We are a group of Christian counselors, social workers, psychologists, and support staff who have come together to provide professional mental health care to families in Central Illinois. We believe our mission is to serve God by providing the highest quality counseling and psychological services to children, teens, adults, couples, and families. We seek to provide a safe, confidential, and healing environment for our clients.
Rick Allen, LCPC, NACBT
Rick received a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Illinois State University. He is a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) in the State of Illinois.
Rick has 26 years experience working in direct service and administration in the mental health and related fields. He started his professional career working in the area of substance abuse. He worked in both residential and outpatient settings, including 4 years with the DUI population. During this experience he worked with a substantial number of dual diagnosed clients. Following 9 years in substance abuse, Rick accepted a position in the field of Child Welfare working with children and adolescents in a private agency for 14 years. He has worked with a wide variety of clients who experience issues with addiction, alcohol and drug abuse, spirituality, depression, anxiety, grief and loss, self esteem, domestic violence, anger management, life changes due to aging, caregivers of aging, cross cultural relationships, and personality disorders.
Rick and his wife Garnet have one daughter and 5 grandchildren. He has been with Agape for 3 years and sees clients in our Bloomington and Morton locations.
Kiera Dymit, MS
Sliding Scale Therapist
Kiera is a sliding scale therapist at the Bloomington and Morton offices. She earned a Master’s degree in Clinical-Counseling Psychology from Illinois State University. In 2007, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Illinois State University and has 7 years of teaching experience in the Illinois public school system.
Kiera worked as a therapy intern at The Children’s center in Springfield Illinois in 2014-2015, providing counseling to children and families. Her clients experienced a wide variety of issues, including ADHD, adjustment concerns, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, self esteem, anger management, self-harming behaviors, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, struggles with authority, and family dynamics. Additionally, persons recovering from divorce and addiction are of special interest to Kiera.
Kiera’s treatment methods range from person-centered and family systems approaches, cognitive behavioral techniques, to dream analysis, with the goal of helping her clients become their best selves.
Elizabeth (Betty) Garner, LCSW, CSAT, CMAT
Betty received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Illinois State University in 1982 and her Master of Social Work from University of Illinois with specialization in mental health in 1987.
Betty is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with approximately 30 years in the field of counseling and mental health. She has worked in a number of settings over the years including 14 years of inpatient experience, and about ten years as a counselor at Agape Counseling providing individual, group and marital counseling with adolescents and adults.
Betty enjoys a general practice treating people with a variety of issues. She has been trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and provides group and individual counseling focusing on skills training in mindfulness, interpersonal skills, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. Betty also specializes in treatment of sexual addiction and is a Certified Sexual Addictions Therapist. She also is a Certified Multiple Addictions Therapist with specializations in eating disorders and chemical addictions.
Betty Garner sees clients in our Peoria location.
Amy Hansen, MA, LCPC, CSAT
Amy Hansen received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky and her Master’s Degree in Human Development Counseling at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois. Amy is also a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Counselors (IITAP).
Amy’s clinical experience includes work with adults, couples, adolescents, children and families related to trauma, addictions, mental health concerns, relationship issues and issues related to grief and loss. Amy also has experience treating clients affected by domestic violence, crisis pregnancies, adoption, and foster care.
As a CSAT, Amy works with addicts and their partners both individually, as couples and in group therapy. She has clinical experience treating addictions in both outpatient and inpatient settings. Amy is committed to providing a therapeutic process that ministers to the whole person.
Amy is the Director of our Peoria location and also sees clients at our Morton location.
Hallie Harmon, MS, LCPC
Hallie earned her Master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois.
Hallie started her professional career working in the child welfare field. She worked in both residential and outpatient settings in a private social service agency for ten years. She worked with a wide variety of clients including children, adolescents, adults, and families. Hallie has had the opportunity to work with parents and assist them in developing their parenting skills and techniques to meet their individual child’s needs. She has worked with clients who have issues with depression, anxiety, grief and loss, trauma, abuse/neglect, bi-polar disorder, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Reactive Attachment Disorder. Hallie is also trained in both EMDR and Theraplay.
Hallie Harmon sees clients in our Bloomington location.
Crystal L. Hiser, LCPC, LMFT, CSAT, CMAT
Crystal Hiser received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Counselor Education from Illinois State University. She is both a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the state of Illinois. She is also a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) and a Certified Multiple Addictions Therapist (CMAT).
Crystal has over 20 years experience working in the Mental Health field. Prior to joining Agape in 2006, she worked at PATH Crisis Center and Catholic Charities. Her experience includes marriage and couple counseling, individual counseling, family counseling, and parenting education. Crystal utilizes a strength based systemic framework. She specializes in marriage/couple counseling, sexual addiction, codependency, divorce adjustment, blended family issues, depression, anxiety, trauma, self esteem issues, and adjustment disorders. She also has been trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
Crystal Hiser sees clients in our Bloomington location.
Toya Johnson, LCSW
Ms. Toya Johnson received both her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Master of Social Work Degree in Child and Family Practice from Illinois State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has more than10 years’ experience providing individual, family and group counseling to children and adolescents and their families in an inpatient setting.
Ms. Johnson’s clinical experience encompasses a vast array of concerns that include Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Abuse/Neglect, Grief and Loss, Anger Management, Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Self-Esteem, Body Image, Stress, Parenting, Attachment, Academic and Behavioral Difficulties, Social Skills, and Conflict Resolution.
Ms. Johnson uses a variety of treatment methods ranging from expressive and experiential techniques to cognitive behavioral approaches with the intent to help individuals improve their level of functioning by becoming empowered to manage the complexities of their lives. Ms. Johnson has a passion for assisting individuals in attaining a healthy life balance, both naturally and spiritually.
Toya currently sees clients in the Bloomington office.
Nathan Krahn, LCPC, CSAT, CMAT
Mr. Krahn received his Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Systems Management from the University of Illinois and his Master of Arts in Counseling from Lincoln Christian Seminary. He is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois and a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) and Certified Multiple Addictions Therapist (CMAT) through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP).
Nathan works with individuals facing a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and trauma. His area of clinical concentration is the treatment of those impacted by addiction and compulsivity. Nathan partners with each of his clients to develop a unique therapy experience that addresses their specific situation and examines every dimension of their personhood. He offers individual, couples and family therapy.
Mr. Krahn sees clients in our Morton location.
Annette Larsen, LCPC, CSAT, CMAT
Ms. Larsen earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at Sangamon State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, a Certified Sexual Addictions Therapist and a Certified Multiple Addictions Therapist.
Ms. Larsen has over 18 years of experience working in the mental health field. She began her career at the Children’s Foundation as a therapist working with abused and neglected children, adolescents, and their families before directing the residential program. For the last 9 years, she has provided therapy in a group practice setting. Ms. Larsen works with children and adolescents, as well as adults providing individual, couples and family counseling. She works with a wide variety of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, divorce recovery, issues of faith, and topics of adolescents. Specializing in addictions, Ms. Larsen assesses and treats sexual addictions, partners impacted by sexual addictions, love addiction, women and men’s sexual health, boundaries and codependency. She also treats individuals and families impacted by disordered eating, financial disorders, and substance abuse.
Ms. Larsen provides therapy groups and lectures related to a variety of mental health and addiction related topics. Annette is an Executive Director at Agape Counseling and she sees clients in our Bloomington location.
Kristen Leman, LCSW
Kristen earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Illinois State University with an emphasis in Child and Family Services. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois.
Kristen spent the first ten years of her professional career working with children and families involved in the child welfare system. Her experience includes a variety of roles in the private social service sector, including Adoption Preservation Therapist, Child and Family Therapist, and Clinical Supervisor. Her clinical experience includes work with toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults.
Kristen specializes in trauma and attachment issues, and is trained in Theraplay and EMDR. She enjoys working with young children and families, using trauma-informed and evidenced-based approaches to treatment. She has experience working with a myriad of mental health issues including Depression, Anxiety, Attachment Disorders, Trauma, PTSD, Abuse/Neglect, Self-Esteem, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Parenting, Social Skills, Adjustment Disorders, and with victims of Domestic Violence.
Kristen sees clients in our Morton location.
Autumn Lloyd, LCPC
Autumn earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology at Bradley University and her Master of Arts in Counseling from Lincoln Christian Seminary.
Prior to joining Agape Counseling, Mrs. Lloyd worked in the Student Counseling Center at Lincoln College, where she offered counseling services to undergraduate students. Mrs. Lloyd’s work history includes over 6 years experience in working with Alzheimer’s and dementia clients and caregivers impacted by the disease. Persons impacted by this disease, as well as obesity-related mental health issues are of special interest to Mrs. Lloyd. Her involvement with the Obesity Action Coalition points to her interest in advocating for the health care benefits of persons affected by obesity and co-morbid conditions including: depression, eating disorders, distorted body image, and self-esteem issues.
Mrs. Lloyd enjoys working with adolescents and adults providing individual and couples counseling. Autumn sees clients in our Bloomington location.
Wilma McLaughlin, MA, LCPC
Ms. McLaughlin earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University with a double major in psychology and philosophy. She attended Temple Theological Seminary and holds a Master of Arts in counseling from the University of Illinois at the Springfield campus. Ms. McLaughlin has trained with the Theraplay Institute in Chicago to work with attachment issues with children, has a certificate in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, is a court approved mediator in child custody/visitation issues, and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.
Ms. McLaughlin’s interest is an assisting individuals and families in the improvement of their interpersonal relationships, work place performance and overall satisfaction with life. This often includes addressing behaviors or perceptions that are self-defeating or limiting to attaining life goals. Ms. McLaughlin is trained as a Cognitive Behavior Therapist and in EMDR.
Ms. McLaughlin specifically works with mood and anxiety disorders, grief and loss, survivors of childhood sexual abuse, parenting and coupling issues. Ms. McLaughlin is experienced working with individuals from ages 4 to older adults. Coaching parents who are experiencing difficulties with their children is of special interest to Ms. McLaughlin, as well as family therapy and working towards mending couple relationships.
Ms McLaughlin is a wife, mother and grandmother, is active in her church as a teacher and group facilitator, and assists her husband who is the director of a local food pantry. Ms. McLaughlin’s counseling philosophy is: “Recognizing that we are created to be in relationships with others and with God, my goal is to provide Christian based, clinically sound counseling so that people may experience healthy change emotionally, mentally, relationally, and spiritually.”
Wilma McLaughlin sees clients in our Bloomington location.
Renae Miller, MS, MFT, LCPC
Renae Miller received her Master’s of Science in Marital and Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Psychology in Pasadena, California. Her graduate training emphasized putting Christ in the heart of therapy. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.
Prior to joining Agape in 2010, Mrs. Miller worked in community mental health treatment and saw child, adolescent and adult clients with severe emotional and behavioral health conditions including depression, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder, as well as a range of anxiety disorders and PTSD. She gained experience in dialectical behavioral therapy, anger management, and play therapy.
Since joining Agape, Renae has focused her work on anxiety and OCD and has been trained by the International OCD Foundation in Exposure and Response Prevention therapy for OCD. She has also been trained in EMDR by an EMDRIA-approved trainer for resolving trauma-related issues for clients including abuse, bullying, accidents, illness, PTSD, and other concerns that disrupt daily life. Mrs. Miller enjoys treating children, adolescents, and adults in individual, couple and family therapy treatment.
Mrs. Miller lives with her husband, their son and daughter and their miniature pinscher in Peoria and attends church in the Peoria area. She sees clients in our Peoria and Morton locations.
Lisa Neuweg, LCPC
Ms. Neuweg earned her Master’s Degree in Human Development Counseling from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bradley University, majoring in psychology. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).
Ms. Neuweg has over ten years of experience in the mental health field. She previously provided therapy at Chestnut Health Systems as an addictions therapist where she provided individual and group counseling to adult clients, along with offering support and education to their families. She provided counseling for college students with a variety of mental health issues at the University of Illinois at Springfield Counseling Center. She has been employed by Agape Counseling since 2008. Ms. Neuweg has created and facilitated programs on various clinical issues such as co-dependency, stress management, and self-esteem.
Ms. Neuweg’s clinical expertise includes counseling with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. She has experience treating anxiety and mood disorders, self injury and body image issues, bullying, grief/loss issues, chemical dependency, stress and anger management. She has a special interest in working with young females, parent/child relationship issues, and incorporating mindfulness into daily living.
Lisa Neuweg sees clients in our Bloomington location.
Lisa Novinska, MS, LCPC
Ms. Novinska earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Western Illinois University and her Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from Illinois State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois.
Ms. Novinska has over 25 years of clinical experience working with clients of all ages in a variety of settings. She began her career in community mental health where she provided intensive in home and outpatient therapy to high risk children, adolescents and their parents. She has experience providing crisis intervention and working closely with residential and psychiatric hospital patients and staff. Ms. Novinska has worked for the University of Illinois as a trainer and consultant to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She has also worked as a counselor for Illinois Wesleyan University where she provided therapy to young adults and faculty on a wide range of mental health issues.
Ms. Novinska joined Agape Counseling in 2008. She currently works with couples and individual clients age 16 and older. Her areas of interest and expertise include: anxiety and panic disorders, depression and bi polar disorder, marital and relationship issues including affair and divorce recovery, codependency, parenting concerns, grief and loss, and women’s issues including post partum depression and adjustment. She has been trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She has also completed Level II Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy.
Lisa Novinska sees clients in our Bloomington location.
Elizabeth Philyaw, LCSW
Elizabeth earned both her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and Master of Social Work degree from the University of Illinois. She is certified in evidence based practices through her master’s program. Elizabeth is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
Elizabeth has experience in community mental health agencies working with children, adolescents, young adults, and families. She has experience working with clients with a variety of issues including depression, ADHD, anxiety, oppositional behaviors, trauma, grief, stress, anger, abuse, adjustment disorders, identity problems, and self esteem. She also has experience working with clients on parenting concerns, communication, and interpersonal boundaries. Elizabeth partners with each client to create the best therapeutic experience and optimal change and growth for each client. She offers individual and family counseling.
Elizabeth sees clients in our Morton location.
Michelle Rolley, MS, LCPC
Mrs. Rolley received her Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University, majoring in psychology. She received her Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from Illinois State University, and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).
Mrs. Rolley has over 16 years of experience in the mental health field. She has provided therapy in a broad range of clinical settings, including at Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University’s counseling centers, at the Institute for Human Resources in Pontiac, and at Agape Counseling for the last 4 years. She has been passionate about providing relief and coping strategies to clients from all walks of life – couples, adults, children, teens, college students and families. She has also provided crisis intervention services to children and adults. Michelle has created and facilitated programs on various clinical issues.
Mrs. Rolley’s clinical areas of interest and expertise include working with relationship/marital concerns, anxiety, depression, body image and self-esteem issues, codependency, divorce recovery, grief/loss and spirituality. Michelle is in the process of becoming a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). Mrs. Rolley is also certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She is actively involved in many volunteer opportunities in her church, community, and her children’s schools. She and her husband have four children.
Michelle Rolley sees clients in our Bloomington location. She has flexible daytime, evening and weekend appointments.
Gregory J. Skibinski, MA, LCPC, CADC, CSAT, CMAT
Greg received both his Bachelor of Science Degree and his Master’s Degree in Human Developmental Counseling from Bradley University. He is a (LCPC) Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, a (CADC) Certified Alcohol and other Drug Counselor, and a (CSAT) Certified Sexual Addictions Therapist and has worked with clients in a variety of setting including social services and addiction recovery centers.
Greg specializes in working with individuals and their spouses with regards to chemical and behavioral abuse and dependency issues. In addition, Greg specializes in working with families and children in crisis with social, emotional, and behavioral issues including anxiety, depression, and conduct disorders.
Greg is an Executive Director at Agape Counseling and he sees clients in our Morton location.
Dawn Smith, LCPC
Mrs. Smith completed her undergraduate work in Psychology at Trinity International University. She received her Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling at University of Illinois in Champaign. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.
Professionally, Mrs. Smith has worked with individuals with disabilities for over 10 years.Her experience includes providing career counseling, workplace accommodations, supervising an early intervention program for children birth to three, an inclusive child care, and a support program for parents with children with disabilities. She has also worked with college students with various disabilities to support them in their studies.
Mrs. Smith specifically works with mood and anxiety disorders, grief and loss, spiritual issues, chronic illness, disability issues across the life span, family relational issues, and infertility issues. She especially enjoys working with women and young adults.
Mrs. Smith and her husband are proud parents of two children and are active in their local church. She sees clients in our Morton location.
Cesli M. Vaccaro, LCPC, CSAT, CMAT
Ms. Vaccaro obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Taylor University in 1986, her Master of Arts Degree in Social Science/Human Resource Development from Azusa Pacific University in 1989, and her Master of Science Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1996.
She has a specialization with treating addictions of all types and how that impacts the family system.
Ms. Vaccaro has worked in a variety of settings: several churches, overseas mission fields, hospital, homes, universities, a health department, and group practices. She has experience as a nanny, teacher, tutor, youth group leader, retreat speaker, Women’s Ministry Coordinator, short-term missionary, as well as a therapist for individuals, couples and families. As an Americorp fellow, Cesli helped Tazewell County communities establish and enhance mentoring programs for children of all ages. Though the avenues of ministry have been varied, Cesli’s desire to practically, spiritually, and emotionally help others has remained constant.
“I have a passion for helping families heal and grow. I respect people who come for counseling to help them live at the best”.
Gino Vaccaro, Psy.D, CSAT, CMAT
Dr. Vaccaro is a licensed clinical psychologist who completed his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, and a Master’s in Theology while at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
Dr. Vaccaro and his wife Cesli are the founders of Agape Counseling Ltd. which began in 2001 by opening three offices in Morton, Bloomington, and Peoria. “Our practice has enjoyed great blessings and success as a result of the wonderful relationships we have with the communities we serve. We are grateful to God to be able to serve the people of Central Illinois and we are continually blessed by the warm responses we have received for so many years.”
Heather Vagle, MA, LCPC
Heather received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Dallas Christian College and her Master of Arts Degree in Counseling at Lincoln Christian University. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the state of Illinois.
Heather has clinical experience working with adolescents and adults in a variety of settings. She began her career in addiction recovery where she provided therapy, psychoeducation, and group counseling to individuals and their families. She has also worked as a therapist at Nystrom & Associates, Ltd. where she provided counseling to adolescents, adults, and couples experiencing a broad range of mental health challenges and relationship difficulties.
Heather currently works with couples and individual clients ages 16 and older. Her areas of interest and expertise include: anxiety and panic disorders, depression, grief/loss issues, addiction recovery, co-dependency, stress management, life transitions, shame/guilt, self-esteem issues, spirituality, and women’s issues including infertility, loss, and postpartum adjustment.
Heather sees clients in our Bloomington and Morton locations. She has flexible evening and weekend appointments.
Rose Zell, MS
Sliding Scale Therapist
Rose Zell is a sliding scale therapist at Agape Counseling. Her training background is in marriage and family therapy from Fuller Seminary in California, and she especially values working with individuals, couples, families and children in order to help them improve their relationships with themselves and those around them.
Rose is experienced in working with clients and families whose lives are impacted by addiction or trauma in some way. For Rose, the benefit of therapy lies in the building of a unique relationship between client and therapist that fosters insight and growth, allowing for the client to achieve their goals. She integrates a variety of therapeutic models into her work with clients, including but not limited to cognitive- behavioral, mindfulness, restoration therapy, addiction recovery, and long-term focused therapy. Rose is currently taking clients in the Peoria and Morton offices.
Meghan Bash – Practice Administrator
Tiffany Foran – Administrative Assistant, Morton
Staci Steiger – Administrative Assistant, Bloomington
Heidi Henning – Administrative Assistant, Peoria
Joyce Miller – Billing Specialist