Meet Our Staff
At Ascension WI EAP, we pride ourselves in assisting organizations, employees, and members of the beneficiaries’ household with a wide range of difficulties. Our Employee Assistance Program model is built on short-term, solution focused counseling, and our team of counselors are professionally licensed to provide culturally competent behavioral health services within that scope. Additionally, we are experienced in providing organizational consultation, training, and critical incident response in the workplace. Service delivery is offered via telephone, virtual meetings, or in-person contact. The industries we serve span many sectors including education, government, first responders, manufacturing, construction, business, and healthcare. Our counselors understand the unique needs within each of these workplace cultures. Some of the common issues people seek assistance for are depression, anxiety, stress, workplace issues, relationships, parenting, substance abuse, and grief. Whatever the issue, EAP is a great place to start!
Judy Bronson, MSW
Judy has a Master of Social Work degree from the College of St. Catherine and St. Thomas University. Judy has experience in working with clients who have a serious and persistent mental illness and with hospice home care. Judy has a particular interest in addressing issues with anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and relationships. Judy has worked part-time with EAP in Mauston since 2015.
Lauri Doepke, MS, LPC, NCC
Thanks for checking out our EAP page! I’m Lauri, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) who works out of our Wausau location in central Wisconsin. I received my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from UW-Stout, and my Bachelors Degree from UW-Eau Claire. My approach to therapy begins with building a trusting connection, then I focus on a strengths-based, goal-oriented approach. I also favor cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as a counseling technique which focuses on challenging negative thought patterns that keep individuals stuck. This often includes doing work outside of the therapeutic hour through assignments and activities to increase self-awareness. I’d describe myself as warm hearted, witty, and down to earth. Outside of work I enjoy running, group fitness, spending time with my dog, and quality time with family and friends. EAP is a great fit for me; I find it extremely rewarding to walk alongside my clients on their journey.
Mary Mattes, LPC
After discovering my passion in working with people, I received my Master’s Degree in Counseling through Lakeland College. As a younger adult I had gotten my Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing, which seems a far cry from counseling. However, in both roles as an intake counselor (who is often the first contact you have with EAP), and as a counselor who provides individual counseling, I’ve found many helpful connections. I am an empathetic listener, and find that each person I work with is rich with their own unique story. I enjoy listening for details that can help narrow down what would be most helpful to you in this moment, and then provide additional exercises, tools, or resources to help you achieve your goals. I strive to create a comfortable, inclusive, non judgmental, and helpful experience for you, regardless of if we are talking virtually, by phone or in one of my office locations in Plover or Wausau. I look forward to talking with you!
Lynn Meinders, MSW
Hi- I’m Lynn, and I have been an EAP Counselor since 2014. I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work from UW-Milwaukee and work experience in hospice and palliative care, loss and grief, community mental health and disability services. As a counselor, I see my role to be that of a companion through the process, rather than someone who is here to fix a problem. I provide observant, compassionate listening and I work to help people see their strengths, innate gifts and resiliency so they can determine answers and strategies that are right for them. I'm very interested in research that helps explain the way our minds work and why we do the things we do. I like to help people dig deep into understanding themselves as well as their emotional/behavioral patterns in an effort to make meaningful change. Away from work, I enjoy reading, creating visual art, walking with my dogs, hiking trails, perennial gardening and connecting with friends and family.
Shelly Maxwell, MSW, LCSW
Hi! I work in the Oshkosh office (Mercy Hospital Oakwood Building). I have lived and worked in many different areas around the country and abroad. I moved to Oshkosh and worked in the UWO Counseling Center after completing my master’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis. My wide array of work experiences help me provide a holistic approach to my clients. I value creating a safe atmosphere to understand your concerns, provide you support and to teach helpful coping strategies. In addition to counseling, I have practiced yoga for over 20 years and completed my yoga teacher training in 2018. I enjoy practicing and teaching yoga, meditation, laughing, being social with friends, watching sports, being active outdoors (running, gardening, kayaking, hiking) and spending time with my family.
Brian McCabe, MS, LPC
Hello, welcome to our page! My name is Brian and my journey to the counseling profession started in the business field consulting with hospitals throughout the country. A desire to work in the helping profession led me to seek out education and training in the counseling field. Prior to EAP, I provided career and personal counseling in a residential vocational/academic training facility, and for the State of WI Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. EAP is a perfect fit given my interests and work background. I truly believe that counseling is a great way for individuals to address challenges that get them stuck or dissatisfied with the path they are on. My approach is laid back, but also direct. I like interactions in appointments to feel natural, while paying particular attention to thought styles that drain energy and impact mood in an uncomfortable way. Naturally, my approaches to working with people are finding alternative perspectives on self and life’s circumstances, developing focused attention, and incorporating healthy habits into daily life. My priorities and interests in life are my family (dog included), friends, and spending time outdoors hunting and fishing. In-person appointments with me are located in Racine, WI.
Donna Schmitz, MA, NCC, LPC
Donna earned a master’s degree from Liberty University. She previously worked in private practice as a clinical therapist. Donna is passionate about helping people and has a special interest in counseling couples and families in crisis; parenting issues; communication and conflict resolution. In addition, she has extensive experience in stress, depression, grief, divorce care, anger management, work/career related issues and finances/budgeting. Donna works in Menasha.
Sylvia Lee, MA, LPC
I am passionate about serving people from all cultural backgrounds and ages. I enjoy partnering with clients to help them take ownership of their journey and empower them on their road to healing. I strive to support individuals in their efforts to heal and grow as well as become reconnected to their strengths and dreams. I provide counseling services at our Menasha and Green Bay offices as well as virtual platforms via phone and video.
Steve DeClark, LCSW, SAC
My passion is helping people improve their relationships with themselves, their partner and their children. My approach is Solution Focused… knowing what you want, doing something different and doing what works. I am a former professional comedian and often humor in sessions. If you can find humor in your problem then it loses its power over you.
Leah Szemborski MS, LPC
People have told me that I’m easy to talk to. I’m a great listener, but I’m also honest and direct. In the first session I’ll ask a lot of questions to better understand your situation, then we’ll set goals to keep our time together focused and effective. Together we’ll make a counseling plan to help you resolve your concerns based on your unique needs and evidence-based strategies. Though I tend to be direct, I also enjoy helping people tell and shape their life stories through narrative process, and integrating spirituality and purposeful living into our sessions as well. I work out of the Menasha office..
Ever since I was young, I’ve had a passion for listening to and supporting other people. As a counselor, I strive to create a safe, non-judgmental space where you feel comfortable talking about your unique situation. Together, we’ll create goals, identify your strengths, explore obstacles, review coping strategies and other useful tools. I often use a solution focused approach to help you visualize your goals and feel empowered to make positive life changes. You’ll find me working in our Plover and Wisconsin Rapids offices.
Jennifer Houtz, MS, LPC
I look forward to meeting you and understanding how we can work together towards your self-improvement goals. I have a straight-forward solution-focused approach. I offer a listening ear in a safe, confidential space, and a personable response to your concerns. I believe a sense of humor and an attitude of gratitude go a long way in life. I have counseling sessions virtually or at our Menasha office.