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Our Counselors

Amanda Miller
Accepting:
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • BCBS
  • Medical Mutual
  • Optum
  • OSU--Faculty and Staff
  • OSU--Student Health Insurance
  • United Healthcare

Amanda Miller, MS, MFT, MS, MFT

“Being human is a beautiful messy business and we are beautiful, messy beings.”-- Karen Young

I believe that being human is a beautifully imperfect experience.  Each of us live lives that are filled with excitement, joy, love,  sadness, anger, fear and loss. Sometimes it feels like you have it all together, and other times everything feels out of control and painful – perhaps even too much to bear.

Your inner world, your relationships with those you love, your work and school lives, even all of society can feel so heavy. The pain can sometimes be manageable and other times feel overwhelming and isolating.  The many roles all of us play as a partner, a family member, and a friend can present challenges.

Reaching out to someone to talk to is not easy. And it is scary – especially where it hurts the most and in places you have not felt safe in.  Because of that, I work to create a safe, accepting, and nonjudgmental space for you to be seen and heard.  Meeting you exactly where you are and walking alongside you on your journey is an honor.  I value and respect all cultures, beliefs, races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, ages, and abilities.

My academic background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of California Santa Cruz as well as a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

I work with teens, adults, couples, and families on a wide variety of life challenges including:

  • Relational challenges
  • Couples’ issues
  • Parent/child relationships
  • Attachment issues
  • Trauma, complex PTSD
  • Women issues
  • Identity issues
  • Transitional phases of life
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety

Each person is uniquely beautiful, so I don’t use a “one size fits all” style in counseling. I invite you to show up as you are. I believe that my expertise is in working with my clients to create an authentic, warm, and compassionate space for healing and hope. In that space, as we work you will become more able to discover the wisdom you already have within. I am here to listen, guide, and empower you to share your story and find your way.

Supervised by David Bowers, IMFT PhD Lis #F.2000127

Terri Blake
Accepting:
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • BCBS
  • Medical Mutual
  • Optum
  • OSU--Faculty and Staff
  • OSU--Student Health Insurance
  • United Healthcare

Terri Blake, Ed.S., LPC

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou

Education

My educational journey started with studying Psychology for a Bachelor of Science degree at Stillman College located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I earned an Education Specialist Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Loyola University Chicago in 2019. I am currently a 3rd year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at The Ohio State University. My professional and clinical training experiences have included behavioral hospitals, community mental health agencies, private practice, and schools. 

Passions and Philosophy

As a little girl, my mother referred to me as her “sunflower child” who loved to smile and help others. At a young age, she shared that one day I would help individuals who needed nurturing the most. It is amazing how others (my mother) can identify our gifts before we are aware of them. 

It is true. I have a passion for helping individuals navigate their healing journey by providing a safe space filled with compassion, non-judgment, and authenticity. I believe in saying “YES” to therapy and “YES to yourself.” I believe that all individuals have the necessary tools in their toolbox to heal, but simply need help navigating the journey.

Strategies and Approach 

I am honored when clients choose me to help them navigate their healing journey. My approach is a holistic, strength-based, and trauma-informed approach. Additionally, I believe that clients are the experts of their lives, and my role is to provide guidance. My goal is to use therapy as a tool to empower, problem-solve, and reclaim self-love to begin thriving in life. 

I specialize in working with children, adolescents, and adults (aged 3 and up) in the following areas:

  • Spirituality
  • Self-Esteem
  • College Transitions
  • Racial Trauma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Communication and Family Conflict
  • Women's Issues

I am a jovial, encouraging, and openminded person who loves to laugh. I believe in the power of the therapeutic relationship; therefore, I take pride in being my authentic self. In my free time, I love to run outdoors, swim, watch re-runs of 90’s classic Black sitcoms, listen to music, and spend quality time with friends and my partner.

Supervised by David Bowers, IMFT PhD Lis #F.2000127

UlrikeErika Martin
Accepting:
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • BCBS
  • Medical Mutual
  • Optum
  • OSU--Faculty and Staff
  • OSU--Student Health Insurance
  • United Healthcare

Ulrike Erika Martin, LISW

** ONLINE Appointments available **

You are alive, and so am I. As our lungs share the air, we are connected. Breathe into this knowing that you are not alone. We are connected through our humanity. You belong, no matter what.”

Passion

I am passionate about working with people in a holistic way, seeing the whole person. I believe everyone goes through times of change, challenge, or crisis that can be overwhelming. I hope to empower clients to voice their own truths and to live in greater harmony with themselves and others

I am interested in and influenced by the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh.   When I’m not outside gardening, hiking or mountain biking, I like to read, quilt, and do tai-chi, meditation, and yoga.

Experience and strategies

I am a Licensed Independent Social Worker. I completed my Master of Social Work degree at the Ohio State University and have 25 years’ experience helping individuals and families, teens to elders, navigate the storms that sometimes appear in life. I work with adults aged 18 and greater.

I believe that many times when people seek counseling, they already have untapped resources within.   My strategy is to enhance my clients’ relationship with self and others through greater awareness of thought, mind-body connections, and increased self-compassion. I honor the strength and knowledge within my client and work together with you to help navigate the crisis or challenges you face.

My training includes professional work in Functional Families Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Non-violent Communication skills building and in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I bring this expertise with me as I work with clients who deal with struggles including:

  • Depression,
  • Trauma,
  • Anxiety,
  • Caring for those with Dementia
  • Self-esteem,
  • Grief and loss,
  • Anger,
  • Challenges of aging and of caring for aging family members.

“Your purpose is to be yourself. You don’t have to run anywhere to become someone else. You are wonderful just as you are.”—(Thich Nhat Hanh)

Riley Whiting
Accepting:
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • BCBS
  • Medical Mutual
  • Optum
  • OSU--Faculty and Staff
  • OSU--Student Health Insurance
  • United Healthcare

Riley Whiting, LMFT

“Family troubles roll from generation to generation like a fire in the woods… until one person, in one generation, has the courage to turn and face the flames. That person brings peace to their ancestors and spares the children that follow.” — Terry Real

I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development, a Master’s in Couple and Family Therapy, and I am currently pursuing a PhD in Couple and Family Therapy at the Ohio State University. I also serve as an instructor at OSU, teaching about families and relationships. Prior to joining Thriveworks, I served clients at the OSU Couple and Family Therapy Clinic.

As humans, we all struggle to navigate relationships, and often we become stuck in patterns that we aren’t sure how to stop or improve. Relationships (including our relationship with ourselves) have the potential to bring some of life’s greatest joys as well as greatest sorrows. They impact nearly every aspect of our life.

I am dedicated to providing a safe space for people from all walks of life to explore new ways to navigate personal and relationship difficulties. 

I am passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves, and finding joy in their relationships with others. I pursue that goal by listening to others and helping couples and individuals explore, understand and appreciate themselves and those around them.

I work with individuals (adults and teens) and couples/families on a variety of challenges including:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Couples therapy
  • Relational challenges (improving communication, parenting, spousal concerns),
  • Family dynamics (parent/child conflict, religiosity, role management)
  • Blended Families
  • Families with Chronic Illness
  • Grief and Loss

Even when working with individuals, I use a relational lens to help clients discover how their past might influence their current relationships. I also use IFS (Internal Family Systems) to help individuals and couples appreciate themselves and navigate different personal patterns. I enjoy utilizing other research-based strategies (Gottman, Emotion Focused Therapy) in my work with couples to help them build their relationships effectively. 

I inherited my grandfather’s deep love of nature and the outdoors, and spend much of my free time with my wife hiking, rock climbing, fishing and cooking around a campfire.

Supervised by David Bowers, IMFT PhD Lis #F.2000127

Abby Brewster
Accepting:
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • BCBS
  • Medical Mutual
  • Optum
  • OSU--Faculty and Staff
  • OSU--Student Health Insurance
  • United Healthcare

Abby Brewster, LISW

“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”- Brené Brown

Passion and Philosophy

I believe that everyone’s story matters, and I want to give individuals a safe and non-judgmental space to share and explore their stories. Everyone deserves to be heard, be loved, and be safe. I also believe that everyone has a future to look forward to and I am passionate about helping people reach the goals they have for their lives.

I am passionate about creating a safe space for people to find healing and to get to know themselves on a deeper level, so they can become the healthiest version of themselves. I also value social justice and strive to promote justice in my personal and professional life.

Experience and Strategies

I’m an Ohio Licensed Independent Social Worker. I earned both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work. I received my Bachelor’s from Taylor University and then went on to pursue my Master’s from Ohio State University.

I have provided clinical counseling, advocacy, and case management services, with a specialization in trauma. I also have experience working with individuals and families, providing parenting strategies and support, as well as exploring healthy relationship skills.

I utilize Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (for children and adolescents), and EMDR. I focus on the existing strengths of my clients and encourage the use of those strengths to work toward identified goals. Empathy, compassion, integrity, and service drive my interactions with clients.

I work with children, adolescents and adults on a variety of issues and life challenges including:

  • PTSD and other trauma related difficulties
  • Anxiety,
  • Adjustment Disorders,
  • Depression,
  • Grief and Loss.

I enjoy working with individuals to promote healthy relationships with themselves and those around them.

In my free time I enjoy cooking, being outside, and spending time with my loved ones and sweet puppy.

Ali Bryant
Accepting:
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • BCBS
  • Medical Mutual
  • Optum
  • OSU--Faculty and Staff
  • OSU--Student Health Insurance
  • United Healthcare

Ali Bryant, LMFT

** ONLINE Appointments available **

Ali Bryant is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist working with individuals, couples and families. Ali works with adolescents and adults.

Ali works with clients who face various life challenges including:

  • Couple therapy,
  • Relationship issues (parenting, communication, affair recovery, spouse with illness),
  • Family dynamics (parent/child conflict, role management, family business issues)
  • Identity development
  • Anxiety

Ali holds two Bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and Communication, a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science at the Ohio State University.  In addition to her experiences working with individuals, couples and families through the OSU CFT Clinic, Ali has also worked with college students in an on-call, crisis capacity.

She utilizes a mixture of strengths-based and emotion-focused techniques with couples, families, and individuals alike in order to cultivate compassion for self and for others.

“Life can be overwhelming. We all need some dedicated time to nurture and heal. I am

passionate about creating a comforting, non-judgmental space for my clients to connect with

themselves and others. I use empathy and compassion to model fairness and acknowledgement for use

in personal relationships and relationships clients have with their inner selves.

Each of us are deserving of love, kindness, and consideration from others—and from ourselves too. I provide a listening ear to explore your feelings, already existing strengths, and strive to

help you feel empowered to create the life you want for yourself. I realize that sometimes the hardest step is in scheduling an appointment—what an act of kindness towards yourself that can be!

I love the outdoors—camping, hiking, and exploring national parks. I also teach undergraduate courses at Ohio State University. When I’m not working, I enjoy reading, hanging with my husband, and cuddling with my two pups, Dobby and Lizzie.”

 

Supervised by David Bowers, IMFT PhD Lis #F.2000127

Alex Banta
Accepting:
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • BCBS
  • Medical Mutual
  • Optum
  • OSU--Faculty and Staff
  • OSU--Student Health Insurance
  • United Healthcare

Alex Banta, LISW

** ONLINE Appointments available **

"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change."

​-Carl Rodgers

Passion

I am passionate about working alongside people on their journeys to becoming versions of themselves they want and choose to be.

I work with clients to identify strengths they already possess, but might not even notice, and then apply those strengths and abilities to work towards their goals and desired changes. I believe a supportive, nonjudgmental space is key to unlocking potential. I use evidence-based interventions from a strengths-based perspective to ensure best outcomes for clients. I believe everyone deserves the space, energy and time to become the person they want to be.

Experience and Approach to Therapy

I am a Licensed Independent Social Worker and received both my Bachelors and Masters degrees from Indiana University.

I have experience working with adolescents and adults, as individual, families and couples tackling a number of issues. I also have several years’ experience working on an acute in-patient unit at a pediatric facility working with families through crisis, grief, anxiety and depression.  I use an eclectic theoretical approach, including: Motivational Interviewing, solution-focused brief therapy, mindfulness techniques, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and family systems therapy.

I specialize in working with adolescents and adults (aged 12 and up) in the following areas:

  • Depression,
  • Anxiety,
  • Parent/child conflict
  • Co-Parenting
  • Teen identity challenges,
  • Trauma,
  • Self-harm,
  • Grief and loss,
  • Anger issues,
  • Mindfulness,

When not working, I enjoy spending time with my fluffy, adorable, mischievous Puppy!

David Bowers
Accepting:
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • BCBS
  • Medical Mutual
  • Optum
  • OSU--Faculty and Staff
  • OSU--Student Health Insurance
  • United Healthcare

David Bowers, Ph.D, IMFT

** ONLINE Appointments available **

As Practice Owner of Columbus, OH (Polaris) Thriveworks, I am excited to work with this team of clinicians and hope that you’ll reach out to me with any questions or concerns you might have. As a Marriage and Family therapist, I am attuned to clients’ interconnected webs of relationships even when working one-on-one. My experience and training with families and couples enables me to walk with clients through (re)discovering their connectedness with those they love.

I’m most passionate about exploring clients’ stories, and listening for places where personal narratives might differ from others’. This often provides spaces for clients to explore new or neglected understandings of themselves and their relationships leading to preferred, more fulfilling future stories.

My academic affiliations include having taught courses in family stress, parenting and developmental psychology at OSU and Ohio Dominican University, in addition to research work with both OSU and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

I enjoy working with clients across cultural, sexual and gender identity spectrums, including, but not limited to, folks who identify as heterosexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian or queer as well as clients who hold trans- or cis-gender among their identities. I work with clients in monogamous, polyamorous and various forms of negotiated open romantic relationships.​

I work with clients who face a variety of challenges including recovery from substance use disorders, anxiety and depression, as well as relational challenges facing parents and adolescents.

My 20 years of work experience before becoming a therapist equips me with lived understanding of today’s hectic business and corporate life challenges, whether those involve meeting budgets and timelines or working through the sacrifices that happen when dealing with work/life demands.

I realize that sometimes just making a first appointment is a bold step and all of us at Thriveworks Columbus Polaris office are dedicated to holding a space that honors each step clients take in their journeys with us.

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Thriveworks Counseling

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