Essential Counseling and Therapeutic Services

for Children, Teens and Adults

at the intersection of Durham and Chapel Hill 

Specializing in Services for Autism and ADHD


Unlock your authentic potential

The Path Begins Here...

The People

The People

Our clinicians and support professionals inspire the wisdom, confidence, and radical realizations that can help you get unstuck, overcome obstacles, and unlock your authentic potential.

While we are trained in evidence based therapies, we realize that long-lasting change can only occur when an individual feels comfortable, connected and calm enough to witness their own inner wisdom. By taking the time to help you feel more comfortable with yourself and others in a safe, judgement-free environment, we are better able to provide you with the custom tools and techniques to get you to the next level or path on your journey.








The Story

My interest in Autism has led me through many paths over the last 20 years. Prior to completing my Bachelors in Psychology from NC State University and my Masters in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I enjoyed many years working with individuals as a Direct Support Professional, Case Manager, ABA Therapist, ABA Program Manager, Director of Vocational Services and even as a Software Programmer and Tester in the Tech industry.


With Essential CTS, my vision is to offer the therapies and services that help individuals feel calm enough within themselves and connected enough to those around them that they can reach their full potential.

I have witnessed this happen for many of the people I have worked with.

Hope to see you here...along your path. 


The Map

Driving Directions

​Essential CTS is located at

the intersection of I-40 and 15-501


border of Chapel Hill and Durham

Providence Road is accessible from either Eastowne Drive entry points. Our offices are in the 

Providence Place I building.

150 Providence Road

Suite 100

Chapel HIll, NC 27514

9194280421 Phone

 Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

ABA can be used to increase expected behaviors and decrease unexpected behaviors. It can be taught in the home or in our offices. Essential CTS is an in-network provider of ABA services with BCBS.

Individual Therapy

Weekly Individual Therapy session s have shown to be highly effective for targeting both short-term and long-term goals. Exposure Therapy is also highly effective for phobias, fears, obsessions, compulsions, OCD.  We specialize in DBT and CBT for issues that may arise as a result of Autism, PDD and the diagnosis formerly known as Aspergers. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

The components of DBT include:

mindfulness, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance.

We have found that many people in the ASD community benefit from our modified DBT approach.

 Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has also proven to be effective for many.

Parent Training

Parent Training is offered to parents and caregivers who would like to be more effective in the home environment. We also offer family therapy, couples therapy and caregiver self-care education and support. 

Social Groups, Clubs and Courses

We offer an array of social group, clubs and courses to meet the various personalities and cognitive levels of those we serve. To see the full list of the groups we are currently offering, scroll down this page.

Therapeutic Support in the Home and Community

Regardless of whether or not you qualify for ABA services, we offer Independent Skills Training and Therapeutic Support in the Home and Community.  

Services similar or adjunct  to ABA may include:

Adaptive Behavior Treatment (ABT)

Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs)

TEACCH methods from

UNC Chapel Hill

Groups, Clubs and Courses

This group will meet on Saturdays over a 12 week period beginning in mid-September and ending just before the School Winter Break.

The group will be guided through skills-based strategies to build and increase social confidence and self-empowerment.

The groups are designed to allow participants to process the week’s hurdles and successes as well as troubleshoot areas which may require more guidance.


Take home assignments with strategies for parents will be given weekly.

 $45 is required to reserve a space in this group. $495 will be due by the start of the first session.


The group will culminate with a final session in mid-December that will include a social outing planned by the participants.

Ages 8-11

Ages 12-14


Social Confidence and Self-Empowerment for Adolescents and Pre-Teens

This group will meet on Saturdays over a 12 week period beginning in mid-September and ending just before the School Winter Break.

The group will be guided through the superpowers of mindfulness, emotion regulation and perspective taking.

Effective Social Skills statistically proven to work will be practiced in vivo in an exciting and engaging format.


Take home assignments with strategies for parents will be given weekly.

 $45 is required to reserve a space in this group. $495 will be due by the start of the first session.

Ages 5-7

Ages 8-10

Social Superpowers 

DBT based skills for Children and Adolescents

These groups are designed for those who are looking to have more social opportunities in their lives.


Participants explore a host of exciting therapeutic activities geared towards recreation, relaxation and social engagement. 

Activities may include:

Board Games


Music Share

Mindful Walking

Arts and Crafts


Ages 8-11

Ages 12-14

Ages 15-18

Ages 18 and Up


Saturday Therapeutic Activity Groups

All clubs use analog (aka "non-digital") game formats and are geared towards the goal of increasing social intelligence. These clubs meet weekly throughout the year. 


Ages 12-14 meets on Mondays from 5-6pm

Ages 14-17 meets on Fridays from 6-7pm

An 18 and up group will also be available this Fall.

Groups will focus on the superpowers of mindfulness, emotion regulation and perspective taking.


Effective Social Skills statistically proven to work will be practiced in vivo in an exciting and engaging format.


Affordable sessions:

$45 per week

Ages 12-14

Ages 14-17

Ages 18 and up


Level Up

Game Clubs

This 16 week course is designed to provide intensive in-vivo practice of proven conversation skills. This course is recommended for people with mild to moderate social anxiety, ADHD, Autism or just plain shyness.

Time TBD

Ages 16-20

Ages 21 and up

The Art of Conversation

This DBT informed group is designed to meet emerging adults where they are on the pathway to adulthood. 

Previous and current group members appreciate the ability to talk openly about curiosities, struggles, fears, hopes and dreams in a safe, supportive space while also incorporating real-life role-play strategies to deal with adult issues such as budgeting, dating

and employment.

This group meets weekly.

Affordable sessions:

$45 per week

Ages 16-21


Emerging Adults:

The Path to Adulthood

Other Therapies we offer:

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

for Mild to Severe Anxiety, Sensory Issues, Trauma and Social/Emotional Challenges

What I love about the SSP is that almost anyone can use it right away and start to see results. Many people who come to us have had mild to severe traumatic stress from previous individual counseling or group sessions due to severe anxiety and/or social anxiety. The SSP is a five-day intervention lasting one hour per day that only requires the individual to sit with and listen to the listening device (a Sony Walkman). 


Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a five-day auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. Based on Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, by calming the physiological and emotional state, the door is opened for improved communication and more successful therapy.

The SSP is a research-based therapy showing significant results in just five days in the following areas:

  • Social and emotional difficulties

  • Auditory sensitivities

  • Anxiety and trauma related challenges

  • Inattention

  • Stressors that impact social engagement






The Path Begins Here


Late one cloudy afternoon at Cape Disappointment in Washington State, a traveler followed a sign which read "The path begins here".  The traveler followed the path in that direction a short distance to where another sign appeared. The same words appeared "The path begins here". Weary, confused and a bit frustrated, the traveler summoned the wise traits of curiosity and tenacity and continued on the path.  However, when the path changed course again, the traveler began to understand what the path had revealed. The path is always beginning. The path begins here, wherever here will be.