Listee Features — Counseling


Daphne J. Johnson, LPCS, MS, is a counselor and the owner of Wise Counsel Behavioral Health Agency. Ms. Johnson celebrates more than 25 years of expertise in counseling and mental health, including working with families, children, youth, and patients referred to her for substance use disorders and counseling following DWI charges. Her interest in a career in behavioral health began at a young age: raised in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood in Houston, Texas, Ms. Johnson saw families around her impacted heavily by poverty, mental health issues, and a lack of access to care. While local churches and community organizations were able to meet some of these unaddressed needs, many continued to need more help than was available to them. Inspired

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Norma Benavides


Norma Royale Wilder Benavides is a retired mental health practitioner who spent more than 20 years working with patients in both English and Spanish throughout California. By the time Ms. Benavides was 13 years old, she knew that she wanted to learn Spanish and pursue a career that relied on her knowledge of it. She spent two years working with the Peace Corps before beginning her career as a teacher of English and Spanish as a second language. Over the course of her career, Ms. Benavides has spent 12 years living in foreign countries, including Spain, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela. Ms. Benavides holds a Master of Arts in Spanish and South American literature from the University of

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Candace Tompkins


A respected professional in the psychological and counseling space, Candace Tompkins, MA, LMHC, has proven her skills as the director of psychological services for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. Since 2019, she has focused her efforts on helping to prepare people with intellectual disabilities and aid them in attaining success in their respective communities. Likewise, she works on a multidisciplinary team to meet the needs of the residents of the facility and bring awareness to society. Ms. Tompkins specializes in working with adults with severe and persistent mental illness in an inpatient or residential setting and seeks to bring about a greater awareness of mental illness and work against the negative stigma surrounding mental health issues. She pursued her

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Misti Rel


In a career spanning three decades, Misti M. Rel is a renowned licensed marriage and family therapist who has worked with clients dealing with challenges in the areas of relationships, marriage, anxiety, depression, suicide prevention, serious mental illness, substance abuse and addiction. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in substance abuse studies from Texas Tech University in 1992, followed by a master’s degree in psychology, specializing in marriage and family therapy, from Our Lady of the Lake University in 2009. She is currently pursuing a neurofeedback certificate. Ms. Rel’s professional dreams have always surrounded working in health care. After graduating from high school, she began working at a hospital within the mental health unit and remained

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As a child, Sarah J. Turner, PhD, spent time visiting nursing and retirement homes where she would read and listen to the residents’ stories. This sparked her natural curiosity about human life and ultimately drew her toward the field of psychology. Matriculating at California State University, she first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a minor in education, before achieving a Master of Science in counseling and psychology in 1973. Dr. Turner went on to serve as a teacher in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District between 1975 and 1980, where she was instrumental in the establishment of their special education program, and was licensed in medical hypnosis through the University of California in 1980. Subsequently joining Children’s

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Lori McCarter


Highly regarded for her skill and expertise as an addiction counselor, Ms. McCarter became involved in her profession based on her personal journey with recovery. For 16 years, she struggled with an alcohol addiction and is proud to have remained sober for the past 34 years. Upon earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the Lubbock School of Nursing in 1980, she was recruited for a nursing position at Cornerstone to Recovery. While serving in this capacity, she discovered that her true passion resided in counseling, leading her to attain an addiction counselor license in 1992. Progressing in her career endeavors, Ms. McCarter went on to serve as a lead counselor at Brookhaven Retreat from 2005 to 2007 and

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Doris Brevoort


Doris Brevoort, PhD, was first inspired to the fields of counseling and education after meeting Paulo Freire, an educator and the author of “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” in 1971. Subsequently joining SUNY Empire State College, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in the sociology of childhood, folklore and the performing arts in education in 1974. She followed this with licensure in massage therapy and began her career as a massage therapist with New Seattle Massage in 1981, a position she held until 2018. During this time, she continued her studies and received her teacher certification from Evergreen State College, followed by a Master of Arts in education in school counseling and family counseling from the University of Washington in 1991

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Barbara Hawes


Since her first job in an emergency room, Barbara Hawes, PhD, DRCC, has been interested in working with mental health disorders. She first earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in philosophy and psychology from Roanoke College in 1977 before completing coursework in deaf education from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Subsequently joining Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Hawes worked as a mental health crisis counselor and clinical instructor at the university hospital while pursuing her master’s degree in counseling psychology. From 1993 to 1998, Dr. Hawes served as a senior counselor for Vesta, Inc., where she helped to develop the first community crisis beds in their area of Maryland. Rising to become the

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First earning a bachelor’s degree in Bible and Christian education, magna cum laude, from Northeastern Bible College, Debbie L. Bacon, EdD, subsequently obtained a master’s degree, with distinction, from Arcadia University. She began her career in 2006 as a behavior support consultant for children before holding that same role with a residential community from 2010 to 2014. In 2014, she established D. L. Bacon Consulting LLC, where she provides seminars and training on mental health and mental illness to various organizations. Four years later, Dr. Bacon additionally joined Applied Counseling & Consulting Services, LLC, where she works with teams and individuals to assess and address their behavioral health needs. Attributing much of her success to her passion for helping people

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