Team

Meet our staff! Our creative, friendly team, each with their individual gifting, is here to welcome and assist you on your journey. Our counseling staff is professionally licensed to practice therapy in New York State.
Yvonne Banks

Yvonne Banks

Executive Director
Erin Andrade<br>LCSW

Erin Andrade
LCSW

Therapist
Hilary Grooms<br>LMFT

Hilary Grooms
LMFT

Therapist
Danielle Simmons<br>MFT

Danielle Simmons
MFT

Therapist
Michael Finnegan<br>LMHC

Michael Finnegan
LMHC

Therapist
Suzette Sullivan<br>LCSW-R

Suzette Sullivan
LCSW-R

Clinical Supervisor
Russ Blackstone<br>LMHC

Russ Blackstone
LMHC

Therapist
Jodie Bader

Jodie Bader

Accounting Manager
Elizabeth Cremean

Elizabeth Cremean

Office Supervisor
Kathy Bader

Kathy Bader

Receptionist

Yvonne Banks

Executive Director

Qualifications/Certifications:

Master’s Degree in Multidisciplinary Human Services /Concentration in Not-For-Profit Leadership. I am a NYS Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor- Master Counselor and am certified in Trauma Counseling. My clinical experience and organizational leadership include being responsible for overseeing multiple sites and developing programs to support healing utilizing my leadership skills, educational foundation, and wide experience for over 30 years. I have worked with those bound in addiction, struggling with mental health issues, and primary need issues.

Why Therapy?

Sometimes the burden is too much to carry or understand on our own. We need each other. When our body hurts we see medical doctors, when our mind, emotions, or spirit hurts therapists are here to aid in the healing process. There is no shame in needing help.

Fun Fact:

I love the sunny outdoors and enjoying activities from fishing and scuba diving to bow hunting, hiking to the mountaintops or watching and listening to the birds with morning coffee.

Life Verse:

Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Erin Andrade
LCSW

Therapist

Counseling Specialties:
Hello! I specialize in working with children beginning at age 5 through young adults struggling with a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, anger, stress, trauma, grief and loss, and adjustment struggles. I utilize modalities of treatment such as Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Mindfulness, and Motivational Interviewing. It is my goal to educate clients about mental illnesses and teach the necessary techniques and coping skills to help clients better manage their symptoms and work toward deeper healing.

Qualifications/Certifications:
I am a NY State Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sports Ministry from Houghton College in May 2014. I received my Master’s Degree of Social Work from The State University of New York at Buffalo in May 2018. I have been practicing in the psychotherapy field since 2018. I utilize therapy modalities of Play Therapy, Solution Focused Practice, and Motivational Interviewing. I have received certifications in Biblical Counseling, Youth Mental Health First Aid USA from the National Council for Behavioral Health, and Distance Teletherapy.

Why Therapy?
My strong desire to help and encourage people on a deep, relational level to work through their various problems has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I decided I wanted to become a counselor to help people gain healing, peace, and success through their struggles. Just as God loves us unconditionally and meets us right where we are, I seek to shine this same care toward my clients by meeting them without judgment where they are in their various situations. It is my goal and honor to help my clients find peace, healing, hope, and possibly even joy amidst the storms of life.

Fun Fact:
I have travelled to 10 countries through my experiences with the On Goal and Chicago Eagles soccer ministries, the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, and the Go Ed study abroad program! Some of my favorite and most interesting places I have been to include Brazil (also where my husband is from), Rwanda, Qatar, the United Kingdom, and the European cities of Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague! I especially love going on soccer ministry trips with my friends where we use the game of soccer as a platform to share the good news of Jesus Christ!

Life Verse:
One of my favorite and encouraging passages in Scripture is Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV):

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Hilary Grooms
LMFT

Therapist

Counseling Specialties:
I am a Marriage and Family Therapist, who holds a BA in Social Work from Buffalo State College and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Medaille College. I work with couples addressing issues including conflict resolution, communication challenges, betrayal, and intimacy issues. I also work with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, stress management, and self-esteem.

Qualifications/Certifications:
I work to create a safe, accepting space in the therapy room for clients to explore complex issues. I know that beginning therapy can be challenging, and for this reason I work to establish a transparent, trusting relationship with my clients. I have a client-centered approach that puts emphasis on empowering my clients to address patterns of behavior that may be ineffective or unhealthy. I draw from a variety of theories with particular emphasis on emotion focused cognitive behavioral, and solution focused interventions to help my clients open their perspectives for a healthier life.

Why Therapy?
I feel that therapy is important because therapy can help clients to gain a fresh perspective to the issue that they may be dealing with, as well as offer a better understanding of their own emotions. In time, therapy can promote one’s self-esteem, relationships, and outlook on life.

Fun Fact:
I have a puggle named Zack, and a cat named Midnight, who after 4 years are still not friends.

Life Verse:
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Danielle Simmons
MFT

Therapist

Counseling Specialties:
As a marriage and family therapist I provide services to couples, families ,and individual counseling services. I work with clients that have experienced a variety of concerns, including trauma, depression, anxiety, emotional dysregulation, domestic violence, and sexual assault. My therapeutic modalities consist of Narrative therapy, Cognitive Behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, Dialectical Behavioral therapy, play therapy, and structural therapy. My focus is to provide clients with tools, and skills to enhance their quality of life, in a safe and accommodating environment.

Qualifications/Certifications:
I am a marriage and family therapist, MFT-P, with a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Medaille College. Additionally, I have a bachelor degree in criminal justice,and a minor in psychology from Buffalo State College. My background includes working with a diverse population from children starting from age four, adolescents, and adults. I've worked as an advocate, and counselor for survivors of domestic violence, and sexual assault.

Why Therapy?
It is my passion to assist each person to experience their full potential in life.Therapy can provide support, and guidance through the healing process. My goal is to help provide peace, comfort and hope to each client.

Fun Fact:
I have a lovely Calico cat that knows how to play fetch!

Life Verse:
The one who calls you by name is trustworthy and will thoroughly complete his works in you (1 Thessalonians 5:24)/p>

Michael Finnegan
LMHC

Therapist

Counseling Specialties:
As a mental health clinician, I provide individual psychotherapy services to adults (18+) suffering from an array of issues from chronic stress, anxiety and depression to PTSD and spiritual confusion. The counseling services I provide are meant to aid in the psychological, emotional and spiritual growth of individuals who are suffering beyond their present ability to cope and who desire to move beyond merely coping, and to living more authentically and wholeheartedly.

Qualifications/Certifications:
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and have been practicing since 2013. I received my MSED in Community Mental Health Counseling from St. Bonaventure University along with an undergraduate degree in Psychology from The University at Buffalo. I have training and experience with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution Focused Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) and Schema Therapy. I also have past training and experience working as a pastoral care assistant for a hospital chaplaincy program.

Why Therapy?
I enjoy facilitating the emotional, intellectual and behavioral journey with my clients.

Fun Facts:
I enjoy reading theological and philosophical books in my down-time or making a mess in my woodshop. You will often find me hanging out with my family eating ice cream and children's cereal, in the pool or watching "junky tv shows" at home.

Life Verse:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. (1 John 1:1-4)

Suzette Sullivan
LCSW-R

Clinical Supervisor

Qualifications/Certifications:
I am a NY state Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R). I have a B.A.in Psychology from The University of Buffalo, a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Assumption College and an MSW from Boston University. I have been a psychotherapist since 1989. My training and compassion include teens, adults, seniors, couples, and families. My therapeutic modalities are individually tailored to each client, couple, or family. My overall focus is to assess and respect the "whole"person-looking at the interplay of body, mind, and spirit.

Why Therapy?
At times we need extra support and encouragement when life throws us unexpected events and circumstances. Therapy is a pathway toward healing, compassion, and understanding that can be combined with other sources of self-care (e.g. physical fitness, leisure, sports, etc.). The decision for therapy is an investment in better overall health that is commendable.

Fun Facts:
I went to Tanzania, Africa for my first missions trip this past summer. I saw the power of God working miracles just like in the book of Acts-people who could not hear, see, or walk received complete restoration!

Life Verse:
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:6-8

Russ Blackstone
LMHC

Therapist

Counseling Specialties:
My counseling specialties include Adults, Adolescents & Young Adults, Married couples, Parenting, Depression, Anxiety, Internet/Pornography addiction and Christian counseling.  I utilize Cognitive/Behavioral, Person Centered, Solution Focused, and a mix of other therapies, while maintaining a non-judgmental, respectful, and friendly demeanor to keep you relaxed and comfortable in session.

Qualifications/Certifications:
I am a Mental Health Counselor-LP and have 5+ years of counseling experience. I hold a Master of Arts Degree majoring in Counseling. My diverse background includes work in business, sales, and healthcare, culminating in an important transition into professional counseling where my people skills can work directly to support, build up, and heal others.

Why Therapy?
Everyone needs support, encouragement, and a means to heal from the past and have hope for the future.  Therapy helps discover your Potential, tap into your Strengths, and live life with Hope and Optimism.  Counseling can help you focus on what is good, make peace with reality, laugh more often, and live joyfully in all circumstances. The Lord has given me a heart to love and heal, and I look forward to facilitating this process with you.

Fun Facts:
I sing in a Barbershop quartet!  It is my all-time favorite hobby, with golf a close second!

Life Verse:
Where we are headed (Heaven), and how to get there (LOVE), are 2 of the most important things to think about in life:  

1) “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, and no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9)

2) “So faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).

Jodie Bader

Accounting Manager

Job Specialties:
I have provided bookkeeping and financial services to Christian Counseling Ministries for over 5 years.

Qualifications/Certifications:
I am a Certified Public Accountant and received my certification in 1991.

Fun Fact:
I like traveling to warm, sunny places in the winter months.

Life Verse:
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

Elizabeth Cremean

Office Supervisor

Qualifications/Certifications:
Bachelor's Degree in Communicative Disorders

Why Therapy?
Our emotions are an important part of how God made us. Similarly, to how a physician is needed when our bodies have problems, our mental and emotional well-being sometimes needs the help of a therapist.

Fun Fact:
I really enjoy passion fruit bubble tea and reading.

Life Verse:
Psalm 27:4 - “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple”

Kathy Bader

Receptionist

In this fast-paced and fallen world, it is easy to feel lost and unloved. Christian Counseling
Ministries provides a way to point people back to the truth. We all struggle! I have seen people
change because of CCM. People who come in broken and empty, often leave light-hearted
and full of joy. I thank God for all the counselors that are here. I see the work of the Holy Spirit in
them and I give glory to God for what they do.

Fun fact:
I'm a science geek and love to ballroom dance with my husband, Bob. I have five grown
children and soon to be, three grandchildren who are a source of great joy.

Favorite quote:
“God keeps His choicest wines in the cellar of affliction”
Charles Spurgeon

Life Verse:
One of my favorite verses is from Philippians 3:12-14

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to
take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to
have taken hold of it, But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is
ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in
Christ Jesus.