During a decade as a small business owner, Darcy became very active in her community which led to a brief career with the local Chamber of Commerce. It was there that she met and worked with many other wonderful community servants, some who were serving on the Board of Directors of Children First. Following her predecessor's retirement in 2008, she answered the call to serve as Executive Director of this wonderful agency and is honored to help lead and support the HOPE and HEALING that has been provided to thousands in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area for 40 years.
Client Services Specialist
Aly 's helpful and confident personality coupled with a customer service background make her a tremendous asset to our clients, as well as to our clinical team. Aly's is often the first voice our clients hear when taking the first step in the therapeutic process. She delivers essential help to our clients in both English and Spanish. Her organizational skills are crucial for helping to coordinate the services of a busy center that delivers well over 6,000 hours of assistance annually.
Eleanor "Ellie" Moser, LPC
Interim Clinical Director
Education: Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, Amberton University
Ellie graduated from the University of Dallas with a BA in English Literature and received her MA in Professional Counseling from Amberton University in 2016. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Texas (License #76401). Since obtaining her master's degree, Ellie has worked with adults in group settings as well as individual sessions. Ellie also provides services to adolescents and children. She works with clients who struggle with a variety of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, communication, relationships, anger, grief, addiction, and self-worth. Ellie's belief is that every person has an innate dignity and inherent goodness, is deserving of respect, and she encourages her clients to rediscover that goodness in themselves and find solutions to their personal life challenges.
Professional Contract Counselors
James Albert, LPC
Education: Argosy University, Dallas
Counselor / Anger Management Facilitator
James joined the clinical staff at Children First in October 2011 following completion of his practicum for his master's degree. He is a skilled and compassionate counselor, as well as the facilitator of our Anger Management group classes. James is often called upon for his experience and perspective when helping young men navigate difficulties in life and relationships.
Godwin Bettis, LCDC
BIPP Group Facilitator
Few counselors have tenure with Children First that rivals that of Godwin Bettis. Godwin is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor who joined CFCC in 1996. Though not providing individual, family or couples counseling any longer, he is a very experienced facilitator for our Battering Intervention and Prevention group classes. If you are interested in understanding or overcoming challenges associated with the cycle of power and control, please call to inquire about our BIPP program.
Lizette Garcia, LPC
Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Masters in Counseling
Clinical Leadership Team; Bilingual (English/ Spanish) Therapist
Lizette's objective in counseling is to make available a safe atmosphere which brings about exploration and a strong therapeutic relationship to achieve emotional healing, growth and progress. This is gained through establishing support, empowerment, and understanding. She is passionate about empowering others with the right tools and skills to maintain their wholeness. She believes in working with the whole personality, which includes the spirit, soul, heart, conscience, mind and emotions of a person. As human beings, she believes we live eternally as a spirit; we have a soul, and we dwell in a body.
She has provided bilingual services to children, adolescents, families, individuals, and couples. Her counseling experience includes, but is not limited to, play therapy, sexual abuse, domestic violence, trauma, mental illness, anger, anxiety, conflict resolution, depression, divorce, faith crisis, relationship issues, self-esteem, family concerns, depression, grief and loss, life transitions, parenting issues and stress management.
Lizette is a native of Central America who has lived in Texas for many years. She has been privileged to treat clients from diverse backgrounds in English and Spanish. She holds a master's degree in Counseling Psychology and is licensed as an LPC Intern. She is a wife, a mother, and a life giver.
Soy una terapeuta bilingüe, Ingles-Español que ofrece terapia. Terapia: individual, familiar, parejas,niños, adolescentes y adultos. Termas: depresión, ansiedad, control de ira, violencia doméstica, trauma y problemas de comunicación.
Melissa Gutierrez, LPC
Education: Texas Wesleyan University, Ft. Worth, Texas, master's degree in Counseling
Bilingual (English/ Spanish) Therapist
Counseling Services for:
Melissa believes in unconditional acceptance of self and others to work through a range of emotional and behavioral issues that may manifest into unhealthy negative symptoms. She offers an approach tailored to each client’s individual needs with a foundation in rational emotive behavioral therapy. Melissa is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), which has proven beneficial for PTSD and complex trauma along with many of the services listed above. She also works with children as young as 3 or 4 years of age and provides play therapy.
Melissa is a Licensed Professional Counselor and an honors graduate from Texas Wesleyan University. She completed her undergraduate degree from The University of Texas in Arlington in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.
Sue Ann Rios, LCSW
Education: University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Science in Social Work
Bilingual (English/Spanish) Therapist
Sue Ann Rios is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has 15 years of experience in the Social Work and Counseling setting. She has experience in the areas of Special Needs including ADHD and Autism, Children and Family counseling, Parenting and Co-Parenting, Couples counseling, Chronic Illness, Substance Abuse and is Certified in Trauma therapy.
She graduated with a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is also certified in providing Trauma Therapy using a variety of techniques through Trauma Support Services of North Texas. Ms. Rios is also a certified facilitator for parenting as a Love and Logic facilitator through the Love and Logic Institute as well as Rainbow Days Play Connection Curriculum.
She believes in meeting you where you are in your life journey and supporting you to reach where you want to be using a Solution Focused approach or an approach that will best fit your needs.
Angela Stickels, LPC Intern, LCDC
Supervised by Deborah M. Gardner, M. Ed., LPC-S, LMFT, NCC
Education: Amberton University, Masters Degree in Professional Counseling; University of Texas (Austin) Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology
Angela holds two counseling licenses in the State of Texas. She is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, as well as an LPC Intern. She is also a Certified Trauma Professional through the International Association of Trauma Professionals, and also holds a Certificate in Trauma Therapy from Trauma Support Services of North Texas. She is currently in training for EMDR certification. Angela's training and experience provide children, adolescents and adults with the therapeutic tools for healing and growth.
Steve Tankersley, LCSW
Education: University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, Master of Science in Social Work
Clinical Leadership Team; Social Work Practicum Supervisor; BIPP Program Director
Most of Steve's experience has been in Chronic Mental Health (MHMR/psychiatric hospitals) and Family Violence, primarily working with Batterers (male and female). He has served in the social work field since 1989. His recent work has mainly been with adults, but he has past experience working with adolescents also. Steve typically utilizes Cognitive/Behavioral approaches. He is a Social Worker at heart, so he also likes reading about politics, activism, and serving the less fortunate. He is very committed to non-profit work; one of the main reasons he has continued to serve at Children First Counseling Center for over 15 years.
Sylvia Williams, LPC
Education: Master of Arts in Counseling, Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, Texas
Contract Counselor/BIPP Group Facilitator
Sylvia is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She is also a Certified Prepare Enrich Facilitator, which she uses for pre-marital counseling; a Certified Life Coach; and a Pastoral Counselor. She has received training in Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Education and Prevention, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Sylvia has facilitated youth and teen groups; adult grief and parenting groups; and both Men’s and Women’s Batterer Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP) groups. She also provides services to individuals, couples and families. Her volunteer work as a mentor and counseling facilitator has taken her to prisons, pregnancy centers, youth clubs, and churches.
Sylvia employs a variety of techniques, depending on the needs of her client or group, such as Solution-Focused (SFT), Reality (RT), Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavior (REBT) and Narrative Therapy (NT). She also enjoys using expressive therapies such as sand tray, play, and sculpting. As a person-centered and holistic counselor, Sylvia’s goal is to assist clients in moving forward to their preferred future.