Pathways For Change, Counseling Center for Children & Everyone
Jodi Merrill, LMFT Children's Counseling Center. 401 Chestnut Street, Emmaus, PA
Jodi Merrill, MA, LMFT is the Clinical Director and a therapist at Pathways for Change, LLC located in Emmaus at 401 Chestnut Street, Emmaus, PA. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentrated focus on Marriage, Family and Children. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
In her work with children, Jodi specializes in the use of play therapy, filial therapy, parent consultation, behavior management, and other interventions with children and families experiencing difficulty. She has many years experience working with school problems, anxiety, depression, divorce-related difficulties, oppositional behavior, and other behavior problems and AD/HD. She has worked extensively with children who have experienced medical problems, Autism Spectrum Disorders, trauma, abuse and attachment difficulties. She works closely with parents throughout the therapy process, and coordinates her work with schools, medical and other mental health professionals (when indicated and approved by parents).
In addition, Jodi provides training for child related community organizations and schools, and is an internationally recognized speaker, most recently presenting to students and faculty in Hong Kong on the subject of bullying and relational aggression in girls.
In previous years, Jodi was the Pennsylvania regional director for The Bully Project. The Bully Project's mission is to raise awareness through education, support kids, parents, teachers, etc. to help put an end to bullying. The Bully Project also seeks to empower bystanders who witness bullying, to stand up, and speak up. If you child is the victim of bullying, talk to Jodi. She can help.
Jodi offers online, telehealth appointments! If you'd like to schedule your online appointment with Jodi just call our office and we will get that scheduled for you at your convenience! Most insurance providers approve telehealth visits.
Kathleen Hancock, LPC, RPT, RPTS
Kathleen Hancock is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania, a National Certified Counselor, and a Registered Play Therapist. Kathleen received her master's degree in clinical mental health counseling from Loyola University New Orleans in 2013 with a specialization in play therapy. During her time at Loyola, she served as the chapter Secretary of Chi Sigma Iota, the national counseling Honor Society.
Kathleen, or Ms. Katie, as her clients usually call her, primarily uses child-centered play therapy, which can help children ages 3 to 11 with depression, anxiety, attention and focus difficulties, and other behavior problems. Child-centered play therapy is based in the belief that children learn and communicate best through play and artistic expression.
Kathleen has several years of experience counseling in a variety of settings in New Orleans.
Kathleen is accepting new patients in our Emmaus office.
Ms. Katie offers online telehealth appointments!! If you'd like to schedule your online appointment with Ms. Katie, just call our office and we will get that scheduled for you at your convenience!
Kristen Skrapits, LPC
Kristen Skrapits is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania. Kristen completed her Undergraduate degree in Psychology at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and her Master's degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology with a concentration in trauma studies at Chestnut Hill College.
Kristen has experience working with many ages and presenting concerns but excels in working with adolescents and young adults. Kristen works with clients struggling with mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and self-esteem issues as well as behavioral concerns such as anger, self-injury, defiance, and school-related problems.
Kristen utilizes an eclectic but primarily person-centered approach to therapy but adjusts treatment based upon client need. Treatment modalities utilized may include: cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavioral modification, trauma-focused therapy, mindfulness, and solution-focused therapy.
Kristen believes that therapy provides the client with an opportunity to address presenting concerns and grow as an individual in a non-judgmental and safe space while creating coping mechanisms and building one's self-efficacy along the way.
Kristen offers online telehealth appointments!! If you'd like to schedule your telehealth appointment with Kristen, just call our office and we will get that scheduled for you at your convenience!
Kristen is accepting new patients in our Emmaus office.
Stacy Gilligan, LPC
Stacy Gilligan, MS, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania, earning her Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Kutztown University. Prior to her work in the counseling field, Stacy received a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Lehigh University and spent many years doing research at Lehigh on families, abuse, and resiliency.
Stacy has worked with all age groups and especially loves working with children and adolescents! Her experience with children and adolescents includes anxiety, depression, anger, gender dysphoria, attachment disorders, trauma, family issues, suicidal ideation, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and behavior issues at school. When working with children Stacy uses play therapy and has a goal for the near future to become a certified play therapist. Working with teens is very rewarding, and the main reason Stacy chose to become a therapist, wanting to help teens navigate this stage of life.
Other experience of all age groups includes marriage counseling, anxiety, depression, PTSD, trauma, abuse, bereavement, childhood trauma, anger management, self-esteem, ADHD, and adults on the spectrum.
Stacy is a nonjudgemental therapist, practicing client-centered therapy, putting the client first. Like Carl Rogers, Stacy believes people are essentially good and healthy, and always in the process of changing and growing, and with encouragement the client should become self-aware and interested in fulfilling their potential. She uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, play therapy, and Family Systems as her main treatment modalities.
When Stacy is not working she is trying to spend time with her husband, 6 kids, and 2 dogs. Currently her oldest son is in Malaysia for Grad school and her youngest son is finishing high school. She and her husband are super proud of the 3 kids that graduated college, as well as the 2 that are in college.
Stacy is accepting new patients.
Lana Darlington, LCSW
Lana is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Lana began her counseling career while living in Ukraine. She was graduated in 1996 from South Ukrainian National Pedagogical University with a master's degree in School Psychology. She worked as a psychologist at Odessa's Maritime Academy in Ukraine providing individual and group cognitive behavioral therapy to maritime cadets. Lana emigrated to the United States in 2002 and in 2008 completed her master's degree in Social Work from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.
In the United States, Lana has been working with teens and adults in both outpatient and inpatient settings treating trauma and severe mental illness. She also volunteered as a Disaster Mental Health professional for the Red Cross for two years providing support to families who experienced tragic events such as home fire or flood.
Lana is a seasoned professional with an integrative approach derived from years of training and experience. She assists people in straightening personal coping skills for management of anxiety, depression, bipolar and psychotic disorders. Implementing new elements of brain-wise approach, she helps her clients to explore distortions of their personal narratives, ineffective patterns of decision making and cycles of emotional collisions. Integrating a combination of Positive Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques and Cognitive Processing Therapy, Lana helps clients restore a healthy mind-body connection.
Lana also believes strongly that guiding clients in the practice of the three Cs of assertive communication skills: confidence, clear, and calm, significantly enriches their lives and steers them to enhance positive interactions in their families. In session, Lana implements role play techniques while coaching adolescents, young adults and single parents in the use of powerful assertive communication skills.
Lana offers online telehealth appointments. If you would like to schedule an online appointment with Lana, just call our office and we will get that scheduled at your convenience. Lana provides services in English as well as in Russian.
Lana is accepting new clients in our Emmaus office.
Shanna Yarush, M.A
Shanna Yarush obtained her Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree with highest honors from Kutztown University in May, 2020. She has worked in the mental health field for 4 years, and has been working full time in the counseling field since graduation. Shanna receives supervision for licensure, which she expects to obtain within the next year.
Shanna has worked with people throughout the lifespan. She believes that people bring unique experiences into therapy, and that the best approach is client centered, trauma informed, and tailored to individuals' needs. She routinely uses empathetic listening, bibliotherapy, and behavior interventions.
Shanna is adept at working collaboratively to create treatment plans to help clients reach their goals. In her work she emphasizes collaboration within the family unit, knowing that working together can bring about great change and improvements. She is experienced helping individuals who have experienced trauma, anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, and difficulty expressing emotion. She has worked with clients on adjustment to life changes, grief and loss, oppositional defiance and conduct disorder, bipolar symptoms, and other behavioral challenges and areas of need.
Shanna uses play therapy techniques in most sessions, believing that play is key to helping children communicate their needs. She attends continuing education trainings in play, trauma, and other therapies.
Shanna is currently accepted new clients at our Emmaus location. She also offers telehealth appointments when clinically appropriate. Please contact our Emmaus office to schedule with Shanna.
Serena Bednarczyk, LPC
Serena Bednarczyk is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Serena completed her Undergraduate degree and Graduate degrees both at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Her undergraduate degree was in Psychology with a minor in Sociology and she studied Couple, Marital, and Family Counseling for her graduate degree.
Serena has experience working with many ages and presenting concerns. She has worked in different areas of mental health including outpatient work, partial hospitalization, and hospitalization services. Serena works with clients ages 3-65, including individuals, couples, and families. She has previously worked with clients struggling with mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, trauma, self-esteem issues, parenting, inner child work, behavioral concerns, and many more.
Serena utilizes an eclectic approach to each individual, while the main focus is client-centered therapy and the connection with the client. Other treatment modalities include Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Attachment -Based Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Family Systems, and Structural Family Therapy.
Serena is accepting new clients at our Emmaus office. Please call the office to schedule an appointment.
Alyssa Katz, M.S.
Alyssa has 2 undergraduate degrees including a Bachelor of the Arts in Psychology from Muhlenberg College as well as Visual & Fine Arts at Gettysburg College. She went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Clinical & Counseling Psychology from Chestnut Hill College and will soon be earning her LPC.
Alyssa worked as an intensive case manager in the foster care system for 3 years supporting youths from age 8 to 21, who struggled with self esteem, anxiety, panic attacks, trauma, ADHD, identity development, interpersonal relationships, as well as reactive attachment and oppositional defiant disorders. during her time in foster care, she gained exposure to a plethora of family dynamics and situations that influence her clinical approach today.
In addition to Alyssa's time working in foster care, she spent several years providing individual therapy in a community based setting that allowed her to expand her skill set to clients of all age ranges. Alyssa utilizes a multimodal approach, catering treatment interventions on a case by case basis, relative to the individual and their presenting issues. She has experience working with clients who struggle with impulse control, emotion regulation, ADHD, panic attacks, Panic disorder, anxiety, trauma, Bipolar Disorder and depression.
Alyssa is accepting new clients at our Emmaus office.
Megan Deptula, LPC
Megan Deptula received her master’s degree in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling from Kutztown University in May of 2020. She received the Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society award for Professional Counselor in 2020. She has been published in a Psychology Journal and also has 2 undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Communication Studies. Megan has experience in the mental health field for the last 5 years, with two of those years working in Massachusetts.
Megan has worked with people of all ages and loves to focus on young adult populations, as well as couples. She has experience working with children and adolescents involved in Children and Youth Services, as well as those with anxiety, depression, trauma, and family challenges. Megan loves to use interventions from a family-systems approach, but also incorporates interventions as needed. These may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, emotionally-focused therapy, solution-focused therapy, and existential therapy.
Megan believes that every individual is different and treatment approaches should be tailored to the specific needs of that individual. She allows the individual to create their own path and assists as needed, while highlighting self-advocacy and communication. Megan believes that each individual has the tools to solve any problem in their life and simply needs the space and freedom to bring that capability to fruition. The one thing everybody has in common is being human and she recognizes that basic human needs have to be achieved before reaching self-actualization.
When Megan is not working, she loves to spend time with her fiancé, her 2-year-old mastiff, and her cat. She values self-care and typically spends her time outside. She finds that taking care of herself is the best thing she can do to help others.
Courtney Taylor, LPC
Courtney Taylor is a Licensed Professional Counselor who earned her Master of Education from Lehigh University. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from DeSales University. During her time at Lehigh, Courtney presented at two national conferences and spent time researching gender-based violence and child development.
Courtney thrives in working with children, adolescents, young adults, and women in the perinatal and postpartum phase. Courtney is experienced with anxiety, depression, trauma, grief/loss, divorce-related difficulties, blended families, and emotion regulation. Courtney has worked as a school-based therapist, outpatient therapist, and clinical supervisor of a community mental health clinic. Courtney has facilitated anger management groups for children, adolescents, and court-ordered adults as well as an anti-bullying group for young girls. Courtney has also partnered with the Allentown Police Department for Crisis Intervention Team Training.
Courtney uses a variety of modalities in her work, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy and Child-Centered Play Therapy. Courtney values building a strong rapport with her clients and creating a safe holding space for clients to express their most difficult emotions without judgement.
When Courtney is not working, she loves spending family time with her fiancé, 2-year-old daughter, and bonus son. Courtney incorporates the Montessori-method in raising her own children and believes in the importance of fostering independence in children from infancy. Courtney loves spending time exploring nature and relaxing at the beach.
Courtney is now accepting new clients and offers both telehealth and in-person appointments.
Sarah Hauge, MSW
Sarah Hauge obtained her Social Work Masters degree and Graduate Certification in Play Therapy with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in May, 2022. She is working towards obtaining her License of Social Work (LSW), of which she expects to obtain within the next couple of months, and is also working towards becoming a Registered Play Therapist.
Sarah has experience working in primary care and Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina as a Social Work and Integrative Behavioral Health intern. She has worked with children and adolescents with chronic illness and siblings of children and adolescents with chronic illness.
Sarah uses play therapy, expressive art techniques, and bibliotherapy in most sessions, and believes that children communicate best through play and art.
She is currently accepting clients at the Emmaus office through self-pay.
Sandy Kehm, Office Manager
Sandy Kehm is the office manager and usually your first contact with our office. Sandy has many years experience managing a busy practice and keeping things running very smoothly and efficiently. Sandy will assist you in all matters with scheduling, insurance, and billing questions.
Gina Walther, Administrator in our 14 N. 4th St. office
Candace Schaffer, Administrative Support
At Pathways For Change, Children's Counseling Center, we have the resources you need, when you need them. This includes all of our in-office services and, when indicated, reaching out to our vast network of referral sources for services such as, psychological testing, tutoring, psychiatric consultations, and more!
We have what you need, and all with the individualized, caring, personal attention you and/or your child deserve. You will get a personal approach to your treatment program, have a connection with your therapist, and feel right at home being a part of our practice. This is our promise to you!
Call us for an after school, or Saturday appointment, so your child does not miss any school or extra-curricular activities! We will always do our best to accommodate your busy schedule!
Pathways For Change, Children's Counseling and Therapy Center. Treatment for, ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, Anger Management, Learning Disabilty
401 Chestnut Street
Emmaus, PA 18049
Mon - Fri: 7AM - 8PM
Sat: 10AM - 5PM
Sun: hours available by appointment