It is our philosophy that each client deserves to work with someone who best meets their individual needs. We have a variety of staff members who are each uniquely trained and specialized in a variety of treatment modalities. We are confident that we will offer you the specialization you deserve.
Melissa Amaya, LCSW, CCTP
I have a strong personal commitment to working with couples. I believe it essential for couples to have supports available whether it is for issues that arise during dating, engagement or marriage. Relationships are hard work but they shouldn't be exhausting. One key question I have always found helpful is to ask yourself if having this person in your life offers more happiness or more pain. The reality is that issues will always arise in relationships. It is how we handle them and the role we play that determines whether or not the relationship is in our best interest.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I received my Bachelor's Degree of Social Work and Criminal Justice through Concordia University of Chicago. Fun fact, I played college basketball which has taught me to fight through adversity, determination and leadership. I traveled to Europe, more specifically, England to start my Master's Program in Social Work where I also gained experience working with Military Communities and Sexual Assault Survivors. In recent years, I have worked with children and families in various settings. I am versed in conduct disorders, crisis intervention and severe/persistent illness. No two people are the same. That’s why the approach that I take in my services is highly-personalized and refined to fit the exact needs of my clients. Believe in your inner badass. Let's do this!
Nicole Whitley, MSW, Registered Clinical Social Work Intern
The early stages of Ms. Whitley’s career development began at the age of 20, whereby she worked directly for people with intellectual disabilities. Intrigued by the system of care while working in various non-profit organizations, Ms. Whitley was inspired to further her education in the Human Service field. By God’s divine direction, Ms. Whitley obtained her Associate of Applied Science degree from Westchester Community College, Bachelor of Social Work degree from Mercy College, and then Master of Social Work Degree from Saint Leo University.
Ms. Whitley found her vocation within the hospice setting providing emotional support, education, and resources to families during one’s most sensitive times, end-of-life. Through years of hospice experience, along with personal experience, Ms. Whitley’s passion is to work with children, teens, adults, families, and couples, struggling through grief and loss.
Many associate the mourning process with the passing of a loved one, however, grief is also experienced with a divorce/separation, loss of a job, a newly diagnosed terminal illness, life transitions, foster care placement, etc. Throughout the grieving process, many will face several emotions including anxiety, depression, anger, yearning, guilt, sadness, and so much more. By utilizing various therapeutic approaches including acceptance and commitment therapy, expressive arts therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and many more, Ms. Whitley believes in partnering with those ready to overcome the mourning process. Grief is a journey, let’s partner together.
Amanda Hughes, LCSW
Amanda Hughes is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Florida. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine in Psychology and completed her Master’s degree from the University of Maine in social work. Working in the mental health field since 2000, she has prior experience in a variety of settings and most recently worked at a community mental health center in the public school system.
Her approach to therapy is client centered and solution focused. She utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, and play therapy in her practice. Amanda is experienced in treating a wide array of issues including grief and loss, anxiety, depression, trauma, adjustment, and behavioral issues. She enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults. Through her work in the past, she has a particular passion to help children and adolescents and their families.
Diana Mitwalli, LMFT
Sometimes when life brings challenges and unwelcome stress, we may need a little extra support and clarity. Whether or not you have received counseling before, it takes insight and courage to reach out for help. Diana has a genuine and supportive way of connecting with and helping her clients.
Diana is a licensed Psychotherapist. Diana has helped people with various concerns including relationship problems, stress, depression, adjustment issues, trauma, anxiety, domestic violence, divorce and behavioral problems. Utilizing a cognitive behavioral approach within a systems modality, counseling is always individually tailored to meet the needs of each client. She has nearly 10 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of South Florida, and her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University. Diana is bilingual in English and Arabic.
Natalie Gordon, LCSW
Natalie has been a social worker since 2002 and has had an opportunity to work with in many settings with diverse populations which include child welfare, mental health, school social
work, medical social work, adult/juvenile justice systems, and managed care. However, the breadth of Natalie’s experience has been providing mental health services to children and their families. Natalie is experienced in treating depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, adjustment disorders, behavioral issues, anger, and adoption and child welfare issues, and interpersonal difficulties. Natalie has advanced training in adoption competency and trauma informed care. Natalie’s primary style of therapy is cognitive behavioral, solution-focused, and supportive. Natalie received her Bachelor’s degree in social work from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ with a concentration in clinical social work. Natalie later received her license as a clinical social worker (LCSW) in 2015.
Chad Exceen LMHC
Chad Exceen is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has over 10 years of experience in the field of behavioral health. Throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to work with many adolescents adults, and families in overcoming life changes and challenges. He uses a combination of therapeutic approaches, to include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Solution-Focused Therapy to treat presenting problems that arise. His areas of specialty include treating depression, anxiety, trauma, stress, anger issues, grief/loss and substance use related concerns.
Chad believes in the uniqueness of everyone in therapy and utilizes a person-centered approach to uncovering a person’s individualized strengths, needs, abilities, and preferences for treatment services. He builds on teaching and practicing appropriate coping skills that are proven to be effective and enhance a person’s well-being and happiness. He does this in a supportive manner, knowing that all life problems are not easily solved, and the support and guidance from a qualified professional is often highly beneficial.
Chad graduated with his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Buena Vista University in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He then pursued and received his Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Bellevue University, in Bellevue, Nebraska. He has worked in various setting to include, inpatient psychiatric care, day rehabilitation treatment, and community case management services. However, Chad’s passion is working with individuals and families in outpatient services. Chad has also had experience in working with armed forces veterans in the community. He proudly served his country in the United States Army and was honorably discharged after 6 years of active duty service. During his free time, he enjoys living a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as traveling with friends and spending time with family.
Traci Babcok, LMHC
I understand the decision to begin counseling may not be easy, however your choice to make the leap of faith may be the beginning of your journey toward a more fulfilling life. I’m an experienced mental health counselor who is passionate about empowering individuals, families and couples to overcome obstacles and achieve wellness. I strive to create an environment that is comfortable, safe, confidential and conducive to the therapeutic relationship.
I believe effective counseling is a collaborative relationship. I tailor the counseling experience to each individual by integrating a variety of evidenced-based counseling theories such as Cognitive Behavioral, Solution-Focused, Play Therapy, Strength-Based, Career Counseling and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
In my professional experience I’ve enjoyed working with clients in various counseling settings including an adolescent residential program, vocational rehabilitation testing, career counseling and crisis stabilization.
My areas of specialty include: depression, anxiety, self-esteem, adjustment difficulties, stress management, behavioral issues and relationships.
I’m a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. I received my Bachelor’s degree from The University of South Florida with a major in Psychology. I earned my Master’s degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of South Florida.
Cheryl A. Hurley, LCSW
I have spent my entire adult life in “helping” professions, specifically helping those in crisis. In 2011, I became more focused on helping those with significant mental health issues and traumas, such as victims of child abuse, domestic violence survivors, and military veterans and first responders suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I use a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness to help clients with life’s problems, and to learn coping skills, so they can more effectively cope with anxiety and depression, and whatever life may throw at them.
Making a decision to seek therapy can be scary and stressful, and I feel it is important for the client to feel comfortable in the therapy environment, and to build a strong therapeutic relationship based on honesty and trust.
My experience includes working with adults and adolescents suffering from PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Substance Use. I have worked in both residential and outpatient substance use environments.
I am EMDRIA approved and Shapiro trained to provide Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Saint Leo University, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of New England (2016). I was previously a Clinical Social Work Associate and Qualified Mental Health Professional in the State of Oregon, and I am now a Registered Clinical Social Work Intern in the State of Florida.
Janece (JC) Caro, LPC
JC works hard to provide an environment that is accepting and supportive and simultaneously looks for ways that increase growth and healing. Her approach emphasizes skill-building, self-knowledge, and balance. She has been a therapist in a variety of settings for about 20 years, helping people deal with anxiety, depression, stress, and trauma in their lives and how it has affected their relationships. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults and enjoys working with a variety of individuals. She have been trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. She also speaks conversational Spanish and has a lot of experience with bilingual families. Her experience has included working with people who struggle with depression, anxiety, self esteem, family conflict, trauma, and other issues that accompany adolescence and adulthood.
She views her role in your life as being part of your team where she helps you determine what is best for you. It is through working together that she believes positive changes can occur.
Tiffany Battershell, LCSW
If you feel that you are ready create positive change in your life, you can! I'm here to offer a listening ear and non-judgmental support. It is common to have difficulty managing in a healthy way when experiencing stress that life has to offer.
I use a variety of approaches to assist my clients, depending on individual needs focusing on a strengths-based perspective. My experience includes assisting clients with issues surrounding addiction/substance abuse, co-dependency, grief, terminal illness, women’s health, mood disorders, childhood challenges and disorders, among other concerns. I hold a Master’s degree in Social work from University of Central Florida and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2014.
Tiffany is also able to provide Christian based Counseling.
Let's fill up that healthy coping toolbox together. I look forward to meeting you!
Life can be stressful! Seeking support during difficult times or when you notice an onset of symptoms is the best approach to prevent things from getting worse. The foundations of counseling encourage preventative counseling and early intervention. Just as we take preventative measures for our physical health, we must also do so for our mental health.
Nicole is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Master’s Level Certified Addiction Specialist. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from William Paterson University and her Master’s Degree in Counseling, specializing in Clinical Mental Health, from Adams State University. Nicole has worked in the behavioral health field since 2011 and is very passionate about her work. Her experience includes working with children, adolescents, and adult women who struggle with mental health and/or substance use disorders. Nicole has experience treating anxiety, depression, mood disorders, substance use, grief, anger and stress management, trauma, and specifically women’s issues. She utilizes a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach combined with mindfulness techniques. Overall she utilizes a holistic approach and believes in treating the individual as a whole, and not just the symptoms they are experiencing. Nicole is trained in a specialized trauma therapy technique, Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), which utilizes eye-movements to dissolve negative images and treat common symptoms of PTSD. For more information on ART, you can request a consultation with Nicole or visit ART International.
Kristy Little, LMHC
Kristy is a Licensed mental health counselor with several years of field experience in behavioral health. During her career, Kristy has also put in years of voluntary work for various non-profit organizations, mainly focusing on adolescents, sex trafficking, and even pet therapy.
Kristy’s familiarity lies in many categories, including treating PTSD, sexual trauma, anxiety, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and substance use disorders. Her experience includes working with adolescent females, males, and adult women. Kristy’s passion is helping those who have struggled with sexual abuse, either as a child or as an adult. She also believes that if one can heal from their past sexual trauma, they can begin to develop healthy relationships and ultimately gain a positive outlook on who they are as an individual, thus leading to feeling good about their sexuality and building a safe and comfortable bond with their partner. Kristy also has a passion for helping couples create a secure connection or to aid them in getting back the fire that once was there in the beginning.
Kristy has a very tender, empathetic approach and believes sometimes people simply want to be heard. She is willing to be that compassionate ear and offer a professional and ethical emotional support to help get the healing started. Kristy has toiled with several different therapeutic approaches throughout her career and tends to utilize cognitive-behavioral techniques, mindfulness, solution-focused, positive psychology. She firmly believes if you get to the core issue, and understand where your problems truly started, you can begin to dig an work to help clear the path and start a new chapter in your life.
Kristy graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix and received her Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. Kristy is also a certified Reiki practitioner and believes this skill has been instrumental throughout her work as a therapist, as Kristy believes mindfulness techniques have proven beneficial to help those who struggle with anxiety, stress, depression, low self-worth, internal spiritual struggles, and trauma.
My name is Amanda and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Work Intern.
I graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a concentration in Criminology. I completed my Masters in Social Work from the University of Central Florida.
I have worked in the crisis stabilization setting for over a decade, with both youth and adults with behavioral disorders, severe persistent mental illness, and co-occurring disorders. This also included working as a crisis counselor for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I have experience working with individuals dealing with work related struggles negatively impacting their mental health. And, I was also fortunate enough to spend time working with at-risk young adults as a family support specialist in the Hillsborough County School System.
My training includes dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavior therapy, but my approach is often person-centered, strength-based, and solution-focused. Every person is unique! I do not follow a “one size fits all” approach and welcome the opportunity to explore with you the therapeutic style that may benefit you the most. I believe it is important that as a client you feel empowered, safe, and comfortable in a therapy session. I look forward to embarking with you on your path to wellness.
Helan Essa LCSW
I have been a social worker since 2015, I have had the opportunity to work with many diverse populations. I have worked in the court system with veterans who are in substance abuse treatment to juveniles who have been exposed to the justice system for a variety of reasons. Most of those I have worked with in the justice system have suffered from PTSD, trauma depression and anxiety. I have mostly worked with complex mental health pts in an inpatient hospital setting, providing counseling and mental health therapy to pts who are not as easy to discharge due to many psychological, environmental and social issues.
I believe in a solution-focused approach and Cognitive Behavioral therapy approach to help clients who are courageous to ask for help. I am a people’s person, love working with people of all ages. I have a welcoming, non-judgmental approach to help my clients to truly make a positive change in their lives by working together on goals that can be achieved by working together.
My education comes from a social work background, I graduated with a Bachelors in Social Work in 2015 and was able to graduate with my Masters of Science in Social Work in 2017.
I look forward to working with you on making positive changes.
Samantha Clark MSW, RCSWI
Reaching out for support is a step in the right direction towards a happy and healthy lifestyle. As a therapist, I am passionate about empowering my clients to make positive life changes. My focus is to provide a non-judgmental and professional setting, fostering a balance of confidentiality, empathy, and productivity.
I use an integrative approach of therapeutic styles including Cognitive Behavioral, Solution-Focused, Mindfulness, Play Therapy and Person-Centered counseling. My areas of specialty include depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, and stress management.
I have experience with adults and pediatrics in the criminal justice system, inpatient detox and crisis stabilization settings. I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in social work through the University of South Florida.
Mandy Hines, LMHC
Mandy is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Qualified Supervisor, Master's Level Certified Addiction Specialist, and Certified Victim Service Practitioner. Mandy has over 13 years' experience providing individual, couples, family, and group counseling in a variety of settings with individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
While Mandy's expertise is in trauma and complicated grief, she has much experience working in behavioral health crisis, family reunification, severe and persistent mental illness, and addictions. Mandy's approach is holistic, person centered, and strength based.
Mandy is trained in an array of evidence based practices including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy; and often utilizes Motivational Interviewing and Solution Focused Therapy.
It is Mandy's passion to embark on a journey of wellness with her clients, by hearing their story and finding meaning and purpose of their life circumstances while providing a safe and non-judgmental environment. Mandy believes every person has the capability to live their absolute best, and feels privileged at the opportunity to assist her clients with identifying and expanding on strengths while improving coping skills and communication with others.
Mandy graduated with a double bachelors in Psychology and Criminology from The Florida State University; and a Master's Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of South Florida. Mandy serves as a consult and trainer on topics including compassion fatigue, post trauma reactions, relationship violence, and suicide awareness/prevention. She also serves as a first responder to traumatic and emotionally disturbing crimes and natural disasters through the Florida Crisis Response Team.
Amber Hackett LCSW
Amber is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2012 with her Bachelors in Social Work, Minor in Psychology, and a Certificate in Children’s Services. In 2014, Amber graduated with her Master’s in Social Work from the University of South Florida. She has over 10 years of experience working with children and families in different settings, with an extensive amount of time spent in her school based role supporting students and families in the Greater Tampa Bay Area. She also facilitates an evening diversion program that targets at-risk youth identified for underage use of alcohol or other substances. Amber’s clinical skills are in a variety of settings including individual, family, and group counseling from elementary age children and older.
Amber meets her clients with compassion and sits along side during the discomfort, vulnerability, and positive changes. She believes that an individualized approach, including your collaboration, and visiting built-in opportunities to be reflective, are essential components to the therapeutic process.
She understand that engaging in therapy is a courageous act. Amber looks forward to taking the next steps with you to grow.
Amanda Fernandez, LCSW
I believe therapy is a collaborative effort and together we can work towards achieving your goals. I have worked with clients with a wide range of concerns, including anxiety, depression, grief, stress, life transitions, career challenges, and more. My approach is informed by cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, and mindfulness, and brain work recursive therapy. My counseling style is compassionate and client-centered. I believe each of us deserve respect, dignity, and to be free of judgement.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I earned my Bachelor of Social Work from the University of South Florida and my Master of Social Work from the University of South Florida.
Aly is a registered mental health counseling intern with years of experience in education and behavioral health. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education from Manhattan College and a Master of Science degree in Counseling and Psychology, with a concentration in clinical mental health counseling from Troy University. Aly has worked in inpatient and outpatient settings with adults who have mental health and/or substance abuse disorders, as well as with children in different school and community environments. She uses a client-centered approach with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and mindfulness techniques to best suit the individual's needs in the present moment. Aly has a passion for teaching and empowering individuals to face life's challenges in order to become the best versions of themselves.
Jennifer Barnum - Registered Clinical Social Work Intern
Jennifer has a Master’s of Social Work degree from The University of New England with a concentration in clinical practice. She has experience working with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, addiction, relationship concerns, child and adolescent behaviors, and other life experiences. She is a military spouse who understands the challenges of difficult transitions and PTSD. Jennifer has a background in education and has worked in the educational setting helping students and families for the past 4 years. She believes that each person has their own story that has shaped what they are currently experiencing. Through her work, she strives to foster a safe space where clients can tell their story, gain insight into how that has impacted them, and create a new reality that is more fulfilling. She utilizes various therapeutic approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, and mindfulness. Jennifer loves to travel, spend time with her family, volunteer for various non-profit organizations, and loves exercise and fitness as part of her lifestyle.
Lisa Signorelli LCSW
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Qualified Supervisor who has had the opportunity to be of service to others in community mental health for over 2 decades. In addition to providing therapy, I have managed therapists and programs, educated the community and provide clinical training to therapists. I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Eckerd College and received my Masters of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, with additional coursework at University of South Florida.
I provide therapy to families, individuals and children. I employ a strength-based, trauma informed approach to therapy, and primarily work from an orientation of cognitive behavioral therapy and solution focused therapy. I help you mobilize your strengths and successes while providing concrete suggestions to improve emotional and relational wellness. I encourage you to consider how your experiences, thoughts and feelings are impacting your well-being. I am honored when someone asks me to be a part of their healing journey and am amazing at our ability to heal and grow and adapt to change. I look forward to working with you!
Deja Thompson MSW, Registered Clinical Social Worker Intern
Deja is a compassionate therapist who has a heart for people. She has worked in the social work profession for seven years, with direct practice in child welfare, hospice and palliative care, inpatient facility treatment, and school social work. Deja obtained a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of South Florida, and a Master of Social Work degree from Saint Leo University.Deja has experience working with children, specifcally adolescents, and families; she has assisted clients with managing anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, adjustment concerns, trauma, and anger. Deja implements a strengths-based, integrative approach to therapy, some of which are cognitive behavioral, solution-focused, narrative, and person-centered. Deja utilizes techniques such as motivational interviewing, mindfulness, and positive psychology.Deja aims to be a competent professional, upholding ethical standards and principles. She values the dignity and worth of a person and provides a non-judgmental environment for all clients. She believes that a key component toa therapeutic alliance is relationship and collaboration, thus encourages client input during treatment. Deja is ready to support, and empowering individuals on their journey to positive mental health and wellness.