Meet the Staff
Ian C. Edwards, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President for Student Wellbeing & Director of Counseling Services
I approach counseling from a predominantly integrative perspective, which means that I rely upon a wide range of theories and therapies (psychological, philosophical, scientific, and spiritual) to inform my work with students. I treat sadness, depression, worry and anxiety as well as other typically afflictive emotions (anger, jealousy, fear, etc.) by helping students come to the awareness that their experiences of such emotions are meaningful (in that they say something powerful about aspects of the self that need attention, compassion, and care), purposeful, and can be worked through and successfully regulated within the context of a healing therapeutic relationship. I am interested in helping students realize that they have the ability to experience and respond to thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, as well as events in ways that facilitate psychological growth and even neurological change. And, I greatly value helping students recognize their strengths, develop positive traits, cultivate optimism, and live meaningful lives that lead to happiness.
Amy Horton, PsyD -Assistant Director/ Training Director
Quincy Stephenson, LSW -Assistant Director/ Groups Coordinator
My approach to treatment is compassionate and holistic. I believe compassion is at the core of our ability to practice wellbeing. I believe in clients having an opportunity to explore their beliefs, fears, and truths in a safe space to hopefully obtain clarity, change, healing, and potentially their solution. I recognize change as the act or process or becoming different. Three non-negotiables to change are action, the process, and our ability to let go in order to become different. Change is consistently happening, with or without our permission. Counseling is a tool that can be used to assist us with navigating the challenges of change, especially in moments when we are not sure which way to go.
Samantha Taylor, LSW -Assistant Director/ Triage Coordinator
Jayme Jenkins, MA -Psychotherapist/ Therapist
No one exists in a vacuum, and for me, therapy doesn't either. Because everyone's life experience is unique, flexibility is the foundation of my work, built on the intention to support others in forming a deeper appreciation for themselves and the world around them. I begin a new counseling relationship by trying to understand the parts that make up the whole of who someone is. Looking at the big picture allows us to make sense of their situation so they can assess new possibilities and take meaningful steps toward healing. That might look like learning and practicing skills to manage specific symptoms, such as procrastination, nightmares, or anxiety. Many people benefit from talking about the past or their relationships. For some, healing means finding clarity about experiences with disability, poverty, racial and ethnic identity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or gender. Regardless of the goals someone brings to therapy, I accept them as they are in each moment and work to form a relationship based on mutual respect, honesty, and dignity. I support them in finding and building on their inner strengths. When they are ready, I invite them to dive into the delightful and awkward fullness of human experience and try on a new perspective or way of doing things
Sara Kyles-Royster, MA -Outreach Coordinator/ Staff Counselor
I believe that everyone has a unique way of navigating through life. I believe that YOUR unique way of navigating through life is a representation of YOUR experiences. I believe that YOUR experiences reflect the choices YOU make. I believe that the choices YOU make are influenced by YOUR patterns of functioning which are how YOU think, feel, and act. I believe that YOUR patterns of functioning have developed over time and are learned from YOUR interactions within YOUR system. I believe that we all have a system which can include family, friends, peers, school, local community, religious institution(s), workplace, media, society, etc. I believe that YOUR interactions with YOUR family early in life tend to have the most impact on how YOU function. I believe that we all have healthy patterns of functioning that allow us to be our most authentic self and cope with life stressors as they arise. I believe that we also have dysfunctional patterns of functioning that can cause periods of significant distress and suffering. I believe that we aren't always aware of some of our patterns and can feel stuck if they tend to be more dysfunctional.
What I believe about people and life has ultimately informed my treatment approach as a systems therapist. I believe that therapy can be a nonjudgmental place to explore YOUR experiences from YOUR perspective without being told what to think or how to feel. I believe that therapy can increase self-awareness so that you can recognize YOUR patterns of functioning and decide what is best for YOU. I believe that although my expertise is getting to root of concerns, I am also skilled at suggesting various interventions and coping strategies to better manage any present moment stressors. I believe that people do their best with what they know, but there is always more to learn!
Chelsea Chase, PsyD- Staff Counselor/ Therapist
As a psychotherapist I respect the autonomy and wisdom of each individual and their experiences. I strive to create a therapeutic relationship and space where individuals feel safe to share deeply and empowered to grow and move in the ways that best suite them. I believe in the innate wisdom of individuals and encourage them to forge unique and creative paths in their life, while creating and maintaining deep and meaningful relationships with others and the world. I am humbled by the opportunity to walk with others through difficult times and stuck points in their lives, as we work together to create meaning, community, and opportunity. Many people enter therapy feeling stuck or longing to recover in some way, as they feel some dis-ease in their lives as they currently stand. I strive to provide a warm, safe, and open relationship where patterns and problems may be revealed, support, encouragement, and compassion may be provided, and insight and clarity can be found and built together. It is imperative to me that I provide others with respect, dignity, and compassion, as we wander through the problems, possibilities, and potentialities of their lives, while finding clarity, hope, identity and richness of meaning. Each individual comes in with unique and exquisite experiences and strengths that I would like to encourage, empower and build off of as we work together to reach their personal goals.
I believe that healing occurs in relation, in being able to be with the other, so I pay close attention to our therapeutic relationship and work diligently to attune to the other. Being able to understand the individual I am working with to the best of my ability helps us move towards shared goals while respecting the individuality, autonomy, and identity of the other. This therapy space is one where all identities and expressions are not only welcomed, but deeply appreciated. Unique identity is embraced, and it is encouraged that this is a space that is open and unlimited. It is through this communal space that richness and meaning can be regained and formulated anew.
Danielle Clark, MS - Staff Counselor/ Psychotherapist
Therapy is an investment in our health, wellness, and future. Our life experiences, especially our earliest ones, are fundamental in shaping the way we view and make meaning of ourselves, others, and the world around us. I work primarily from an integrative lens, meaning that my approach to therapy is unique to each individual. I do believe that building a strong therapeutic alliance is central to treatment and deepens the therapeutic work. I aim to understand you as a whole person in order to facilitate growth and change. Regardless of the intensity, severity, and frequency of your concerns, nothing is too small or too big to benefit from psychotherapy.
Ashley James, M.A. Intake Coordinator/Triage Therapist
Brandon Graham, PsyD- Post Doctoral Resident
Psychotherapy is fundamentally a relationship between a person who feels stuck in some way and another person who is trained in helping others to get unstuck. I believe successful therapy includes a warm and validating environment in which a person feels safe enough to discuss whatever they find meaningful. As a therapist, I listen compassionately and deeply to help people experience their selves, others, and the world differently and to imagine new possibilities for these relationships. From a holistic approach that sees people as mind, body, and spirit any experience or emotion can be seen as a communication to the self, for the self, and about the self. By listening empathically, I offer people with a variety of distress a chance to collaborate and to creatively reimagine new insights and experiences in their relationships with themselves, others, and the world. Furthermore, I do this work because I love being with people and experiencing the uniqueness and rawness of life. Spending time forming genuine and caring relationships is at the core of what makes this work meaningful. Empathic, mutual, and authentic relationships are healing for both parties and transformative in nature. In this sense, I, too, am continually moved and transformed by each therapeutic interaction and relationship.
Ashley DeVito, PsyD - Post Doctoral Resident
I believe that therapy is a collaborative conversation and I truly value clients feeling heard and understood. I use an integrative approach to counseling, drawing from collaborative therapy, client-centered, and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. I believe that clients are the experts of their own experiences and stories and I utilize genuine curiosity to really understand both of these. I am interested in helping clients navigate transitions, difficult life experiences, and/or whatever brings them to therapy. I aim to help clients recognize their strengths and build and develop their own skillset to take with them on their journey to finding peace within themselves, others, etc.
Practicum and Internship Therapist
Aram Kolesar, BA
Brianna Bunner, BS
Julia Werkmeister, MA
Elizabeth McKay, BA
Information in this site is not intended to replace a one-on-one consultation with a licensed mental health worker. If you are a student having problems, we urge you to contact us at 412.396.6204 to schedule an appointment.