Michael A. DeStefano, Ph.D.
Dr. DeStefano is a licensed psychologist, with a doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He completed his internship at the William S. Hall Institute in Columbia, SC. Throughout his training and career, Dr. DeStefano has focused on and specialized in working with adolescents, young adults, children, and families, with over 25 years experience in therapeutic work, in staff and student supervision, and in multidisciplinary collaboration. He has worked in a variety of treatment settings for youth and adults, and has been a strong proponent of strength-based, developmentally appropriate care for them.
Dr. DeStefano has worked with clients struggling with a wide range of issues such as depression, grief, loss, anger issues, anxiety, self-identity, self-esteem, relationship concerns, family conflict, and peer crises. Dr. DeStefano is renowned for his therapeutic work with difficult-to-engage adolescents and young adults—helping them to value the gains that they can make in counseling. His approach to therapy reflects the diversity of his experiences, and he draws on a variety of therapeutic orientations in his work. He has a warmly supportive, empathic and engaging manner, and is focused on building and sustaining resilient strengths in those with whom he works. He highly values the importance of youth and their families having a collaborative voice in determining the needs of their treatment.
Prior to Bryn Mawr Psychological Associates, Dr. DeStefano was the Program Director for the Adolescent Service of Friends Hospital, and before that he was the Program Director for the inpatient Child and Adolescent Service at the Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment for over ten years. In both positions, he focused on behaviorally-based programming, emphasizing the therapeutic importance of group, individual and family therapies, and encouraging youth to become actively involved in their treatment. Dr. DeStefano collaboratively worked with multidisciplinary staff, including psychiatrists, social workers, nursing staff and educators. He also worked in partial hospital/day treatment and residential programs, and for years on the Adolescent Unit of the former Eugenia Hospital in Lafayette Hill. Throughout his career, Dr. DeStefano provided group, individual and family therapies, as well as supervision for clinical work by other staff.
While at Belmont, Dr. DeStefano created the Therapeutic Bridge program, which was designed to follow patients after discharge from inpatient treatment, to facilitate their return to school, home and community. He worked in conjunction with the “A Better Start” program of the Einstein Health Network to design family therapeutic/educational programs which focused on strengthening interactions between youth and their caregivers, providing information on child development, navigating systems of care, and skill building for youth. His commitment to community intervention began prior to his graduate education, while he worked for the Primary Mental Health Project at the University of Rochester, under Dr. Emory Cowen, a pioneer in the field of community psychology and early detection and prevention of behavioral health issues. Dr. DeStefano was trained through Temple University’s Multicultural Training and Research Institute, for advanced certification in culturally competent human services, and he has since provided numerous staff trainings on diversity/cultural competence topics.
Dr. DeStefano is a member of the American Psychological Association, a fellow of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, and current Chair of its Political Action Committee (PAC).