Meet Our Counseling Staff
Brandi S. Dingus, MA, LPC/MHSP
Brandi is a huge fan of inner peace and has found a few tricks that help people find theirs. She believes in working with people to identify barriers and challenges that arise and finding effective, efficient ways around them. She has worked with hundreds of amazing people over the last 20 years in different support roles, with the last 10 as a Licensed Professional Counselor. In that time, Brandi learned that we are all able to use our unique strengths and abilities to move forward in our personal journeys towards finding our peace.
Having experience in outpatient, residential treatment, and in-home settings has led to her deep appreciation for valuing individual family systems and the unique cultures that we all develop in our homes and identified family units. Brandi loves working with kids, adults, families, and couples in finding solutions to life challenges. Whether the challenge is anxiety, depression, mood, addiction, PTSD, grief, sexuality, gender identity, or just uncertainty she has found that the journey of developing effective coping skills and processing emotions is both powerful and life changing. She is honored to be allowed to be a part of your journey.
Brandi earned a master of arts degree in community agency counseling/school counseling from East Tennessee State University. She obtained Licensed Professional Counselor with Mental Health Service Provider designation in 2007 and has practiced as both a therapist and clinical director since that time. She has been trained in and implemented Multi-Systemic Therapy, Functional Family Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Risk Reduction through Family Therapy, and equine-assisted therapy. She has been blessed many times to be able to assist with the journey of both gender and sexual identity with both adolescents and adults.
Hunter D. Cook, MS, LPC/MHSP
Hunter Cook is a Licensed Professional Counselor who grew up locally in the southwest Virginia, east Tennessee region. He has worked in a variety of settings including inpatient mental health, adolescent residential, community mental health, as well as providing services to youth in the juvenile justice system. He always strives to provide compassionate care to individuals of all ages in all walks of life. Hunter makes it a priority to work with his client’s to bring out their innate strengths in order to improve their lives. He does so by encouraging acceptance of their current life situation and working towards living in a manner more consistent with the client’s deeply held values of what is important to them.
Hunter thoroughly enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families and he has a great deal of experience working with children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral difficulties including trauma. He understands that many times seeking help for life difficulties can often be hard, embarrassing, or even scary for both the client and even their family. Hunter feels that there is no wrong reason to seek assistance for the difficulties faced throughout life.
Having been trained at Morehead State University and obtaining a master’s degree in clinical psychology, it is Hunter’s goal to assist his client’s in achieving their goals and promoting a rich, full, and valuable life for each person who he works with. When working with Hunter, the client is the expert on their life and as such, he will partner with the client each step of the way to ensure their needs are being met. Hunter always brings his unique personality into the counseling relationship in the hopes of encouraging conversation that is relaxed, genuine, open, and even fun!
Patricia E. Starbird, MS, LPC/MHSP
Patricia has a passion for helping adults and couples find a better way to live and relate to one another. She enjoys working with depression and anxiety that hasn’t responded well to medication, as she believes that often the negative messages we have about ourselves hinder that healing; messages such as “I’m not good enough,” “I’m a disappointment”, “I’m powerless”, and “It was my fault - I should have done something". As a EMDRIA-certified therapist, Patricia has specialized certification from the Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing International Association which allows her to proactively assist her clients in resolving problems at their root, resulting in lasting change. EMDR neutralizes the debilitating effects on self-esteem and empowerment. EMDR treatment is one of the most effective methods to address abuse and trauma as well. She has utilized this therapy to address veterans with combat trauma, adults abused while growing up or those who have been in abusive relationships.
Patricia has a compassionate, non-judgmental approach which provides a safe atmosphere for her clients to explore their thoughts and feelings in order to better understand themselves. She takes the time to listen to your concerns and which goals you would like to achieve and then engages in a problem solving method to find the best solution for each client.
Patricia is licensed in the state of Tennessee as a professional counselor and has worked with clients for over 20 years in a variety of settings. Patricia works with clients who are experiencing depression, anxiety, panic, abuse, and trauma. She has extensive experience working in the domains of marriage and family counseling, stress management, grief and loss challenges, life transitions, spiritual concerns, and substance abuse and/or dependence. She received her master's degree from the University of North Carolina, one of the top ten counseling programs in the country.
Amanda J. York, MSW, MEd, LCSW
Do you struggle with intimacy in your relationships; do you have a difficult time becoming aroused or reaching orgasm? As a sex therapist, I am dedicated to helping individuals and couples find the keys to a happier more satisfying life. I know that seeking out therapy services can be overwhelming, but I hope after reading through my profile you feel more confident in your decision to move forward to a happier, healthier you.
Through a collaborative process of therapy, we will begin to examine the key issues and stressors that are impacting your life. In the first few sessions, our goal is to clearly identify the problems and contributing factors so we can develop a personalized plan of action that alleviate the stressors and meet your specific concerns. Along with the issues listed above, I also focus on sexuality education and exploration of adolescence aka the teen years. This may include general body education and awareness as well as well as LGBTQ topics. During this part of life so much is changing and often the questions one may have are never explored with a competent educator. This period is a perfect time to address specific questions that will lead to a healthy life as an adult.
Furthermore, my practice has focused on a variety of mental health and life concerns that can accompany sexuality. Examples of issues that I can assist you with include, but are not limited to, communication challenges, past relationship stress, family issues that prevent healthy family interactions, as well as depression and anxiety.
A little about me: I would classify myself as a sex therapist and clinical social worker with almost seven years practice experience. I earned my undergraduate degree in social work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and then moved to Philadelphia, PA to earn master of social work and master of education in human sexuality degrees -- with a clinical focus on sex therapy. I specialized by studying sex and sexuality, which allows my practice to focus on the delicate needs of clients surrounding these areas and other matters of interest.
I look forward to hearing from you and beginning this journey of healing together!
Amanda K. Chapman, MEd, LPC/MHSP
For over 20 years, Amanda Chapman has dedicated her life to helping families, couples, adults and children alike find hope and healing in the darkest of places. She has worked in several different environments over the course of her career, including inpatient and outpatient mental health centers, and assisted those in crisis and with in-home needs.
Amanda has vast experience counseling men and women who are struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, family and parenting stress, couples' issues, "life" adjustments and problems of all types. She has a special affinity for helping women successfully cope with issues such as self-esteem, infertility, assertiveness, codependency and relationship stress, and has facilitated several empowerment groups for women. Amanda has also received specialized training from the Employee Assistance Professionals Association and has achieved the classification of Employee Assistance Specialist-Clinical. Her certification allows her to provide services to employee assistance organizations, employees and family members. Additionally, she is a HearthMath Certified Practitioner and provides Heart Rate Variability (HRV) biofeedback for a variety of disorders and performance enhancement.
Her philosophy of treatment is grounded in the belief that everyone at some point in his or her life will suffer what may feel like overwhelming emotional sadness, pain and loneliness; however, those feelings do not mean that he or she is alone. Amanda truly wishes to provide a safe place for helping one make sense of their thoughts and feelings, and to rediscover peace from within. Her style of counseling consists of a multifaceted approach utilizing thoughts to help identify stories and core beliefs in order to construct new ones, acknowledging unresolved feelings to leave the past behind and embrace the future, and encouraging action to change unhealthy patterns with others. Amanda's style is empathic, relaxed and judgment-free.
As a graduate of East Tennessee State University, Amanda is a licensed professional counselor, with a designation as a mental health service provider in the state of Tennessee. She has a master of education in counseling, with a specialty in marriage and family issues. She is an active member of the American Counseling Association and was an award recipient of the American Association of Presidents.
Sydney R. Peltier, MS, LPC/MHSP
Sydney Peltier is a licensed professional counselor who has spent her career passionately serving the mental health needs of her community through counseling, training and teaching, and advocating for quality care. With a variety of skills and expertise Sydney enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families to feel better, experience more joy in life, and have meaningful relationships that work. She believes wholeheartedly that health and healing are possible, especially when people recognize their own value, purpose, and strengths in partnership with professional and experienced clinical care.
Sydney is a Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor (RPT-S) with the Association for Play Therapy and has extensive training and experience working with children, families, and the agencies that serve them so they can properly attach, play, grow, and feel and be safe in their world. Sydney greatly enjoys working with adults as well. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which can be used to address a myriad of issues such as trauma, anxiety, depression and self-esteem. Sydney works with men and women to address different stage of life issues and to improve overall functioning and well-being with regard to mental, physical, and spiritual health. In addition, she works with individuals and couples to address premarital needs, communication problems, and sexuality in general and in specific relationships.
Sydney is a graduate of Appalachian State University, earned her master’s degree with honors in counselor education from Radford University, has a post-graduate certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Longwood University, and has completed specialized training at The Colorado School for Family Therapy. She is also an adjunct faculty member at King University and provides training and consultation opportunities to different agencies and programs in the region based on community needs.
It is Sydney’s goal for clients to feel comfortable, open, and at ease while working with her. Her style is thoughtful, personalized, relaxed, empowering, and fun. She looks forward to working with you and your family!
G. Michael Pilcher, PhD
Practice limited to forensic assessment and consulting
Dr. Michael Pilcher really enjoys working with a specific but diverse clientele. Meaning, that when a child's best interest is at stake, he comes alongside the various family life problems that exist and that parents need help with. These issues require someone with not only education, training and experience. They require one that truly believes that assisting attorneys and judges with well-researched and relevant information to the court and the parent(s) is an absolute necessity. Why? Because the court system is not designed to solve emotional problems — it is designed to solve legal conflict. Therefore, when emotions are running high and raw, Dr. Pilcher will provide rational and empirically-based interventions.
Dr. Pilcher is board-certified by the American College of Certified Forensic Counselors and has maintained an active practice of forensic and clinical counseling since 2001. Throughout his career, he has striven to provide quality services to individuals, couples, families and the community. This culminated in being the recipient of the prestigious International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC) Outstanding Addictions/Offender Professional Award, presented at the American Counseling Association (ACA) convention in Charlotte, North Carolina (March of 2009). Flowing from that, he is now the committee chair for the Intimate Partner Violence section of IAAOC. Additionally, Dr. Pilcher was elected to the Board of Officers for the Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association as Treasurer. He also enjoys an appointment as adjunct professor of psychology at King University where he regularly instructs throughout the year on the main campus for traditional students.
He received his master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees in counseling and subsequently earned a master of science degree in psychology. Dr. Pilcher maintains designations as a licensed professional counselor-mental health service provider (LPC/MHSP) and licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor (LADAC) in the state of Tennessee, internationally certified alcohol and drug counselor (ICADC) with the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium — a global leader in prevention, substance use treatment and recovery professionals and parenting coordinator (PC) from the Cooperative Parenting Institute.