Caroline Fenkel’s passion lies in helping heal adolescents through the use of experiential therapy, group therapy, and animal-assisted therapy. Her career began with her love for horses: She majored in equine studies and minored in psychology at Delaware Valley University, then completed her master’s degree in social work at Bryn Mawr College. From there, she combined these two focuses through practicing equine-assisted therapy and other forms of experiential therapy, including Relational Trauma Repair and adventure therapy. Caroline has worked with adolescents and young adults at all levels of care, including outpatient and residential, at numerous national programs, including Rehab After School, Adolescent Advocates, Mirmont Treatment Center, Brightwater Landing, and Newport Academy. Caroline recently earned her doctorate in clinical social work from the University of Pennsylvania. She is often assisted by her therapy dog, Graham.
Theodore Fallon, Jr., MD, MPH, is a graduate of Penn State School of Medicine, board certified in Internal Medicine, Child and Adult Psychiatry, Child and Adult Psychoanalysis, with training in various group, family and individual psychotherapies. He has practiced medicine for over 35 years, has been on the faculties of the University of Rochester, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, and is presently Associate Clinical Professor at the Drexel University College of Medicine and the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia (PCOP). He has served at Directors of a Psychiatric Emergency Service, the Child and Family Community Mental Health Services (Formerly Philadelphia Child Guidance Center) of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and chair of the Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Training Program at PCOP. He is author of numerous academic papers and a recent book Disordered Thought in Development: Chaos to Organization in the Moment. At the Center for Families, Dr. Fallon works with the staff, as well as the Adolescents and their families, bringing a unique eclectic mix of perspectives that includes a deep understanding of the development of the human mind from infancy to old age.
Jamison Monroe, Jr., brings years of personal recovery experience to his leadership of Newport Academy. Jamison is passionately dedicated to providing the highest-quality care to teens and their families facing mental health challenges and substance abuse. A prominent voice in the field of adolescent mental health treatment, he is a writer, spokesperson, yoga teacher, and fierce advocate of holistic learning and compassionate care for struggling teens. He is an active participant in the movement to reduce social stigma around psychiatric, mental health, and substance abuse challenges, through projects such as the Inspiration Foundation, the Global Adolescent Project, and Drugs Over Dinner. An expert in the field of teen treatment/rehabilitation, Jamison is regularly featured on CNN, FOX, ABC, and other major networks; on the Huffington Post and PsychologyToday.com; and at conferences including TEDx and the Aspen Ideas Festival. He testified before England’s Parliament on the subject of teen prescription drug abuse. Jamison’s treatment facilities have been recognized as the “most comprehensive in the US,” and have been covered by media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Fox News, and the Today Show. Jamison also produced the critically acclaimed documentary Behind the Orange Curtain, about the prescription drug abuse epidemic in Orange County, California. He is the recipient of the Freedom Institute’s 2014 Mona Mansell Award for his indelible impact on the recovery field and community.
Erin Ziegelmeyer’s passion for helping others cope with and understand emotions began at a young age and continued to flourish throughout college. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Erin majored in psychology and minored in communications, with a strong emphasis on research with eating disorders, body image, thin ideal, and the perception social media and social comparisons have on self-esteem. After completing her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at West Chester University, Erin has spent the majority of her career in residential rehabilitation facilities with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health issues, including treating individuals with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and other chronic mental health diagnoses. With clinical experience at facilities such as River Centre Clinic, Mirmont Treatment Center, and Keystone Center, Erin has developed an individualized, client-centered approach to therapy, utilizing mindfulness, dialectical behavioral, trauma informed, experiential, motivational interviewing, and cognitive behavioral techniques in an individual, group, and family based setting.
Ethan Tankel brings a wealth of experience from his time teaching and counseling at a local boarding school. Ethan received his baccalaureate in Global Studies from Drexel University, which has informed his culturally sensitive approach to counseling and education. Since finishing his undergraduate degree, Ethan developed a passion for serving adolescents struggling with mental health issues. Ethan received a certificate for completing coursework in Alcohol and Drug Counseling at Villanova University and is earning a graduate degree in School and Mental Health Counseling at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.
Elizabeth McCarron, MSS, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker who is devoted to working with teenagers and young adults appreciating and valuing their creative minds and extraordinary resilience in the face of challenges. After graduating from Fordham University in New York City, Lizzy recognized her passion to support others by building trusting relationships and pursued training at Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, subsequently receiving her master’s degree in clinical social work. Lizzy has had the privilege of working with adolescents through individual and group therapies in a range of settings including alternative schools such as the Mill Creek School and the Renfrew Center’s day treatment, intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment programs for girls and women with eating disorders. Lizzy is trained in a variety of treatment modalities, but first and foremost, values the potential of the therapist-client relationship in producing lasting change. She works diligently to build safe spaces for teens and their families to find new understanding and paths forward. Additionally, this safe space is particularly extended to the LGBTQIA+ community.
Justin is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC# 49843) and a PA Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, with over a decade of experience providing treatment for individuals, couples, families and adolescents. Justin earned his Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University-Los Angeles, and specializes in the treatment of adolescents, trauma and addictive disorders. Justin previously worked for a number of world-renown treatment centers in Malibu, California, supporting his clients in developing resiliency while navigating the stages of change. Justin has received advanced training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Systemic Family Interventions and EMDR Therapy. Justin utilizes a solution-focused treatment approach to build upon strengths, while helping to create more harmonious family interactions.
Keeley Seymour is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose passion lies in helping others heal from past experiences and empowering them to move forward with their personal goals. Keeley earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from The University of Maryland, Baltimore and a Certificate in Advanced Trauma Treatment from The Ferentz Institute in Baltimore. She has worked providing trauma informed therapeutic services in a variety of settings to those struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders, and other mental health issues. Keeley has had the privilege of working with adolescents, adults and families through her work The Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders and at HopeWorks in Maryland. Keeley utilizes a strengths-based approach, helping clients identify and improve their ability to reach their full potential.
Brianna Gentile is a dedicated marriage and family therapist who has experience working with individuals, couples, families, and adolescents in a community and home-based family therapy setting, acute partial hospitalization treatment, and outpatient therapy. Brianna earned her BS in Psychology from Philadelphia University and continued on at Thomas Jefferson University to earn her Master’s degree in Family Therapy. Bri uses relational and systemic techniques to help guide clients to a better understanding of themselves in order to gain awareness about the path to increasing healthier relationships with others. Bri is passionate about working with teens around increasing self-worth, processing trauma, and managing depression and anxiety. She also focuses on enhancing healthy family functioning by helping parents to feel more confident and effective as the leaders of their families, and creating space for children’s voices to be heard to improve connection and overall well-being. It is a joy for Brianna to be in the presence of client’s achieving their goals and feeling more authentic in their own relationships.
Joseph Kwak is a licensed social worker who is devoted to working with adolescents and adults alike, primarily integrating a strengths-based model. Joseph has over four years of residential treatment experience; coordinating family sessions, interventions, and placements for clients. Joseph attended Widener University for his Master’s degree in Social Work with a clinical focus. During his time in graduate school Joseph became certified in a relapse prevention model of treatment and worked with clients who obtained long term remission of substance use disorders and subsequently relapsed. Joseph is trained in a variety of treatment modalities, but first and foremost, values the potential of the therapist-client relationship in producing lasting change. Joseph works to align himself directly with the client and family simultaneously in order to nurture a sustainable change within the family system. Joseph works collaboratively with families and providers to foster a safe space for clients to explore their own needs for change.
Kera Passante is a Licensed Professional Counselor who utilizes creative techniques and the concepts of mindfulness and experiential learning to help clients overcome past struggles and become empowered to move forward in their lives. Kera believes in a client-centered approach and recognizes that sitting-in-a-chair therapy doesn’t work for everyone. She completed two Bachelor’s degrees in psychology and philosophy from Temple University and then completed her Master’s degree in counseling from West Chester University. Kera has been teaching yoga since 2011 and is certified in teaching kids, adolescents, and adults along with trauma-sensitive yoga training. Kera teaches yoga in therapy to help clients realize their full potential and learn skills for optimal living through mind-body-spirit education and integration. Kera is also an outdoors enthusiast and believes in the therapeutic value of being in nature and trying new things. Kera enjoys leading others through the personal transformations that can take place through adventure and experiential therapy and learning about oneself through overcoming challenges. Kera currently leads weekly community groups for addiction recovery and mindfulness at the Center for Families..
Lauren Rankin is a dedicated team member who guides families through the admissions process at all levels of care. Lauren has an undergraduate degree from Lehigh University and a Master’s degree in Business from Vanderbilt University. She works tirelessly with families to ensure that children are admitted to the appropriate level of care and guides them seamlessly through the admissions process. Lauren is committed to supporting families at every turn and her rare combination of soft skills coupled with her formal business training make her uniquely qualified for her role.
Sean Rodgers is a passionate and dedicated member of the Center for Families team who brings a plethora of community engagement to the team. Sean is both special events chair and fundraising chair of Young People in Recovery’s Philadelphia Chapter. Additionally, Sean is co-founder of Springfield Cares Coalition – a nonprofit organization with a united effort to defeat the crisis of substance use disorder by positive actions and caring responses through community involvement. Sean is in long-term recovery and continues to passionately share his story to students, parents, and mental health professionals throughout the Delaware Valley.
Gwenn is a dedicated team member who supports both clients and staff. Gwenn was an economic major at Dickinson College. Her professional experience, which spanned 15 years in the non-profit world, is complimented by another 15 years donating her time to local organizations. For more than a decade, Gwenn led ARCH – a Tredyffrin/Easttown organization helping parents help their kids to make healthy choices, specifically as they relate to alcohol and other drugs. ARCH programming inspired a passion and a compassion for those struggling with mental illness and the disease of addiction. Gwenn brings that enthusiasm to Center for Families – she keeps our facility both welcoming and organized. She is often referred to as the “office mom” by both clients and staff. Gwenn and her husband have lived in Berwyn since 2000 and have two daughters in college.
Deonte Simpkins is the Care Coordinator at Center for Families. Deonte’s dedication to helping young people struggling with mental health and substance abuse becomes most apparent in his history of speaking commitments for adolescents and young adults for various local non-profits and sharing his experience with multiple high schools and middle schools. Deonte was also a key note speaker at multiple conventions focusing on young people in recovery. He currently serves as the Vice President of RAM Recovery Program, West Chester University’s collegiate recovery program. Deonte’s professional background is diverse serving as a clinical lead for Malvern Institute and Recovery Centers for America.
Haydn Briggs brings unconditional positive regard to each client he encounters. His experience includes speaking on substance abuse and mental health awareness for various non-profit organizations and public high schools in Chester County. Further Haydn has expertise in investigating how altered developmental changes in reward responsiveness may account for the relationship between parent and offspring depression at the Child and Adolescent Development of Emotion, Personality, and Psychopathology Lab at Temple University. Haydn co-founded Temple University’s Collegiate Recovery Program, helping to facilitate groups. Haydn is due to complete his BS in Neuroscience at Temple University in May 2018, and plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work upon graduation. Kid, Haydn’s dog, will be pursuing his certification as a therapy animal in order to assist Graham in the pet assisted therapy at Center for Families.
Adam Martell is a care coordinator at Center for Families. Adam brings a humanistic approach to all his interactions with clients, treating each person with unconditional positive regard. Adam has experience working in the substance use field through working as a recovery house manager for over two years. Adam enjoys volunteering in his community helping the less fortunate and helping those with mental health issues. Adam is currently earning his Social Work degree.
Liesel Johantgen is a care coordinator for Center for Families and a Chester County native. Liesel obtained her Bachelor’s of Social Work degree at West Chester University in May of 2018 and plans to obtain her Master’s of Social Work in the coming year. Liesel has had experience speaking on substance abuse and mental health at high schools in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. Liesel also has experience working with youth who struggle with autism and mental health in a traditional school setting. Liesel is passionate about helping youth discover their potential and supporting lasting positive changes.
Briana Bradley is an academic math tutor at Center for Families. With a Bachelor’s of Science degree in mathematics from Villanova University, Briana has tutored both privately and at Rosemont College for several years. Briana decided to change career paths from primarily working in corporate settings, to pursuing her ultimate passion, making a difference in the lives of adolescents and teens.
Pam and Bill Roberts are parent advocates dedicated to supporting families in recovery. Pam holds a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for the last 16 years. Bill was educated overseas and has been in the environmental business for 30 years. They are both in long-term recovery, as are their children. For the past eight years, Pam and Bill have been active in starting and expanding parent support groups on the East Coast, interacting with hundreds of parents, therapists, recovery service providers, nonprofits, and government representatives to educate and transform parental behaviors—which they consider to be a prerequisite for improving prospects for a reconnected family. Since 2012, they have been preparing a series of Parent Support Group manuals that include the personal experiences of dozens of group members and their therapists. The manuals serve as resources for parents and other family members to gain a better understanding of the disease of addiction, how it impacts the whole family, and how behavioral changes associated with “parental recovery” translate to giving their kids a better chance for a healthy, drug-free life.
Kim Porter, a Certified Family Recovery Specialist, is Executive Director of the nonprofit Be a Part of the Conversation, operating since 2011 with the mission to create effective, culture-changing community programs designed to increase awareness of the effects of alcohol and drug use. Kim also serves on the Regional Advisory Board of Caron Treatment Center and is a recipient of Caron’s Brian Early Community Leadership Award. Kim is a member of the Advisory Board for The Bridge Way School, Pennsylvania’s only recovery high school, and serves on Montgomery County Commissioner’s Drug Overdose Task Force. She holds a degree in journalism/public relations from West Virginia University, and has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and graphic design, including owning a small business and serving as marketing coordinator for the Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation’s Board of Directors. Today, she directs her creative energy into spreading the word about Be a Part of the Conversation. Kim leads the Serenity for Parents group on Wednesday nights at 7PM.
Meryl Lammers is a Board-Certified Music Therapist, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who privately contracts with individuals, groups, and organizations with a variety of needs in the Greater Philadelphia Area. During her studies at SUNY New Paltz for Music Therapy, Meryl presented a research study at the National Music Therapy Conference in Atlanta, GA in 2002 on the Effectiveness of Drum Circles. In 2004, she completed her Music Therapy degree and became Board Certified following the completion of an intensive 1200 hour internship through a local hospice company. Meryl became trained in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA Therapy) at the Anderson Center for Autism, where she worked with over 130 children with Autism via music therapy. In her 13 years as a music therapist, Meryl has served thousands of clients with a spectrum of needs using music therapy, including hospice patients and their loved ones, children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sufferers of PTSD, dementia, and drug and alcohol addiction, and the general population through drum circles and group events. She has acted as a supervisor for music therapy practicum students from SUNY New Paltz and Immaculata University, mentors colleagues, and continues to provide education and advocacy on music therapy to a variety of schools, hospitals, nursing homes, local government agencies, and other organizations. Meryl’s broad range of experience helps her to guide those she serves through the intentional use of music for their growth, healing, self-expression, and communication.
Graham was a nine-year-old hypoallergenic Goldendoodle. He was a therapy dog earning his certification through the nationally recognized nonprofit organization Pet Partners. Graham’s calm and gentle nature made him a favorite among clients and staff. Clients enthusiastically shared that Graham brightened their day and intuitively understood them. His unconditional love offered them confidence and encouragement, and became a catalyst for lasting change.