Our Staff

Dave Zellmer, LICSW

Dave’s approach is relational in nature and incorporates the Developmental Model with an eclectic range of interventions including:

  • CBT,
  • TF-CBT,
  • Motivational Interviewing,
  • Mindfulness and
  • Narrative Therapy.

Dave believes that the therapeutic process is a journey where client and practitioner work together collaboratively to achieve goals through a strengths-based and client empowerment approach. In his work with clients Dave recognizes that each client’s strengths, needs and goals are unique, and he tailors his therapeutic approach accordingly to best support each client.

Dave has worked with individuals and families to help manage ongoing mental health needs, including:

  • Anxiety,
  • Depression,
  • Bipolar and
  • PTSD

Dave’s clinical interests include:

  • Relationship issues;
  • Grief, death and loss;
  • School issues and

He believes therapy must be a safe space for clients to explore issues while acknowledging and affirming all of their intersecting identities.

Kristen Kocot, LMHC

Kristen has worked across the healthcare continuum for over 17 years, with a variety of mental health disorders including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive disorder
  • Trauma
  • Crisis Management
  • Panic Attacks
  • Phobias
  • Autism
  • Anger management
  • Grief/Bereavement
  • Learning Disabilities

Kristen has worked with hundreds of clients and their families, as well as organizations focused on program development.  Kristen is best known for her expertise in traumatic brain injury TBI and individuals presenting with behavioral challenges. She is skilled in several modalities of treatment including:

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Child/Adolescent Therapy.

Kristen is a strong advocate for the highest clinical quality standards across settings, as well as a voice for caregivers and families of those living with neurological impairment.

Rosemary Sheola, LMHC

Rosemary has over 16 years of experience as a Crisis Clinician and has worked with all ages from young children to the elderly. Her approach has been described as "relational, warm and nurturing."  She believes in therapy that incorporates the whole individual (body, mind and psyche).  She has studied and worked with the following modalities and interventions:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Mindfulness
  • Dreamwork
  • Play Therapy

Rosemary has a long history of helping others with:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction
  • Single Parenting
  • Relationship Challenges
  • Mood Dysregulation
  • Bereavement and Grief
  • Self Esteem Issues
  • Stress Reduction
  • Career Counseling

Sarah Hoxie, LICSW

Sarah is a licensed independent clinician social worker with over 18 years of experience in the mental health field working with children, teens, adults and families. She believes that all individuals and families have an innate drive towards health and happiness. She has dedicated her work as a therapist to help guide people on their journey toward a fulfilling life, by providing a safe and supportive place to explore their thoughts and feelings, learn new skills or strategies and help them make sense of their experiences.

She has experience working in hospitals, crisis teams, and in the community as part of community mental health centers as well as in police stations, schools, and individual homes. As a graduate of the Smith College School for Social Work in 2003 she understands people as a combination of their internal experiences, history, environment, behaviors and current situation. She has training in:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR},
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT),
  • Family Systems,
  • Narrative Therapy,
  • Play Therapy,
  • Psychodynamic Therapy and
  • Crisis Intervention.

She has helped people struggling with:

  • Figuring out their identity including, gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, professional identity, disability, religious identity etc.
  • Relationships, including romantic relationships, parent-child relationships, family of origin relationships, friendships and work relationships.
  • Mood difficulties such as depression and anxiety, anger, lack of motivation or frequent mood changes.
  • Dealing with past trauma including, abuse, neglect, community violence, medical trauma, harassment and discrimination, assaults and natural disasters.
  • Making healthy choices in regards to substance use, legal involvement, academic or work success, parenting strategies and maintaining personal health.

Sarah Norrichs, LMHC

Over the past ten years, Sarah Norrichs has worked to identify the most effective therapies that help to discover the roots of dysfunction while guiding clients toward healing from those dysfunctions.  She works with adults, children, families, and specializes in working with adolescents and young adults. Sarah draws from practices that treat mental illness as well as those that promote overall well-being and healthy growth.

Sarah has worked in numerous settings in her time as a clinician: schools for youth with severe behavioral problems, a residential eating disorder program, a community agency for homeless youth, inpatient settings, outpatient settings, and at a community crisis site.  In all of these settings, Sarah witnessed people suffering from the burdens of their past negative life events and circumstances impacting their present.  Since her very first internship, Sarah has been developing her abilities to interrupt the patterns that lead to suffering.

Sarah has many tools to offer to people who are working to get unstuck including:

  • EMDR - addressing symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD & attachment trauma, OCD, difficulty in relationships, and compulsive behaviors
  • Art Therapy - for visual thinkers, Trauma & difficult life events, relationship challenges, identity exploration, children, anxiety, life-coaching, OCD, and developing increased self-insight
  • Mindfulness - treating anxiety, general mental well-being, impulsivity or compulsive behaviors, addictions and substance abuse
  • Shame resilience and self-compassion practices (especially for people who struggle with self-worth, low self-esteem, self-harming behaviors, self-sabotage)
  • Executive Function Coaching - treating ADHD, ASD, Complex trauma, improving your ability to achieve goals, improving ‘adulting’
  • Positive Neuroplasticity - structuring increases in the brain's capacity for positive emotions, developing mental habits for increased happiness and serenity
  • Motivational Interviewing - treating substance abuse, compulsive behaviors, resolving ambivalence about making changes, relapse prevention and
  • Numerous other tools for promoting healing and new growth.

Sarah is thoughtful and adaptable in developing a customized therapeutic approach to suit each client's particular need. She believes the foundation of any strong therapeutic relationship is trust and works with every client to build a mutually trusting relationship over the course of therapy. Sarah has lived experience of the LGBTQ community and is sensitive to the needs of transgender, genderqueer, and questioning individuals.

Sarah has a Master’s Degree in Art-Therapy from Springfield College, where she completed the credentials to become a Mental Health Counselor. She received a bachelor’s in fine arts from San Francisco State University.


Sesooter Ikpah

Sesooter Ikpah, LMHC

Sesooter is experienced serving the children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of difficulties including:

  • ADHD,
  • addiction,
  • adjustment disorders,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • bipolar disorder,
  • conduct disorders,
  • chronic pain,
  • insomnia,
  • trauma
  • mood dysregulation and
  • co-occurring disorders.

His experience spans across various settings including hospitals, residential treatment facilities, community-based outpatient clinics and athletic teams.  His strengths-based, integrative approach blends several theoretical frameworks, where his focus begins with identifying the strengths and needs of each individual.  He has experience utilizing evidenced-based practices and treatment modalities including

  • cognitive behavioral therapy,
  • dialectical behavioral therapy,
  • motivational interviewing,
  • solution-focused therapy and
  • reality therapy.

Overall, he views therapy as a holistic tool for collaborative problem-solving and empowerment.  Sesooter has established positive outcomes in areas such as career counseling, racial identity, sports performance, and stress management.

Susan Lemere

Susan Lemere, LICSW

Susan uses a combination of psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, narrative therapy, and EMDR to help adults cope with situational, emotional, and mental health challenges. She has completed a post-graduate certificate in Trauma Assessment and Treatment with the Trauma Institute in Northampton, and enjoys working with individuals and couples.

Some of her specialties include:

  • PTSD Treatment with Intimate Partner Violence/Sexual Assault Survivors
  • PTSD Treatment with Health Care Professionals Dealing with Job-Related Trauma
  • Working with college and graduate students
  • Individual and Couples Therapy on Relationships Issues (especially adult attachment style/dynamics/concerns)
  • Single parents issues
  • Identity issues


She enjoys working collaboratively with clients on their goals and believes that support system (or lack of one), relationships, traumatic experiences, and social justice issues often impact well-being and deserve attention in the therapeutic process.

Traccie Hillion

Traccie Hillion, LMHC

Traccie is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with nearly thirty years of clinical experience working.  During her professional career, Traccie has counseled people with a variety of life experiences in many various settings.  Humanistic in her approach, Traccie is genuinely interested in learning about everyone she serves.  She is attentive, and understands the positive impact a supportive, therapeutic relationship can have when a person faces the challenges of life.

She has a long history of working in both the individual and family services industry and is skilled in working with all ages.  She has specialized trainings in various trauma therapies, including Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), grief & bereavement, and crisis intervention.  She is an expert in the field of Birth to Three, including maternal post-natal periods, and is certified parent instructor of infant massage, an intervention that is well documented in mitigating post-partum depression.  Relatedly, she has extensive experience in supporting the mental health and attachment need of families and children who are living with complicated health care needs, or other disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and other developmental/learning disabilities.

She has counseled individuals and families through such life experiences as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression & mood difficulties
  • Attachment
  • Trauma
  • Grief & bereavementor
  • Adjustment challenges
  • Autism
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Economic challenges
  • Career changes
  • Academic challenges (Grade School – College)
  • Victims of Crime
Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper, LMHC

Yvette is a licensed mental health counselor with over ten years’ experience in the mental health field. Yvette has experience working with

  • individuals,
  • couples and

She works with all ages ranging from

  • children,
  • adolescents,
  • adults and
  • the elderly.

She has worked with individuals experiencing symptoms associated with

  • PTSD,
  • trauma,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • burnout,
  • stress,
  • illness,
  • grief and loss,
  • mood disorders,
  • relationship and family conflict,
  • life changes and transitions and

She has built strong clinical skills in working with individuals experiencing many different mental health needs varying from mild to chronic. Yvette believes in flexibility in approach as each person has their own specific needs in the therapeutic process.

She leads with a trauma-informed approach, providing strength-based, client-centered psychotherapy along with mindfulness, CBT, MI, and focusing on play and art therapies with children. Yvette believes in making sure all individuals coming in for therapeutic support feel comfortable, at ease and most importantly safe in a non-judgmental, confidential environment to process their thoughts, feelings and emotions. By focusing on establishing trust and continued rapport building throughout the therapeutic relationship, she can empower clients to create the change they wish to see in their lives and support client growth. She will help client’s build manageable goals for themselves through a calming approach and believes every individual already has the tools within to lead their most authentic and meaningful life.


Greg Handel, Ph.D.

Greg Handel has more than 35 years of experience providing positive life supports for individuals, couples and families. He has worked in several different environments including inpatient and outpatient mental health centers, rehabilitation facilities, congregate residential settings and in private practice.

His has vast experience counseling men and women struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, family and parenting stress, couples’ issues, “life” adjustments, and functioning with disabilities. He likes to take a grounded approach that is client centered, helping individuals set and obtain life goals in order to achieve a sense of confidence and increased self-efficacy.

[A]t some point in our lives, we all need support from others … .”

He is an ordained minister who believes in treating the whole person, acknowledging that any individual is more than the sum of their parts. However, he respects each individual’s beliefs and sees having a complete understanding of an individual’s point of view as a necessary part of the therapeutic.

He also believes that we all, at some point in our lives, experience periods of emotional suffering and brokenness. Therefore, at some point in our lives, we all need support from others. Greg often pulls from his own life experiences to identify with each individual and guide them through the healing process.

Greg has a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and received his doctorate from Washington State University. He has been a licensed psychologist for more than 27 years and is a certified health care provider in Massachusetts. He is married with five children and three grandchildren.

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Thriveworks Counseling

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Overall Rating: 5★★★★★ based on 9
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Thriveworks Counseling Amherst MA

Kristen Kocot: empathy and integrity in counseling

I've had the privilege of knowing and working with Kristen Kocot, a counselor in Amherst, since January 2019. ...Read more

We met in person after she heard my appearance on SiriusXM's Karen Hunter Show. Since then, we have co-created and presented continuing education material at conferences in Massachusetts. As a traumatic brain injury survivor, I value Kristen's approach to therapy perhaps more than the average person. Her dedication to the whole recovery - immediate release from hospital/clinic, adjustment and acclimation to what life now is, facing the roller coaster that can fuel life post-trauma, pairing the clinical with the personal - sets her apart from many of the therapists I have known. I wholeheartedly recommend Kristen Kocot and sessions with her.

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Thriveworks Counseling Amherst MA

Dr. Gregory Handel

Dr. Gregory Handel is not only an exceptional psychologist but is an exceptional human being as well. Always g...Read more

oing above and beyond to provide support, care, and love for those in need. This man exemplifies all the right qualities of a counselor, he is patient, listens intently, and is honest, always. No matter what struggle or conflict you may have endure or are enduring, Dr. Greg Handel will always do everything in his power to help you through it. Filled with compassion, empathy, and wisdom, there is no one in the therapeutic industry better qualified.

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Thriveworks Counseling Amherst MA

Sarah Hoxie

Sarah is a strong clinician who responds to clients and families with genuine compassion, sound clinical judgm...Read more

ent, and an accessible, caring personality. I trust Sarah implicitly and would recommend her without hesitation.

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Thriveworks Counseling

Schedule your first appointment with a Thriveworks Counselor or Life Coach!

  • 21 Pray Street
    Amherst , MA 01002

  • Mon-Fri:8AM-9PM