About Us

About Alternative Psychology

Alternative Psychiatry has highly qualified psychiatrists, advanced registered nurse practitioners, psychotherapists and clinical resource liaisons. We care about providing the best quality mental health care to our Patients.

We know that our patients are entitled to the most convenient, affordable, and accessible psychiatric and psychotherapeutic services and strive to live up to that goal. Alternative Psychiatry offers a full range of services, including medication management. We help under or uninsured individuals, under-served populations, and the general public.

Our Team

Mark Sylvaster, MD ABAM

Mark Sylvester, MD, ABAM, was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida. He received his medical education at the University of Miami and training at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Sylvester received graduate education in Neuropsychopharmacology and Psychobiology. He is board certified in Psychiatry & Neurology as well as Addiction Medicine. In addition to caring for his patients with FCITT, Dr. Sylvester practices Functional Psychiatry and Integrative Health at Alternative Psychiatry.

Dr. Sylvester is an adjunct faculty member at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) where he lectures and clinically trains medical students. He is active in research and is published in the Journal of Biomechanics, Journal of Global Drug Policy, and American Journal of Psychiatry, on topics related to biomechanics, obesity/food addiction, professionalism, addiction in clinical practice, and psychiatric symptoms in end-of-life care.

Richard G. Sehulman, PhD

Richard G. Schulman, PhD is a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida. He was granted a license to practice psychology in 1987. He received a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of South Florida in 1986. His dissertation topic was a test to measure cognitive distortions in bulimia nervosa. He completed an internship in clinical psychology at the Palo Alto VA Medical Center. While there he worked on an inpatient psychiatric setting and the Family Studies Unit.

Dr. Schulman is a trauma specialist with experience treating chronic pain, eating disorders, and substance use disorders. He has wide experience in psychosomatic medicine. He has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, with adults and adolescents. He is also well versed in individual, family, couples, and group therapy.

Dr. Schulman is the author of “The Labyrinth of Healing: The Emotional Shifting Process.” The book documents his technique of mind-body-spirit healing that involves the psychotherapist simultaneously working with a body therapist. He is a musician and songwriter. He founded the “Dreamwalkers” band and was executive producer on the band’s first album. He is the father of two grown sons, one a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, the other a filmmaker.

Abigail Butterfield

Abigail Butterfield was born and raised in Massillon, Ohio and relocated to Florida in 2017. She is an Adult and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner certified to practice by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She completed her undergraduate degree earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Walsh University in 2010. She worked as a registered nurse for several years on a surgery and trauma floor and gained additional experience while covering on medical/surgical, physical rehabilitation and urology units as well. She completed her graduate degree at Walden University in 2010 earning a Master of Science in Nursing. She has been practicing since 2014 as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and gained experience in Behavioral health and Addiction Recovery, Hospice and Palliative care, transitional care, home care, extended care facilities and independent living in addition to working in the primary care setting, walk in clinic and via telemedicine.
Abigail takes pride in working closely with her patients to determine their unique needs. She is passionate about providing high quality, compassionate and comprehensive mental health services to her patients. Her mission is to work closely with patients to assist in giving them the support, tools, and proper education needed to reach their wellness goals. She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, The Florida Nurse Practitioner Network, The National Society of Leadership and Success and The Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association.

Carolyn Harkness, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC

Carolyn was born and raised in southern West Virginia. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from King University in Bristol, TN. She went on to complete her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Simmons University in Boston.

Carolyn is licensed as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in FL and SC and is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is also an active member in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Sarasota Council for Advanced Practice Nursing.

Carolyn has more than nine years of nursing experience in various specialties including mental health nursing and psychiatry. She is a compassionate, experienced provider who has cared for and treated various problems and disorders in patients of all ages. She is an adjunct faculty member at Keiser University in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Carolyn is also a provider in various assisted living and skilled nursing facilities in Sarasota providing primary care and dermatological care.

Carolyn currently resides in Lakewood Ranch, FL with her husband and two children.

Nora Clemens, Registered Dietitian

Nora Clemens is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Food Sensitivities Therapist. She has been a Nutrition Expert for over 30 years and is the owner of Nutrition and Wellness Solutions, a nutrition private practice. Her passion is working with people to help them achieve health and wellness through nutrition and fitness. Nora prides herself in designing programs that meet each person’s unique nutrition and lifestyle needs by helping them overcome the obstacles that have previously stood in their way.

Austin Cain, Practice Manager

Austin is the Practice Manager at Alternative Psychiatry. She has worked in various management roles and is a skilled administrative professional. Her job at Alternative Psychiatry is to help our patients access the care they need. She also manages the day to day operations of the practice and the other staff. She is excited about integrating all her combined experience into her role as Practice Manager. Austin considers herself a visionary who is passionate, enthusiastic and driven to inspire growth and positive change in whatever environment she is in.

Lyndsay Bell

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Allison Sieloff-Pratcher, LMT, RYT

Born and raised in Florida, Allison Sieloff-Pratcher was certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage Therapy and Bodywork in August 2009 and licensed by the State of Florida and American Massage Association.

With a passion for expanding knowledge and expertise regarding natural holistic health, Allison has received certifications in a variety of advanced massage techniques, global healing systems, complementary and alternative medicine, nutritional health and she is a registered yoga teacher through Heartwood Retreat Center.

With a variety of knowledge and experience in the industry over more than eleven years, Allison’s passion and gratitude for the connection of mental and physical health have led to her newly-launched

Apprenticeship Program for aspiring massage therapists to train and prepare for the Florida State Board of Massage License Testing through her business, Body Knowledge Spa. Allison has a whole-body whole-life approach and believes in healing and nurturing through touch. Known for approaching her sessions, clients and life with empathy, helpfulness and knowledge, she takes pride in being professional, soulful and intuitive. When she isn’t working, Allison enjoys being in nature and spending time with her family and friends.

Cara Levitt, M.S., ERYT500, ATR-BC, Vedic Thai

Cara started her journey using the process of art making to feel better, to express herself and find her spirit. She has worked in the field of art therapy since 2005, helping others express and heal themselves through art making. In 2013, her path took a turn towards yoga and meditation.

She dove deep into yoga and teacher training. She studied vinyasa, aerial yoga and acro yoga. She then immersed herself in not just asanas, but the spiritual, energetics, and yoga philosophy. She studied Vedic Thai yoga, Yin yoga, Restorative yoga, anatomy and physiology, energy anatomy, the chakras, and even took a retreat to India.

As her practice evolved, she became more and more drawn to Vedic Thai Yoga. It is a combination of meditation, assisted stretching and myofascial release. It was the true balance of movement, mindfulness and healing. It’s an art that leavers her feeling energized and her clients feeling better. She is passionate about the healing arts and is dedicated to creating a safe space for others to find creativity, inner peace and healing!