Lara Hakamaki

Director of Corporate Development


Lara graduated from Albion College with her Bachelor's in Economics and Management with a dual minor in Psychological Sciences and Cell & Molecular Biology. She has certifications in Spanish and Osteoarchaeology. She is the head of Corporate Development, so she shares her presence with all of our facilities. She grew up in the Upper Peninsula and loves the outdoors. Lara is a very energetic and outgoing person. Her hobbies include makeup, fashion, cooking, cleaning, sports, and playing with her adorable dog, Jordyn.

Team

Brad Messenger

Brad Messenger

LMSW, CEO

Brad graduated from Michigan State University School of Clinical Social Work with his master’s degree in Social Work, specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy. Brad spent time working for St. Vincent Catholic Charities and Michigan Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative, where he witnessed the remarkable effects talk therapy has on physically and mentally ill patients. Not long after, Brad joined forces with CCMC and established CCMC Psychological Services and directed his psychology expertise towards an integration of psychology and primary care. Brad now oversees the operations of CCMC Psychological Services, Gratiot Psychological Services, Midland Psychological Services, and Bay City Psychological Services.

Corrie Lovejoy

Corrie Lovejoy

Regional Manager

After several years in customer service, Corrie Lovejoy graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2012 with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Realizing that she was much better behind the scenes, she decided not to pursue a degree in counseling, but rather came to manage a counseling office in 2014.

Lara Hakamaki

Lara Hakamaki

Director of Corporate Development

Lara graduated from Albion College with her Bachelor's in Economics and Management with a dual minor in Psychological Sciences and Cell & Molecular Biology. She has certifications in Spanish and Osteoarchaeology. She is the head of Corporate Development, so she shares her presence with all of our facilities. She grew up in the Upper Peninsula and loves the outdoors. Lara is a very energetic and outgoing person. Her hobbies include makeup, fashion, cooking, cleaning, sports, and playing with her adorable dog, Jordyn.

Colleen Plowman

Colleen Plowman

Executive Assistant

After several years of hairdressing, Colleen graduated from Baker College with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Colleen assists Brad (CEO) and Corrie (Regional Manager) and helps the company to run smoothly. She is a wife and mother of three wonderful children. When she is not working, Colleen enjoys watching her youngest son’s baseball games, joining her daughter at the horse barn, and golfing with her oldest son. She has two dogs, two cats, and a horse. Colleen is a very bubbly person and keeps the office a happy and organized place.

Clinical Directors

Gwendoline Dewitt, PhD LP

Gwendoline Dewitt, PhD LP

Clinical Director

Clinton County

Psychology has been Gwendoline DeWitt's passion since high school. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Binghamton University, followed by her Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Dayton, and PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University at Buffalo. She completed her doctoral internship at Denver Health hospital in Colorado. She has a lengthy history working inpatient with severe and persistent mentally ill individuals, and she has deep compassion for the misunderstood and underrepresented populations. She has spent the last 2 years primarily working in outpatient settings, specializing in work with adults with significant trauma history, personality disorders, and all mood disorders. She also has 7 years' experience in Neuropsychological and Psychodiagnostic assessment. Dr. DeWitt's current focus lies in supervising and training clinicians, in addition to carrying a small caseload of therapy clients. In practice, one can expect a warm and accepting environment, as Dr. DeWitt guides clients to uncover their underlying truths and strengths as they dive into the root cause of their symptoms, healing them from the core. In her personal time, Dr. DeWitt enjoys the outdoors, studying and practicing yoga, and time with her family.

Amanda M. Patterson, LPC

Amanda M. Patterson, LPC

Clinical Director

Alma

I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology and Masters in Counseling from Central Michigan University. Prior to joining the Gratiot team, I developed my clinical skills providing individual and couples therapy at CCMC Psychological Services and at the Central Michigan University Counseling Center. I enjoy working with children, adolescents, and adults. I will use a variety of approaches in our sessions in order to understand and treat the root causes, not just the symptoms, of your issues. I prefer cognitive-behavioral, strength-based and relational therapy techniques that are designed to address you as a whole person. I believe that this deeper exploration and understanding allows for meaningful and sustainable healing and growth. I aspire to empower others in finding the path that can lead them to a more fulfilling life and engage them in their journey towards meaningful and lasting change. When I am not in the office providing hope to others I can be found spending time with my husband and two daughters, Tori and Bella. Hobbies of mine include camping, swimming, reading, jogging, dancing, singing, and really anything at all to do with music. I look forward to working with you and hope to help you make a meaningful change in your life.

Christine Shaw, PsyD, LP

Christine Shaw, PsyD, LP

Clinical Director

Midland

Christine received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Michigan State University. She then moved to Chicago and earned her Master's and Doctoral degrees from Adler University. She has experience in community mental health, residential treatment facilities, hospitals and schools. Christine specializes in working with people who have experienced trauma, mood disorders, relationship problems, and members of the LBGTQIA+ community. Her therapeutic orientation is person-centered and integrative, utilizing stage of change, cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavior interventions to help people learn skills to live their best life. She also specializes in providing psychological evaluations for children and adults with concerns related to ADHD, cognitive impairment, intellectual and learning disabilities, personality assessments, or pre-surgical evaluations, as well as more general evaluations for diagnostic clarification and therapeutic recommendations. When she's not in the office, Christine enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, traveling to new places, watching movies and reading.

St. Johns/Clinton County

Katelyn Ryals-Maxa

Katelyn Ryals-Maxa

Patient Advocate

Kate is an Ovid-Elsie high school graduate. She is currently working on her graphic design degree, but she has a strong commitment to customer service and client care. Her goal is to leave a lasting, positive impression and provide the best possible experience to anyone coming to Michigan Psychological Care. In Kate's free time she enjoys freelance artwork and spending time with her friends and family.

Addison Swarthout

Addison Swarthout

Front Desk Supervisor

Addison is a hometown graduate with close ties to the community. He enjoys bettering the lives of the patients and the staff at CCMC Psychological Services. Addison is passionate about providing the best possible service to everyone that walks through our doors. In his spare time, you can find Addison spending time with his family, on the basketball courts, or with friends.

Samantha Benson

Samantha Benson, LMSW

Care Provider

Samantha graduated from Michigan State University School of Clinical Social Work with her Master's degree in Social Work, specializing in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral therapy. She has clinical experience in many mental health settings and works with individuals who have experienced depression, anxiety, life adjustments, relationship issues, anger issues, grief, loss, and trauma. Samantha enjoys working with individuals of varying ages and backgrounds. She values a strength-based and person-centered approach to therapy while incorporating different therapy modalities in order to meet each individual's needs. Samantha has faith that each person has the strength and potential to grow, meet their goals, and regain control of their journey even when they face complex obstacles. When away from the office, Samantha loves nature, painting, singing, swimming, running, meditation, and spending quality time with her family, friends, and pets.

Taylor Boggs

Taylor Boggs, TLLP

Care Provider

Taylor received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Rochester College before attending Michigan School of Psychology, where she received her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. During her academic career, she committed to researching the effects of cognitive-behavioral family therapy with veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She has experience working with trauma, depression, anxiety and mood disorders. Taylor believes in a client-centered approach and values the importance of the therapeutic relationship and client empowerment. In her free time, she enjoys immersing herself in nature and spending time with her friends, family, and animals.

Mark Caswell, MS LLPC

Mark Caswell, MS LLPC

Care Provider

Mark completed a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Social Work at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. He then went on to earn a Master's of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling from Walden University in St. Paul Minnesota. Mark gained counseling experience as he worked in private practice, providing counseling to adolescents, adults, and couples; and while working as a school counselor and principal at a private high school. Mark enjoys working with many populations but especially enjoys his work with adolescents and couples. In therapy, Mark utilizes many different modalities, including; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Reality Therapy, Strengths Based Approaches, Choice Theory, and Attachment Theory. The goal in all of this is to help individuals make meaningful and lasting changes that can help them enjoy their life and loved ones to the fullest. Outside of the office, Mark enjoys sports and the outdoors and spending time with his family.

Emma Kahrs

Emma Kahrs, LMSW

Care Provider

After getting a bachelors degree in Art and Social Work form Eastern Michigan University, Emma went to the University of Michigan and received a masters degree in Clinical Social Work. She has clinical experience in many mental health settings working at a women’s center, a memory care assisted living floor, and volunteering with animal therapy, art therapy, youth, and special needs individuals. She works with a range of ages and issues using a person-centered, eclectic therapeutic style; incorporating many therapy modalities in order to cater to client’s individual needs. She spends her free time running, enjoying her pets, drawing or painting, and spending time with family and friends.

Calli Kreutzberger, MA TLLP, LPC

Calli Kreutzberger, MA TLLP, LPC

Care Provider

Calli obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University. She has clinical experience in a crisis intervention call center, university counseling center, and outpatient private practice. She works with a range of individuals and couples from a holistic, person-centered perspective. Calli uses a creative approach to therapy. She often integrates mindfulness and art therapy into her practice. For Clinton County Medical Center Psychological Services, she conducts therapy services as well as psychological evaluations. In her free time, Calli enjoys being outdoors, attending concerts, and spending time with family and friends.

Jennifer Lantz

Jennifer Lantz, MS TLLP

Care Provider

Jenny graduated from Western Michigan University with her Master's degree in Counseling Psychology. She was an intern at the Psychological Consultation Center at Pine Rest and at a private practice, where she conducted psychological evaluations. Jenny also interned at St. Vincent Catholic Charities, where she worked with underserved groups. She works from a person-centered perspective as she believes that clients know more about themselves than the therapist can. Jenny migrated with her family to the U.S. when she was young. That has led to her passion to help those who feel like a minority. Her experience has focused on helping clients from several different ethnic and cultural backgrounds navigate anxiety, depression, and trauma. Jenny's work includes therapy and psychological assessments, both of which she can conduct fully in Spanish. In her free time, Jenny enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking her dog, learning about other cultures, and traveling to new places.

Alexia Lunetta

Alexia Lunetta, LLMSW

Care Provider

Alexia Lunetta graduated from Central Michigan University with their Bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology. They continued their education at Michigan State University and obtained their Master's of Social Work. They utilize a humanitarian, strength-based, person-centered, eclectic approach to therapy and they believe that every person is capable of building a happy, healthy life when they have the necessary skill, resources, and tools to do so. Alexia is a proud member of the LGBTQIA2+ community and is very aware and sensitive to the unique needs and experiences that this community has. Alexia has found that they are especially drawn to helping children and teens figure out who they want to be and how to build the foundations to a life that will bring them joy and fulfillment. Alexia also has a passion for helping couples to strengthen their relationships and eradicate toxic cycles that may be causing distress. In their free time, Alexia enjoys spending time with animals, doing yoga, creating art, reading books, playing/watching sports, watching shows/movies, playing board games, interacting with nature, playing the ukulele, and being with their friends and family. They are very adventurous and open-minded, so they love to have new adventures and try new things.

Ainslee McVay

Ainslee McVay, LMSW, CAADC

Care Provider

Ainslee graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and followed with a Master's degree in Clinical Social Work from Ferris State University. She has since become a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC). Following school, Ainslee worked in co-occurring substance abuse counseling for over two years. During this time, she developed an eclectic style of therapy with a humanistic approach. Ainslee strives to empower individuals using a strength-based perspective and person-centered style. Creating a safe, comfortable environment, Ainslee seeks to embrace diversity. She is LGBTQ+ friendly and participates avidly in advocacy within the community. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and quoting Star Wars.

Paige Doubler

Paige Pung (Doubler), LLMSW

Care Provider

Paige graduated with her Bachelors of Social Work from Michigan State University. She continued her education by earning her Masters of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. Paige has experience working with individuals of various ages and backgrounds, including those seeking treatment for depression, anxiety, life adjustments, relationship issues, anger issues, grief, loss, and trauma. Paige values a strength-based, person-centered approach to therapy. She believes that every person has strengths and the potential to grow, meet their goals, and regain control in their life. She frequently applies Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to treatment, helping clients challenge their thinking and improve emotional regulation. When Paige is not at the office, she loves to spend time with her family, cuddle with her dog, and cook food for others at her home.

P. Cristy Swarthout, LPC, CAADC

P. Cristy Swarthout, LPC, CAADC

Care Provider

Cristy received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Arizona State University and then went on to receive her master’s degree in Counseling at the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ. Following her degree, Cristy became a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC). Cristy has also received training in Gambling Addiction and Auricular Acupuncture (ear), which is designed to detox the body and side effects from detoxing from substances. Prior to her career with CCMC, Cristy worked with substance abuse and mental health disorders for 20 years. Cristy is married with two children and has four pets – two dogs and two cats. When she is not in the office, Cristy enjoys running, walking her dogs, watching her children play sports, watching Tigers baseball and reading.

Maggie Valade, MA TLLP

Maggie Valade, MA TLLP

Care Provider

Maggie graduated with her Bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in biology from Oakland University, continuing on to receive her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University. She has experience working with clients of all ages in a private practice setting, utilizing both individual therapy and psychological assessments. Maggie has specific experience working with individuals seeking bariatric surgery, neuropsychological disorders, as well as experience with those seeking more generalized counseling. She works from a person-centered perspective, as she believes the client should have input in how counseling sessions go and what they want to spend their time talking about and working on. Her work at Clinton County Medical Center Psychological Services includes both therapy and psychological assessments. She enjoys therapy and assessments, as using them together allows for another piece of the puzzle to be revealed. In her free time, Maggie enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, and watching movies.

Patrick Walchak, LLMSW

Patrick Walchak, LLMSW

Care Provider

Patrick graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice with a specialization in Film. He went on to complete his Master’s of Clinical Social Work at Michigan State University as well. He enjoys working with people of any background and any age, using a person-centered approach to help each person with their specific needs. Patrick has spent much of his career working with those who experience substance abuse problems, at-risk youth, and those with extensive trauma backgrounds. In his time away from work, Patrick enjoys video games, film, writing scripts, and cooking.

Nina Whitehill, LPC

Nina Whitehill, LPC

Care Provider

Nina graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Western Michigan University – majoring in history and minoring in psychology. Nina then received her Master of Arts degree in Counseling and has been trained in experiential education along with issues relating to mental health and children. Prior to joining the CCMC Psychological team, Nina spent one year with Child and Family Services and 22 years as a school counselor. Nina enjoys working as a counselor and finds helping people understand themselves and make positive changes in their lives to be extremely rewarding. When Nina is not in the office, you can find her working in the yard, ballroom dancing, visiting with her family – especially her granddaughter, Janie – and spending time at the cottage in the summertime.

Midland/Midland County

Tess Harner

Tess Harner

Patient Advocate

Tess was born and raised in Midland, Michigan. She graduated from Midland High School and is currently attending Delta College to pursue a business management degree. She loves working with others and providing a warm, welcoming environment, and giving excellent customer service to incoming clients. In her free time, she loves spending time with family and friends, and when she has time she loves playing guitar and singing.

Kelsie Willsey

Kelsie Willsey

Office Manager

Kelsie joined Midland Psychological Services in hopes that it would give her the inspiration and push she needed to go back to college. Fortunately for her, she was right! When she isn't hard at work, she's taking online classes through Southern New Hampshire University in order to earn her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. In her free time, Kelsie enjoys spending time with her family, binge-watching Netflix, taking naps with her dog, and volunteering in the community.

Alyssa Cavanaugh, LLMSW

Alyssa Cavanaugh, LLMSW

Care Provider

Alyssa obtained her Bachelor's degree in Social Work at Saginaw Valley State University. For several years, she focused on advocating for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. She later went on to obtain her Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan where Alyssa worked with people of all ages as an outpatient mental health therapist at CNS Healthcare, a behavioral health center. Alyssa provides a person-centered approach with her clients by delivering an open, non-judgmental atmosphere. She believes clients have the ability to make decisions for themselves and the strength to overcome those obstacles. By integrating cognitive-behavioral and DBT techniques with components of a trauma-focused approach, Alyssa aims to guide the client in processing their experiences to grow as an individual. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys interacting with friends and family. She loves spending time outdoors by going for hikes, soaking up the sun, and looking over nature's beauty. She can usually be found sipping on coffee and listening to music.

Mary Gilbert, LLMSW

Mary Gilbert, LLMSW

Care Provider

Mary received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Saginaw Valley State University and after working in the mental health field, returned to Saginaw Valley State to earn her Master’s degree in Social Work. She has experience working in community mental health, schools, and non-profit agencies. Her person-centered philosophy of therapy is a multi-faceted approach utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mind-body techniques, emotionally focused therapy, motivational interviewing, strength-based, systems, and relational therapy techniques in a non-judgemental atmosphere to creatively address both the root causes and current symptoms of challenging life issues including depression, anxiety, anger, gender and sexual identity and relationship navigation in her work with adolescent, adults, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community during individual, family and couples therapy. She believes that building a trusting and nurturing therapy environment empowers clients to seek deeper self-reflection that promotes meaningful, positive personal transformation. When not in the office, Mary enjoys reading, gardening, music, cooking, art, and walking her two goofy Doodles.

Ashley Hughes, LLMSW

Ashley Hughes, LLMSW

Care Provider

As a therapist and Master's level social worker, Ashley helps empower you in making positive changes in your life. While it can be difficult, she will be there with you utilizing warmth, empathy, humor, and a non-judgmental atmosphere as you work in a collaborative manner to reach your personal goals.

Since 2013, Ashley has worked in the mental health field, helping those struggling with forms of anxiety, depression, various forms of assault, relationship problems, death and dying, self-esteem issues, and substance abuse. Additionally, she has spent a long time working with at-risk youth and those with childhood trauma. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Toledo and her Master's degree in Social Work from Walden University.

Rather than using one methodology for all individuals, Ashley prefers to utilize elements from various methods to create a personal approach which is tailored for each person. In her spare time, she works out regularly, loves going on walks with her goofy German Shepherd, and sailing with her boyfriend.

Noele Lucius, LLMSW

Noele Lucius, LLMSW

Care Provider

Noele completed both her Bachelor's and Master's of Social Work at Saginaw Valley State University. She has experience in working with young adults and individuals of various ages relating to various issues including anxiety, depression, struggles with self-esteem, life adjustments, and social concerns. With a strong value placed in lifelong learning, Noele continues to grow her experience and educational training to better serve her clients. Her counseling style encompasses various approaches including strength-based, cognitive-behavioral, and solution focused methods but largely depends on the needs of the client and their desired outcomes for therapy. Noele feels that all individuals deserve the opportunity to achieve their goals and find comfort within their lives. She supports their growth through empowerment and providing a positive therapeutic relationship. In her personal time Noele enjoys a variety of activities with her husband, two children, and Labrador. She has a passion for reading and spending time outdoors. Camping and spending time near the water are two of her favorite pastimes.

Carli Meyerson, LLMSW

Carli Meyerson, LLMSW

Care Provider

Carli was born and raised in Tampa, Florida then moved to Ann Arbor to complete her Bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan. She returned to Florida to complete her Master's of Social Work at the University of Central Florida. Carli has clinical experience working in a hospital setting and outpatient medical home, providing counseling services to those with a variety of psychosocial issues including anxiety, depression, and trauma, especially to those with physical injuries or chronic health concerns. Carli aims to provide a comfortable and non-judgmental setting for therapy using a strengths-based approach. She believes in the importance of creating a collaborative relationship with the client in order to meet their individual needs and goals. Carli utilizes components from cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, and motivational interviewing in her work with clients. In her free time, Carli enjoys being outdoors, cooking, and spending time with friends and family. She is also an avid fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Kenneth Mize, LLMSW

Kenneth Mize, LLMSW

Care Provider

Kenneth graduated with his Bachelor's of Social Work from Saginaw Valley State University. He would later continue his education at Fordham University in New York for his Master's of Social Work. Kenneth has worked with children and families his entire career and enjoys working with any and all populations. He provides an environment for the client to succeed, but also feel comfortable and at ease. Kenneth practices sensory and play therapy with most of his clients as he feels it allows them the best therapeutic environment to succeed in. He primarily focuses on strengths-based therapeutic approaches, CBT, and TFCBT. Kenneth is very open to allowing the client to dictate the pace of therapy and to allow them to achieve their goals on their own time. When Kenneth is not working he enjoys playing and watching sports, volunteering and spending time with his family.

Christopher Morabito, LPC

Christopher Morabito, LPC

Care Provider

Chris received his Bachelor's degree from Central Michigan University and then received his Master's in Counseling Psychology from The University of Southern Mississippi. Chris has worked in private practice and addiction rehabilitation facilities for the majority of his career. He enjoys working with individuals from all backgrounds and ages. Chris provides a therapeutic environment where the client can determine the pace and set the goals they want to work on. Gaining new perspectives and learning strategies to help build the life the client wants to live is part of Chris's therapeutic philosophy. Also incorporated in the therapeutic perspective, Chris primarily works with evidence-based practices and humanistic approaches. When Chris is not working he enjoys being outside, reading, and spending time with family.

Marissa Ollech, LMSW

Marissa Ollech, LMSW

Care Provider

Marissa was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work Degree at Saginaw Valley State University. After moving to Colorado, she completed her Master of Social Work Degree at the University of Denver, specializing in High Risk Youth. Marissa lived in the Denver area for nine years, working in various residential treatment facilities. She moved back to Michigan and has spent the past six years helping clients in outpatient treatment. Marissa strives to provide a warm and nurturing environment to help clients feel comfortable and able to thrive. Marissa incorporates Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing into her sessions to help clients achieve their desired goals and outcomes. When Marissa is not in the office, she enjoys spending time with her family, being outside (preferably near water), heading up North, baking, singing karaoke, running, traveling, or planning a new adventure!

Amanda Schulze, LPC

Amanda Schulze, LPC

Care Provider

Amanda’s interest in people and their lives combined with her constant need to be creative helped her decide to receive her Master’s degree in Counseling with a specialization in Art Therapy from Wayne State University. Amanda has clinical experience working with people of all ages in an inpatient psychiatric setting, utilizing group, individual, and art therapy. When not in the office, Amanda enjoys spending time with her family and being outdoors. She also is usually working on various art projects like jewelry making, crocheting, painting, and wood burning.

Alma/Gratiot County

Kayla Lalk

Kayla Lalk

Patient Advocate

Kayla is a recent graduate with her Bachelor's degree in Sociology: Youth Studies Concentration, with a minor in Family Studies from Central Michigan University. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Central Michigan University. She plans to specialize with children, adolescents, and families. When Kayla is not working or in class, she spends her free time with her dog, friends, and family. She enjoys traveling, running, doing puzzles, golfing, and working with children.

Heather Stead

Heather Stead

Patient Advocate

Heather was born and raised in Ithaca, Michigan. She graduated from Montcalm Community College with two associate degrees in the fields of Applied Science and Arts, and Digital Arts. Along with her passion for design, she also enjoys working with toddlers and children. Before joining Michigan Psychological Care, she was working with young children as a S.T.A.R. Coordinator for Learning Care Group. Now, as a patient advocate, she strives to provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all. She enjoys filling her free time with photography, reading a good book, or traveling to new places.

Leon Austin, PsyD LP

Leon Austin, PsyD LP

Care Provider

Leon completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Religion from Southern College of Seventh-day Adventists (now Southern Adventist University) in Collegedale TN. He then completed a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, a Master of Arts degree in Psychology and a Doctor of Psychology degree with a minor concentration in neuropsychology from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda CA. Before joining Midland Psychological Services, Leon worked in a variety of clinical settings including (but not limited to) rehab and geropsychology, Social Security Disability psychological evaluations, adolescent group homes (for boys and girls) and the Michigan Department of Corrections. Outside the office, Leon enjoys spending time with his wife Cheryl, reading, walking, bicycling, music and writing.

Anthony Michael Benedict, LLPC

Anthony Michael Benedict, LLPC

Care Provider

Once people experience distress, depression or severe anxiety, living life can seem unbearable. Tony's desire and purpose is to help create therapeutic restoration for everyone. He helps all clients who seek his services, children, adolescents, adults, or couples, in all walks of life. He believes in working together, so clients can begin to appreciate themselves as serene, whole, and safe. He has studied a large array of therapeutic techniques, such as Gestalt, Existential, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and many more. Together he will help find the right approach for each individual. Tony is in the St. Johns location on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. He is in the Alma location on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Sara Bruewer, LMSW

Sara Bruewer, LMSW

Care Provider

I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology from Central Michigan University and my Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Prior to working at Gratiot Psychological Services, I worked for several years at St. Vincent Catholic Charities Children’s Home in Lansing, MI as a residential therapist providing individual, group, and family therapy. I have been trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy model to help further address incidents of trauma in children and adolescents. Outside the office, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also like to spend time reading, watching movies, painting or drawing, and being outside.

Lyndsay Chant, LLMSW

Lyndsay Chant, LLMSW

Care Provider

yndsay graduated from Eastern Michigan University with her Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She continued her education and obtained her Master of Social Work from Spring Arbor University. Prior to joining the Gratiot team, Lyndsay devoted three years of her time to serve individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in Adult Foster Care Homes. She also spent two years refining her therapeutic skills here at Gratiot Psychological Services as an intern. She was given opportunities to provide individual, couples, children, and family therapy. Lyndsay practices using a variety of therapeutic techniques based on the needs and input of the individual. She prefers using cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, strengths-based approach, and art techniques as a way to assist clients in developing coping skills, personal strengths, and personal healing. Lyndsay has experience with a wide age range of individuals for a variety of reasons including depression, anxiety, transitioning, relationships, and others. One interesting aspect of Lyndsay's life is that she spent time in the foster care system and was adopted as an adolescent. During this time, she was required to spend time in therapy where she had a negative experience with a therapist. This gives Lyndsay a unique understanding of individuals resistant to seeing a therapist and the motivation to create a warm, safe, and comforting environment for individuals to feel heard, seen, and understood while encouraging them to heal, make changes, and embrace meaningful growth. Out of the office, Lyndsay enjoys spending time at Crystal Lake, going camping, being outdoors, and exploring new places. She spends a lot of time with her bare eyed cockatoo and her blue and gold macaw. She also enjoys reading, coloring, crafts, puzzles, learning, and spending quality time with her significant other, friends, and family.

Alesha Dickman, MA TLLP

Alesha Dickman, MA TLLP

Care Provider

Alesha Dickman, MA, TLLP is originally from Isabella County, but has close ties to Gratiot County. Alesha attended Alma College and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Gerontology. While receiving her Bachelor’s degree, Alesha participated in a number of internship and volunteer experiences at Masonic Pathways and Gratiot County Commission on Aging. Alesha went on to receive her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from the Michigan School of Professional Psychology in Farmington Hills, MI. Through her graduate experience, she interned at Paula’s House Women Empowering Women in Monroe, MI where she worked closely with substance abuse clients and their families. Alesha is very excited to be a part of the Gratiot Psychological Services team.

Michelle M. Harrast, LLPC

Michelle M. Harrast, LLPC

Care Provider

Michelle graduated from Central Michigan University with a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Professional Dance Performance from Brigham Young University. Her counseling philosophy is solution-focused with an emphasis on mind-body techniques to help clients manage stress, anxiety, and negative emotions. Michelle is trained in administering the Prepare-Enrich couple’s assessment tool to enhance her work with couples. Her counseling interests include facilitating healthy lifestyle habits that support physical, emotional and cognitive wellness. Michelle looks forward to offering hope for healing with evidence-based counseling techniques suited to each person’s unique needs and interests. For fun, Michelle enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with her family. When the snow cooperates, she can be found on the cross country ski trails. She is a fan of creating healthy food and the latest adventure has been learning how to ferment vegetables.

Samantha Hershberger, LLMSW

Samantha Hershberger, LLMSW

Care Provider

Samantha graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from University of Phoenix. She recently graduated with her Master’s degree in Social Work. Samantha has worked in the Mental Health Field with various roles for several years. She has experience as an office manager for Mental Health practice, and as an intern investigating child abuse and neglect, and most recently, as a Case Manager for adults with severe mental health and substance use. She utilizes a strength-based and person-centered approach, while integrating evidence-based practices and mindfulness to fit the needs of her clients. Samantha has a decade of experience working in the customer service industry and enjoys working with and helping people find the appropriate coping skills and strategies that work best for them. She wants to create a safe and comforting environment for her clients. She is excited to gain more knowledge and skills at Michigan Psychological Care. Outside of the office, she enjoys time with her family, reading, riding horses, golfing and being outdoors!

Timothy M. Higgins, HCP, HAD

Timothy M. Higgins, HCP, HAD

Care Provider

Timothy is a graduate of Michigan State University and provides hearing care, balance testing and vision care to Clinton County residents. His favorite part of being a provider is seeing his patients’ faces light up with joy when they can finally hear what they’ve been missing. From hearing the voices of grandchildren to the song of birds to the sermons on Sunday morning, better hearing has truly made an impact on the lives of his patients. When he’s not in the office, Timothy enjoys landscaping, gardening and creating metal sculptures. He is a long-time resident of Elsie, MI where he lives with his wife, Susan, and their three children Sarah, Ella and Jonathon.

Tara Hyde, LLMSW

Tara Hyde, LLMSW

Care Provider

Tara graduated from Central Michigan University with her Bachelor's degree in Sociology and specialized her learning towards substance abuse counseling. She continued her education and obtained her Master's of Social Work from Michigan State University. Tara has worked in the mental health field for many years prior to joining the Gratiot team. Most recently, Tara had worked as a Case Manager working with children and young adults with severe mental health and behavioral issues. As well as working at a residential treatment facility, Tara completed a year as an intern here at Gratiot Psychological Services. As an intern, Tara was given opportunities to provide individuals, children and couples with therapy and has a lot of experience with working with childhood trauma, some substance abuse counseling as well as children and adults with anxiety and depression. Outside of the office, Tara enjoys spending time outside with her 2 dogs, her partner, traveling to new places, watching reruns of Friends and spending time with friends and family!

Jason Lowell, LLPC

Jason Lowell, LLPC

Care Provider

Jason received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Central Michigan University and his Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling… FIRE UP CHIPS! Prior to joining the Gratiot team, he completed a year as an intern and did some clinical work over the summer of 2021 at Ronan Psychological Care in Mt. Pleasant, MI. He developed his clinical skills providing therapy to adolescents, adults, and couples. Jason has studied a large array of therapeutic techniques, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, and many more. He has experience with a wide range of individuals for a variety of reasons including ADHD, depression, anxiety, life transitions, and more. Jason incorporates a variety of techniques so that treatment can be tailored to meet each client’s individual needs to foster their own mental health journey. His counseling philosophy is that the function of counseling is a journey of self-exploration by the client, meant to increase their level of self-understanding and self-awareness. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his dog, Everest, and spending time with family and friends.

Lauren Marks, LLPC

Lauren Marks, LLPC, ATR-P

Care Provider

Lauren graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a minor in psychology. She went on to complete her Master of Art in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Wayne State. She specializes in providing art therapy to a variety of individuals, including adolescents and adults. Lauren has experience helping people overcome severe and persistent mental illness, substance use, and personality disorders. Lauren integrates a variety of techniques so that treatment can be tailored to the needs of each client individually to enhance and support personal growth. She relies heavily on art therapy practices, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and creative thinking strategies to provide the best care she can for each client that she sees. In her free time, Lauren enjoys hiking, kayaking, gardening, and spending time with friends and family. She can often be found either in the woods or in her art studio where she does watercolor paintings of nature and woodblock prints.

Maddison Nelson, MA TLLP

Maddison Nelson, MA TLLP

Care Provider

Maddison received her Bachelor's of Science in Psychology from Central Michigan University. She continued her education at the Michigan School of Psychology where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology. Maddison has clinical experience working with individuals with anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, among many other therapeutic purposes. Maddison has experience working closely with teens and young adults, but welcomes clients of all ages. When she is not in the office Maddison can be found walking her dog, doing arts and crafts, or relaxing with her cat.

Rayna Oswald LLMSW

Rayna Oswald, LLMSW

Care Provider

Rayna completed Associate degrees in Psychology and Sociology prior to marrying and moving to St. Louis, MI. She has spent the last 30 years working with children and adolescents in group home settings and has experience with couples counseling and life coaching. She received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Central Michigan University, her Master’s degree in Social Work from Spring Arbor University, and is grateful for her real-life experiences which provide a strong foundation for her work at Gratiot Psychological Services. Rayna believes that all people tend to develop in consistent stages and have similar needs and desires but have unique biological and neurological responses to their environment. Therefore, Rayna’s personal therapeutic style takes an eclectic, integrative approach. In this manner, each client receives an individualized, holistic approach to therapy. She desires to provide a safe, non-judgmental space for clients of all ages to explore their important life issues, and works with clients in a collaborative manner to equip them with the skills they need to enhance their lives and reach their personal goals. When not at the office, Rayna can usually be found interacting with the St. Louis community, either through church gatherings or school functions. She enjoys reading, cooking, and keeping in touch with her birth children, group home children, and exchange students.

Morgan Sauve, LLMSW

Morgan Sauve, LLMSW

Care Provider

Morgan received her Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and Masters of Social Work from Grand Valley State University. While at Grand Valley, she participated in multiple internships which gave her experience working with troubled children, adolescents, and their families. She likes to work from a person-centered approach, as she believes the client should be able to have a say on how sessions go. Morgan is excited to gain more experience while working at Gratiot Psychological Services! When not in the office, Morgan loves to spend time with her dog, family, and friends. She also loves going boating, loves to travel and loves rainy days.

Jamie Savage, LLPC

Jamie Savage, LLPC

Care Provider

Jamie received her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Saginaw Valley State University, and her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Central Michigan University. Prior to joining the Gratiot team, Jamie worked as a Behavior Technician providing ABA therapy to children with Autism. She completed a year as an intern here at Michigan Psychological Care in the Gratiot office, where she developed her clinical skills providing therapy to children, adolescents, and adults. Jamie has studied a large array of therapeutic techniques, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Existential Therapy, and many more. She has experience with a wide range of individuals for a variety of reasons including ADHD, depression, anxiety, life transitions, and more. Jamie incorporates a variety of techniques so that treatment can be tailored to meet each client’s individual needs to foster personal growth. Her counseling philosophy is to look at the whole picture – mental health issues don’t happen in isolation, so they shouldn’t be treated in isolation. In her free time, Jamie enjoys listening to music, reading, crafts, and spending quality time with her significant other, family, and friends.