The mission of Greenleaf Psychological & Support Services, is to provide help, hope, and relief in a way that works for families. At GPSS, we really listen and learn about your unique situation so that we can understand what you want and need. We then use our well-developed clinical tool box to address your needs with customized, convenient, and cohesive services.
BARBARA LOWE, PHD,LP
FOUNDER & OWNER, LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST
I enjoy compassionately connecting with clients, children, adolescents, adults, parents, and families, and helping them to attain the solutions and quality of life which they are seeking. In therapy, I facilitate hope, encouragement, nervous system regulation, and empowerment, as I partner with clients achieve unique client-centered solutions. I use therapeutic techniques that are designed to meet those goals (e.g., Somatic Experiencing, Dialectic Behavior Therapy-DBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-CBT, Relational Therapy, Internal Family Systems-IFS, Mind/Body Techniques, Social Thinking Methods, Executive Functioning Coaching, EMDR, Gottman Methods, Sexual Crucible Methods, DARe Attachment and Relationship Techniques, Guided Imagery, Problem Solving Methods, Family Systems Approaches, etc.). In Life Coaching, I work with motivated adult clients to facilitate transformation, empowerment, and success in targeted areas of life.I also have a specialty in Evaluation, spanning developmental, autism spectrum, educational, psychiatric, personality, neuropsychological, and aptitude domains. I am also a Life CoachI work well with other professionals to provide an integrated care package, as needed.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
With children I specialize in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome (ASDs), Developmental Disabilities (DDs), ADHD, Behavior and School Problems, Attachment, Social Skills Development, Mood Disorders, Trauma, and Anxiety. With adolescents and young adults, I specialize in all of the above, and also with Eating Disorders, Self-Harm, Self Image, and Transition Difficulties. With adults, I work with all of the above, as well as Complicated Grief, Trauma, and Attachment and Relationship Challenges. With families, I specialize in Parent Coaching, Step-family and Co-parenting Therapies, and Families in Transition (e.g., divorce, adoption). In Life Coaching, I work with motivated adult clients to meet fulfillment goals such as a more satisfying career, relationship or dating success, transformation during life transitions, and the like.
PETER ADAMS, PHD,LP
People pursue counseling for all kinds of reasons. Often, they feel like no one understands them, they are uncertain about how things can improve in their life, or they simply feel a motivation to explore themselves, grow, and change. Others want to be heard, to have their feelings validated or challenged, or just feel lost and in need of clarity and guidance. All of these reasons are important and should not be diminished. As I partake in my own journey toward personal growth and healing, I realize that we may all feel out of place, misunderstood, or invisible in different ways. My goal is to help people feel seen, understood, and validated for these are some of the most important feelings we can experience. As a therapist, I believe in your uniqueness and want to connect to it so that the experience can be as personalized as possible. I also hold respect and admiration for the courage it takes to pursue change. Even as we fret or suffer, it is almost always easier to sit idle and not move toward change because growth can be scary. While I do believe a therapist can provide connection, guidance, and insight into one’s problems, I think all clients have within them a set of personal strengths that can be utilized toward their goals. As such, helping clients feel more emotionally empowered in their lives is very important to me. We all carry in us the potential for happiness, peace, self-love, and wisdom, and I hope to be someone who can help you feel that those are all things you deserve.
Professionally and personally, I have a passion for social justice work and am driven to help all people successfully navigate an increasingly complex multicultural society. As technology shrinks the world, we are exposed to an ever more diverse set of people, communities, ideas, and perspectives. Whether we are a part of historically privileged or oppressed communities, all of us are working to find our place in this neo-diverse society. More and more, I see this challenge represented in my clients as they seek understanding of their issues, strengths, and identities.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
My clinical interests and experience are broad and cover anxiety, depression, adjustment, stress management, trauma, social challenges, relationships, conflict management, family dynamics, anger, grief, self-esteem/worth, sleep hygiene, career exploration, identity development, existential concerns, and many others.
I have particular interest in cultural and identity factors with expertise integrating race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression and identity, socioeconomic class, spiritualism, men’s issues, and women’s issues into the work. I work primarily with older adolescents and adults and look to provide growth experiences through individual, group, and couples therapy. With couples, I like to help illuminate the needs of each individual while gaining clarity on unhealthy patterns that have developed around the ineffective expression of those needs. I also like to focus on increasing intimacy, partnership, and an understanding that both individuals are seeking the same thing – love and acceptance. Multicultural counseling, Interpersonal Process Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are my primary influences but I also incorporate Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), mindfulness, Solution-focused Therapy, Existential Therapy, and many other interventions into my practice.
If you have any questions about my clinical experiences or work with specific communities please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to respond.
BLAIR GOLDSMITH, MSW, LCSW
LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I provide a warm, safe, and supportive space where children, adolescents, families, and adults can connect and be heard. It takes courage to seek help, and I fully acknowledge that. I believe that the issues we face in life have psychological, biological, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions. My clinical approach is holistic, taking the entire person and their unique life experiences into consideration for treatment. I enjoy the opportunity to work creatively with clients using a person-centered model to help them attain their goals. As a therapist, I am committed to helping my clients and their families feel validated, hopeful, and empowered in cultivating positive change in their daily lives.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
I provide counseling to children ages 7 and up, adolescents, their families, and individual adults. I specialize in treating a variety of issues including Depression, Anxiety, Adjustment Disorders, Anger, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Self-Harm, Behavioral Issues, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Stress Management, and Social Skills Development. My treatment approaches include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Family Systems Approaches, and Mindfulness Strategies.
MELISSA YAO, PHD, LP
I believe that all individuals have innate strengths and are motivated toward growth. However, at various points in our lives we may feel stuck due to life transitions, family dynamics, relationship issues, trauma, or environmental stressors. Therapy can be a place where you explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to learn what may be holding you back from experiencing a more meaningful and fulfilling life. My goal as a therapist is to provide a safe, nonjudgmental environment in which individuals can share their concerns and develop new insights about themselves and others, challenge unhelpful ways of thinking, or learn new coping tools and strategies. Within this space I strive to be fully present and empathetic, using the time to ask questions to gain further understanding and offer ideas and perspective to help move clients to a different way of thinking, behaving, or being. I take a collaborative approach to therapy, in which my clients and I work together to develop goals for treatment and continuously discuss our progress. I deeply value the relationships I develop with my clients and honor the courage it takes to seek help and engage in this process of self-exploration.
Additionally, I acknowledge that our lives are shaped by a myriad of sociocultural factors including but not limited to racial or ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, gender identity, and nationality. These factors influence our worldviews, our relationships, our struggles, and how we approach therapy. I continually challenge myself to increase my sensitivity to and understanding of the unique issues facing individuals of different backgrounds in order to create a welcoming environment for them to explore their concerns.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
I provide individual and group therapy to individuals age 17 to late adulthood. I have experience working with a wide range of concerns including anxiety and stress, depression and other mood disorders, relationships and interpersonal issues, adjustment and acculturation, body image and eating concerns, identity development, and academic issues. I consider myself a generalist and am comfortable treating a variety of presenting issues; however, I am particularly interested in helping clients explore concerns related to perfectionism, sexual orientation, romantic relationships, and racial or ethnic identity development. My approach to therapy is primarily influenced by Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Process Therapy (IPT); however, I prefer to be flexible and adapt treatment to the personality and presenting concerns of my clients. In addition to using CBT and IPT techniques, I also incorporate mindfulness, dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and multicultural counseling interventions in my practice.
SARAH WESTON, MSW, MTS, LCSW
LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker I am always aware of the impact systems have on my work with clients such as the family, school or work, the communities where they live and participate, and the larger global systems that impact all of us. I work with my clients to develop a therapeutic relationship that is built on respect, trust, and lack of judgment. From there we can learn about the behaviors, thinking patterns, and symptoms that negatively impact one’s life in order to create change and improve life. I am humbled by my clients and the trust they put into sharing life’s struggles with me and our work together, which can be as difficult as it is beautiful. I can also provide counseling for issues regarding spirituality and religion that may be positive or negative throughout one’s lifespan. I have worked with religious leaders to provide support for their parishioners and their own concerns, and have trained them on trauma and theology, including issues around ritual and worship for trauma victims. I enjoy working with couples and families to build positive communication and relationships through life transitions and difficulties. I have experience with trauma and work to help people identify and control their symptoms. I enjoy working with people on areas of physical health in conjunction with their mental health, focusing on forms of relaxation, taking walks, and I will collaborate with other providers, as you wish. I also enjoy working with clients using art and music, or other forms of ritual a client may bring into treatment to help them create space for change. I am a Certified Group Worker and appreciate how group members can support and push each other.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
I work with teen through adult, age 16+ through end of life, individuals, couples, and families with issues of Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Mood Disorders, Personality Disorders, cases with medical complexity, severe mental illness, brain injury, attachment, emotional and behavioral dysregulation, death and dying issues, and pastoral counseling. I employ a wide range of techniques including, but never limited to, cognitive-behavioral therapy, family systems theory, trauma frameworks, Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for children and have applied this to my work with adults, Relational Model, Motivational Interviewing, behavioral analysis, group work, and am in the process of training in the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy, as well as The Crucible’s “Passionate Marriage” and other areas of intimacy for couples.
LEAH TRAVIS, MS, LMFT
LICENSED MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I bring a systems perspective to my work with clients, whether I am speaking with the whole family, or just one person. This means I consider not only the individual difficulties that my clients are struggling with, but also the way that those challenges affect (and are affected by) their families, friends, work or school, and other important aspects of their lives. I see it as my responsibility to tailor my style to suit each client, seeking to use the language and activities that are most meaningful and helpful to each person I work with. My goal is to build a trusting relationship from which clients can identify patterns in their lives that they would like to change, and to assist clients in creating that change in a healthy way. I also believe that for people of faith, their religion or spirituality is a fundamental part of their identity, and when requested, I provide Christian faith-based counseling, and I am also glad to support clients of any faith to incorporate that faith or spirituality into their clinical work.
I am passionate about supporting healthy fulfilling relationships in any way I can. I work with couples and intimate relationship difficulties (e.g. arguments, improving communication, “growing apart,” infidelity, etc.) and family concerns (e.g. parenting concerns, behavioral problems with children and adolescents, post-divorce and step-family struggles, etc.), as well as clients who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and those who have experienced abuse or trauma. She also works with dating, pre-marital, and newlywed couples, and new or expecting parents to help keep relationships and families healthy and happy through life transitions.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
The theoretical foundations of my approach stem from training in Family Systems Theories, Structural Family Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Attachment Theory, Emotion-Focused Therapy, Gottman Method Techniques, and also incorporates an understanding of Neurobiology, anger management, and trauma responses.
Leah is also the Clinical Administrator for GPSS.
KATIE TART ALLEN, PsyD, lp
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” (Maya Angelou) In therapy, I see my role as providing my clients with a safe, nurturing space to explore their own stories, and to discover their resilience and hope in a way that aligns with their goals. I am a fully licensed psychologist with a true passion and respect for both therapy and assessment. I do my best to bring compassion, authenticity, warmth, and nonjudgment to the therapeutic relationship. It is important to me that I treat my clients with respect and avoid pathologizing them because of their problems, pasts, or concerns. My clients and I maintain an ongoing dialogue that helps us assess our progress and stay focused on set goals. I enjoy working with individuals, couples, and families. In addition to therapy and leading DBT groups, I also provide assessment services for clients ages three through adulthood. I believe assessment can be very beneficial for guiding treatment and providing diagnostic clarity for individuals and their families.
My educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from North Carolina State University, a second major in dance from Meredith College, a Master of Arts degree in clinical psychology from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology, and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology. I completed my predoctoral internship in health services psychology at Emory University Counseling & Psychological Services and my postdoctoral fellowship in university mental health at Emory University. I have also trained at the counseling centers of Georgia Tech and Oxford College and various private practices.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
My clinical interests and specialties include depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress management, identity development, relationship issues, complex trauma, sociocultural influences on mental health, and difficulty navigating life transitions. My assessment interests and specialties include Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Specific Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Executive Functioning and Memory, Psychiatric Functioning, and Mood and Anxiety disorders. I practice with intentionality and consistently integrate various evidence-based approaches into my therapeutic work. I have experience working with a broad range of psychotherapeutic models, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), time-limited dynamic psychotherapy (TLDP), interpersonal process psychotherapy, and humanistic therapies. I often incorporate mind-body approaches, mindfulness, and multicultural perspectives into my work. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is a specific treatment that I specialize in that can help those struggling with sleep issues.
Presley Bright, lcsw
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, I recognize each person as an individual with unique strengths, values and desires. As a part of the therapeutic process, I encourage people to identify and reflect on their own values and to improve their practice of making mindful choices based on those values. Often making a shift in prioritization of time can cause an increase in happiness and a reduction in stress. People often turn to therapy because they feel overwhelmed, alone, or disconnected. My hope for people receiving therapy is that they will experience a restoration of calm, a feeling of connectedness, and a return to a sense of normalcy. I concentrate on improving people’s self-efficacy, the belief that one is able and capable. I focus on wellness and recovery, acknowledging that everyone has an individual journey.
My educational background includes a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I also completed a post-masters certificate program in substance abuse studies at UNC. I have enjoyed the opportunity to work in the social work field helping adult individuals, families, and children for my whole career.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
I offer counseling to children (ages 10 and up), adolescents and adults. I also work with couples and families to provide comprehensive care. I have broad experience in treating people experiencing anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, relationship issues, chronic pain, sexual orientation difficulties, gender identity/gender expression difficulties, disordered eating, psychosis, and issues related to substance abuse.
I have specialized training in substance abuse treatment, including working with people struggling with addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling or cyber-addiction. I also have specialized training in providing Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which addresses improving PTSD symptoms in children. My approach to treatment includes using motivational interviewing, solution-focused therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. In addition, I employ art and music interventions. I enjoy the performing arts and I am open to providing recommendations on books, films or other media which may be helpful in addressing a particular therapeutic concern.
Chris Weintrob, PhD, LP
I believe that human connection the most powerful force in our lives, and that it can be the source of much of our strength as well as much of our pain. The quality of the psychotherapeutic relationship, then, forms the foundation for all growth and healing done within this context. The simple addition of a new, invested relationship to one’s life can help provide room to move forward. Once this foundation is in place, amazing progress can be made, whether this is conceptualized as return to a prior, more fulfilling moment in life, or as more full achieving one’s potential.
In order to make these gains, however, proper and mutually agreed upon understanding of “the problem,” as well as client’s strengths, is vital. As a clinical psychologist, I have seen the value of performing thorough psychological testing assessments to clarify the issues affecting a particular client, whether these issues be emotional, traumatic, cognitive, or neurological in nature. That said, proper diagnosis is only part of this understanding, and true empathy provides the other piece, as one’s perspective of the problem is just as vital as anything a psychological test may tell us. Through true collaboration, I believe that client and therapist together can explore a number of clinical avenues that, when based in theory and experience, can provide the answers the client is looking for, often in a much shorter time frame than may seem possible when facing life’s great challenges.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
I provide individual and family therapy for client ages 12 and up, and have specifically focused my practice up to this point on adolescents, young adults, and their families. I also have a clinical emphasis on treating trauma, whether the precipitating event fits the traditional definition of “trauma” or simply upends a client’s life. I also provide psychological testing of all types (cognitive, neuropsychological, psychoeducational, emotional/personality, etc.) to clients ages five and up.
I utilize a systems framework in conceptualizing cases, as I believe that people cannot be understood outside of their life context. To this end, cultural understanding and social justice are core goals of my therapeutic practice since this so profoundly affects one’s experience in the world. In terms of treatment, I balance a range of more structured approaches with existential and body-related techniques, depending on what the clinical need is for that particular client. More specifically, I utilize somatic, mindfulness-based, cognitive-behavioral, family systems, communication, and trauma-focused techniques.
jessica burkhardt, eds, lpa
LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIcal associate
Sometimes, the circumstances of life are too hard to face alone and that’s okay. That’s why I am committed to helping my clients discover their own personal strengths in order to rise up and conquer life’s challenges. I love working with children and families, using a systems-level approach, and I am particularly passionate about helping those who have been exposed to trauma. I believe that just as there is posttraumatic stress, there is posttraumatic growth. Positive growth can occur as a result of traumatic experiences like serious illness or loss of a loved one and I truly believe that we can wear our tragedies as armor, not shackles. No matter the circumstances, I want my clients to know that they are not alone in their struggles and there is support that is readily available to them. I work hard to build a trusting relationship with my clients so that they feel safe and validated. I’ve found that in those conditions, healing and growth can occur. Not only do I help my clients identify their problems, but I offer a solution-focused treatment and work until we find peace together.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
I conduct assessment and psychoeducational evaluation, as well as individual, group and family therapy. I conduct evaluations for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Intellectual Disorders, Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder and behavioral/emotional disorders including anxiety and depression. I am skilled in offering coaching and treatment for difficulties related to ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, severe behavioral and emotional needs, anxiety, depression, social skills, self-esteem, divorce, bullying, self-control and learning disabilities. I also offer Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Rachel eshel, psyd, lp
I am a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with young children, adolescents and their families. I strive to bring warmth, empathy, curiosity and humor to my interactions with clients. My approach to psychological assessment and therapy is collaborative, meaning that we will work together to clarify and meet your goals. My primary specialties include child psychological assessment and conducting those evaluations in a therapeutic manner. Assessment can promote new and deeper understanding of oneself and one’s way of fitting into the family, school and community. I use the assessment process as a way to generate new insight into a child’s functioning and development, and talk with families about how to take action based on the results. Clinically, my primary interests are childhood trauma and parent-child attachment and how they impact development, learning and social-emotional health. I approach my work from a social justice perspective and am particularly interested in educational equity and immigrant rights.
I am proficient in Spanish, and can also provide services in Spanish.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
I provide psychological assessment for clients ranging in age from early childhood through young adulthood, and am able to address cognitive, academic, developmental, psychiatric, neuropsychological, social-emotional and personality functioning. Common reasons one may seek out an assessment include school or learning difficulties, social-emotional or psychiatric concerns, recent changes in behavior, difficulties with executive functioning, and/or concern regarding a developmental delay or disability. An evaluation may help to provide diagnostic clarity and formulate a meaningful treatment plan. Psychological assessment allows for a brief but powerful intervention that provides a detailed account of a child or adolescent's functioning. As a partner in the evaluation process, I draw upon techniques to make it meaningful for a family.
At the present time I do not provide therapy, though my specialties include treatments for childhood trauma (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Child Parent Psychotherapy, and psychodynamic, or insight-oriented, therapy), depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, parent-child attachment problems and parenting.
BILLING AND CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER
Jon is the most recent addition to our administrative staff. As our Billing and Customer Service Manager, Jon is responsible for insurance billing, scheduling, patient accounts management, medical records management and patient referral coordination. He has over 5 years of experience in the medical field and has a background as a medical office coordinator and physical therapy technician. Jon is passionate about helping others, especially when it comes to health. Jon attended Sandhills Community College, where he studied Sports Science. Outside of work, Jon enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee and video games, building computers, and spending time outdoors.
PRACTICE MANAGEr & notary public
Ansley is our Practice Manager and HIPAA Privacy Officer. She is also a Notary Public for Durham County. She is responsible for various operations within the office, which some include: policy development and implementation, payroll support, accounts receivable management, insurance credentialing, human resource management and marketing. She has several years of experience in office management and administration, marketing, SEO, accounts/project management, human resources and customer service. Ansley has experience as an Office Manager and Marketing Manager for the veterinary industry and as well as a Marketing Strategist and Human Resources Assistant in the insurance and financial services industry. She attended East Carolina University for Business and Human Resources. She is a trained Advocate for victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault in Durham County through the Durham Crisis Response Center. She has a passion for assisting rescue animals and supporting local businesses. In her spare time, Ansley enjoys reading nonfiction, playing tennis, hiking, and spending time with her dog Leia.
Daniel is our Administrative Assistant.