Sheila Harley

Sheila Harley,

Sheila Harley is a licensed social worker with a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, with an emphasis in mental health. She worked in the social work field in both London and New York City doing post-graduate training at the Ackerman Institute for the Family.

After the diagnosis of one of her three children with a genetic disorder and learning disability, Sheila has experienced first-hand the complexities surrounding a medical and educational diagnosis. She is driven by her passion for the family and her desire to support families in general and those with special needs in particular.

Sheila is a Trustee of the Mary McDowell Friends School (a K-12 college preparatory school for students with learning disabilities), involved in The United Mitochondrial Foundation, a volunteer patient advocate at Mass General and member of the National Association of Social Workers. Sheila earned her Bachelors degree in Social Sciences at UC Berkeley and, prior to going into social work, pursued an early career in design and architecture for ten years. Sheila has lived and worked in San Francisco, London and New York.


Ariadne Platero

Ariadne Platero,

Ariadne Platero is a family therapist and consultant, and licensed social worker having earned her MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work with a concentration in children, youth and families. Ariadne trained in both an early childhood setting and the Juilliard School. She received her specialized training in family therapy at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, working with couples and families in crisis.

As a result of Ariadne’s work with families faced with challenges, she has experienced first-hand the transformative effects of a collaborative and supportive team approach and the importance of focusing on a family’s dynamics.

Ariadne is on the Steering Committee of the Women’s Health Symposium, Co-chair of the Advocacy Council of the Citizens Committee for Children, Vice-president and Trustee of The Train Foundation and a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

She earned her undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and had early careers in finance and journalism both in London and New York. She has three children, college age and beyond.


, ,

Andrea Messinger

Andrea Messinger has been in the special education field for over ten years. She graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Psychology and earned her master’s degree in Special Education from New York University. Andrea is a New York State certified Special Education Teacher and spent eight years teaching at the Stephen Gaynor School in New York City, both as a head teacher and reading specialist. She helped launch the Community Learning Center at the Stephen Gaynor School and later served as its director. The center identifies students in the local public schools who are at risk for academic failure and provides them with free tutoring services.


What We Do

Family Central Consultants help families through difficult transitions. We provide support and advice to families at a critical juncture when facing health, mental health, educational challenges or major life transitions. We assist families in navigating a myriad of issues and available resources. We collaborate with our families to develop a plan of action and provide ongoing support. Our goal is to minimize stress and anxiety for our families faced with daunting or unfamiliar challenges.

We provide:

  • in-depth consultation
  • comprehensive and cohesive assessments
  • close collaboration with families
  • guidance, education and support
  • anticipation of issues that may emerge
  • feedback on diagnostic evaluations
  • advice in selecting the best team of experts
  • strategies, coping mechanisms and practical interventions
  • an expert to conduct in-home and in-class observations
  • a roadmap to manage your challenging situation