“The purpose of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”


Meet Our Counselors

Akina Lam, MA, MFT

Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Akina graduated from New York University and earned her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nyack Alliance Graduate School of Counseling, with Honors and Distinction. Akina is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in couple and family dynamics. She is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalytical and psychodynamic therapies, Christian counseling, and family systemic therapy, which views distress and symptoms from a relational and systemic perspective. Akina works with individuals, couples, and families, including children and adolescents, and has experience counseling a wide range of clinical issues. Akina believes in a holistic, multilateral, and intergenerational approach to therapy, and will integrate a client’s faith and spirituality into her practice. She is most concerned with the overall, long-term well-being of individuals and their families. Akina is a member of American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and American Association of Christian Counselors. She recently took on a new role as Director of The Carpenter’s Workshop, and has been in full-time ministry for over fifteen years.


New York University
Bachelor of Science
Nyack’s Alliance Graduate School of Counseling
Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy

Activities & Affiliations

• New York Short Term Mission Training Center, Board Member
• American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, Member
• American Association of Christian Counselors, Member



Christopher Scherlacher, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Chris Scherlacher, a licensed professional counselor, has been working at the Carpenter’s Workshop Counseling Center in Sparta NJ for 17 years and has served as the Director of The Carpenter’s Workshop for the past 8 years. His training includes a BA from Northeastern Bible College and an MA in Counseling from Montclair State University. He is a trained Prepare/Enrich marital assessment and counseling program facilitator. His counseling focus includes marriage issues, abuse issues, anger management , depression and anxiety issues. He is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Chris is a participating counselor in the Referral Network of “Focus on the Family”. Chris is passionate about helping clients see the relationship between spirituality and psychology, one’s faith and emotional healing.


Northeastern Bible College                
Bachelor of Arts
Montclair State University
Master of Arts in Counseling

Activities & Affiliations

• American Association of Christian Counselors, Member
• Participating counselor, “Focus on the Family”

Keith Murphy, MA, LPC, LCADC

Licensed Professional Counselor & Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Keith Murphy is a licensed professional counselor and licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor in New Jersey. He graduated from Nyack College’s Alliance Graduate School of Counseling in 2006 with a Masters Degree in Christian Counseling. From August, 2000 to October, 2014 he worked at the Market Street Mission in Morristown, NJ helping men with severe substance use disorders rebuild their lives by embracing Christ and recovery. He currently serves as the Clinical Director of Guided Life Structures in Somerville, NJ and counsels at the Carpenter’s Workshop helping individuals, couples and families repair and restore broken relationships with themselves, others and Christ. In his present role as a Recovery Counselor or Substance Abuse Specialist, Keith has been tasked to help the students in the College Recovery Program develop skills for recovery and life in college and beyond. As a member of the Rutgers counseling staff, Keith has the privilege of seeing students flourish and become world-changers.


Nyack’s Alliance Graduate School of Counseling
Master of Arts in Christian Counseling

Activities & Affiliations

• Clinical Director of Guided Life Structures in Somerville, NJ