Meet Team Thriveworks Charlotte!
Alexis Brightman, LPA
Alexis Brightman is a licensed psychological associate at Thriveworks Charlotte, providing therapeutic services, psychological testing, and evaluations all ages. She earned her master’s degree in Clinical and Community Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alexis’ clinical background spans a variety of mental health demographics, including family of origin issues, faith-based/ spiritual conflicts, and various other problems of living. Alexis adamantly believes in the impact of therapy and recognizes the gift of joining someone of his or her journey towards growth and change. Her primary goal in your therapeutic relationship is to create a safe and inviting space to allow for you to work towards the goals that you have created for yourself. That being said, she is supportive and affirming of individuals from all walks of life. She desires to serve a variety of roles in your work together – the patient listener, the gentle encourager, the unconditional supporter, the (when appropriate) advice giver and a host of other roles to support you in your work towards your therapeutic goals.
A more comprehensive list of the issues that Alexis has experience helping with is as follows: Adjustment Disorders, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Cognitive Disorders and Borderline Personality Disorder. Alexis utilizes an empathetic, person-centered approach, encouraging self-advocacy, innovation, and personal authorship in the therapeutic relationship. Alexis is able to administer intellectual and psychological testing to all age groups.
Allow for your time with Alexis to serve as a dress rehearsal for how you desire to function in life!
Heather VanKoughnett, LPC
Heather VanKoughnett is a licensed professional counselor at Thriveworks Charlotte. She holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Regent University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University.
Heather’s clinical work has included helping those suffering from a broad range of presentations including mood and personality disorders. She has experience working in both the hospital and outpatient setting and shares a specific passion for working with individuals suffering from eating disorders and disordered and emotional eating behaviors. She is intensively trained in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and has experience working with individuals who struggle with both over controlled and under controlled emotional states.
Heather believes strongly in the power of the therapeutic relationship as an agent of change. She operates from a warm, empathetic, person-centered approach and weaves principles of her training throughout the therapeutic process. Heather enjoys using creativity and experiential techniques in her clinical work and tailors her approach to each person’s specific needs and temperament.
Stacie Davidson, M.S., LPC
Stacie Davidson is a licensed professional counselor associate at Thriveworks Charlotte. She holds a master’s in counseling from Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Virginia) and bachelor’s in psychology from James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Virginia).
Having spent her career working with children with emotional and behavioral problems, Stacie has built a skill for developing relationships with young people. More than seven years of experience has allowed her to serve not just the children and adolescents on her caseloads, but families and adults of all ages.
Many of the services that she has provided called for a family systems approach, which allowed her to also work with her clients’ parents through the scope of helping their children and family to meet their goals.
Stacie’s therapy experience has assisted clients in treating the symptoms of various issues and mental disorders to include:
- Depressive disorder
- Sexual abuse and other traumatic events
- Self-injurious behaviors
- Communication problems and aggression
- Reactive attachment disorder
- Oppositional defiant disorder
- Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
Stacie strongly believes that emulating an unconditionally positive regard and respect for the individuals, families and children she serves is the first step in helping them reach their full potential. Being very client-centered in her approach, Stacie tends to choose techniques based on the goals and needs of her clients. The techniques used are mostly drawn from cognitive, behavioral and cognitive-behavioral origins (for example, positive self-talk, reframing, thought stopping, cognitive restructuring and positive reinforcement).
Tarras G. Onischenko, Ph.D
Tarras Onischenko is a licensed psychologist with over thirty years of experience serving clients within a broad spectrum of treatment environments, clinical settings, and developmental milieus, including: University Psychological Support Services Centers; Community Mental Health Programs; Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities; Outpatient Psychological Practices Groups; Specialty Medical Practices; and Fortune 500 Companies.
Tarras has worked extensively with child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric client populations in the following clinical areas: Anxiety; Depression; Closed Head Trauma Clinical Sequalae; Neurocognitive Disorders; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Acute and Chronic Pain Management; Marital and Relationship Issues; Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; and Behavioral Addictions. Within corporate and business contexts, he has specialized in providing services such as career counseling, work-life balance coaching, leadership development, organizational culture assessments, team building, on-boarding, self-leadership, and crises consultation involving on-the-job fatalities.
The principles of honoring the counseling relationship as a "partnership", and an "integrative psychology" approach to treatment/counseling are the core underpinnings and foundation of his service provision.
Karen Matson, LCSW
Karen Sumner-Matson has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 1993. Prior to that, she received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Using a client-centered approach, Karen treats all age groups with a variety of concerns including depression, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, personality disorders, ADHD, abuse/trauma, addictions, parenting issues, and couples treatment.
Karen utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Reality Therapy, Brief Solution-Oriented Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. She is a creative counselor with experience using Play Therapy and Art especially with children and teens. She works to empower her clients and to help them develop the tools to overcome obstacles.
Blair Hamel, PsyD
Blair Hamel is a licensed psychologist at Thriveworks Charlotte. She earned her doctorate in psychology from Pacific University (Portland, OR) and her bachelor’s degree from University of Portland (Portland, OR).
With over six years of experience helping children, adolescents, adults, and couples, Blair strives to help her clients progress and bloom. Blair’s therapeutic approach is client-centered. This means she is flexible and adapts to the style that is best for the client, bending from psychoanalytic therapy to cognitive-behavioral therapy and everything in between. Blair’s primary goals in treatment are to help clients gain comfort in the therapy room, to provide unconditional acceptance, and to empower clients to achieve their goals.
Blair has experience helping with the following issues: depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, behavioral disorders, conduct disorders and general non-compliance, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, parent-child relationship issues, and relationship struggles. She has experience helping families with very young children and adults alike. The experience with the lifespan allows Blair to connect with a variety of clients on a genuine level. Blair is also able to conduct psychological assessments, including intelligence and achievement testing for all ages.
Barrett Hughes, LMFTA
I am licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Associate. I earned my Master’s degree from Pfeiffer University in Charlotte. As a Charlotte native, I understand both the internal and external pressures on children and teens and can empathize with the struggles they may be experiencing. I am leading Thrivegirls, a support and prevention group for teen girls focusing on body image, self-esteem, cyber bullying, coping skills and transitions in life.
Whether you are seeking counseling as an individual, a couple, or a family it is my intent to work collaboratively with you to determine and work toward achieving your goals. My experience includes working with adolescents, pre-marital couples, conflicted couples, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and adjustment issues. As an LMFTA, I seek to offer a warm, safe, and nonjudgmental environment where clients can explore current and past experiences, feelings, and relationships in order to pursue growth and healing. I believe people are resilient and capable of working through the issues they are experiencing in their lives.
I enjoy working from a cognitive-behavioral model through an attachment lens. I am certified in PREPARE/ENRICH, a strengths based program for premarital and conflicted couples. Prepare/enrich addresses each couple's strength and growth areas for couples to better understand and improve their relationship.
Lucy Dunning, LPC
Lucy Dunning is a licensed professional counselor in both North Carolina and South Carolina and is a National Certified Counselor. Lucy has her Play Therapy Certificate from the University of North Carolina Charlotte and is proud to be a certified Parent Coordinator. Lucy obtained an Education Specialist Degree in School Counseling at the University of Georgia, Masters of Education Degree in School Counseling from the University of West Georgia, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Georgia Southern University.
Lucy's previous experience includes intensive in-home therapy, private practice, and the school setting. She has a therapy dog, Dakota, who is a lovable, six year old Golden Retriever. Dakota works well with individuals of all ages, especially children!
Lucy's specialties include working with children, adolescents, and adults with depression, anxiety disorders, goal setting, self-injury, stress management, self-esteem issues, behavioral issues, school issues, coping skills, and social skills. She has a passion to help families/parents on effective parenting, divorce/blended family issues, children in high conflict divorce situations and reunification therapy. She provides co-parenting sessions for issues pertaining to divorce and high conflict divorce.
In treating clients, she uses a variety of modalities to fit client needs such as play therapy, expressive arts therapy, animal assisted therapy, sand tray play therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, DBT skills, and mindfulness.
Lucy is a Distance Certified Counselor and offers online counseling in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Dakota, Certified Therapy Dog
Lucy has a lovable therapy dog, Dakota, that is with her during therapy sessions! Dakota is a female who is six years old. Dakota, a golden retriever that works well with individuals of all ages, especially children! Pet Therapy has been proven to be effective with clients who have depression, anxiety, and self-esteem through the pet’s calming ability. Through Dakota’s empathic and nurturing skills, she adds to the counseling experience!
Kim Matone, MA, Owner
Kim is experienced working with teens, adults, groups, and the LGBTQ community. Kim treats clients with concerns including Substance Use Disorders, Anxiety, Depression, Adjustment Disorders, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Parenting Concerns, Co-Dependency and Marital Conflict.
Kim uses a client-centered approach, mindfulness based approaches, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and solution focused therapy. She often integrates creative techniques such as art and music into her therapy.
Kim has spent the last two years building and managing Thriveworks Charlotte with her Co-Owner (and husband), Matt. She is looking forward to joining the practice as a Clinical Counselor and Clinical Manager soon. She earned a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Montreat College and a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia. Kim is also a Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant approved by the N.C. Substance Abuse Practice Board since 2009.
Kim looks forward to establishing relationships with trust, respect, and empathy. She will “meet each client where they are at,” and will work on providing a safe and warm environment.
Matt Matone, Owner, NCCPSS
Matt Matone is co-owner of Thriveworks Counseling. His primary responsibilities are administrative in nature which include finance, scheduling, and general business operations. Matt also maintains relationships in the community through partnerships with local medical providers, treatment facilities, law firms, and insurance payers. As a NC Certified Peer Support Specialist, Matt also works with individuals who are seeing Thriveworks counselors for treatment of issues related to substance abuse and alcoholism.
Matt makes himself available any time of the day (including nights and weekends) to discuss Thriveworks and our services. He can be reached at his direct line at 704-507-0387.
Check out the Thriveworks Podcast with Kim and Matt Matone here: