Meet Our Counseling Staff
Emily L. Newland, MEd, MA, LPC/MHSP
Emily has a passion for helping others discover and create their best life. One of her fundamental beliefs is that when we are living our best life, we not only make ourselves more beautiful, but we also make our world more beautiful. It is, simply, a more efficient way to live. Sometimes our stories get so muddled with pain that comfort becomes a foreign concept. No matter what the root issue, therapy is one of the most efficient and effective ways to become re-acquainted, and more comfortable, with a comfort-based life.
Emily received her Master’s degree in Counseling from East Tennessee State University, and has worked for the past 20 years in the counseling field. She has experience working in every facet of the mental health vocation, including trauma recovery, community mental health, inpatient, outpatient, group therapy, case management, and the criminal justice system. Because of her experience, she has the ability to effectively treat a wide range of issues, including: trauma, anxiety, and mood disorders (such as depression and bipolar mood disorder), and issues related to: stage of life, grief and loss, self-care, and healthy relationships.
Therapy is one of the best gifts any of us can give ourselves, for by taking the time to work on pain in real time, as it happens, we prevent ourselves from the energetic drain that cumulative pain inevitably creates.
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 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 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.
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.