is a Certified Enterprise Architect, Scrum Master, and Personal Trainer with 15 years of experience in the Intelligence Community (IC) as well as technical support in directing the planning and execution of multi-method research and analysis initiatives used to produce actionable intelligence products. He has lead teams responsible for the development and management of the GOV network architectures and implementing model-based systems engineering methodology to enhance critical national infrastructure.
JC is an Indiana University graduate and 8 years Army Veteran where he served in the 82nd Airborne Division. He completed several combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. After completing his military service, he continued his service to the DOD and Intelligence Community in several capacities.
JC volunteers at his local church as a worship leader and missionary. He has a passion for serving the community: providing character coaching, mentorship, and motivational speaking as well as facilitating group training and military style boot camps.
Barbara Stephenson, M.S., LMFT, Co-Owner
is a licensed marriage and family therapist whose passion is to help empower and motivate others to seek personal growth and positive life changes. She provides a supportive and safe environment where clients can feel comfortable exploring their thoughts and feelings. She collaborates with each client to help identify and understand their challenges and tailors her therapeutic approach to meet the client’s specific needs and treatment goals. She believes treatment should emphasize the whole individual and therefore focuses on mental, emotional, physical, and social health to enhance their overall well-being.
Barbara received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Marshall University in West Virginia. She graduated with her master’s degree in Counselor Education/Marriage and Family Therapy from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited Stetson University in Florida. She completed her residency for licensure in Northern Virginia working in both outpatient mental health and intensive in-home settings. Additionally, she has worked as a high school counselor. She has experience working with individuals dealing with adjustment issues, anxiety, self-esteem issues, depression, couples and family relational issues, and behavioral problems in adolescents. She works with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families to help provide healthy coping skills and effective communication skills.
Barbara focuses on client strengths and encourages clients to engage in strategies outside of
therapy sessions in order to progress towards their goals. She believes a positive
mind set is essential in creating a healthier balance and striving towards endless
Stephanie Hernandez, LMT
is a licensed massage therapist. She has a passion to heal and help with everyone’s unique physical stressors that cause tension, soreness, chronic pain, and discomfort. The types of massages she performs includes Swedish, deep tissue, and sports massage.
Stephanie attended the Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage (NVSTM) for Licensure. She received her certifications through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) programs.
Stephanie is excited to keep extending her knowledge and growing in everything that massage therapy has to offer. Outside of work she enjoys the outdoors and spending time with friends/family.
Kiersten Farrell, MsEd, CSAC, Resident in Counseling
is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor and Resident in Counseling approved by the Virginia Board of Counseling working towards her licensure. Kiersten graduated with her Masters' degree in Mental Health Counseling from Old Dominion University. She has previously worked in outpatient, hospital and college settings working with teens, young adults, and adults. Additionally, she has experience working with couples and family dynamics. Kiersten has worked with individuals experiencing substance use and abuse struggles, criminal thinking and behaviors, trauma, physical chronic diagnoses, sports related injuries and mental blocks, anxiety, stress, relationship issues, depression, ADHD, eating disorders and major life transitions.
Kiersten approaches clients from a holistic viewpoint, paying attention to their mental, spiritual and physical well being. She uses person-centered techniques, mixing in aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy, narrative therapy and motivational interviewing. She believes that therapy is challenging, yet opens many doors to self-growth, self- discovery, and self-acceptance.
Kiersten aims to create an environment where her clients can fully explore themselves in their past, current and future circumstances. Through collaboration with her clients, she helps them steer on their journeys through life.
Kiersten currently works under the supervision of Marla Peyser, LPC.
Sara Ayasso, MS.Ed, LPC, NCC
is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia and board certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors. Sara graduated with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. She has a background of working in a variety of settings: communities, schools, residential and outpatient sites and has experience working with diverse clients including adults, children, families, couples, refugees, and offenders. Sara has helped individuals experiencing anxiety, trauma, low self-esteem, adjustment issues, stress, ADHD, depression, relationship issues, life transitions, and substance abuse struggles. She uses an eclectic approach that includes person-centered techniques, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness in order to better help her client’s unique journey. She also implements trauma-focused techniques and motivational interviewing.
Sara’s passion is to help her clients cultivate their mental health by giving them a holistic plan enabling them to confront and nourish their life mentally, physically, and spiritually. Sara constantly strives to improve the overall emotional well-being of individuals experiencing difficulty managing mental distress from crises to daily living skills. She first and foremost endeavors to foster a trusted bond between herself and others. Her positive, empathetic nature and attentive, sensitive demeanor creates a safe environment in which individuals can feel free to talk openly without judgment. Sara is passionate about bringing patience, empathy, unconditional positive regard, and comprehensive treatment strategies to each individual.
Keller Cosimano, MSW, LCSW
is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Virginia. She graduated with a Master’s in Social Work from George Mason University. Keller has experience working in diverse settings to include outpatient, communities, health care and schools. Keller has experience working with children, adolescents, teens, adults, and the elderly. She has helped individuals that are struggling with grief/loss, depression, anxiety, life transitions, low self-esteem, relationship issues, adjustment issues, ADHD, traumatic brain injury, and trauma.
Keller seeks to normalize psychotherapy as a collaborative and integral part of your self-care She uses a client-centered approach that is non-judgemental, collaborative, and empathetic, with the hope to provide a safe place to process life’s curveballs together. Her goal for clients is to feel understood, supported, safe, and empowered. To promote healing and validate self worth, she empowers clients to identify natural skills and strengths to overcome obstacles and develop coping skills.
She does not believe in a one size fits all approach to therapy and uses a variety of therapeutic techniques and interventions including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and mindfulness training. She will collaborate with you to create an individualized approach that will address your difficulties and speak to your strengths and goals.
Eliza Gallagher, MS.Ed, Resident in Counseling
is a Resident in Counseling approved by the Virginia Board of Counseling and is working towards her licensure. Eliza graduated with her Master's in Counselor Education from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She has previously worked in elementary schools and has experience working with young children, teens, young adults, and families. Eliza has experience working with individuals dealing with depression, anxiety, separation, grief & loss, trauma, self-esteem, major life transitions, suicidal thoughts, family systems, conflict resolution, transitions and emotion management. Eliza is passionate about stepping alongside clients as they navigate through challenges and goals while emphasizing specific, individualized treatment plans to promote the discovery of who each client is and is meant to be. Eliza's experience includes working with at risk youth in gangs, homeless services, law enforcement, social workers, human trafficking, social media, and society/school/family pressures that lead to decreased health and increased challenges for individuals in an already challenging world. She believes in building a support system unique for each person and believes in counseling because it adds one more person to 'your team' of people.
Eliza values creating a safe, inclusive, open space for clients to enter into as they engage mentally, emotionally, physically and/or spiritually. Her therapeutic style can be described as present, empathic, positive, and compassionate. By creating specific individualized tasks for clients to process or do outside of the counseling space, she hopes to promote increased growth and freedom.
When she is not at work, Eliza enjoys
spending time reading, cooking, and being active, especially outdoors with her
spouse and dog, Oshie, who she hopes to train to be a therapy dog.
Eliza currently works under the supervision of Marla Peyser, LPC.
Karen M. David, M.Ed, Resident in Counseling
is approved by the Virginia Board of Counseling as a Resident in Counseling to work with children and adults. She obtained her Master’s in Counseling and Development from George Mason University. Karen has experience working with children, adolescents, teens, and adults who have experienced trauma, sexual abuse, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, as well as relationship and life adjustments concerns. Karen is a Certified Trauma Professional (CTP) and has also completed her training as a Meditation Specialist I-BC in Focused Awareness Meditation from the National Meditation Specialist Certification Board.
Karen is passionate about meeting clients wherever they are on their life journey and helping them process the challenges they are facing. Karen believes that everyone struggles from time to time with mental health concerns and that within each person are the answers to moving forward. This begins with self-awareness of one’s strengths, supports, as well as goals.
Karen offers an integrative/eclectic evidenced base therapy practice. She utilizes Person Centered Therapy, IFS, CBT, DBT, Humanistic Therapy, Creative Impact Therapy, and Mindfulness based stress reduction, while working with you toward your goals.
Please join Karen, as she invites you to a safe space, to be heard, to explore the possibilities of being self, to discover the answers within, and to reach your goals of well-being.
Karen currently works under the supervision of Sarah Freeman, LPC.
Graciela Sejas-Padilla, MSW, Supervisee in Clinical Social Work
is a Supervisee in Clinical Social Work and working toward her licensure to become a LCSW pending approval by the Board of Social Work. She graduated with a Master’s in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She has a background in working in diverse settings: non-profit organizations, schools, in-patient hospitalizations, and in-home services. She has experience in working with children, adolescents, and adults. Graciela has worked with individuals experiencing anxiety, trauma, adjustment issues, low self-esteem, family and relationship conflicts, grief/loss, depression, and behavioral and emotional management issues. In order to best meet the needs and goals of her clients, Graciela approaches clients by utilizing a variety of interventions and techniques such as Person-Centered Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness techniques, and Trauma-Focused techniques.
Graciela believes in the power of the therapeutic relationship and prioritizes making sure her clients feel safe and understood in therapy. She values creating a safe, open environment for her clients using a collaborative and compassionate approach. Graciela works with her clients in identifying all aspects of an individual's life that impact their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. She embraces a strengths-based lens when working with individuals by assisting clients in recognizing their full potential and their ability to overcome their challenges in life and achieve their goals.
Graciela currently works under the supervision of Michelle A. Buhrandt, LCSW.
Kennedy Kingston, MS, Resident in Counseling
is a Resident in Counseling approved by the Virginia Board of Counseling, and working towards licensure. Kennedy completed her Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Memphis. She has worked in residential and outpatient settings. Kennedy's previous experience includes working with adults, as well as young children, adolescents, and their families. She also has experience working with individuals who experienced trauma, abuse, and struggle with behavioral issues, as well as individuals struggling with substance abuse and criminal behavior.
As a counselor, Kennedy encourages self-exploration and growth in her clients by providing non-judgmental support and allowing them to feel heard. She approaches counseling from a humanistic standpoint and incorporate cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavior techniques with clients.
Kennedy aims to provide a safe space for clients, where they feel comfortable to be their authentic selves. She hopes to help her clients feel comfortable exploring vulnerable topics and empowered to work towards healing.
Kennedy works under the supervision of Mary Moussa, LPC, NCC, CSAC.
Bridgette Joye, MS, Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy
is a Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy approved by the Virginia Board of Counseling, and working towards licensure. Bridgette completed her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Capella University. She has experience working with diverse populations across the lifespan. Her previous clinical experience includes working with couples, young children, adolescents, minority populations and adult individuals, as well as facilitating group therapy.
Bridgette is a strong advocate for the benefits therapy can provide and views her work with clients from a systemic and holistic lens. She meets each client where they are and takes a non-judgmental and collaborative approach to support treatment goals. Bridgette especially enjoys working with couples to encourage a more satisfying, healthy, and fulfilling relationship through more effective communication, improved conflict resolutions skills, and increased emotional connection. Bridgette’s treatment approach is grounded in evidence-based models and pulls from a variety of interventions including Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Experiential, Internal Family Systems, Marital, and mindfulness-based therapies. Bridgette is also a certified facilitator of the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment for premarital couples and marital enrichment. She has been able to assist clients in developing self-worth, navigating life transitions, breaking destructive generational patterns, improving communication, learning healthy coping strategies and problem-solving skills, and strengthening connection and intimacy.
Bridgette currently works under the supervision of Karen Perkins Curtis, LPC.
Sandra Novkovic, M.Ed, Resident in Counseling
is a Resident in Counseling approved by the Virginia Board of Counseling, and working towards licensure. Sandra graduated with her Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The College of William & Mary.
Sandra recognizes that the therapeutic process is powerful and sacred. Sandra incorporates an eclectic blend of person-centered, existential, psychodynamic, and holistic approaches into her practice. She believes that connecting an individual's mind, body, and spirit will cultivate a deeper understanding of one's whole self. Sandra is open to applying biblical principles into the therapeutic process if ethical to the client. Sandra works with adults (18+) and couples ranging from dating, pre-marital, and marital. Sandra is very passionate about helping people cultivate and restore healthy interpersonal and romantic relationships. She implements psychoeducation of Gottman's principles for healthy communication and Attachment Theory into couple's therapy.
Sandra also has a passion for helping those who have experienced domestic violence and narcissistic abuse find peace and healing. She also assists with difficulties surrounding self-esteem, body image, breakups, and life transitions. Outside of counseling, she loves to spend time doing outdoor activities, volunteering at church, and spending time with her family and friends.
Sandra is currently works under the supervision of Michelle Hobson, LPC.
Luis "June" Mayen Jr., Creative Director
Luis, otherwise known as June, is a multitalented self-taught visual artist who has a passion for photography, music, and cinema. His incredible attention to detail and keen eye equips him to tell the story from behind the lenses of the subjects he captures with passion and respect. His experience with this medium of arts includes capturing live images for prominent political, religious, and cultural figures and the creation of content to increase their brand recognition and influence. June excels in problem solving and adaptability allowing him to compose graphics and videos to attract and inform a variety of demographics.
June has been creating industry-level content for over 2 years as a creative director and enjoys individualized service customized for growing businesses and organizations. His work has been featured on national publications and social media platforms of some of the most influential individuals and organizations. June's warm and welcoming disposition allows him to connect with all walks of life at a personal level. His strong sense of responsibility motivates him to exceed task requirements.
primary role as Creative Director is developing original content and creative
strategies for promoting STEP into Wellness brand and opening new lines of
communication within our surrounding areas. He is responsible for the design
layout and visual impact of marketing materials, products, print, photography,
video, and publications. He is helping us redefine our marketing strategy
through innovating our website, social media, marketing materials, and other
platforms. Junes employs his analytical skills to help us understand consumer
trends and continually improve social media performance that helps us connect
with our community.
Sandra Lopez, Certified Group Fitness Instructor
Sandra Lopez is a mother and registered nurse devoted to promoting the health of families and communities. Sandra uses prayer, good nutrition, positive social interactions, regular exercise, and a mentality of lifelong learning to help stay balanced and involved in community and family life and help prevent disease.
Sandra is an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor and an ACE Certified Medical Exercise Specialist. She has been teaching Cardio Strength, a class encompassing high and low intensity aerobics and free weight exercises as well as Dance Blast which is low impact cardio aerobics.
Join her for a fitness class designed to promote wellness and balance in mind, body and spirit. Benjamin Franklin once said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!