Meet our Counselors


Patricia M. Wright, LSW, Executive Director

Upward Call Counseling Services is pleased to announce the selection of Patricia Wright as its Executive Director-elect. Patricia has been working as a therapist for Upward Call for five years and expects to complete her doctorate in social work this fall.


Patricia has a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies and a BA in Psychology from Regent University. She received her master’s degree in Social Work from Millersville University, and is a Licensed Social Worker.


She has been working with Dr. James Johnson, Upward Call’s previous Executive Director, during this time of transition. Dr. Johnson has faithfully served the Upward Call ministry for over thirty years. He will continue to serve as the new Clinical Director at Upward Call Counseling Services. Patricia and Dr. Johnson will share responsibilities in providing clinical supervision for the interns and therapists.

Patricia uses an eclectic approach for counseling. This approach uses various forms of therapy depending on the client’s individual needs.  Patricia is also trained to provide CBT, DBT, trauma and grief therapy. She enjoys working with individuals, groups, families, children, adolescents, and couples. Patricia also has twenty years of experience ministering to those with intellectual disabilities.

Dr. James E. Johnson, LCSW, D.Min, Clinical Director

Dr. Johnson is the Clinical Director of Upward Call Counseling Services and has over 50 years experience as a professional counselor. He holds degrees in Counseling and Theology, is a licensed and certified Counselor and is also an ordained minister.

He has authored three books: The Gift of a Sound Mind, Freedom from Depression, and Weaving the Family Tapestry. 

Dr. Johnson lives in Leola with his lovely wife, Margie. 

Thomas Gavin, LPC

Tom Gavin earned a Master of Arts in Counseling from Biblical Theological Seminary, with additional graduate coursework from West Chester University.  He is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works with diverse populations.

Over the last 25 years, Tom has worked as a Social Worker in Child Welfare as well as an Individual, Couples and Family Based Therapist.  Tom also facilitated an Intensive Outpatient Program providing group therapy for clients struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental health difficulties. He enjoys working with adolescents, adults, couples and families.

Tom’s approach to counseling utilizes a strengths based, client centered, holistic approach.  In this context, Tom’s work integrates a spiritual understanding of client difficulties and considers the strengths of a faith perspective. Ultimately, Tom assists his clients gain personal and relational successes while experiencing renewed hope and purpose for their lives.

Lesley Hart, M.A.C., B. Mus

Lesley is trained to work with individuals, couples and families in a collaborative and compassionate way. She uses narrative, attachment, cognitive, and family systems theories in her holistic approach for various mental health issues. She is specifically skilled in working with those who suffer from the effects of trauma, sexual abuse, emotional, and relational distress.


Lesley earned a Master of Arts in Counseling degree from Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield, PA, a Bachelor of Music degree from Houghton College, Houghton, NY, is certified for Church Lay-Counseling through the Allender Center, Seattle, WA, and is certified to counsel Trauma and Domestic Violence survivors through Safe Berks, Reading, PA. Lesley stands on a strong foundation of biblical wisdom and ethics, yet enthusiastically works with those whose faith perspectives may vary.


Lesley has been married for 38 years and has two grown sons. She enjoys playing the piano, flower gardening, and running. and running.

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Alicia Hendrickson, MS

Alicia received her Bachelor in Bible with an Emphasis in Counseling as well as her Masters degree in Counseling from Cairn University (formerly known as Philadelphia Biblical University).  From a very young age, Alicia has always had a strong and compassionate heart for serving and helping others.  At the age of five, she started volunteering in Nursing Homes, and throughout the years has developed a love and understanding for the elderly.  Children also hold a special place in her heart, as it comes naturally and easily for her to connect with them. 


Some of Alicia’s interests include: anxiety, depression, self-esteem & confidence, bullying, grief & loss, self-harm, emotional regulation, relationships, negative thinking, and spiritual issues.  Alicia utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Emotional Focused Therapy, Child-Centered Play Therapy, and Structured/Non-structured Play Therapy in her work.  She believes therapy for children happens through play, especially with children who are unable to verbalize their feelings. 


She believes in recognizing and affirming an individual's strengths to promote positive change while empowering them to continue progress outside of therapy. She has genuine compassion, eager enthusiasm, and a strong commitment to the clients that she serves.  Her vision is to reach and impact the heart of her clients, and to compassionately walk beside them through their pain.

David McAdams, M-Div, MAMFT

David grew up in Central Florida where he enjoyed the surrounding lakes and wildlife. Singing in choirs was one of his early passions. David graduated from Asbury University in 1998 with a Bible Degree and then proceeded to Asbury Seminary to obtain a Masters of Divinity Degree. Pastoring in Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, David led youth groups, prayer groups, and at times small groups to deepen individuals walks with Christ. David is a licensed pastor in the Missionary Church denomination.

Another call upon his life, to become a therapist, was realized when David graduated from Evangelical Seminary. He currently works at Upward Call's River of Hope and Alive campuses while he pursues licensure. David has a compassionate presence as a therapist as he helps persons reach their untapped potentials and heal from their hurts. It is his hope that individuals, couples, and families become healthier and engage in flourishing lives. As he continues to develop in his understanding of those with same sex attractions, he desires to specialize in this area to address persons with sexual identity concerns.

David lives in the Lancaster area with his wife Kellie and their four children Ava, Kalyssa, Graceanne, and Eli. He also works at Friendship Community helping those with disabilities achieve their capabilities. He enjoys nature, sports, travel, reading, and watching movies like Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings, or Narnia.

Bruce D. McIntosh, B.A., M.A.

Bruce holds a B.A. in Biblical Education from Florida Bible College and an M.A. in Ministry {Counseling Focus} from Liberty University/Lancaster Bible College Graduate School. 


Bruce has experience and training working with families, parents, couples, adolescents, and adults dealing with issues regarding marriage, parent-child, couples, depression, grief, OCD, ADD/ADHD, addictive attitudes/behaviors, and faith struggles. 

Bruce also worked recently at Philhaven as a Family Based Therapist for almost eight years, dealing with families of children and teens with behavioral struggles. This included addressing issues such as Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, Oppositional Defiance Disorder (O.D.D.), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), Borderline Personality Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).


He utilizes a strong foundation of Bible-based principles in his counseling, yet is experienced in working with those who do not have a faith perspective. 

Paul Miller, MAMFT

Paul Miller has a BS in Bible from Lancaster Bible College and a Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy from Evangelical Seminary.

Paul developed an integrative model of systemic therapy he calls Spirit Focused Therapy while a graduate student.  This Model of therapy focuses directly on improving a family’s ability to Honor, Identify, Sense, Give, Receive, Accept, Communicate, and Embrace (H.I.S.G.R.A.C.E.) God’s Love and apply it within your family. 


Paul uses a unique and creative Biblical approach to therapy that includes play therapies for both adults and children, and incorporates humor, art, reading, music and dance as part of the therapeutic experience of healing (when applicable). 

Paul works with families, couples, children and individuals with a diverse array of issues; however, Paul believes Biblical healing requires full family participation at some point in the therapeutic process. 

Paul has transitioned from an abuse survivor to an Overcomer in Christ and is currently a creating and developing a parachurch ministry to help others become Overcomers.

Halle Neff, MAMFT

Halle received her Bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Science from Messiah College and her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Evangelical Seminary. She enjoys cooking, eating what she cooks, reading, exercising and traveling all over the world—especially when surrounded by a body of water.

Halle holds comprehensive training and clinical experience with people of all ages and stages of life. Within her work, she utilizes highly researched and proven methods when meeting individuals, couples and families. Halle is compassionately committed in serving people to reach personal goals and to improve and achieve more satisfying relationships.

Halle’s passion is people. She believes we are designed for relationship, yet recognizes that many of us find ourselves overwhelmed with relational conflict. As a marriage and family therapist, she considers it a privilege walking together with individuals, couples and families who may be facing intrapersonal or interpersonal hardship. Halle strives to be and create a safe place for people, inviting them to share their personal story, helping to uncover strengths and to illuminate one’s intrinsic value and authenticity. Her gentle and compassionate spirit affirms, respects and celebrates unique differences and is committed in journeying with you towards healing, growth and relational wholeness.

Tanya Sensenig, MA

Tanya Sensenig graduated from Regent University with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Trauma Counseling. She is actively pursuing state licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor under supervision. 


Tanya is a cognitive based therapist who specializes in individual therapy for children, adolescents and adults. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), an evidence-based psychotherapy method for treating symptoms of trauma. Tanya is a certified special education teacher and has experience working with young children and families in Early Intervention since 2005. 

Steve & Dianna Shull, Certified Marriage Counselors

Steve & Dianna joined the staff at Upward Call in 2009.  Dianna has a counseling certificate from the Evening Institute at Lancaster Bible College.  Together, they lead a “Homebuilders” group, attended counselor training at Abundant Living Ministries, and serve as mentors to couples in their church.  Steve & Dianna are blessed with 46 wonderful years of marriage, three children and five grandchildren. 

From Steven & Dianna: We have a desire to see couples develop a strong foundation in their marriages that brings them into an ever growing oneness with each other.  Our work with individual couples focuses on communication, conflict resolution and relationship enrichment.  We are also available to assist churches desiring to develop a marriage ministry. We introduce and train couples to use a discovery tool known as REFOCCUS.  This tool helps couples understand, discuss and enrich their marriages.

Rhonda Stiver, LPC

Rhonda obtained her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Lancaster Bible College Capital Seminary & Graduate School and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. 

Rhonda’s vision is a world where all children are loved and cherished. She believes this begins one family at a time and by changing the family, we change the world. Trained as an emotionally focused (EFT) therapist, Rhonda will lead Hold Me Tight workshops. Developed by Dr. Sue Johnson, the workshop teaches individuals, couples and families seven conversations that are essential for successful relationships. Hold Me Tight transforms the ability to communicate by recognizing the destructive dialogues, what is behind the negative talk, deescalating conflict, engaging in healthy emotion, connection, and forgiveness. Rhonda counsels individuals, couples, families, and groups.

Rhonda and her husband, Rick, have three sons. She enjoys developing and writing group trainings, walking, hiking, and swimming.

Orgert Vlashaj, MA

Orgert earned a Masters of Arts in Counseling – Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling from Lancaster Bible College. Orgert uses CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and EFT (Emotion Focused Therapy) to help individuals, couples and families uncover the underlying issues of their problems and challenges clients are experiencing in their lives. Orgert’s desire is also to work with individuals and couples explore their God-given gifts and how they can use these gifts for God’s glory. In addition, Orgert is a certificated Prepare-Enrich facilitator and offers premarital counseling.

Orgert has been married for 10 years to Shpresa and has two daughters and one boy. His passion is to spend quality time with his family and spend time with his close friends. Orgert is currently working to establish a counseling ministry in his home country, Albania.

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Meet our Staff

Donna Bivins | Office Assistant

Donna joined the Upward Call team in October 2013. She moved to Lancaster from California with her husband, Danny, and her family that same year.  


Donna has five children and seven grandchildren and enjoys all things art, spending time with her grandchildren and exploring new places and things with her husband. 

Wendy McCardell | Office Manager

Wendy has been involved with Shepherd's Touch and Upward Call, serving clients and staff, since 2002.

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Upward Call Counseling Services

{also doing business as Shepherd's Touch & River of Hope}

2394 New Holland Pike | Lancaster, PA 17601 | 717.656.4834 office 

717.656.0945 fax | |

Copyright 2020 Upward Call Counseling Services. All rights reserved.