Meet the Team
Meet the Team
We’re here to help you find the happiness you seek in your life. The staff at Preferred Care Counseling has many years of experience and are all licensed professional counselors or licensed clinical social workers with a wide range of specialties.
Joe HumphriesClinic Director
Michele HawnClinic Director
Rita VennettiClinic Director
Kelsey SweenDirector of Clinical Services
Denise KelleyDirector of Clinical Services
Elida SchiavoneLISW & LPCC
Joe Humphries is the Clinical Director for Preferred Care Counseling. He specializes in treating patients recovering from chronic pain and injury. He’s also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and National Certified Counselor.
Joe earned his bachelor’s in psychology in 1990 and a master’s degree in education in community counseling in 1994 from Youngstown State University. While attending college, Joe served as the Instructor and Program Manager for the Rehabilitation Department at Goodwill Industries of Mahoning and Shenango Valley. During this time, he was promoted to Coordinator of Services for the Visually Impaired and implemented a first of its kind program that brought blind and visually impaired people into the facility. Joe also spent time with Valley Counseling Services specializing in Crisis Intervention and Assessment having worked with severely mentally disabled clients. In addition, he served as the Director of Residential Services for a 35 bed Adolescent Residential Unit of Belmont Pines Hospital, and spent seven years in private practice as a therapist and clinical director.
Joe is available at our Warren, Poland and Columbiana, Ohio offices.
Michele Hawn received her bachelor’s in psychology from Youngstown State University in 1999 and a Master of Educational Guidance and Counseling specializing in Marriage and Family Counseling from the University of Akron in 2002. For the past decade, Michele has worked with a variety of mental and behavioral health issues. She is a supervising counselor and earned a Post-Master’s School Counseling Program Development Certification. She also is specialized in Level 2 training in EMDR-Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing for trauma, phobias, depression, anxiety, anger and dysfunctional patterns of interactions. Michele has a variety of experience working with adults, families and children of all ages as well as for a variety of facilities including as a Clinic Director and Counselor for PsyCare and providing residential substance abuse counseling services for Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic in conjunction with the Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center.
Michele is available at our Warren, Ohio office.
Rita Vennetti is an independently licensed professional clinical counselor.
Rita has a bachelor’s in psychology and master’s in education in community counseling from Youngstown State University. She’s worked with children, adolescents, adults and families for nearly 20 years in a variety of clinical settings. Rita specializes in trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, mood disorders and childhood issues as well as couples and marriage counseling.
Rita is available at our Columbiana, Ohio office.
Dr. Kelsey Sween is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Ohio.
She’s experienced in the treatment and assessment of children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Sween has helped patients struggling with mood symptoms, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, domestic abuse, traumatic experiences, relationship problems, grief and chronic illness. Her treatments consist of a wide variety of therapeutic techniques tailored to each patient. However, she typically utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Interpersonal (relational) approaches in her treatment. She also has extensive training and experience in couples and family counseling and enjoys working with LGBTQA populations.
Additionally, Dr. Sween is experienced in conducting a wide variety of psychological assessment and evaluations. She’s worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She provides a therapeutic environment that is calm and nonjudgmental, while still challenging patients to face discomfort and create meaningful change in their lives. Dr. Sween believes that each person is an expert of themselves and tends to engage patients in a collaborative process.
In her spare time Dr. Sween enjoys spending time with her family, friends and three dogs Lilly, Ace and Cooper.
Kelsey is available at our Warren, Ohio office.
Denise Kelley is a licensed professional clinical counselor with over 15 years of experience working with children and families with behavioral and mental health needs.
Denise is a two-time graduate of Youngstown State University and earned her Professional Counseling License (LPCC & LPC) in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. She’s also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
She began her counseling career with Valley Counseling Services before leading the Partial Hospitalization Program at Belmont Pines Hospital. Denise has extensive experience working with children and adults with autism, and earned her Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) while working for an agency providing wraparound services. She’s served in various roles helping those with autism from director of a therapeutic support camp to lead autism clinician, carrying a high caseload while facilitating a parent support group and social skills groups. She’s worked for The Rich Center for Autism and earned the Certified Ohio Board Analyst (COBA) certificate. Denise has also served as a behavior specialist for Youngstown City Schools.
Denise is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Seth Auman is an independently licensed professional clinical counselor with more than five years of experience working for a community mental health agency in Akron.
Seth earned a Master of Arts in Counseling Ministry from the Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio and Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He’s an ordained minister with five years of pastoral experience prior to his entering the mental health field. Seth enjoys working with people of any or no religious or specific spiritual background and appreciates all forms of diversity.
He’s experienced in helping adults and teens battling depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, anger, substance issues, relationship or family problems and spiritual struggles. Seth is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and utilizes a variety of other therapeutic approaches and techniques.
Seth is available at our Columbiana, Ohio office.
Marie Bosio is an independently licensed counselor and registered nurse.
Marie has experience treating patients with chronic health issues, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, mood disorders and relationship problems.
Marie is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Heather Bowser is a licensed professional clinical counselor.
Heather worked in private practice for the last four years. She earned a bachelor’s in art education in 1996 and a master’s in education in community counseling in 2007 from Youngstown State University. She specializes in treating people experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, adjustment disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Issues. She employs a variety of therapeutic techniques including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Expressive Arts Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and much more.
Heather is involved in creating awareness around issues impacting veterans and has a desire to help those who struggle with the psychological effects of having served in combat. Heather has even traveled to Vietnam to help people understand the ravages of Agent Orange. She has experience helping people cope and live well with a disability, in particular, an individual dealing with a limb loss.
Heather is available at our Columbiana and Poland, Ohio offices.
More information coming soon!
Stephanie Fellenger is an independently licensed professional clinical counselor with a specialization in substance abuse, wellness-related concerns and LGBT issues.
Stephanie graduated from The Ohio State University in 2004 with a bachelor’s in humanities. She earned two master’s degrees in English and community and addiction counseling from Youngstown State University. She’s currently working on her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision through Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Stephanie has worked in the fields of community mental health and addiction treatment with experience in substance abuse and dependency, severe and persistent mental health, court involved treatment and medication assisted treatment. Additionally, she’s helped clients of all ages and practices individual, group, family and couples counseling.
Stephanie is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Judy Fink is a licensed professional clinical counselor and specializes in mental health disorders, grief issues, medical problems, spiritual conflict and relationship concerns.
Judy graduated from David & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She went on to earn a master’s in clinical pastoral counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio and a education specialist degree in counseling education and supervision from Kent State University. Judy’s also taught psychiatric nursing and other courses at Kent.
Judy has vast experience in the medical profession serving as a nurse in coronary care, ICU and behavioral health. She believes in a holistic approach to helping people become healthier in all aspects of life.
Judy is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Julie Fitzgerald is an independently licensed professional clinical counselor.
Julie has worked with children, adolescents and adults in mental health for over eight years. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2002 from The Ohio State University and a Master of Science in Community Counseling in 2006 from Youngstown State University. She’s worked in a variety of community mental health settings including Family Counseling and Children’s Services (Sharon, Pennsylvania) treating children and adolescents with mental health disorders and their families; Community Solutions Association (Warren, Ohio) a dual diagnosis facility offering treatment for the unique needs of both chemical dependency and mental health issues; The Boys and Girls Club of America (Youngstown, Ohio) as mental health director; and PsyCare, Inc. (Canfield, Howland and Boardman Ohio locations) where she was on staff as an independently licensed clinical counselor.
Julie has a passion for holistic healing practices utilizing her interest, education and experience in exercise, nutrition and general wellness to aid in treatment of mental health disorders. She specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety including panic attacks and agoraphobia, mood disorders, adjustment disorders (job change, loss of a loved one, divorce, new marriage, etc.), eating disorders including binge eating/compulsive eating, food addictions and body image issues and those seeking general wellness.
Julie is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Kathleen Garchar is a licensed professional clinical counselor and is a certified social worker in the state of Ohio.
A graduate of Youngstown State University, Kathleen earned her bachelor’s in education in 1978 followed by a master’s in education/community counseling. She also received additional post-graduate education in the field of counseling and psychotherapy. She’s worked at YSU as an instructor to dislocated workers and served on an advisory board for the first certificate program in entrepreneurship offered by the university.
Kathleen’s been independently licensed by the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board as a Professional Clinical Counselor since 1995. She maintained a private practice at PsyCare for over 20 years as a psychotherapist. Kathleen also had an extensive clinical experience with in patient consultation on the psychiatric unit of St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Youngstown, Ohio.
Kathleen is currently part of the team at Preferred Care Counseling with a broad base of clinical experience; particularly with relationship problems, anxiety and mood disorders and adolescent issues. She is a lifetime member of Chi Sigma Iota, a counseling honorary dedicated to scholastic and professional excellence.
Kathleen is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Patricia Hatala is an independently licensed clinical counselor with more than 20 years of experience in the mental health profession including anger management, anxiety, chronic illness, couples counseling, depression, domestic violence and women’s issues.
Patricia graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and earned a Master of Education in Community Counseling from Youngstown State University. She’s worked for a variety of counseling services, including a facility in Utah.
Patricia is available at our Warren, Ohio office.
Larry Lapidus is an independently licensed clinical counselor with more than 25 years of supervisory experience.
Larry initiated clinical programming for Horizon House, a residential treatment facility in Youngstown, Ohio for severely mentally disabled individuals, and the Eldercare Center in Struthers, Ohio. He’s provided counseling services to clients at the Doris Burdman Home and has extensive experience with helping people with chronic mental and emotional disorders.
Larry is available at our Columbiana and Poland, Ohio offices.
Florence Lorimer is an independently licensed clinical counselor.
Florence has extensive experience working with children of all ages and families and in various clinical settings including Valley Counseling, PsyCare and Akron Children’s Hospital where she participated in the Trauma Program. She specializes in treating individuals with trauma and play therapy.
Florence is available at our Poland and Warren, Ohio offices.
Robert Mahaffey is a licensed independent social worker and also serves for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Robert has a master’s in social science administration from Case Western Reserve University. He’s worked with severely mentally ill patients as well as people dealing with substance abuse and those seeking vocational rehabilitation. Robert has many years of experience in Crisis Intervention and Stabilization.
Robert is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Robert Marcus is a licensed independent social worker in Ohio and a licensed clinical social worker in Pennsylvania.
Robert has the knowledge and experience of working with adults struggling with mental health issues such as anger, anxiety, depression, mood issues, relationship and marital problems. He earned two master’s degrees; one in counseling education from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania and another in social work from West Virginia University. Robert has a Doctor of Education in Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh.
In addition to working with Preferred Care Counseling, Robert devotes his time to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and is experienced with issues affecting military veterans. Additionally, he’s certified in Divorce Mediation, working with couples who mutually agree to a non-contested end to their marriage.
Robert is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Leslie Markulin is a licensed independent social worker with a supervisory license and designation and practices as a clinical social worker.
Leslie graduated from Youngstown State University with a bachelor’s degree in social work. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio. Much of her professional career has been in a variety of health care settings, including St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown and Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. While at St. Elizabeth’s, Leslie provided intervention, crisis and grief counseling as well as social work services in the areas of oncology, trauma and women’s services. At Akron Children’s, she served as the clinical coordinator of social work and provided clinical social work services in their emergency, pediatric, and special care nursery. In addition, Leslie offered counseling interventions to parents and families of sick children, as well as parents that had psychosocial problems, such as mental health and substance abuse struggles. Leslie also worked at Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland and provided patient and family centered brief and crisis counseling with patient’s that had suffered spinal cord, brain and other life altering injuries.
She’s worked for the past 9 years with Ohio’s Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement and is one of the Ohio coordinators through Postpartum Support International providing volunteer peer support to mothers and families dealing with postpartum depression/postpartum mood disorder. Leslie’s received training through Postpartum Support International and continues to study effective treatments for this population.
She continues to work in private counseling, as well as community based counseling working individuals with depression, anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and perinatal and postpartum mood disorders. She also provides couple and family therapy.
Leslie is available at our Warren, Ohio office.
More information coming soon!
Linda Myers is an independent licensed marriage and family therapist who earned a master’s in marriage and family therapy from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California.
Linda started and maintained a private practice for more than 20 years in California before moving to Ohio. She’s enjoyed working with couples, families, children and teenagers as well as individuals in her work as a therapist. Linda’s been involved on a wide variety of issues including grief, depression, anxiety, family and relationship issues, Christian and premarital counseling, women’s issues, anger management, divorce recovery, codependency, employee assistance counseling and life stage chances.
Linda earned an additional master’s degree from King’s College and Seminary in California, which equipped her to provide Christian counseling for patients seeking a Christian therapist. Linda also taught courses on counseling at King’s College and Seminary during her residence.
Linda is available at our Warren, Ohio office.
Dan O’Neill is an Ohio-Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.
He earned a Master of Science in Education in Counseling from Youngstown State University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Ohio State University. Dan has over nine years of experience in the mental health profession and specializes in anxiety disorders, depression, life transitions, relationship issues and family and parenting concerns.
Dan uses a combination of cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based approaches to assist client with anxiety, depression, and other life-stressors.
Dan is available at our Columbiana and Poland, Ohio offices.
Rachel O’Neill is a licensed professional clinical counselor with supervisory endorsement.
Rachel has more than 14 years of experience in the mental health profession and served in a variety of leadership positions at both the state and national level. A graduate of Youngstown State University, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Education in Counseling. Rachel went on to receiving a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Kent State University.
She specializes in anxiety-related disorders, relationship problems, life transitions, sexual dysfunction and LGBTQIA+ issues. In addition to her work at Preferred Care Counseling, Rachel serves as a full-time faculty member in a graduate clinical mental health program.
Rachel is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Diane Palumbo is an independently licensed social worker with experience in clinical supervision.
Diane has her bachelor’s and master’s in social work from Youngstown State University. With over ten years of experience, she’s worked with adolescents and adults, including individual, group and family therapies. The focus of Diane’s clinical work involves substance use, severe and persistent mental health, feeding and eating disorders, court directed treatment, medically assisted treatment and the chronically homeless. Diana developed a passion for sports psychology and wellness having played collegiate soccer at YSU.
Diane is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Michelle Piacquadio is a licensed independent social worker and is an expert in treating a variety of mental health issues including grief and loss, trauma, anxiety, depression, codependency, substance abuse and relationship issues, including same sex couples.
Michelle’s career path is unique as she started in the U.S. Army in 1973. She served as a medical corpsman and behavioral science specialist. During this time, she earned her college diploma in general studies from Chaminade University of Honolulu in Hawaii. She finished with the U.S. Army in 1981 and went on to receive a master’s degree in health care social work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Michelle also spent time serving with the Virginia National Guard.
After 20 years working in private practice, Michelle returned to her military roots and became a U.S. Navy contractor providing therapy as a licensed clinical social worker at Fleet and Family Support Center in Virginia Beach. She also held a position at the Andrews Air Force Base Mental Health Clinic in Maryland where she provided counseling to members from all branches of the military. She trained in prolonged exposure therapy (PE) for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and various mental health issues.
Michelle semi-retired from the U.S. Department of Defense as a civil servant before returning to the Mahoning Valley to where she had grown up. She obtained her independent social work license in Ohio in 2016 and has since been a member of the Preferred Care Counseling team. Michelle takes up a special interest in helping veterans and active military members.
Michelle is available at our Warren, Ohio office.
Erin Rider is a licensed professional clinical counselor and applies a variety of therapeutic techniques to improving an individuals’ life through cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, art therapy and play therapy.
Erin earned a bachelor’s in psychology from Clarion University in Clarion, Pennsylvania in 2011 and a master’s in clinical mental health counseling from Kent State University in 2014.
Erin has experience working with a variety of mental health conditions such as adjustment disorders, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and reactive attachment disorder. She’s worked as a counselor at a residential treatment center for children and adolescents. She became certified to work with juveniles who have sexually offended, helping them develop an understanding of why they offended and rehabilitate them back into the community and with their families when appropriate. Erin also has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and families with severe trauma (physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect).
Erin is available at our Columbiana and Poland, Ohio offices.
Eric Ritz is a licensed professional clinical counselor.
Eric earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Fairmont State College in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1992 and a master’s in community counseling from Youngstown State University. He has more than 15 years of experience working with children, adolescents and families. Eric’s work includes inpatient and outpatient mental health settings as well as mental and behavioral intervention in school systems. He also has extensive experience in the testing and assessment of children and adolescents.
Eric is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Elida Schiavone is a licensed independent social worker and licensed professional clinical counselor.
Elida has a master’s in social work and is licensed as a social worker, counselor and chemical dependency counselor with more than 25 years of experience. She’s worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings with adults and adolescents and has practiced group and family therapy. In addition, she’s helped treat people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction as well as a variety of mental health issues.
Elida is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Michelle Tringhese is an independently licensed clinical counselor.
Michelle has more than 12 years of experience working with children, adolescents, adults and families in both outpatient and inpatient settings. She’s treated patients with trauma, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety, depression, grief, along with relationship issues and providing treatment to people suffering from drug and alcohol abuse.
Michelle is available at our Warren and Poland, Ohio offices.
Jessica Wallbrown is an Ohio Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and National Certified Counselor and Licensed School Counselor.
She earned a master’s degree in clinical counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary and has more than 15 years of experience across multiple mental health settings including residential homes, correctional facilities, hospitals, community agencies and educational institutions.
Jessica has developed therapeutic interventions to assist children, adolescents and adults with practical solutions to every day problems. She is capable and competent in providing clinical care in treating a wide range of mental health issues from depression and anxiety, alcohol and drug to couples counseling and trauma just to name a few.
She has had international experience developing mental health and social work services in developing countries as well as provided psychological first aid as a crisis responder.
Jessica is available at our Warren, Ohio office.
Kimberly Wess is an independently licensed social worker.
Having graduated from Youngstown State University, Kimberly earned a bachelor’s in education and master’s in social work. She has experience in treating addiction, depression, anxiety and grief and loss in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Kimberly is available at our Poland, Ohio office.
Heather Whyel is an independently licensed professional clinical counselor and serves as a crisis and sexual trauma intervention counselor for both inpatient and outpatient clients.
She specializes in grief and traumatic life events and utilizes a systematic, eclectic approach with a strong grounding in psychodynamic therapy. Heather also has experience treating individuals suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, relationship issues, substance abuse and life transition problems.
Heather is available at our Warren, Ohio office.
Rochelle Wysinger is a licensed professional clinical counselor and supervising counselor and focuses on empowering the client to improve their quality of life.
A graduate of Youngstown State University, Rochelle received a Master of Science in Education in Community Counseling and has over 13 years of experience helping children, adolescents and families in various capacities. Her work history includes outpatient and home-based mental health services, outpatient SUD/mental health services, school intervention programs, SUD/mental health counseling within a correctional setting and supervision of other licensed counselors.
Rochelle’s experience comes through her work with agencies such as The United Methodist Community Center, Meridian Community Care, Homes For Kids and Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services. She specializes in treating people experiencing adjustment disorders, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, life transition issues, relationship problems, substance abuse disorders and trauma. She utilizes a variety of therapeutic techniques including motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy and expressive art therapy in both group and individual therapy settings.
Rochelle is available at our Warren and Poland, Ohio offices.