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.
Louise Wallowitz, LMHC
Louise Wallowitz originally from New Jersey, relocated to Tampa 25 years ago to follow her passion. She has spent the past 25 years working with individuals with eating disorders and substance use in a residential and out-patient treatment milieu. Louise launched the family program at Hyde Park Counseling Center in Tampa. Her skill set and 22 years of experience as Family Director, and Director of Clinical Services have supported many in their journey into recovery. In addition to working with families she provides marriage and couple counseling. She believes communication is essential in developing healthy relationships and the tool to create a life that brings success and fulfillment. She has 30 years of counseling experience working with adolescents and adults, implementing evidenced based practices and supports the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy when treating addiction. She is eclectic in her therapeutic style with the belief that the same approach does not work for everyone.
Louise is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and is a Certified Addiction Professional with years of experience working with DUI Counterattack, and anger management.
She received her Master of Arts degree from the University of South Florida and is licensed by the state of Florida.
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 Licensed 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.
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.
Karen Siegel MSW RCSWI
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.
Lizette Ovalle, LCSW
Lizette has been a Social Worker within the Tampa Bay community for 18 years. She has always had a passion advocating for others throughout life’s struggles and helping people find their path and joy in life.
She has had the opportunity to work within many domains of Social Work including Child Welfare, Medical Social Work, Managed Care and Community Mental Health. Lizette has experience in dealing with persistent mental illness, depression, anxiety, trauma, adoption, behavioral concerns and grief and loss issues. She is an Adoption Competent Therapist and has experience working within trauma informed care approaches. Lizette utilizes various approaches in therapy including solution focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and trauma informed care.
Lizette received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of West Florida and Master’s degree from University of South Florida. Lizette received her license as a Clinical Social Worker in 2012.
Alyssa Scott, LMHC, CRC
Alyssa has devoted a decade of combined mental health and rehabilitation services for individuals facing life challenges and transitions. More specifically, Alyssa has completed Gottman Level 1 training which is focused on specialized treatments and interventions for couples to manage their conflicts, deepen their friendship, spark intimacy, and build a common vision for the future of their relationship. Throughout her career, she has valued the “human spirit” in the course of an individual 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.
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.
Albert is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida and a CAP - Certified Addiction Professional. My approach to psychotherapy is a client-centered ideology to build on each individual's values and strengths to encourage personal growth and enhance resiliency through all stages of life. I have prior experience providing counseling to adolescents and adults in substance abuse outpatient and detox facilities, and individuals, couples, and families experiencing a variety of issues, including anger management, communication issues, depression, and anxiety.
I specialize in working with individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, substance use problems, and work well with teens. I also provide targeted support and problem-solving to address problems related to life transitions such as career issues, divorce, separation and other issues that may be causing acute stress or difficulties in adjustment.
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 Babcock 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, MSW, RCSWI
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 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.