About Us

Charlene Manchester Barton, LADC LSW: Private Practitioner & Sweetser Affiliate

Charlene Manchester Barton

I am a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Licensed Social Worker and have been in the field for many years. My first jobs were with agencies serving teenage parents, homeless youth and adjudicated youth. When I entered private practice, I worked primarily with women and children who had been impacted by the substance abuse of a loved one (COA,ACOA, Affected Family). At this time I am also providing counseling to individuals struggling with alcoholism or addiction. I came to my profession with a background in Art, and in fact, taught Art , K-12, in MSAD#55 for 10 years. I am from Maine, have lived in this community for 40 years and raised my 5 children here. When one of my sons died in a car accident at the age of 19, my life changed. The grief I experienced informs my practice. I am very fortunate to own Across the River Counseling and Wellness. I am deeply grateful to the independent, licensed professionals who have made this location a place of healing for our community. We provide mental health services and addiction counseling to adults, children, families, couples and individuals. We offer a variety of possibilities including mindfulness, play therapy, sand tray therapy and, of course CBT. I feel that I can speak for all of us at 19 River Road when I express appreciation for the opportunity to serve and to learn from the remarkable people in our community.


Willow Whitehouse Briggs, MA LCPC Private Practitioner & Sweetser Affiliate

Willow Whitehouse Briggs

It is a joy and a privilege for me to be at Across the River Counseling and Wellness, having
worked in the community as part of the MSAD 55 school system for twenty years and in private practice here for the last nine years, after meeting and working with Charlene at Adventure Counseling in Limerick for two years prior to her opening here in Cornish.
I love being by the river as I view our lives as ever flowing like the river despite occasional storms and the potential for getting caught on emotional debris at times. I have studied and practiced as a mental health practitioner as well as in the field of dance movement therapy and my work is both spiritual and intellectually as well as focused on using mindfulness and body awareness to help ground us in our everyday lives and our emotional and spiritual growth process. I especially enjoy working with women, couples and adolescents and look forward to meeting and working with you and sharing what I have learned through my own life process.


Fran DeMaio, LCSW Private Practitioner & Sweetser Affiliate

Fran DeMaio

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker I have been providing mental health services to children and adults for close to twenty years. I work with people experiencing a range of difficulties including anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, mood disorders, autism and serious medical issues. I use mindfulness based treatments, including DBT, CBT, EMDR and sensory motor work, incorporating art, play, sand tray and movement to meet individual needs. I draw much of my strength from being in nature and love working in the beautiful setting at Across the River Counseling. I also have an office in Bridgton, Maine at 41 Depot Street.


Robert McDonnell, LADC Private Practitioner & Sweetser Affiliate 

Addiction treatment and evaluations.


Bethanie Jacques, LCPC-CC, Clinician and Children’s Services Coordinator at Casa, Inc

Bethanie Jacques

I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor- conditional (LCPC-c) with a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of Southern Maine in 2010, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from SUNY Plattsburgh, New York. I was born in upstate NY and moved to Maine in 2002 after traveling across this country and living briefly in Arizona. My primary focus and experience is with children/ adolescents and their families, and clients with Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, and Developmental Delays; in both outpatient counseling sessions and more intensive in-home family therapy (HCT). I also have experience with a range of client concerns such as: ADHD, anxiety, trauma, behavioral challenges, adaptive functioning, self-esteem, gender identity and expression, social skills, stress management, frustration tolerance, and family functioning distress. I primarily use creative/ play-focused therapies and behavioral/ cognitive-based talk therapies, as clients work through their life challenges at their own pace, supported in a positive and strengths-centered atmosphere. I often use the play therapy room with younger children and will work closely with guardians in a confidential and informative manner. I typically counsel clients on a 1:1 basis, and I will work with guardians, siblings, partners and other family members as needed to support each client. I live with my wife in Standish and we currently care for our 10-year-old foster child and two cats. Travelling and camping are my two greatest passions and I often day dream of where to visit next. Please call to schedule a confidential appointment. I look forward to meeting you and working with you and your family. (207) 939-4582 (My other office is located at Casa Inc., 741 Warren Avenue, Portland, ME)