Kristin Huntzinger, MS, LPC, CDVS, CCFC
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Owner
Kristin is a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2011. She has been working as a counselor in the mental health field for 12 years. She holds additional certifications in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Certified Domestic Violence Specialist, and Clinically Certified Forensic Counselor. She has extensive experience, over the past 12 years, working with youth who are involved with Berks County Children & Youth Services and Berks County Juvenile Probation. In 2015, Kristin began completing evaluations, which include diagnostic impressions and treatment recommendations, for both Berks County Children & Youth Services and Berks County Juvenile Probation. These evaluations include specialty areas such as domestic violence, psychosexual, and juvenile offenders.
Melissa Lopez, LCSW, CCTP, CSOTP
Director of Forensic & Outpatient Services
Melissa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She holds certifications in sexual offender treatment and clinical trauma treatment. She has been working in the field of child welfare for the past 13 years in various positions working directly with children, families, and adults affected by trauma. Melissa has been conducting psychosexual and mental health evaluations since 2015. She has held positions as a clinical therapist as well as a clinical supervisor of programs within the residential and outpatient settings. Melissa is trained and utilizes Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, Spiritual Inclusion, Gestalt, Narrative, Motivational Interviewing, and Play therapies. She possesses a strong clinical and working knowledge of the juvenile justice system and forensic services. In addition, she has been the primary therapist for the Wilson School District (focusing primarily on middle and high school youth) for the past year and a half. She has a strong and positive working relationship with the staff at Wilson and a strong connection to the local community.
Megan Werley, MSS, LCSW, CTFCBT
Megan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 12 years of experience working with children, adults, families and schools. After receiving her Masters of Social Service, she began her career by working with adults who experienced Traumatic Brain Injury. She then went on to work with children and adolescents in the school based environment (primarily middle and high school youth) with a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and trauma. Megan is a certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist and also utilizes other treatment modalities such as CBT, Mindfulness and Creative/Expressive Arts Therapy.
Brianna Sears, LMFT
Brianna Sears is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with nearly 6 years of experience working with children and families. After receiving her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, she began her career by working with children and families in a community based service. She spent time working with children and adults in their homes, communities, and school settings. Brianna recently made the transition into an outpatient setting to provide support for children and families working through anxiety, depression, behavioral issues, family dysfunction, divorce, etc, after completing the process for licensure. Brianna practices using various approaches including: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), attachment therapy, and various family therapy models, such as experiential, strategic and structural family therapy.
Brianna's work in the mental health field focuses on using a systemic approach. She places value on the client's relationships and will explore the interactions that take place in the client's systemic world, meaning their supports in the family, in the school, and with peers. She places significant value on the closest relationships to the client and will work with caregivers and children in an effort to reduce symptoms and improve connections.
For formal education, Brianna attended Mansfield University for her Bachelors in Psychology. She then proceeded on to obtain a Masters in Marriage and Family therapy from Appalachian State University.
Sarah Bentley, LPC, CCTP
Sarah is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has 10 years of experience in the mental health field. She has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families throughout her career. Sarah started in outpatient counseling at Juvenile Detention Centers and Shelters. She assessed and completed evaluations for the Juvenile Probation System. She has been a supervisor and provided counseling in outpatient programs and schools based programs. Sarah has ongoing knowledge regarding diagnoses including anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADHD, and ODD. She utilizes a client centered approach ,CBT (cognitive behavior therapy), meditation, and Motivational Interviewing.
Kailey Esterly, LPC
Kailey is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 8 years of experience in the mental health field. She began her career working at a partial hospitalization school in Berks County, assisting children and adolescents with mental illness. After receiving her master’s degree, she began to work as a school-based therapist and has provided counseling to children and adolescents in several school districts across Berks and Montgomery County. Kailey is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and specializes in working with elementary-age children with a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, ADHD, and PTSD. Kailey uses a multi-faceted approach to counseling which involves the inclusion of the family and school in therapy, in addition to focusing on the individual needs of the child.
Rachael Stamm, LCSW
Rachael is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker passionate about creating genuine connections, and “holding space” for clients in their difficult moments. She has worked in the social work field for over 7 years and has a diverse background working with people of all ages in mental health emergency services, homelessness, evaluating, consulting, and more. After earning her Master of Social Work degree at Edinboro University, Rachael began to specialize in work with children, eventually earning both her Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credentials in 2019. As a play therapist she works from a foundation of Child Centered Play Therapy and she also has training in Animal Assisted Play Therapy® , Applied Behavior Analysis, and other types of modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT.) She is able to pull from this diverse skill set to choose appropriate interventions while working to maintain trust as the first priority.
Elaine has 6 years of experience working in the mental health field in various positions. She served as a case manager at the youth detention center and an administrative assistant at a large counseling agency. As a case manager, Elaine conducted new client intakes, assessments, and maintained regular contact with the placing agency and parents/guardians. Elaine already has a well-established and positive relationship with both Berks County Juvenile Probation and Berks County Children and Youth Services. Elaine is currently furthering her education in accounting at Pennsylvania State University.
Therapy Dog (In Training)
Nacho makes EMPOWERMENT a special place to be when it comes to therapy. Nacho is currently working toward becoming a certified therapy dog. In his free time, he enjoys running in circles, sleeping where he sees fit, and chewing anything he can get his paws on. He looks forward to helping others and soaking up cuddles in the process.
Certified Therapy Dog
Bean aids Nacho in making EMPOWERMENT a special place to be when it comes to therapy. Bean is a certified therapy dog through Therapy Dogs International. Bean loves meeting new people and likes to greet people whenever possible. He is well attuned to the emotions of the people he is serving. In his free time, he enjoys treats and running around. His award winning smile is sure to brighten anyone's day.