integration, health psychology, and eating disorders. Dr. Prather also conducts presurgical evaluations for bariatric surgery and spinal cord stimulator candidates and brings her expertise in the treatment of these concerns to the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of New Orleans. She is available for weekday and Saturday appointments.
Lisa-Ann Cuccurullo, Psy.D.
In November, 2013, the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of New Orleans welcomed Dr. Lisa-Ann Cuccurullo, who brings unparalleled depth and breadth of experience to the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of New Orleans.
Dr. Cuccurullo received her doctorate in clinical psychology at La Salle University in Philadelphia and received training from some of the greatest figures in the field, including Aaron Beck, founder of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Edna Foa, pioneering developer of treatments for problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Following the completion of her psychology internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System (a.k.a. the New Orleans VA) she continued there as a licensed psychologist and now leads the Military Sexual Violence program to help veterans recover from sexual trauma. In addition, she has been a valued supervisor and trainer of psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows.
Dr. Cuccurullo’s experience includes treatment of depression, anxiety, habit-control disorders such as trichotillomania (compulsive hair-pulling) and excoriation disorder (skin-picking) as well as her work with PTSD and OCD. In addition to CBT, Dr. Cuccurullo has trained under the founders of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a behavioral therapy based on living a rich, full, valued life. Dr. Cuccurullo sees patients during evening hours only.
Jackie Ball, Ph.D.
Dr. Jackie Ball joined the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of New Orleans in mid-2015 and brought a significant range of clinical experiences and psychological assessment training.
Dr. Ball’s graduate training at Louisiana Tech University emphasized cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating depression, anxiety, insomnia, and adjustment difficulties. She was also trained in psychological assessment. During her doctoral studies, she worked as a grant-funded research assistant on a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant studying the impact of stereotypes on women’s scientific goals and motivation, which resulted in a publication in the Journal of Career Assessment and contributions at multiple national conferences, as well as her doctoral dissertation.
From 2014-2015, Dr. Ball received specialized training in trauma during her pre-doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System in New Orleans, LA. She continues her specialized work with veterans recovering from trauma as a staff psychologist in the PTSD clinic at the New Orleans VA, where she is also involved in trauma-related research. Dr. Ball has received training in specific forms of CBT, including Prolonged Exposure Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy for trauma-related disorders, Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR), an evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for individuals suffering from chronic and complicated PTSD, relaxation training, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.
Heather Stewart, LCSW-BACS
Ms. Heather Stewart is a licensed clinical social worker and clinical supervisor, with expertise in the treatment of mood, trauma, and interpersonal difficulties. She completed her Masters of Social Work degree at the University of South Carolina and has extensive experience in all levels of care, including outpatient, inpatient, and residential treatment centers.
In addition to her work at the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of New Orleans, Ms. Stewart works with returning veterans at the New Orleans VA Hospital. Prior to her work at the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center and the VA Hospital, Ms. Stewart was a primary clinician at the nationally-recognized Menninger Clinic , a residential treatment facility. While at the Menninger Clinic, Ms. Stewart worked successfully with young adults who had failed to make progress with other treatment modalities.
Ms. Stewart’s primary interests include trauma, anxiety, and interpersonal difficulties and she has presented on these topics at regional and national conferences. She is trained in a variety of trauma-focused therapies and was recently selected as a National Trainer for Cognitive Processing Therapy for the VA. She is also trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Eliza McManus, Ph.D.
Dr. Eliza McManus received her PhD in clinical psychology from Western Michigan University. Her doctoral program emphasized contemporary behavior and cognitive behavior therapy and focused on the training of empirically supported treatments. During that time, Dr. McManus learned to use CBT and third-wave behavior therapies to treat depression, anxiety (e.g., Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder), Tic Disorders, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and adjustment difficulties.
During her graduate training, Dr. McManus was the instructor of record for undergraduate courses in Abnormal Psychology and Introduction to Psychology. Her thesis and dissertation research focused on contextual factors related to sexual assault among college women. She fostered a line of research in this area that involved developing a behavioral-based training to reduce risk for unwanted sexual experiences, which she tested during a randomized trial for her dissertation. She has presented data from her research on sexual assault to medical professionals, administrators, and community members and has presented at regional, national, and international conferences. In addition, she has authored and co-authored peer-reviewed research articles.
Dr. McManus is a full time psychologist at the New Orleans VA, where she has received extensive training in CBT-based interventions to address trauma, mood, and sleep disorders. Dr. McManus sees patients at the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center during evening hours only.
Fees for Dr. Schexnaildre, and Ms. Stewart are $125 for a 50-minute individual therapy session. Fees for all other therapists are $165 for a 60-minute individual therapy session.
For school admissions, the fee for a basic WISC-IV or WPPSI-IV assessment is $300. This cost includes a comprehensive written report that describes your child’s intellectual strengths and weaknesses and provides individually tailored recommendations for helping your child reach his or her highest potential. A 45-minute feedback session is included in this cost.
Assessments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are a flat $1,200 for both children and adults, although insurance coverage often covers this fee. ADHD evaluations last four to five hours, plus an additional hour for a comprehensive feedback session.
Fees for more comprehensive assessments are charged at $150/hour. These include assessments for learning disabilities, pre-bariatric surgery evaluations, and other purposes. See the Assessments portion of our website for additional information.
Dr. Ransom accepts Blue Cross-Blue Shield PPO, ValueOptions and self-pay patients.
Drs. Ball, Cuccurullo, and Tomassetti accept Blue Cross-Blue Shield PPO as well as self-pay patients.
Blue Cross-Blue Shield HMO patients are out-of-network for all therapists, unfortunately.
Dr. Prather, Dr. McManus, Dr. Schexnaildre, and Ms. Stewart only accept self-pay patients at this time.
Therapists at the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of New Orleans do not testify in court. On the very rare occasion that a court determines that testimony is required, the fee is $1,250 for the first hour and $750 for each hour thereafter.
House Calls & Off-Site Services
When a patient is severely hampered by anxiety, sometimes that person finds it very difficult to come into the clinic. If this is the case, we are happy to come to you in Orleans or Jefferson Parish. Visit locations must be in a private location that is free of interruptions in order to maintain the confidentiality necessary for psychological services. In order to preserve the safety, confidentiality, and therapeutic benefits of psychological services, The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of New Orleans reserves the right to refuse off-location services at any time to any patient for any reason.
Convenience fees for off-site sessions are $125 for Orleans Parish and $200 for Jefferson Parish. These fees are in addition to the basic fees for psychotherapeutic services. These fees are not reimbursable by insurance and must be pre-paid by credit card at the time the visit is scheduled.
Location & Contact Information
The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center of New Orleans is located Uptown on the corner of Magazine and Upperline. New patients are now being accepted. Call today to schedule a free 25-minute, in-office consultation to see how our services may best serve you.