When Life's Overwhelming Treatment Shouldn't be!

Meet Our Staff

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Michelle Cavaliere -Executive Director & Program Coordinator PhDc, LMHC, CST, M.A, MCAP, NCC, EMDR

Michelle Cavaliere is the founder, Executive Director and Program Coordinator for Frankie’s Place Counseling and Prevention Center and Frankie’s Angels Intern and Leadership Program, in Fort Myers, Florida. Michelle is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Certified Sex Therapist (CST), Certified Master Level Addiction Professional (MCAP),  and  Ph.D.(c) in Advanced Human Behavior and Clinical Sexology in the state of Florida.  She received her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and B.A. in Psychology from South University in West Palm Beach, Florida. Michelle specializes in trauma and is Certified in EMDR series I and II.  Michelle has a business background with over 17 years in the franchise industry where she belonged to the International Franchise Association  representing women in small business and Vice President of Product Development for the New York area. Michelle’s Doctoral research primarily focuses on assessments, clinical treatments and program development within the field of substance abuse. Michelle  developed Trauma Focused Programs for the Veteran population in West Palm Beach, Florida. Her current research entails the Development of an Environmental Behavioral Activation Education Program to be implemented in the addiction community in Fort Lauderdale and Lake Worth Beach, Florida in addiction to an Adolescent Adventure Program in Fort Myers, Florida. Michelle is also conducting research on the Assessment Process and Clinical Treatment Practices within the field of addiction. Michelle holds particular interests in leadership, clinical assessments, and treatment development. She is grounded in the Psychoanalytic framework as she incorporates the Wellness Model, Behavioral Approach and Assessments into her clinical practices.  

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Denny Cecil-Van Den Heuvel, Ph.D., LMHC-FL, LMFT-FL, LPC-NC - Quality Assurance Consultant & Qualified Supervisor

Dr. Denny Cecil-Van Den Heuvel (also known as Dr. Denny) received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision with a Minor in Psychology at North Carolina State University. She attained her licensed in North Carolina in 1991 and continues to hold that license.  During the early 1990's, Dr. Cecil-Van Den Heuvel also founded a state association, License Professional Counselors Association of North Carolina (LPCANC), along with her colleagues, and promoted legislative ground work for North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselors. Currently, this association has over 1100 members and is under the umbrella of the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

Dr. Denny is the Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master Program at South University in West Palm Beach, FL.  She was hired to start up this Master’s Level Program in 2003 at South University where it has successfully graduated over 100 students.  She was instrumental in attaining CACREP accreditation at her university and other South Universities across the U.S. while she served as Chair of 10 campuses.  While working at the university, Dr. Denny has maintained a part time private practice where she enjoys direct client interaction. She specializes in treatment of adolescents and their families from her long-term experience with this population. Dr. Denny treats a broad range of issues and currently treats children, adolescents, couples, and families.  She works with trauma often and is trained in EMDR.  

Dr. Denny is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor in the state of Florida. Dr. Denny has served as President of the Mental Health Counseling Association of Palm Beach County for two years, President of the Florida Mental Health Association for one year, and President of the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of North Carolina for two years.  She is currently a member of the 491 Licensure Board in the State of Florida for over five years now.  She also holds a membership with the American Mental Health Counseling Association, Florida Mental Health Counseling Association, Mental Health Counseling Association of Palm Beach County, and the Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County.  

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Madison Piorkowski- Intake Coordinator- B.A Psychology, B.A Communication, CAMS-I

Madison Piorkowski is the Vice President of Frankie's Place Counseling and Prevention Services. Madison is pursuing her Master degree at Florida Gulf Coast University for Mental Health Counseling and her PhD from Modern Sex Therapy Institute  as a Clinical Sexologist. Madison is  Certified in Anger Management (CAMS- I ) and provides life skills and substance abuse didactic groups.Madison is the Outreach Director and oversees all the internal and external communications in Frankie's Place. Madison also oversees all the community services and outreach projects with Frankie's Angels volunteers, residences and interns. Madison also works on all the credentialing, standards and policies for Frankie's Place.  Madison's future goal is to help change the stigma surrounding sexual health by providing behavioral health care services.

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Anthony Peluso III- Director of Services

Anthony Peluso is Frankie's Place Director of Services. Anthony is  responsible for: planning, developing and managing projects. Determining a project's schedule, scope and budget. Directing team members in meeting the company objectives. Anthony also oversees all  the quantitative measures for the clients of Frankie's Place. Anthony also is Tonka's trainer and handler. Anthony's future goal is manage all future employees operations at Frankie's Place. 


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Michael Piorkowski- Director of Safety & Case Manager

Michael is a native New Yorker who is centralized in Fort Myers. Michael is a retired Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Volunteer Fire Fighter in Long Island. His philosophy of effective treatment for those struggling with addiction requires personal accountability with the application of care and compassion. Micheal is drawn to situations that provide hands-on access to the recovery process; allowing him to build relationships that support the identified loved one’s needs to a program that benefits their sobriety and lifelong healing. Being a veteran in the Armed Forces, Micheal is devoted to helping the Veteran population struggling with the confusion and frustration of addiction. 

our Interns

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Tonka

Steven Smith

Steven Smith

Tonka is a mixed Mastiff breed rescued from a local animal shelter.  Tonka and his handler, Anthony  train at Wolfhound Legacy in Cape Coral, Florida.  Tonka is training  for his certification as a Service and Therapy dog to assist with the clients care in Frankie's Place. Tonka has become a huge role model for our clients and staff at Frankie's Place as he continues to work on his issues after being in a shelter for almost 2 years. Tonka inspires us all with his hard work and dedication in his training. Continue to watch Tonka's training on our blog. 

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Steven Smith

Steven Smith

Steven Smith


Steven Smith is a Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) student. Steven is currently  working towards his Certificate of Addictions Counseling (CAC), Associate of Science (A.S.), and Associate of Arts (A.A.) degrees. Steven is currently doing his residency in Frankie's Place where he is the lead intern and provides biopsychosocials, and psycho-educational individual sessions.  Steven also assists with  the development of treatment plans and assessments for Frankie's Place. Steven  also worked on the development of the comprehensive assessment utilized by  the Lee County Criminal Division Department. Steven continues to work towards his education and experience in the field of behavioral health.