Our Staff

our staff

Elizabeth-smElizabeth Ryan, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director, has been in the mental health field since 1980, shortly after earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Western Maryland College in Westminster, Maryland. She completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1989 at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore, Maryland. She has worked both in public services, as a Child Protective Services caseworker, and in the private sector, most recently in private practice before joining the Franciscan Community Counseling team. Working with individuals, families, and couples, her specialty areas include depression, and stress-related issues, self-esteem issues, trauma, relationship issues, women’s issues, pain management, and addictions. She holds a Colorado State LCSW license and is a Level II-trained Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner.

Click here to e-mail Elizabeth.

Judith Ann Schaeffer, Ph.D. earned her degree in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University of Chicago and completed her residency at St. Joseph Youth and Children Unit, St. Joseph Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. Before coming to Franciscan Community Counseling, where she serves as a part-time staff psychologist, she was on the staff of the TMJ Clinic and Pain Management Center of St. Margaret Mercy Hospital in Hammond, Indiana. She has published in various journals as well as authored Transference and Countertransference in Non-Analytical Therapy: Double-Edged Swords (New York: University Press of America, Inc., 2007) and “Mother-Daughter Relationships” (Human Development).

Click here to e-mail Judith.

Michael Conner, MSW, LCSW, has been in the medical field since 2003 where he was a medic with the Army. He earned his Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2013 from Fayetteville State University, while still in the military. He was able to serve his final six years in the Army as a Behavioral Health Officer on Fort Carson, until he retired. Michael started working at Franciscan Community Counseling not long after this. Working with individuals, from adolescents to geriatrics, Michael has been able to utilize his skills to help individuals throughout the lifespan. His specialties include trauma work, depression, anxiety, stress-related issues, self-esteem issues, relationship issues, men’s issues, and addictions. He holds a Colorado State LCSW license and is trained in multiple different modalities. He has attended training for both Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), as well as many other treatments. Michael is an LGBTQ ally, and welcomes individuals from all genders, races, and religions.

Click here to e-mail Michael.

Stephanie Welker, MSW, LCSW has been in the clinical social work field for 30 years since earning both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida in 1991. She worked in the medical field as a hospital social worker then moved into the non-profit sector as a Clinical Director of a social service agency providing mental health services, case management, and family services specializing in high risk parents and children. She works with children, teens, adults and families specializing in depression, anxiety, anger management, family conflict, relationship issues, grief and loss, PTSD and trauma. She uses several different therapy modalities: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Trauma Informed Care and EMDR. She holds a Colorado State LCSW license and a Florida State LCSW license.

Click here to e-mail Stephanie.

Denise Warren, LPC, BSW, MCC, completed her Bachelors Degree in Social Work through New Mexico Highland’s University, Las Vegas, NM in 1993. She earned Master’s Degree in Community Counseling at the University of Phoenix, Colorado Springs in 2006. She has over 20 years of clinical experience across a variety of settings including, crisis intervention, inpatient psychiatric and correctional behavioral health treatment. She has a broad range of clinical experience working with individuals and groups in the following areas: Depression and Anxiety Disorders, Self-Harm Behavior, Grief, Anger and Stress Management, Trauma, Suicide Assessment and Risk Reduction and Group Psychotherapy.

Click here to e-mail Denise.

Jeremy Morales, LSW, has been in the social work field since 2005 where he started as a teacher assistant at a residential treatment center for boys. He earned his master’s degree in 2015 from Newman University, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Working with individuals from adolescents to geriatrics, his specialties include trauma work, depression, anxiety, stress-related issues, self-esteem issues, relationship issues, and men’s issues. He holds a Colorado State LSW license and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Jeremy is an LGBTQ ally and welcomes all races, genders, and religions.

Click here to e-mail Jeremy.

Danielle Tagliaferro was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She moved to Colorado Springs in the fall of 2018 and instantly fell in love with it. With a background and a BA in Psychology, working at Franciscan Community Counseling was a perfect fit. Danielle finds it very rewarding to assist clients and help them find the right therapist. Working for FCC and with the therapists has inspired her, and she has begun a journey to become a Social Worker. Danielle is a big advocate for mental health and therapy. She tells people, “It’s okay to not be okay, and it’s okay to see a therapist!”

Click here to e-mail Danielle.

our board of directors

Dr. George R. Athey
Sr. Marilyn Uhing, OSF
Gail Hickert
Elizabeth Ryan
Matthew Gendron
Dan Burich
Sr. Diana White, OSF
Joyce Sanchez
Anthony Perez

adopt-a-sister contact

Sr. Diana White (719) 955-3845


Internships are provided to Doctorate level students. Supervision can be arranged with one of the appropriate level professionals. Candidates must apply and pass an interview process. Licensed staff at FCC supervises Psy.D and Ph.D candidates from various schools.

Please call Elizabeth Ryan at (719) 955-7009 or e-mail her at lizr@stfrancis.org for more information.