Catherine G. Corto-Mergins, LCSW

Director, Training / Collaborative Trauma Center


As director of training for The Village, Catherine is responsible for ensuring that the clinical staff receive the training they need to provide the best treatment and care to our clients. Also, as director of The Village’s Collaborative Trauma Center, she oversees implementation of this federally-funded grant program, which enables The Village to offer more evidence-based treatment options for children and teens affected by trauma. If that isn’t enough, she is a certified “master trainer” and provides training and consultation to statewide providers of MDFT (multidimensional family therapy).

Catherine joined The Village in 1992 as a clinician in our outpatient clinic, and went on to direct various programs including child guidance, community-based adolescent programs, and community-based clinical programs.

“Many of the families that come to The Village have lost sight of hope due to a number of circumstances they have encountered in their lives,” says Catherine. “I see our job here as doing ‘whatever it takes’ to help them regain that hope for a better today and tomorrow for their family.”

Prior to The Village, she held several social work positions at Hartford Neighborhood Centers, Charter Oak /Rice Heights Health Center, New Britain General Hospital adolescent partial hospital program, and UConn Law School mental health legal clinic.

Catherine is a member of the steering committee of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, which was established to improve access to care, treatment and services for children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events. She also serves on the National Association of Social Worker’s Latino network mentoring program.

Catherine has been named Family Champion by the CT Council of Family Service Agencies and Employee of the Year by The Village.

A licensed clinical social worker, Catherine earned her master’s in social work from UConn and bachelor’s in social work and Spanish from St. Joseph College (Universidad de Valencia).

What quote best captures your personal philosophy?
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Muhammad Ali

What is something unexpected that most people don’t know about you?
I did an Outward Bound course on Hurricane Island, which included being left alone on an small island for 24 hours for a solo experience. I was only allowed to take a gallon of water, a small square of fruit/protein compote, a tarp, sleeping bag, and a foraging guide. It was a self-defining experience!

What would you most want the clients of The Village to know about you?
As a lifelong Hartford resident and adoptive mother of two children, I want people that come to The Village to be treated the same way I would want my family treated, from the minute they walk in the door to the last encounter they have with us. I work hard every day to make that happen.