Molly W. Blancke, MPA, BSW, BA,  has been the Executive Director of Lutheran Counseling Center (LCC) in New York since 2006.  A native South Carolinian, before coming to New York Molly demonstrated leadership skills as the Social Services Director for a large nursing home complex for eight years and previously, as a social worker advocate with mentally challenged children and their families, encouraging and fostering independence in their communities. Molly is also an accomplished church organist and pianist and has worked for several churches in music director positions in the past.

She has a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in ‘Non-Profit Management’ from Long Island University and is an adjunct professor in the MPA program there. She also earned a B.S.W. in Social Work and a B.A. in Sociology and Music.

Molly is currently a member of ALDE (Association of Lutheran Development Executives), LSA (Lutheran Services in America), is on the board of LSNYA (Lutheran Services New York Alliance, and is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha. She has held volunteer positions as both accompanist for various choral groups and in social work agencies, working with expectant mothers and their families.

The Rev. Serge Castigliano, Ph.D., LMFT, LMHC, Senior Clinical Supervisor for Lutheran Counseling Center and an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has worked in semi-retirement since 2004 as CPE Program Director for the Lutheran Services New York Alliance’s accredited Clinical Pastoral Education Center. He has also served for the past twenty years as part-time Clinical Pastoral Supervisor and Senior Consultant for the Lutheran Counseling Center in NY. Previous positions include Director of Pastoral Care, Missouri Psychiatric Institute and Hospital in St. Louis, MO; executive positions with the national Lutheran Church as Associate Director and Director for ministries of chaplaincy, counseling and clinical education; and Executive Director, Seafarers and International House, New York.

In addition to an M.Div. degree, he holds two earned doctorates (D.Min. and Ph.D.) and is certified as a CPE Supervisor Emeritus by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). He holds certification by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors as a Diplomate, its highest level of certification. He is a Board Certified Chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains. Serge has received several professional awards, including the Christus in Mundo award given in 2007 by the Inter-Lutheran Coordinating Committee—the Lutheran Church’s highest honor for distinguished service in ministries of chaplaincy, counseling and clinical education.


Our Therapists:

Chris24970Chris W. Abatelli, MA, LMHC, has a Master’s of Educational Psychology degree in Adjustment Counseling as well as a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Counseling from American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. He worked for several years as a mental health therapist for Pederson-Krag Center and is Director of Youth for St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sayville, NY. Mr. Abatelli has experience in counseling children, teens, couples, adults and families for a wide range of issues including substance abuse, children with special needs, adoptions and conflict resolution. He is a member of the New York Mental Health Counselor Association and is the handler of Baker, LCC’s animal assisted therapy dog. Baker is available by consent of clients who work with Mr. Abatelli. He provides counseling at our Dix Hills and Patchogue  counseling sites.

dog‘Baker’, a yellow lab from the Guide Dog Foundation, assists Chris Abatelli, her handler. The decision to have Baker in therapy sessions is made by the client. Baker is a trained animal assisted therapy dog and as such, she has a sweet temperament, is genuinely caring, and is a vital part of restoring hope and healing for children as well as adults. Her presence can be calming and reassuring for anyone dealing with stress or trauma, but most of all, she is great at showing love and genuine empathy. Her presence is available with Mr. Abatelli in our Dix Hills and Patchogue sites.


NicholeNichole L. Adams, PsyD, ABPP  works as a Clinical Supervisor for Corizon Health Services, supervising the only Forensic Psychiatric Assessment Unit on Riker’s Island. Dr. Adams was formerly the Nassau BOCES Special Education Department chief psychologist where she supervised a team of more than 80 clinicians who serve the agency’s 10 special education schools. She is also an adjunct professor at Adelphi University and developed a new course for the school: Behavioral Disorders in Childhood: A Multicultural Perspective. Dr. Adams has a M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Howard University, a M.A. in Administration and Supervision from Touro College, and a M.S. in Psychology and combined Doctor of Psychology in School and Community Psychology from Hofstra University. She also earned a bilingual extension certification in Spanish and is a board-certified psychologist (ABPP). At Lutheran Counseling Center, she counsels families at the Mineola site who need support due to trauma.

KirkKirk Bingaman, PhD, MDiv, LMHC, is Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling in the Graduate School of Religion & Religious Education at Fordham University. An ordained Presbyterian minister, he is a licensed mental health counselor in New York and a Fellow with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Prior to coming to the New York area, Dr. Bingaman served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Stockton, NJ and as director of satellite offices for the Lloyd Center Pastoral Counseling Service at San Francisco Theological Seminary/Graduate Theological Union. He holds a PhD in Psychology & Theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA and a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has three books published: Treating the New Anxiety: A Cognitive-Theological Approach; Freud and Faith: Living in the Tension; and  The Power of Neuroplasticity for Pastoral and Spiritual Care. Dr. Bingaman counsels teens, adults and couples at our Mineola site.

BettinaBettina Bove, LCSW-R, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience. After completing her Master’s of Social Work degree summa cum laude at Adelphi University, Mrs. Bove continued intensive post-graduate training at the Long Island Marriage and Family Institute and the NY Institute of Psychosynthesis for advanced training in meditation, relaxation and guided imagery. As a clinical social worker for North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Systems’ department of behavioral health and psychiatry from 1999 to 2012, she gained extensive experience working with individuals, teens, couples, families and groups. In addition, she completed two years of Christian Leadership Training. Ms. Bove counsels at our Dix Hills site.

Craig Canfield

Craig Canfield, LP, is a graduate of the psychoanalytic program at Blanton Peale Institute. While a student at Rutgers University, he completed a Master’s Degree in European History and has completed all course work for a PhD in European Cultural/Intellectual History. A specialty is his ability to help artists, musicians, writers or those in other artistic endeavors to dismantle blocks that may hinder the creative process. Mr. Canfield has counseled in private practices in Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey since 2005. He counsels adults, couples and teens for many different mental health issues at the LCC-Paul Qualben site in Brooklyn, NY. 

David24875David Elseroad, DMin, MDiv, LMFT, is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hawthorne, NY.  Dr. Elseroad is fluent in French and Spanish. His professional background includes work in multicultural ministries and experiences as pastor, hospital chaplain, missionary and   teacher.  He has a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling from Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion and the Post-graduate Center for Mental Health, Manhattan.  His Master of Divinity degree is from Concordia Seminary and he has completed graduate studies in International Relations. He is also a New York state licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He counsels teens, individuals, couples, and families at our Manhattan (ICC), Bronxville and Mineola sites.

Twila25003Twila Evanson, LCSW-R, received a Master’s of Social Work degree from Fordham University in NY. She currently works as a Director of Social Work and Marketing Coordinator for All-health LLC, a licensed home care agency.  She works as a Private Consultant/Clinical Social Worker with various organizations including dialysis centers in NY and as a rostered adjunct professor at Concordia College, Bronxville. Ms. Evanson has had extensive experience working with adults, couples, families, children and teens in many areas including foster care, adoption, death and dying, loss and separation, and grief and bereavement. She started her psychotherapy career at the Long Island Consultation Center in Rego Park, NY and continues to counsel adults, children and families at the Paul Qualban site in Brooklyn and at the Woodside, Queens site..


Elizabeth Geiling, MSED, LMHC, received her undergraduate degree from Concordia College in Bronxville, NY. She received her Master’s degree and Professional Diploma in Counseling from Fordham University, NY. Mrs. Geiling holds a NY state license as a Mental Health Counselor as well as being a Certified School Psychologist and Guidance Counselor. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Concordia College, Bronxville, NY, teaching courses in general, developmental, abnormal and counseling psychology. Her work experience includes college, community and school counseling for individuals and groups. She serves as a Mental Health Counselor for the Lutheran Counseling Center at its sites in Bronxville, and at Advent in Manhattan. Her practice includes young children, adolescents and adults.

Lehenbauer.ImagoRonald Lehenbauer, DMin, MDiv, LMFT, has served as pastor of congregations in Jenison, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; and Flushing, New York, and as Circuit Counselor in both the English and Atlantic Districts, LCMS. He received his Doctorate of Ministry degree from NY Theological Seminary and holds Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology degrees from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. Dr. Lehenbauer completed certification in pastoral counseling at the Post-graduate Center for Mental Health in New York, NY and also is certified as an Imago Relationship Therapist. A member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Dr. Lehenbauer is a NY state licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, providing counseling for adults and couples at our Woodside and Mineola sites

Forrest24850The Rev. Forrest T. Parkinson, LMSW, LP, is pastor of Community Church of Little Neck in Little Neck, NY.  He is a Licensed Psychoanalyst, having obtained a certificate in Psychoanalysis from Blanton-Peale Institute in 2005. Rev. Parkinson also has an MSW from State University of NY, Stony Brook. He received his MDiv degree from Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, NY and has full ministerial standing with the United Church of Christ. He also has an MS in Special Education & Emotional Disabilities from LIU at CW Post in Brookville, NY.   He has two years postgraduate training in Analytical Psychology at the CG Jung Institute and is also a certified Spiritual Director in the Ignatian tradition.  Pastor Parkinson counsels adults and couples at our site at Advent, Manhattan.


Janet Siry, LCSW, received her Master’s in Social Work degree at Fordham University and a BS in Elementary Education from Valparaiso University. She has worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for years and prior to this, she was a preschool teacher. As a school based social worker for four years, Mrs. Siry has counseled children, adolescents, families and adults and has facilitated group therapy sessions. She has a private practice in Setauket, NY. Mrs. Siry is a member of The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and was awarded Woman of the Year in Religion in 2005. She counsels children, teens, adults, couples and families at our Patchogue counseling site.

SteinkeAlan Steinke LCSW-R, MDiv, is retired as pastor of The Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, Valley Stream, NY where he served for thirty years. He was one of three clergy consultants to the Bishop of the English District-LCMS as a member of the Ministerial Health Commission. Pastor Steinke has had extensive experience in the field of psychotherapy since graduating with a Master’s of Social Work degree from Yeshiva University, New York City and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an ‘R’ status. He has completed extensive research in the area of anger management. Pastor Steinke also holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. Pastor Steinke is a Clinical Supervisor with LCC and provides counseling for students at Trinity Lutheran School in Hicksville one day a week. He also counsels children, teens, adults and couples at our Mineola site.

Anthony24918Anthony Stephens, PhD, MDiv, JD, LMHC, is pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Croton-on-Hudson, NY. He has worked as a prison chaplain and as a pastoral counselor, specializing in substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse issues. Rev. Stephens also has experience in grief counseling. His Master of Divinity degree is from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California, and his PhD in Human Development is from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. Rev. Stephens also received a law degree from Pace University School of Law. He counsels adults and couples at our Brooklyn site.

Tom24863Thomas S. Taylor, PhD, LCSW-R, STM, is a Certified Psychoanalyst and Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an ‘R’ status. He is a member of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP) and is a Clinical Supervisor for LCC. An ordained pastor of the ELCA, Dr. Taylor has a PhD from the Silver School of Social Work at NYU and a Master’s of Social Work degree from Yeshiva University in NY. His Master’s of Sacred Theology degree is from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa., and he has a Master of Divinity concentrating in Psychiatry and Religion from Union Theological Seminary in NY. Dr. Taylor received his Certification in Pastoral Counseling from the Post-graduate Center for Mental Health in NY and has had extensive experience working with individuals and couples and as a seminar presenter. He is a Prepare/Enrich certified trainer. In addition, he has taught as an adjunct professor at Concordia College, Bronxville. Dr. Taylor counsels teens, adults and couples as Counselor-in-Residence at our Advent Lutheran Church site in New York, NY and at our Bronxville site.

Cynthia25068Cynthia Terrell, LCSW, received a Master’s in Social Work degree from Fordham University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  She works full-time as a school social worker in the Hempstead School District. Mrs. Terrell has had extensive experience in working with children, adoptions, parent and caregiver guidance, foster care, women, and families as well as working as a social work supervisor in several agencies and hospitals. She counsels children, teens and adults at LCC’s Mineola site.

Mary Beth Werdel, PhD, LMHC, received her doctorate in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University, Maryland and completed a doctoral internship at the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing in Washington, D.C.  She is also an Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Fordham University and currently teaches both clinical and research classes for graduate level Pastoral Care and Counseling students. Dr. Werdel’s research focuses on the intersection of spirituality and well-being during times of loss, stress, and trauma. Her most recent research studies focused on spiritual coping resources for parents of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Werdel has written two books, A Primer of Posttraumatic Growth (2012) and As Faith Matures: Beyond the Sunday God (2012).

Her clinical experience, including her work as a bi-lingual Spanish speaking family therapist, focuses on working predominately with individuals, children and families who have experienced significant loss, stress or trauma. She has extensive training in Relationship Enhancement Therapy, Child-Centered Play Therapy and Filial Therapy. Dr. Werdel is a therapist at LCC’s Westchester site, located at Village Lutheran Church, Bronxville.

Danita O. Wright, LCSW-R, is a mental health therapist working with children and families at the Community Mental Health Center of South Nassau Community Hospital. Her clinical experience includes working in a school setting, counseling people with a history of chemical dependence, adjustment disorders, and marriage and family counseling.  She holds an MSW from Adelphi University and is a certified field supervisor. Adept at both group and individual therapy, Danita counsels children, teens and adults at LCC’s Mineola site.