MEET THE TEAM
Alison Lager is the Owner/CEO of Lager Counseling Services. The vision of LCS is that of triumph. Alison has always believed that people can change given the right tools, support and empowerment; people are capable and powerful enough to create the life of their dreams if given the right insight, awareness and actionable guidance necessary for the resolution of all of life’s problems. We credit most of the success of each client to our unwavering belief in their ability to change if they are willing. Alison has created an atmosphere that is warm, accepting, down to earth, and aesthetically pleasing to all the senses. She believes the atmosphere a client comes into should reflect our honor for them and their future selves. We NEVER lose sight of the clients greatness that is yet to be unleashed. We never give up on the infinite possibilities of all human beings. Our code is excellence. Our model is simple. Our philosophy at LCS is to be on the cutting edge of learning and personal development. Alison provides ongoing training in the latest techniques for healing and recovery. She trains each therapist to specialize in all areas of mental health and clinical technique. LCS is innovative style is unique in that once the symptoms are relieved, we step on the gas, rolling up our sleeves, beside the client toward their personal excellence in all areas of living.
Alison Lager, LCSW-R CASAC
Learn more about our therapists below.
Danielle Madonna, LMSW
Danielle is a core leader at Lager Counseling Services. Her kind, compassionate and easy going style has clients amazed at the depth of insight and expertise she demonstrates in each session. Although Danielle has a youthful appearance that appeals to the younger client, she is wise beyond her years. Danielle's clients experience an accepting and non judgemental environment, allowing clients to be real. Her ongoing study and certification in EMDR has made her a highly sought after clinician. Danielle believes that vulnerability is our strength. As our primary facilitator of the Popular Adult Children of Alcoholic/Dysfunctional Parents Group & The Self Compassion Group, She receives raving reviews for her group and individual work with men and women of all ages.
Joanne Autero, LCSW
Joanne is an LCSW who is well educated and deeply caring. She is a beautiful mix of intelligence and humility. Joanne is willing to do whatever it takes to help her clients reach their goals, because she genuinely cares. If Joanne does not know an answer to a question, she will research all avenues until she finds one. The atmosphere in Joannes office one of warmth, comfort, growth, insight, and new found empowerment. She is provides a safe haven for people of all ages to find their higher selves and become all they can be. Joanne has experience working with the elderly population, mothers and fathers who have adult children, grief, hoarding and children in the education system. Joanne is the primary facilitator of our Moms of Adult Children Group which run every 10 weeks. A powerful group designed to assist moms with issues that arise with their grown children and their identity at this new stage in life.
Dana Wedin, ATR-BC, LCAT
Dana is one of our Art Therapists. She is an amazing clinician who works with people of all ages in a unique and powerful way. She conducts Art Therapy groups for teens and adults and also offers individual Art Therapy. She works through the medium of different artistic tools to reach the heart of all different emotional issues. There is zero need for artistic skill. Dana also works with a wide variety of adults who are navigating through various life stressors such as anxiety, family dynamics, couples issues, depression and anxiety. Dana's personality is vivacious outgoing and lively.
Kathleen Mckiernan, LMSW
Kathleen is an LMSW who's passion for a person's mental well being is a driving force informing her practice with clients. She is down to earth, insightful and believes in connection and meeting her clients where they are along their journey in life. She takes a humanistic approach and has experience working with adolescents and young adults in the clinical setting. She also has done work in crisis intervention and has experience with traumatic grief counseling for individuals of all ages. Kathleen is inspired to decrease shame and stigma for those who are struggling and makes it her mission to do so by providing a completely accepting and warm interaction with each client. Kathleen is currently seeing clients via Telehealth. Kathleen's clients simply love her.
Alexandra Silver-Thompson, LMSW
Allie is a Licensed Master Social Worker who uses a strength-based approach to help others reach their full potential! She has many years of experience working with children and adolescents, as well as with adults and families in a clinical setting. Allie's outgoing, bubbly personality along with her ability to listen in an effort to understand, will have you feeling comfortable and at-ease. Allie's main priority when providing clinical care is for her clients to feel safe, heard and hopeful. She has a true passion for the field of social work and remains determined to help and empower whoever walks through her door!
Thomas Pica, LMSW, CASAC
Tom is a Licensed Social Worker and Alcohol/ Substance Abuse Counselor who has experience working in many different settings, including schools, hospitals, and residential treatment centers. Tom also works with both male and females of all ages. His educational background in Psychology and Sociology provides him with insight and knowledge on a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, substance use, trauma, and self-development. Tom is a compassionate and genuine clinician who believes in taking a person-centered approach to therapy. He consistently goes above and beyond to assist his clients in achieving their goals. Tom creates an accepting and warm space which allows for the free expression of hard subjects. He roles up his sleeves and works alongside his clients to overcome the obstacles to reaching their potential.
Kayla Mozdanowski, LCAT-LP
Kayla is an art therapist on our team who is committed to helping her clients learn how to build self-knowledge, expand perspectives, and make life more meaningful. She offers art therapy as a tool for self expression and communication—combining traditional talk therapy with the creative process. She believes when words cannot fully express a feeling or experience, artistic expression can allow for new perspectives and deeper understanding. Kayla takes a collaborative, person-centered, and strength-based approach to help her clients reach their goals, while creating a safe space to feel heard and understood. She meets her clients where they are at with a down-to-earth, warm, and compassionate personality. Kayla is wise, supportive and has great insight. She specializes in eating disorders, body dysmorphia and all related concerns to problem eating and self esteem.
Jenna Santos, LCAT-LP
Jenna is an Art Therapist who joins our team with enthusiasm to bring a creative outlook to the therapeutic space. She works from a collaborative, strength-based approach, always believing in her clients power to flourish and thrive. Jenna works both individually and in group settings with clients of all ages. There is zero need for artistic skills, artistic experience is never a requirement to participate in Art Therapy; Art knows no bounds. Jenna's work utilizes the art medium as another from of communication and self-expression. In addition to Art Therapy, Jenna also works with adults struggling with substance use and helps her clients navigate in a safe and healthy way. Our paths of personal and emotional growth are always intertwining. Jenna joins her clients on their paths with a supportive and kind nature.
Annie Ruvolo, LMSW
Annie has been in the education field for ten years. Her background in meditation and mindfulness will create a safe space to bring about a holistic approach that leads to our best selves. Annie's practice emphasizes a mutual development of goals as well as ongoing evaluations. Her calm inviting nature offers a pathway for utilizing the power of the therapeutic relationship. Annie works with clients of all ages, both male and female and is able to help her clients navigate through various mental health matters. Annie has extensive experience facilitating Divorce & Separated Groups for both faith based communities and the secular population.
Kirstin Ostroski, LMSW-LP
Kirstin has experience working with children, adolescents and young adults as they develop and work through life’s transitions. She believes that everyone has the ability to change when given the right support to do so and maximize their human potential to meet their social needs. With clinical work encompassing multiple types of therapy, she helps individuals overcome various mental health battles such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and poor self-esteem. Kirstin perceives therapy as non-judgmental healing that is uniquely created to fit each individual and their current situation. she is focused on creating a strong supportive therapeutic relatonship with each client which is crucial to their success. Kirstin has true passion for the field of social work and empowering others to reach their goals and live their best life.
Julia Katartzis, MHC-LP
Julia received her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Alfred University. In addition to Lager Counseling services, she works at a Community Mental Health Center in Babylon. In Julia's practice, she strives to create a warm, judgment free environment for her clients to safely explore life's hardships. Julia understands how difficult change can be, but she believes that it is never too late. She utilizes a person-centered approach in counseling while incorporating many aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. As a goal-oriented clinician, Julia spends time crafting unique approaches to best fit her clients' needs. Julia's passion lies in providing support to individuals navigating through tough times. "Heal the root, so the tree is stable"
Jeannette Santulli, PMHNP-BC
Jeannette is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry for over 13 years. Jeannette is proficient in medication management and formulating diagnostic impressions. She is passionate about nurturing, empowering, and helping children and adolescents to maintain a sense of worth and purpose in life. Jeannette excels at creating a genuine connection with her patients due to her own personal childhood experiences. She is deeply empathetic and committed to improving the lives of her patients by providing them and their parents with the necessary guidance and tools. She is now branching out to treat the young adult population as well. Jeannette has a love of nature, gardening, flower arranging, and music. She is also an avid lover of cats!
Our Board Certified Nurse Practitioners
Learn more about our nurse practitioners below.
Board Certified Nurse Practitioners
Here at Lager Counseling Services, we have a team of Board Certified Nurse Practitioners who can help our clients interested in Medication Management Services. Our NP's are able to prescribe and manage clients' medication through follow up appointments in person or via Telehealth. Our NP's are highly skilled and trained in the field of psychiatric medications and client care. They also with all clinicians collaboratively to ensure consistent client care and encourage the process of growth.
Director of Operations
Shana has over 10 years working in healthcare and also worked in finance for 6 years before finding her place at LCS. Shana is passionate about our mission to revolutionize mental health care and she works to build systems to ensure quality care to our clients while making LCS a great place to work.
“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." —Dolly Parton
Dedication. Expertise. Passion.
Christene is the Office Coordinator who works out of the main Wantagh location. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration. Christene is passionate about being of service to others as she believes this is her life’s purpose. She welcomes each client with a warm smile and engaging personality. She is empathetic and a good listener. Christene believes that it takes strength to acknowledge that one needs help and it is the first and biggest step on the healing journey. Her goal is to make each client feel welcome.
“ Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people” - Karen Salmansohn
Evening Office Coordinator
Christine is a recent graduate from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. As the first person that a new patient often encounters from our practice, her warm demeanor, and cheerful personality combine to provide clients with hope and confidence. Christine has future plans to further her education in the mental health field. She views the role of a mental health professional as a calling of the highest order. She believes being healthy, physically, mentally and spiritually is a life pursuit, a journey not a destination, a ride we should all humbly embrace.
"One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn't fall apart."
- Linda Poindexter
Wantagh Office Coordinator
Rebecca is part of our Administrative Support Team and works out of our Main Wantagh location in the evening. She holds a BA degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing a BSN degree in Nursing. Rebecca enjoys connecting with people and is very passionate about the importance of the mental health field. She strives to make sure everyone around her feels welcomed and accepted. Rebecca also provides billing support to the practice and works closely with our Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners; maintaining their schedules and ensuring that medication
management runs smoothly for each client.
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” - Maya Angelou
Evening Office Coordinator
Qiara is a billing specialist who has over 10 years experience working with clinical insurance. She is an essential part of our practice and helps to ensure that each client has a detailed understanding of their cost of services. Qiara is an empathic and direct team player. She goes out of her way to simplify the sometimes complicated process of insurance benefits.
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” - Maya Angelou