The Azimuth Team

Christine Wilkens


Executive Director


Christine Wilkens is a Vermonter who grew up in the Burlington area. She has an undergraduate degree with concentrations in education and psychology and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health and Substance Abuse. She is: Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC), a National Board-Certified Counselor (NBCC), Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200), a Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT) and graduate of Yahweh Yoga Teacher Training Academy. Christine is also a Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) , a level II Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist in addition to be a licensed Church Ministry Worker for the New England District of the C&M Alliance. Christine serves on the pastoral staff at Essex Alliance and is the founding Executive Director of Azimuth Counseling and Therapeutic Services, incorporated in 2005 as a 503c nonprofit.


Prior to 2005, she worked in school settings as a Student Assistance Professional (SAP) Counselor for Lamoille North Supervisory District and as an educator in alternative primary education.

Christine’s therapeutic focus is with individuals and couples experiencing: conflicted relationships, sexual compulsions/dysfunction, trauma, anxiety or mood disorders and spiritual or existential crisis. Working with her clients she incorporates strategies designed to meet their needs and goals, drawing on her training in from a variety of modalities that span from Brief Solution Focused CBT and Narrative, to Family Systems, Object Relations, Integrative Spiritual practices, Mindfulness and Yoga.

When not working at Azimuth, Christine likes to explore all of creation by hiking, biking swimming, traveling and reading. Yet, she always leaves ample time for gardening, cooking and just spending time with family and friends.

Dr Gary Keller




Dr. Keller, Azimuth's Consulting Psychiatrist, was trained in medicine at Tufts University and completed his residency training in psychiatry at the University of Vermont in 1985.

He has been on the clinical faculty at UVM Department of Psychiatry since 1986. As a Research Assistant Professor at UVM, he directed the Raising Healthy Children program to prevent major depression and emotional disorders in children.

Dr. Keller was Board Certified in psychiatry in 1986 and has practiced clinical psychiatry in Vermont since that time. He has been Chief Psychiatrist for Community Health Plan and Kaiser Permanente Health Plan. He has also been the attending psychiatrist at Fletcher Allen Health Care for the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic. In addition to his outpatient practice, he consults weekly for two other non-profit clinical practices as well as for the UVM Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.

Melissa Culver

Clinical Director

Melissa Culver holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University New England, and is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor.  Before working at Azimuth, Melissa worked in community mental health and addictions programs, and at the University of Vermont’s College Counseling Center.  Melissa returns to Azimuth, following some leave time used to home school her daughter. 

Melissa works with adults and youth, young adults, couples and families.  Areas of clinical focus include anxiety, depression, women’s issues, mindfulness and meditation, grief and loss, transitions and adjustments, recovering from physical injury or illness, aging adults, learning disorders, personal growth and change.  Melissa respects the richness of human diversity and strives to create a safe and open space where clients feel respected and empowered.  She works from a strength-based perspective, utilizing mindfulness based cognitive behavioral and solution-focused strategies.

Outside of work, Melissa spends her free time with family, and taking walks with her rescue dog, Lucky.  She is a Life Force Yoga Practitioner, a Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher and is drawn to learning about holistic healing approaches that integrate the mind, body and spirit.  Melissa is a graduate of the Vermont Leadership Series, and serves as a mental health and educational advocate for the Vermont Chapter of Decoding Dyslexia.

Meg Smith


Meg enjoys empowering people on their journey toward healing. She has experience with adults, adolescents, college students, families, and couples in a wide variety of areas including: life stressors, relational issues, parenting challenges, loss, shame and guilt, women’s issues, spiritual confusion, and recurring cycles of pain and dysfunction. In the past she has treated anxiety and mood disorders, depression, and trauma in the outpatient and residential settings.

Meg views people as biological, social, psychological, and spiritual beings, and in her practice she incorporates elements that speak to each dimension of personhood. She offers interested clients the chance to use creative expression as they pursue wholeness. Additionally, she pays attention to clients’ spiritual development and enjoys supporting individuals and families in their faith journeys.

A Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in the State of Vermont, Meg earned a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College Graduate School (Wheaton, IL) and a Bachelors in English from Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT).  When not connecting with clients, Meg enjoys adventures with her family in the great outdoors, gathering around the campfire with friends, and writing.

Nancy Barber


Nancy is a native New Yorker who recently relocated to Vermont.  Her career includes a background in the fields of both social work and education.  She practices many varied approaches but always with the focus on helping each client develop their personal strengths and resilience. 

Nancy’s experience includes providing individual and group counseling to adults, families, and couples in community mental health clinics and private agencies.  She has extensive experience as well working with children and adolescents in both public schools and clinical settings, supporting them emotionally, socially, and academically.  Nancy has also worked with children and youth in an inpatient setting.   


Nancy earned her Master of Social Work degree from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and also holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education from the State University of New York College at Cortland, NY.  She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in both Vermont and New York State.  Nancy also holds a Vermont Educator License with a School Social Worker Endorsement.          


Nancy’s volunteer experience includes managing a soup kitchen, counseling at a crisis pregnancy center, and volunteering in schools and her church.  She has three adult children she is very proud of and two adorable grandchildren!

Gretchen Barewicz


Gretchen enjoys managing the day to day operations at Azimuth. She takes great care to ensure that all clients feel welcome and comfortable. She handles intakes, appointment scheduling, insurance billing and problem solving at Azimuth.

Cindy is the Financial Administrator responsible for the accounting operations of Azimuth Counseling and Therapeutic Services. Her main role is to ensure that Azimuth is a financially sound operation, ensures preparation of timely filing of non-profit tax returns and to be compliant with all operating policies and procedures. 

She has a Master of Accountancy at the University of Vermont and has held administrative positions within the accounting field over the past ten years.

Cindy teaches Korean language at Green Mountain Korean Culture School, a member of Korean traditional percussion group, plays the piano and organ, and enjoys paddle boarding and biking.

Cindy Rancourt


Duane Howard

IT Manager

Duane was born and raised in Vermont with his formative years spent in Colchester. He currently resides with his wife on the family homestead which has been passed down through several generations. The homestead, located in Cambridge, is actually the town of his birth. Duane and his wife have two grown children and four grand children.

His technology career started with seven and a half years in the US Air Force with the entire time spent in Special Electronics. His Air Force stint saw him living in Denver, Easter Island and Scotland. Leaving the Air Force and coming back to Vermont, Duane has worked for Simmonds Precision (now Goodrich Sensors and Integrated Systems in Vergennes ), Polhemus Navigation Sciences (then In Essex Junction) and finally retiring after 31+ years as a Senior Software Engineer from IBM.

When not working at Azimuth, Duane enjoys biking, skiing - both downhill and back country touring, tennis, and projects around the homestead.

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