MEET THE TEAM

Alison Lager, LCSW, CASAC

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Alison Lager is the Owner/CEO of Lager Counseling Services. The vision of LCS is that of triumph. Alison has always believed that God wants to change peoples lives; that people are capable and powerful enough to change if given the right insight, awareness and tools 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 their FUTURE SELF. We never give up on the infinite possibilities of all human beings. Our model is Excellence. Our model is simple. Our philosophy at LCS is to be on the cutting edge of learning. 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. The way in which LCS is unique is that once healing and recovery are in place, we work on assisting the client toward excellence in all areas of living.

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DANIELLE MADDONA,
LMSW, SENIOR CLINICAN

JOANNE AUTERO, LMSW

Danielle is an LMSW who shines as a younger clinician who relates well to this generation. This makes her more approachable to children, teens and adults. She provides a depth of insight that is unusual for her age that gives her the understanding and ability to see the underlying obstacles to growth. She has a background in Psychology and Social Work that allow her to discuss the inner working of the brain to clients. Danielle believes that through vulnerabilities comes strength. Her personality is easy going and sweet.

 

"Therapy is the opportunity to challenge/discover yourself in a healthy manner within a safe environment.”

Joanne is an LMSW who is well educated.  She is the beautiful mix of a person who is super smart and completely humble.  She is willing to do whatever it takes to bring her clients to their goals because she genuinely cares.  If Joanne does not know an answer to a question, she will research all avenues until she finds the best answer. The clients experience with her is one of warmth, comfort, growth, insight, new found empowerment.  Joanne also has a history of working with children as well as working in education.

"Hope is the anchor of the soul."

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JOANNA GILMOR,
 MENTAL HEALTH &
SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST

Joanna is a school psychologist who is warm, kind, and understanding. Her presence is that of ease and understanding. Someone who genuinely cares while having a long career in psychology. Joanna works well with children and adults of all ages. She is a person who makes you feel at ease and open as soon as you meet her. She is a very integral part of our team and is successful and caring with each client.

“Our ability to grow as a person is infinite. Supportive therapy can help improve your overall emotional well being."

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DANA WEDIN, ATR-BC, LCAT, QUALITY ASSURANCE

Dana is one of our Art Therapists. Dana 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 dynamic matters, and depression.

"Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change."

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THOMAS PICA,
LMSW

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JOHN CURRAN, LMSW, CASAC

John is an LMSW and CASAC who has been working the Mental Health Field for 20+ years. He is a humble and down to earth clinician, who specializes in couples counseling, substance use, grief, and anger management. John uses compassion and a strength based model in collobration with CBT techniques to guide his clients towards healing. His gentle demeanor and attentive listening skills bring comfort to each client he sees. 

 

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KERI NAPOLITANO,
LMSW

Keri utilizes an eclectic approach to therapy that is developed around her clients individual needs and goals. She values the use of evidence-based approaches and the therapeutic relationship to assist clients with improving symptoms of anxiety, depression, and mood disorders, as well as, developing tools to promote healthy lifestyle changes.

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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.


"Social Work is the Art of Listening and the Science of Hope."

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JENNA SANTOS,
ART PSYCHOTHERAPIST

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. 

"Art invites us to know beauty and to solicit it, summon it, from even the most tragic of circumstances." 

Toni Morrison

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JANE IZEN-AXMAN,
MA COUNSELING

Jane is a kind and understanding therapist that likes to help her clients achieve emotional wellness and inner peace. She creates a safe and caring environment for everyone. Jane enjoys working with a variety of clients, including children, adults, and those going through addiction. She knows that life can be challenging and supports her clients through many of life's challenges.

"Only you can take inner freedom away from yourself or give it to yourself. Nobody else can."

Michael A. Singer

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CHRISTINE BURROWS, 
MA COUNSELING

Christine has 20+ years experience with all areas of theraputic work. Most of Christines work has been working with adolescents and adults within the school system. Christine demonstrates insight that is different from most. She is aware of the neurological blueprints that run behavior and automatic repetitive negative patterns in our lives. She is skilled in personal development and any area of psychological difficulty. She is compassionate, understanding, insightful, easy going, and completely accepting of every person she works with.

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

Maya Angelou

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 with a variety of ages and genders. Tom’s 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. Tom will go above and beyond to assist his clients in achieving their goals. Tom will create an accepting and warm space to enhance the process of therapy and assist clients in overcoming obstacles and reaching their potential.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are”.

Carl Jung 

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SUSAN KLEIN,
LCSW-R

Susan has joined our team possessing 25+ years of clinical experience as a Director and counselor in both mental health and substance use disorder programs. Susan does great work with men, women, couples, and families. Susan actively collaborates in the treatment process, providing education, feedback and clinically proven strategies to support your successful achievement of your desired goals. She believes in the power within us all to overcome challenges while achieving more joy and satisfaction in our everyday lives.

 

 "Happiness is not by chance, But by choice."

Jim Rohn

BOARD CERTIFIED
NURSE PRACTITONERS 

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 cleints' medication through follow up appointments in person or via Zoom. Our NP's are highly skilled and trained in the field of psychiatric medications and client care. Our NP's work with all clinicians collaboratively to ensure consistent client care and encourage the process of growth. 

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JEANNETTE SANTULLI, 
Board Certified Nurse 
Practitioner

Jeannette is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry for the past 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 genuinely connecting 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! 

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RACHEL CONVERTINO,
Practice Development

Rachel is our Practice Director. She has a background in Administration, Neuroscience and Psychology. She works closely with our Intake Coordination Team to ensure that new clients are properly placed with therapists that will fits their clinical needs. Rachel's leadership skills ensure the functioning of the practice, while offering an organized and motivational aspect to our team. She works closely with both the clinicians and clients, ensuring that the core values of Lager Counseling Services are maintained and that any person who walks through our doors has a pleasurable and welcoming experience.

"Life is a beautiful thing."

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KERI SCARPULLA,
Practice Manager

FORTINE MARGARITIS,
Wantagh Office Coordinator

Fortine is our Wantagh Office Coordinator and looks forward to greeting you with a smile and warmth. We value Fortine's humor and ability to light up any room! Fortine holds a positive outlook by looking at the brighter side of every situation and is always eager to help others. Fortine truly enjoys interacting with each and every person who enters the practice or makes a phone call. Fortine is a firm believer of faith over fear. Fortine also believes that no one has to struggle in silence, it’s okay not to be okay. Fortine is an advocate for ending the stigma that surrounds asking for help and promotes being kind to your mind because mental health matters. Fortine shares, "asking for help is the first step, you’re more precious to this world than you’ll ever know." Fortine is intrigued by learning more about others and watching clients blossom into their personal milestones while at our practice. You’ll always feel welcomed and comforted with Fortine the face and voice of the Wantagh office. She is so happy to be apart of this team and excited to meet all of you soon. 

 

“No one is you and that is your power."

Keri is one of our Practice Managers here at Lager Counseling and also assists with Practice Development. Keri has worked within LCS in many different roles such as Front Desk Medical Receptionist, Intake Coordinator, and Lead Intake Coordinator. Keri works closely with our Intake Coordination Team to ensure that new clients are properly placed with therapists that will fit their clinical needs and goals. Keri helps to create a welcoming and safe environment for all new and existing clients across all three of our offices. Keri believes organization is key when helping maintain a successful practice and believes her management style is approachable and relatable. With a background in administrative work and assistant roles, Keri ensures the office runs smoothly across a wide variety of areas. Keri truly enjoys engaging with each and every person that calls or enters Lager Counseling, she believes a little kindness can go a long way. Keri is an advocate for mental health and therapy herself. Her personal Core Values align with our Core Values as a practice which makes for a great pairing. Keri looks forward to using her inviting and uplifting presence to make your experience at Lager Counseling Services all you want it to be. A quote that Keri has lived by her whole life per the advice of her mother; 

 

“Slow and steady wins the race.”

REBECCA SANTIAGO,
Evening Office Coordinator

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VALERIE CANELA,
Insurance & Billing Specialist  

Valerie works with providers to determine benefits and resolve claims issues for our clients. She works with all the providers to be sure that they have all the administrative tools they need to work successfully with our clients. Most her work is behind the scenes and is focused on keeping the practice running smoothly for everyone.

"You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!"

Dr. Seuss

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ABBY WALKER,
Intake Coordinator 

Abby is a part of our Intake Coordinator as well as a part of our Administrative Support Team. She works out of our second Wantagh location, the Annex. Abby truly enjoys her position in working with all new and potential clients, helping them learn about our practice and Core Values. One of her favorite parts of her job is working with the practice owner, Alison, to review the initial phone intake assessments that she completes with each new client, pairing them with a therapist that will best fit their needs. Abby has Bachelors's Degree in Psychology and is currently in graduate school to obtain her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. She hopes to become a full-time therapist in the near future. Abby is a huge advocate for mental health and enjoys watching each client grow and overcome any obstacles they may be facing. She looks forward to meeting and speaking with each client and is excited for them to take the next steps they need to become a better version of themselves. A quote that Abby likes to live by is;

 

“It’s only when you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”

Roy T. Bennet

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REBECCA SANTIAGO,
Evening 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 and looks forward to working with clients at LCS. 

 

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

Maya Angelou

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