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 of the University of Missouri, Stephen's College, Lincoln University, and Harding University with degree 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
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
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
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 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. She is currently completing Integrative Treatment of Complex Trauma for Adolescents. 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.
Adam Hatton, LPC
Adam has worked in the mental health field for 18 years in the capacity as a Case Worker and a Substance Abuse Counselor. Adam spent time in the Army Reserve where he gained knowledge to assist individuals and families with difficulties surrounding military life. Adam gained knowledge in multiple areas during both is undergraduate and graduate course work including sociology, social work, theology and philosophical issues. Adam received his Master's of Science in Counseling from Central Methodist University in 2017.
Adam has worked with a variety of age groups as well as educational and cultural backgrounds. He has experiences working in different settings with Individual, Group, Couples and family therapy. Adam sees clients of all ages.
Adam has worked with people dealing with addiction, co-occurring disorders, personality disorders and trauma. Adam uses a variety of treatment methods including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Logos therapy, Existentialist therapy and person-centered therapy. He works with clients to help them identify and utilize the strengths, knowledge and skills they already possess, and he helps them develop new ones as needed to supplement and succeed. Adam works with clients to process traumas and suffering and helps them develop resiliency and find Ideas and direction that is congruent with their values, needs and desires. Adam works with clients of all ages.
Anya Moses, LMFT
Anya comes to Counseling Associates as a graduate from Lewis and Clark Graduate School in Portland, OR with a Masters in Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy.
Anya has experience working in residential facilities, hospitals, mental health agencies, as well as group practices. Being a Marriage and Family Therapist gives her approach with families, children and individuals a whole systems approach, where she prefers to look at the big picture for each unique situation. She recognizes that no problem or client is exactly alike, and Anya aims to customize treatment goals for each client she works with based on their individual needs.
Anya approaches therapy as a healing journey, that is centered around holistic, client- centered, experiential and systemic principles. This work allows individuals, children and families to reach their fullest potential and find harmony in their lives. Anya believes in honoring the uniqueness of each individual she works with, whether it is in the context of individual work, or relational therapy.
The safe and nurturing environment Anya creates, provides opportunities to bring about self-exploration, healing, empowerment, growth and a genuine expression of self.
Anya’s areas of focus are working with those who are experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, as well as attachment and grief related issues. Anya works with clients of all ages.
Lauryn Tobias, LPC
Lauryn graduated from Harding University with an Educational Specialist Degree as well as her Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. For the past two years, Lauryn has spent her time working alongside young adults struggling with anxiety, depression, and trauma. Lauryn is passionate about assisting her clients in meeting their goals and finding more peace and success in their life.
Lauryn has received specialized training in crisis intervention, experiential therapy, childhood traumatic grief, and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In order to assist her clients in achieving optimal success, Lauryn takes a holistic and solutions focused approach to mental health and draws skills from Alderian Therapy as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Lauryn works with clients of all ages.
Christi Lero, LCSW
Christi graduated with a Masters of Social Work from the University of Missouri. Following graduation, Christi worked as a Hospice Social Worker where she completed her clinical supervision earning her License in Clinical Social Work (LCSW).
Christi has maintained network and academic connections and has participated in guest panel lectures and individual lectures regarding the state of end of life care, non-pharmaceutical comfort measures, hospice, and palliative care. Christi maintains membership with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) as a Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE) committee member. She also sits on the Social Work Committee for the Missouri Hospice & Palliative Care Association (MHPCA). Christi continues to work as a researcher at the University of Missouri to build an evidence base for bereavement care and identify supports and treatments for caregivers of folks with chronic or terminal illness and dementia.
In the past seven years, Christi has spent time working in care facilities with individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and in hospice and palliative care. She has been privileged to work with the dying and their families and understands the challenges caregivers face each day. She also sees the challenges brought on by life. She understands that grief and loss are not isolated to death and dying, but we are impacted by loss at several points in our lives. She believes balance means a workable harmony between thoughts, actions, and values, rather than unrealistic expectations of equal time and space for all things in your life. Christi promotes the mindset that balance and harmony shift and change as the demands of life do, and sometimes we struggle with what that means for our roles, identity, and well-being.
Christi is trained in and uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for trauma, and several techniques in Grief Therapy, and integrates mindfulness and motivational interviewing techniques in her work. It is her hope that you will allow her to walk with you as you get to know yourself and reconstruct life meaning after experiencing transition or loss.
Anthony Banks, LMSW
Anthony (he/him) received his Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Missouri - Columbia. Anthony began his social work career working with clients experiencing barriers to accessing mental health care services as a clinician at the Integrative Behavioral Health Clinic (IBHC). In this role at the IBHC, Anthony provided long-term evidence-based mental health therapies in a safe and comfortable setting to clients from a lower socioeconomic background with varying racial/ethnic, gender, and sexual identities.
In his practice, Anthony approaches clients using Biosocial theory and Person-in-Environment theory. Both of these theories not only acknowledge and validate the individual client in the change process, but acknowledge the impact our unique environments and social relationships influence our overall well being and identity. Anthony uses a client-centered approach and works to consider a client’s intersectional identities when engaging with clients. Anthony has knowledge of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and hopes to become certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy in the near future. Anthony works with clients of all ages.
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.
Kevin Williams, PLPC
Kevin comes to Counseling Associates as a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor. Kevin has worked in the school system as a School Counselor for Derby Ridge Elementary. Kevin also has experience working as the Clinical Coordinator for Rainbow House, as a Residential Therapist for Great Circle, as well as a Clinical Therapist for the Navig8 Program with Compass Health Network.
Kevin completed his undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri and went on to earn his master’s degree in Clinical Counseling at Stephens College.
Kevin enjoys working with children, adolescents, families, and young adults. Kevin utilizes a variety of techniques and skills drawn from recognized therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused, DBT, Psychoeducation, Child-Parent Psychotherapy, behavior modification, mindfulness, and relaxation.
Kevin believes in working in partnership with clients, utilizing their strengths to help them sort out their challenges and achieve their goals. He also realizes how important it is to identify all aspects of an individual’s life that impact their well-being including their physical health, support systems (family, friends), work or school environment, and faith/spirituality in this process. Kevin works with clients of all ages.
Sierra Craig, LMSW
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 works with the younger youth who are displaying various behaviors (aggression, self-harm, suicidal ideations, homicidal ideations, etc.) typically as a result of trauma they have experienced and witnessed. Sierra continues to work in this position as she joins Counseling Associates part time.
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.
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.
Roxann Durham PhD
Angelica Ehrhardt, Intern
Kacie Naros, Intern