ADBTA provides individual psychotherapy and group skills training for adults and adolescents with:
Individual psychotherapy and group skills training both include evidence based practices – treatments that are supported by scientific research.
DBT is short for Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This is a specialized type of therapy that requires intensive post-graduate training by the therapists who offer it (all the therapists at ADBTA are continuing to receive this extensive post-graduate training). Dialectical Behavior Therapy is recognized as an evidence-based practice by the American Psychiatric Association.
DBT is an effective treatment for helping people to manage the intensity of emotions and impulsive behavioral patterns that are causing fall out and disrupting the quality of their daily lives. What DBT does best is that it teaches skills that are not confined to a clinician’s office. These skills generalize to every aspect of your world (work, school, home, friends, family, etc.). At its heart, DBT is the relentless pursuit of problem solving.
We have provided DBT trainings to many different groups (schools/teachers, courts/lawyers, healthcare professionals, etc.). One of the things we hear the most from our trainees is, “DBT skills are something that we all need!” Our participants report they are pleasantly surprised that everyone and anyone can benefit from these skills.
One of the common frustrations with traditional therapy is feeling like you gain insight during session but that doesn’t translate into behavioral change outside of session. DBT clinicians are committed to helping their clients shape the intensity, frequency and duration of emotions and behaviors that are interfering with building their own lives worth living. We are actually MORE focused on what happens outside of treatment than in it! The people who come to us most often are those who have felt frustrated by not making progress in previous treatments.
A lot of people say they do DBT but they don’t offer all the aspects of DBT that randomized controlled trials have shown make it an evidence based practice. There are four aspects of DBT included in the evidence-based trials that allow DBT to be effective:
Our mission is to offer quality DBT at an affordable cost. Therefore, we make sure we offer these services on a sliding scale.
We offer ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE and ADHERENT DBT for adults, adolescents and families with two locations in Austin (North and South). Treatment is provided by licensed clinicians training in offering the complete model of DBT treatment (individual therapy, skills group, team consultation and phone coaching). All clinicians are required to attend weekly team consultation, led by our directors with over 20 years combined DBT experience. Services are provided at the following rates: Intakes ($90), Individual/Family Therapy ($60-$150), and Group ($55-$70). If you need one of our sliding scale/lower fee slots, please let our intake coordinator know when you schedule your appointment.
Hours of operation: Monday-Sunday 7am-9pmContact Us
The following ADULT groups are currently running:
The following ADOLESCENT groups for Middle/High School are currently running:
Shana Alexander is a Licensed Professional Counselor (L.P.C.). Shana holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biology from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in Counseling from St. Edward’s University. Shana completed her practicum at Seton Behavioral Mind Institute where she received training in DBT. Since then she has gained extensive experience across a variety of clinical populations such as individuals struggling with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, homelessness, personality disorders and individuals involved in the criminal justice system. Shana also has gained experience across an array of different modalities including individual, family, couple, group and community based therapy. She is honored and excited to be able to use her experience and education to help those in need. In her spare time Shana enjoys officiating, coaching and playing Women’s Lacrosse. She happily resides in Austin with her husband, daughter and wiener dog.
Ashley Coulter is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been trained in Motivational Interviewing, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and is currently pursuing training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Ashley received her Bachelor’s in Social Work at Clark Atlanta University, where the curriculum extensively focused on cultural competency in social work practice. Such training has guided Ashley's practice in providing effective, culturally competent support for diverse groups including sexual orientation, gender identity, spirituality, ethnicity, and ability. She went on to attend The University of Texas at Austin to receive her Masters of Science in Social Work focusing on mental health, attachment, and various therapeutic modalities. Ashley has practiced psychotherapy and advocacy in many professional settings including medical, legal aid, and criminal justice settings. She has worked with individuals struggling with chemical dependency, emotional regulation, chronic pain, and severe mental health symptoms such as psychosis. Ashley works from a person centered approach by meeting the client where they are in life. She aims to collaboratively work with clients to create a safe environment to feel comfortable with vulnerability and accountability. Ashley's true passion is helping individuals overcome obstacles to live fulfilling lives, filled with purpose and healthy meaningful relationships.
Sarah Chalmers, L.C.S.W. grew up in metro Detroit and went to a small liberal arts college in Oregon, where she graduated with a degree in Political Science. Initially, she pursued activism in order to advance the cause of social justice and help people have better lives through community growth and change. Sarah decided to pursue a career in social work to further actualize that goal and to gain skills and education she could use to help people individually. She was interested in helping people on an individual level to find mental and emotional well-being and maintain healthy and meaningful relationships. Sarah holds a Master of Science in Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Her experience includes providing grief counseling as a hospice social worker, providing supportive and solution-oriented counseling for juvenile offenders and providing group, individual, and family therapy for women, children and adolescents experiencing homelessness. Sarah is honored to use her education and experience to provide compassionate and non-judgmental therapy for clients needing help to work through a variety of problems and to deal with a variety of issues.
Vaughn Hancock is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She attended college at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a gender studies minor. She then attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas earning a Master’s of Arts in Counseling. She completed her training hours at an inpatient psychiatric hospital leading groups, performing individual therapy, and conducting psychoeducation for families. Her passion is for treating addictions and mood disorders. She is thrilled to collaborate with individuals working toward personal goals of comfort and acceptance in their lives.
Stacey Cholick is a Licensed Professional Counselor who is originally from the Rio Grande Valley and has lived in Austin since 2012. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Texas State University and graduated in 2015 with a Master’s in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Stacey specializes in working with individuals with mental illness, PTSD symptoms, as well as substance use issues. Stacey currently works for Integral Care, the local mental health authority for Travis County and has been with the agency since 2014. Stacey provides community bases intakes to individuals seeking services, who often have trouble accessing services through more traditional means. Stacey also provides community based counseling services to individuals in their homes, as well as in a clinic setting. In addition, Stacey works with the local crisis hotline and is experienced in assessing crises and connecting people in need to the appropriate resources. Stacey is motivated and passionate about working with individuals who are experiencing difficult times in their lives, going through transitions or are seeking support to work through past or recent traumas. Stacey also holds certification in EMDR therapy, trained by Rick Levinson. In her free time, Stacey loves to listen to live music, spend time hiking in the Greenbelt and other parts of Texas and with her boyfriend and son.
Jena is a licensed professional counselor. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Counseling from St. Edward’s University in 2014. She specializes in working with adolescents and adults with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders. Since receiving her Master’s degree, she has worked with Austin Travis County Integral Care completing assessments and providing high intensity rehabilitation services to individuals with physical disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorders. Jena is passionate about working with individuals who are experiencing difficult life transitions whether it is a first episode of mental illness, recent disability or medical diagnosis, gender or women specific issues, and/or coming of age issues with young adults. Jena currently offers individual psychotherapy for adolescents & adults of all ages.
Nicole Meitzen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Fitness and a Master of Science in Social Work, both from the University of Texas at Austin. Nicole has experience working in healthcare and counseling center settings supporting adults as they navigate various physical, mental, relational, and systemic challenges and seek ways to find wellbeing. Nicole’s approach to therapy is strengths-based and collaborative. Since change and growth are often uncomfortable, Nicole is passionate about joining the people she works alongside with compassion, mindfulness, challenge, and humor so they feel truly seen and heard. Nicole is passionate about her family, friends, and showing up for racial and social justice work.
Elexia A. Gonzalez-Lowe (she/her/hers) is a Licensed Master Social Worker, currently supervised by Arlene Montgomery, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.-S. Elexia received a Masters of Science in Social Work, with a clinical concentration in Health, Mental Health, and Disabilities from Columbia University in the City of New York and dual bachelor degrees in Women's and Gender Studies and Social Work, with a focus in race and culture, LGBTQ+ and interpersonal violence, from the University of Texas at Austin. Elexia is intensively trained in Radically-Open DBT, treating traits and disorders of overcontrol. Her interests span from mental health in the world of work and school to self-actualization and personal freedom at the intersections of identity, family, culture, and past experiences. As a systems thinker, her therapeutic approach is grounded in anti-oppression and puts the client at the center while using a humanistic perspective to identify self-limiting thinking and the transactional analysis of relationships. She uses empathy, curiosity, humor and compassion to push “just enough” and help clients work through stuck points in beliefs and apply new skills. Elexia’s experiences include working with adolescent Latinas, refugees, Asian immigrants, survivors of abuse, housing insecure and unhoused communities, inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings with specialized training in DBT, and the use of art and theatre utilizing Paulo Freire and Dr. Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed pedagogy. Previously, Elexia worked for over 15 years in community outreach, marketing, and as a manager for corporate, social and community events and accounts for lawyers, nonprofits, retail brands, and the entertainment industry. Her work across industries and career transitions inform her passion for mental health in workplaces and effective leadership. Elexia loves trying new things, and her favorite self-soothe activities are dancing, hiking, vegetable gardening, watching her nine chickens, crossword puzzles with her partner, and taking their two pit bulls swimming.
Sarah Duval is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Huntington University. Sarah completed her clinical practicum at Farrington Specialty Counseling in Fort Wayne, IN, receiving special training in the treatment of eating disorders. Sarah has experience working with eating disorders, as well as mood, anxiety, and personality disorders, at the partial-hospitalization (PHP) and intensive-outpatient (IOP) levels of care. Sarah is passionate about supporting clients in achieving stability so that they can approach their values-based life, or "life worth living." Sarah's approach to therapy is client-centered, inclusive, and warm. She enjoys working with adolescents and adults, using evidenced-based practices to spur growth. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys being in nature, spending time with family and friends, gardening, and cooking. Sarah lives in Austin with her husband and their dog.
Paige Loria (pronouns she/her) earned her bachelors in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University and is currently working on her Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Texas State University. In her spare time, Paige enjoys spending time with her pets and playing on her local roller derby team where she acts as a volunteer coach for her team’s adult league and juniors' program. Paige Resides in Round Rock with her dog Parker and cat Chloe.
Taylor Ford is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (L.P.C.-Associate) supervised by Sarah Arnold, M.A., L.P.C.-S. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Studies from the University of North Texas and a Master of Rehabilitation Counseling degree with a focus on Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling in Mental Health from the University of Kentucky. Taylor completed her practicum working as a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP) at Pathways 3H Ranch, a residential treatment center for teenage boys. While working primarily with children in foster care, Taylor facilitated individual and group sessions to teach daily living and pro-social skills. This experience sparked her passion for working with teens, young adults, and families. Taylor provides support to individuals and families that are experiencing anxiety, depression, family conflict, life transitions, mood disorders, stress, trauma, and more. Taylor has a strong passion for mental health and approaches counseling in a down-to-earth, compassionate, and non-judgmental way. In her free time, Taylor loves coaching her sons’ baseball team, volunteering at her church, and family trips to the beach.
Ayla Peret is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Texas in 2010, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, with a focus on culture, identity and politics, from Brown University. Ayla's passion is improving client’s relationships, both with themselves and others. She focuses on increasing self-esteem, decreasing critical judgment and negative self-talk, and building a life that balances accomplishment with enjoyment and relaxation. Ayla also works on strengthening romantic relationships and building new connections. She completed training at the Gottman Institute in Seattle for the “7 principles of making marriage work” and has led workshops to help couples improve their relationships. Ayla has spent the last decade providing therapy and case management to vulnerable populations such as refugees, people with mental illness, people in acute psychiatric crisis, prison populations, and youth with trauma. She worked at the Seton Intensive Outpatient Program as a DBT group clinician and at Integral Care to help clients achieve and maintain maximum functioning in the community, while decreasing need for inpatient hospitalizations. Ayla worked for Refugee Services of Texas assisting newly arrived refugees gain access to and navigate the US healthcare system, and she interned at the Austin State Hospital providing individual and group therapy for co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders. Ayla has also received mediation training and has served as a volunteer mediator for the Victim Offender Mediation Dialogue Program.
Ashley Oliver is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Bachelor’s in Social Work with a minor in Psychology at The University of Texas at Arlington and went on to earn her Master of Social Work degree at Texas State University with a focus in direct clinical practice. Ashley completed her practicum at Austin State Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services, where she received training working with adolescents and families providing individual, group, and family therapeutic services. Ashley’s experience includes 5 years at a local behavioral health facility within an intensive outpatient program where she worked with adults, adolescents, and families, as she facilitated chemical dependency, dual diagnosis, and DBT groups. During this time, she attended and completed DBT foundational training and went on to become the clinical team lead of adolescent IOP programming. Ashley is a dedicated, high energy social worker who loves people, humor, and being active.
Sarah Weier is a Licensed Professional Counselor supervised by Gene Kummerer, M.Div., M.S., LPC-S. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University. Sarah completed over 500 hours of training in Psychodrama, primarily under Drs. Dorothy and Mort Satten, TEP. Sarah believes in the capacity of the human spirit to grow and change in the face of adversity. She encourages clients to develop spontaneity, mastery, and mindfulness. Sarah believes that the DBT model affords clients both a team of clinicians and group support in their journey towards building a life worth living and learning to dream again. Sarah lives with her husband in Austin and has two young-adult children. In her spare time, she reads, runs, and mountains bikes with family.
Cyndi is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker from Austin, Texas. Cyndi obtained both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees from Texas State University. She has always had a passion for mental health; connecting with and working with people. Cyndi completed her practicum at Seton Shoal Creek Hospital (SSCH) where she provided case management services. She then went on to work full-time at SSCH where she received extensive experience working with adults and adolescents. Cyndi has treated clients with anxiety, depression, PTSD and complex trauma, bipolar affective disorder, eating disorders, and psychotic disorders. Cyndi’s training in dialectical behavior therapy began at Seton’s outpatient clinic, Seton Behavioral Health, where she facilitated outpatient adolescent and multi-family groups. Cyndi has also provided individual and DBT group counseling services to women who have been sex trafficked, sexually exploited, and experienced domestic violence. Cyndi has completed basic training in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), which allows clients to heal from unprocessed traumatic memories without going into all of the details about the traumatic/distressing event(s). EMDR is a gentle and organic way of healing through trauma. Cyndi is passionate about destigmatizing mental health while helping people believe in themselves and find their strengths. Cyndi has a strong belief that with commitment, willingness to take an active stance, and a support system, people can make desired changes. As a clinical social worker, it is important to Cyndi to support her clients by providing them a safe, non-judgmental environment, observing their strengths while also encouraging clients to practice looking at other perspectives, challenging negative and dysfunctional thought processes, and helping clients engage in new and effective behaviors. Cyndi has a big heart and soft spot for all animals and critters and in her spare time she enjoys traveling, watching movies, listening to music, trying new foods and restaurants, reading, and spending time with friends, family, and her pet husky.
Sandra Alfaro is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Counseling from Oral Roberts University and Master of Social Work degree from Texas State University with a focus in direct clinical practice. Sandra completed her practicum at Ascension’s Seton Behavioral Intensive Outpatient Program, which afforded her the opportunity to be intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and she has been facilitating adult DBT IOP groups for five years. In this setting, she has gained clinical experience and shaped her strengths-based approach by working with individuals from various walks of life. Outside of a group setting, Sandra provides psychoeducation to resident nurses at Ascension Seton on the topic of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders to facilitate discussions and decrease stigma around this issue. In her downtime, Sandra enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and daughter, baking, gardening, and going to the family farm.
Emma Holder (she/her/hers) is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). Emma earned a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Theater from New College of Florida and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied motivational interviewing, trauma, and attachment theory. After working as a teacher, comedian, and writer for over a decade, Emma wanted to find a more direct way to help people and decided to pursue her social work degree. Emma has a collaborative and empathetic approach to therapy and truly believes the client is the expert in their own lives. She is honored to get to join people on their mental health journey and excited to help them find the tools they need to bring out their strengths and meet their emotional goals. Emma has a background in working with adolescents and finds joy in helping them feel supported and heard. She is a proponent of self-compassion, humor and mindfulness. She loves animals, especially her dog, Saul Bellow. She is passionate about being an advocate for social justice for all and enjoys comedy, writing, dancing, and watching reality television.
Kaitlin Clancy is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPC Associate) supervised by Vanessa Gallagher, MAHS, LPC-S. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Creighton University and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with certificates in Addictions Counseling and Systemic Multicultural Counseling, from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Kaitlin places a great deal of importance on fostering a strong therapeutic relationship and prioritizes a collaborative, warm, empathetic, and nonjudgmental approach to therapy. She has experience working in a variety of settings, ranging from acute care to outpatient, both before and after going to graduate school to be a mental health counselor. She completed her practicum in community mental health in rural Appalachia, where she provided individual and group therapy for individuals experiencing addiction, PTSD, personality disorders, depression, anxiety, grief, and much more. During this time, Kaitlin co-facilitated DBT skills groups as well as implemented DBT in her approach with individual clients. Her areas of passion include working with individuals with substance use disorders and anxiety, helping them find recovery that works for them. Kaitlin also has experience providing group and individual counseling at Rock Springs Hospital in the inpatient, PHP, and IOP programs. In her spare time, Kaitlin enjoys going on walks around Austin, reading thriller novels, and spending time with her partner and their spunky cat.
Dianna Verduzco was raised in Austin and is a Licensed Master Social Worker supervised by Meg Haden, LCSW-S. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from St. Edward’s University and completed her Master’s in Social Work with a focus in Advanced Clinical Social Work at Walden University. Dianna gained clinical experience in inpatient and outpatient settings during her 5 year tenure at Austin Oaks Hospital. She has experience working with clients ages 4 and up treating suicidal ideation, psychosis, homicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, and trauma. She has experience facilitating both CBT and DBT groups, and has been trained in providing trauma-informed care. Dianna understands that taking time to focus on your mental health takes courage and she strives to meet you where you are on your mental health journey. She strives to provide a safe, therapeutic space to feel comfortable and supported. She uses a strength-based approach; assisting clients to develop healthy coping skills, practice boundary-setting, and identifying realistic goals that promote growth and wellbeing. In her free time, Dianna enjoys hanging out with family, playing video games with her little brother, playing basketball, baking cookies, and eating chicken. She likes to laugh and enjoys a good Disney movie.
Nicole Lansbery is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor who owns her own private practice, Austin Therapy and Counseling, LLC, where she provides individual, group and family counseling and licensure supervision and consultation to other counselors. Nicole specializes in treating clients who struggle with emotional dysregulation, impulsive behaviors and suicidal and self-injuring thoughts and behaviors using Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Nicole attended the University of Texas at Austin where she received her Bachelor’s in Psychology. She went on to attend St. Edward’s University to receive her Masters in Counseling. Nicole worked at a local psychiatric hospital for five years, in both inpatient and intensive outpatient settings. While there she restarted the pet therapy program with her own golden retriever – a certified Pet Partner, Ruby. In addition, she was awarded an Excellence in Healthcare award and was honored as Employee of the Month. Nicole continues to guest lecture at St. Edward’s University and UT SSW on the treatment modality in which she specializes, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). She has received extensive training in DBT and has been a member of DBT Associates of Austin for six years. She is the director of Austin DBT Associates, an organization that provides adherent DBT treatment to the community at a reduced fee. Nicole prides herself in maintaining membership in the American Counseling Association and the Texas Counseling Association. Nicole resides in Austin, TX with her husband, daughter and two dogs.
Penny Kruger, M.S.S.W., L.C.S.W. completed her Masters in Social Work from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. She is originally from New Orleans. She has been practicing clinical social work for over 20 years at all levels of clinical care. She has worked with a variety of clinical populations, including eating disorders, sexual trauma and sexual compulsivity, domestic violence offender treatment, and specializes in treating personality disorders. Penny was intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, including Radically Open DBT. She started the first DBT Intensive Outpatient Program in Austin, Texas at Seton Behavioral Health. She is currently the Clinical Lead of the DBT IOP at Seton Behavioral Health where she has trained and supervised many of the current practicing DBT clinicians in the Austin area. She has a private practice with DBT Associates of Austin where she focuses on working with adults, couples and families. She currently provides training and supervision for clinicians and agencies, who are learning how to apply DBT treatment. She has provided training/education about DBT to the UT School of Social Work, Seton Department of Psychiatry, Cedar Crest Hospital, Communities in Schools, AISD, Seton Shoal Creek Hospital, Greater Austin Social Workers, University Recovery High School, Austin Child Guidance Center, Travis County Sheriffs Department, Austin Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and private practices throughout Central Texas. Penny is currently the Director of ADBTA, so that she can continue her mission of bringing effective treatment to those who may not have access to DBT treatment. She has been living in Austin with her family for the past 17 years.
Claire Ashton is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (LMFT-A). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, a certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University, and a Master of Arts in Counseling from St. Edward’s University.
Claire completed her practicum at Seton Behavioral Health where she received training in DBT while co-facilitating groups in the Intensive Outpatient Program. She concurrently completed a second practicum at Capital Area Counseling (CAC) where she treated children, families, and individuals presenting with social anxiety, perfectionism, phobias, challenges transitioning to adulthood, multicultural concerns, family challenges related to incarceration of a parent and divorce, and trauma and ritual abuse.
Claire has completed basic training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is used to alleviate distress associated with traumatic memories. She has also completed training in the use of Eidetic Imagery. Prior to pursuing a career in counseling, Claire worked in the music and technology industries, and is passionate about helping creative individuals identify personal goals and priorities, build meaningful relationships, and find healthy and fulfilling ways to express themselves.
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Austin - North Office
8500 North Mopac Expressway
Austin, TX 78759
Austin - South Office
6012 W. William Cannon Drive
Austin, Texas 78749