Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
Merinda Leach, MS, LPC, LAMFT
Clinical Director, Counselor, Office in N. Boise
Stephanie Sternes, MS, LPC, LAMFT
Assoc. Marriage & Family Therapist, Office in Emmett
Stephanie completed her studies in Marriage and Family Counseling at Northwest Nazarene University. Over the last 12 years, she has served her community as a resource specialist, teacher, and small claims mediator. Born in Arizona, Stephanie grew up living in both the city and working on a farm. Between these two different environments, she has learned a skill set that delivers a sense of balance in working with people from many different backgrounds. Stephanie is a wife and mother with 6 children ages 7 to 33.
As a counselor and mediator, Stephanie has worked with individuals, families, businesses and communities to problem solve and uncover new areas of positive engagement. Stephanie has a particular interest in helping people build and regain relationships. Stephanie’s approach to counseling is through power of choice and a realistic look at strengths and options. She believes that you are the expert of your own life and with clarity more options are available to you.
Susan Earnst, MS, LPC
Malinda Poe, MS, LPC
Clinical Counselor, Office in North Boise
Malinda is a Licensed Professional Counselor who graduated with her masters degree in Clinical Counseling from Northwest Nazarene University. She specializes in cross cultural counseling, depression, life stage difficulties, interpersonal conflict, and faith based counseling.
Lena Biondolillo, M.Ed, LCPC
Katie enjoys working with clients of any age, though most of her experience has been with clients aged 17-45. She has a passion for working with engaged and newlywed couples, college aged individuals to help with career development, and with the faith based population. She operates from the wholeness model so one can expect to discuss all aspects of life – emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual, and social – during the counseling process.
Stephanie R. Alvarez, MS, LAMFT
Assoc. Marriage & Family Therapist, Office in Kuna
Stephanie Alvarez is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. She is a pre-clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and a new professional member of the American Counseling Association. She emphasizes in addictions, grief, trauma, crisis, including relationship issues, depression, anxiety, anger and resentments.
She emphasizes in addictions, grief, trauma, crisis, including relationship issues, depression, anxiety, anger and resentments. She is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and Theophostics trained, to assist in resolving disturbing events and discover inner Peace/well-being. Faith-based approach may be included, if desired. She empowers strengths and goal setting from a wellness perspective. She is retired from the Air Force with 23 years of active duty service. So she understands family difficulties in a military environment, as well as the transition to civilian life. She has 5 children and 3 grandchildren with a son-in-law in the Navy.
Veronica Van Buren
Kelsey is an intern at Northwest Nazarene University studying her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. Originally from the agricultural central valley of California, Kelsey attended Boise State University and received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Multi-Ethnic Studies, and a minor in Basque Studies.
Kelsey’s experience ranges from teaching in bilingual preschool environments to working with the geriatric population. This range of experience accounts for her interests in working with individuals, couples, and families from all walks of life. Kelsey’s approach to counseling is holistic and considerate of the many identities each individual holds. She considers the mind, body, and spirit as interconnected and recognizes the various systems we each are a part of in our lives.
Keith’s experience includes 11 years working in the mental health field at community agencies specializing in helping people with mental illnesses integrate into their communities to lead fuller lives. Keith enjoys working with clients of all ages and backgrounds. Keith has a passion for helping people work through life’s difficulties in a positive and self-actualizing manner. Keith approaches counseling as a partnership with his clients, walking alongside them as they explore new paths towards their goals. He looks forward to experiencing the growth of his clients as they discover and tap into their inner strengths.
Amanda is an intern at Methodist Counseling Center, working toward her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Northwest Nazarene University. Amanda is a local from Meridian, Idaho and earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Boise State University.
Amanda has 5 years’ experience helping clients in the community. She specialized in assisting adults and children with mental illness and developmental disabilities in becoming independent. Amanda’s goals as an intern are to work with families, couples, and individuals, helping them through the struggles they are experiencing in their lives. She wants to come alongside her clients and help facilitate positive change and growth in areas that the client wants to work on. She is eager to meet each client where they are on their journey and assist them in becoming the best they can be.