Meet Our Counseling Staff: Knoxville Counselors
Teresa J. Cooper, M.A., LPC-MHSP
During her twenty years as a clinician, Teresa Cooper provided services to men, women, couples, adolescents and children in a variety of settings. She has encountered childhood trauma issues, addiction, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, parenting concerns, posttraumatic stress symptoms and other issues throughout her years as a clinician.
Teresa still finds the therapeutic process fascinating and exciting, and states:
Clients frequently say 'Why was I so afraid of this – I should have started therapy years ago.'"
So often people feel embarrassment and shame for experiencing problems that are common to many or all of us. “Carrying that burden alone can be overwhelming and self-destructive – a burden shared is a burden halved,” states Ms. Cooper. Therapy/coaching is really an opportunity to learn new tools and discover new ways of looking at challenges and problems.
Teresa Cooper received her master’s degree in counseling from the University of South Dakota. She migrated to the south many years ago, and loves both the area and the people.
K. Neal Hughes, M.A., LSPE
Mr. Neal Hughes has been a practicing psychotherapist since 1989, when he graduated with a master's degree in clinical psychology from East Tennessee State University. Prior to this he acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Asbury College (now Asbury University) and a M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary with a specialized curriculum in historical theology. He is a student of world religions and philosophy, and has an appreciation for different belief systems — including the secular. All are welcome to explore from their personal framework
His personal study and continuing education help him keep up-to-date on the latest research in the growing fields of mindfulness-based interventions and positive psychology. He has acquired continuing education from Harvard Medical School and the Mind and Life Institute, as well as regional presentations by leading figures in the field of psychiatry and psychology.
In addition, he has presented on mental health related topics himself, including the integration of psychological and neurological functions in this region as well as in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Seattle. The use of mindfulness-based interventions and the technical eclecticism of positive psychology building on the foundation of neuroscience, enable him to meet the needs of a wide variety of clients.
Those suffering with depression, anxiety, excessive worry, grief, emotional instability both chronic and acute, sexual and sexual orientation issues, those with chronic medical illnesses, as well as issues related to interpersonal conflicts and communication may all benefit.
These intervention strategies find many correlations with religious or spiritual perspectives and may easily be utilized to strengthen a person's spiritual life but no religious perspective is needed for counseling in this framework to be effective. Neurological principles are effective in any case and are most easily integrated into existing patterns and habits of belief. Feel free to come and explore how to make your life more satisfying and rich.
Amanda K. Gilliam, M.S., LMFT, RPT
I am committed to working with children, adolescents and families who are in the midst of seeking understanding and guidance on the path towards healing. Everyone has a story to tell, and everyone deserves to be heard. I have worked intensely with childhood trauma, adolescent and adult addiction and recovery, and a variety of mood and anxiety disorders. As a Registered Play Therapist, my training and experience in Play Therapy for ages 4-12, and Seeking Safety for adolescents and adults helps me connect to clients of all ages using a unique approach. I value the importance of the family system when working with individuals, especially children. You are capable of increasing your emotional safety, and I love helping people on the paths to doing so.
I am passionate about working with trauma survivors. People often identify themselves by past experiences. But who you are is greater than what you have done or had happen to you.
My faith as a Christian provides the energy for my work, but I have tremendous respect for each person's story and strive to honor the client's differing views and choice on whether or not to incorporate issues of faith or spirituality into therapy.
Justin R. Hall, M.S., LPC-MHSP
Justin Hall is a licensed professional counselor with a mental health service provider designation and over a decade of experience in the helping professions. He is a Knoxville native, and he obtained his Master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Tennessee. Justin has worked with the local CBS affiliate, WVLT, on many news stories as a mental health expert.
Justin has been a successful psychotherapist in outpatient, hospital, residential and crisis settings; providing services to individuals, families and couples. His clients have ranged from age 5 to 65. He is experienced with and is absolutely driven in helping his clients address depression, anxiety, family relationships, behavioral issues, trauma, couples’ issues, alcohol and drug issues, making life adjustments and life coaching.
Justin truly believes in a therapy model of client empowerment, and seeks to partner with his clients to arm them with the skills to address their issues."
Elizabeth G. Haren, Ed.D.
Dr. Elizabeth Haren enjoys working with a diverse population and has served clients from early childhood to late adulthood. With a couple of decades in the helping services industry, Beth has worked successfully in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She has held leadership positions as clinical director and team leader in a variety of mental health settings. Her specialties include cognitive-behavioral therapy, crisis intervention and critical incident debriefing.
She maintains national certification and licensure as a professional counselor and has earned resultant certification that affords her clients to utilize telehealth technology to meet at a distance. She has a masters in counseling from East Tennessee State University and a doctorate of education in counseling psychology from Argosy University — with a focus in consultation, supervision and counselor education.
She has experience in working with affective/mood disorders, grief, trauma, substance use and stages of life concerns. Beth believes in a holistic approach to health and wellbeing that integrates mind and body. Her goal is to empower her clients through therapy to make the best choices to live their lives with optimal satisfaction!
G. Michael Pilcher, Ph.D.
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).
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.