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LIcensed & Experienced Counselors

Child, Tween, Teen & Family Therapists in Georgia

Customized Care Centered Around Your Family
Yasmeen Baajour

Yasmeen Baajour

  • M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • National Certified Counselor
  • Associate Professional Counselor

It can be easy to feel lost and out of control. Sometimes, your go-to coping skills and self-care strategies do not seem to be doing the trick. It is important for children and adolescents to feel confident in themselves and what they have to offer. It is imperative that they feel strong enough to manage adverse situations and emotions that they experience. Assembling a coping skills toolbox in their earlier years will prove to be essential as they move through the world as adults in the future.

I am an Associate Professional Counselor working towards my Registered Play Therapist credential. I graduated with my master’s degree from Mercer University as the Outstanding Graduate Student of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Prior to my time at Early Connections, I was at Willowbrooke at Tanner primarily working on the adolescent unit. At Willowbrooke, I conducted several expressive, psychoeducational, and process groups on a daily basis.

My specialties include emotion regulation, stress management, self-esteem building, relationship coaching, and coping with anxiety and depression. My primary theory of choice is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; however, I also often integrate Motivational Interviewing as well as Reality and Person-Centered Therapy into practice.

I am passionate about utilizing play therapy as well as expressive therapy when working with children and teenagers. Both outlets provide children of all ages with an easier way to communicate through their natural medium of expression, which can help them say so much without saying anything at all!

When I am not working, I enjoy snuggling with my cats, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends and family. I am so excited to work with you!

Lauren Brown

Lauren Brown

  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor
  • Registered Play Therapist Supervisor
  • Founder & Owner of ECCFC

I specialize in providing play therapy for children as young as 2 years old, counseling for tweens & teens, and personalized support for parents in finding solutions for their families. I partner with parents to build a treatment plan with goals tailored to their family needs.

I also offer social-emotional programming for preschools and homeschool groups, small group counseling for children, and structured playgroups for parents and their infants/toddlers.

In addition to counseling, my background includes experience as a teacher and school counselor.

Brittany Bryd Hagy

Brittany Byrd Hagy

  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Registered Play Therapist

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor here in the great state of Georgia, where I was born and raised. 

My passion is helping children and their families restore and rebuild the peace they’ve  lost in their lives. I believe humans are designed to be intimately connected with others in loving and secure relationships.  Therefore, when that connection and safety becomes absent or broken due to the difficulties of “life,” emotional pain and behavioral issues often arise that are difficult to navigate alone.

My focus is on providing youth (ages 3-18) with the tools they need to overcome their inner struggles, navigate the challenges of life, and develop resiliency for their future.   

Some of my specialties include anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, ADHD, low self-esteem, divorce, grief, social skills/peer relationships, behavioral issues, transitional issues, and parent-child attachment work (helping parents connect with their children to build more meaningful relationships).  I absolutely love teaming up with parents and families to help children reach their goals and succeed!

My counseling expertise is also in a wide variety of settings, such as non-profit organizations, animal-assisted therapy programs (utilizing dogs, horses, and dolphins), private practice, and in the school system. 

I primarily use play therapy and cognitive-behavioral approaches to help my clients achieve self-awareness and emotional healing.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, traveling and playing sports. I look forward to meeting you! 

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Alexandra Carver

  • National Certified Counselor
  • Certified Addictions Counselor, Level 1
  • Associate Professional Counselor

I attended the University of North Georgia for my Master’s of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialty as a Certified Addictions Counselor – Level 1. I am working toward full licensure under the supervision of a certified professional counselor supervisor.

My passion aligns with helping children, teenagers, and family build a foundation of techniques and tools to confidently navigate the world around them. From my educational background, I understand how unique each child’s mindset is and how to get them creatively engaged to work through current obstacles they are facing in their everyday lives. From a holistic approach, I work alongside not only children, but also, parents to provide a collaborative approach to utilize inside and outside of the session. I aim to provide a safe and empathetic environment that fosters healing and acceptance.

My specialities include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, behavioral regulation, ADHD, divorce, relationship issues, trauma, parenting education, and grief. I believe these presenting issues look different at each age and that it is important to meet the child/family where they are. Overall, my commitment is to work collaboratively with each individual and provide empowerment as each individual works toward their goals.

I primarily utilize cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy and a family systems lens to help children and teenagers work through obstacles present in their lives and the family as a whole. The basis of play therapy is to meet children where they are and to speak their language. Meeting a child or teenager in a world that is comfortable and familiar to them aids in strengthening rapport and gaining greater insight into their world.

Before Early Connections, I worked in a non-profit organization setting seeing individual clients, providing supervised visitation and teaching a parenting psychoeducation group.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, sitting down with a cup of coffee and a book, and traveling with friends and family! I look forward to walking alongside this journey with you!  

Mia Kim Chang

Mia Kim Chang

  • MA, Ed.M, NCC
  • Doctoral Intern in Counselor Education & Practice
  • Georgia State University

As a counselor, I want to serve as my client’s mirror to process their unique tapestries, empower each client to see themselves, and bring to the surface who they are and why. I strive to get a better understanding of my client’s story and development of their lifestyle through his or her personal cultural lens. My goal is to support my clients in developing insights into their belief system about themselves, others, and the world and to collaborate with parents/caregivers to best support the goals for their family.

Some of my specialties include anxiety, trauma, depression, emotion regulation, social skills, anger management, ADHD, and self-esteem. I use a variety of techniques and interventions in my work with children, including play therapy and creative expression techniques.

I work to create a safe place for my clients to talk about their personal struggles, find ways to understand and navigate them, and connect clients and families to additional resources when needed.

Prior to my internship at Early Connections Child and Family Counseling, I was a school counselor at the high school and elementary levels. Through my 9 years of experience, I provided individual as well as group counseling services to children and adolescents in the areas of social/ emotional awareness, academic planning, and college/career readiness.

During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, reading, and hiking. I look forward to meeting you!

Alex Hopkins

Alex Hopkins

  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Registered Play Therapist

I specialize in providing play therapy for elementary-aged children, counseling for tweens and teens, and coaching/support for parents. I am also trained in a dyadic child and family therapy called Theraplay, which I use to help kids of all ages and their parents strengthen their attachments to each other.

I love creating an authentic, engaging, and fun space where every child and teen I work with can feel safe to freely express themselves, and experience emotional and relational growth. With tweens and teens, this expression can happen verbally and creatively through the use of art, games, and sand tray. With younger children, expression most often happens through play therapy. I also love joining alongside parents and providing helpful, practical insights into raising kids and teens.

Prior to joining the team at Early Connections, I worked as a professional counselor in Nashville, TN where I helped kids, tweens, and teens (primarily boys) with backgrounds of trauma, grief/loss, and major life changes, and who struggled with challenges related to anxiety, depression, emotional regulation/anger outbursts, and ADHD. I also have experience providing crisis counseling to at-risk youth and their families.

I love to play golf, basketball, be outdoors, and listen to music (and have been known to incorporate some of these hobbies into my sessions!). I look forward to meeting you!

Stephanie Lemmey

Stephanie Lemmey

  • Associate Professional Counselor
  • Food Allergy Behavioral Health Association, Member

I help young clients reach their full potential. My goal is to empower children to make positive, healthy choices for themselves. I strive to work cooperatively with parents to set and manage attainable goals for their families, while providing a  “toolbox” of skills to children and adolescents. These tools help them to manage life’s difficulties through support and encouragement.

Through books, play, music and art, young clients are free to express themselves and learn in therapy. I work with clients who may be struggling with anxiety, self-esteem, learning disabilities or exceptionalities, or school and family issues.

My background includes 16 years of teaching young children.

I have a special interest in helping children manage food allergies, as well as to give support and resources to families relating to health care plans and safety planns at home and at school.

I am listed in the online Food Allergy Counselor Directory.

I work under the clinical supervision of Jessica Anderson, MS, LPC, CPCS, RPT-S.

Beth Marie Miller

Beth Marie Miller

  • Licensed Master of Social Work
  • Certified Synergetic Play Therapist

I believe in the healing power of creativity. Whether that means creating a story, a song, a mess, or meaning, I’m honored to witness and participate in the creations of my clients. We work together to explore their emotional landscape as it is without judgment, and I model and teach self-regulation and coping skills to move toward empowerment. I am always curious about the feelings and experiences beneath challenging behaviors or dysfunctional relationships. My experiential approach gives children and parents a safe space to try on new ways to meet challenges. I love helping clients discover, accept, and embrace their most authentic selves.

I specialize in play therapy with young children (ages 2-8) and parent coaching. I also work with older children, groups, and families. In addition to a traditional weekly therapy model, I offer intensive therapy (up to twice daily for a period of several weeks) for young children needing immediate intervention for challenging behaviors.

I have a background in early childhood education and have worked in Tanzania, Peru, Denver, and Nashville.

Perhaps I became a play therapist because I love to play. I nurture my soul by dancing, writing and reciting poetry, exploring the outdoors, getting lost in a good book, and connecting with friends. I look forward to connecting with you.

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith

  • Associate Professional Counselor
  • National Certified Counselor
  • Certified Clinical Trauma Professional

I completed my Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of North Georgia. During my time as a counseling graduate student, I participated in training in areas such as motivational interviewing, child-centered play therapy, Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children, as well as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I was also a counseling intern at both Mount Sinai Wellness Center located in Dahlonega, GA and Children’s Center for Hope and Healing in Gainesville, GA. Before coming to Early Connections Child and Family Counseling, I began my post-graduate counseling practice at Thrive Counseling Center in Kennesaw, GA. I am currently working toward my full licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia, under the supervision of Brandy Rogers, LPC, RPT-S, CPCS.

My professional counseling experience includes working with adult clients who struggle with addiction and dual diagnoses, those of all ages who have endured childhood sexual abuse either directly or indirectly, adolescents with sexual behavior issues, and children/adolescent clients, their families, and couples with a variety of mental health concerns related to anxiety, depression, academics, family dynamics, low self-esteem, trauma, and beyond.

I use inventive, yet effective therapeutic techniques while encouraging my clients to engage in healthy coping skills, emotion regulation, self-care, and mindfulness to help them feel more in charge of their current situation. I practice primarily from a cognitive behavioral therapy perspective, but also frequently borrow from dialectical behavior therapy, person-centered therapy, and strengths-based therapy, as deemed appropriate for the individual, family, or group.

My ultimate goal is for clients to transform their cognitive distortions into more positive thoughts, experience themselves as “the expert” of their own lives worth living in a safe space filled with counselor empathy, unconditional positive regard, and congruence, and build upon their strengths and sense of empowerment, in the world at large. Of course, I also hope that you genuinely enjoy attending therapy and finding healing via the tools gained while on the therapeutic journey!  

I take great pride in advocating for my clients whenever needed, especially those who belong to marginalized populations, such as communities of color and the LGBTQIA2S+ community. I am a professional member of both the American Counseling Association and Association for Play Therapy.

In my personal time, I enjoy being with my loved ones, cuddling with any of my six cats, and going to pop and rock concerts.

Ultimately, my life experiences have created a highly dedicated and passionate therapist out of me, particularly when it comes to trauma cases. I truly believe that counseling, when paired with a person’s unique resilience and constant support network, has the power to change the lives of oneself and others for the better.

I am thrilled to be a part of the ECCFC Therapist Team and cannot wait to start having a positive influence on you and your family!

Shannon Wallon

Shannon Wallon

  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • National Certified Counselor
  • Intensively Trained in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)

I have always had a passion for helping people, especially children, teens, families, and young adults. I provide a safe place where you can be heard and validated. Together, in a warm, caring, collaborative atmosphere, we will work towards developing a plan that meets your needs and helps you and your family build meaningful and long-lasting relationships.

I have more than 40 hours of comprehensive training in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT),  a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that identifies and changes negative thinking patterns while pushes for positive behavioral changes. DBT may be used to treat suicidal and other self-destructive behaviors.

I am a former teacher at Boston & Fulton County public and private schools and I homeschooled my 4 children from elementary through high school. I bring extensive knowledge, background and experience in working with and understanding the issues and concerns of children, teens, tweens, their parents and young adults.

Since therapy, like life, doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all approach, I believe in utilizing various modalities including play therapy,  person-centered talk therapy and DBT approaches. My treatment plans can include art, sand tray, books, music and role play to assist individuals in getting to the heart of the matter by accessing, connecting to and expressing their deepest feelings.

Last, but not least, I teach individuals and families the skills they need to weather the storms of life in the present moment and create a “Life That is Truly Worth Living.” 

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Take the next step and connect with our Client Care Coordinator, Jessica Verdonck. She will answer your questions and assist you in finding the right therapist.

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