Presbyterian Psychological Services is a deeply welcoming place providing mental health services for people of all ages, genders, races, ethnicities, faiths or no faith, and sexual orientations. As important as the unique individuals we serve are the cherished professionals who practice here. Rigorous ongoing education and community service are at the core of our group identity, as is the belief that emotional wellbeing is central to a well-lived life.
For over thirty years, Dr. Frawley-O’Dea has specialized in treating adolescent and adult male and female survivors of sexual abuse and is internationally known for this work. Her co-authored book, Treating the Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse, is considered a classic. In 1999, she co-authored a book, The Supervisory Relationship, which offered a new, relational model of psychodynamic supervision. In 2002, she was the only psychologist invited to address that United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at their seminal meeting on sexual abuse. There, she presented a paper on the psychological and spiritual damage resulting from clergy sexual abuse. After that, she authored Perversion of Power, an analysis of the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. She has provided expert witness services in legal cases addressing sexual abuse. Dr. Frawley-O’Dea is or has been on the editorial boards of several professional journals, has published over 30 book chapters, professional articles, and magazine or newspaper articles and has made numerous professional presentations and invited lectures throughout the United States as well as in Canada and Israel. She appeared in the Oscar-nominated documentary film, Deliver Us From Evil, which addressed the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.
Dr. Frawley-O’Dea earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Gordon Derner Institute for Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University and received a Certificate in Advanced Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis also from Adelphi. She taught in Adelphi’s doctoral and post-doctoral programs and was co-director, faculty and supervisor at the Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis where she also served as Executive Director of their Trauma Treatment Program. She was faculty and supervisor at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies Supervisory Training Program and in their National Training Program for Psychoanalysis. In Charlotte, she served as faculty, supervisor and curriculum consultant for the North Carolina Institute for Clinical Pastoral Counseling.
Dr. Frawley-O’Dea has been Executive Director of at Presby Psych since 2010 and has her practice at our South Park/Sharon Road location where she accepts Blue Cross/Blue Shield. She takes a relational psychodynamic approach to her clinical work informed by trauma theory and contemporary neuroscience. Her website is www.mgfod.com.
Mr. Risher works clinically with adolescents, adults, couples, and families and has specialties conducting psychotherapy with African Americans, members of the LGBTQ communities, and survivors of developmental and adult trauma, including first responders. Mr. Risher holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Clinical/Community Psychology from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Mr. Risher combines cognitive-behavioral and relational psychodynamic approaches to therapy, and also is skilled in motivational interviewing and dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT). In addition to his clinical practice Mr. Risher is a nationally noted speaker on racism, micro-aggressions, and the particular mental health challenges faced by African Americans. He is located at our South Park/Sharon Road office where he accepts Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Carolina Behavioral Assistance.
Dr. Sanniota has worked for over fifteen years with children in a variety of clinical settings including training at a state psychiatric hospital and later serving as the Clinical Director of a very comprehensive local Community Mental Health program for children. Dr. Sanniota received her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a pre-doctoral assistant at UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, Dr. Sanniota developed an interest and skills in working with pre-school aged children and their families. She continues that work today using play therapy and other therapeutic approaches to help the littlest of clients and their families resolve developmental disruptions or attachment issues, reduce behavioral problems or provide parenting support and education. Her work with this population while at Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare resulted in her selection as a NC Early Childhood Leadership Program Fellow. Dr. Sanniota is equally comfortable working with adolescents who have their own developmental challenges, particularly those struggling with anxiety, depression or parent-child difficulties. These experiences, combined with her work as a special education teacher and as a school psychologist, endowed Dr. Sanniota with significant skills and experience in working with children of all ages who have mental health issues, developmental disabilities, and/or behavioral difficulties. As a parent and professional she has experienced the challenges of navigating the special education hurdles in school systems and is available to support, educate and partner with parents as they advocate for their special needs children. “Dr. Julie” (as her clients call her) accepts Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Carolina Behavioral Assistance and Out of network benefits. Her office is at our South Park/Sharon Road location.
Dr. Carstarphen conducts psychotherapy with an integrated approach, holistically combining the mind, body, spirit and culture of her adult clients. A graduate of Queens College, Dr. Carstarphen received her Master of Divinity Degree at Emory University and her Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Psychotherapy at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. As part of her training and interest in health and spirituality, she participated in Duke University’s Spirituality, Theology and Health research course. She has a special interest in working with individuals with chronic pain or illness, seniors and people who have histories of sexual, physical or other developmental traumas. With a background in art, Dr. Carstarphen includes art therapy in her clinical work. In addition to traditional psychotherapy, she also offers spiritual counseling. Dr.Carstarphen is a member of American Psychological Association and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. She practices in our SouthPark/Sharon Road office where she accepts Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Carolina Behavioral Health Assistance, and Cigna.
Ms. Lesesne is an award-winning counselor who now focuses on career counseling and personal coaching. She also had over 20 years of experience as an educator and communications skills trainer in both non-profit and corporate settings. Ms. Lesesne’s approach honors the unique individuality of each client in order to help them develop personalized career goals and life plans, while identifying and eliminating obstacles to reaching those goals. She has retired as a psychotherapist and therefore does not take insurance. She is located in our Dilworth office.
Ms. Hassell works clinically with children, adolescents, adults and families. A member of our Child, Adolescent, Parent & Family Services team, she is a trained play therapist, which she employs with young children, and incorporates elements of expressive arts along with traditional talk therapy with adolescents and adults. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at James Madison University, Ms. Hassell obtained a Master of Arts in teaching at the College of Charleston and a Master of Clinical Mental Health from University of North Carolina Charlotte. Ms. Hassell believes the healing power of therapy lies within the relationship between therapist and client, and works from a strengths-based approach. Ms. Hassell is located at our Myers Park/Park Road office where she accepts Aetna and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Ms. Johnson’s career combines experience in pastoral counseling, psychotherapy, education and public speaking. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development and Family Studies at Lee University and received her Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. As a clinician, Ms. Johnson has worked with individuals, couples and families across the lifespan. Ms.Johnson is adept at helping individuals navigate challenging life transitions, past hurts, parenting, and blended family dynamics. She is also our resident Eating Disorder Specialist and uses an emotion focused approach to address disordered and/or emotional eating, poor body image, co-occurring mood disorders, and interpersonal/relationship conflicts. In addition, her past clinical work provided experience in partial hospitalization day treatment, intensive outpatient and group therapy settings. She works with both male and female clients, is a certified Prepare/Enrich marriage facilitator and also has specialized training in trauma. Ms. Johnson is located at our South Park/Sharon Road office where she accepts Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Cigna.
Ms. Cashion works with adolescents, adults, couples, and families who are coping with anxiety, stress, depression, and relational issues. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in corporate finance and a Master of Science degree in educational psychology at University of Alabama, Ms. Cashion obtained a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Wake Forest University. Her work as a counselor and chaplain, in hospital and out-patient medical settings, has exposed her to a wide range of individuals, couples and families who often are facing uncertainty, loss, or grief. She also brings experience from prior work in educational and corporate settings. Ms. Cashion is sensitive to spiritual issues clients present and open to having them included in the clinical conversation if the client wishes. Located at our South Park-Sharon Road Office, Ms. Cashion sees adolescents, adults, couples, and families and accepts Aetna and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Dr. Jamison is experienced in treating individuals with recent and past histories of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Dr. Jamison uses an integrative, relational treatment approach and is experienced in the treatment of mood disorders, anxiety, relational issues, and loss. She has further specialized in the treatment of addiction and has worked with those concerned about their own use, as well as those affected by a loved one’s addiction. Dr. Jamison earned her master’s degree and doctorate in psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Temple University’s Tuttleman Counseling Services where she then became a post-doctoral fellow and eventually assumed coordination of Temple’s Campus Alcohol and Substance Awareness (CASA) unit. There Dr. Jamison provided individual and group therapy to a diverse student body. She was the senior consultant for staff and trainees in a walk-in clinic once a week and is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management. Dr. Jamison provided seminars for graduate trainees in the assessment and treatment of substance use disorders, the interpersonal process of psychotherapy, and multicultural supervision. She has supervised the clinical work of post-doctoral fellows, pre-doctoral interns, and graduate externs. She also helped develop a diversity committee focused on enhancing the staff’s multicultural awareness, sensitivity and competency. Dr. Jamison is located at our Myers Park-Park Road office where she accepts Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and CBHA.
Ms. Kolb combines a strong background in substance abuse assessment and outpatient treatment with psychotherapy skills across diverse mental health issues and among a variety of age groups. In addition, Ms. Kolb values working clinically with members of the LGBTQ community. Ms. Kolb earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology and a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Her practice is in our SouthPark-Sharon Road office where she sees adolescents and adults and accepts Aetna and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Dr. Reed specializes in psychoanalytic clinical supervision and clergy consultation. He earned his M.Div. and S.T.M. from Southern Methodist University and a D.Min. from Emory University. His clinical training took place at the Institute for Religion and Human Development at the Texas Medical Center, and at the Washington (DC) School of Psychiatry. A United Methodist minister, he is a Diplomate (Retired) of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, a past member of the American Academy of Psychotherapists and the North Carolina Psychoanalytic Society. For more than three decades prior to retirement, he directed pastoral counseling centers and training programs. In 2012, Reed published a book chapter, Trauma and Leadership and Successionin Trauma and Organizations, ed. E. Hoppper (Karnac Press). Retired from clinical practice, Dr. Reed supervises weekly case conferences and teaches at Presby Psych.
Ms. Mader-Adkins works clinically with adolescents, adults, couples and families and welcomes to her practice members of the LGBTQ communities She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at University of North Carolina Wilmington and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at University of North Carolina Charlotte where she was an Honor’s student and served as the Wellness Chair for UNCC’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, an international honor society of counseling professionals and counselors-in-training dedicated to excellent in scholarship, research. and clinical practice. As a couples counselor, Ms. Mader-Adkins is certified in Level 1 Gottman approach, a nationally respected model of couples therapy. Located at our Myers Park/Park Road office, she accepts Aetna and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Ms. Payne’s career combines experience in counseling, education and community leadership positions. A Stephen Minister and leader for years, she earned a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling at University of North Carolina Charlotte. At Presby Psych, Ms. Payne works clinically with adults and combines cognitive-behavioral therapy and relational psychodynamic approaches to guide the therapeutic journey. She is also attuned to the spiritual aspects of the human experience and welcomes spirituality into the therapeutic conversation when the client so wishes.She has worked with a wide variety of populations, including college students and female inmates at the Mecklenburg County Jail. She has offices at our South Park/Sharon Road location and accepts Aetna and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Rev. Piper is an ordained Presbyterian pastor and a pastoral psychotherapist specializing in clinical work with adults, adolescents, couples, snd families. He provides pre-marital counseling and works with couples clinically when marital problems arise. He also offers Marriage Wellness Checks, a short-term marriage check-up couples are recommended to pursue every few years to enhance marital strengths and to identify areas of discord before they become too advanced to heal. Piper received his M.Div. from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis and his M.A. from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, VA. He is also a graduate of the Carolina Institute for Clinical Pastoral Training and has a certificate as an Advanced Pastoral Specialist from Care and Counseling in St. Louis, MO. Piper has offices in Banner Elk, Concord and in Charlotte at our Myers Park/Park Road office and accepts Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Carolina Behavioral Health, and Cigna.
Ms. Hatzispiros is skilled in Child-Centered Play Therapy and is working towards becoming a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Georgia College & State University, Ms. Hatzispiros obtained a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Her clinical experience covers all age groups and a spectrum of mental health issues. Her office is located at our South Park-Sharon Road location, where she enjoys working with pre-schoolers, children, young professions, and adults. When seeing children, Ms. Hatzispiros often consults with educators and other providers in the child’s life. She accepts Aetna and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Ms. Alexander uses an integrative approach to her clinical work empowering clients to take a leadership role in their healing journey. Ms. Alexander earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Carolina, is a certified teacher of therapeutic yoga and is trained in the use of mindfulness based stress reduction techniques. Her background includes work with individual adults, adolescents and groups, cancer patients and families, Hospice bereavement, emotional eating, anxiety, depression, divorce and life transitions, survivors of domestic violence, trauma and sexual assault in a variety of settings. She previously was a Counselor with Safe Alliance where she developed expertise across a wide range of diagnostic populations and cultural backgrounds. Her office is at our Myers Park-Park Road location and she accepts Aetna and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.