Meet the Faculty

Decades of Combined Early Childhood Expertise

 

The Harris Institute faculty is recognized for its expertise in infant and early childhood mental health, bringing a wealth of academic, training and direct practice experience to the Institute.

 

Alison Steier, Ph.D., is director of the Harris Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Training Institute at Southwest Human Development in Phoenix. She also directs the in-house mental health consultation service, the Birth to Five Helpline and the Fussy Baby Program. Dr. Steier has provided infant mental health training to the Department of Child Safety and Arizona’s Juvenile Judges and Commissioners. She served as a consultant on the Governor’s Subcommittee on Child Welfare Reform and is a frequent presenter on topics related to infant mental health. She also served as a member of the board of the Infant Toddler Mental Health Coalition of Arizona and chaired the Coalition’s annual infant mental health conference from 2003-2006. Dr. Steier received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Tulane University and her masters’ and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from George Mason University. Prior to relocating to Phoenix from New Orleans, she was a member of Dr. Charles Zeanah’s “Infant Team,” which evaluates and provides intensive intervention to maltreated infants and toddlers in foster care. She also served as a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry/Neurology at Tulane University Medical Center, and as the senior psychology training clinician to advanced mental health professionals seeking to develop expertise in infant mental health. She was the child/adult clinical fellow in psychology at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital from 1994-1996, and a visiting fellow in psychology on T. Berry Brazelton’s Child Development Unit at Boston’s Children’s Hospital from 1995-1996. Dr. Steier holds a fellowship in infant mental health from Louisiana State University Medical Center and a postdoctorate in infant mental health from Tulane University Medical Center. She has published in the areas of mental health consultation and young children’s attachments to special inanimate objects (“transitional objects”).

 

Lorenzo Azzi, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist providing infant mental health services and consultation in the Good Fit Counseling Center and to other programs within Southwest Human Development. Prior to joining Southwest Human Development, he was a clinical faculty member at Tulane University School of Medicine and served as the psychologist for the East Baton Rouge Parish and Terrebonne Parish Early Childhood Supports and Services Infant Mental Health teams in Louisiana. Dr. Azzi completed a post-doctoral fellowship on Dr. Charles Zeanah’s Tulane University/JPHSA “Infant Team,” a multidisciplinary team that evaluates and provides intensive intervention to maltreated infants and toddlers in foster care. He has trained professionals, interns, residents and undergraduate students in both child development and psychology at Tulane University, Illinois Institute of Technology and Minnesota State University. His expertise is in infant and early childhood social/emotional development, infant-parent attachment, various infant-parent psychotherapies and play therapy.

 

Molly Strothkamp, LMSW, IMH-E(III), is a child therapist and the training coordinator at Southwest Human Development’s Good Fit Counseling Center and she is a faculty member for the Harris Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Training Institute. Molly started working with children and their families at Southwest Human Development in 1999 and she specializes in providing relationship-based counseling to young children and their caregivers. In addition, Molly teaches and provides trainings on infant mental health, attachment, trauma and trauma-informed care, child development, home visitation, expulsion prevention, and other related topics to parents, professionals, and community organizations statewide. Molly completed the two-year Infant/Family Clinical Practice program with the Harris Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Training Institute in 2007 and is endorsed by the Infant Toddler Mental Health Coalition of Arizona as an Infant Mental Health Specialist (Level 3 Clinical). In 2016, she completed training to become rostered in Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). Molly served on the board of the Infant Toddler Mental Health Coalition of Arizona from 2017-2018.

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