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Hands Holding Plant
GrowthBRINGS POSITIVE CHANGE

Therapists

 

 

 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

 

 

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 believe that having been in relationships with the wrong people in the past is not always a bad thing. Sometimes we need to see or experience these types of partners to realize that person is NOT what we are looking for or what is really in our best interest so that when the right relationship comes along we have the objectivity to really value and treasure that relationship.

It is REALLY hard to believe that true love and deep honest commitment to someone exists if you have never experienced it, but to settle for anything less will only block you from the opportunity to truly know happiness, intimacy and fulfillment.

Life can be confusing. I assist with decreasing anxiety, depression turmoil and confusion. Together we can identify ways in which your life and relationships can be more fulfilling, enriched and rewarding. I can assist in addressing and removing the barriers preventing you from a life and relationship filled with passion, satisfaction and richness.
 

 

     

 
 
Sherry Ware, LMHC
 

From a young age, Sherry always knew her calling was to help others. With 11 years of experience working as a counselor in the school system; children and their families have been her focus and passion. She is able to connect to children and teens with an honest, yet loving heart. Her areas of counseling practice are: parenting assistance & behavioral support, grief & trauma, anxiety, depression, and life stress. She connects easily with her clients by building rapport through genuine caring, non judgemental listening and humor. Sherry’s practice empowers her clients to find their own strengths to overcome adversity and to find balance and peace within themselves and their surroundings. She uses solution-focused therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, sand-tray therapy and sand play to assist her clients.  Sherry is very methodical in her approach, using wisdom from her education & training, life experiences, and her colleagues.

Sherry received a Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in Communications and Spanish.  She earned her Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from University of South Florida.    She is Lisenced Mental Health Counselor; a State Certified School Counselor PK -12th grade; and a Nationally Board Certified School Counselor. Sherry volunteers as a grief and trauma counselor at The Life Center of the Suncoast.

 

 

 
 
 
K. Charlotte Canning, LCSW
 
Charlotte has been active in the Tampa Bay mental health community for almost 20 years. During that time she has had the opportunity to work with clients across the life span who are dealing with issues of loss, life stress, family discordance, grief, relationship issues, parenting, and adjustment. 
 
 
 
 

 

Charlotte firmly believes that by providing clients the opportunity, time, space and place, they have the capacity and strength to gain insight and effect changes that will enhance their lives on a day to day basis.

She received both her B.A. and M.S.W. from the University of South Florida and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and the National Association of Social Workers. She has taught on both the graduate and undergraduate levels, has had extensive experience in medical settings and has done volunteer work both in the U.S. as well as
Central America .
 

 

 

 

Alan Davidson LMHC

 

 

Alan Davidson has a passion to reach out and help people grow and mature through difficult life situations. He has a relational approach and a unique ability to connect with individuals. Drawing upon his broad range of experience in private practice, not-for-profit organizations, and, even, counseling expatriates when he and his wife lived in Africa for year, he has helped countless people in many arenas of life.  He offers a keen insight in all aspects of children and families, specializing in children, teenagers, and parenting.  Alan also enjoys working with issues specific to men and women such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, critical incident stress debriefing, life transitions, stress, relationships, and pre-marital counseling.

 

 
Alan received his Bachelor’s degree from Southeastern University and his Master’s degree from Gordon-Conwell.  Alan is Licensed Mental Health Therapist (LMHC) in Florida.

 

 

 

 

Melissa Bretz, LCSW

Melissa Bretz has always had the heart for working with others, especially children and families. She believes through a supportive, understanding, nonjudgmental, safe and compassionate environment that her clients can explore ways to make positive changes in all aspects of their lives. She has received both a Bachelor's and a Master's degrees in Social Work from the University of South Florida. Melissa has been trained in individual, couple, family, and group therapy. She uses the following therapy approaches: cognitive-behavior-therapy, solution-focused, motivational-therapy, sand-play therapy, art-therapy, and grief-counseling . The areas she specializes in are medical illness such as kidney failure or cancer, depression, PTSD, anxiety, anger management, stress reduction, goal setting, relational issues and child/adolescent transitional concerns.

 

 

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. 

 

 Ashley Dlugokinski LMHC

Ashley is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida. Ashley has a diverse range of mental health and family counseling experience with individuals of all ages. She has a passion for children and families and began her career as an advocate for at-risk youth. She continued her work with youth as a mental health therapist within the school system, residential settings, and crisis stabilization. She takes pride in serving as an advocate for adolescents. Her areas of specialty include: depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, anger, self-esteem, adjustment difficulties, relationship stress, and interpersonal difficulties. She also has experience with parental education and family communication. Ashley has advanced training in individual, couples, family, and group therapy. Her primary style of therapy is goal-oriented and supportive. She approaches the therapy process in a collaborative manner.

Ashley received her Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University with a double major in psychology and criminal justice. Upon graduating, she earned her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with a certification in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Central Florida.

Karen Siegel, MSW
 

With a systematic and empathic approach to identifying, reshaping and redefining a client’s individual situation and issues, Karen specializes in the unique needs of children, teens and women. She believes that each person has a unique set of circumstances, conflicts, strengths and backgrounds. Her approach is to understand the whole person and tailor those needs to each individual, guiding them through a path where they feel validated and heard without judgement.
 
Karen is currently working as Counselor in the Hillsborough County Schools working with at risk teens. Previously Karen worked for the Scottsdale Prevention Institute in Arizona where she worked with individuals to improve their Self-Image, Coping Skills, Family Relations and Effective Communication. 
 
She received her Bachelors degree in Social Work from Central Connecticut State University and her Masters in Social Work from University of Connecticut, with a concentration in Women’s Issues.


 

Ruby Torres, LCSW

 

I have been a dedicated Social Work professional for over 20 years. I have worked with many different populations within several modalities. I am Bilingual in English and Spanish. I obtained my Masters in Social Work from Fordham University in 2004 with a specialization with Children and Families. I relocated to Florida in 2015 from The Bronx, New York. I have much experience in working with children, adolescents, couples, and groups of all ages. I have many years of clinical experience and can assist with managing several symptoms related to diagnosis of Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Major Depression, PTSD, and Anxiety. I am certified in Adaptive Behavioral Therapy which is a therapeutic method used with groups and individuals suffering from Anxiety. I have been trained in several other therapies; individual, play therapy, couples therapy, sexual trauma and abuse, end of life pre and post bereavement counseling, group therapy, family therapy and even therapeutic wellness psychoeducational groups. I am passionate about the work I do and provide a supportive and caring environment for us to work together.


Alyssa Scott, LMHC, CRC

Alyssa has devoted a decade of combined mental health and rehabilitation services for persons diagnosed with disabilities towards independence, as well as life challenges individuals, children, and couples may be faced with. Throughout her career, she has valued the “human spirit” in the course of making forward and desired changes. Using a diverse set of interventions, strategies, assessments, and in session techniques, she focuses on adapting individualized plans for every person willing to reach goals and make desired changes. Alyssa also credits her counseling style as drawing from her rehabilitation background that focuses on a person’s strengths, skills, abilities, and aptitudes towards making progress in session. In closing, Alyssa is eager to contribute in facilitating resolution to concerns, as well as assisting a couple or individual to develop coping skills and resources to effectively move forward toward personal goals.

Karen Ridley, LCSW
I look to see the positive and the strengths in every individual, even when they themselves are unable. We all can feel lost and afraid at times, and my hope is to journey with you to rediscover your hopes, goals, and purpose in your life. I began working in the social work field in 2006 and even prior to that I experimented with volunteering at hospitals, churches, and community organizations. I received my Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of South Florida, I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker, and I have completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training from the Lotus Pond Center. I’ve had the privilege to work with individuals and families struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues; I have provided education and social skills training to preteen and teenage girls; and most recently I have journeyed with families faced with terminal illness and end of life scenarios. Just like a lotus flower emerging up from the dark and cloudy water to show its’ exquisite beauty, we too can learn to rise up from the murky water and experiences in our lives to tap into our true potential and beauty. Each and everyone of us has a purpose and it is honor to be able to walk by your side during these times. May you find peace, truth, love, and joy!  
 
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.