Our Counselors

Alicia Gerstner, MA, LPC-IT

Alicia Gerstner, MA, LPC-IT

Counselor

Locations: Green Bay and Appleton

Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Life Transitions, Stress Management, LGBTQ+, Human Sexuality, Couples, Older Adults

Background: Alicia is originally from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and she graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in family studies and a master’s degree in professional counseling. She also completed an internship at the Isabella County Commission on Aging, gaining experience working with older adults. Prior to ERC, Alicia worked at the Green Bay Crisis Center, where she was able to assist a range of community members dealing with crises, including those brought to a head by the stress of the pandemic. “Everyone can have moments where they need community support or a safe place where they know someone is hearing their concerns,” she said. “Mental health does not discriminate.” Alicia joined ERC in 2021.

About Alicia: Alicia takes an individualized, person-centered approach when working with clients, drawing from tools such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on thinking and coping strategies, and Gestalt therapy, which offers clients tools to move forward through challenges or toward goals. “Knowing that person’s environment and experiences will impact how they move toward growth and balance, it allows for a holistic approach,” Alicia said. Fostering an environment of empathy and acceptance also are key qualities that Alicia brings to her practice.

Prior to pursuing counseling, Alicia’s earlier work experience helped strengthen her ability to empathize with people in various work environments – from time as a barista at Starbucks to working a receptionist at a law firm and other roles. Outside of work, Alicia loves to read everything from mysteries and true crime to the works of William Shakespeare. She’s also an aficionado of old movies, particularly those starring classic Hollywood greats like Jimmy Stewart or Barbara Stanwyck. Alicia also enjoys experiencing Green Bay-area restaurants, where she’s happy to discover new and interesting dishes.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Bruce Skovera, MAC, LPC, CCATP

Bruce Skovera, MAC, LPC, CCATP

Counselor

Location: Green Bay

Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Crisis Intervention, Grief and Loss, Life Transitions

Background: Bruce received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and human development from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a Master of Arts in community counseling from Lakeland College. Prior to ERC, Bruce worked with people with mental health issues and developmental disabilities through human service agencies in South St. Paul and Oshkosh, as well as for five years as a crisis counselor for Family Services through Brown County. He joined ERC in 2017. Bruce has served as a member of the Customer Care Team at ERC and is currently an EAP counselor who specializes in anxiety issues. In 2020, he became a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP).

About Bruce: Bruce’s approaches to counseling include cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, Gottman Method Therapy, and mindfulness-based interventions. Outside of work, Bruce enjoys spending time with his wife and son, as well as playing video games, board games, and sports. He is also an enthusiastic grill master who likes to make unique recipes from around the world.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Carrie Schatzman, MA, LPC

Carrie Schatzman, MA, LPC

Counselor / Director of Customer Services

Location: Green Bay

Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Young Adults, Parenting, Relationship Issues, Stress Management, Work & School Issues, LGBTQ+

Background: Carrie earned her bachelor’s degree in communication from UW-Milwaukee and later received her master’s degree in community counseling from Lakeland College in Sheboygan. She has worked in various settings, including as an intern for the Rawhide boys ranch outpatient program. Carrie has also worked at House of Hope, a homeless shelter in Green Bay for pregnant and parenting young women ages 18 to 24, and for the Integrated Community Solutions (ICS) housing program. She currently serves as an EAP counselor at ERC as well as leads ERC’s Customer Care Team as the Director of Customer Services. Carrie joined ERC in 2015.

About Carrie: Carrie tends to employ a cognitive behavioral approach to her work, but will use a variety of methods depending on what best fits the clientele. “My hope is that my clients are able to work through change and find solutions so they can experience growth as quickly as possible.” Carrie is married with two children and enjoys spending time with her family in the outdoors. She’s an avid reader and committed Green Bay Packers fan. She also likes to bake fancy and unique birthday cakes for her immediate and extended family.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Cassie Fischer, MSE, LPC, NCC

Cassie Fischer, MSE, LPC, NCC

Counselor

Location: Green Bay

Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Crisis Management, Stress Management, Grief and Loss

Background: Cassie earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a human services emphasis from UW-Stevens Point, where she completed an internship working with people with developmental delays and autism. She continued on to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where she earned a master’s in professional counseling in 2015. While at UW-Oshkosh, she worked for the UW-Oshkosh counseling office and its AODA sanctioning program. During this time, she also completed a year of internship, counseling the elderly at a local nursing home. Cassie has worked at the Family Services Crisis Center in Green Bay and served as a school-based counselor as part of Lutheran Social Services’ PATH (Providing Access to Healing) program, which aims to eliminate barriers to access for mental health services among middle- and high-schoolers. Cassie joined ERC in 2018.

About Cassie: Cassie uses a person-centered approach to working with her clients. “I like to focus on their strengths and help them to use those strengths to work through whatever problem they’re currently facing.” When she isn’t at work, Cassie enjoys reading sci-fi and fantasy, and spending time with her husband, friends and family, as well as her cat, Grimalkin, whose name comes from her favorite fantasy series, The Dresden Files.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Craig Linzmeier, MA, LPC

Craig Linzmeier, MA, LPC

Counselor

Location: Green Bay

Specialties: Anxiety & Depression, Behavioral Issues, Children & Adolescents, Marriage & Family, Crisis Intervention, Life Transitions, Mindfulness, School-related Issues, Sports-related Issues, Stress Management, Substance Abuse, Workplace Issues

Background: Craig earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and human development from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and his master’s degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is a licensed professional counselor who has worked in residential and inpatient settings, including at a residential treatment facility for youth in Chicago and at the Brown County Community Treatment Center. He has been with ERC since 2015.

About Craig: Craig often uses motivational therapy to direct and guide clients toward problem-solving skills and goal-setting tools that can best help them. His style is directive yet approachable. Clients find it easy to connect with his compassionate approach to therapy. When he’s not at work, he enjoys the outdoors and time with his wife and children. He also enjoys refurbishing furniture, watching football, and going to the movies.

Dennis Thompson, MSSW, LCSW, SAP

Dennis Thompson, MSSW, LCSW, SAP

Counselor

Locations: Appleton

Specialties: Anger Management, Domestic Violence, Eating Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Abuse, Suicide Prevention, Trauma

Background: Dennis has worked extensively with veterans programs, recently retiring from the VA after 22 years. Dennis is a UW-Madison graduate and started his career as mental health coordinator for Calumet County. He later took a role as psychotherapist for the Family Service Association in Menasha, Wisconsin, where he established an intensive outpatient eating disorders program. Dennis also worked for the Theda Clark Recovery Center’s alcohol and drug recovery program and at Lutheran Social Services, where he established a batterer’s intervention program with Harbor House. For most of his career, Dennis worked within the VA system in Milwaukee, Madison and Orlando, supervising clinical social workers throughout various programs designed to help veterans.

About Dennis: Dennis joined ERC in 2020 to return to the clinical work he’s passionate about, taking a client-centered approach to counseling. “I really take people where they’re at, working with them where they’re comfortable,” he says. “I’m focused on hearing them out and taking an empathetic approach to what they’re dealing with.”

As of 2020, Dennis has been married for 38 years and has two adult children and two young granddaughters. In his spare time, he and his wife enjoy keeping active with sports such as tennis and visiting their vacation home in Florida. He also enjoys music and has played in bands throughout the years, including R&B and country rock. He keeps his drums in the same room as his office.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Diane Sohr, MA, LPC

Diane Sohr, MA, LPC

Counselor

Location: Green Bay

Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Life Transitions, Anger Management, Stress Management, Older Teens, Trauma

Background: Diane earned her bachelor’s degree in social change and development with a minor in sociology from UW-Green Bay, going on to earn her master’s degree in community counseling from Lakeland University. She worked at Golden House first as a victim advocate and later as a mental health therapist. She also worked with people with chronic mental health issues within the Comprehensive Community Services program of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Diane joined ERC in 2021.

About Diane: Diane prefers using a solution-focused, strength-based, cognitive behavioral approach to counseling. “It’s about getting to know the client, learning what their strengths and goals are, and helping them work toward the change they’re looking for,” she says. In her work at ERC, Diane draws from a rich history working in various industries in the past, including a dairy farm, a cheese factory and the U.S. Postal Service. She decided to pursue counseling after seeing the benefits of it herself.

In her spare time, Diane likes to spend time with her daughters and granddaughters, as well as to read–mostly science fiction. She also enjoys biking and hiking in the beautiful natural areas that Northeast Wisconsin has to offer. “Being out in nature helps me to recharge.”

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Eric Downs, MA, LPC-IT

Eric Downs, MA, LPC-IT

Counselor

Location: Green Bay

Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Career Development, Life Transitions, Management of Chronic Illness, Stress Management, LGBTQIA+

Background: Eric earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a major in communication, going on to earn his master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois. During that program, Eric completed a practicum in stress management, and worked with undergraduate students seeking career development assistance. Working in the St. Louis area, Eric was a Ryan White Case Manager for people of all ages living with HIV and in poverty, focusing on chronic illness management. He joined ERC in 2021.

About Eric: Eric enjoys working with clients to help them discover their strengths and navigate life challenges. “I want my clients to see me as a person of compassion, and I want to help them develop compassion for themselves as well,” he said.

Eric also has the perspective of viewing things through a different cultural lens, having spent time teaching English as a Second Language in Korea and studying abroad in Wales. In his spare time, Eric enjoys traveling, spending time with his pets, finding new hiking locales, and trying out new restaurants with friends.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Jim Pecard, MSSW, LCSW, CEAP, SAP

Jim Pecard, MSSW, LCSW, CEAP, SAP

Counselor

Location: Green Bay

SpecialtiesAnxiety, Depression, Chemical Dependency, Emotional & Mental Disorders, Marriage, Families & Parenting

Background: Jim joined ERC in 1996 and has a bachelor’s degree from UW-Eau Claire and a master’s degree from UW-Madison, both in the field of social work. He received specialized training in chemical dependency counseling from Hazelden, an international alcohol and drug treatment center. Jim has worked with children in the neighborhoods of Green Bay, as a marriage and family counselor, and as an employee assistance program counselor at Kimberly Clark.

About Jim: Jim most frequently employs a solution-focused therapy model, meaning he works with each client to understand their concerns and develops with them ways to move toward a positive outcome. When appropriate, he’ll point clients toward resources available to them in the community as a part of developing their strategy for solving problems.

In his spare time, Jim is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying fishing and working with the Boy Scouts organization. Both of Jim’s grown sons are Eagle Scouts. He and his wife, Holly, enjoy traveling to a cottage on Kelly Lake that was once owned by his grandparents.

Kelly Fabera, MSW, LCSW

Kelly Fabera, MSW, LCSW

Counselor / Director of Clinical Services

Location: Green Bay

Specialties: Children (ages 5+), Individuals & Families, Anxiety, Depression, Mood Disorders, Behavioral Disorders, Anger Management, ADHD, LGBTQ+, Grief/Bereavement, Couples/Marital, Trauma, Critical Incident/Crisis Counseling

Background: Kelly joined ERC in 2015 and currently serves as the Director of Clinical Services, leading ERC’s team of clinicians. Kelly received her bachelor’s degree from UW-Green Bay with a double major in psychology and human development. She later received her master’s degree in social work from UW-Milwaukee. Kelly has more than 20 years of experience working with clients of all ages in various settings, including as a supervisor at an intensive treatment program for children with emotional and behavioral disorders. She also worked at Family Services’ Crisis Center, CP Center (Cerebral Palsy), and Bellin Psychiatric Center.

About Kelly: Kelly harnesses a variety of therapeutic modalities, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, mindfulness, and client-centered and strengths-focused approaches. Kelly believes a positive and supportive relationship is key to the therapeutic process. She aims to provide a space that is compassionate and non-judgmental. “I enjoy helping others in learning to embrace their personal strengths, as well as, learning to have grace and patience towards themselves as they encounter challenges and work towards healing.”

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys traveling, sewing, knitting–basically anything crafty–and being out in nature with her two dogs, a German Shepherd and a Heeler mix. Her guilty pleasure is People magazine.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Kristi Van Ess, MS, LPC

Kristi Van Ess, MS, LPC

Counselor

Location: Appleton

Specialties: Children, Adolescents, Depression, Anxiety, Divorce Adjustment, Families, Parent-Child Relationships

Background: Kristi completed her undergraduate work in psychology at UW-Eau Claire, and she received her master’s degree in mental health and child and adolescent counseling from UW-Stout. Her master’s thesis focused on animal-assisted therapy, and she has used her cats Maya and Boston to assist clients during therapy sessions. She also has employed art therapy and play therapy. Kristi was a lead group therapist at a counseling clinic and has worked as a counselor for outpatient and in-home services. She’s been with ERC since 2007.

About Kristi: Kristi uses a strength-based approach to empower clients. “Rather than being so problem-focused, we look at what kind of tools you already have in your toolbox that we can use to magnify those strengths.” Kristi is a mom with two young children, and enjoys spending time at a family cottage as well as visiting Door County. She’s an avid runner and also practices yoga. She has a passion for using mindfulness in her therapy, strongly influencing her counseling style.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Rebecca Hanson, MAC, LPC

Rebecca Hanson, MAC, LPC

Counselor

Location: Green Bay, Abrams

Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Grief / Loss / Bereavement, Medical Issues, Stress Management, Life Transitions

Background: Rebecca earned a bachelor’s degree in human services from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2007. She went on to achieve a master’s degree in community counseling from Lakeland College in 2014. During her degree program, Rebecca interned at an outpatient counseling facility which supported adults and adolescents through individual, group, and intensive outpatient programming for mental health and drug/alcohol treatment. Her background also includes extensive experience in the areas of grief and loss through eight years in the hospice field. In addition, she worked at an in-patient mental health facility in the children and adolescent unit. Currently, Rebecca is an EAP counselor at ERC as well as Director of Customer Services. She joined the organization in 2019.

About Rebecca: Rebecca uses an eclectic approach of solution-focused, cognitive behavioral, and person-centered counseling. “It is inevitable that we will all go through a difficult or challenging time at some point in our lives,” said Rebecca. “I hope to provide my clients with a place in which they can share their story, identify their strengths, and find coping strategies to assist them during challenging periods of time.”

Rebecca loves spending time with friends and family, especially her husband and son. She enjoys traveling out West to ski, visiting anywhere warm and tropical, and being up North.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Business Partnerships Team

Zach Brinkman

Zach Brinkman

Director of Business Development

Passionate mental health advocate. Approachable relationship builder.

As the Director of Business Development at ERC: Counselors & Consultants, Zach advances workplace productivity by advocating for a premier mental health benefit. He enjoys building strong partnerships with organizations, making genuine connections with people, and promoting the positive ripple effects of good mental health. If you’re interested in offering ERC’s Employee Assistance Program at your organization, Zach would be happy to meet with you.

Abby Brezinski

Abby Brezinski

Manager of Customer Engagement

As Manager of Customer Engagement at ERC: Counselors & Consultants, Abby partners with customers to support and promote the Employee Assistance Program to employees and their families. She is passionate about creating best-in-class customer experiences and helping organizations achieve the ripple effects of positive mental health.

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