Meet Our Staff

Leadership


Tova Kreps, LCSW; President & Co-Founder

Tova is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the President and Co-Founder of Wellspring Counseling. She has been practicing as a therapist with families, couples, individuals and children for the past 26 years. She is a Qualified Counseling Supervisor in the state of Florida. Tova particularly specializes in trauma and recovery work. She has taught trauma courses at Miami International Seminary and Trinity International University, is a practitioner of EMDR Therapy, and is a Trauma Specialist. She has done public speaking and teaching for conferences, workshops, retreats, churches, schools and small groups. Tova's prior work experience also includes school counseling at Westminster Christian School, clinical work with emotionally disturbed foster children, and domestic violence. Tova is married and a mother of three.

Christine Schlottman, LMHC, Co-Founder

Christine is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Wellspring Counseling. She specializes in issues regarding grief and loss as well as abuse and trauma. She is a Certified Practitioner of EMDR Therapy and a Certified Trauma Specialist. She counsels adults, couples and families and offers her services in English and Spanish. She is a Qualified Counseling Supervisor in the state of Florida. 

Christine has taught in the counseling program at Trinity International University and has led workshops on a variety of mental-health topics in the U.S. and in Latin America. Christine's work experience also includes counseling and teaching children in a school setting at Christ Fellowship Academy. Christine has served as a missionary for over 30 years. Having lived abroad, she understands both the demands of ministry and the complexities of life in a cross-cultural context, and has counseled both immigrants and other Christian workers. Christine is married and a mother of three.

Dr. Leigh Byers, Executive Director

Leigh Byers is the Executive Director of Wellspring Counseling. She will manage the day-to-day operations of the organization’s four locations. Leigh has a Doctorate of Business Administration in Leadership from Walden University, a Master of Arts in Management & Leadership from Liberty University and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs from Rollins College. For the past 15 years, she has served as a Ministry Director, specialized in programs for women, children, and families. Before joining Wellspring as the Executive Director, Leigh served as a board member.Leigh is married and a mother of two.

Clinical Team


Vicki Gray, LCSW

Vicki is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker currently working as a therapist at Wellspring Counseling and a faculty Member at Florida International University (FIU). She has devoted the past 15 years working as a counselor to individuals, couples, families and groups experiencing death, divorce, change, parenting and relationship issues. She specialized in working with individuals (and their caregivers) coping with illness or those facing end of life issues, as she worked as a bereavement specialist for South Miami Hospital for 12 years. Vicki has been teaching at FIU in the School of Social Work for the past 10 years where she enjoys educating, preparing and mentoring future counselors. She has extensive public speaking experience and has presented on a variety of subject areas to private and public organizations, schools and churches. She has been married for 20 years and is a mother of three daughters.

Lyle Green, RMHC

Lyle is a Registered Mental Health Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist Intern. He also has his Masters in Theological Studies from Wheaton Graduate School. Lyle specializes in personal, marital and family counseling. His many years as a counselor and pastor, equip him to support individuals and families through times of crisis or distress. Lyle has many years of experience in the field in pastoral and clinical counseling, leadership development, writing, preaching and teaching. He has worked as an Associate Pastor for University Baptist Church for 10 years, and at Westminster Christian School for 18 years as a chaplain, leader and teacher. Lyle is married with one adult child.

Heather Hendry, LMHC

Heather is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and the Trauma Resolution Program (TRP) Coordinator for Wellspring. She received her MS in Professional Counseling from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. As a therapist, Heather has experience with adolescents, adult individuals, and families. Although she has a passion to assist victims of trauma and abuse in finding healing and restoration, she has been trained to help clients dealing with a wide range of issues including self harm, behavioral difficulties in adolescents, family conflict, body image distress, domestic and dating violence, divorce and transitional adjustments, grief and loss, as well as anxiety and depression. Heather is a Certified Practitioner of EMDR Therapy and has been trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and multiple safety-focused techniques. Heather has been married for three years.

Monica Snyder, LMFT

Monica is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She holds a BA from Covenant College in Psychology and a MA in Marriage and Family Counseling from Richmont University. Monica is a Qualified Counseling Supervisor for Mental Health and Marriage and Family Therapy. 

Monica enjoys working with individuals but her specialties include working with children, adolescent and parenting. She has experience dealing with a wide variety of issues including depression, anxiety, ADHD, grief and loss, social skills and parent child relationships. Monica has training in Trauma Focused CBT, DBT and is completing her certification for EMDR. During this training, she has largely focused on working with children, adolescent and couples using this powerful tool. She is trained to provide couples' and premarital counseling. Monica is married and has three children. 

Elizabeth Taquechel, LCSW

Elizabeth is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been practicing as a therapist with individuals, couples, families and children for the past 25 years and offers her services in English and Spanish. She is trained in EMDR. She specializes in working with adults and children in trauma and recovery work, as well as grief and loss. She also treats children, adolescents and their families dealing with anxiety, social phobia, specific phobia and separation anxiety. She also offers academic support to middle school and high school students that are dealing with inattention and hyperactivity. Elizabeth also specializes in sexual integrity and character building (for teenagers). She has a special affinity with public speaking and teaching at workshops, schools and small groups. Her prior work experience also includes behavioral consultation and clinical work with children of divorce. She has worked at the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University, where she taught parenting strategy courses. Elizabeth is married and a mother of two.

Christianne Porta, LMFT

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Christianne is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has a Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy and School Counseling from Carlos Albizu University. Christianne has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families dealing with depression, anxiety, and trauma. She has a passion for the science of humanity, vulnerability, and empathy and believes that therapy is a safe space where we can empower others with a different perspective regarding the meaning of our struggles. Christianne desires to see her clients discover the infinite power of resilience that lies within them and their courage to heal. She’s been working in the field for over 5 years and is trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), EMDR, and Trauma-Focused CBT. She provides therapy in both English and Spanish. Christianne is a native of San Francisco, California of Hispanic decent, has been married for 12 years, and is the mother of two boys. She loves to exercise and eat Chinese food. 

Carmine Vidaña, LMHC

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Carmine is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She earned a B.A. degree in Christian Ministry, and an M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology, both from Trinity International University. Carmine specializes in working with couples who are struggling with their marriages, individuals dealing with relational conflicts and mood disorders, as well as adults and children who are suffering with unresolved trauma. She is trained in EMDR, Gottman method for couples, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy, a specialized treatment for adults suffering from trauma.  As a former social worker, Carmine has long advocated for the well-being of survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Along with her husband, she enjoys offering pre-marital counseling at her local church, where she has served for over twenty five years. Carmine is the mother of one adult child, and is fluent in English and Spanish.





Nicole Velez, LMHC

Nicole is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She completed her BS at the University of Miami with a double major in Sociology and Communications. She went on to graduate from Carlos Albizu University with an MS. in Psychology. She has hospital psychiatric experience working with children, teens, and adults in crisis. She has also worked in both private practice and Community Mental Health Agency settings, offering therapeutic services in both English and Spanish. Before joining Wellspring Counseling, Nicole worked for 3 years at Caring for Miami. Nicole specializes in working with clients dealing with mood disorders, interpersonal conflict, loss and grief. She is trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Nicole is trained in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy which entails the use of horses to help clients heal from trauma and develop new relationship skills. She is also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement desensitization reprocessing therapy), a therapy used to help clients work through trauma and PTSD symptoms. Along with her husband, she is also involved in a nonprofit organization bringing hope to families who have been displaced from their homes in Colombia. She has been married for eleven years and has two children.

Patricia Salow, LMHC

Patricia is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Wellspring offering therapy in English and Spanish. She has a Masters in Practical Theology, a Masters in Mental Health Counseling, and is a certified Spiritual Director, all from St. Thomas University. Patricia specializes in working with men, women, children and their families who have experienced emotional, physical, or sexual abuse as well as any other type of trauma. Patricia is EMDR trained. She also has experience assisting others in the recovery process of loss and grief, divorce, life transitions and mood disorders. Patricia has worked with children in support groups of domestic violence, and co- designed and facilitated a holistic women's group for survivors of sexual abuse. Patricia has been involved in church ministry for over 20 years, especially in women's ministry. She is a mother of 3 adult children and has 3 grandchildren.

Tricia Searels, LMHC

Tricia is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts in Counseling and Counseling Psychology from Auburn University. As a therapist, Tricia enjoys helping clients feel empowered to achieve their goals. She has worked with a variety of mental health issues and feels passionate about helping clients with depression, anxiety, adjustment issues, sport psychology, relationships, social issues, self-harm, and eating disorders. She has worked with young adults in the University setting, including the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University. She has also worked with adults in private practice and nonprofit organizations. She is EMDR trained. Tricia is married and the mother of two daughters.

Lilliane Farinazo, LMHC

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Lilliane is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor therapists and she holds a M.S. degree in Counseling Psychology from Florida International University. Lilliane has a passion for helping families to overcome challenges, improve interpersonal relationships, and improve quality of life.  Lilliane is experienced in providing individual, family, and marital counseling services. She has also worked with children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders. Lilliane has received extensive training and experience in the Gottman method for couples counseling. Lilliane has been married since 1997 and has 2 children. She is fluent in Portuguese, English and conversational in Spanish.




Lindsey Steffen, LMHC

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Lindsey is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Wellspring Counseling. She received her MA in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a specialization in Trauma Counseling and extensive experience working with adolescent and adult survivors of trauma and abuse. Much of this work has been with individuals healing from the sex industry and exploitation. She has worked in diverse settings, including inpatient treatment centers and private practice. She has experience addressing a wide variety of concerns, including: PTSD and dissociation, drug/alcohol addiction, anxiety, depression, domestic violence, trauma bonding, severe mental diagnoses, eating disorders, self harm and lack of emotion regulation. She is trained in EMDR therapy as well as Trauma Focused CBT. Lindsey is passionate about helping clients achieve lasting change in their lives, so they may experience freedom and be proud of the person they are.


   Beth Assis, RMHC

Beth graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University in 1999.  She also has a Masters in International Education from Framingham State University (2008) and a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University (2014).  Beth has a passion for working with people and seeing healing occur in her clients’ lives.  She’s been in the field since 2013 and is experienced with working with trauma, anxiety and depression, couples' therapy, and support groups for women. Beth is trained in EMDR and Gottman method for couples' therapy, and has experience working with adults and couples.    She’s been in ministry alongside her husband for 20 years and has a heart for providing counseling services to ministry families. Her husband is a pastor at a church in Miami.  She offers therapy in English and Portuguese.  She has been married for 18 years and has four children.

Angela Gonzalez, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

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Angela is a registered Mental Health Counselor intern.  She has a Master of Arts in Counseling and Psychology, and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Trinity International University. As a therapist, Angela has training in Integrative Behavioral Health, which takes into consideration medical conditions and related behavioral health care factors that affect one’s health and wellbeing.  Angela has worked with adults, adolescents and children and has experience working with a wide variety of mental health concerns, including: anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma, anger management and emotion regulation. She also has experience counseling addiction and substance abuse both in individual and group settings. Angela strives to look at the “whole person,” using a mixture of treatment modalities which may include CBT, DBT, ACT and mindfulness-based interventions aiming to help clients make positive changes in their lives. Angela has been married for 12 years and has two daughters.


Mark Macgowan PhD, Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

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Mark is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a qualified supervisor of therapist interns. He has substantial clinical experience most recently with helping people affected by disasters and other traumatic events. He serves nationally as a mental health specialist with a federal disaster medical assistance team (DMAT). Mark is a trainer of psychological first aid and is an EMDR therapist, an evidence based therapy for persons affected by traumatic events. In addition to his clinical experience, Mark is a tenured professor and associate dean at Florida International University. He advances the science of helping as a therapist scholar. He has over sixty publications, most in rigorous peer-reviewed journals and several books with scholarly publishers including Oxford University Press. He serves on the editorial boards of scholarly journals and is on the executive committee of the International Association of Social Work with Groups.”  


Juan Finlay, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

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Juan is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern.  He received his Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Trinity International University and a Masters of Divinity from Knox Theological Seminary. Juan provides counseling services in English and Spanish to individuals, couples, and families. He also serves as a minister at Christ the King Anglican Church, where he provides counseling services to members of his congregation. Juan is married and has one child. 





Erik Williams, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, EMDR Trained

Erik is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern. He has a Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Trinity International University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. Erik has worked with college students for 20 years, specializing in mentoring college students and helping students with career counseling, depressing, grief and family issues. Additionally, He has worked with students and adults on issues such as divorce, relationships, depression, PTSD, parenting children with special needs, men's issues and addiction, among other things.  Erik is EMDR trained. His father is a Vietnam Veteran and his brother is in the Air Force. Erik has been married for 16 years and is a father of three children (13, 10 and 8 yrs old). 

Yasamin Nosrati-Shamloo, RMHC, BOUNCE! Coordinator

Yasamin is a Registered Mental Health Counselor and the Clinical Coordinator for Wellspring’s BOUNCE Trauma-Resolution program. She received her MS in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Miami, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Florida. As a clinician, Yasamin has experience with children, adolescents, and adult individuals, specifically in trauma recovery. Yasamin is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy, a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of distressing life experiences. Although she is passionate in assisting survivors of trauma find healing and restoration, she is also trained in addressing a wide variety of concerns including: PTSD, anxiety, depression, ADHD, severe mental diagnoses, and lack of emotion regulation. She strives to help others overcome hardships and live a life full of purpose, strength, joy, and peace of mind.

Esther V. Gomez, Student Intern

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Esther is currently in her practicum year with Wellspring and is completing the required course work for a Master’s of Counseling Psychology at Trinity International University. She received her Master’s of Arts in Human Service Counseling at Liberty International University. She also received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology at Florida International University. Esther has developed a passion for trauma focused therapies (TF-CBT, DBT, and Narrative Therapy) to help victims of childhood sexual abuse and survivors of human trafficking. She desires for individuals to discover wholeness and healing from a holistic point of view spiritually, mentally, and physically. Esther has had many years of community involvement both locally and globally. Esther has demonstrated acts of love and kindness during short-term mission trips to at-risk children and adolescent in Haiti, Cuba, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic. While in South Asia, Esther mentored trafficked women by applying the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking curriculum called Hands That Heal. Esther's life motto is to embrace and accept people for who they were created to be. Esther has been happily married for 2 years and is a dog-mom to Tucker and Mylo. 

Jacob Williams, Student Intern

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Jacob is a Student Intern pursuing his Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Trinity International University.  He received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Marketing from Mississippi State University.  Jacob managed a high-energy group fitness center in Coral Gables for over 3 years and is passionate about helping people become the healthiest version of themselves through physical fitness and professional counseling.  He is currently serving as the Director of Guest Services at Christ Journey Church in Coral Gables, and he spends time each week mentoring teenagers at local high schools as an Intern for Miami Youth for 

Christ. Jacob has been blissfully married for over a year.


Jessidra Coleman, Student Intern

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Jessidra is a native of Miami and completed her undergraduate degree in Human Services Counseling at Liberty University in Virginia, where she is in the process of receiving her Master’s degree in Professional Counseling.  For more than 10 years, she has worked in the medical field providing social services for children with special needs and their families.   She has worked as an advocate promoting early intervention services for young children and has served on various community boards in Miami and Monroe County ensuring that appropriate supports were made accessible for families.  Jessidra is passionate about helping those in need and has a special interest in working with human trafficking victims and teenagers.  As a believer, she is dedicated to enriching the lives of others by helping them to reclaim the joy and hope in life, despite the challenges that are faced.

Elizabeth Fulton, Student Intern

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Elizabeth is a student intern currently in the process of receiving her Master’s degree from Wake Forest University. She is interested in using a holistic perspective to help individuals and couples live healthy and fulfilling lives. She’s also interested in working with individuals facing life transitions or adjustments; multicultural couples navigating the blending of two experiences and perspectives; career counseling; and those working in ministry. Elizabeth has been active in the local church for many years (although she lived in South Africa for 3.5 years) and has worked with various non-profit organizations to provide physical, emotional, and monetary support to those in need. She also served in the ministry for one year in Johannesburg, South Africa, leading bible studies, providing guidance, and working with a local non-profit.  Although originally from Miami,  she’s lived in Boston, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Johannesburg, South Africa. Elizabeth has been married for almost six years and has two basset hounds, Rolo and Twix. 


Administration


Reta Singh, Office Manager

Reta is the Office Manager at Wellspring, managing the operations of all four locations and also providing excellent customer service to clients as well as staff. She brings over a decade of business development and operations experience to Wellspring having co-founded a family business. She mastered effective communications while working as a Liaison between departments at Jackson Memorial Hospital International. Reta graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management from the University of West Indies in her native Jamaica. She also has an MBA from Florida International University. She faithfully serves in her church and has a passion for the ministry of Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, where she serves as the Area Coordinator for the local Miami Team of volunteers. 

Aileen Newell, Billing Manager

Aileen is Wellspring's Medical Insurance Specialist, helping our clients with all of their insurance needs and working with providers to better serve them. She was a Claims Variance Analyst for Baptist Health Systems of South Florida, and brings over 20 years of medical billing experience to Wellspring. She has a passion for youth at her Church and she and her husband host a small group for couples. Aileen is married and a mother of two boys.

 

 

 

 

Lisa Dilan, Office Assistant

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Lisa brings over 20 years of customer service to our Wellspring Office. She has a passion for helping and serving others. Lisa currently serves as the Weekend Coordinator at her church and Administrative Assistant to the Senior Pastor. She’s been married for 4 years and is the proud mother of a 20 year old aspiring make-up artist and two fur babies. 

 

 

 

 

 


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