Rebecca Baldwin, Executive Director
Rebecca Baldwin is the Executive Director of Saratoga Center for the Family. Rebecca has spent her career focusing on children and families who’s lives have been impacted by trauma. She has worked across the Capital District creating and expanding community programming and facilitating community partnerships. Her experience ranges from Domestic Violence to Substance Abuse; Prevention and Mental Health to Foster Care.
Rebecca obtained her Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. After working in the field for a number of years, she returned to graduate school and obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Social Work Administration from the University at Albany.
Rebecca has spent the majority of her life in Saratoga County, where she is happy to remain living, working, and raising her two children.
Jennifer Wormley, Associate executive director
Jennifer Wormley is the Associate Executive Director of Saratoga Center for the Family. Jennifer’s career began working in the mental health field in several positions before joining the agency as the Director of the Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center for 11 years. She has always known that no matter what role she is in, her ultimate goal is to help others.
Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Rochester and her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Canisius College before relocating with her husband and three sons from western New York to the Saratoga area.
She believes it takes an educated and involved community to protect children and that child abuse prevention is everyone’s responsibility. She is a firm believer in the healing properties of humor and one of her favorite quotes, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”
Michelle Ducrot, administrative director
Michelle Ducrot is the Administrative Director for Saratoga Center for the Family. With almost 20 years working in varying office administration roles, Michelle transitioned into the non-profit world and joined the administrative team at SCFF in 2018.
Michelle attended UMass Dartmouth where she majored in Business Management. An avid community volunteer, Michelle served on the Saratoga Independent School Board of Trustees where she chaired the Marketing Committee and served on the Development, Strategic Planning, and Executive Committees. She was also a member of the school's Campus Planning and Advisory Board and has worked with several community groups such as LLL International and Sling Babies, a local baby-wearing instruction and support group.
After bouncing from Massachusetts to D.C. to California to Virginia to New York, Michelle is happy to have (finally!) put down roots in Saratoga. When not working, Michelle enjoys the outdoors (snowshoeing, hiking, kayaking, camping, and letterboxing), spending time with her daughters, and wrangling a menagerie of pets (one dog, three cats, several fish, gerbils, hermit crabs... and a partridge in a pear tree).
Kayleigh Fisher, Administrative Associate
Kayleigh Fisher is an Administrative Associate at Saratoga Center for the Family. She has over 10 years of experience working in the customer service field. Always willing to help anyone with administrative questions or tasks, Kayleigh has become a true asset as the frontline face of the Center.
Kayleigh, who grew up in a small town in Upstate New York, now resides in Saratoga Springs. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her young daughter. Whether it be walking to feed their mini ponies or going to the beach, Kayleigh and her daughter are always exploring the area for new and fun things to do.
Amy Radik, Development Coordinator
Amy Radik is the Development Coordinator at Saratoga Center for the Family. She has over 20 years of experience in public relations, fundraising, marketing and development. Amy has worked in the healthcare and educational industries and is excited to utilize her background at a non-profit organization that believes in the importance of both a healthy and educated community. With the Center’s mission being to reduce the effects of abuse, trauma and family dysfunction through advocacy, education, and mental health therapy, Amy has found that the Saratoga community and surrounding areas have been a huge support system in helping the Center see its mission through.
Amy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Public Communications from The College of Saint Rose and her Master of Arts: Liberal Studies/Urban Youth from SUNY Empire State College.
Diane Parrish, Administrative Associate
Diane Parrish has been part of the Administrative team at Saratoga Center for the Family since the fall of 2011. She earned a Bachelor’s degree a long time ago but has always worked in client and customer service related fields. Diane enjoys assisting the clients and therapists on a daily basis.
She says she is blessed to be able to work and live in Saratoga.
Child Advocacy Staff
Nicole Iwaniec, Child Advocacy Center & Victim Services Coordinator
Nicole earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Siena College where she majored in Marketing and Communications and minored in Psychology. After graduating, Nicole went to work as a Case Manager/Case Manager Supervisor in an Intensive Management Needs program within a residential treatment center. The facility serves children who have experienced multiple traumas, were victims of abuse, struggled with mental health issues and exhibited severe behavioral issues. Nicole has almost 30 years of experience working collaboratively with adolescents, guardians, extended family members, clinical staff, school personnel, social services agencies and legal personnel. Nicole has extensive knowledge of the legal system as well as the mental health system.
Nicole has held the position of Victim Services Coordinator since 2015 and currently serves as the Child Advocacy Center & Victim Services Coordinator here at the Saratoga Center for the Family’s Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center. She is responsible for the oversight of day-to-day operations of the Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center and works with people who have been victims of a crime in a supportive role so that they can begin to heal from traumatic events. She is passionate about her work and works hard to bring a voice to those who may have had theirs silenced.
GLEN VIDNANSKY, MDT COORDINATOR
Glen graduated from SUNY Oswego with a B.A. in Public Justice and a minor in Forensic Science. He served 20 years with the Saratoga Springs Police Department with 16 ½ of those years as an Investigator.
While at the Police Department, Glen was assigned to the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force for 7 years and New York State Police Internet Crimes Against Children for 8 years.
John Kelly, safe harbour Coordinator
John worked for the Saratoga Springs Police Department for 25 years. During his time there he worked as a D.A.R.E. Officer and Saratoga Springs School Resource Officer.
As the Safe Harbour Coordinator, John works in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team to identify and assist victims of human trafficking. John also provides community outreach and education in order to decrease the instances of human trafficking in our communities.
DEREK TEFFT, OUTREACH COORDINATOR
Derek Tefft is the Outreach Coordinator of Saratoga Center for the Family. Derek returned to the Saratoga Springs region after spending 14 years living and working in Central New York. He received his Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University and went on to receive his Master of Science in Child and Family Global Health from the same institution.
With more than six years of experience working in child abuse prevention, education, and community outreach and mobilization, Derek is thrilled to bring his energy and passion to educate and serve children, families, and community members in his hometown area.
In his free time, Derek enjoys volunteering, traveling, attending live music events, and rooting for the Syracuse Orange.
Clinical Staff - Center & Community Based
Wende W. Tedesco, LCSW-R, Clinical Director of Center and community based programming
Ms. Tedesco graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelors of Social Work and Minors in Sociology and Psychology, and earned her Masters of Social Work from the State University of Albany. Ms. Tedesco’s early clinical experience was strongly influenced by attending trainings with many of the pioneers of child and family therapy including: Albert Ellis, Carl Rogers, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Salvatore Minuchin, Michael White, the solution-focused work of Insoo Kim Berg, and the groundbreaking work of Ross Greene and Stuart Ablon with children in the Collaborative Problem Solving approach. She has devoted the majority of her career to working with adolescents and their families in a residential treatment center. Ms. Tedesco became an administrator in clinical services and focused on program development, outcome and efficacy of clinical service provision; including implementation of an evidence-based education and treatment model within a residential program. Most recently, she has worked on assessment and treatment of youth experiencing suicidal ideation or those who engaged in non-suicidal self- injury and those experiencing overwhelming anxiety.
Ms. Tedesco believes in a positive emphasis on psychoeducation, brain-based research, and mindfulness and healing tools for trauma.
Sheri Fortin, LMHC, Mental Health therapist
Sheri Fortin's background includes working with persons as young as preschool to elementary age to adults of various ages with mental health diagnoses, trauma, and other personal and environmental challenges. For the past three years, Sheri worked with adolescent girls at a residential facility. These diverse experiences have given Sheri a holistic perspective into the developmental needs of clients across the lifespan and how they intersect with available mental health services, schools, and other community agencies.
Sheri earned her A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education from Hudson Valley Community College; her B.A. in Human Behavior from Skidmore College, and her M.S. in Education: Mental Health Counseling from The College of Saint Rose. She has received training in Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Level I and II; Safe TALK-Tell Ask Listen KeepSafe; Assist-Applied Suicide Intervention Skills; Mental Health First Aid USA; Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Youth and their Non-Offending Caregivers; and Core Essential Skills for Experienced Caseworkers.
In her free time, Sheri enjoys spending time with her adopted dog and cat, family and friends, kayaking, being in nature, and knitting.
Cait McNamee, MHC-LP, Community Based Therapist
Cait McNamee is a mental health therapist with Saratoga Center for the Family. She is currently working with individuals impacted by COVID-19.
Cait earned her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at The College of Saint Rose and her BA in Public Justice and Psychology at SUNY Oswego. While at SUNY Oswego, Cait worked with individuals impacted by addiction by providing emotional support as they completed a drug treatment program. Cait also volunteered her time in a local Correctional Facility tutoring inmates working toward their GED. While Cait was working on her Master’s degree, she worked inpatient mental health and focused on providing support groups to improve coping skills for her patients. During this time, Cait also interned with the American Cancer Society providing therapy to those individuals and their families impacted by a life-threatening illness. Cait later joined Saratoga Hospital working with individuals going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment along with providing emotional support and resources to their family members.
Cait joined Saratoga Center for the Family because she wanted to provide 1:1 support to those individuals who have emotionally been impacted by the life stressors and changes COVID-19 has brought forth. Cait works from a Person-Centered approach and incorporates Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with her clients. She believes in meeting individuals where they are at and providing a supportive environment for clients to express their wants and needs.
“I wanted to work for Saratoga Center for the family because I strongly believe in the power of positive 1:1 therapeutic relationships. I love working with individuals of all ages because it allows me to tap into my creativity by meeting new clients of all different backgrounds, strengths, and perspectives. It allows me to constantly find new ways to empower individuals and I truly love that,” says Cait.
Cait is married with four children and loves being outdoors with her family. In her free time, Cait enjoys running, cooking, traveling, and Crossfit. Cait’s family keeps her busy and motivates her to live life in the moment!
Hannah Rawlings, LCSW, Mental Health Therapist
Hannah Rawlings is a mental health therapist at Saratoga Center for the Family. Hannah earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York. Hannah worked at a not-for-profit education facility for eight years. There she co-directed an adolescent parenting and mentorship program in the community. Hannah enjoys working with children and adolescents and decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Work during that time.
Following graduation, Hannah spent six years co-managing a cottage at a treatment facility. There she engaged adolescents in individual and family therapy through the use of individualized, clinical interventions and milieu treatment.
Hannah believes people do the best they can with what they have. Therapy can be helpful to support families and individuals giving them tools for increased, positive communication and ways of coping differently with successful outcomes. Hannah believes people heal through supportive relationships and family therapy can provide a way to improve family functioning long term. We all could use more awareness and less guilt.
When not at work Hannah reads, cooks, enjoys farming and time spent with friends.
ANDRA LEIGH SCHUETTINGER, LMHC, Mental Health Therapist
Andra Leigh Schuettinger earned both her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Counseling and Community Psychology from the Sage Colleges.
Since graduating with her Master’s degree, Andra Leigh has primarily worked with children and adolescents. She began her career at St. Catherine’s Center for Children working with families in Berne, NY.
Andra Leigh then worked at the YWCA Northeastern NY, providing trauma therapy to children who experienced trauma as well as their non-offending caregiver. She also facilitated a group for non-offending caregivers on co-parenting with their former partners. After leaving YWCA Northeastern NY, Andra Leigh began working as a Youth Therapist at Unity House of Troy. There, she provided one-on-one therapy to children who experienced trauma and facilitated groups in local schools regarding teen dating violence.
Andra Leigh believes that in helping families, we can heal a community, and the world. In talk therapy, Andra Leigh incorporates Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
In her free time, Andra Leigh loves to cuddle her cats, spend time with her husband, and explore museums.
Paula Zimmerman, LMHC, Mental Health therapist
Paula earned her Master’s Degree in School Counseling at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She is licensed in New York State as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and she has worked in the field for over 21 years. Paula is a certified LGBT-Affirmative Therapy Provider.
Paula provided therapy and case management to adolescents and their families in a Residential Foster Care Facility for over 10 years. She provided individual, family, and group therapy. These adolescents presented with various struggles, including anger management, depression, anxiety, impulse control, history of having been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused, chronically running away, self-injurious behaviors, grief and loss, and developmental delays. Prior to that, Paula worked in schools with grades Kindergarten through 12th, while based out of a non-profit agency, providing therapy to children, teenagers, and their families. She also worked with adults and teens in a supportive housing program, counseling them in their homes to build skills in overcoming the mental health struggles they experienced.
Paula is certified in LGBT-Affirmative Therapy, and she continues her training in LGBTQIA+ studies on an ongoing basis. Providing support and affirmation to people of the LGBTQIA+ community is a passion for Paula. She has been trained in the Collaborative Problem Solving model by Massachusetts General Hospital, in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Intensive Training workshops. This model emphasizes parents and their children, and counselors/teachers/other professionals and children to develop solutions to problems together so that all parties are invested in the agreed upon plan. In addition, she has been trained in Distance Counseling.
Paula’s overall view of people’s experiences in life and therapy is an Existential one, as each individual experiences the world in a unique manner, and that his, her, their, or zir belief of reality, is indeed reality. She utilizes skills from the Cognitive-Behavioral and Person-Centered frameworks. Paula has a good sense of timing with clients, knowing when to encourage or gently challenge them to consider making changes, and when to allow clients to simply tell their stories. For Paula, the therapeutic relationship between the therapist and the client is an equal, collaborative one.
CLINICAL STAFF - SCHOOL BASED
Megan Heeder, LMHC, Clinical director OF school based programming
Megan Heeder is Saratoga Center for the Family’s Clinical Director of School Based Programming.
Megan earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ithaca College. She has been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor since 2011 and says her approach to therapy is “holistic and psychodynamic,” helping people alleviate traumatic stress through a variety of techniques including Cognitive and Dialectical Behavioral Therapies, as well as narrative, self-regulatory and mindfulness-based strategies. Megan has extensive experience working with children in school-based settings where play therapy helps children communicate and express their feelings. Megan is currently being trained in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) to add to her repertoire of trauma treatment tools.
Prior to coming to Saratoga Center for the Family, Megan worked at Northwestern Counseling and Support Services in Vermont where she started and supervised a hospital diversion program to help adults in crisis. She then spent three years running a private practice consulting within a rural elementary school. In 2016, after relocating back to the area, Megan obtained her New York State license and joined the Neighborhood Center in Old Forge, NY, running an outpatient community mental health office.n.
Megan is married with two children and a dog. In her free time, she loves to spend time in nature hiking, camping, skiing, biking, swimming and boating in the Adirondacks and the 1000 Islands. Megan loves to travel and hopes to instill a sense of curiosity, adventure and non-judgmentalism in her children.
Erica Buhler, LCSW-R, clinical coordinator for school based programming
Erica Buhler, LCSW-R, is a Mental Health Therapist at Saratoga Center for the Family. Erica began her career in human services as a case manager at Unity House of Troy, a human service agency, working with people suffering from severe and persistent mental illness, homelessness, substance abuse issues and HIV/AIDS. This position sparked Erica’s passion to continue her education to become a licensed therapist.
Erica earned both her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from University at Albany in Social Welfare and Social Work respectively. During her undergraduate studies, Erica interned at St. Anne Institute, Albany, in the Residential Services program which serves young women and their families from throughout New York State. Her second internship, during graduate studies, was with Albany County Correctional Facility providing counseling through the facility’s mental health unit.
With degree in hand, Erica took a position as a Functional Family Therapist at Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth. She earned her license and was soon offered a position with St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam as a Psychiatric Social Worker for the children’s mental health unit, eventually being promoted as the outpatient addiction services supervisor. However, Erica missed the one-on-one sessions with families and children.
“I wanted to go back to where my passion truly lies, which is working closely with individuals and families to help them achieve their goals and I will be doing that here at Saratoga Center for the Family.” says Erica.
Erica says she focuses on cognitive behavior therapy and solution focused therapy with her clients. “This style is more of a short-term, goal-oriented treatment that takes a practical approach to problem-solving. We work together to challenge and change unhelpful thought processes and behaviors for the best results. ”
A resident of Ballston Spa, Erica and her husband have a three year old son. During her free time, she enjoys baking and cooking in general.
Vicki braunstein, LCSW, School Based therapist at shenendehowa school district
Vicki Leigh Braunstein is a mother, wife and a clinical social worker. She currently works as a therapist in both the Community and School Based Program at Saratoga Center for the Family.
Vicki has a BA in Fine and Applied Art from Curry College and The Museum School of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; MFA in Dance from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA and MSW from SUNY Albany School of Social Welfare, Albany, New York. In 1992, Vicki completed a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School, University of Utah) program that sparked a passion and love for nature, hiking and all outdoor activities. Vicki learned how to meditation as a young child and began practicing Hatha yoga in her early 20’s. From 2001-2005, she taught yoga and meditation as an adjunct faculty member at Temple University through the Dance Department. In 2010 and 2012, she co-taught an Alternative Therapy graduate social work course using her knowledge and skills of meditation, yoga for mindfulness and self-regulation. Vicki is a certified EMDR therapist and is earning her certification in TF-CBT.
As a clinician, she is focused on treating the whole person and tapping into their inherent strength and resiliency. She draws from art, story-telling, nature, self-care rituals, trauma processing (EMDR/TF-CBT), somatic, mindfulness, yoga and meditation, and relational psychotherapies to support people in achieving their therapeutic goals.
Valerie Keefer, LMHC, School Based Therapist at Shenendehowa School District
Valerie Keefer is a school based therapist for Saratoga Center for the Family working in the Shenendehowa School District. She earned her BA in psychology and MS in mental health counseling from SUNY Albany. She is a licensed mental health counselor who has been providing mental health services in the Capital Region for several years. Prior to working at Saratoga Center for the Family, she spent several years working at Northern Rivers in the home based prevention program in Schenectady, NY.
Valerie incorporates a trauma informed approach in her work and utilizes cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as well as person-centered approaches. She also likes to incorporate creative activities including games, play and art into her work.
In her free time, Valerie likes to spend time with her husband, family and friends and three cats.
CELIA HOLMES, LCSW, SCHOOL BASED THERAPIST AT BETHLEHEM SCHOOL DISTRICT
Celia Holmes is a School Based Therapist for Saratoga Center for the Family, working in the Bethlehem Central School District. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work from SUNY Albany. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been providing mental health treatment to children and families of the Capital Region for ten years. She worked in the community of Schenectady for Northern Rivers providing home based prevention services and then sexual abuse treatment for several years. Celia then worked in a private practice setting, working primarily with children and teens with mental health issues.
Celia specializes in trauma treatment and utilizes a variety of creative arts approaches in her treatment with children. Celia utilizes a systems-based framework to ensure she is fully assessing a client or family's environment and needs, while utilizing a client centered approach to treatment. Celia works collaboratively with her clients and families to ensure they reach their full potential and strives to engage clients of all backgrounds and ages, using creative methods, including play, art and overall silliness.
Celia spends her free time with her husband, daughter, and therapy dog. She enjoys knitting and hiking.
Kristin Johnson, LCSW, school based therapist at shenendehowa school district
Kristin earned her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from State University of New York at Albany in the School of Social Welfare in the Advanced Standing Program. She is licensed in New York State as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
On a professional level, Kristin has worked as a Therapist and Case Manager from 2005-2013 on an Intensive Needs Management Unit in a Residential Foster Care Facility. She worked with adolescents and their guardians (that consisted of collaboration of parents, extended family members, school personnel and social service departments) providing Individual, Family Therapy, and Case Management for an array of mental health issues. Kristin’s wide range of experience includes working with survivors of trauma, sexual and physical abuse, symptoms of post-traumatic stress, grief and loss, self-injurious behaviors, anxiety, depression, developmental delays and behavioral issues with children and families.
Kristin has been a Therapist at Saratoga Center for the Family since 2013, where she provides individual and family mental health psychotherapy with an emphasis on serving crime victims. She has experience working with children, adolescents and adults with a concentration on survivors of sexual and physical abuse, neglect, and domestic violence. Kristin is trained in many modalities of trauma treatments to help individuals heal from symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which includes, but are not limited to, Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Progressive Counting Technique, and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing). Kristin uses a wide range of treatment approaches including Strength Based, Solution Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to ensure she is meeting the client’s where they are at with their individual needs. Kristin views the client as the expert when it comes to their personal story, goals, and solutions and believes in a client centered approach that builds on a person’s already existing internal strengths and resources and forming a genuine and collaborative therapeutic relationship with individuals as they work to meet their goals.
Starting in October 2018, Kristin is now providing Individual and Family Therapy at a satellite office through Saratoga Center for the Family located at Shenendehowa Elementary Schools, serving the elementary aged children and their families during their school day whom attend Shatekon and Arongen School.
Allison Marinucci, LMSW, school based therapist at scotia Glenville school district
Allison is a Licensed Master Social Worker with over a decade of experience working with youth; previously working at Girl Scouts of Northeastern NY, and the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Rensselaer County. Most recent to Saratoga Center for the Family, Allison worked as crisis evaluator and a medical social worker at St. Peter's Hospital. Allison is certified in TF-CBT and incorporates, CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, mindfulness and art therapy in her practice. Allison believes in meeting the client where they are at, and overall wellness, both physical and mental. Allison incorporates yoga, meditation, and breath work in her practice, and encourages physical activity.
Allison lives in Niskayuna with her husband, her son and beloved retriever, Penny. Allison loves to hike and bike and opts outside whenever she gets a chance.
STACEY MCWHINNIE, LMHC, SCHOOL BASED THERAPIST AT SHENENDEHOWA SCHOOL DISTRICT
Stacey is a School Based Therapist at Saratoga Center for the Family. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Siena College and Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from SUNY Albany. She is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).
Stacey has primarily treated children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. She began her career at START Children’s Center providing Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to young children up to age 18 and also provided support to non-offending caregivers as they navigated their child’s treatment and the criminal justice system. She also completed trauma assessments for children in foster care through Rensselaer County DSS.
Stacey then worked for St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services providing trauma therapy, advocacy and support to high school students directly in Rensselaer County schools as well as adults at Samaritan Hospital. She ran a Women’s Support Group and provided crisis services to survivors throughout the Capital Region while in this role. In addition, she facilitated prevention education programs in a variety of settings focused on preventing child sexual abuse and bystander intervention trainings for the prevention of sexual assault in our communities.
Starting in August 2021, Stacey is now providing Individual and Family Therapy at a satellite office located at Shenendehowa High School East and West. She supports adolescents as well as their families in navigating mental health difficulties, promoting emotional wellness and healing from traumatic life experiences. Stacey’s approach is client-centered and focuses on treating the whole person and meeting them where they are. She fully believes that individuals know themselves best and possess many strengths and resiliency strategies of which they are often unaware. She believes that a therapeutic relationship built on trust, compassion, respect and genuineness is foundational for the therapy process. Stacey uses a variety of treatment modalities including Person-Centered, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Strength-Based therapies.
Shelbi Messick-Miller, LMHC, School based therapist at Schuylerville school district
Shelbi is a School-Based Therapist at Saratoga Center for the Family. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling both from The College of Saint Rose. She is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).
Throughout her career, Shelbi has worked with children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. She began her work in the mental health field working at Ellis Medicine on the Inpatient Adolescent Unit for several years. During this time, she worked in crisis intervention work and stabilization of at-risk adolescents between the ages of 8 and 18 years old.
Shelbi then worked at START Children’s Center providing Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to youth up to age 18 and providing support to non-offending caregivers. She ran a group for children expressing problematic sexualized behaviors as well as support to their caregivers. Shelbi conducted forensic interviews with children and adolescents within the CAC, working alongside Child Protective Services and local and state Law Enforcement Officials. She also completed trauma assessments and provided support to children and adolescents in the local foster care system.
Starting in October 2020, Shelbi is now providing Individual and Family Therapy at Schuylerville Central School District. Shelbi uses a wide variety of treatment approaches including Person Centered, Strength Based, Solution Focused, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Shelbi has experience working with various mental health issues including anxiety, depression, loss and grief, substance abuse, and sexual and physical abuse. She views the client and their caregivers as an expert in their own story, and sees great value in forming a genuine and collaborative therapeutic relationship, as well as meeting the family’s needs where they are.
Lisa Miller, lmhc, school based therapist at shenendehowa school district
Lisa earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the State University of New York at Oneonta. After graduating from SUNY Oneonta, Lisa went on to work as a Residential Counselor in the Residential Treatment Facility at Parsons Child and Family Center. At Parsons, Lisa provided therapeutic support to youth living in residential placement. While working for Parsons Lisa was also enrolled at Sage Graduate School working toward her Master’s Degree in Counseling and Community Psychology. She interned at the College of St. Rose Counseling Center providing individual therapy to students and co-facilitating a Wellness Group.
After graduating with her Master’s Degree, Lisa began her career as a Clinician at Berkshire Farm Center working with youth who were living in residential placement. Lisa provided individual and group counseling to youth on campus. She also accompanied them on home visits, providing family therapy in the home as they worked toward reunification. After leaving Berkshire Farm Center Lisa began working as a Behavior Intervention Specialist at Schenectady ARC. In addition to conducting Functional Behavioral Assessments, writing Behavior Support Plans and Medication Monitoring Plans, Lisa provided one-on-one counseling to individuals regarding maladaptive behaviors, and provided support and in-services to the residential and day program staff.
In her free time, Lisa enjoys hiking, swimming, reading, and spending time with her family.
MORGAN PRZEKOP, LMHC, SCHOOL BASED THERAPIST AT Mechanicville SCHOOL DISTRICT
Morgan earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SUNY Brockport. After graduating from Brockport, Morgan earned her Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Medaille Graduate School. She completed her internship through Seneca/Cayuga ARC, now called MOZAIC, where she counseled individuals with developmental disabilities.
After graduating with her Master’s degree, Morgan worked as a counselor on a brain injury unit at St. Camillus in Syracuse, NY. Following that path, she moved to the Capital Region to work out of Gloversville and Johnstown, NY through the Family Counseling Center and contracted into Johnstown High. After being at The Family Counseling Center for several years, Morgan began her clinical career at New Choices Recovery Center in Schenectady, NY. Morgan started by providing outreach on bullying and drug and alcohol prevention in Schenectady Schools. Following the prevention work, Morgan moved from school based prevention into the agency as a substance abuse clinician, providing individual and group counseling to adults with substance use disorder(s).
In her free time, Morgan enjoys yoga, boating, and spending time with her family.
STEPHANIE Railey, LMSW, SCHOOL BASED THERAPIST AT Shenendehowa SCHOOL DISTRICT
Stephanie Carelli, LMSW, is a mental health therapist with the Shenendehowa School District through Saratoga Center for the Family’s Student Empowerment Program.
She earned her MSW from NYU and her BA in English and Psychology from SUNY Geneseo. While at SUNY Geneseo, Stephanie chose an internship working for an after-school program with children experiencing trauma. While at NYU, Stephanie completed a couple of internships; one where she worked at a human services center helping those facing housing challenges or homelessness; and, the other providing telehealth mental health therapy services to children and adults.
Prior to Saratoga Center for the Family, Stephanie held a job at Behavioral Health Services North in Queensbury, providing both in-person and telehealth psychotherapy to adults.
“I was drawn to Saratoga Center for the Family because I enjoy working with both children, adults, and families. The Center is a very client-focused facility and I like that I am working with a population of all ages,” says Stephanie. Stephanie incorporates the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach in her work along with both person-centered and emotion-focused approaches.
In her free time, Stephanie plays video games, hangs out with her family and fiancé, and enjoys spending time with her cat, Daniel.
Gretchen Roesch, LMSW, School Based Therapist at South Glens Falls CSD
Gretchen earned her Bachelor’s degree in English Adolescent Education from SUNY Fredonia and her Master's degree in Literacy from University at Albany. Gretchen taught high school English Language Arts and Reading for several years before pursuing a career in social work. Prior to earning her LMSW from University at Albany, Gretchen worked for Glens Falls Hospital as a program coordinator and family support specialist.
Gretchen worked as a Health Homes Care Manager at Northern Rivers for three years, during which time she advocated for families and helped coordinate care for her clients. She spent the final year of her MSW program in the South Glens Falls School District, during which time she worked as the Tanglewood Elementary social work intern and filled leave positions as a high school guidance counselor and the Harrison Avenue Elementary School Social Worker.
Gretchen is thrilled to be back at South Glens Falls CSD and is working as a school based therapist at South High and Tanglewood. Gretchen has also served as the program coordinator for Saratoga Center for the Family's Heel to Heal program, which benefits the mental and physical health of teen girls.
In her free time, Gretchen enjoys reading young adult novels, running, baking, and spending time with her family.
AMY SANTELL, LMHC, CASAC-T, school based therapist at south glens falls school district
Amy Santell, LMHC, CASAC-T, is a clinician located in the South Glens Falls School District. Prior to coming to Saratoga Center for the Family, Amy served in a variety of roles for Youth Villages, a national organization, out of Springfield, MA. She worked her way up to becoming Clinical Supervisor, helping children that faced a wide range of emotional, mental and behavioral problems. After that, she joined St. Peter’s Addiction Recovery Center providing substance abuse counseling on an outpatient basis. However, Amy missed working with children and found Saratoga Center for the Family to be a good fit.
As a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, Amy looks forward to helping children understand their thoughts and feelings that influence their behaviors. “I’m very excited to be a part of Saratoga Center for the Family’s School-Based program,” says Amy. “Strengthening families in Saratoga County and beyond is a mission that speaks to me. I feel it is important to blend mental health services with our educational institutions. Children should feel comfortable discussing issues they are having in school or at home and this type of program makes them feel at-ease; I think the Center and the schools are creating wonderful partnerships.”
Amy earned both her M.S. in Mental Health Counseling and her B.A. in Psychology from SUNY Albany. In her free time, she enjoys riding her Honda Shadow 750 motorcycle with her fiancé. She also enjoys photography, nature walks, and swimming.
Tiffany St. Louis, LCSW-R, school based therapist at south glens falls school district
Tiffany has a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and a Master’s degree is Social Welfare from SUNY Albany. She is a New York Tate Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Tiffany has worked for 6 years as a child and family therapist. Her experience includes working at Parsons Child & Family Center in the Healthy Families Enhanced Services/Prevention programs and at Glens Falls Hospital Center for Children & Families. She has worked with children, adolescents, and families in both home-based and outpatient settings in rural and urban areas.
Tiffany has worked as a part of a multi-disciplinary team and collaborated with parents, schools, family members and social service departments. She has also worked in Glens Falls Hospital Emergency Room doing psychiatric evaluations for patients that present with behavioral issues, self-harm and suicidal/homicidal ideation.
While completing her Master’s degree she worked under the umbrella of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) in residential, day programming, community habilitation and after-school programming. This provides her with significant experience working with the autistic and developmentally disabled populations.
She has a passion for assisting in disaster relief and has helped natural disaster victims in Haiti and New Orleans. Tiffany is also dedicated to assisting those impacted by trauma, attachment disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and all aspects of victimization. Her core belief is to approach people from a person-centered and holistic approach. Tiffany uses a variety of treatment modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused, Play Therapy, Sand Tray and strength-based therapies.
Joan (Joanie) Thalheimer, LMHC, SCHOOL BASED THERAPIST AT Scotia-glenville school district
Joanie earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY. After graduating from Russell Sage, Joanie remained in the Capital Region to earn her Master's degree in Counseling and Community Psychology from Sage Graduate School. Joanie completed her internship at the Sage College of Albany Wellness and Counseling Center, providing individual therapy to students on campus.
After graduating with her Master’s degree, Joanie taught psychology to undergraduate students at SUNY Cobleskill as a Visiting Assistant Professor. She taught courses pertaining to Child Development and Adolescent Development, as well as General Psychology. After being at Cobleskill for several years, Joanie then began her clinical career as a substance abuse clinician at New Choices Recovery Center in Schenectady, NY. Joanie spent several years working for both the day rehabilitation and outpatient services programs, providing individual and group counseling to adults with substance use disorder. Joanie also connected clients with other community resources in the area, such as housing, employment, education, and family supports, and was a task supervisor to several Bachelor's and Master's level intern students throughout her time at New Choices. Joanie actively took part in agency-sponsored events with clients and other New Choices team members, such as Overdose Awareness Day and Recovery Day.
In her free time, Joanie enjoys running, baking, doing jigsaw puzzles, and spending time with her family.
Christoffel Van Rensburg, LCSW, School based therapist at bethlehem school district
Rachel Wolfield, LCSW-R, School Based Therapist at Schuylerville School
Rachel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field for over 25 years. She graduated from SUNY Albany with her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and went on to earn her Master's degree in Social Work from Fordham University. She is currently based in Schuylerville Elementary School working with students in Kindergarten through sixth grade.
Prior to joining SCFF in the Fall of 2022, Rachel was running a private practice at True North, in Glens Falls, which she continues to do on a part time basis. Rachel's professional experience includes working with victims of domestic violence, children affected by substance use in their families, preschool children with disabilities, and adolescents at high risk of residential placement. She also ran community and school-based programming for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Rachel was employed at Glens Falls Hospital-Center For Recovery in Hudson Falls. She started as an Adventure Based Counselor for the Challenge Program prior to moving into the role as Program Director for the Washington County Clinic.
Rachel is dedicated to building a solid therapeutic partnership with clients using a holistic approach to improve their overall well-being. A variety of techniques including play therapy, trauma informed care, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are used to empower clients to determine their own goals and work towards reaching those goals.