Clinical Supervisors and Therapists

Alicia Bunch Vargas, LCSW, RPT, Clinical Co-Director & Bilingual Therapist

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.

Emily Simpson, LPC-MHSP, RPT-S, Clinical Co-Director & Therapist

Emily has been with SAC since 2015. She received an 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.

Clinical Therapists

Eric S. Fogle, LPC-MHSP, Senior Clinical Therapist and Intake & Clinical Internship Coordinator

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.

Elizabeth Andersen, MS Candidate for LPC-MHSP, Clinical Therapist

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.

Alexandra Damiano, NCC, MT-BC, Clinical Therapist & Sex Positive Outreach 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.

Lisa Lyons, LCSW, Contract Clinical Therapist

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.

Michael Samis, LCSW, Clinical Therapist

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 currently practices as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). He specializes in working with adult survivors of complex trauma and sexual violence. Michael is a certified therapist in Somatic and Attachment-Focused Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (SAFE-EMDR) therapy. He is also comprehensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD and anxiety disorders. Michael celebrates cultural diversity, believing strongly in a creative, client-centered approach to healing that is unique within each therapeutic relationship. Having a particular passion for serving members of the LGBTQ community, Michael serves on SAC’s Sex-Positive Client Services Outreach team.

Christi Sidwell, LMSW, Clinical Therapist

Christi has been with SAC since 2014. She received her Bachelor's degree 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.

Bianca Younan, LPC-MHSP, Bilingual Clinical Therapist & Hispanic Client Services Outreach Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

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; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (ARC), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Art/Play Therapy, and utilizes mindfulness techniques as well. Bianca is multicultural and bilingual in Spanish. She has joined the team as a bilingual clinical therapist at SAC’s main office and at Hispanic Family Foundation. Bianca primarily sees Spanish-speaking adolescents and adults in her practice. She is also part of the Hispanic Client Services team at SAC and is passionate about serving and bringing awareness on the impact of sexual violence in the Latinx/Hispanic community.

Mariah Shepard, Clinical Therapist & African American Outreach

Mariah has been with SAC since 2019. Prior to this, she worked in community mental health for 3 years where she served as a psychosocial educator. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Jarvis Christian College and her Master of Education in professional counseling with a specialization in clinical mental health counseling from Middle Tennessee State University. She has experience in community mental health, rape crisis, trauma interventions, and mindfulness techniques. She utilizes evidence-based interventions including; EMDR, TF-CBT, and art therapy. She serves teens and adults in her practice. Mariah works with the Black Client Services team at SAC where she works with community partners developing and executing outreach and awareness events. Mariah has a personal passion for reaching inadequately served populations that have a demonstrated need but may be lacking in resources and access. She is currently in the process of obtaining her license to become a licensed professional counselor-mental health service provider.

Charissa Youssi, Clinical Therapist

 

Kate Larson, Clinical Therapist

 

Kara Guindin, Clinical Therapist

Kara has been with SAC since 2018.  She received her Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in mental health from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013 and her Bachelor of Science in sociology with minors in psychology and women and gender studies from Middle Tennessee State University in 2011. She has experience in community mental health, community health, and implementing trauma-informed care services. Kara has specialized training in trauma-informed, attachment-based modalities such as Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing (SE), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Internal Family Systems (IFS). In addition, Kara specializes in working with caregivers of children who have experienced trauma and focuses on healing for the whole family and strengthening relationships. Kara’s office is located within Nashville Children’s Alliance, and she sees caregivers of children who are seen at Nashville Children’s Alliance in her practice.

Julia Melton, Clinical Therapist

 

Tara Booker, Contract Clinical Therapist

 

Sunni Brimsy, First Response Therapist

 

Kendra Wayne, Clinical Therapist

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