Marriage and Family
The counselors and psychologists at Psychological Associates of Schuylkill County have received extensive education and training in systems theories and practice to assist in strengthening your family to help them handle problems encountered with members.Read More….
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depressive are treatable. At Psychological Associates of Schuylkill County, we are here to support and guide you in that process. Our licensed professionals can assist individuals to overcome life’s problems that contribute to their difficulties.Read More….
Meet Our Staff
Joseph Sheris, Ph.D., NCC, CCMHC
Dr. Sheris is a Pennsylvania Licensed Psychologist since 1994 and one of the founding partners of Psychological Associates of Schuylkill County, LLC. He began his career working with physically and mentally handicapped children and as a direct service youth worker. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor and a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor through the National Board of Certified Counselor. Additionally, he has specialty certifications as a Parenting Coordinator and Custody Evaluator with the Professional Academy of Custody Evaluators. He also earned clinical certification in the treatment of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder from the International Association of Trauma Professionals.
Dr. Sheris provides clinical assessments and psychological evaluations in several areas. He conducts comprehensive evaluations for the Courts in custody matters. In addition, he conducts comprehensive diagnostic assessment for children and adults for attention disorders, learning problems, trauma, and other clinical areas. Additionally, he completes psychological evaluations for police, employment, bariatric surgery, and other medical needs. He provides individual treatment to children and adults in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and trauma.
In addition to the treatment of victims of assault and trauma, Dr. Sheris has extensive training and experience in treatment and assessment of sexual offenders. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Sex Offender Assessment Board and conducts evaluations for the courts in several counties.
Dr. Sheris earned his Ph.D. in psychology from Northcentral University and a Master’s of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Kutztown University. He did his undergraduate work at Pennsylvania State University. He is a lifelong resident of this county and he has chosen to continue to serve the residents of this county.
Patricia M. Brownmiller, MA, NCC
Patricia M. Brownmiller is a Pennsylvania Licensed Psychologist since 1995 and a founding partner of Psychological Associates of Schuylkill County, LLC, which was formed in 1996. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor with a certification as a Parenting Coordinator, a Divorce and Custody Mediator and a trained Child Specialist and Coach in Collaborative Law.
Her experience began in the social service field, working with children and adolescents as the director of a therapeutic foster care program. It was here that her interest in building healthy families began. Throughout her career, her focus on families and relationships has remained constant.
Ms. Brownmiller earned her Master of Arts Degree from Kutztown University and followed with a three-year postgraduate program in Family Therapy through Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. Her undergraduate degree in Criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania has provided a base for work with in various populations in forensic psychology over the years.
Currently, Ms. Brownmiller focuses on providing counseling to a wide range of populations and ages in individual, family, and couples. She utilizes a cognitive behavioral approach within a family systems orientation. She remains current in research and techniques for treating problems that affect a person's quality of life.
Over the years, Patricia has focused her energy on helping families who are in the process of change. Since 1993, Patricia has worked with the Courts in Schuylkill County to assist separating and divorced parents in developing effective co-parenting relationships. As a firm believer in the benefits of proactive problem solving, she has worked to promote services that utilize alternative forms of dispute resolution. Although the definition of family has expanded greatly over these past decades, the importance of positive communication, nurturing of relationships and the well-being of the individuals remains central to positive life experience. In addition, Patricia has been an active volunteer and board member of Co-County Wellness Services and has represented Schuylkill Wellness Services in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Kelly Reno, MSW, LCSW
Kelly Reno is a licensed clinical social worker, who has been in private practice at Psychological Associates of Schuylkill County, LLC since 2007. This current position is the culmination of eighteen years in the field of social work.
While capable of addressing most forms of psychological and social issues, particular areas of interest for Kelly are grief, loss and bereavement, aging and caregiving issues and health related issues.
Prior experience in the home health and hospice and aging fields have assisted Kelly with honing skills with a variety of client issues.
Ms. Reno is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors (2005). She is a current member of the National Association of Social Workers and the American Academy of Bereavement.
Ms. Reno received her Bachelors of Arts in Social Work from Alvernia University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Temple University. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Social Work from Capella University. In addition, she continues to actively obtain continuing education and has remained current in the field of social work and mental health.
Denise L. Whalen, MA, NCC, LPC
Denise L. Whalen is a licensed professional counselor, currently practicing at Psychological Associates of Schuylkill County, LLC. She concentrates her clinical practice on the treatment of children, adolescents, and families. Play therapy for children and adolescents is an area of specialty and Ms. Whalen has extensive training and is pursuing certification.
Ms. Whalen has provided services to children and families in Schuylkill County since 1989. She has acquired clinical experience in community agencies, partial hospitalization programs, inpatient hospital units, and home-based settings. In additional to the current private practice setting, she also services as an adjunct instructor for Penn State University.
Ms. Whalen has been licensed by the State of Pennsylvania as a professional counselor since 2002. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor with the National Board of Certified Counselors.
Ms. Whalen is a professional member of the American Counseling Association and the Association for Play Therapy. She is a graduate of the Association for Play Therapy’s leadership academy and currently serves on the Ethics and Training committee. She is actively involved with the Pennsylvania Play Therapy Associates, and was elected as the President of this organization in May of 2012.
Ms. Whalen has had extensive training in structural family therapy from Philadelphia Child Guidance Center. Ms. Whalen holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Kutztown University, as well as a BSoSc in Behavioral Sciences and an AS in Business Administration from Penn State University.
Eric Neifert, MA, NCC, LPC
Mr. Neifert is Pottsville native and graduate of Pottsville Area High School, who enjoys working as a professional in the community he was raised. Mr. Neifert is sensitive to the existing issues in our local communities and their impact on families and individuals. Mr. Neifert has served honorably with the U.S Army, 10th Mountain Division, and enjoys working with Veterans, both past and present.
After the service he received an A.A. in Psychology from Mira Costa College in Oceanside California, where he minored in child development. While in school, he worked for the California School for Professional Psychology in a Behavior Analysis program for children with Autism.
After returning to PA, in 2002, Mr. Neifert received his Bachelors of Science in Applied Psychology from Albright College in Reading. While in school, he worked in several residential programs for juvenile sex offenders, as well as children with impulse control disorders and other behavioral health issues in Berks County.
Mr. Neifert received his Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Kutztown University in 2008. Since that time, he has worked as an outpatient therapist in both private practice and within the community, prior to joining Psychological Associates. Mr. Neifert is a Nationally Certified Counselor, and currently hold a license as a Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Counseling Association, as well as the American Counseling Association.
Mr. Neifert is past president of the PA counseling Association division for child and adolescent counseling specialists, and a member of the National Honor Society in Psychology. Mr. Neifert utilizes a client-centered approach to therapy, as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy, and often incorporates relaxation, meditation and mindfulness practices when appropriate. He greatly enjoys the social work field, and assisting individuals, families and couples struggling with emotional and or behavioral problems.
Carol Mack, Psy.D., LPC, Certified School Psychologist
Dr. Carol Mack joined Psychological Associates in 2010. Psycho-educational testing with an extensive analyzed report is offered as a full pay service (medical insurances generally do not cover psycho-educational assessments).
Dr. Mack specializes in working with school age clients five through college age coping with ADHD, behavioral and academic issues. She also works with children, adolescent and adult clients managing depression, anxiety and/or adjustment disorder issues.
Dr. Mack’s education includes:
Doctor of School Psychology, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; School Psychology and Elementary Guidance Counselor Certifications, Bucknell University; Secondary Principal Certification, University of Scranton; Elementary Principal, Temple University; Masters in Elementary Education and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Kutztown State University; and Licensed Professional Counselor since 2003.
Numerous certificates of continued attendance and participation in seminars and conferences related to counseling/psychology/education through professional organizations are on-going.
Professional work includes:
Psychological Associates -Psycho-educational assessments and counseling services; Access Services – Behavioral Specialist, Mobile Therapist and Mentor in the Rebound Program; Schuylkill Intermediate Unit #29- School Psychologist; Alvernia and Wilkes Universities - Taught graduate and undergraduate level courses; Shenandoah Valley School District – Classroom teacher.
Professional accomplishments include:
Intensive research and conducted a pilot program as part of the doctoral dissertation requirement at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. To this end, she analyzed the effectiveness of parent education programs as per student academic progress. A project for the dissertation requirement at Bucknell University included significant research and a study to investigate the relationship of self-esteem and achievement of third and fourth grade students.
Memberships include: NASP, ASPP
Christianne Bayer, Ed.D., NCC, LPC
Dr. Christianne Bayer is a licensed professional counselor and part-time employee of Psychological Associates of Schuylkill County, LLC. Dr. Bayer received her education from Penn State University as an undergraduate, earning a B.S Degree in Psychology. She later completed her studies at Kutztown University earning a M.A. Degree in Counseling Psychology. She most recently earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Immaculata University in 2012.
Dr. Bayer has been providing treatment services to individuals and families since 1991. She has been primarily concentrating her services in the adolescent population and has worked in an adolescent partial hospitalization and day treatment program with adolescents and their families since 1991. Dr. Bayer has been the Director since 1997. Furthermore, Dr. Bayer has experience with treating a variety of childhood/adolescent disorders, and providing support/services to their families.
Dr. Bayer also has experience with psychological assessments, primarily with adolescents being evaluated for Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS). She has completed this training with a licensed psychologist through a private practice. Christianne has also provided therapy services to individuals, families and couples in a private practice setting since 2002.
Dr. Bayer is licensed as a Professional Counselor by the Pennsylvania State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (2002), and is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board of Certified Counselors.
Deirdre Rahn, MS
Deirdre Rahn is a professional counselor who joined Psychological Associates of Schuylkill County, LLC in 2014. She has been working in the mental health field since 1999.
Deirdre is a member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals with specialized training and certification in Trauma Counseling and Crisis Management. She is also a member of the National Center for Crisis Management and The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress.
Deirdre received an M.S. in Clinical Counseling Psychology from Chestnut Hill University, a M.S. from Capella University in Psychology, and her B.S. in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University. She plans to continue her doctoral training with Fielding University in pursuit of her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
Linda M. Badger, ACSW, LCSW
Linda Badger is a certified and licensed clinical social worker currently practicing at Psychological Associates of Schuylkill County, LLC. She has worked in the social work field for over 30 years with children and families in the areas of child abuse/neglect, parenting, parent/child conflict, and family functioning; with a focus on teaching child development, behavior modification, parenting skills, and anger management.
Ms. Badger has experience providing mental health counseling in multiple treatment modalities; including individual, couples, group, and family. She has worked with individuals to enhance their abilities to deal with symptoms relating to trauma, depression, mood swings, attention deficit, hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, and adjustment disorders. She offers skill training on coping skills, mindfulness, relaxation techniques, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Her therapeutic approach is strength based and client focused using psycho-supportive, cognitive behavioral, solution focused and play therapy.
Ms. Badger received her Bachelor of Science degree as a social work major from Edinboro University and received her Masters of Social Work degree from West Virginia University. She is certified through the Academy of Certified Social Workers and a member of the National Association of Social Workers. She is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors.