Mental health is often taboo to talk about in everyday conversation, but we at Charlotte Smarty Pants want to bring this topic to the forefront and highlight a wonderful, new resource available to families in our area. We recently sat down with the amazing folks at Carolina Therapy Specialists in Cotswold to learn about their new practice. At Carolina Therapy Specialists, their goal is to link individuals and families to the appropriate resources, as well as providing direct care.
For those of you not familiar, Carolina Therapy Specialists is a new private practice in the Cotswold area that opened this fall. They are a team of Licensed Clinical Social Workers each specializing in their own area of mental health and psychiatric wellness for ages 4 and up. On staff, they have four full-time therapists and four part-time therapists, with availability 7 days a week and flexible time slots, which is critical for mental healthcare. The Carolina Therapy Specialists team is unique in that each therapist has experience in the acute psychiatric setting, working with all ages to find complete wellness and help recover from a crisis. Because the team has extensive experience on an inpatient behavioral health unit, they know how to deescalate psychiatric crises and reduce the number of hospitalizations. Their goal is to help the Charlotte community feel more comfortable to access supportive services to address their mental health needs within the realm of their specialties. They hope to reduce barriers to getting the care that is needed, when it is needed.
Let’s get to know the team at Carolina Therapy Specialists…
Rebekah Talley grew up in Raleigh, NC. She went to NC State University for her undergraduate degree in Sociology and to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to complete her Masters in Social Work and Play Therapy Graduate Certificate. Rebekah is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and certified play therapist. She has been working in the mental health field for four years with experiences working with children in a psychiatric residential treatment facility, in the community providing intensive in-home therapy, and in an acute psychiatric setting on an adolescent behavioral health unit. Rebekah works with children ages 4-17 in individual therapy which incorporates trauma informed care with elements of cognitive behavioral therapy and solution focused therapy within the context of directive play therapy. Her goal is to create a safe and therapeutic environment to assist children in safely expressing and coping with their emotions, while developing self-acceptance in the process. A personal philosophy of Rebekah’s is to manage life’s stressors with a balance of healthy habits. Rebekah enjoys spending her free time traveling back to Raleigh to cheer on Wolfpack athletics, as well as being active with her husband and 2 dogs.
Sarah Cooper grew up in Wilson, NC. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill for her undergraduate degree in Psychology and UNC Charlotte for her Masters in Social Work. Sarah is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist with over 8 years of experience. She has worked in both residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment, as well as in acute psychiatric care. Sarah sees adults and children ages 10 and up, individualizing her treatment approach for each client she works with. Sarah understands the importance of developing a relationship with her clients by building rapport and trust. She creates a safe, supportive, and nonjudgmental environment. In her free time, Sarah enjoys cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with her husband, son, and 2 dogs.
Kelli Holdt was born and raised in Hickory, NC. She attended UNC-Charlotte for her Bachelors degree in sociology and attended Winthrop University for her Masters in Social Work. Kelli is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate working toward full licensure. Kelli has 9 years of experience in the field working in the Charlotte community ranging from inpatient behavioral health to a non-profit mental health agency. She has been in many different roles at Thompson Child and Family Focus operating as a case manager, community support specialist, team lead in the therapeutic foster care program, and most recently as a qualified professional providing intensive in-home therapy. Her experiences with this agency also incorporate training and licensing foster/adoptive parents, which showcases her passion for this specialty. Kelli will work with ages 5 and up in individual therapy focusing on parent-child dynamics while using supportive techniques of trauma informed care to empower her clients. Kelli is qualified to focus on families with children exhibiting high risk behaviors in the home, school, and community. When Kelli is not at work she enjoys to spend her time reading, being outdoors, and spending quality time with her dog and fiancé.
Kelly Soule is originally from Massachusetts. She moved here in 2004, to pursue her Bachelors degree in Social Work from UNC Charlotte. Kelly fell in love with Charlotte and upon graduating decided to stay and make it her home. Kelly has worked as a case manager from 2008 to 2011 for adults with Developmental Disabilities. In 2011, Kelly decided to expand her knowledge within the field of Social Work and went to Winthrop University and obtained her Masters in Social Work. Kelly has worked in the mental health field since 2011 and is a specialist working with individuals who are Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing. Kelly loves to hike and participate in yoga in her spare time. However, her all-time favorite thing to do is spend quality time with her husband and two young kids.
Kendra grew up in Hickory, North Carolina and is a die-hard Hickory Crawdad Baseball fan. She graduated from University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1997 with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work. She worked for 9-years in various community agencies and she facilitated support groups for teenagers with a psychiatric diagnoses as well as women trying to return to the workforce after raising their children. During her experience at hospice and working with military veterans she learned the process and importance of grief work. She believes most people have unresolved grief that becomes problematic at inconvenient times. She went back to graduate school in her 30s and earned Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She specialized in Mood Disorders, grief resolution, and offering support to parents with significant stressors or adjustments. She is a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapist and likes to teach clients about all the latest research about their diagnosis, medications, and differential diagnosis when evident. In her spare time she enjoys outdoor activities with her husband and sons. She likes quiet time whenever she can get it and going on walks.
Michele Baker Hawkins grew up in Northern Virginia before moving to the Charlotte area. She attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington for undergraduate, majoring in Criminal Justice and Sociology. She worked in various community mental settings and then went on to attend The University of North Carolina at Charlotte obtaining a Masters in Social Work. Michele is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the mental health field for 11 years. She has worked in a Psychiatric Emergency room, Acute Inpatient Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health units, and as an Intensive In Home team lead. Michele enjoys partnering with an individual to help them work on their goals, through their concerns and to become successful at managing their stressors. She enjoys working with children and adolescents to improve coping skills and communication skills. She has varied experience working with parents and families to understand mental health diagnoses, the mental health system and ways to cope with parenting. Michele incorporates solution focused therapy with elements of cognitive behavioral therapy. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her husband and two small children. Michele offers Saturday hours to accommodate busy schedules.
Abel De Luna:
Abel De Luna is passionate about supporting families and has over 20 years of experience in this area. His background ranges from protecting and advocating for children to help family units stay together, to inpatient behavioral health, supporting individuals with acute and severe psychiatric needs. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate that is fluent in Spanish. Abel has extensive experience working with families managing behavioral health needs and working directly with children, parents or caregivers focusing on parent and child conflict. Abel is certified in the Incredible Years® parent education program with extensive experience facilitating parent groups. He is also trained in the Integrative Treatment of Complex Trauma (ITCT) which is a treatment approach that understands trauma is rarely a single event in isolation. The ITCT model allows for treatment within the context of the person’s situation with the awareness that treatment may require a multi-dimensional approach. Abel’s practice is focused on treating pre-adolescents to adults. In his spare time, he enjoys watching sports and cheering on the Carolina Panthers.
BreeAnna Faleschini grew up a bit of a nomad but settled the longest in Minnesota where she calls home. She completed her undergraduate education first at Utah Valley University and then finished it at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. She then went straight into graduate school at Boston College focusing primarily on children, youth, and families. After graduate school she went on to work in Salt Lake City Utah on a collaborative team of mental agencies coming together to provide the first modified Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) in Salt Lake on a grant for The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This is when her passion for acute mental health began and has since continued to grow. BreeAnna uses a solution focused approach in her therapeutic style with a hint of mindfulness. BreeAnna loves to do group therapy, it is a passion she has had since graduate school and hopes to continue in private practice. In her free time, BreeAnna loves to cuddle with her sweet dog Nori and she bakes gluten free and vegan treats (for fun, just to see if she can)!
Carolina Therapy Specialists is currently accepting new patients.