Meet Our Garner Team

One-Eighty Counseling | Garner

69 Shipwash DriveGarner, NC 27529 Phone: (919) 772-1990 Fax: (919) 772-1978

Jenny Ayscue

is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She earned both her Master’s degree in  Social Work and her Bachelor’s degree with Honors from the University of  North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jenny has over 15 years of experience working with individuals and families  in crisis, serving a number of organizations focusing on mental health,  suicide prevention, domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Not  only is she adept at assisting those experiencing acute crisis but also enjoys  helping people be the best they can be.

Jenny feels that the therapeutic relationship is of the utmost importance  and strives to put people at ease, providing a safe and caring,non-judgmental environment where clients can really process through  issues, focus on what they want to achieve and work towards that.

She uses an eclectic approach in treatment, recognizing that no one  particular modality fits everyone. Jenny utilizes a number of  evidence-based practices including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT),  Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Solution Focused Brief Therapy,  all with a client-centered approach. Psychodynamic Therapy is also often incorporated in her practice to identify the foundation and formation of a client’s psychological processes in order to decrease symptoms and  improve life overall. 

Jenny is comfortable working with children, adolescents and adults, dealing  with a variety of issues such as mood, anxiety and bipolar disorders,  parenting, relationships, behavior, stress-management and crisis  intervention. She also has a special passion for working with individuals living with a chronic mental or physical illness, recognizing the additional  stressors and the special strength those experiencing chronic illness have.  Jenny is trained in distance counseling and may provide telehealth sessions  upon request.

In addition, Jenny is also the therapist behind One-Eighty Counseling’s  social media presence. 

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Mary Baran

Mary is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, which she obtained in 2010 from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In addition, she holds a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, which she obtained in 2015 from Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina.

Mary works with individuals of all ages, but has a special interest in treating children, adolescents and families. She can work with a variety of concerns including anxiety, depression, self-esteem, body image, behavior, and parenting. Mary also helps teenagers working through problems they have at home or school. In addition, she has an interest in working with LGBTQ populations.

Mary has an eclectic counseling style, which is rooted in Person-Centered Therapy. In her counseling, she incorporates play, art and music. Currently, she is interested in pursuing certification in Play Therapy and becoming a Registered Play Therapist (RPT).

Domonique Blackmon

Domonique is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist Associate (LCASA). Domonique earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Rehabilitation counseling from North Carolina Agricultural & State University.

Domonique has more than 4 years of experience serving various populations in Outpatient and Inpatient settings. Domonique has experience providing individual and group therapy to adolescents and adults struggling with a variety of issues and concerns including substance abuse, serious and persistent mental illness, criminal justice involvement, mood disorders, anger management, anxiety, grief, self-esteem, ADHD/ADD, and individuals who have experienced domestic violence/sexual assault.

Every individual is unique in their own way, so Domonique’s approach varies based on each individual experience. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Person-Centered, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy are the three primary therapeutic approaches she uses. Domonique believes in nurturing a positive trusting relationship between counselor and client which will result in a positive outcome.

Alyssa Bowden

Alyssa is a Licensed Professional Counselor.  She earned her Bachelor's of Science in Family and Community Services in 2009 from East Carolina University and her Master’s of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Campbell University in 2013. She completed over 900 hours counseling soldiers and their families during her graduate internship, and has served as an outpatient therapist for a community mental health agency for 4 years. 

Alyssa values working with a variety of individuals and couples to meet their goals of mental wellness. Alyssa has provides services to men, women, and adolescents with a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, PTSD, developmental trauma, personality disorders, and anger management. 

Alyssa is rostered as a quality provider of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and has completed training in Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

Alyssa primarily utilizes EMDR therapy and existential theory while treating clients.  She will meet you where you are and work with you from a place of respect and integrity, helping you meet your highest goal of mental wellness.

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Victoria Butler
M.Ed., LPC

Victoria is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Victoria earned her Master's degree in School Counseling from Campbell University and her Bachelor's degree in English with honors from Mount Olive University. She earned her certificate for the practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 2017, and she is trained in EMDR techniques.

Victoria has over 10 years of combined experience in providing counseling and educational services to children, adolescents, and adults. She provides a safe, client-centered environment for her clients to explore their feelings and patterns of thinking while setting and working toward their personal goals. Victoria believes that the most valuable component to successful therapy is a trusting and accepting relationship between the client and counselor, and she strives to build a solid foundation for trust and collaboration for each of her clients.

Victoria utilizes evidenced-based practices including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and client-centered therapy. She also uses the Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) to help clients learn self-care and resiliency skills. She integrates self-compassion and emotional intelligence exercises into the therapeutic process. She also enjoys incorporating play and art therapy techniques in her practice with children and adolescents.

Victoria is available to provide services to individuals and families seeking treatment for anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorders, personality disorders, OCD, ODD, grief and loss, adjustments, behavior management, parenting strategies, divorce, ADHD, women's issues, conflict resolution, stress management, and anger management. She is also passionate about teaching her clients about brain-based techniques founded on neuroscience to help them better understand how to cope and manage stress. She offers group counseling for women and teenagers dealing with stress, anxiety, and/or depression, and she is available to speak about these topics and other mental health concerns for community agencies, churches, or businesses. Victoria offers Christian counseling upon request.

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Cory Clark
is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA). Cory holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with honors in Psychology. After graduating from UNC, Cory spent several years in Asia as a behavior therapy consultant, working with children with externalizing behavior issues and associated diagnoses, such as ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorders. ?After living abroad, Cory went on to earn his Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from North Carolina State University. He is currently earning his doctoral degree in Counselor Education at North Carolina State University, with research interests in the areas of behavior and aggression in adolescents and barriers to mental health counseling across multicultural populations.

Cory has over ten years of experience working with a variety of clients but especially children and families. He has worked with children from preschool age through early adulthood. Cory’s love for serving children and families stems from his early experiences as an early childhood educator where he realized how deeply he could connect with children on an individual level. Cory believes that kids can intuitively sense the genuineness and level of comfort an adult has when interacting with them?and Cory has had a natural rapport with kids for as long as he can remember.

Cory’s passion is serving individuals across the lifespan in the areas of behavior issues, developmental disorders (ADHD, ASD, etc.), family and parenting issues, mood disorders, anxiety, relationship issues, life transition dynamics, personality disorders, trauma, abuse, self-esteem concerns, social skills issues and school issues.

When working with clients, Cory uses an eclectic approach that is adaptable to match the needs of each individual person. His approach tends to be person-centered in nature, with a focus on empowering clients to take control of their lives and find meaning in the journey of finding their better selves. Although he is naturally humanistic in his techniques, he draws from other modalities to fit the needs of certain clients, such as behavior therapy (especially with young children), family systems therapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and existential therapy. As a former early childhood educator, Cory offers a unique perspective and expertise for potential clients who are looking for support with children and with school related challenges. Additionally, Cory is researched-trained in many childhood assessments including (but not limited to) the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the ADHD Rating Scale. He can assist families and parents in understanding and using these types of assessments to guide therapy goals and treatment.

Cory lives in Cary with his amazing wife, young son, and his two dogs. They love traveling, hiking, trying new foods and enjoying good movies together!

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Cathy Clement

Cathy Clement is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate. Cathy had a diverse background in business, government, and non-profit organizations before pursuing her real love of counseling. She earned her Master of Arts degree with high distinction in Professional Counseling from Liberty University in December 2017. She served her practicum and internship at 180 Counseling throughout 2017, helping clients experiencing depression, anxiety, grief, hoarding, career struggles, and marital issues. She has also volunteered at her church as a lay counselor for individuals and couples needing guidance and mentoring. Cathy feels a calling for working with adult individuals and couples. She tailors her therapeutic techniques to the client, but primarily uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for individuals and emotionally-focused therapy (EFT) for couples. As a partially-trained EMDR Therapist, Cathy is also able to help individuals impacted by trauma in their lives.

Cathy integrates Christian values and faith for those looking for counseling from a Christian worldview. She sees each person’s life as their own individual story with unique events, and each person has the ability to write future chapters. Recovery from separation and divorce, career challenges, and communication in relationships are of special interest to Cathy.

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Jenny Compton

Jenny is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Certified Sex Offender Treatment Professional (CSOTP) with a diverse background in counseling and business. She spent 20 years in corporate America serving in various leadership and individual contributor roles. She earned her Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling and Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Christian Counseling from Liberty University.

Jenny enjoys working with adolescents, adults, couples and families. She has provided both outpatient and inpatient care and has clinical experience in the areas of anxiety, depression, bipolar, behavioral problems, trauma, sexual abuse, grief, anger and issues of marriage and family (including step and blended families) and more. She is adept in affair recovery and provides Christian or faith based counseling upon request of the client.

Her therapeutic approach centers on integrating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with a client-centered and strengths-based focus. Jenny completed Level 1 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, and uses Gottman Method Couples Therapy in her couples work. Jenny is an EMDR trained therapist. EMDR is an evidenced-based psychotherapy utilized in the treatment of PTSD and trauma and has also proven to be effective in the treatment of anxiety, depression, eating disorders and addictions. She also incorporates Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) when appropriate.

Jenny is a member of the international John Maxwell Team as an Independent Certified Coach, Teacher, and Speaker. She offers workshops, seminars and speaking engagements on the topics of leadership, mental illness, and affair recovery. She has provided keynote addresses at church retreats and conferences. She is an ordained minister in the Nazarene Church.

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Julie DeFalco
is an accomplished psychotherapist who is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and play therapy. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years experience, Julie has a natural affinity for working with all types of clients, and she is very culturally competent. She believes clients need positive affirmation and empathy along with guidance to learn how to make healthy choices for themselves. She strives to help clients develop into happy, productive members of society. Julie takes a client-centered approach, combining cognitive-behavioral techniques with psychodynamic, insight-oriented therapy. Counseling is tailored to each client's individual needs and preferences.

Julie is experienced in providing individual and family therapy. Her specialties include adolescent development, parenting training, and treating mood disorders (depression, anxiety and Bipolar Disorder). She helps parents understand what's to be expected with ?normal? adolescent development and what might indicate a problem. She is adept at helping children and teens understand the motivation for their behaviors and teaching them more positive coping skills and healthy emotional expression. In conjunction with this, she helps parents learn how to set appropriate limits and to encourage positive behaviors.

Other treatment areas include grief, sexuality issues, ADHD, anger management, and eating disorders.

Julie holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Southern Illinois University. Julie is available to provide community lectures and trainings on Communicating with Teens, Parenting Teens, and Teens & Technology.

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April Dupree

April Dupree is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA). She provides an eclectic approach while assuring that her therapeutic techniques are what best suit the client. While specializing in counseling for depression, anxiety, life transitions, couple issues, domestic violence, PTSD-civilians, and more, she primarily uses client-centered and cognitive behavioral therapy; faith-based counseling is offered upon request. As a partially-trained EMDR therapist, she is also able to help individuals impacted by trauma in their lives. April is seeking to gain more skills through continuing her education, while balancing her work life, in order to assist her clients in meeting their goals for a happier life.

As a graduate of Liberty University, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Christian Counseling and a Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling. She completed her undergrad internship at InterAct in Wake County, North Carolina. She completed her graduate practicum and internship at One-Eighty Counseling. She has also worked in an administrative role at One-Eighty Counseling. April has a diverse background in business, real estate, and designing houses, but has always felt that she was being called to help others. She believes when given proper guidance, people can become more capable of drawing out their own strengths and realize their potential to live fulfilling and happy lives.

April is a proud member of the American Counseling Association and the American Christian Counseling Association. As an advocate with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, she is also trained in presenting “Talk Saves Lives” and “More Than Sad”.

When April isn’t helping others, she enjoys reading, spending quality time at the lake with family and friends, watching movies, and listening to music.

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John Eklund

is a Licensed Clinical Social Work Associate (LCSWA). He earned his Bachelor's degree from Evangel University in Springfield, MO, and graduated with Honors with a Master's Degree in Social Work from Delaware State University.

John started his career in 1999 as a Family Crisis Therapist for the state of Delaware working with at risk children, teens and families and has, over the past 17 years enjoyed providing client-centered counseling services to an incredible variety of populations including: children, youth, families, veterans, incarcerated individuals, state and federal probationers, abused and neglected children, foster children, physically, emotionally and sexually abused individuals, those dealing with domestic violence, depression, anger, anxiety, codependency, parenting struggles, relationship issues, marital problems, grief and loss, eating disorders, substance abuse, gambling addiction, sexual addiction, and self-harm.

John is the Eastern National Director of Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12 step program that helps individuals and families find hope and healing from their hurts, hang-ups and habits. Ordained as a minister, John started, and currently leads the Celebrate Recovery program at Temple Baptist Church in Selma, NC.

John is a generalist practitioner familiar with a vast range of theoretical practices and theories. He is happy to provide Christ-centered counseling services upon request.

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Larry Ellsworth

earned his Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Larry has many years of experience providing clinical services for children, adolescents and families dealing with a wide range of mental health issues. Larry was a clinician and then program supervisor at Wake County Mental Health/Human Services where he developed and managed an innovative treatment program for children and families dealing with sexual abuse. During Larry's tenure with Mental Health/Human Services he also provided clinical supervision, consultation and community education.

Larry's extensive experience working with families struggling with trauma, loss and family disruption has given him a deep appreciation for the effort involved when families take their first step towards healing. Larry has 10 years of experience providing Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and is rostered with the North Carolina Child Treatment Program as proficient in providing that evidence based treatment. Larry also has considerable experience assessing and treating adolescents and families involved with juvenile court and/or child protective services, assisting many of those families with reunification. Larry provides a safe and supportive framework for families to begin to understand and overcome their challenges.

Larry is a former Adjunct Professor and Field Instructor with the UNC School of Social Work and a statewide trainer on mental health issues for the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC). Larry serves on the SAFEChild Advocacy Center Multi-Disciplinary Team and Oversight Committees, and is past president and current board member for the North Carolina Association for the Management and Treatment of Sexual Offenders (NCAMTSO).

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Allison Ernest

is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She earned her Master's degree from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, with a specialization in Sex Therapy. She completed her internship at the Council for Relationships (formally the original Marriage Council of Philadelphia) working with diverse populations including couples, individuals, families, and children, all from a variety of backgrounds.

Allison works with various areas including depression, anxiety, relationship issues, self-esteem, past trauma, sexual abuse, marital/ couples work, identity, family dynamics, communication, grief/ loss, stress, and anger management. One of her specialties is sex therapy, which can include concerns with desire/ arousal, sexual pain/ dysfunction, gender identity, sexual abuse, sexual identity/ orientation, and sex addiction. She believes in creating a safe, caring, and nonjudgmental environment for people to explore these difficult matters.

In addition, Allison has a dance/ movement background (BFA in Dance from the University of the Arts) and loves to incorporate this into her work. Her therapy can often include mindfulness, stress-reduction, breathing, bodily awareness, and overall mind-body health.

Allison is experienced in utilizing different systemic models of therapy, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT), Narrative Therapy, and Solution-Focused Therapy. With that, she strives to thoughtfully shape the therapeutic experience to each client's specific needs. She is passionate about using a strengths-based perspective to assist clients in reaching their personal goals. In short, Allison believes in collaborating with clients to help them lead happy and fulfilling lives.

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Karen Finn

Sometimes life gets complicated and “just plain tough." Through a combination of professional training, research (psychology and neuroscience), wisdom, and life experience, Karen works with clients in a confidential, non-judgmental environment to explore ways to access a sense of well-being.

Everyone experiences stressful events and difficult relationships. The vast majority of challenges we face are common to all of us. Karen believes that the difference between success and failure is how we react to them. Together, she and her clients explore patterns of thoughts/feelings/behaviors that cause stress and a sense of loss of control. Her mission is to explore solutions to life’s challenges resulting in clients having more good days than bad days.

She believes self-awareness is critical to change but is highly underrated and seldom accomplished without effort and guidance; clients should pay attention to the past but not be defined by the past. Karen’s clients are not judged, they are heard, supported, and encouraged. By identifying our values, what motivates us, and our specific goals for the future, we can bring a sense of calm and that elusive contentment we all cherish.

Karen’s 20+ years of combined classroom and counseling in schools as well as in the private setting, have provided a wealth of wisdom and insight into the challenges and behaviors of adolescents and pre-adolescents. In addition to teens, she works with adults and couples in the areas of: Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Anger-Management, Self-Injury, Grief, Sexual Orientation and Gender-Identity Issues, Problem-Solving Skill Building, Goal Setting, Parenting Skill Building, and Relationship Conflict Resolution. Her treatment orientation is a combination of the following: Mindfulness-Based Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Reality Therapy, and Person-Centered Therapy. Karen is currently in the process of completing an EMDRIA-Approved EMDR Therapy Basic Training Program.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Karen studied at Penn State University and Wilkes University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English Education. She has lived in North Carolina twenty years and earned her Master’s in Counseling degree from Campbell University. She is a North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor.

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Emily Fry
LPC-A, LCAS-A, NCC, EMDR Therapist-in-Training

Emily is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist Associate, and EMDR Therapist-in-Training. She has earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in December 2016 and her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing in 2006 from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Emily’s experience includes working in an agency specializing in outpatient substance use disorder treatment. She has utilized an integrative approach to cater to each individual’s treatment goals. She provides individuals with various therapeutic approaches, including EMDR therapy, motivational interviewing, acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and mindfulness.

Emily has experience working with individuals and families living with substance use disorders, trauma, body image issues, anxiety, depression, grief, domestic violence, and sexual assault. She believes individuals have the capabilities to direct their lives in an adaptive and positive direction, providing a non-judgmental and inviting space for growth.

Michael Garner

is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) as well as a Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC). The Distance Credentialed Counselor identifies professional counselors who are specifically trained in delivering traditional counseling through technological means including video chat and more.  Michael earned his Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Liberty University and his Bachelor's degree from Southeastern University.

Michael specializes in marriage and family therapy, including helping couples and individuals navigate relationships, parenting, blended family, communication and high conflict. He has extensive experience working with adolescent and parenting issues. His background includes nearly 15 years working with adolescents and their parents in several community organizations, which has provided him a great understanding of family, marriage, and parenting dynamics. Michael primarily uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as well as a Family Systems approach when working with family and parenting dynamics. Michael is also a trained facilitator for PREPARE/ENRICH which is an assessment designed specifically for couples to explore and strengthen their relationships. Having served in a pastoral role in a church for several years, Michael is able to offer Christian counseling to those who request a Christian perspective or those who desire to integrate their faith.

Marriage Renewed
Olatunde Howard

Olatunde is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate. He graduated with honors from Pfeiffer University in North Carolina, a COAMFTE accredited program, with a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition with honors from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Olatunde works with individuals, couples, and families on a variety of issues including: pre-marital counseling, parenting difficulties, relationship distress, infidelity recovery, anxiety, depression, and anger management. He offers Christian and spiritually integrated therapy upon a client's request.  Olatunde has worked with children and adolescents in families experiencing significant emotional distress from a trauma informed and focused approach.  He has also worked with children and adolescents experiencing Eating Disorders.  Olatunde uses Motivational Interviewing and an integration of family systems approaches. At times he may draw on Structural Family therapy, Reality Therapy, Bowenian Family Therapy, and Kempler Experiental Therapy.  All of these models have components of individual, couple and family therapy. He will tailor his approach to the specific need of each client. Olatunde has received training in ESFT (Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy) and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT).

Olatunde loves to think and connect deeply, creating life changing bonds of mind and spirit. He likes to explore the most intimate connections possible between people--particularly for individuals and couples. He believes that the deepest issue, need, and goal people have is to connect intimately and completely with at least one person. Olatunde believes people want to fully know themselves and be fully known by at least one person. He believes therapy may be the first experience of this for some; but that it shouldn't be the only or last experience. Olatunde helps clients find their truest identity and intimacy--first in, then beyond therapy.

The most helpful specialty Olatunde has is therapeutic empathy: the ability to listen actively and skillfully. But he believes listening alone does not create the life changing bond or life skill needed beyond therapy. After creating and modeling a therapeutic bond, he becomes a guide for clients in the skills of authenticity and intimacy, in becoming fully themselves and fully connected.

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Paula Lavocat

Paula is the Clinical Director for Substance Abuse and Addiction Services at One-Eighty Counseling. She earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Campbell University and her Bachelor's degree in Communication from North Carolina State University. Paula’s credentials include Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS), National Board Certified Counselor (NCC), Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC), and EMDRIA Certified EMDR Therapist.

Paula provides assessment and treatment of mental health, substance abuse, and behavioral addictions. Areas of treatment include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD, depression, anxiety, adult ADHD, relationships, cultural/racial identity, weight challenges and bariatric surgery support, career/educational support and planning, support for families living with addiction, and others.

Paula delivers non-judgmental, client-centered services utilizing an integrated approach that includes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Person-Centered Therapy, Motivational Interviewing (MI), among others. She is trained in multiple substance abuse/addiction specific treatment modalities to serve clients.

Paula is a trauma-focused clinician specializing in EMDR Therapy, an evidence-based psychotherapy utilized in the treatment of PTSD and trauma. EMDR Therapy has been proven to be highly effective for treatment of PTSD and traumatic stress. It has also been demonstrated to be beneficial for treatment of other mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety/panic, grief/loss, fears/phobias, chronic pain, substance abuse and behavioral addictions, in addition to other disturbing memories caused by adverse life experiences.

Paula has extensive experience working with current and former public safety personnel (911 communications, police, fire, EMS), as well as current and former military personnel. She served in a public safety role for over 7 years and understands the importance of meeting the unique needs of public safety and military clients.

Paula is able to provide substance abuse assessments and treatment, as well as drug testing services. She has experience working with government agencies such as social services/child protective services, probation/parole, and court systems to assist clients in resolving legal matters.

Paula is designated as a Qualified Clinical Supervisor through the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and is available to provide supervision services to LPCAs working toward full licensure. She is contracted with The Institute for Creative Mindfulness, founded by Dr. Jamie Marich, Master EMDR Therapist and Trainer, distinguished trauma expert, speaker, and author. Paula co-facilitates EMDR Basic Training courses and as an EMDR Consultant in-Training (CIT) working toward EMDRIA-Approved Consultant status, she is able to provide EMDR Therapy consultation to clinicians in Basic EMDR Therapy training or completing requirements toward EMDRIA Certification in EMDR.

Paula welcomes adolescents over 16 years and adults. She embraces the opportunity to work with clients of diverse backgrounds.

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The Institute for Creative Mindfulness
Julia Smith

is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She earned her Master's degrees in Social Work with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her Bachelors in Social Work with Honors from Appalachian State University. Julia has been a NC LCSW since July 2012 and is available to provide clinical supervision to associate level professionals.

Julia has a variety of experience working with high risk children, adolescents, adults, and families in outpatient and inpatient settings. Julia values utilizing evidenced-based practice to provide the most effective treatment to her clients. In 2014, Julia became a rostered Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) clinician through the NC Child Treatment Program.

Julia specializes in treating individuals who are experiencing symptoms of post traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders. Throughout the therapy process, Julia values the use of holistic approaches to engage individuals and families.

When treating her client's needs, Julia utilizes an integrated therapeutic approach. Julia often draws from Motivational Interviewing (MI), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) throughout treatment. In session, Julia loves getting creative with the use of art and movement when teaching skills for relaxation, emotional expression, and compassionate thinking.

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Jessica Swean

Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She earned both her Master’s degree in Social Work and her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jessica has over 18 years of experience working primarily with adults and families in a variety of settings such as acute inpatient hospital (mental health and detox), group homes, managed care, and most recently in assisted living facilities. Jessica works with adults and families who are struggling with various issues such as mood, anxiety and bipolar disorders, significant life changes/stress, occupational stressors, chronic illnesses, relational problems, low self-esteem, stress and anger management and care-giver stress/burnout. Jessica has a special interest in working with women who are struggling with infertility and maternal health issues, as well as working with individuals and families dealing with grief and end of life issues. Based on each individual’s unique needs and situation, Jessica incorporates evidenced based practices which include: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, Solution Focused, Psychodynamic, and Strength-Based Therapy.

Jessica’s main focus during the therapy session is to provide each person with a safe space where they can openly explore their thoughts and feelings, while emphasizing their strengths to help empower and instill hope. Jessica believes that every person is capable of making the changes they desire to live a more fulfilling life.

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