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Meet our Therapists

Dr. Kristy Donaldson PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S™, CHST 

Certified Enneagram Coach

Animal-Assisted Counseling Ambassador

Owner of Premier Neurofeedback & Counseling Services, PLLC.

Clinical focus: 
I work with children, teens, and adults with a range of diagnoses, with extensive experience in treating Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
I am an animal-assisted counselor and (prior to her retirement) routinely brought my Great Pyrenees, Willow, to the clinic to work with individuals and families to achieve their goals. My book Hootie the Courthouse Dog just released on Amazon spotlighting on the work dogs are able to provide with specific training. See the resources tab for a link to purchase. ◡̈ 

 

Along with counseling services, I provide CANS assessments, bariatric evaluation for surgery, pain evaluations for pain stimulator pump trials, and am available for speaking engagements.

 

Professional Experience:

I have the honor and privilege of owning Premier Neurofeedback and Counseling Services and am credentialed as a Licensed Professional Counselor and LPC Supervisor, Registered Play Therapist™ and Registered Play Therapy Supervisor™, and Certified Humanistic Sand Therapist and Supervisor with a PhD in Psychology, specializing in Forensics. 

I am a speaker on a variety of topics, Certified Enneagram Coach (please see link under resources), and an adjunct professor. My work is published with the American Institute for the Advancement of Forensic Studies (AIAFS). I currently serve as the President of the Board of Directors for the Advocacy Center of Waco, President for the Heart of Texas Counseling Association, and a Past-President for the Texas Association for Play Therapy. I am a sustainer with the Junior League of Waco. Additionally, I am serving a three-year term on the International Journal of Play Therapy® editorial board, the Association for Play Therapy Awards of Excellence Committee, and the Association for Play Therapy Conference Program Committee. 

 

Philosophy of Care:

I believe in finding the therapeutic approach that best meets the need of the individual client. I see my client as a whole person and utilize whichever modality provides the most cathartic response for the individual, as a prescriptive therapist. I have recently received training at Baylor University from Sharon Rollins and am able to use EMDR to promote working through traumatic memories. I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time with each client and walk alongside them as they process and heal their mind, body, and spirit.

Clinton Dennard

M.S., LPC

Clinical focus:

Anxiety, Depression, Career Goals and Transitions, PTSD, Substance Abuse and Dependence, and ADD for Children, Teens, and Adults.

 

Professional Experience:

I have practiced counseling as an LPC since 2010. I am currently an instructor in undergraduate Psychology for Tarleton State University, Waco campus, and am currently pursuing my doctorate through Texas A&M Commerce. I have been involved as a member in the Texas Counseling Association and served as President of the Heart of Texas Counseling Association from 2014-2015.

 

Philosophy of Care:

Whatever your situation may be, I am here to help you grow and build a strong therapeutic alliance in attempt to establish a helping relationship that will help you reach your desired outcome. I will work with you to provide individualized service which is appropriate for your needs.

Cairen Wealand

M.A., LPC Associate

Supervised by Dr. Kristy Donaldson, LPC-S, RPT-S™, CHST

Clinical focus:

Anxiety, trauma-related issues, and life transitions for adults

 

Professional Experience:

Before becoming an LPC-Associate, I worked at Denver Children’s Home. There I supported youths overcoming trauma and various behavioral issues in their day-treatment and equine therapy programs. Most recently, I worked at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s student counseling center and their community clinic counseling clients of all ages. I am currently under the supervision of Dr. Kristy Donaldson. 

 

Philosophy of Care:

I typically take a strengths-based approach, often utilizing a solution-focused framework. I use a variety of techniques like sensorimotor and cognitive-behavioral therapies as suits my clients' needs. I strive to fully engage clients in every part of their unique therapeutic journey, from planning to progress monitoring. I especially enjoy getting creative with clients to develop goals and solutions that work for them.

 

Heather Carey

M.A., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

License Number: 204563

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” AA Milne.

 

Clinical focus: 

As a therapist I have the great honor to walk along side with my clients to help them
work on becoming the best self they can be. Many of us have survived trauma, loss, and
emptiness, therapy can help a person to build the skills to overcome these adversities. I enjoy
working with clients of all ages. I have a heart for those individuals and families that are
experiencing trauma from illness and grief.


When working with children, I use play therapy. I have found this to be the best way to connect
with children. I was first introduced to how powerful play is in the lives of our children back
when my son was in preschool, this is where I learned that play is the language that children
use to communicate with the world around them. Play is the perfect modality to help heal
children and build connection with others. I was so excited, while in graduate school, I found
that play therapy was a practice that I could learn and integrate with my younger clients and
use to help build a strong therapeutic alliance. My belief is we can build a stronger and
healthier society if we can help our children to heal their hurts and insecurities then we will
help have healthier adults. Play therapy can also be used with adults who have experienced
childhood trauma.

 

Professional Experience:

 I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from William Jessup University where I also
received my Master of Arts in Counseling. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with
training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, and Play Therapy. I like to use
a prescriptive approach to therapy, which means that I pull from different modalities to meet
the needs of the client. I am working towards my Play Therapy Certification and my EMDR
certification.

 

A little about me:  

I enjoy spending time with my family, which includes my husband and two adult children. I also love to garden and spend time reading. I also have three dogs, Hazel, Kodi, and Bentley, who do most everything with us. I was once a Registered Veterinary Technician and a Medical
Assistant before choosing this career.

 

Philosophy of Care:  

As a therapist I have the great honor to walk alongside with my clients to help them work on becoming the best self they can be. Many of us have survived trauma, loss, and

emptiness, therapy can help a person to build the skills to overcome these adversities. I enjoy

working with clients of all ages. I have a heart for those individuals and families that are

experiencing trauma from illness and grief.

Sierra Childers

M.S., LPC- Associate

Supervised by Kristy Donaldson, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S™, CHST

Clinical focus: 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Anxiety disorders, Depression disorders, stress management relating to school, trauma issues, domestic violence, sex education.

 

Professional Experience:

I have a Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health and Counseling. I have worked alongside doctors in a clinical setting to treat clients of all ages and various presenting concerns. I have also provided counseling services in a college counseling center. During my time at these facilities I worked with clients with anxiety disorders, depression, suicidal ideations, grief, family and relationship issues, personality disorders, career issues, school concerns, and fear of death and dying in elderly clients.

 

Philosophy of Care:  

My counseling approach combines Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. My objective is to work with clients to establish and reach goals discussed at the beginning of the counseling process. I believe client’s are experts of their own life and should have a say in the development of their treatment plan.

 

Victor Brown

M.S., LPC-Associate

Supervised by Dr. Kristy Donaldson, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S™, CHST

Clinical focus: 

Children, Teens, Adults who are experiencing post traumatic stress symptoms,

anxiety, depression, life transitions, identity, parenting, marital/couples counseling, stress, and

mood disorders. 

 

Professional Experience:

I graduated from Tarleton State University with a Master of Science in

Clinical Mental Health and Counseling. I have worked with in the academic environment at a

Student Counseling Center. I have also assisted individuals with developmental and intellectual

disabilities in the group home/workshop environment. Additionally, I am working towards becoming a Certified Personality Disorder Treatment Provider (C-PD). 

 

Philosophy of Care: 

I believe that anyone can benefit from therapeutic assistance. Throughout

our lives, our experiences contribute to how we approach and respond to situations and how

we view ourselves as well as the world around us. My approach to the therapeutic process

involves getting an understanding of people as they are and focusing on the needs in their

individual development. My goal is to identify a person’s intrinsic motivation to make the

necessary adjustments to navigate the obstacles in their life to achieve optimal mental and

emotional well-being, depression, life transitions, parenting, marital/couples counseling, stress, and mood disorders. 

 

Jason Wilson
M.A., LMFT

IMG_0049.jpeg

“Don’t let pain define you, let it refine you.”

-Tim Fargo

 

 

Clinical focus: 

I work with individuals of all ages and stages of life. I have experience helping
individuals with, mood disorders, Trauma, and relationship issues and extensive
experience and passion for helping Neurodivergent individuals with ADHD.

 

Professional Experience:

I obtained both my Bachelor of Science in Psychology and my Master of Arts in
Counseling from William Jessup University. Prior to being a therapist, I worked in group
homes for children with severe emotional disturbances. I have done a lot of work with
individuals of all ages who have been diagnosed with ADHD in addition to families who
have children with an ADHD diagnosis. Having ADHD and raising three boys with
ADHD I understand the unique challenges that this disorder can bring about. I also
have experience working with fire survivors who lost their homes and loved ones from
California wildfires, in addition to working alongside trauma victims to help them obtain a
sense of balance in their lives.

 

Philosophy of Care:  

I take a prescriptive approach and tailor treatment for each individual client. You can’t
put mental health in a box and what works for one person may not work for someone
else. I use Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Cognitive Behavioral therapy,
Narrative Therapy and play therapy in my sessions in addition to several other
modalities all blanketed in a person-centered approach.
While I help individuals on their journey to better mental health, I also incorporate a
systems approach that looks at the overall picture of what led to someone getting to
where they are, and what environmental factors contribute to both the issue, and
solution.

 

Katy van der Merwe, LPC- Associate, Student Director of the Texas

Association of Play Therapy 

Supervised by Pedro J. Blanco, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S, CHST

Clinical focus: 

For children- I enjoy working with children of any and varied diagnoses (Autism Spectrum Disorder, General or Social Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) using Play Therapy techniques. For adults- traumatic experiences, family issues, domestic violence recovery, general anxiety, depression, adjustment struggles using the approach that best suits a client’s needs. 

 

Professional Experience:I obtained a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s degree from Tarleton State University and have spent the last 9 years working with children in an educational/developmental setting (ages 6mo.-12 years). This last year I have worked as a clinical intern and school counselor. My experience includes working with adult and child victims of domestic violence, children with various diagnoses (as listed above), and families who are immigrating/have immigrated to the United States. 

Philosophy of Care:  

Every person reserves the right to live free of the burdens which hinder them from being fully alive. As a counselor, I believe it is my job to partner in the unburdening process; to work alongside a client in identifying areas of trauma/difficulty and overcome obstacles using clinically proven interventions.

Willow 

Canine Companion & Trained Therapy Dog

Graduate Canine of AACA at Texas State University 

Pet Partner: Kristy Donaldson, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S™, CHST

Clinical focus: 

Providing PAWSITIVE connections with all her clients. 

Professional Experience:

Completed training with her Pet Partner, Dr. Kristy Donaldson at Texas State University through Dr. Elizabeth Hartwig's Animal-Assisted Counseling Academy.  

 

Philosophy of Care:  

To look adoringly into your eyes, notice when you need emotional support by laying near you, pat you with my paw, play, eat, drink water, rest, sleep, shake, give hugs, potty outside, sit, lay down, play games, repeat from the beginning. 

 

Maggie Thayer, M. Ed, LPC- Associate,  

Supervised by Dr. Kristy Donaldson, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S™, CHST

Maggie Thayer headshot filtered.jpeg

Clinical focus: 

As a former educator, I feel right at home working with clients from 5 to 95! I have experience working with trauma, stress, anxiety, academic challenges, gifted children, family transitions, grief, relational aggression, and career burnout. I blend modern psychotherapy techniques and faith based principles to help my clients overcome various mental health issues and life’s challenges. I’m available for individuals, couples, and families!

 

Professional Experience:

I received my Bachelor's of Science Degree in Multidisciplinary Students from McMurry University and my Masters of Education in Counseling and Development from  Lamar University. I am an LPC-Associate under the supervision of David Baker, LPC-S. I am trained in EMDR, cognitive behavioral & solution focused therapies. I am working toward becoming a registered play therapist and love connecting with clients to help them feel safe and truly seen.  I have 17 years of combined experience as a teacher and school counselor. I worked with students primarily from pre-k through 5th grade, their families, teachers, and academic success teams such as 504 and special education.

Philosophy of Care:  

I enjoy helping my clients work through the struggles of life that we all face at one time or another. It is important to me that my clients leave our sessions with renewed hope and a plan for the future that is tailored to their goals and wishes. 

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