Leighann Avery, LMHC - Owner & Counselor
Leighann sees client in the St. Petersburg office.
-Leighann specializes in treating clients suffering from depression, anxiety, behavioral disorders, ADHD, anger management, low self-esteem, and coping skills. She loves working with clients and seeing the process as they improve their symptoms. Her approach allows children to "play" out their emotions and pain. Clients will dig their hands in sand, disguise themselves through puppets, play with dolls, draw, paint, read books, and so much more as they process through their feelings, improve their coping skills, and increase their pro-social behavior. In using CBT, she gets excited when clients are able to dispute their negative thoughts to increase their feelings of happiness. She also loves when my young client come back week after week talking about using their impulse control strategies in class and at home. Her passion for helping others is what drives her daily.
Specialty: Children (ages 3-18 using play in session) & adults (depression & anxiety)
Cynthia Silver, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
Cynthia will be seeing clients in our Oldsmar office.
My passion is providing counseling to adults who are struggling with issues associated with the inevitable challenges of life causing feelings of distress and hopelessness. I am a client-centered, solution-focused, cognitive behavioral therapist whose integrated, evidence-based treatment approach will be uniquely suited to your needs. My treatment plans also incorporate techniques like grounding exercises and mindfulness to further promote stress reduction.
As a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, my integrated approach to counseling provides a safe, supportive and nonjudgmental space for you to explore your feelings and any challenges you are experiencing particularly during these trying times. Together we will develop a treatment plan that is uniquely suited to meet your needs. I believe that establishing good client rapport and utilizing effective listening skills is essential in promoting a positive outcome. I look forward to working with you in order to help you find hope and mental wellbeing, even during these times of uncertainty.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." Desmond Tut
Specialty: Adults (transitional life issues, relationship issues, anxiety, depression & grief)
Grace Willms, LCSW
As a licensed clinician, I specialize in working with clients on many concerns including depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, anger issues, struggles with self-worth or self-esteem, relationship issues, codependency, coping skills and family conflicts. I love working with clients of all ages, including children, adolescents, teens, and young adults. I am passionate about working alongside clients through their journey and see them grow in ways they didn’t know they would week after week. Whether it’s a new coping skill or creating healthy boundaries or simply saying that they felt happy and relaxed for the first time in years, the ability to help others find their best selves is her true passion. When working with children, I love creating a fun, engaging environment with play, art, music and stories to make therapy a warm, safe, enjoyable place where change occurs and the child can grow, share and flourish.
I graduated in 2017 from Florida State University with a Master’s in Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I worked with children and teens in different settings for many years including outpatient counseling, transitional living, school settings and in-home care, as well as working in an inpatient adult crisis setting for over 3 years. In my free time, I love to relax with my dog Harbor, create a new project, find a new place to explore or catch up on sleep.
Specialty: Children, Adolescents & Young Adults
Erin Richard, LCSW
Level 1 Certified in Trauma & Resilience
As a licensed clinician I focus on seeing clients who suffer from depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and mood disorders. My speciality is seeing clients who have experienced trauma. I am passionate in helping clients overcome their past struggles and help them create a “new normal.” By using CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), solution-focused therapy, and motivational interviewing, together we will reframe negative thoughts into positive ones, learn skills to overcome intrusive thoughts, and learn how to focus on the client's strengths.
A little about myself, I grew up in New Jersey and moved to Florida in 2011 for my Bachelors degree. I attended The University of Tampa and received my BA in Psychology. During my senior year I was not sure what my next path was, until I had an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) speak in a class. After hearing him speak about his work, I knew that was the path I wanted to take in life. After graduating, I attended The University of South Florida and received my Masters in Clinical Social Work. Since then, I have become Level 1 certified in Trauma and Resilience. In my free time, I love playing with my Golden Retriever, cooking, and going to the beach.
Speciality: Adolescents, Young Adults, & Adults
Wanda Neal, LMHC
Uses EMDR(Specialized treatment for Trauma)
I’m a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and I help children and young adults gain new tools and provide support to help achieve their targeted goals. I have worked with clients on such areas as ADHD, Behavioral Issues, ODD, Anxiety, Panic Disorders, Low Self-Esteem, Depression, Bullying and Substance Use etc. Each individual is unique which is why I prefer to be flexible and find the best mode of treatment tailored to each person’s specific needs. Some of the modalities of therapy include, Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral, Person-Centered, Solution-Focused, Strength Based, Trauma Focused, and Motivational Interviewing. Wanda utilizes EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) therapy in session. This is a specialized form of therapy for trauma that enables clients to heal from the symptoms they are experiencing as a result of the trauma. EMDR therapy usually takes 6-12 sessions for clients to no longer meet the criteria for PTSD diagnosis.
I received my B.A. in Psychology in 2013 at Florida Atlantic University and completed my M.S. in 2017 at Nova Southeastern University. I have experience working in an inpatient crisis unit as a children's therapist and outpatient therapist assisting clients both in home and school settings. Some interesting facts about myself include, I love going on adventures and exploring new places and cultures. One of my favorite adventures was free diving with over a dozen bull sharks on a trip off the coast of Jupiter, FL. I also have ran several races with my favorite being the Disney Princess Half Marathon.
So If you think you or your loved one could benefit from counseling come talk to me and together we will work on coping strategies while addressing the core causes. Please don’t hesitate to email or call to set up your first appointment, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Specialty: Children, Adolescents and Adults.
We have a new therapist joining us in the middle of June.
We welcome Chelsea Lawrence, EdS, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
More info coming soon
Carol Sterner, Office Manager
Carol joined our team in February 2021. She manages our billing, insurance, scheduling, and will usually be the one answering your phone calls.
Happy Healthy Minds Counseling