As Dragonfly’s founders and directors, we — Dr. Michael Cassano and Dr. Mary Rourke — have worked together for nearly a decade, first as providers as The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and then as faculty members at Widener University’s doctoral program in clinical psychology. We have long shared a mission both to provide evidence-based care for children and families that was sensitive to developmental and environmental influences, and to provide strong training for future child and family providers.
As we worked toward that mission, we noticed a need in the community for more therapists who are trained to deliver evidence-based care that is sensitive to the specific circumstances of an individual’s or a family’s situation. As a result, in 2014, we attempted help meet this need by merging our private practices and developing a practice that is grounded in our philosophy of developmentally-based, research-informed, contextually-sensitive care. We began to hire some of the former students who trained with us. The result is a team of clinicians who share a philosophy, who meet regularly to share ideas and strategies, and who support each other and the clients we all work to serve.
Our team includes a number of psychologists, most of whom trained with us, a neuropsychologist, and a speech and language therapist. In addition, we continue to believe that staying closely aligned with training allows us to stay closely aligned with the newest research and best practice guidelines. We therefore usually have post-doctoral fellows as well as advanced doctoral students who provide care under our supervision.
We chose the name “Dragonfly” for its symbolism. Around the world, the dragonfly is a symbol of rapid change, of deepening emotional maturity and growth. We aim for our practice to be a center in which we are able to work collaboratively with individuals and families on a path toward growth.
To help manage our larger team, Dr. Cassano will step away from his teaching duties at Widener in 2018, and will engage full-time at Dragonfly, overseeing training operations as well as the Willow Grove office. Dr. Rourke, who remains at Widener, continues to direct the Media office, to provide supervision to our clinical team, and to see clients one day a week.