Melissa Pennica, MA, LMFT

Assistant Practice Director 

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist 

Areas of Specialty: Sex Therapy, Couples therapy, Gender Identity 

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Melissa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Master's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies, as well as Bachelor's Degrees in both Psychology and Sociology. Melissa works from an attachment-based lens of therapy, based on the belief that relationships individuals have with themselves and others in their lives can greatly shape who they are. Melissa employs several evidence-based therapeutic techniques with clients to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. Her approach to therapy is to create an atmosphere for her clients to feel at ease when exploring these new revelations and emotions, while helping clients to build the skills that are needed to make the changes in their lives. Melissa specializes in working with LGBTQ+ and nonbinary individual and couples with an affirmative approach, as well as employing a sex-positive approach to couples navigating difficult experiences with physical intimacy. 

"I strive to provide my clients with the space to explore life's obstacles in a nonjudgmental environment. Whether it is relational hardships, family concerns, or individual stressors, I believe that everyone can benefit from the space that therapy can provide to work through these issues. I work with clients to explore issues from all angles, and provide with a listening ear and the helpful tools to work through the issues they are grappling with.
As a marriage and family therapist, I specialize in working with relationships with both individuals and couples. In couples work, I focus on how to move partners out of recurring negative patterns and bring them into those that work for both partners, while building an understanding of the “whys” behind the patterns, behaviors, and feelings. I genuinely enjoy the work that I do, and find it to be a privilege that my clients share their stories with me. "

​Rebecca Brown 

Marriage and Family Intern

Rebecca is a graduate student at Iona College studying Marriage and Family Therapy for clinical training specifically in the practice of couple and family psychotherapy. She holds Bachelor’s Degrees in both Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Rebecca works from a systemic lens of therapy, based on the belief that individuals cannot be fully understood in isolation and so, must be viewed as part of their family and other groups of which they hold membership. Rebecca utilizes the strengths and tools individuals, couples and families bring to therapy to help elicit a natural and lasting positive change. Her approach to therapy is to create a collaborative, warm and non-judgmental space in which clients can feel comfortable bringing forth their most vulnerable selves.

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Meredith Shirey, MS, LMFT

Founder, Practice Director

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Areas of Specialty: Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy, Insight-oriented Individual Psychotherapy, Clinical Supervision 

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Meredith is the Founder and Practice Director. She is licensed in New York and Tennessee as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and is a Clinical Fellow member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. As a Topic Expert for, Meredith is recognized as an expert on coupe and relational issues. She has been interviewed by many online media sources including Elite Daily, Bravo TV, Bustle, Romper, and Thought Catalog. She specializes in emotionally-focused couples therapy and insight-oriented individual treatment. Her approach includes a combination of attachment-based theories including Emotionally-Focused Therapy, and has extensive training from The Gottman Institute. For links to more articles, click here

Podcast Interview with Stacy Francis: What to do if you're being gaslighted 

"My approach to treating clients is to convey warmth and acceptance, while also being direct. I believe in balancing insight and behavioral change- meaning that I find the best outcomes in therapy come from a combination of helping clients learn about the origins of their issues, while also giving them tools to enact change in their present lives. Though I offer therapy in a variety of forms including individual, couple, and family; all of my work has a common theme of improving interpersonal relationships. I believe that as social beings, we are always confronted with interpersonal interactions, which can sometimes become distressing. Whether it be a spouse, intimate partner, family member, friend, child, or co-worker, we all encounter relationships that can be a source of enjoyment as well as stress. For this reason, I typically use a variety of therapeutic techniques that pull from relationally-based theories of psychotherapy." ​​

Lauren Ares, MA, LMFT

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Couples and Family Therapy Expert

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Lauren holds a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University and graduated from the training program for Ecosystemic Family Therapy (ESFT) at the Philadelphia Child & Family Therapy Training Center. Her past clinical experience includes working with inividuals, couples and families in a wide range of settings and demographics. Lauren likes to focus on the strenghts of the individual, couple or family and help bring out the tools that are already present in each one of us. Focusing on the techniques developed at the training center, she uses a blend of structural and strategic theraputic approches as well as attachment theory. She operates in a manner with her clients that she creates a collaborative effort and helps the client see the pattern and how they can address this in the most effective manner. She has experience with premarital, married, blended and divorced couples. Lauren also has experience working with Austism Spectrum Disorders in the family context and how a parent/couple can manage the obstacles that can come along. 

Jamey Baumbusch, MS, LMFT

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Gottman Trained Couples Therapy Expert

Area of Specialty: Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy

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​Jamey Baumbusch is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and holds a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University Northwest. He works with individuals and families, and specializes in couples therapy as a Level 3 trained Gottman Method Therapist. In his practice, he combines the use of evidence-based models, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or family-based interventions for adolescents, with a focus on enacting and strengthening solutions. He is skilled at helping clients evaluate what is sustaining their problems and what are the pathways to healing and solution attainment. When working with couples, Jamey teaches skills for improving communication through Gottman Method techniques, and helps couples explore how their individual perspectives, emotions, and histories are impacting the couple’s functioning. He has experience working with premarital couples, blended and second-marriage families, and queer couples.