Your Providers
Mark Sylvester, 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.

Harris Friedman, PhD

Dr. Friedman is a licensed clinician, but currently serves only on the Board of FCITT, while periodically providing supervision to other FCITT providers. 


Dr. Friedman was born and raised in Florida.  He moved to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Emory University, where he received his bachelor's degree in psychology and master's degree in sociology, and then his doctorate in clinical psychology from Georgia State University.  He did post-graduate work at Duke University and University of California Berkeley, and completed his pre-doctoral internship at Emory University’s Grady Hospital.  After completing this training, he returned to Florida, where he has lived since.  He completed a post-doctoral internship at University of Florida, where he has remained affiliated for many years, recently retiring as a Research Full Professor but remaining on the faculty as a Courtesy Full Professor.  He has also been on the faculty of a number of other colleges and universities, retiring as Professor Emeritus at Saybrook University and now teaching part-time at Goddard College, both schools that allow him to live in Florida and teach remotely.


As an active academic, Dr. Friedman is internationally known as a researcher and author of over 200 papers, many in top-rated psychology and general science journals.  He has also published many books, the most recent being The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology (2013), The Praeger Handbook of Social Justice and Psychology, Volumes 1-3 (2014), and Transcultural Competence (2015, American Psychological Association Books).  He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and in 2015 received its Humanistic Psychology Division's prestigious Abraham Maslow Award for "exploring the farther reaches of human spirit."


Throughout most of his academic career, Dr. Friedman has also been in the private practice of both clinical and consulting psychology, and is board certified in both areas through the American Board of Professional Psychology.  He has focused much of his applied work on creating and managing nonprofits bringing clinical psychology services to underserved populations, as well as has consulted globally in many cultures to corporations and governments. In 2003, he received Florida Psychological Association’s annual award for “Outstanding Contributions in the Public Interest.”  As a practicing clinical psychologist, he is known for his work in providing innovative psychotherapies, and in using new technologies, such as virtual reality applications and telehealth, for making psychological services more accessible for everyone.



​Sarasota Addiction Specialists offers a group environment for clients to become informed about addiction. We provide proven, evidence-based instruction for relapse prevention and strategies for maintaining a drug-free lifestyle. Our program can be utilized as a first attempt at treatment, or as a step-down in care from inpatient treatment, allowing a safe, gradual reintegration into the community. Through empathy, experience, and information, we strive to inspire hope and confidence in anyone seeking freedom from addiction



Director of Support Services


David was raised in the Bronx, New York by a family who wouldn’t put up with his addiction and all the chaos and heartbreak that came with it. Their healthy boundaries were a big part of catapulting David into recovery. David brings an outstanding 35 years of personal recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, ten years of professional experience in recovery support services, and eight years experience as director of a residential school for troubled teenagers. Today, David is a Nationally Certified Intervention Practitioner (NCIP), a Nationally Certified Recovery Coach (NCRC-I), a Certified Addiction Counselor by the State of Florida, and a trained professional who truly cares.


Abigail Butterfield, ARNP

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 as 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.


Laura Lyn Zane M.A., L.M.H.C

I am a licensed therapist in the State of Florida and owner of Sage Synergy. If you’re willing to dive deep and do some personal work to get through to a better you, you have found the right place in Sage Synergy! I will help you heal, feel happier and enjoy life again. I’ll bring the tea, you bring a willing heart, mind and soul.

Oh, and here is the technical stuff:

My Education and Experience

I graduated from the University of South Florida in 2002 with a Master’s Degree in Mental Health and School Guidance Counseling. Following graduation, I worked at several non-profits, spent 10 years with Sarasota County Schools as a Guidance Counselor and have over 13 years experiences providing 1:1 counseling with adults and children. As a Qualified Mental Health Supervisor from the state of Florida and having previously done professional team building, I serve as a leader in the among my peers. I am a life-long learner, attending continuing education courses to stay current on the latest research of the various issues. I have been trained and am knowledgeable in various treatment and modalities including, but not limited to: Perinatal Mood Disorders, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, Solution-Focused Therapy, Play Therapy, Art Therapy, and many others. My experience has given me specialties in anxiety, depression, Highly Sensitive People and women’s issues.


Clinical Director and Supervisor


Dr. Benson is a highly respected professional, and a compassionate, skilled psychotherapist who oversees and directs our recovery support services. Her extensive credentials are as follows: Licensed Mental Health Counselor (License # MH9970), qualified supervisor in the state of Florida, Certified Addictions Professional, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Doctor in Education in Counselor Education and Supervision.


Director of Operations


Cole Young is an empathetic counselor who specializes in empowering individuals to overcome their personal struggles with addictions in all forms. He has been active in the therapeutic community since 2005 when he worked as a adolescent counselor at a boarding school for troubled teenagers. In years since, he has worked as a sober companion and recovery coach for teenagers and adults struggling with substance abuse. His years of experience in recovery, personally and professionally, inform an effective approach to treatment. His professional credentials include a Certification in Addictions Counseling by the Florida Certification Board.

Our Practice


At FCITT, we pride ourselves on having the highest qualified psychiatrists, advanced registered nurse practitioners, psychotherapists, social workers, and clinical resource liaisons, who provide the highest quality mental health care to our patients and clients. 


Our services are conveniently provided via the use of secure video conferencing, making it easy to see any of our clinicians in the privacy and comfort of a home, office, community medical facility, rural health clinic, or any other location with access to a computer, secure internet connection, web camera, and microphone.

FCITT is dedicated to providing convenient, affordable, accessible psychiatric and psycho-therapeutic services, including medication management, to under or uninsured individuals, under-served populations, and the general public, via secure video conferencing.


If you are in crisis situation, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room or crisis stabilization unit immediately.






















June 10, 2016:

Dr. Mark Sylvester on WSRQ Radio

Dr. Mark Sylvester spoke on HealthCheck radio on the topics of anxiety, depression, and the burgeoning field of telepsychiatry!


June 8, 2016:

SHRP Bring OD Prevention Training to Sarasota

Working under the guidance of Dr. Mark Sylvester, SHRP trained community members in how to use naloxone, an opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of overdose from substances like heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain pills. Read the article here!

February 10, 2016

Dr. Sylvester on WSLR Radio

Our own Dr. Mark Sylvester  is interviewed by Stratosphere hosts Nancy and Andrea about the exciting new practice of telepsychiatry and telepsychotherapy. Listen to the interview here!



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