Samaritan Counseling Center is the largest non-profit mental health practice in the Capital Region, offering professional and compassionate counseling services to the community. In 2014 alone, Samaritan’s therapists provided nearly 20,000 counseling sessions to people in varying financial circumstances.
Christina received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the State University of New York at Albany and her Master’s Degree Cum Laude from Springfield College in Massachusetts. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago. Christina has also completed postgraduate training at Smith College, the Ackermann Institute in NYC and Harvard Medical School.
Christina started her work with Samaritan Counseling Center in 2000, where her clinical focus has been working with individuals and couples. Christina is licensed in clinical social work and also in mental health counseling. She is a Marriage and Family Therapist, an advanced bereavement facilitator and a certified grief counselor, and continues to work as a disaster mental health critical responder with the NYS Department of Health and the NYS Office of Mental Health. Christina is also certified in gerontology and health care social work with NASW.
Christina’s professional memberships include clinical membership with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the Association of Death Education and Counseling, (ADEC) the National Association of Social Workers, (NASW) and the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). Christina is also an approved clinical supervisor with AAMFT.
Dan holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Master’s in Social Work from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany. Dan’s post-graduate training includes a residency in psychotherapy, Family Systems training, PTSD training, and continuing/professional education in Integrative Psychotherapy.
With nearly 10 years of fieldwork and post graduate experience, Dan’s areas of specialization and professional development include: working with families and couples on relational problems, adolescent–family relations, parenting support groups & skill development, developmental change across the life cycle, mind-body-spirit interaction and resulting implications for healthy/adaptive functioning, trauma, anger management, anxiety, depression, and social skill development.
Dan is a highly demanded psychotherapist in Schenectady & Southern Saratoga County. Dan is best known for his work as a Samaritan Project PASS therapist, a therapeutic program for families & adolescents at risk for academic failure.
David has served as Executive Director of Samaritan Counseling Center since its inception in 1985. He holds an M.S. in counseling from Oneonta State University College, an M.S.W. from the University at Albany, and a M.Phil and a Ph.D. in psychology and religion from Drew University. He has done extensive post-graduate work in family therapy from a Bowen family systems paradigm.
David is a certified marriage and family therapist (Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy), a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Diplomat in the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work.
David has authored several books including The Spiritual Work of Marriage (Routledge, 2008) and Integrative Family Therapy (Augsburg Fortress, 1993), and co-authored The Couple’s Survival Workbook(Echo Point 2001, 2011), When Helping Starts to Hurt (W.W. Norton & Company, 1994), co-authored Saying Yes to Say No: Everyday Boundaries and Pastoral Excellence. He has also penned numerous journal articles and is a regular contributor to local media articles and features. His newest book, co-authored with Erin Belanger, 5 steps to Relationship Renewal will be published this spring.
David presents workshops nationally on topics involving families and couples - his passion is working intensively with couples. He also provides consultations to congregations, family businesses, and other organizations. He also has specialities in the integration of spirituality and psychotherapy.
Emily received her Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University and her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from The University at Albany, State University of New York.
Emily worked for a number of years, both domestically and abroad, in the fields of international development and public diplomacy before transitioning into mental health counseling. She completed her graduate training in psychotherapy at The College of Saint Rose Counseling Center, where she provided both individual and group counseling services to young adults presenting with a variety of developmental and pathological concerns.
Emily completed her two-year post-graduate residency at Samaritan Counseling Center, working with individuals, couples, and families. Her special interests include adolescent and developmental dynamics, anxiety and depressive disorders, relationship health, and multicultural counseling and social justice issues.
Erin serves as Director of Training and Development for Samaritan. She received her MA in Counseling and Community Psychology from Sage Graduate School after completing an MS in Epidemiology and working as an Epidemiologist. Erin then completed a postgraduate residency with the Samaritan Counseling Center.
Erin is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor practicing at the Samaritan Counseling Center. Since her interest has always been in work with couples and marital systems, she has focused on building skills related to working from a systems perspective with all clients. Erin works to treat each client that comes into the center as a unique individual, with a focus on understanding their systemic interactions and how they impact well-being.
Specializing in working with couples, Erin has helped develop the Relationship Renewal model for working with couples and families and has co-authored Renewing your Relationship: 5 necessary steps.
Along with working with clients to improve well-being and quality of life, Erin is also interested in helping others develop professionally in the Mental Health field. As Director of Training, Erin directs a training program which houses a graduate internship and post-graduate residency program as well as co-directing an external training program in Bowen Systems theory for therapists in the greater capital district.
Jim is both a Marriage and Family Therapist Resident and a Congregational Consultant at the Center. Jim works with individuals, couples and families as focuses both on the health of the individuals and the relationships that form us. His experience as a pastor provides a strong understanding of how spirituality is an essential part of who we are, however that spirituality is expressed.
He also works with churches and clergy by providing congregational assessments, interventions, process development, training and coaching for clergy and congregations. He works in situations of conflict, healthy congregations seeking to grow and everything in between.
Jim is an Elder in The United Methodist Church and a member of The Upper New York Annual Conference. He has served churches as a pastor in Vermont, New Jersey and New York. He has also served as the Albany District Superintendent of The Upper New York Annual Conference. In his role as District Superintendent Jim worked with many congregations and clusters of congregations helping these congregation resolve conflicts and vision for the future.
Jim is a graduate of The University of Vermont, Drew University (where he received a Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Theology and a Doctor of Ministry in 21st Century Leadership), and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he received a Ph.D. in Science and Technology studying congregations’ adoption of visual technologies. Jim is also a graduate of Iona College with a MS in Marriage and Family Therapy. Jim has extensive training in Bowen Family Systems through the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center and the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family.
He is a member of the American Psychological Association and a pre-clinical fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Katina works with individuals, couples and families through identifying and developing their individual and relational strengths. She endorses a systems frame for therapy which acknowledges that individuals cannot be viewed apart from their relationships and the world around them; the eventual goal is to create and sustain change outside of the therapy office.
During her graduate studies Katina worked with children and families in a pediatric clinic, and provided psychotherapy to individuals at Samaritan Counseling Center. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the School of Social Welfare at the University of Albany in 2009. After graduation, Katina worked in mental health rehabilitation where she taught and developed groups related to maintaining mental health and achieving life goals. Katina has also supervised and trained SUNY Albany Mental Health Counseling interns and Sage Occupational Therapy interns within a community psychiatric rehabilitation setting. She returned to Samaritan Counseling Center in 2011 to practice psychotherapy and has developed trainings and workshops around parenting young children, teenage self injury, the teenage brain, and healthy relationships.
Her interests and continued research include: animal assisted therapy, antepartum and postpartum mood disorders, anxiety/panic disorders, and the family life cycle.
Kay-Leigh Stacy earned her Master of Social Work degree from Roberts Wesleyan College. She practiced general counseling and intensive outpatient psychotherapy at InterAct Counseling in Rochester, NY, specializing in recovery from anxiety, depression, trauma and eating disorders until 2014. In 2016, she completed a two year post-graduate residency with Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region, specializing in the study of family therapy. Kay-Leigh has continued extensive post-graduate training in Family Systems Theory, through the Vermont Center for Family Studies and The Bowen Center of Washington D.C.
Kay-Leigh works collaboratively with individuals, couples and families to facilitate healthy relationships. Her passion is working alongside clients to address underlying issues and achieve personal, professional and relational goals. Her practice style combines energy, sensitivity, compassion, competence and humor to engage and connect with clients of all ages. Areas of focus include: Anxiety & Depression, Trauma, Eating Disorders, Family of Origin Issues, Spirituality, Individual Growth, Leadership Development, Divorce, Step-Family Blending and Parenting.
Maria Catalfamo completed her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from California State University Dominguez Hills in 2004.
During her graduate program, Maria worked as an Education Specialist for Mild/Moderate Disabilities for children preschool to 8th grade, where she worked closely with individuals diagnosed with Autism Disorder. Maria developed the “Music and Movement” program, which was aired on an NBC special titled “Autism, the Hidden Epidemic”.
While residing in Los Angeles, Maria completed her pre-graduate internship at the Harbor Free Counseling Clinic in San Pedro. The early internship exposed Maria to a wide range of ethnic groups which included individuals from Central and South America, Asia, Australia and from all over the United States. Maria understands that each person is unique and such uniqueness should be regarded and respected when doing therapy. This means that Maria is trained to be culturally sensitive and will modify her pace and tone as needed to provide comfort and to build trust. Maria has also incorporated the basic philosophies of yoga and meditation (stretching and breathing) for anxious, impulsive, and self-medicating individuals.
Maria returned to New York State in 2006 and became licensed in Marriage and Family Therapy.While earning hours towards her LMFT, Maria gained experience working with at risk youth in Schenectady. At a non-profit shelter, Maria counseled youth who were homeless and runaways as a direct result of physical and sexual abuse in their homes. Maria has worked both in and out of shelters where short term counseling was often needed at local jails and in schools.
Nicole Johns received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix and her Master of Arts in Counseling and Community Psychology with a Certificate in Forensic Mental Health from Sage Graduate School. Nicole began her career in the mental health field with Transitional Services Association, helping individuals suffering from severe mental illness to transition from more supportive care back into the community. She is currently conducting research on trauma and domestic violence within the female inmate population. Nicole completed her graduate training in psychotherapy through Samaritan Counseling Center, where she now holds a post-graduate residency position.
At Samaritan, Nicole works with individuals, couples, and families to provide psychotherapy in areas such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief, as well as family and couples relational dynamics and adolescent/developmental concerns. Her treatment style integrates compassion, support, and humor to encourage growth and discovery. Nicole is a member of the New York Mental Health Counselors Association and the American Counselors Association.
Oona received her Master of Social Work degree from the University at Albany, and completed a two-year post-graduate residency at Samaritan.
Oona works extensively with individuals, couples, and families, and has completed training in EMDR, an important new treatment for trauma and stress.
Oona is a certified meditation instructor and has taught mindfulness meditation for over 15 years.She currently runs an 8-week course on mindfulness meditation at Samaritan Counseling Center.
Patrick earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Siena College and his Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from The University at Albany, State University of New York.
Patrick has worked in the human services field in the Capital Region as a case manager for Parsons Child & Family Center’s Mental Health/Juvenile Justice program and a clinician at Northeast Parent & Child Society’s Residential Treatment Center. Most of Patrick’s work has come with delinquent youth and their families focused on identifying roadblocks within the individual or family and building skills to overcome the identified problems. Patrick also interned with Human Resource Associates as an Employee Assistance Program Counselor where he worked with individuals, couples, and families to evaluate complex situations and identify significant issues to be addressed in long term counseling.
Patrick is currently completing a two-year post-graduate residency at Samaritan Counseling Center, working with individuals, couples, and families. His special interests include anxiety and depressive disorders, mental health issues related to the disabled, working with the issues of veterans of the armed forces, and the development of mental health issues in young children.
Emily earned her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Pennsylvania where she also played Division I lacrosse. She later earned her Masters in Social Welfare from the University at Albany and is currently completing a two-year post-graduate residency at Samaritan Counseling Center, working with individuals, couples, and families.
Emily has years of experience working with youth through camps, coaching, and youth ministry, engaging with children and teenagers who are facing such issues as parental divorce, blended families, familial pressures, anxiety, panic attacks, struggles with identity, depression, and sexuality. Her special interests include working with children and teenagers within the family dynamic, assisting couples who desire to grow in fruitful partnership, and accompanying individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, identity, and life transitions. She also has a particular interest in the integration of psychology and spirituality as they affect a person's pathway to wholeness. She regards each person as an irreplaceable individual with intrinsic value and purpose, and is open to incorporating spirituality into the healing process if a client so chooses.
Celine received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as well as her Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from The University at Albany, State University of New York.
Celine worked at the Child Guidance Center for Northeast Parent & Child Society as a clinician before transitioning to Samaritan Counseling Center. Most of her experience at the Child Guidance Center involved aiding children and adolescents in finding their own voice in their environment. In her work with children and adolescents, Celine discovered that the essential piece in helping these individuals formulate their identity is in assisting their parents in developing and modeling healthy parenting styles. As a result, she strongly believes in the family systems model. Along with her interest in continuing family work, Celine also has a keen interest in trauma work, issues around adoption, anxiety, depression, as well a relationship issues.
Celine is currently a resident at Samaritan Counseling Center, where she continues to pursue her passion in being able to offer families, couples, as well as individuals a safe and welcoming environment, which is essential in order to begin their process of growth, overcome their challenges, as well as develop a deeper understanding of their identity in the world.
Rob Hawthorne is a veteran who served as a military officer for 23 years. He received his Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science from Siena College. Upon retiring from the military, Rob earned his Master of Arts in Counseling and Community Psychology. Much of his graduate studies focused on mental health issues of veterans. Upon completion of his graduate work, Rob obtained a position in the residency program at the Samaritan Counseling Center.
At Samaritan, Rob works with individuals, couples, and families to provide psychotherapy in areas such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief, as well as family and couples relational dynamics and adolescent/developmental concerns. As a veteran he enjoys working with returning veterans and their families. Rob is a member of the New York Mental Health Counselors Association.
Virginia received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Muhlenberg College, in 1998. Afterwards, she spent over a decade working internationally, in France and Quebec, in Christian ministry. Upon return to the United States, Virginia has completed her Master of Social Work at the University of New England, in Portland, ME. Recently she has worked with children and families in foster care, through Northeast Parent & Child Society.
Virginia has a special interest in healing relationships between children and parents as well as couples. She is also deeply committed to the holistic work of psychological, social and spiritual healing for individuals and families. As a resident psychotherapist at Samaritan Counseling Center, Virginia provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families.
Lindsy earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Ithaca College in 2010 and will earn her Master of Social Work from the University at Albany in 2017. During her studies, Lindsy further developed her clinical skill set as an undergraduate intern at the Tompkins County Homeless Shelter and a graduate intern at both Parsons Child and Family Center and Samaritan Counseling Center. She also has experience working as a residence counselor, a community-based service provider and a volunteer in the areas of mental and physical wellness. Lindsy plans to complete her post-graduate residency at Samaritan Counseling Center. As a resident psychotherapist, her goal is to cultivate an atmosphere that encourages introspection, growth and ultimately empowers clients to live with greater authenticity and peace.
Lindsy is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.
Windy received her Bachelor of Arts, Summa cum laude, in English Literature and Psychology from Russell Sage College and her Master of Arts in Counseling and Community Psychology from The Sage Graduate School. She is an active member of the New York Mental Health Counselor’s Association.
Windy has both clinical and advocacy experience and has worked with adults, adolescents and children in clinical and therapeutic environments. She has also co-designed and facilitated programming on sex and healthy relationships for college undergraduate students. Windy is currently a resident therapist at Samaritan Counseling Center, working with individuals, couples, and families. Her continued research and interests include happiness, individual growth and development, recovery, couples and marital systems, and sex therapy