The Bergeron Wellness Center has two full-time personal counselors, two part-time personal counselors and three graduate student interns on staff. Each counselor has a generalist background with specific areas of interest and expertise. They provide short-term therapy for students, as well as referrals off-campus for longer term therapy as needed. The counselors work closely with the nurse practitioners and consulting psychiatric nurse practitioner on-site when the use of medications is indicated.
If you would like to make an appointment with a personal counselor, please call The Bergeron Wellness Center at 802.654.2234.
Kathy has been a mental health professional since 1993, when she earned her MA from Antioch New England Graduate School. She is a licensed clinical mental health counselor and licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor. She has spent much of her career working with young adults and their families. Kathy has been a part of the Saint Michael’s College counseling team since 2010, and the Director since 2014. She has a special interest in family systems theory, social justice, and human development across the life cycle. She particularly enjoys helping young adults to develop a compassionate understanding of themselves by exploring different aspects of their identity and how they want to express themselves in the world. Kathy is interested in the interface between anxiety, depression, stress management, relationships, trauma, and substance use and abuse, and how previous life experiences and patterns can get in the way of life in the present. She finds exploring mindfulness, self-compassion, and spiritual development with young adults to be an honor and a privilege. She hopes to help students to recognize, understand and enhance their many strengths. She also hopes to help them to develop any additional skills they need to be fully present to their current lives and to actively pursue their goals and dreams. Kathy is currently working towards EMDR certification.
Kathleen Butts, MA, LCMHC, LADC
Director of Personal Counseling
Ryan earned his master’s degree in social work from the University of California Berkeley (2008) and his BA in English from the University of Vermont. During and after graduate school Ryan lived and worked in Oakland, CA as a social worker, providing mental health and case-management services to a culturally diverse client population. He was a community mental health clinician in Central Vermont for two years prior to joining the Saint Michael’s College community in 2012. Ryan’s areas of clinical interest include the transition to college, young adult development, family systems work, systems level social justice work, development of cultural responsiveness skills, and supporting students through a range of issues including depression, anxiety, coping with and processing trauma, gender identity, racial identity development, substance use, and interpersonal relationship issues. He strives to be client-centered, compassionate, and strengths-based. Ryan uses several treatment modalities including supportive counseling, mindfulness, motivational enhancement, cognitive behavioral therapy, and elements of dialectical behavioral therapy. He is currently working toward EMDR certification. Ryan is excited to be a part of the Bergeron Wellness Center team and to support SMC students as they grow through the college years.
Ryan Stanton, MSW, LICSW, LADC
Assistant Director of Personal Counseling
Sarah has been providing mental health services to young adults since 1994. She is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, an Apprentice Addictions Counselor and an Expressive Arts Therapist. She has a master’s degree in Expressive Arts Therapies from Lesley University and a BA from Brandeis University. Prior to joining the SMC counseling team in 2014, Sarah was in private practice at the Adams Center for Mind and Body, specializing in helping individuals with eating disorders. She has also served as drug and alcohol prevention and intervention counselor at Williston Central School CSSU school district. Sarah uses a student centered approach, focusing on student’s goals, while encouraging personal expression and personal choice. She is particularly interested in supporting students to work through issues with stress, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, communication skills, substance use and relationships. She is very excited to be part of the Bergeron Wellness team and to help support SMC students reach for their dreams. Sarah is currently working towards EMDR certification.
Sarah Klionsky, MA, LCMHC, AAP
Assistant Director of Personal Counseling, Internship Coordinator
Damir is a CACREP approved mental health counselor and has earned his M.S from the University of Vermont. His work is grounded in the belief that change, growth, and healing best occurs through a caring, collaborative, holistic, and warm space. He is a firm believer in establishing a deep and trusting therapeutic relationship within which exploration of issues can occur. Damir seeks to understand, increase awareness, improve interpersonal skills and encourage growth. As a mental health counselor, Damir draws from a number of perspectives including attachment, AEDP, Cognitive Behavioral, Feminist theory, and mindfulness. Damir strives to create a compassionate and validating space where he and his clients can work to explore their stories and concerns. His work with students include examining patterns of interacting, or their relationship with uncomfortable emotions to help facilitate a deeper awareness and understanding of their authentic self. He is grateful to work with students who are curious about examining any barriers or challenges in their lives, and finding opportunities for personal growth. His areas of special interest include anxiety, depression, identity development, life transitions, relationship difficulties, and trauma. His approach is queer, trans positive, and LGBTQ+ affirming.
Damir Alisa, MS
Tessa is in the second year of her master’s program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Vermont. She earned her BA in Comparative Religious Studies from the College of Charleston. Tessa is trained as a Mindful Vinyasa Yoga Instructor and has worked closely with the yoga and meditation communities. She is interested in the intersection of talk therapy with mindfulness and yoga therapy. Tessa utilizes narrative therapy techniques, holding each individual’s stories with warmth and respect. Tessa values the principles of person-centered therapy: empathy, unconditional positive regard, and congruence guide her practice. She strives to create a safe and nourishing environment for her clients to explore their experiences.
Tessa Bolz, MA Candidate
Masters Level Personal Counseling Intern
Luke is currently a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program at Saint Michael’s College. He received his bachelor’s degree from Johnson State College in 2015, where he studied psychology. Prior to Johnson State, Luke worked for the Howard Center in Developmental Services, worked at a private school for children with special needs in Maine, and traveled extensively in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and India. Luke spent 2018-’19 interning at Burlington Housing Authority working with individual’s who struggle with Hoarding Disorder. Luke values self-awareness, understanding what one truly wants, and working consistently towards those ends. He is genuinely interested in understanding others and helping them move in their personal direction of self-improvement. He is student-centered, supportive, non-judgmental and compassionate. He uses a mix of therapeutic approaches including empathic listening, mindfulness, motivational enhancement, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Luke focuses on understanding what a student wants and how to best support them in achieving it. He believes growth and change come from within the student and can be fostered in many ways through a therapeutic relationship.
Luke Heath, MA Candidate
Masters Level Personal Counseling Intern