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Essential Providers

Leon Monroe, LCSW, ASDCS, CCATP

Leon has over twenty years of clinical experience in the field of Autism. He works with children, teens, adults, families and couples. Leon holds a Masters in Social Work from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelors in Psychology from North Carolina State University. He has had training in the following:

 

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)

  • Adaptive Behavior Treatment (ABT)

  • Solution Focused Therapy

  • TEACCH methods

  • Family Systems Theory

  • Insight-Oriented Therapy

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

  • Lifespan Integration

  • Emotion Focused Therapy

 

As a former software programmer, Leon understands the demands of the tech industry. He provides an authentic, sincere and non-judgemental approach.

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Itala Azzarelli, LCSW, ASDCS

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Itala brings 20+ years of experience working in the field of developmental disorders, intellectual disabilities, and comorbid mental health concerns; she enjoys working with individuals, families, and groups. Itala received her undergraduate training in psychology with a specialization in child development and completed her masters degree in Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill in 2007. Prior to graduate school, Itala gained experience as a direct support professional and later as a supervisor in residential settings for individuals with special needs and autism. 

 

During her time at Duke University Medical Center, she received her clinical training in the Department of Social Work and specialized in pediatrics, working with children and families affected by chronic or acute illness. She then went on to work in the outpatient department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences/ Division of Child and Family Health, and the Duke Autism Clinic, where she was able to focus her efforts on providing both short and long-term therapy.

 

Itala’s approach to working with clients is informed by her training in development over the lifespan, family systems theory, the TEACCH method for structured teaching, Positive Parenting, and other evidence-based and manualized methods such as: CBT, DBT, and ACT. She believes in a holistic approach to care that includes foundations of health and wellness such as sleep, diet, and exercise, and will use this to inform areas for intervention when possible. Itala’s approach is client and family centered. She understands that clients must feel safe and connected to achieve their best outcomes and welcomes learning ways to improve her clients’ experience. 

 

When not working, Itala enjoys listening to music, practicing her bass, taking care of her plants, cooking, hiking with her dog and spending time with her friends and family. 

 

Itala has expertise in the following areas:

 

Autism/Asperger’s 

ADHD/executive function and organizational skills

Anxiety Disorders

Adjustment to life event 

Behavior modification

Chronic Illness

Depression

Emotional regulation/impulse control

Gender dysphoria

Grief and loss

Identity issues

Interpersonal effectiveness skills

Negative self image

Sexual health 

Stress management

Transition to adulthood

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Stephens Whitehurst, LMHCA, CRC, ASDCS

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Stephens received her Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling with a dual concentration in developmental and psychiatric disorders from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additionally, Stephens earned her Bachelor of Arts from Meredith College with a triple major in psychology, sociology, and criminology. With over six years of experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum, she understands the different ways in which mental health can impact these individuals. Stephens is also experienced in working with individuals with other developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, psychiatric disorders, and co-occurring conditions. Specific areas that Stephens has training and experience in working with clients to make positive change include:

ADHD

Autism/Aspergers

Anger Management

Anxiety

Behavior Modification

Career Transitions and Adjustments

Chronic Illness

Depression

Emotional Regulation

Executive Functioning Skills

Grief and Loss

Identity Issues

Impulse Control

Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills

Low Self-Esteem

Navigating Relationships

Negative Body Image

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Stress Management

Transition to Adulthood

Trauma/PTSD

As a therapist, Stephens understands the importance of creating a warm, safe, and non-judgmental environment in which all clients feels genuinely accepted and respected. Stephens believes that while we all experience ups and downs in our lives, each client brings a unique set of circumstances to therapy which makes them the expert in their own lives. Therefore, Stephens regards building a partnership with the client as essential to creating and achieving the client’s therapeutic goals. Stephens also believes that therapy should use a strengths-based approach to highlight what innate qualities the client possesses as they navigate challenges. Stephens utilizes an integrated approach and draws techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI) to help her clients develop the skills necessary to successfully achieve the goals they set together.

Chelsi McDougal, LCSWA

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Chelsi obtained her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from William Peace University. Upon completion of her bachelors, she received her Master of Arts in Social Work from University of North Carolina Pembroke. Chelsi is a Licensed Clinical Social Work Associate. She has over 15 years of experience working within the field of mental health, substance use, I/DD and Autism. She has worked in various settings including school setting, specialized recreation, in home direct care, day program, community based and outpatient therapy. Chelsi has worked with populations including children, teens and adults. She prioritizes person centered care involving the goals of the individual and utilizing interventions to promote growth. She understands the importance of self-determination. Chelsi utilizes an unique, compassionate and collaborative approach including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution Focused Therapy (SFT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Trauma Informed Care (TIC). 

 

Chelsi’s area of expertise include the following:

 

ADHD

Autism/Aspergers

Anger Management

Anxiety

Behavior Modification

Chronic Illness

Crisis Intervention

Depression

Dual Diagnosis

Emotional regulation 

Grief/Loss

Identity Issues

Impulse Control

Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills

Low Self-Esteem

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Psychosis

Stress Management

Substance Use

Relationships

Transition to Adulthood

Trauma

 

As a therapist, she provides diverse experience and background. Chelsi integrates an empathetic approach and compassionate environment to identify purpose, address barriers and support healing. 

Ali Kath, LMHCA, CRC

Ali pic.jpg

Ali received her Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Taking an eclectic and collaborative approach, Ali’s style is gentle, non-judgmental, and genuine. She prioritizes building strong therapeutic partnerships with her clients and strives to create a welcoming environment that feels safe for clients to show up as their authentic selves. 

 

Ali has experience supporting children, teens, and adults in the following areas:

 

ADHD

Autism 

Anxiety 

Crisis Intervention 

Emotional Regulation 

Identity Issues

Negative Body Image

Psychosis

Relationships

Self Esteem 

Self-Harm

Stress 

Sleep Issues  

Survivors of Sexual Violence

Survivors of Domestic Violence

Teen Dating Violence 

Trauma and PTSD

 

Ali believes in the resilience of her clients, and operates from a strengths-based and person-centered perspective. She understands the value of individualized care, tailoring treatment plans and pacing to align with her client’s goals. In line with this, Ali utilizes CBT, DBT, ACT, and holistic approaches to empower clients as they navigate life’s challenges. 

Billy Gulley, BA, Direct Support, Mentor, Coach

Billy Gulley, BA, Direct Support, Mentor, Coach

billy pic.png

Billy has over twenty-five years of direct support intervention experience specialized in ID/DD and dual diagnoses. He provides in-home support services utilizing Adaptive Behavior Treatments rooted and Mindfulness. 

 

His approach is holistic, humanist, and experiential.

 

He also provides coaching and support in the areas of independent living, interpersonal effectiveness and emotion regulation. 

Essential Providers

Leon Monroe, LCSW, ASDCS, CCATP

Leon has over twenty years of clinical experience in the field of Autism. He works with children, teens, adults, families and couples. Leon holds a Masters in Social Work from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelors in Psychology from North Carolina State University. He has had training in the following:

 

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)

  • Adaptive Behavior Treatment (ABT)

  • Solution Focused Therapy

  • TEACCH methods

  • Family Systems Theory

  • Insight-Oriented Therapy

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

  • Lifespan Integration

  • Emotion Focused Therapy

 

As a former software programmer, Leon understands the demands of the tech industry. He provides an authentic, sincere and non-judgemental approach.

ASD certification badge.png

Itala Azzarelli, LCSW, ASDCS

Itala pic.jpeg

Itala brings 20+ years of experience working in the field of developmental disorders, intellectual disabilities, and comorbid mental health concerns; she enjoys working with individuals, families, and groups. Itala received her undergraduate training in psychology with a specialization in child development and completed her masters degree in Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill in 2007. Prior to graduate school, Itala gained experience as a direct support professional and later as a supervisor in residential settings for individuals with special needs and autism. 

 

During her time at Duke University Medical Center, she received her clinical training in the Department of Social Work and specialized in pediatrics, working with children and families affected by chronic or acute illness. She then went on to work in the outpatient department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences/ Division of Child and Family Health, and the Duke Autism Clinic, where she was able to focus her efforts on providing both short and long-term therapy.

 

Itala’s approach to working with clients is informed by her training in development over the lifespan, family systems theory, the TEACCH method for structured teaching, Positive Parenting, and other evidence-based and manualized methods such as: CBT, DBT, and ACT. She believes in a holistic approach to care that includes foundations of health and wellness such as sleep, diet, and exercise, and will use this to inform areas for intervention when possible. Itala’s approach is client and family centered. She understands that clients must feel safe and connected to achieve their best outcomes and welcomes learning ways to improve her clients’ experience. 

 

When not working, Itala enjoys listening to music, practicing her bass, taking care of her plants, cooking, hiking with her dog and spending time with her friends and family. 

 

Itala has expertise in the following areas:

 

Autism/Asperger’s 

ADHD/executive function and organizational skills

Anxiety Disorders

Adjustment to life event 

Behavior modification

Chronic Illness

Depression

Emotional regulation/impulse control

Gender dysphoria

Grief and loss

Identity issues

Interpersonal effectiveness skills

Negative self image

Sexual health 

Stress management

Transition to adulthood

ASD certification badge.png

Stephens Whitehurst, LMHCA, CRC, ASDCS

Stephens's pic.jpg

Stephens received her Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling with a dual concentration in developmental and psychiatric disorders from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additionally, Stephens earned her Bachelor of Arts from Meredith College with a triple major in psychology, sociology, and criminology. With over six years of experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum, she understands the different ways in which mental health can impact these individuals. Stephens is also experienced in working with individuals with other developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, psychiatric disorders, and co-occurring conditions. Specific areas that Stephens has training and experience in working with clients to make positive change include:

ADHD

Autism/Aspergers

Anger Management

Anxiety

Behavior Modification

Career Transitions and Adjustments

Chronic Illness

Depression

Emotional Regulation

Executive Functioning Skills

Grief and Loss

Identity Issues

Impulse Control

Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills

Low Self-Esteem

Navigating Relationships

Negative Body Image

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Stress Management

Transition to Adulthood

Trauma/PTSD

As a therapist, Stephens understands the importance of creating a warm, safe, and non-judgmental environment in which all clients feels genuinely accepted and respected. Stephens believes that while we all experience ups and downs in our lives, each client brings a unique set of circumstances to therapy which makes them the expert in their own lives. Therefore, Stephens regards building a partnership with the client as essential to creating and achieving the client’s therapeutic goals. Stephens also believes that therapy should use a strengths-based approach to highlight what innate qualities the client possesses as they navigate challenges. Stephens utilizes an integrated approach and draws techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI) to help her clients develop the skills necessary to successfully achieve the goals they set together.

Chelsi McDougal, LCSWA

Chelsi pic.jpeg

Chelsi obtained her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from William Peace University. Upon completion of her bachelors, she received her Master of Arts in Social Work from University of North Carolina Pembroke. Chelsi is a Licensed Clinical Social Work Associate. She has over 15 years of experience working within the field of mental health, substance use, I/DD and Autism. She has worked in various settings including school setting, specialized recreation, in home direct care, day program, community based and outpatient therapy. Chelsi has worked with populations including children, teens and adults. She prioritizes person centered care involving the goals of the individual and utilizing interventions to promote growth. She understands the importance of self-determination. Chelsi utilizes an unique, compassionate and collaborative approach including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution Focused Therapy (SFT), Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Trauma Informed Care (TIC). 

 

Chelsi’s area of expertise include the following:

 

ADHD

Autism/Aspergers

Anger Management

Anxiety

Behavior Modification

Chronic Illness

Crisis Intervention

Depression

Dual Diagnosis

Emotional regulation 

Grief/Loss

Identity Issues

Impulse Control

Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills

Low Self-Esteem

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Psychosis

Stress Management

Substance Use

Relationships

Transition to Adulthood

Trauma

 

As a therapist, she provides diverse experience and background. Chelsi integrates an empathetic approach and compassionate environment to identify purpose, address barriers and support healing. 

Ali Kath, LMHCA, CRC

Ali pic.jpg
Ali pic.jpg

Ali received her Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Taking an eclectic and collaborative approach, Ali’s style is gentle, non-judgmental, and genuine. She prioritizes building strong therapeutic partnerships with her clients and strives to create a welcoming environment that feels safe for clients to show up as their authentic selves. 

 

Ali has experience supporting children, teens, and adults in the following areas:

 

ADHD

Autism 

Anxiety 

Crisis Intervention 

Emotional Regulation 

Identity Issues

Negative Body Image

Psychosis

Relationships

Self Esteem 

Self-Harm

Stress 

Sleep Issues  

Survivors of Sexual Violence

Survivors of Domestic Violence

Teen Dating Violence 

Trauma and PTSD

 

Ali believes in the resilience of her clients, and operates from a strengths-based and person-centered perspective. She understands the value of individualized care, tailoring treatment plans and pacing to align with her client’s goals. In line with this, Ali utilizes CBT, DBT, ACT, and holistic approaches to empower clients as they navigate life’s challenges. 

Becca Brown Pic.jpg

Billy Gulley, BA, Direct Support, Mentor, Coach

billy pic.png

Billy has over twenty-five years of direct support intervention experience specialized in ID/DD and dual diagnoses. He provides in-home support services utilizing Adaptive Behavior Treatments rooted and Mindfulness. 

 

His approach is holistic, humanist, and experiential.

 

He also provides coaching and support in the areas of independent living, interpersonal effectiveness and emotion regulation. 

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