Meet Our Team

Michael Shanahan, M.Div., LMFT Executive Director  – I have been working with clients in the field of mental health for 17 years.  In order to meet the distinct needs of each client, I use a holistic, person-centered approach, employing treatment strategies based on the client’s presenting problem and what they hope therapy will accomplish. I believe that building rapport and trust are essential to forming sound therapeutic relationships out of which healing can emerge. I see individuals, couples, families, and groups. I treat a variety of mental health issues including depression and anxiety, relationship issues, anger management, Attention Deficit Disorder, trauma and PTSD, life & spiritual path questions, Bipolar Disorder, and others. I work with clients to build healthy boundaries in their relationships with spouses or life partners, other family members, and coworkers. In addition to reducing a client’s mental health symptoms, my goal as a therapist is to support a client’s sense of themselves as capable and gifted, so that relationships with the important people in their lives are enhanced and made more authentic and enjoyable.

Sr. Elish McPartland, RGS, M.T., RCST® Holistic Therapist – I am a trained Holistic Therapist who has been practicing Massage Therapy (Swedish, Sports Massage, and Acupressure) since 1992 and Polarity Therapy since 1996. I began practicing and teaching Reiki in 1997 and became a Registered Practitioner of the Biodynamic method of Craniosacral Therapy in 2003. I offer sessions in all four modalities in an atmosphere of deep respect and sensitivity for the person. Many of the people I see for bodywork are experiencing a wide range of physical and emotional difficulties. In order to provide the most effective treatment outcomes, I tailor treatment plans to meet the unique needs of the individual.

Danielle L. Owen, LADCIILicensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor” – I am a MA state licensed alcohol & drug counselor (LADCII), a graduate of the Hazelden (European) School of Addiction Studies and have over 16 years counseling experience both in Ireland and Massachusetts. With a background in residential treatment and group work, I have primarily worked in outpatient community settings, providing substance use disorder counseling, family support, relapse prevention and education groups along with prevention outreach, utilizing a culturally sensitive approach. I began volunteering with Maria Droste Counseling Services in 2008 but since May 2015, I work three days a week, primarily serving low income, uninsured and court mandated clients.  Using an ecological and trauma sensitive lens, I support clients and their families in addressing substance use disorder problems, discovering their own ability to recover and thrive using treatment, community resources and self-help fellowships.  I utilize techniques ranging from Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral, Rational Emotive Behavioral, Solution Focused and Narrative therapies, believing that each individual has the power to bring change and recovery into their own lives and the ability to work towards their full potential. I will complete my MSW graduate program in the Fall 2017.”

Mary Ann Crowley, CSJ, MA, CADC, LSC Licensed Social Worker – As a trained educator and substance abuse counselor of over 25 years, I have had the privilege of working with many adults, children and families. I am in awe of the human spirit that is so resilient and one’s desire and ability to hope, heal and believe in oneself. Addiction and substance abuse are often complex and at the root of both personal and family issues.  I specialize in helping you through your unique life story.  My overall approach is to be highly empathic, nonjudgmental and patient.  Communicating with compassion, coupled with directness and at times a sense of humor can really help. Experience has taught me to use an eclectic treatment approach, respecting the individual and his or her learning style.  I look forward to meeting with new clients as we begin a journey of hope and healing.

Marie Downey, LICSW Clinical Social Worker – I am inspired on a daily basis by the courage, resilience and healing capacity of the human spirit. For over 30 years, I have had the honor of accompanying individuals and families during times of family turmoil, trauma and major life stressors. As a trained clinical social worker, I focus on strengths as we work together to explore feeling, thoughts and opinions to the situations and obstacles we each face. For over 20 years, I worked in an employee assistance program and met with individuals dealing with anxiety, substance abuse, depression, interpersonal problems and various health care issues. As a life long learner, I continue to do my part to learn, grow and change so I may assist others in reaching their goals and healing potential. My role is to listen as we explore solutions to the problems you present with.

Patricia Fair, LICSW Clinical Social Worker – For over 25 years, I have been practicing psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups.  Prior to this, I cared for patients in hospitals and community mental health settings as a registered nurse.  Due to my varied background in physical and mental health, I seek to incorporate a mind body approach to my therapy.  This integration includes the use of energy work and spirituality, as experienced by the individual.  I wish to develop a relationship with the client that is safe and empathic, through which healing occurs.  Currently, I work primarily with adults suffering from a wide range of psychosocial issues, including anxiety, depression, family conflict, life transitions and medical illness.  The goal of treatment is to help each person achieve increased inner peace and improve relationships with others.

Denise E. Patts, RMT Energy Medicine Practitioner / Master Healer – I am a Reiki Master Teacher and Energy Medicine Practitioner. My desire is to work with you to balance your whole system; mind, body and spirit. Whether you need to relax and restore or are dealing with the effects of such illnesses as Fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, Thyroid or Arthritis, energy work will help support your current methods of healing. I use a wealth of experience and gentle touch techniques to facilitate your inner awareness, re-pattern your energy field and help you to accelerate your own healing.

Sarah Roman, MSW, LCSW – Working as a Clinical Social Worker, I am dedicated to using a strengths based perspective within therapy while focusing on empowering clients to create changes they’ve identified within their lives based upon their personal goals. I have an interest and experience working in Behavioral Medicine, and value a focus on the mind/body connection within therapy. My goal is to engage clients as partners within the therapy process and to provide clients a supportive therapeutic relationship and environment. In addition to outpatient individual therapy, I have worked with a wide variety of populations within community health center settings, as well as residential substance use. Areas of focus include working with individuals who have a dual diagnosis and/or chronic health or mental health conditions, substance use, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, grief, wish to improve relationships, or are dealing with life changes or stressors. In my practice, I draw from a number of treatment therapies including, Brief therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness, and Psychodynamic therapy.

Nancy F. Gallagher, MA Loss and Grief Counselor Spiritual Director/Companion  As a Loss and Grief Counselor I see clients who are dealing with issues and emotions that seem to make no sense.  Together we explore the complexities of living with loss and the feelings that accompany that loss.  Loss comes in many forms.  Often we think of loss in terms of losing a loved one to death.  However, throughout the life cycle loss occurs in many ways.  I work with people experiencing loss through death, illness, loss of employment, loss of ones home or living situation, termination of a relationship or any other life circumstance that creates situations of sadness and grieving.  We look for ways to find hope and healing through the grief and sadness. When loss occurs the entire body, mind and soul are affected.  I believe in a holistic approach to grieving and healing and one that offers the client an ability to move through all stages of the grieving process.  After a loss there is a tendency to want to put grieving on the back burner in attempt to get back to “life as usual.”  When grief is put on hold, unresolved feelings of loss continue to weave their way into our lives. I am also a Spiritual Director/Companion and meet with individuals who are interested in moving toward a deeper adult relationship between God and self.   I am trained in Focusing and use this modality with clients who wish to access their bodily felt sense of situations that are often complicated and unpredictable.  Accessing ones bodily felt sense of a situation can be a valuable tool for moving forward.

Lee Forest, M.Ed., LMHC, NCC Licensed Mental Health Counselor and National Certified Counselor – Drawing from feminist, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral approaches, I enter the therapeutic relationship from a mindset of collaboration and mutual respect. Integral to my work with clients is encouraging their personal empowerment and realization of their authentic selves. I hold expertise in gender and sexual identity issues from working 10 years in higher education fostering healthy identity development in transgender, bisexual, queer, lesbian, and gay individuals. As a counselor, I see a diverse array of clients who can expect from me a commitment to social justice and a sincere appreciation of their backgrounds.

Betty Chan, LICSW – I am a supportive and compassionate independent clinical social worker who treats adolescents, adults, couples and families. I assist with a range of difficulties including anxiety, depression, crisis of identity, addiction, trauma and interpersonal issues. I specialize in different forms of evidence-based psychotherapy. I also draw upon psychodynamic perspectives, cognitive techniques, mindfulness & spirituality, the mind-body connection and practical coping skills. Through a genuine connection in the therapeutic relationship, we will move through blocks and achieve goals, heal from past wounds, strengthen inner reserves and maximize well-being and vitality. I have a specific interest and expertise in treating individuals who have experienced problems related to immigration or adjusting to cultural differences. Sessions in English with conversational Cantonese and Toisanese Chinese for those who prefer to express themselves in Cantonese and Toisanese Chinese.

Karen McHugh, Volunteer Substance Use Counselor – I began volunteering at Maria Droste Counselling Services in 2014, and have worked in the field of Addiction Recovery for the past 11 years. I am a trained Alcohol & Drug Counselor currently accruing the hours needed to receive my CADAC license. I am a Reiki II practitioner and a SEDA-certified Acupressure practitioner, as well as a trained Biosonics sound healer. Through these modalities I am able to offer my clients a variety of holistic approaches to healing and recovery. I believe that change and growth are always possible for those who are willing, and I seek to guide my clients to their own inner resources of empowerment and strength.