GET TO KNOW US
Meet Our Clinical Team
JAMES OLSON, BCBA, LCMHC
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Jim is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. He is currently the Executive Director of the BEL Center, where he oversees programming, working closely with children, families, BEL Center staff and other organizations, providing both direct services and general oversight.
Prior to his role as a founding partner of the BEL Center, Jim was the onsite behavioral consultant for a local K-6 elementary school. His role there enabled him to work closely with students, parents, teachers and support staff to support student success at school.
Jim has been been providing therapy and behavioral consultation services to individuals, schools and families for the last 15 years. After a number of years working in alternative educational settings, Jim spent 10 years working in community mental health providing therapy for a wide range of youth and families. In addition to providing therapy, he spent time working on a local mental health crisis team and was the program coordinator for the children's crisis team.
Between 2005 and 2011 Jim was the School Services Supervisor, providing clinical and behavioral consultation to schools and clinicians throughout Windham County, Vermont.
Between 2003 and 2011, Jim created and ran a therapeutic recreation summer program for local youth. This 10 person pilot program eventually grew into a program serving as many as 100 local youth each summer.
MICHELLE SANTANGELO, BCBA
Co-Founder and Clinical Director
Michelle Santangelo has an MS in Autism Studies and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Michelle is currently the Clinical Director of the BEL Center. She oversees all clinical services, working closely with children, families, BEL Center staff and other organizations, providing both direct services and program oversight.
Previous to her role as a founding partner of the BEL Center, Michelle worked as the Behavior Specialist at a school for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and provided assessment, consultation, and program planning for students ranging in age from 11-22. Prior to this, Michelle worked at a large agency in Massachusetts that provided a wide range of behavioral services. In this role, Michelle worked with individuals with Autism Spectrum Diagnoses with varying skills and behavioral needs. A large portion of this earlier work involved providing home-based Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention services for young children with ASD and their families.
As part of Michelle's Master's program, she conducted a program evaluation for a large agency that provided comprehensive support services for young adults on the Autism Spectrum focusing on independent living, social and vocational skills. Part of this work involved helping the agency analyze the effectiveness of it's coaching program, for which she also provided direct coaching services.
Michelle is also a certified Montessori teacher, trained to provide educational programming for children ranging in age from 18 months to 12 years.
Michelle has an active yoga and mindfulness practice. She has lived in the beautiful pioneer valley of Western Massachusetts with her two children for 19 years. She maintains a ceramics studio and loves to hike in the woods with her family and friends.