The Cheerful Helpers Team

The multidisciplinary team at Cheerful Helpers has been working together for a combined total of more than 180 years.


Ellen K. Reinstein, LCSW


Psychotherapist, Parenting and Child Development Specialist with many years of experience working with families with young children beginning at the Early Childhood Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and continuing at Cheerful Helpers since 1992. Member of the North LA Regional Autism Task Force and recipient of the USC School of Social Work's "Heart of Social Work Award" 2013.

Ellen Pearlman, MA
Head of School, Special Education Teacher

Early Childhood Education Specialist with 39 years of experience as a classroom special education teacher, iEP Coordinator, Head of School, and consulting with preschools, teachers, and parents concerning their children’s learning needs and school placement.

Reyna Alvarez
Office Manager

Administrative support to Cheerful Helpers staff, trainees and families for over 11 years. 

Shetal Belman, LCSW
BEIG, Child & Family Therapist

Licensed Child and Family Therapist with experience in social skills training, family therapy, clinical supervision, and clinical classroom support.

Jinous Berjis, LMFT 
BEIG, Child & Family Therapist

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist providing psychotherapy with children, adolescents and adults. Consults with Head Start Preschool programs with teachers and parents with children presenting with developmental delays as well as children with social emotional challenges. Works in therapeutic classrooms, co-leads parent-child psychotherapy groups, therapeutic social skills groups, and family therapy.

Rhonda Berlin, OTD, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapist with over 15 years experience specializing in the pediatric population. Collaborates with parents and teachers of children on the autism spectrum and children with learning disabilities. Sensory Integration Praxis Test Certification. Trained in Sensory Integration, Handwriting without Tears and Schools Attuned. 

Mary Hendricks, CCC-SLP
Speech Therapist

Former teacher and licensed speech/language pathologist with 22 years experience working in both school and clinical settings.  Experience with students of all ages with neurological and developmental delays, with stuttering, voice, articulation and phonological disorders. 

Mickey Butnik, LMFT
Child and Family Therapist

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 15 years experience providing therapeutic support for children with developmental needs/challenges. Extensive experience as therapeutic classroom support therapist, individual play therapist, family therapist and supervisor for interns in training.

Hofit De-Levie, LMFT
BEIG, Child & Family Therapist

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specialized in working with children and families. Program coordinator for the BEIG program and Social Skills groups. Leads parent-child groups and parent support groups, and provides family therapy, play therapy and clinical supervision. Prior to joining the Cheerful Helpers team, was part of an Autism research clinic at UCLA, worked as a behavior modification specialist, and treated veterans and their families at the VA hospital. 

Mary Harris, LMFT
BEIG, Child & Family Therapist

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with experience working with families and children with special needs in a therapeutic classroom setting, social skills groups and early intervention groups supporting the whole family.


Rachel Heilpern, LMFT, PsyD
BEIG, Child & Family Therapist

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist affiliated with the Cheerful Helpers Child and Family Study Center since 1995. Family therapist and leader of Brief Evaluation and Intervention Groups. Directed documentary on the Brief Evaluation and Intervention Group program as part of doctoral studies. Treats individuals, couples and families, as well as consults with other therapists on their work with young children and teenagers.

Rebeca Quinto, MA
Special Education Teacher

Special Education teacher with over 10 years experience with children with special needs as a classroom teacher, behavior therapist, site coordinator and research assistant.

Diana Georger, MA, LMFT
Child Therapist

Child therapist, with experience in social skills training and play therapy.

Sarayana Sercarz, LMFT
BEIG, Child & Family Therapist

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Supervisor experienced working with children, adults, families and couples. Specialties include working with special needs children and their families and psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Tom Brauner, LCSW, Ph.D.
Clinical Consultant

Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience as a consultant and family therapist for children with developmental challenges and their families.

Janet Upjohn, MSW
Development Director

Development staff with experience in grant writing, fundraising and program development.

Advisory Staff

Saul Brown, M.D.
Howard Reinstein, M.D.

Board of Directors

Jackie Sloan, President
Eric Stockel, Vice President
Susanna Lovell, Secretary
Dana Ostroff, Treasurer
Steve Barlam
Thomas Brauner
Carrie Cannon
Kate Colleary
Ben Decter
Annie Jeng
Ellen Pearlman
Ellen Reinstein
Arlene Schneir
Vicki Song
Sandy Throop

Founding Members

Barbara Cogert
Evelyn Feintech
Susanne Firestone
Leba Phillips
Helen Sherwin
Elaine Winters

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