Our Staff Members
Diakon Family Life Services employs highly educated, dedicated and caring professionals to help you, when you are most in need. We invite you to read more about them. (Location indicates sites at which the staff member offers counseling.)
Diakon Family Life Services is led by Laurel Spencer, Executive Director.
Capital Region Outpatient Counseling Staff
Teresa Crayton, M.Ed., LPC, Therapist (Mechanicsburg)
Teresa Crayton’s specialty areas include trauma, Christian counseling, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, typically referred to as ADHD, and cognitive behavioral therapy. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has completed training in working with sexual abuse victims/sexual offenders as well as in such topics as balance, self-care, nutrition, exercise and self-soothing skills. She continues to work on earning specialized certification to treat trauma.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology, Teresa worked for seven years at The Stevens Center in Carlisle in various staff positions in the Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services program before joining Diakon. She also holds her master’s degree in counseling from Shippensburg University.
Teresa volunteers with shelter care services at the Schaffner Youth Center in Steelton and also has facilitated a church-based support group for childhood victims of sexual abuse.
Elaine C. Riel, M.A., CADC, Therapist (Mechanicsburg)
As a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor, Elaine Riel has specialties including drug and alcohol counseling, mental health therapy, trauma, the concerns of older adults and intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Since she began her career in the early 1990s, Elaine has worked with seriously mentally ill individuals and those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as people dealing with drug and alcohol abuse problems.
She previously managed the mental health partial hospitalization program at Philhaven, a mental and behavioral health care provider in south central Pennsylvania.
Charles Richey, M.S.W., LSW, Therapist (Mechanicsburg & School-Based Services)
A Licensed Social Worker, Charles Richey graduated from Temple Harrisburg with a master’s degree in social work in 2015. His interests in the field include Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
He worked previously for Northwestern Human Services on an Assertive Community Treatment team in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, serving adult clients.
Before that, he served at the United Methodist Children’s Home in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, working in the mental health field with bilingual adolescents in school and residential settings. Charles completed his undergraduate work in 2008 at Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, earning a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in teaching English as a second language.
Upper Susquehanna Region Outpatient Counseling Staff
Alysa Amato, M.S.W., LSW, Therapist (Williamsport & School-Based Services)
Alyssa Amato is a licensed social worker who obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from West Virginia University. She has spent the greater part of her career working with children and families in various practice settings including juvenile probation, group work with pregnant and parenting teens in school settings, home visits, and school-based services with Early Head Start and Head Start.
Currently, Alyssa provides school-based outpatient services to students in the Williamsport Area Senior High School; she also serves individuals, families and groups at our Williamsport center with a focus on people experiencing grief and loss, separation or divorce, anxiety, depression, behavioral issues and trauma.
Michele R. Barrows, ICCJP, CCJP, Therapist (Montoursville)
Michele Barrows has provided direct care for 27 years, having worked with clients of all ages. During her career, she has held such positions as supervisor, manager, facility and project director and acting president. Her experience includes program planning and development, management, licensing, credentialing and billing. She notes that, regardless of position, she has always maintained a caseload because of her love for direct care.
Michelle has specialities and areas of interest including addiction, trauma and co-occurring disorders. She has completed a 51-hour series in Core Competencies for Integral Practice with Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.
Sylvia Beiler, M.S., CJSOTS, CAACD, Therapist (Montoursville)
Sylvia Beiler’s specialty areas include marriage/relationship and individual counseling, parenting skills, childhood trauma, drug and alcohol treatment, autism spectrum disorder, and anxiety and depression treatment. She is a Certified Juvenile Sexual Offender Treatment Services, Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a certified Marriage and Family Therapist.
Sylvia joined Diakon as a therapist in the Specialized In-Home Treatment Services program, or SPIN, and then moved to outpatient mental health therapy. Her prior clinical experience includes 13 years as a foster care/adoption case management program coordinator, 14 years in private psychotherapy practice and four years as clinical supervisor of a drug and alcohol inpatient program.
Lenora J. Broda, LPC, Therapist (Lewisburg)
A Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor, Lenora Broda maintains specialties in such areas as creative expression, strengths-based/solution-focused approach for co-occurring and trauma-related issues, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy skills building.
She has completed advanced training in trauma as a provider in Cognitive Processing Therapy and co-occurring trainings for drug and alcohol and mental health diagnoses. She also has training and experience in building a fundamental meditation practice as part of coping skills.
Lenora’s clinical experience include 20 years in therapy services, as well as eight years in case management in the human services field. She has worked with families, couples, individuals, youth, teens, adults and seniors.
Scott L. Carpenter, LSW, CAADC, ICAADC, Therapist, Team Leader (Williamsport and Montoursville)
Scott Carpenter spent the first part of his career in the military and in corrections but then transitioned to service as a counselor in a residential treatment program for male sex offenders ages 13 to 18. He then worked some 15 years as a therapist for an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment center, serving both youths and adults.
A military veteran, he holds a master’s of social work degree and includes among this specialties and areas of clinical interest drug and alcohol, recovery, addictions, military veterans’ concerns, Reality/Choice Theory, marriage and couples therapy, PTSD and trauma.
In addition to having received leadership training in the military, he has taken part in advanced training in Reality/Choice Theory and clinical supervisor. He also has held a certificate of proficiency in problem gambling treatment.
Morgan Churchill, MA, LPC, Therapist (Williamsport & School-Based Services)
Morgan Churchill is a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in working with adolescents and families. She currently provides school-based services in Lycoming County as well as individual and family services in the Williamsport office. Her areas of interest and expertise include anxiety, depression, behavioral issues, grief/loss and trauma.
Her clinical background includes several years of work as an addictions counselor with both adolescents and adults; she has extensive experience with populations involved in both juvenile and adult probation and other court programs.
Additionally, Morgan serves on the board of directors for the AIDS Resource Alliance.
Kelly Eichenlaub, M.S., LPC, Therapist (School-Based Services)
Kelly Eichenlaub brings a number of years of service to her work, having worked as both a therapist and supervisor in a dual-diagnosis outpatient center before joining Diakon.
She employs individual, group and couples therapy in her work with children, adolescents and adults. Licensed as a professional counselor, she will soon gain National Certified Counselor Certification upon completion of graduate coursework. In 2018, she received a Behavioral Health Certificate for working with veterans and their families; in addition, she has completed trainings for work in drug and alcohol services and with survivors of domestic violence.
Her clinical interests include dual-diagnoses, grief, mood disorders, personality disorders and trauma.
She also has served as a volunteer with a women’s resource center.
Tracy Ericson, LSW, Therapist (Lewisburg)
A Licensed Social Worker, Tracy Ericson has a special interest in Christian and faith-based counseling. Her specialty areas include parenting issues, foster children, children being raised by grandparents or other family members, trauma/abuse and the connection between physical conditions and mental health. She also focuses on helping children, adolescents and adults manage depression and anxiety.
Tracy’s training includes trauma-informed care, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, motivational interviewing and the neurological/physiological aspects of mental health.
Before joining the staff of Diakon Family Life Services in 2007, Tracy spent more than 20 years working with children and adolescents in group homes and inpatient psychiatric and day hospital programs, as well as in mobile therapy as a behavior specialist.
Amanda Hassler, M.S., Therapist (School-Based Services)
Amanda Hassler graduated from Purdue University global with a master’s degree in human services, with a concentration in organizational and social services.
She serves clients in the Lycoming Valley Intermediate School, Curtin Intermediate School and Cochran Primary School.
Before working as a school-based therapist, she spent four years in community-based behavioral health care.
Her areas of interest include working with children and adolescents’ anxiety, depression, behavioral issues and low self-respect.
Jennifer Hess, NCC, Clinical Team Leader (Lewisburg)
A Nationally Certified Counselor, Jen Hess earned a master’s degree in counseling from Messiah College, with a concentration in Marriage, Couples and Family Therapy. She has more than 15 years of experience in working with populations ranging from children on the autism spectrum and adolescents with behaviorial disorders to adults with mental health and substance-use disorders.
Her areas of concentration include couples and family therapy, anxiety, depression, substance use disorders and trauma.
She primiarly uses Motivational Interviewing and Dialectical Behavior Therapy and has spent part of the last seven years working with medication-assisted treatment for substance-use disorders.
Adrienne Karaban-Purtell, M.S., Therapist (School-Based Services)
A school-based counselor, Adrienne Karaban-Purtell earned a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Her areas of clinical interest include children and adolescents, anxiety and depression, mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused CBT and holistic mental health.
With nearly a decade of service providing services to youths, families and adults, she has received special training in Trauma-Focused CBT and Play Therapy. Previously, she worked for Diakon Family Life Services as an outpatient therapist and a staff member with Diakon’s Specialized In-Home Program. She also completed internships at a partial-hospitalization setting, leading group therapy sessions that focused on holistic mental health treatment as well as a community services group employing family and group therapy.
William G. Krieger, Ph.D., Therapist (Lewisburg)
William Krieger has been a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania since 1981, having served with the Commonwealth for 28 years including a period as director of psychology at the Harrisburg State Hospital. Since 2007, he has provided community-based outpatient therapy.
In addition to his licensure, he has participated in continuing education focused on Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, anxiety, depression, the biological underpinnings of behavior, habit forming and breaking, relaxation techniques and learning and maintaining coping skills and management systems.
His clinical interests include Cognitive Behavior Therapy, reframing and mindfulness, automatic thoughts and negative-thinking traps, relaxation and coping skills, reflective listening and cooperative reasoning and the use of these tools to reduce anxiety, depression and conflict.
“I enjoy seeing the gains that people make as a result of exploring themselves and making successful changes that increase their satisfaction with life and improve their sense of well-being,” he says.
Kathryn McCarty-Welch, M.S., NCC, Therapist (Williamsport)
Kathryn McCarty-Welch includes among her interests substance abuse, adolescents and trauma.
A National Certified Counselor, she also holds certification in Rational Living Therapy-Level 1 and has received additional training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
She has experience in working with adults, children and adolescents with a focus on mental health and substance-use issues.
Nancy Morgan, LSW, Therapist (Williamsport & Lewisburg)
Nancy Morgan’s specialty areas include children and adolescents, couples and parenting. She is a Licensed Social Worker and has worked with individuals ranging in age from 4 to 80.
She believes counseling can help to address depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, emotion regulation, stress, life transitions, relationship issues and parenting challenges.
Nancy’s approach is to help each person identify his or her gifts and talents, provide psycho-education and teach techniques to help heal both the mind and soul. She uses a combination of therapy methods, including solution-based, cognitive behavioral, and psycho-education, within the context of systems and structural models.
Christopher A. Moser, LSW, Clinical Coordinator (Williamsport)
A Licensed Social Worker, Christopher Moser earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in social work from Marywood University.
His 20 years of experience include working with child, adolescent and adult trauma survivors, treatment of juvenile sexual issues, empowering populations with special needs, grief counseling and treatment of awide range of mental health conditions. Christopher is a professor of psychology and a trauma-informed practice instructor. He also is Diakon’s clinical coordinator overseeing therapists in the Williamsport location and the Lycoming County school-based counseling program.
His treatment approach inspires health and healing by fostering meaningful connections, enhancing self-respect and promoting resilience to overcome personal challenges. He uses a variety of treatment methods including rational emotive therapy, solution-based therapy, trauma-focused therapy, psychoanalytical techniques, faith-based approaches and specialized education.
Karen B. Nicholson, M.A., Therapist (Lewisburg)
Karen Nicholson brings many years of experience to her work, having served as a mental health therapist, behavioral health and mobile therapist and, before that, staff member, including warden, within the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Her clinical specialties include autism, ADHD, grief, depression and development of behavior plans. She holds a master’s degree from Kent State and, within the community, has served as a board member of Green Dragon, Susquehanna Valley Mediation and the Union County YMCA. A foster parent, she has served as a court-ordered advocate for neglected and abused children.
Jennifer Panaccio, M.A., Therapist (Williamsport & School-Based Services)
A mental health therapist for Diakon Family Life Services’ Williamsport office and school-based services in local school districts, Jennifer Panaccio maintains specialty areas including marital and family therapy and clinical art therapy. Specific clinical interests encompass anxiety, mood disorders, grief and loss concerns, and parenting issues.
She has advanced training in trauma-focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
In her more than 10 years of clinical experience, Jennifer has worked in outpatient therapy with children, families, couples and individuals and also has provided school-based therapy.
Further, she has extensive experience in nonprofit, community-based agencies.
Christina Robidoux, LPC, CAADC, NCC, Therapist (Williamsport)
Christina Robidoux has a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling with a concentration in working with adolescents and children as well as individuals who have experienced trauma and addiction issues and who have received medically assisted treatment. Her clinical interests and specialties include individuals who struggle with trauma in their backgrounds, depression, anxiety, self-respect, anger management and addiction.
A Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor, she also has received training in LGBTQ-informed and trauma-informed counseling. She brings 14 years of experience in human services to her current role.
Christina has worked with individuals in end-of-life care; she began working as an addictions counselor following college and has served as an advocate for MAT services in the community. In addition, she has facilitated trauma groups for women and men and worked with individuals convicted of sex offenses; she is working on obtaining sex-offender treatment specialist certifications.
Vanessa Shellman, M.S., BSL (Williamsport School-Based Services)
Holding a Behavior Specialist License, Vanessa Shellman has worked in inpatient, outpatient and partial-hospitalization programs, as well as in methadone clinics, where she served as team leader and co-facilitated the federal probation and parole drug-court program.
With areas of clinical interest including behavioral intervention and drug- and alcohol-focused therapy, she also has worked as an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist, serving children on the autism spectrum.
Additional experience includes service as a Behavioral Specialist, Mobile Therapist and Clinical Supervisor.
Andrea Silverstrim, M.Ed., LPC, CAADC, Therapist (Williamsport & Montoursville)
Andrea Silverstrim brings 15 years of experience to her role.
She has worked with both adults and teens on mental health and substance-use disorders.
Among accreditations, she is a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor.
Employing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing approaches, she lists among her specialties and areas of clinical interest substance use disorders, adult children of alcoholics, anxiety and depression.
Kaitlin Ulsamer, LPC, Therapist (Williamsport)
A Licensed Professional Counselor, Kaitlin Ulsamer earned her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling.
Her specialities include individual, group and couples counseling with a focus on adolescents and adults with co-occurring disorders, mood disorders, trauma, LGBTQ-related concerns and addiction.
Her areas of clinical interest include co-occurring disorders, trauma and couples counseling.