Contact: (208) 501-2181

Methodist Counseling Center 
(Please forgive us for any missing information as we update our website)

Therapy for Children, Individuals, Couples & Families


Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists

Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) and Marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) have either a master's or doctorate degree specializing in clinical counseling, school counseling or family and interpersonal dynamics. LPCs typically treat individuals and often have specialized training in a particular area of study such as trauma, addiction, school counseling, etc. LMFTs treat individuals in the context of family relationships or a system, addressing issues from anger and resentment to intimacy and communication skills.

Merinda Leach, MS, LPC, LAMFT

Clinical Director, Counselor, Office in N. Boise

Merinda is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Idaho, having received her Master’s degree in Marriage, Family and Couple Counseling from Northwest Nazarene University. Merinda helps individuals of all ages. She has particular interest in working with Couple Relationships, Blended Families, Teens, and Individuals with Anxiety.

Merinda works from a Humanistic, or client-centered, framework; meaning she believes you are the expert on your life, and the pathway to your well-being will be found within yourself. Using Narrative theory, Mindfulness techniques, and Strength-Based, Solution-Focused philosophy, she will work with you to find clarity and direction in your story. Her goal is to provide a comforting, accepting environment where you feel safe to share your stories, expand your perspective, and find greater wellness.

Contact Phone: 208-557-1328

Contact Email:

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.

Contact: 208-918-0054 Email:

Susan Earnst, MS, LPC

Clinical Counselor
Offices in North Boise & Mountain Home
Susan received her Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling, with an emphasis in trauma, grief, and crisis, from Northwest Nazarene University. Having a PhD in zoology and working for many years as a research ecologist, Susan brings a wealth of life experience to the counseling relationship.
Susan helps individuals experiencing depression, grief, anxiety, and symptoms of PTSD. She also works with clients of all ages who wish to improve relationships, increase self-esteem, identify career strengths, or work through life transitions. Susan’s goal is to provide a safe, non-judgmental space where client and counselor work together to clarify and achieve the client’s goals. She uses EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and guided imagery.

Contact: 208-996-3879



Lena Biondolillo, M.Ed, LCPC

Clinical Counselor, Office in north Boise
Do you put your own needs aside to fulfill the needs of others? Do you sometimes find yourself struggling with feelings of anger or frustration that are hard to explain? Do you go out of your way to avoid arguments? Do you feel as if people seem to take advantage of you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can learn how to improve your life and relationships. If you recognize any of this in yourself or if you are feeling stuck, I've helped many women with these challenges and I can help you.
My passion is helping women find peace and contentment so they may enjoy healthy relationships and be all that God created them to be! You may have thought that counseling is just for people with serious difficulties but it's so helpful if you are suffering from the stresses of life. I have years of experience in helping people recover from trauma, abuse and divorce, as well as providing grief counseling and Biblical counseling when requested.  I am humbled by the people, through the years, who have allowed me to walk alongside them for a time as they sought healing and growth.

Life is too precious and short to be weighed down with stress, guilt and worry. I have helped many women in your position and I can help you: Rediscover joy in your relationships; Overcome fear and depression; Find relief from anxiety and stress; Learn to laugh and have fun again.
Contact: 208-501-2181

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.  

Contact: 208-501-2181 Email:

Veronica Van Buren,MS, LPC

Clinical Counselor for the office in Caldwell

Veronica earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Boise State University. She recently finished her Master's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Couples Counseling at Northwest Nazarene University working on her Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. 
Veronica is certified in Gottman Therapy and Prepare and Enrich. She focuses her work with couples and families, while also working with adolescents and individuals


Phone: 208-649-4018

Counselor Interns

Part of the mission of the Methodist Counseling Center is to help train new counselors through supervised internships. Our interns are held to high standards of excellence by supervisors with years of supervision experience. One of our wisest supervisor might even have received training from Methuselah (last statement not verified).

Adrienne Patridge

Adrienne is a counseling intern at Methodist Counseling Center, and working towards her Master’s degree in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling at Northwest Nazarene University. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications, a minor in Anthropology, and an additional 35 college credit hours in speech and language communications. Adrienne has also completed additional Gottman Method Levels 1 and 2 training, specifically geared towards working with couples. Adrienne believes in working with couples, family’s, and individuals to experience growth and meaning in their lives during times of great difficulty and hardship. Clients’ goals are her priority as she encourages them to use their strengths as a tool for positive change.


Patrick Barga

Patrick is a Counseling Intern at Methodist Counseling Center and currently finishing his Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy at Northwest Nazarene University with an emphasis in Logotherapy. Patrick also studied at Boise State University and the College of Southern Idaho, earning a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies. Coming from a Logotherapy (Meaning Therapy) perspective, he believes that we can all find meaning and purpose in our lives even in the hardest of times. He intends to help his clients find hope, purpose, and the tools they need to draw closer to what's most important to them in life. 

Amanda Breneman

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.


Janae is an intern at Methodist Counseling Center and currently finishing her Master’s degree in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling with an emphasis in Grief, Trauma, and Crisis at Northwest Nazarene University. She has a bachelor degree in Psychology from University of Phoenix. Janae is trained and certified as a Prepare/Enrich Facilitator, a program that helps couples in all stages of their relationships, and she has some training in play therapy, including Sand Tray.

With a systems perspective, Janae understands that individual struggles affect not only the individual but also the individual’s relationships with family, friends, classmates, coworkers, and church members to name a few. She wants to help individuals, couples, and families learn ways to improve their lives and relationships.