Meet Our Clinicians
Counseling Associates is a well respected and established private practice located in Columbia, MO. Our clinicians are dedicated to serving those in our community to develop positive thinking and coping skills and to assist in treating mental health issues.
Our clinicians are graduates from degree programs with emphases in Counseling Psychology, Psychology, and Social Work. We bring you over 100+ years of experience to help you reach your therapeutic goals.
Melinda Motter LPC / Co-Owner
Melinda is one of the owners of Counseling Associates, LLC and has worked as an individual and family therapist in multiple settings over the last 10+ years. Melinda began her work as a Substance Abuse Counselor and taught Substance Abuse Traffic Offenders Program class while completing her M.Ed. in Counseling. Melinda began working in private practice with Counseling Associates in 2011 providing individual and family therapy, play therapy, marital therapy and group therapy. Melinda’s emphasis has primarily included working with adolescent and teenage children to include issues such as stress, anxiety, depression and behavioral modification strategies. Melinda also works closely with parents on appropriate strategies in dealing with defiant behaviors. Melinda has lengthy experience working with children who are victims of abuse and neglect. Melinda utilizes a number of therapeutic techniques including cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. Melinda also provides a number of groups addressing teen and social issues. Melinda works with clients of all ages.
Stephanie Parsons LCSW / Co-Owner
Stephanie is one of the owners of Counseling Associates, LLC. Stephanie began her work in child welfare as an Alternative Care Case Manager with the Missouri Department of Social Services/Children’s Division. While working as an alternative care case manager, Stephanie worked with linking abused and neglected children with appropriate services and work towards reunification with their natural parents. Stephanie began her work in private practice with Counseling Associates in 2007, providing individual and family therapy, marital therapy, and group therapy. Her primary focus has included victims of child abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, eating disorders, and teen issues. Stephanie has also provided services to parents whose children have been placed in alternative care, providing trauma focused parenting education in order to assist parents in reunifying with their children. In recent years, Stephanie has also focused on working with children who are experiencing difficulty as a result of parental divorce and parental alienation, teens transitioning to college and/or adulthood, as well as adults who are ready to address past traumas. Stephanie works with clients of all ages.
In addition to providing therapeutic services, Stephanie also works with families pursuing a license in foster care, families pursuing the ability to legally adopt children through the foster care system, as well as families pursuing private adoptions. During her work licensing foster families, Stephanie works to simultaneously provide trauma informed parenting education to these families in order to best prepare them for the children they will care for.
Stephanie is working towards her certification in TF-CBT.
Melissa M. Williams LPC / Co-Owner
Melissa is one of the owners of Counseling Associates LLC. Melissa is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a wealth of experience working with children through college age and well into adulthood. Melissa has worked as an individual and family therapist with Counseling Associates since 2012.
Melissa began working for the State of Missouri as a Regional Family Specialist for the Division of Youth Services. Melissa worked with youth that committed crimes and were working to be rehabilitated into the community.
Melissa went on to begin private practice with Counseling Associates in 2012 where she continued to provide individual, family, marital, and group therapy. Melissa primarily works with families, young adults, and couples. Melissa uses several models of therapies to include Multisystemic Family Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for issues such as depression, anxiety, survivors of childhood abuse/sexual abuse, grief/loss, family of origin issues, divorce, parenting, relationship issues, and spiritual issues. Melissa has recently trained to provide Brainspotting with clients working to heal from past trauma.
Melissa also provides group therapy for children with sexually acting out behaviors as well as Divorce - Mediation. Melissa works with clients of all ages.
Lisa Brown LCSW
Lisa has worked as an individual and family therapist in multiple settings over the last twenty-five years. Lisa began her work as a therapist working with clients in an inpatient treatment center at Charter Hospital in Columbia, MO. As a member of an interdisciplinary team, Lisa completed psychosocial histories and developed treatment plans. Lisa began work in private practice in 1994 and has continued in this practice providing individual and family therapy, play therapy, marital therapy, and group therapy. Lisa’s emphasis has primarily included victims of child abuse and neglect and sexual abuse. Lisa also has lengthy experience working with children who are experiencing difficulties as a result of parental divorce and parental alienation as well as working with mothers with identified needs through Lutheran Children and Family Services.
Lisa is working towards her certification in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Lucinda Levings, LPC
Lucinda comes to us with over twenty years of experience in the field of Mental Health. Lucinda earned her Masters of Education Guidance and Counseling with an agency component from Lincoln University. She received her License in Professional Counseling in 2005.
Lucinda started her career working as a Youth Specialist for the Division of Youth Services. In Waverly, MO where she worked for two and a half years. She went on to work as a Community Support Worker for adults with substance abuse and addiction at Mexico Area Recovery Center (now Turning Point) for two and a half years. Lucinda later worked for The Salvation Army Harbor House as the Director for five and a half years where she worked with Veterans, adults, and families, as well as domestic violence survivors; assisting them in obtaining housing and employment. She also worked with her clients on the issues that lead to their homelessness. During Lucinda’s time at the Harbor House, she also developed programming curriculum and supervised college interns.
Lucinda has extensive knowledge working as a counselor with those with drug and alcohol abuse including her work at DRD (Methadone) Medical Clinic in Columbia, MO as well as Phoenix Programs Inc. While at Phoenix Programs Inc, she worked with adults with substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, and trauma. She also worked with clients who were in need of couples counseling and group counseling. During her time there, she was the SATOP Administrator and facilitated SATOP groups and completed assessments. She was active in this role for three years.
Most recently, Lucinda worked for Compass Health for over ten years as a family and individual therapist working with adolescents and families addressing substance use, co-occurring disorders, behavioral issues, trauma, and other mental health issues. During her time there, she developed curriculum from evidence based material for groups, supervised 4th year psychology residents from MU on their internship rotation, and provided supervision for PLPC's.
Lucinda ventured into private practice as it allowed her to work with a more diverse clientele where she can be more creative with proven researched techniques. Lucinda uses CBT, mindfulness, family systems theory, person centered, as well as strengths based therapy. Lucinda works with clients of all ages.
Amber Schilb, LPC
Amber comes to us as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Amber earned both a Masters of Education in Counseling as well as a Masters in Marital and Family therapy at Stephens College and has been practicing since July of 2016.
Amber practices using a client-centered approach and tailors her work to be unique and specific to each individual client. Amber believes that taking a client centered approach is vital in providing the highest quality of care. Amber draws from a solution-focused, strength-based, and systemic approach when working with clients.
Amber has experience working with a variety of issues including substance abuse, domestic abuse, resistive violence and batterer intervention and has facilitated the MEND (Men Exploring Non-Violent Directions) program. Amber also has experience with children in play therapy, marriage and family issues, mood disorders, behavioral issues, transitional issues, grief, and trauma. Amber provides individual, family and group therapy as well as facilitates therapeutic supervised visitation.
Amber’s specialized training includes Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Amber is certified in Integrative Treatment of Complex Trauma for Adolescents. She is working towards certification as a registered play therapist and has served on the board for the Missouri Association for Play Therapy. Amber is serving her second term as the President of the board for Missouri Association of Play Therapy. Amber works with clients of all ages.
Kym Armontrout, M.Ed., LPC
Kym Armontrout comes to Counseling Associates with a plethora of knowledge and experience. Kym earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in History and is certified in Middle School Social Studies as well as certified in Special Education for grades K-12. In 2015, Kym earned her Masters in Education in Counseling as well as a Master’s Degree in School Counseling. Kym is also certified in School Counseling.
Kym previously practiced with Family Circle Therapeutic Services before joining our team in 2018. Kym has also worked as a learning specialist and a general educator in the educational system for nearly twenty years. Her work with teenagers with learning disabilities and behavioral issues in the school setting has paved the way for Kym to bring a great deal of skill and knowledge to her clients at Counseling Associates. Kym’s primary focus has been working with teens and adolescents addressing issues revolving around self esteem issues, eating disorders, and social anxiety. In addition, Kym has focused her practice on victims of child abuse, assisting in adjusting to the struggles that often occur during the transition for blended families, as well as marital and couples counseling.
Kym practices from an eclectic model and tends to draw from Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Choice Theory, and Family Systems Theory. Kym will also be providing group therapy to some of our younger female clients. Kym works with clients of all ages.
Jessica Peterson, LCSW
Jessica (she/her) received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in May 2007. She has spent the past 15 years working in medical social work with the majority of her career devoted to pediatric and adolescent patients. Jessica provided support and crisis intervention to families experiencing a number of challenges including unexpected hospitalization, new diagnoses, trauma and death. She gained significant experience supporting children and families experiencing child abuse and neglect as well as working with Children’s Division and Juvenile Officers during investigations. Jessica spent the most recent four years working at a local pediatric and adolescent specialty clinic where she supported a variety of populations. While working in the clinic, she screened individuals for anxiety, depression and suicidality as well as provided crisis care and linked families to resources including mental health programs.
Jessica’s background in medical social work gives her a unique perspective and knowledge of chronic illness and overall physical and mental well-being. She is comfortable working with an inter-professional team when appropriate. Jessica is educated in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Jessica’s clients can expect honesty, empathy, compassion and acceptance.
Jessica’s areas of interest include working with those who are experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma and eating disorders. She is pursuing additional training and education in different therapeutic approaches including those specific to eating disorders and trauma. Jessica works with clients of all ages with specific interest in children, adolescents and young adults.
Philip Moorison, PLPC
Philip is a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor with a focus on serving adolescents, adults, couples, and families. He earned his Master's Degree in clinical mental health counseling from Grace College, his Bachelor's Degree in business management from William Woods University, and his Associate's Degree in criminal justice from Mineral Area College.
Prior to joining Counseling Associates, Philip worked nearly 30 years as a first responder, both on the front lines and as an assistant director of human resources of a first responder agency. He played an active role in establishing peer support teams, coordinating with community mental health professionals, and worked toward developing relationships with numerous department personnel across the state. Philip has assisted first responders after major traumatic events, often times similar to ones he experienced during his own career. He has been the director of the Missouri Post Critical Incident Seminar since 2019, which provides psychoeducation, peer support, and both individual and group therapy over the course of three days for traumatized first responders and their spouses/significant others.
Philip’s theoretical approach is Individual Psychology, which takes into account a client's past, including childhood, birth order, earliest recollections, and various experiences along life's path and how the experiences shape how they view the world from a unique lens. He also views clients from their current stage of human growth and development. Philip also strives to maintain a biopsychosocial-spiritual view when working with clients.
Philip specializes in trauma-focused therapy and assisting clients who are experiencing grief and loss. He has a special interest in helping first responders and military combat veterans recovering from traumatic experiences both on and off duty. He is a fully-trained Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) clinician.\
Philip is compassionate about his clients in assisting them to overcome fears, anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship conflict, career problems/choices, and personal loss. Philip works with clients of all ages.
Sierra Craig, LCSW
Sierra (she/her) received her Bachelor's in Social Work from the University of Central Missouri in 2018. She went on to earn her Master of Social Work from the University of Missouri – Columbia (2020).
Sierra began her Social Work career working with youth and families involved with the Children’s Division in Pettis and Cooper Counties. Sierra has experience working with both child abuse and neglect investigations as well as working with children in foster care through alternative care case management. After moving to Columbia in order to complete her master’s degree, Sierra began working with youth who were placed at the Robert L. Perry Juvenile Justice Center. These youth were charged with various crimes and lacked the accessibility to mental health resources. While Sierra enjoyed the work she did with the youth at JJC, she saw an even greater opportunity with the youth placed at Great Circle and accepted a position as Cottage Therapist. As a cottage therapist, Sierra worked with the younger youth who were displaying various behaviors (aggression, self-harm, suicidal ideations, homicidal ideations, etc.) typically as a result of trauma they have experienced and witnessed. After leaving Great Circle and coming to Counseling Associates full-time, Sierra decided to pursue Emergency Room Social Work at a local hospital to help other's in need with her skills she has gained and learned in her time as a social worker. Sierra remains full-time at Counseling Associates while working part-time at a local Emergency Room.
Sierra has experience working with individuals from four to twenty-two years old as well as families and in a team setting. Sierra's knowledge base includes individuals and families who have experienced various traumas, survivors of sexual assault, youth who have/are sexually acting out, those who have or are actively self-harming, those who have or who are actively having suicidal ideations, those who have been victim of childhood abuse and neglect, persons struggling with anxiety or depressive symptoms, as well as those who have been exposed to drug usage. In addition, she has knowledge of and incorporates aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT), Crisis Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) in her therapy approach. In the future, Sierra hopes to become certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy and DBT. Sierra works with clients of all ages, and primarily sees youth through the age of 25.
Joshua Cook, LCSW
Joshua received his Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2017 and continued to complete a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2020.
Most of his career has been spent in the mental health field, specifically in community mental health where he worked as a Community Support Specialist at New Horizons Community Support Services and as an Outpatient Clinician at Burrell Behavioral Health. Joshua has also worked as a Foster Care Case Manager and as a Direct Support Specialist, working with individuals with varying intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Joshua has clinical experience working with adolescents to older adults, and has experience addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), grief, substance use, and adjusting to life’s changes. He has experience using therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy. Joshua is also trained in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR), an evidence based practice for treating PTSD.
Cayla Page, LMSW
Cayla is a two-time graduate of the University of Missouri School of Social Work, earning both her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degrees.
Cayla started her social work career as a Specialized Alternative Care Case Manager where she gained experience working with children and adolescents who had experienced significant abuse and neglect. While completing her master’s degree, Cayla organized and co-facilitated groups focused on helping girls in grades K-12 to develop coping skills and to manage stressors. Though her emphasis is in work with children, adolescents, and young adults, while completing her MSW, Cayla served as an intern with Counseling Associates providing individual and family therapies to clients of all ages.
Cayla is passionate about guiding her clients toward holistic well-being and brings an authentic approach to each therapeutic relationship. Her approach is strengths-based and person-centered. She has experience working with clients who present with anxiety, depression, acting out behaviors, adjustment issues, family struggles, and trauma. She has knowledge of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, and Motivational Interviewing. Cayla looks forward to continuing to expand her knowledge on trauma therapies.
Kacie Naros, PLPC
Kacie (she/her) received her Bachelor’s in Human Services from Columbia College in 2017 and continued her education at Stephens College obtaining her Master’s of Education in Counseling in 2021. During the last year of her educational training, Kacie gained clinical experience as an intern at Counseling Associates. Throughout the year, she worked with clients of all ages experiencing various difficulties. Kacie works especially well with clients experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma and crises. She is passionate about working with trauma survivors and clients with various trauma related histories. Kacie works with clients to empower them with coping strategies to improve their overall well being.
Kacie provides her clients with a safe, open, and warm environment and strives to empower her clients to grow and to reach their personal goals. Kacie uses an integrative approach incorporating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), person-centered, strengths-based, and mindfulness strategies to guide her in her work with her clients.
Kacie is passionate about working with trauma survivors and plans to continue her training to specialize in Trauma-focused CBT, Brain Spotting, and other interventions that will help her clients to heal from their past experiences.
Jessica Robart, PLPC
Jessica (she/her) is a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor and works with children, adolescents, and adults. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology/Archaeology from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 2010 and went on to complete a Master’s in Counseling from Missouri Baptist University in 2015.
Although newer to the counseling profession, Jessica has been working in the mental health field for over 8 years. Before coming to Counseling Associates Jessica worked at East Central College as the Student Success Coordinator, where she provided counseling and career services to students. Additionally, Jessica taught psychology and sociology courses during her time with East Central College. In addition to her work at East Central College, Jessica has experience working at KUTO-Suicide Prevention Hotline, Gateway Education and Therapy, and in the private practice setting.
Jessica is a Tele-health counselor and works with clients of all ages. She specializes in treating clients with anxiety and depression. Jessica believes therapy is a collaborative process that guides clients to increase self-awareness, gain new perspectives, decrease symptoms, and increase personal strengths to gain a better quality of life. She believes everyone should have a non-judgmental, safe, and healing space to work through life’s challenges. She uses Cognitive Behavioral therapy, Solution-Focused therapy, and Mindfulness techniques to help clients achieve their goals.
Jessica Twehous, PLPC
Jessica recieved her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, followed by her Master’s in Counseling from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with an emphasis in Couples & Family Counseling. While earning her degrees, she worked as a case manager and program assistant in non-profit behavioral health organizations as well as private practice settings.
She began working working with clients in 2018 and has gained experience working with adolescents, teenagers, and adults in an outpatient community mental health settings. Jessica has a passion for working with couples and families who struggle with communication, intimacy, infidelity, parenting, and more. She also enjoys working with individuals to examine concerns around anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidality, trauma, identity, life transitions & adjustments, grief & loss, relationships, and family.
Jessica takes an active, person-centered approach to therapy and believes that building genuine, meaningful relationships with clients is essential in creating a safe space for growth and transformation. She recognizes both the shared experience and individual uniqueness that each client possesses -- for this reason, she focuses on adapting therapy to fit each person’s needs. With individual clients, she typically uses an eclectic theoretical approach with a focus on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), while incorporating aspects of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI). With couples and families, Jessica utilizes the Gottman Method, Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), Experiential Family Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy.
In the future, Jessica plans to receive more training in working with complex traumas and become certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy. She also plans to continue training in couples and family therapy and to become a certified Gottman Therapist.
People are Jessica's passion. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to build meaningful relationships and serve those in the community with the experience and training she has gained over the course of her career.
Roxann Durham PhD