Our Staff

Our staff therapists place deliberate emphasis on a holistic approach: mind, body and spirit. In a peaceful, homelike atmosphere, therapists at SCC make clearer the steps, and help point people toward reachable goals. Our therapists are highly trained and experienced counselors with a minimum of a Master’s Degree and are state licensed.

James “Jim" Davis has over twenty years of experience working with a diverse population including children, adolescents, and adults.  Jim grew up in Utica and started his college career at Mohawk Valley Community College.  He then transferred to the State University at Albany and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Counseling. In December of 2013, he graduated from the Sage Graduate School, Esteves School of Education, with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.  He is a Certified School Counselor and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of New York. Jim has presented workshops and trainings on topics that include Cyberbullying, Teenage Behavior, Healthy Relationships, Substance Abuse and Addictions, Decision Making, and Post-Partum Mood Disorders, Anxiety and other Mood Disorders, Boundary and Limit Setting, and Parenting.  Jim is a certified facilitator for Parenting Effectiveness Training, also known as P.E.T. Jim believes that all people have the ability to learn and grow from their connections with others and through a conscious desire to change for the better. To Jim, counseling is a journey guided by the counselor and directed by the client.  His personal goal is to provide a positive supportive environment to facilitate healthy change and success in one’s life.

Amanda is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has experience working with children,
teens, adults and couples in a variety of clinical settings. She came to Samaritan Counseling
Center in 2010 and has successfully worked with clients struggling with a variety of concerns
including: depression, anxiety, trauma, Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (with
childhood onset), relational concerns and adjusting to life transitions. She maintains a passion for
working with those struggling with marital or family relationship issues including the grief and
loss associated with miscommunications, separation and divorce. At a client’s specific request,
Amanda will incorporate scripture and Christ-centered approaches into therapy; she has also
received specialized training in specific Christian approaches to marital therapy. She earned her
Master’s in Community Counseling from Regent University in Virginia. Throughout her
education, Amanda engaged in specialized classes, trainings, and field experiences in the areas of
couples and family therapy to best support her goal of empowering individuals and couples to
improve hope, contentment and communication throughout their relationships. Amanda believes
that positive change is possible and strives to empower individuals, couples and families to take
the steps toward achieving this in their lives.

Denise completed her under graduate studies at Utica College of Syracuse University earning a
bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1997.  She completed her Masters in Social Work at University
at Albany. Denise has worked in the Mohawk Valley serving people with intellectual disabilities,
traumatic brain injuries, family issues, substance abuse, and mental health issues for the past twenty
years. She incorporates Cognitive Behavior therapy, Dialectical Behavior therapy, Motivational
Interviewing therapy, and strengths based approaches to her practice.

Robert comes to the Samaritan Center following a broad based career in pastoral work,
counseling, and education.  He was received a Master of Divinity from St. Vincent de Paul
Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling
from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida, and a Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology) from Carlos
Albizu University, Miami Campus.  His internship was at Goodman Center for Psychological
Services in Miami FL.  His post-doctoral residency was at Henderson Behavioral Health, a
community mental health agency in Broward County, Florida.
Currently a licensed psychologist in New York, he has worked with those who have a chronic
mental illness, substance use disorders, depression, and anxiety.  His work was in government
and nonprofit agencies.  Additionally, he is a human service professor at Mohawk Valley
Community College.  He is a member of the American Psychological Association.   He
previously held licensure as a Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida.
He believes strongly that a healthy person is able to balance a life that includes body, mind, and
spirit.  As a practitioner, he sees growth in the area of mental health as needed for growth in the
spiritual dimension of a person’s life.

Kayla is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has experience working with adults, teens and
children. She completed her undergraduate studies at Argosy University by earning a Bachelor of
Arts Psychology degree in 2017. Her passion for helping others leads her into pursuing her
master’s degree. In 2019, she earned her Masters of Clinical Mental Health degree with high
honors, from Messiah University. She withholds experience from a variety of clinical settings
such as outpatient community mental health, community mobile suicide Assessment and Risk
Reduction and private practice Kayla specializes in the treatment of depression, anxiety, panic
disorder, low self-esteem, trauma, life transitions and marital difficulties. Her therapeutic
approach is multifaceted and tailored to the clients’ needs, which can consist of the
implementation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral therapy, Narrative
Therapy, Solution focused and Psychodynamic approaches. However, the foundation she
initially implements is a Person Centered approach. She believes successful treatment begins
with building a level of comfort and trust with her clients. Ultimately, this allows the client to tell
their story, without judgment and by gaining the empathy that they deserve.

Donna is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has years of experience working with
children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. She has been trained in Trauma Focused
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems Therapy,
Couples Therapy, and Play Therapy. She believes the therapeutic space between and around her
and her clients is of uttermost importance as this relates to attunement and honor. She is a
relational-centered therapist and inspires clients to use their strengths to work toward their hopes
through increased awareness and empowerment.

Kristie received her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University in 2017.  She has always enjoyed human services and walking along others as they grow and change.  In her therapy, she aims to create a safe and welcoming environment that promotes openness and healing. 

Kristie has clinical experience working in a variety of settings including residential treatment for children and adolescents, the foster care system, out-patient  substance use treatment and young adults in higher education.  By taking a holistic approach, she acknowledges the needs of the whole being including mental, physical, social and spiritual. Kristie sees spirituality as a strength that leads to healing and is open to a Christ-centered approach to treatment at the client’s request.

Whether your emotional pain comes from life stressors, depression, anxiety, childhood trauma, or relationship distress, Kristie counts it a privilege to walk alongside you on your journey to peace. 

Rose is a nationally board certified counselor who specializes in brief solution-focused
psychotherapy. She has a Certificate of Advanced Studies from Loyola University in Pastoral
Counseling, and a MS in Counseling from Loyola University. Her training includes: Brief Solution-
Focused Psychotherapy, Eye Movement Desentization Reprocessing (EMDR), Critical Incident
Stress Management, Dual Diagnosis/Co-Occurring Disorder, Alcohol and Drug Certification. She
creates a calm and caring environment for her clients.

Pam has a Master's degree in Human Service with emphasis in Chemical Dependency
Counseling from the University of Providence, formally the University of Great Falls, in Great
Falls, MT. She has worked in the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) field, in various settings and
positions, for approximately 20 years. In addition, Pam received a Master's degree in Marriage
and Family Therapy from Syracuse University and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
(LMFT). Pam's passion is working with children and families. Viktor Frankl and Carl Rogers
have significantly influenced Pam's therapeutic style. Pam believes thoughts shape a person's
reality and the key to happiness is a purpose filled life.

BA, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; MA, The Sage Colleges; MA, Fielding
Graduate University; Ph.D., Fielding Graduate University
Dr. Moore graduated from Fielding Graduate University in 2019, with a Ph.D. in clinical
psychology. Her academic training has included internship placements at Rochester Regional
Health through the Rochester Institute of Technology, the New York State Psychiatric Center,
and Samaritan Counseling Center of the Mohawk Valley. Currently, Dr. Moore works in the community using an eclectic blend of cognitive-behavioral strategies, psychodynamic principles,
solution-focused therapy, and a person-centered approach for children, teens, adults, and couples.
Her previous professional experience includes over ten years working with forensic populations
as a corrections counselor and a mental health therapist inside the NYS prison system. Prior to
her work in corrections, she served as a project assistant working with grantee sites, and
arranging activities directly related to consumer, family, and youth involvement and leadership
Dr. Moore has several professional affiliations including the American Psychological
Association, the American Psychology-Law Society, the Association for Psychological Science,
and The International Honor Society in Psychology: Psi Chi. Her recent research projects and
publications have included an evaluation of college students’ non-medical use of prescription
psychostimulants; the impact of parental and familial incarceration on young adults; the
assessment and treatment of individuals with mental health conditions in prison; the relationship
between childhood maltreatment and spirituality; the use of cognitive behavioral therapy for
substance dependent domestic violence offenders and how age impacts treatment outcomes; and
the impact of familial criminal behavior on the development of criminal thinking patterns among

Deborah completed her undergraduate degree at The Pennsylvania State University, and obtained her Masters in Social Work at Marywood University in Scranton Pennsylvania in 1986. She has been providing therapeutic counseling supports to adults, adolescents, children and families in the Utica Area for the past 30 years. She currently works full time for the Utica City School District and has part time hours with Samaritan Counseling. Ms. Rowlands counsels individuals and families to acquire the skills need to resolve social, emotional and behavioral concerns. She enlists interventions from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and solution oriented therapy to assist clients in reaching identified goals and a state of personal well-being and inner peace.

Dave joined the Samaritan staff as a Spiritual Integration Consultant in 2016.  He is a graduate of
Trinity International College, Deerfield, IL with a theological residency, teaching at Open Bible
College, Des Moines, IA. He earned his MSW at Syracuse University School of Social Work,
and completed two internships in Social Work: St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital Center and the
Office for the Aging, Utica, NY. Dave was previously employed as therapist, developing the
Family Support Counseling Program at Herkimer Area Resource Center, Herkimer, NY (now:
consumers and their families, maintaining collegial support in Client treatment along with
psychiatric clinic reviews.  Dave’s Biblical faith has prepared him to integrate principles in
therapy that illuminates for Clients root causes of aberrant behaviors and disorders. Dave
embraces the Biblical model Spirit-Soul-Body which encompasses the whole person – as does
the model, Body-Mind-Spirit, held by all Solihten Centers (formerly Samaritan Centers).

Gail is a Certified Social Worker, licensed in New York State, who provides individual therapy at the
Center. She specializes in the area of alcoholism and other addictions, and related recovery issues,
as well as anxiety, depression and issues specific to aging and loss.  Gail received her Master’s
Degree in Social Work from Syracuse University.