Vice President of Program Services

Mary Beth Heaney-Garate
615.259.9055 ext. 305 ,

Mary Beth Heaney-Gárate, LCSW, is the Vice President of Programs at the Sexual Assault Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Ms. Heaney-Gárate comes to SAC with over  28 years in the field which includes experience  in direct service, managed care, government, and non-profit. Ms. Heaney-Gárate, previously served as the  Chief Clinical Officer at Renewal House where she spent the last 14 years overseeing treatment, prevention, and early intervention services for women, their children, and families affected by addiction, co-occurring mental health disorders, and trauma. In 2006, with leadership from Ms. Heaney-Gárate, Renewal House and the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services offices in Davidson County formed a groundbreaking collaboration. In 2009, Ms. Heaney-Gárate led implementation of the agency’s  first federally funded expansion.  In 2012, Ms. Heaney-Gárate was chief architect of the second successful proposal which enhanced the region’s capacity to serve women, children, and families by increasing services and through a partnership with the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services offices in 7 counties in the Mid-Cumberland Region. In both 2009 and 2012, Renewal House was one of just five family residential programs across the country to be awarded a Family Connection grant. In 2013 Ms. Heaney-Gárate was nationally recognized as a leader in the field when she was selected to participate in the Women’s Addiction Services Leadership Institute (WASLI). More recently she was nominated to Children and Family Futures for a Collaborative Excellence Award.  Ms. Heaney-Gárate is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She earned a Bachelor of Art and a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Ms. Heaney-Gárate has presented at the local, state, and national levels on a variety of topics including Family Residential Treatment, Motivational Interviewing, and Trauma Informed Care.   

Clinical Director

Rachel McRoberts, LPC-MHSP, NCC
615. 259.9055 ext. 315, 

Rachel is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), a TN Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Provider (LPC-MHSP), and a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S). After studying fine art, education, and psychology, she earned a Master’s in Art Therapy from Long Island University in 2002, and has since completed post graduate studies in sexuality and a variety of evidence based treatment modalities. Rachel has worked in a variety of settings, including an early childhood Montessori school, foster care agencies, residential treatment facilities, and community mental health centers.  Rachel was first affiliated with S.A.C. in 2009 as a Clinical Therapist, serving people of all ages, and accepted the Clinical Director position in 2017 due to her dedication to assisting S.A.C. in providing quality, client focused, trauma informed care. Her areas of specialty include destigmatizing mental health treatment, normalizing and understanding stress responses, and supporting resiliency, self inquiry, and growth through attachment work, mindfulness, and knowledge of healthy sexuality across the lifespan, including LGBTQIA+ support. She is active in The Nashville Alliance for Sexual Health (NASH), and the Association for Play Therapy (A4PT).

Clinical Supervisor and Therapist

Eric S. Fogle, LPC/MHSP
615.259.9055 ext. 313,

Eric is a Licensed Professional Counselor – Mental Health Service Provider. He received his undergraduate degree from Lipscomb University and his graduate degree from Tennessee State University and began working at the center in 1993. Eric has been licensed in Tennessee to provide therapy since 2010. His previous experience has been with rural mental health, family counseling focused on teenage issues, and with children in foster care. He provides therapy using a variety of clinical techniques for all client types at the S.A.C.: children, adolescents, adults, partners, non offending caregivers. Eric has received specialized training in Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and is Level 1 trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Kiersten Twitchell, LCSW
615. 259.9055 ext. 387,

Kiersten holds a Master’s in Social Work from New York University, and has received post graduate training in relational and focusing oriented psychotherapies.  After graduate school, Kiersten spent nearly 10 years in New York City providing therapy and advocacy services to survivors of various forms of trauma, including sexual assault, domestic/relationship abuse, community violence and human trafficking.  Kiersten has worked in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, and an outpatient mental health clinic.  Evidence based models include TF-CBT, EMDR (levels 1 and 2) and CPT, which she implements based on client need.  In addition to talk therapy, Kiersten provides the opportunity for clients to express themselves using art, play and movement, and has also taught interested clients how to knit as a form of coping and mindfulness.  Kiersten sees children, adolescents and adults in her practice.

Clinical Therapists

Jasmine J. Baptiste, LMFT
615.259.9055 ext. 308

Jasmine obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Tennessee State University and her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University. Jasmine has been employed with the Sexual Assault Center since March of 2014. Her role as a clinical therapist at S.A.C. is to provide counseling to special populations such as youth development centers and Tennessee Prison for Women. Jasmine also provides therapy to clients at S.A.C. and has been trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Level 1 and 2 trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). 

Leigh Ellen Bruce
615.259.9055 ext. 323,

Leigh Ellen completed her undergraduate education at Lipscomb University with a major in Psychology and her graduate education at MTSU with a Masters in Mental Health Counseling. Leigh Ellen comes to SAC from The Integrative Life Center, where she was a therapist. 

Alicia Bunch, LMSW
615.259.9055 ext. 345,

Alicia obtained her Masters in Social Work from the University of Tennessee in Nashville and her Bachelors in Family and Human Services from John Brown University. She is trained in Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and is Level 1 and 2 trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She is also bilingual in Spanish. She completed a clinical  internship at Sexual Assault Center in 2008-2009.  After finishing her internship and graduating, she moved to El Alto, Bolivia where she spent 4 years developing and implementing an after-care program for women and children affected by prostitution. She moved back to Nashville in 2013. Alicia has local experience working as an advocate with survivors of human trafficking in Nashville, TN and also has experience working with offenders at the John School in Nashville, TN. Alicia joined S.A.C. as Intake Specialist in February 2014 and became a full-time clinical therapist in the summer of 2014.

Catherine Johnson Furbish, LMSW
615.259.9055 ext. 337,

Catherine graduated from Tulane University in 2004 with a BA in Art History and a minor in English. She earned her Masters in Social Work in 2013 at the University of Tennessee and completed requirements for her LMSW soon after. After completing her clinical concentration internship with S.A.C., Catherine was hired as Intake Specialist in 2013 and then as a full-time clinical therapist in 2014. Catherine works with adolescent and adult survivors of sexual abuse and many other forms of trauma using a variety of interventions, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC), and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).

Cassie Gibbons (Clarksville Office)
931-503-7287 Ext: 12,

Cassie earned her M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University (2012).  Postgraduate, Cassie earned her National Certified Counselor (NCC) credentialing.  In 2013, Cassie began to pursue a doctorate in counseling from Capella University.  She is currently ABD and is working on her approved dissertation.  Before joining the SAC Clarksville team in September 2016, her previous experience ranges from acute inpatient, adolescent residential treatment, and psych liaison in the emergency room.  Cassie works with children, adolescents, and adults using various modalities such as Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).  She is currently pursuing Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Provider status.         

Barbara Hessel, Ed.D, LMSW 
615.259.9055 ext. 340,

Barbara obtained her Masters of Social Work and Trauma Treatment Certification from the University of Tennessee in Nashville after having obtained an Ed.D in Child, Youth, and Human Services and a MS in Education in 2001 from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Barbara works with survivors of rape, adult survivors, and adolescents. She is a Jungian Sandplay Practitioner and has also completed EMDR Level 1 and 2 training. Currently, Barbara is pursuing training and practice in Somatic Experiencing. Barbara is also trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and the Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency Framework (ARC) as well as having obtained training as a Stewards of Children bilingual facilitator. 

Lisa Lyons, LCSW
615. 259.9055 ext. 329,

Lisa specializes in working with adult men and women abused as children. She also works with those who have been raped, are non-offending parents, as well as with adolescents. She has a certification in the “mind body” connection and incorporates body healing with the healing of emotions and spirit. Lisa is certified in EMDR Level II (as well as Comprehesive Resource Modeling – a form of brain spotting) and Hypnotherapy, has worked at an intensive outpatient level with eating disorders and is DBT certified. 

Maeven Miller, LCSW, MSW
615.259.905 ext. 331,

Maeven holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Community Development from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Master of Social Work degree with a focus on Mental Health and Addiction from Indiana University. She currently holds a license as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). She is trained in Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and is Level 1 and 2 trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and enjoys utilizing an integrated approach toward all clients. Maeven’s work is also influenced by her training in play therapy and appreciation for Relational-Cultural Therapy that promotes the journey out of isolation and into connection with others as central in the healing process. Before coming on board at SAC, Maeven worked in a variety of settings including psychiatric inpatient care, schools, and community non-profit organizations. Areas of specialty include trauma and its impact on family, relationships, attachment, self-concept, and spirituality. Maeven sees children, adolescents, and adults in her practice.

Vince Parrish, LCSW
615.259.9055 ext. 306,

Vince is a licensed clinical social worker, therapist and educator. He holds graduate degrees from Peabody College and the University of Tennessee College of Social Work. He has been an adjunct professor at Belmont University and the University of Tennessee College of Social Work. Vince incorporates elements of various therapeutic approaches when working with adults with trauma, substance abuse and mental health needs. A survivor himself, Vince is honored to assist others whose lives have been impacted by sexual trauma.

Emily Simpson, LPC-MHSP
615.259.9055 ext. 320,

Emily is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Mental Health Service Provider designation. She received a MAEd in Counseling from Wake Forest University in 2003, and her undergraduate degree in Psychology from James Madison University in 2000. Emily joined S.A.C. as a Clinical Therapist in 2015. She has provided counseling in the trauma field for over a decade including providing therapy for children and their families while in residential treatment, and school-based therapy with children and families in high risk areas. Emily incorporates a variety of therapeutic interventions to best fit her clients’ needs. She is passionate about helping clients realize their innate worth and to tap into their own strengths to achieve their goals. Emily has specialized training in Play Therapy, Sand Tray Therapy, Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC model), EMDR (Level 1 – trained), and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).  

Stephanie Shinbaum, LPC-MHSP
615.259.9055 ext. 311,

Stephani is a Licensed Professional Counselor with Mental Health Service Provider designation (LPC-MHSP) and National Certified Counselor (NCC). She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Middle Tennessee State University with a major is Psychology and Master’s in Mental Health Counseling. She comes to the Sexual Assault Center following 3 years of work as a primary therapist at the Integrative Life Center where she provided intensive outpatient services to adult clients recovering from many types of trauma and sexual violence, addiction/substance abuse, eating disorders, codependency, and other co-occurring issues.  Stephani believes in approaching healing from a holistic perspective that integrates mind, body, and spirit and utilizes many mindfulness and experientially-based interventions including EMDR (Level 2-trained), psychodrama, breath-work, meditation, and body-centered therapy. Stephani also has training using CBT, DBT, and motivational interviewing techniques. 

Nicolette Tomaszewski, M.S. (Clarksville office)
931.241.4143 ext. 11,

Nicolette earned her bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies from Austin Peay State University in May 2009. After working as an adult Case Manager for Mental Health Cooperative, she returned to Austin Peay and graduated with a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling in August 2013.  Nicolette completed her internship at Cumberland Heights where she worked with in-patient adolescents dealing with addiction. She then moved on to Centerstone as a School-Based therapist working in the elementary and high schools in Cheatham County. Nicolette also spent time working at Fort Campbell, helping service members and their family transition out of the military. She has recently joined S.A.C. to be the therapist in the new Clarksville officeand is currently in the process of earning her license.  Nicolette works with all ages and is trained in CPT, TF-CBT, and EMDR 1.

Bianca Younan, M.S. (Nashville and Clarksville Offices)
615.259.9055 ext. 373,

Bianca received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and her Master of Science degree in clinical psychology from California State University Fullerton. During her undergraduate career she worked as a rape crisis intern at The Women’s Center, a rape crisis center and domestic violence shelter in southern Illinois. Upon completion she was offered and accepted a position as a domestic violence shelter crisis worker there. As a requirement for her graduate degree, she completed her practicum as a marriage and family therapist trainee at Straight Talk, Inc., a community mental health clinic in southern California. Bianca works with children, adolescents, and adults. She utilizes evidence-based interventions including; CPT, EMDR, TF-CBT, ARC, and play therapy. Bianca is bilingual in Spanish and has joined SAC as a bilingual clinical therapist at both the Nashville and Clarksville locations. She is currently in the process of obtaining her license to become a licensed professional counselor – mental health service provider.  

Our Advocates

Katherine Garcia, BSW- Bilingual Victim Advocate

P: (615) 258-5851 F: (615)259-9056  E:

Sarah Orton- Advocate

P: (615) 258-5867  F: (615) 259-9056 E:

Alexandra Denis- Advocate

Akua Forkuo-Sekyere- Advocate

Heather Meshell- Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator: Davidson, Williamson & Cheatham Counties

P: (615) 259-9055 ext 330 F: (615) 259-9056 E:     

Jessica Labenberg- Advocacy Director

P: (615) 259-9055 ext. 343 F: (615)259-9056 E:

Crisis & Support Line
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