Vice President of Program Services

Mary Beth Heaney-Garate
615.259.9055 ext. 305, mheaney-garate@sacenter.org

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 the implementation of the agency ’s first federally funded expansion.  In 2012, Ms. Heaney-Gárate was the 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 Supervisors and Therapists

Eric S. Fogle, LPC/MHSP

615.259.9055 ext. 313, efogle@sacenter.org

Eric has been with SAC since 1993. He received his undergraduate degree from Lipscomb University and his graduate degree from Tennessee State.  His previous experience has been with rural mental health, family counseling focused on teenage issues, and with children in foster care. 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). Eric sees children, adolescents, adults, partners, non-offending caregivers in his practice.

Kiersten Twitchell, LCSW

615. 259.9055 ext. 387, ktwitchell@sacenter.org

Kiersten has been with SAC since 2016. She received her Master’s in Social Work from New York University, after receiving her Bachelor's in Social Work from Lipscomb University. Following graduate school, Kiersten spent 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 completed the 2-year post graduate training at the Focusing Oriented Relational Psychotherapy Institute in Manhattan, and her primary emphasis is on creating safety within the therapist/client relationship. In addition, to talk therapy, Kiersten provides the opportunity within the session for clients to explore art, play, yoga, and other forms of movement and has also taught interested clients how to knit as a form of coping and mindfulness. Evidence-based models include EMDR, TF-CBT, ARC, and CPT, which she implements based on client need. Kiersten sees children, adolescents, and adults in her practice.

Clinical Therapists

Elizabeth Andersen, MS Candidate for LPC-MHSP

615.259.9055 ext. 316, eandersen@sacenter.org

Elizabeth joined SAC in 2017. She received her undergraduate degree from Dominican University, an MBA from the University of Chicago and an MS from Lipscomb University with a certificate in Play Therapy.  Her previous counseling experience has been in group private practice working with children, teens, parents, and families.  Elizabeth has received specialized training in trauma-informed, attachment-based modalities including Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), Theraplay, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT), Filial Play Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Integrative Restoration (iRest) Yoga Nidra.  Elizabeth sees children, adolescents, adults, parents and other non-offending caregivers.

Jasmine J. Baptiste, LMFT

615.259.9055 ext. 308,jbaptiste@sacenter.org

Jasmine has been with SAC since 2014. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Tennessee State University and her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University, 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). Jasmine provides counseling to special populations such as youth development centers and Tennessee Prison for Women, as well as clients at the center.

Alicia Bunch, LMSW

615.259.9055 ext. 345, abunch@sacenter.org

Alicia has been with SAC since 2014. She received 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), Level 1 and 2 trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Level 1 certified in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. She is bilingual in English and Spanish. Alicia has local experience working as an advocate for survivors of human trafficking in Nashville and working with offenders at the John School in Nashville. Alicia sees children, adolescents and adults in her practice, including Spanish-speaking clients. Alicia also provides counseling at the Hispanic Family Foundation on Thursdays.

Alexandra Damiano, NCC/MT-BC

615.259.9055 ext.312, adamiano@sacenter.org

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Alex has been with the SAC since 2016. She received her undergraduate degree in Music Therapy from Ohio University and her graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Vanderbilt University. Her previous experience has been with hospice agencies, acute psychiatric care facilities, public schools, and non-profit community centers. Although Alex works with people of all backgrounds, she specializes in sex-positive, client-centered therapy and outreach for those of marginalized gender, sexual, and/or romantic identities. Alex serves adults, teens, relationship partners, and non-offending family members in her practice.

Catherine Johnson Furbish, LMSW

615.259.9055 ext. 337, cfurbish@sacenter.org

Catherine has been with SAC since 2014. She received her MSSW from the University of Tennessee in 2013. She graduated from Tulane University with her BA in art history in 2004.  Catherine uses a variety of interventions, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC), and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). In addition, Catherine is level II trained in EMDR and currently completing her advanced certification. She works with adolescent and adults in her practice.

LaToya Johnson, MSW-Clinical Therapist, and African American Outreach

(615) 259.9055 EXT. 326, ljohnson@sacenter.org

LaToya has been with SAC since 2017. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Memphis and her Master of Science degree in social work from the University of Tennessee. She is currently in the process of obtaining licensure. LaToya has experience working primarily with youth and families providing residential treatment and in-home crisis intervention work. At SAC, LaToya has two roles. When she is in the office, LaToya serves as a clinical therapist working with adults and adolescents utilizing evidence-based interventions including CPT, EMDR, TF-CBT, and ARC. When she is in the community, LaToya serves as African American outreach coordinator providing education about sexual assault and decreasing barriers to services by identifying and building relationships with community partners

Cassie Gibbons (Clarksville Office)

931-503-7287 Ext: 12, cgibbons@sacenter.org

Cassie joined the SAC Clarksville’s team in 2016. She received her M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University and her National Certified Counselor (NCC) credentialing. Her previous experience ranges from acute inpatient, adolescent residential treatment, and psych liaison in the emergency room.  Cassie uses various evidenced-based modalities such as Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Level II Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).  She is currently pursuing Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Provider status.  Cassie sees children, adolescents, and adults in her practice.       

Barbara Hessel, Ed.D, LMSW

615.259.9055 ext. 340, bhessel@sacenter.org

Barbara has been with SAC since 2014. She received her Masters of Social Work and Trauma Treatment Certification from the University of Tennessee in Nashville after having obtained an Ed.D in Child and Youth Services and an MS in Education in 2001 from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Her doctoral dissertation focused on voice, agency, and self-authorization with adolescent girls, aspects necessary for helping clients move toward integration and empowerment. She is a Jungian Sandplay Practitioner (SP) and has also completed EMDR Level 1 and 2 training. Currently, Barbara is pursuing certification through training and practice in Somatic Experiencing. She is also trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), SomEX, and the Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency Framework (ARC). Further, she also has training as a Stewards of Children bilingual facilitator and was a certified Rule, 31 Mediator.  Barbara sees adolescents and adults in her practice.

Lisa Lyons, LCSW

615. 259.9055 ext. 329, llyons@sacenter.org

Lisa has been with SAC since 2003. 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 Comprehensive Resource Modeling – a form of brain spotting) and Hypnotherapy, has worked at an intensive outpatient level with eating disorders and is DBT certified. 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 in her practice.

Maeven Miller, LCSW, MSW

615.259.905 ext. 331, mmiller@sacenter.org

Maeven has been with SAC since 2016. She received her 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). Areas of specialty include trauma and its impact on family, relationships, attachment, self-concept, and spirituality. 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). 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. Maeven sees children, adolescents, and adults in her practice.

Vince Parrish, LCSW

615.259.9055 ext. 306, vparrish@sacenter.org

Vince has been with SAC since 2016.   He received his graduate degrees from Peabody College and the University of Tennessee College of Social Work and is a licensed clinical social worker, therapist, and educator. Vince sees adults in his practice.

Michael Samis, LMSW

615. 259.9055 ext. 323, msamis@sacenter.org

Michael has been with SAC since 2017. He received his Master’s in Social work from the University of Tennessee College of Social Work and also is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). He specializes in working with adult and teenage survivors of trauma and sexual violence. Michael has comprehensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD and anxiety disorders. He also has specialized training in mindfulness-based approaches, somatic approaches, and the Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC) model for treating traumatic stress in teens and children. Michael has a particular passion for serving the LGBTQ communities.

Christi Sidwell, MSW- Clinical Therapist and Education Curriculum Manager

Phone: 615-258-5875, csidwell@sacenter.org

Christi has been with SAC since 2014. She received her Bachelor degrees in Social Work and Communications from Belmont University and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Tennessee. Christi uses a variety of integrated approaches and interventions, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC), Mindfulness, and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Christi’s work is also influenced by her appreciation for the mind-body connection, which is reflected in the opportunities within sessions for clients to explore forms of movement through art, play, yoga, and etc. She works with adolescent and adult survivors of sexual trauma in her practice.

Emily Simpson, LPC-MHSP

615.259.9055 ext. 320, esimpson@sacenter.org

Emily has been with SAC since 2015. She received a MEd in Counseling from Wake Forest University in 2003, and her undergraduate degree in Psychology from James Madison University in 2000 and is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Mental Health Service Provider designation. 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 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).  Emily sees children, adolescents, and adults in her practice.

Stephanie Shinbaum, LPC-MHSP

615.259.9055 ext. 311, sshinbaum@sacenter.org

Stephani has been with SAC since 2016. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Middle Tennessee State University with a major in Psychology and Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor with Mental Health Service Provider designation (LPC-MHSP) and National Certified Counselor (NCC). She has multiple years of work as a primary therapist to adult clients recovering from many types of trauma and sexual violence, addiction/substance abuse, eating disorders, codependency, and other co-occurring issues.  Stephani 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.  She sees adults in her practice.

Nicolette Tomaszewski, LPC (Clarksville office)

931.241.4143 ext. 11, ntomaszewski@sacenter.org

Nicolette has been with SAC since 2015. She received her bachelor's in Psychology with a minor in Women's Studies along with her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Austin Peay State University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Nicolette is the lead therapist at the Clarksville Sexual Assault Center. She is trained in Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), play therapy and is Level 1 and 2 trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Nicolette sees children, adolescents, adults, partners, and non-offending caregivers in her practice.

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

615.259.9055 ext. 373,byounan@sacenter.org

Bianca has been with SAC since 2017.  She 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. She has experience in community mental health, rape crisis, and domestic violence work.  She utilizes evidence-based interventions including; CPT, EMDR, TF-CBT, ARC, art therapy, 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 also works at Hispanic Family Foundation. She is currently in the process of obtaining her license to become a licensed professional counselor-mental health service provider.  Bianca sees adolescents and adults in her practice.

Our Advocates

Sarah Orton- Advocacy Services Coordinator

P: (615) 258-5867  F: (615) 259-9056 E: sorton@sacenter.org

Katherine Garcia, BSW- Bilingual Victim Advocate

P: (615) 258-5851 F: (615)259-9056  E: kgarcia@sacenter.org

Alexandra Denis- Advocate

P: (615) 258-5869 F: (615)259-9056 E: adenis@sacenter.org

Akua Forkuo-Sekyere- Advocate

P: (615) 632-6692 F: (615)250-9056 E: aforkuo-sekyere@sacenter.org


Heather Meshell- Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator: Davidson, Williamson & Cheatham CountiesAkua Forkuo-Sekyere- Advocate

P: (615) 259-9055 ext 330 F: (615) 259-9056 E: hmeshell@sacenter.org     

Lisa Wise- Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator: Montgomery County

P: (931)241-4501 F:931-241-4003 E: lwise@sacenter.org

Crisis & Support Line
1-800-879-1999
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