All clinicians are licensed by the State of New Jersey.

Gretchen Morgan, MSW, LCSW
license #44SC04971400
[email Gretchen Morgan]

Gretchen Morgan, MSW, LCSW is a founding partner of Lighthouse Counseling & Sand Play Training Center. In 1995, Gretchen graduated from Loyola College in Maryland with her BA in Psychology, followed by her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1997 from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1998, Gretchen received her Level I and II EMDR training, enabling her to better assist traumatized clients with their therapeutic process. In 1999, Gretchen was introduced to Sand Play Therapy, a Jungian-based treatment modality that was transformational to her both professionally and personally.

In addition to individual and family psychotherapy, Gretchen is a seasoned trainer, responsible for the creation and implementation of the Center’s Sand Play Training Series as well as three international trainings in Ireland and Costa Rica. Gretchen has also been an Adjunct Professor and Trainer at The Monmouth University Graduate School of Social Work.

Believing in the mind-body-spirit connection to achieve wellness, Gretchen carries her passionate beliefs about natural healing into her personal life, where she practices acupuncture, and yoga. Gretchen is extremely interested in nutritional healing, having experienced the benefits of a Gluten-Free lifestyle since 2011. As an alternative to the “medicate now, ask questions later” mentality of many modern day mental health practitioners, Gretchen refers all clients for comprehensive medical evaluations and encourages holistic treatment options.

When not working, Gretchen is usually traveling (or planning to travel) and loves spending time with her family, friends and dogs.


Mary Pat McGeehin, MSW, LCSW
license #44SC04597600
[email Mary Pat McGeehin]

Mary Pat McGeehin, MSW, LCSW, is a founding partner of Lighthouse Counseling & Sand Play Training Center. Prior to starting the center with Gretchen Morgan, Mary Pat was the Director of Family Services at St. Francis Community Center in Ocean County. Throughout her years of practice and study, Mary Pat has specialized in families, focusing on trauma. That pursuit has led her to three specific modalities of practice that she feels are most effective in dealing with the issued that lead to therapy: Sand Play Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Psychodynamic Therapy.

Mary Pat has taught as an adjunct in the graduate school at Rutgers University and as a trainer at Monmouth University. Because she has a strong belief in the integration of mind, body and spirit in the healing process, Mary Pat regularly uses acupuncture and massage, has a regular practice of qi gong and strongly supports her clients in using massage, yoga, tai chi, qi gong and other modalities of healing while they are in the therapeutic process.



Toni Zachos-Kaplan, MSW, LCSW
[email Toni Zachos-Kaplan]

An interest in people and helping others led to Toni’s career as a social worker, which began at Ithaca College. In pursuit of a deeper level of education, Toni received her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Toni has over fifteen years’ experience in social work profession.

A wide range of interests motivated Toni to work with different populations. This has been accomplished through a variety of community settings including mental health agencies, schools, and families’ homes. Toni works with children, adolescents, and adults, in individual, couples, family and group therapy sessions. Having worked closely with families referred by DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services), a strong focus of her practice has been child welfare, including child abuse/neglect, behavioral and parenting issues. Other areas of experience include substance abuse/dual diagnosis, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, anxiety, as well as other mental health and familial issues.

For the past ten years Toni has been running a successful private practice as an affiliate of Lighthouse.  Play therapy and EMDR has been strongly integrated in her work with children and families. Toni has coordinated the group therapy program at Lighthouse for eight years, offering targeted groups to a wide variety of populations/clinical concerns utilizing a unique blend of yoga and Sand Play to achieve positive outcomes.


Barbara McGinley, MA, LPC

After graduating from Georgian Court University in 2011 with a Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Barbara worked with children and families in crisis and developed a strong interest in the treatment of childhood trauma. She has engaged in several professional trainings aimed at exploring techniques to assist her clients in restoring peace and balance within their lives. Barbara has worked with both children and adults struggling with unresolved trauma, anxiety, life stressors and depression.

Barbara was introduced to the Center during her pursuit of training in Sand Play Therapy. She went on to complete over 2 years of training at Lighthouse Counseling & Sand Play Training Center. Barbara strongly believes that this method of therapeutic intervention is a powerful tool in helping both children and adults in the process of healing. In addition to Sand Play Therapy, Barbara has been trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, techniques of mindfulness and EMDR.
 Heather Koenigsfest, MA, LPC, NCC

Heather earned her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Caldwell College and has provided effective and supportive counseling services in the community with several years of experience. Her previous professional experiences have shaped her work and made her extremely sensitive to the needs of individuals in crisis. Her goal is to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for the clients she serves. As a counselor, Heather has had experience working with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings including outpatient and day program milieus. Her goal for her clients is to help them utilize their strengths to build resilience and achieve their personal goals. Through her hard work and dedication, she has empowered her clients to create positive change in their lives.

Heather was introduced to the Center during her pursuit of training in Sand Play Therapy. She believes in the approach of having the mind, body and spirit work through the trauma and heal the individual. In addition to Sand Play Therapy, Heather utilizes Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Dialectical Behavior Therapy in her treatment process. 

When not working, Heather loves practicing yoga, reading, going to the beach and spending time with family, friends and her dogs.


Michael Balestrieri, MS, LPC, NCC

Michael believes in the importance of positive energy and compassion toward others. Michael’s authenticity and relaxed nature will allow you to feel comfortable to work through some of your greatest life challenges together. It is through his own spiritual journey toward health and happiness in his personal life that Michael is able to assist others on their own journey.

Michael graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and from Monmouth University with a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. Michael is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of New Jersey and a National Certified Counselor through the National Board for Certified Counselors. Michael’s professional experience in mental health started in 2009 as an ABA in-home therapist for children on the autism spectrum and since then has included working for the children’s system of care in the state of New Jersey, intensive outpatient programs for children and teens, a partial hospital program for children and teens, and as an individual, group, and family therapist for children, adolescents, and adults. Through a range of professional experiences, a strong focus of Michael’s practice has become working with victims of bullying as well as those with anxiety and low self-confidence.

Michael is an avid surfer, traveler, animal lover, yogi, family man, fitness enthusiast, and seeker of all things adventurous.


Jennifer Morris

Jennifer received her Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Loyola College in Maryland. Following graduation, Jennifer worked as an Advertising Executive in Maryland and New York City. After seven years in the field, Jennifer left the corporate world to raise her two sons, but luckily, Jennifer soon wanted to have part-time work, so she accepted a position as Billing Manager for Gretchen and Mary Pat in March of 2002.