Our Team

Paul J. Donahue, Ph.D.


Dr. Paul Donahue is the founder and director of Child Development Associates, and a leading consultant and expert in the field of parenting and children’s mental health. He has served as a consultant to the Columbia University School for Public Health and the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. Dr. Donahue is the author of Parenting Without Fear: Letting Go of Worry and Focusing on What Really Matters and co-author of Mental Health Consultation in Early Childhood. Dr. Donahue is an accomplished speaker, traveling throughout the country lecturing to parents, teachers and mental health professionals about resilience, technology and children, adolescent development, and confident parenting. He has appeared frequently in the national press, in Parents Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, and on the CBS Early Show.

Dr. Donahue’s practice at CDA includes child, adolescent and family therapy, parent counseling, adult psychotherapy, and school consultation. He also specializes in coaching business executives and working parents to identify their personal and professional goals, and to develop and implement strategies that further their career and family aspirations.

Emily Gifford, Psy.D.


Dr. Emily Gifford earned her doctoral degree from The George Washington University where she received the highest honors in her class for clinical work. Prior to joining Child Development Associates, Dr. Gifford held a position as a psychologist for nine years at the Children’s Village. During her tenure there, she received advanced training in childhood anxiety and depression and specialized in trauma and in managing a myriad of challenging behaviors in children. Dr. Gifford has been recognized for her work with children and adolescents both at an agency level as well as within the county, most recently being named Clinician of the Year and receiving the Alan G. Rosenthal Award.

Dr. Gifford has worked extensively helping families navigate adoption and the intricate dynamics that accompany these unifications. She also specializes in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, an interactive treatment that helps establish a nurturing and secure relationship between family members, while increasing a child’s pro-social behavior and decreasing negative behavior. Dr Gifford’s practice at CDA includes child psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, parent/child therapy, adolescent counseling, family consultations and adult psychotherapy.

Melissa Starr, Psy.D.

Dr. Melissa Starr attained her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. She completed her post-graduate training at Andrus Children’s Center in Yonkers, NY, where she focused on child and adolescent psychotherapy, family therapy, and group therapy. Following her training there, Dr. Starr joined the staff as a full-time psychologist providing individual and group therapy to children and adolescents, as well as family and parent counseling. She also led adolescent therapy groups and social skills groups, and conducted comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations. Additionally, she completed post-graduate training in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy at the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Rye, NY.

Prior to joining Child Development Associates, Dr. Starr worked in a group private practice with offices in Greenwich, CT and Westchester that specializes in working with children and adolescents with a wide range of learning, attention, mood and anxiety challenges. Her practice at CDA includes child and adolescent psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, parent training, family therapy and school consultation.

Jennifer Warren, L.C.S.W.


Jennifer Warren has more than 25 years of experience as an individual and family therapist. She received her masters degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work. Ms. Warren worked previously as a supervisory clinician on the in-patient service at the Payne Whitney Clinic in New York and as a psychotherapist in the outpatient department at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Westchester. She received post graduate training in cognitive-behavioral therapy and completed a specialized program with Dr. Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. During that training Ms. Warren also developed a longstanding interest in Mindfulness Practice. She continues to use aspects of this contemplative approach in her current work, and teaches classes on mindfulness meditation and philosophy.

Ms. Warren’s current practice is devoted to individual psychotherapy with adults and adolescents, and couples therapy. She is an expert in the treatment of anxiety, stress reduction and depression. She works with people through all stages of the life cycle and helps them cope with issues related to loss, illness and divorce. She has a particular interest in addressing the problems of work/life balance for busy professionals and working parents.