Photo of Laura Garber

JFS Welcomes New Social Worker

Laura Garber, LSW, joins Jewish Family Service as an outpatient counselor to address expanding counseling needs in the Lehigh Valley. Garber received a Bachelor of Arts in political science at Penn State University and earned a Master of Social Science at Bryn Mawr College.

What brought you to JFS?

While I have lived in the Lehigh Valley since 2004, I was unfamiliar with the specific services offered by JFS. In the fall of 2019, I met Debbie Zoller, the executive director of JFS. We struck up a conversation and discovered that we both held master’s degrees in social work. She invited me to serve on the JFS clinical committee, which is an advisory committee for the counseling department. One of the committee discussions focused on the need to expand the counseling services at JFS. As I gained more experience in the field, I realized that my counseling interests aligned with the mission of JFS. When Debbie approached me about the new counseling position, I was excited about the opportunity to join the organization.

Six months into your new role, what observations would you like to share about the organization?

The sense of dedication, enthusiasm, and caring that I have observed among staff and volunteers has made my transition to JFS so much more meaningful. I love the community feel, Jewish values, and sense of collaboration that permeates everything we do at JFS. It is particularly rewarding to help clients navigate and manage their mental health challenges.

What populations do you work with?

I enjoy working with individuals of all ages and stages of life. I have experience working with children, adolescents, teens and adults with a variety of mental health issues including trauma, depression, grief, anxiety, relationships and stress management. I hope to make mental health services more accessible to people with different backgrounds and various mental health needs.

How do you approach the way you work with individuals?

It is important for me to meet each individual where they are at. We begin by doing a thorough needs-based assessment. Once the assessment is completed, we develop mental health goals during weekly individual sessions.

How do I make an appointment for counseling at JFS?

JFS is currently accepting new counseling clients from children through adults. Please call JFS at 610-821-8722 or email for more information.