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Introducing New Staff!

We are thrilled to announce that our team is growing. Help us give a warm welcome to...

Nicole Merlo-White, Therapist

Nicole is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 20 years of experience in the field. She works with all age groups, from early childhood to older adults. Her clinical approach is nonjudgmental, integrative, and 'you' focused. Nicole strives to provide a safe place for her clients to share, explore, heal, and progress in their journey.

Nicole is available for individual, couples, and family therapy appointments in person at Positive Directions.

Destiny Sammut, Therapist

Destiny is a Licensed Master's Social Worker who first started her journey with Positive Directions in 2020 as a Clinical Intern. She graduated with her master's in social work from Fairfield University and has worked in inpatient, residential, and outpatient settings.

Destiny has experience working with both adults and adolescents struggling with substance use and/or mood disorders. Her therapeutic approach includes elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Narrative Therapy.

To schedule a consultation with one of our new clinicians, please contact Emily at 203-227-7644 or via email at

Hiba Nbou, Prevention Corps Member

Hiba is 18 years old and currently attending UConn as a freshman majoring in physiology and neurobiology on the pre-med track. She looks forward to playing a role in the behind the scenes work of prevention as well as being an advocate for mental health awareness. Prevention Corps is an AmeriCorps program through RYASAP that is raising awareness about the opioid crisis and changing the way our communities respond to it.

She plays an active role in her religious community. Through this experience as a Prevention Corps member, she hopes to reduce the stigma around mental health and substance misuse and help create an environment where people are comfortable speaking about these topics in places of worship.

Meghan Betsch, Marketing Intern

Meghan is from Long Island, NY, and is in her fourth year at Sacred Heart University completing her Bachelor's Degree in marketing. She is most passionate about spreading information to help others and creating awareness of topics others may feel uncomfortable talking about. Meghan is eager to contribute fresh new ideas, to gain experience and knowledge.

Madeleine Pralea, Clinical Intern

Madi is completing a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in management at Sacred Heart University. She is passionate about psychology and learning about people. She cares about promoting mental health and its role in wellness. At school, she is a global ambassador and a mentor at a local middle school. She hopes to further her education in business and psychology.

Madeleine is from Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

Madi loves to read, journal, spend time with friends, and exercise outdoors in her free time! She will be helping Positive Directions by assisting with the administration of Clinic and answering calls from the front desk.

To read our staff's full bios, click here and click on "read more".

About Positive Directions

Positive Directions has been providing mental health and substance use counseling and prevention services to Westport for more than 50 years. Positive Directions has an established state-licensed outpatient treatment clinic that provides counseling to adults and adolescents and accepts all insurances. In addition to the outpatient treatment clinic, they have established partnerships with the towns of Westport, Weston and Wilton on the Counseling Assistance Program, which provides barrier-free referrals to town residents.

Positive Directions co-facilitates the Westport Prevention Coalition and The Norwalk Partnership prevention coalitions with the goal of preventing substance misuse among youth.

Positive Directions’ vision is all individuals and families will have the skills, support, and resources they need to live a healthy life and contribute to a strong community. To that end, its mission is to provide leadership in the community with the aim of improving the lives and health of individuals and families through both comprehensive behavioral healthcare, including addictive behaviors, and prevention leadership.

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