Patricia Sage-McLean, LCSW-R, hails from a small town in upstate New York. After receiving her BA from Binghamton University, she completed her MSW at the University at Albany School of Social Welfare. She received advanced training in cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy from Upstate Medical University at SUNY Syracuse. For the last four years, she has been part of a multi-disciplinary team at Lourdes Center for Pain and Wellness. Before that, Patricia worked for a substance abuse facility and an inpatient psychiatric hospital.
Patricia strives to create a safe space where her patients feel welcome and validated. She takes a person-centered approach, allowing for self-exploration of past and current struggles to work on problem-solving and growth. She focuses on strength building and working on areas of life that they value most. Interested in the human being behind the story, she facilitates a therapeutic relationship that encourages patients to open up about their lived experience. Patricia has worked with patients online for two years and sees teletherapy as a solution to the transportation, scheduling, and accessibility issues commonly associated with in-office care.
While she specializes in treating personality disorders, Patricia has extensive experience treating schizophrenia, chronic pain, substance abuse issues, stress, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, grief, and coping with life changes. In her free time, she enjoys working on her daughter’s farm and playing golf. She is also an avid nature photographer and animal lover.
Michele grew up in Ohio, attended Tulane University in New Orleans, and completed a bachelor’s degree in English at The College of New Rochelle. She later earned her master’s in Counseling Psychology at Antioch University, becoming a licensed mental health counselor in 2012.
An integrative therapist, Michele describes her practice as: “A highly personalized, evidence-based approach that combines carefully chosen complementary theoretical interventions. This may look like traditional talk therapy, concrete skill-building, or the discovery of the interconnectivity of thought, emotions, and behavior. Its success is contingent on a trusting, accepting relationship between client and therapist.”
Her areas of expertise include relationship issues, family conflict, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and trauma. “My therapeutic style is compassionate and curious, with a great appreciation for the power of humor!” She continues, “Whether you want to untangle the past, feel overwhelmed by the present, or worried about the future, I strive to create a safe place to support your needs.”
Initially a doubter, Michele now sees significant value in teletherapy. “Obviously, it’s convenient, but also there’s a discernible shift in the dynamic when you are meeting online as opposed to having clients come to your office and communicate in your space. Most appear more comfortable speaking from their own environments while I get interesting glimpses into their lives real-time.”
A mother of three adult children, Michele recently relocated from Vermont to Rhinebeck, New York, to be closer to her daughter Claire who lives in NYC.
Gabrielle Brainard’s path to working with people seemed meant to be. As a resident of a small town in western New York State, she grew up in Arkansas and spent some time in New York before starting her advanced education in Maryland. However, it was in Baltimore, where her aunt was a psychiatric nurse in a behavioral health hospital, that she was exposed to therapy.
After getting her Bachelor’s in Sociology and Law Enforcement at Towson University and studying abroad in London, she continued her education, earning a Master of Social Work degree at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in Pennsylvania. Now she spends most of her days utilizing her training as an LCSW, MSW, and trauma counselor working with young people at an alternative education high school and providing counseling services to adults via telehealth.
“Social workers are knowledgeable and helpful in many areas—medical, school, home, and family. It’s a versatile field and is person-centered,” she says, also emphasizing how telehealth opens up a spectrum of treatment options for people in small, rural towns. “Living in a rural area, transportation tends to be a huge barrier, as is having limited resources. Telehealth opens up opportunities for individuals to receive treatment from the privacy and comfort of their own homes.”
As a mother of three, Gabrielle has a passion for traveling. Growing up, she visited all 50 states with her mother and now is building a ‘travel bucket list’ which includes Iceland and New Zealand.
Sheila grew up in a large family on Long Island, where she learned the importance of helping one another. “My parents encouraged us to consider the needs of the whole family.” This mindset helped Sheila develop the ability to see things from another person’s perspective. Years later as a student at California State University, Fullerton, this early lesson would guide her course of studies.
“I started as a business major but knew it wasn’t for me,” she recalls. An undergraduate course in psychology was a turning point for her. “I discovered that this was what I was meant to do.” After earning her bachelor's, she returned to New York where she completed her Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University.
Through her twenty-plus-year career in mental health, Sheila has worked in clinical and private settings. In addition to helping adults with a wide range of issues including anxiety, depression, trauma, relational and substance-abuse-related troubles, she has helped many patients deal with grief.
She uses a variety of therapeutic approaches when working with patients. “Most individuals struggle today due to negative thoughts patterns that guide their choices and behaviors. Therapy is about examining and redefining core beliefs so patients can make better, more informed decisions about how they live their lives today.”
Raising her own family on Long Island these days, Sheila enjoys sharing her love of baking, biking, books, and Broadway shows, with her husband and daughters.
Growing up in the college town of Binghamton, NY, Jason found his calling early in life while taking a high school psychology course. He would go on to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from SUNY Oneonta before returning home to earn his Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from SUNY Binghamton.
“I’ve always had a calm demeanor, and, even as a teenager I would help people with their problems,” says Jason, who later applied his concern for young adults while working for Child Protective Services before entering grad school.
He currently works as Clinical Supervisor at an Outpatient Mental Health Clinic where he helps his patients (who range in age from five to adulthood) deal with an array of life’s challenges, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and behavioral disorders.
A firm believer that developing a trusting therapeutic relationship is essential to patient success, Jason emphasizes the importance of creating a calm, warming environment, explaining, “I believe therapy should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.”
Jason sees many advantages to working with patients online. “With adults, I’ve been surprised at how much can be achieved through virtual visits. You get to see into people’s personal lives, their home environment, and overall living situations. That’s very helpful.”
In his free time, he enjoys lifting weights, spending time with his wife and their Lhasa Apso, and winter getaways to Florida.
Passionate about helping youth and families, some of Dr. Barnes’ earliest work with patients was providing therapy to some of New York’s highest-risk children who were directly or indirectly affected by the 9/11 terrorist attack. She has since provided services in private and institutional settings helping both child and adult clients maneuver life’s challenges.
A native of Queens, NY, where she currently provides private counseling, Dr. Barnes has had a unique career path to working in mental health. She earned a BA in Art History from Empire State College. “I loved independent studies,” she recalls. “I continued onward with my studies.” She received an MA in Counseling Psychology from Norwich University Vermont College and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from Northcentral University in Arizona.
As a mental health counselor for Project Cope, she delivered individual and group counseling, including Social Cognition Interactive Training (SCIT), smoking cessation, family education, and anger management. As a MICA therapist, Dr. Barnes worked closely with clients diagnosed with mental illness and chemical addictions.
She focuses on helping military service members, LGBTQ individuals, and business leaders in private practice. She enjoys working in telemedicine because of the democratizing effect it has had on reaching patients and looks forward to the new developments to continue helping people. “So many of us in the field are coming up with ways for more people to access mental health practitioners.
“Psychiatry and counseling have come a long way since the start of my career,” she remarks. “People young and old have become more vocal about shattering stigma to get help."
Synergyetherapy.com serves CA, IL, WI and other states. Synergy eTherapy offers a variety of online mental health therapy services to help you focus on you. Their flexible, convenient, and easy to use services are great for older kids, teens, families, adults, and couples. Their independent, licensed, professional therapists are waiting to work with you to help achieve your goals! Select your state to view therapists serving your area.