Leadership Team

Since Light Counseling’s founding in 1991, the practice has continued to grow and adapt to ensure we continue to provide professional and distinctively Christian counseling to more members of our community. To continue this goal, Light Counseling has developed an integrative and diversified leadership team of professionals to support Light Counseling’s mission and address the growing mental health needs of our community.

Karl Benzio, MD

Karl Benzio, MD

Medical Director - Board Certified Psychiatrist

Josh Hartle

Josh Hartle

Business Manager

About Josh

Josh was born and raised in Colorado and moved from Oregon to Virginia in the Spring of 2018. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration: Human Resource Management and is currently pursuing his Master in Healthcare Administration. Josh started his career in the mental health field as an intake specialist at an outpatient counseling center.  Over the years, he has continued to advance his acumen and utilize his experience in the mental health field to ensure clients are receiving exceptional care. Josh’s faith in Jesus Christ is key in how he lives his life, serves others, and contributes towards Christ’s calling.

Josh wants all of our clients to have an exceptional client experience by ensuring that our intake, billing, and client relation processes are confidential, caring, and seamless so our clients may focus their entire attention on their therapy. While no one is perfect, Josh always aims for excellence.

Josh has been married for 3 years and has an adventurous toddler who enjoys exploring the world around him. In Josh’s free time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring the outdoors, playing games, learning new skills, and reading non-fiction literature.

Jonathan Durst, LPC

Jonathan Durst, LPC

Clinical Director

Mercy Connors, PhD., LPC

Mercy Connors, PhD., LPC

Clinical Compliance Director

About Mercy

Bio coming soon!

L. Paul Bernard, PhD., LPC

L. Paul Bernard, PhD., LPC

Clinical Training Program Director

About Paul

Dr. L. Paul Bernard has more than 20 years of experience in clinical counseling, church ministry, public education, and university teaching, and supervision. He was the Founding Pastor and Senior Pastor of TEN27 Church for over 12 years, a school counselor, a licensed mental health professional, and a professor at Azusa Pacific University, Liberty University and Bethel University.

As a mental health professional, Dr. Bernard has worked in schools as a credentialed school counselor. He also experienced first-hand the depth of love and sacrifice of the foster care provider as the biological child of foster parents. This foundational experience established a core practice model for helping others who navigate through the child welfare and dependency system.

Dr. Bernard is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S) and works with individuals and families who desire a transformed life, working with adolescents and adults who deal with past issues such as overcoming self-destructive behavior, depression, managing stress, peer pressure, marital conflict, and relationship issues. He helps individuals find tools for unlocking their performance and to produce change…authentic change. He has extensive experience helping parents and teenagers to improve their relationship by showing mutual respect, developing better communication skills, and resolving conflicts. His research and experience include working with trauma, abuse, and attachment need as well as preventing burnout both personally and professionally.

Licenses & Certifications

  • Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC – California)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S – Virginia)
  • National Certified Counselor (NCC)
  • Clinical Certified Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC)
  • Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential
  • School Counseling (California)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Certified