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 wonderful community servant leaders, 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 over 40 years.
Felicia J. Holloway, PhD, LPC-S, LMFT-S
Education: Texas Woman's University, PhD in Family Therapy
A LPC-S and LMFT-S, Dr. Felicia J. Holloway holds a PhD in Family Therapy from Texas Woman’s University, a Masters degree in Counseling from Prairie View A&M and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of Houston. Dr. Holloway has taught undergraduate and graduate family science and counseling courses for over 7 years. In addition, she has over 20 years of experience serving marginalized families through non-profit social service programming, development, management and counseling. This experience includes creating and evaluating programming, counselor development, consultation and supervision as well as community engagement. In addition, she has progressive years of clinical experience in providing effective mental health counseling service to adults, children, adolescents, and families in community agencies, college and private practice settings.
Client Services Admin
Adriana came to Children First with prior experience in the clinical front office setting. Her gentle manner makes her a natural for working in a counseling center. She excels at assisting clients with their first step in to the therapeutic process, and assisting our counselors in ways that make the office workflow smooth. She delivers essential help to our clients in both English and Spanish. Her skills are crucial for helping to coordinate the services of a busy center that delivers thousands of hours of assistance annually.
Marketing and Development Coordinator
Marcela has a career background in serving nonprofits, with a strong passion for public service. She has been an avid volunteer since youth and advocates for community engagement. In her most recent experience prior to joining the Children First team, she coordinated an annual community wide service day that averaged over 1500 participants, and oversaw event marketing, donor outreach, and volunteer recruitment. Marcela received her Bachelors degree from the University of North Texas at Dallas, with a large volume of coursework in Child Development and Child Psychology. She is currently attending the University of Texas at Arlington in the Master of Public Administration program, with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management.
Professional Counselors and Licensed Associates
Mayra Chavez, LPC Associate
Supervised by Odette Tomlinson, LPC-S, TFT-Dx
Education: Capella University, Master of Science in Clinical Psychology, with a specialization in Clinical Counseling
Mayra Chavez is a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern who has a wide range of experience with nonprofits, working in organizations such as The Children’s Shelter and BCFS in San Antonio, TX, and The Parenting Center. She has experience working with children, and has served in a lead parent coach role, where she assisted families in strengthening their relationships. As an attachment and trauma-informed therapist, Mayra uses a person-centered approach, which encourages teamwork and empowers clients to direct the content of the sessions. She believes that through a collaborative, nurturing, and judgement-free environment, she can help clients build on their strengths and work towards repairing past hurts. Mayra has a passion for working with people, and strongly believes in accepting and appreciating clients, in all their unique individualities.
Gabrielle Dean, LMFT Associate
Education: Texas A&M University-Central Texas, Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy
Gabrielle has gained a wealth of experience from past employment in inpatient hospital settings, working with adults with chronic behavioral and mental health concerns, as well as providing counseling and therapeutic services to children, young adults, and their families. Gabrielle desires to focus on the strengths, successes, and hopes of each individual she meets and works with. Gabrielle is passionate about building a therapeutic alliance with her clients as they explore the journey of healing. Her experience and passion is serving tweens and teens experiencing behavioral issues, and families and couples going through relationship conflicts that are causing stress, strain, or tension.
Melissa Gutierrez, LPC
Education: Texas Wesleyan University, Masters 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. Melissa is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and offers a counseling 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.
Kim Lovelace, LPC Associate
Supervised by Michael Ellison, PhD, LPC-S
Education: Tarleton State University, M.Ed. in School Counseling
Believing that the visual arts can heal, Kim has dedicated her time to being a high school art teacher, for the last 24 years in Tarrant County public education. Through humor and a no-nonsense approach, she seeks to hold a safe space for individuals as they walk through their journey, overcome their current struggles, and find their voice. Kim has extensive experience with the LGBTQ community and enjoys working with that population, especially youth. Additionally, Kim has counseled children who have lost a parent and are working through their own grief process. Using a variety of techniques and modalities, like trauma focused cognitive behavior therapy, grief work, cognitive processing therapy, and expressive arts techniques, Kim assists clients to achieve their therapeutic goals. She looks forward to getting to know you.
April W. Moody, MA, LPC Associate
Supervised by Deborah M. Gardner, M.Ed., LPC-S, LMFT, NCC
Education: Liberty University, Masters in Professional Counseling
April Moody is a Masters level Licensed Professional Counselor Intern who is passionate about helping others. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. After graduating with her BA degree she spent several years working with individuals and families faced with mental health issues as a caseworker. She continued her studies after more than ten years working in the mental health field and received a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. The majority of April’s work experience has been with adults. She briefly worked with adolescents and children; however, her goal is to work with people of all ages helping them to live healthier lives.
Asha Sampath, LPC Associate
Supervised by Savita Abrahams, Ph.D, LPC-S
Education: Lamar University, M.Ed. in School Counseling & Clinical Mental Health Counseling Certificate
Bilingual (English & Spanish) Therapist
Asha Sampath is a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern with past experience as an elementary school teacher and school counselor. Asha offers services in English and Spanish, and has a goal of serving the needs of her community, in a meaningful way. She uses client-centered play therapy, or the Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT) approach, to promote client wellness in children and adults.
Carla Summers, LMSW
Education: University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Science in Social Work
Bilingual (English & Spanish) Therapist
Carla has a passion for helping individuals overcome challenging life situations. She is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Texas who has worked with children, adolescents, adults and families. Carla is experienced in the areas of autism, crisis intervention and domestic violence, and has provided treatment for behavioral management, anger, depression, anxiety, ADHD, self-esteem issues and parenting. Carla uses techniques and skills from various therapeutic modalities including Solution-Focused (SFT), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Play Therapy, Mindfulness and relaxation to empower clients and help them achieve their goals.
A Carla le apasiona ayudar a las personas a superar situaciones difíciles de la vida, brindar esperanza, y ayudar a los clientes con su bienestar. Ella ha tenido el privilegio de trabajar con diversas poblaciones y brindar servicios en inglés y español. Carla es una trabajadora social con licencia en el estado de Texas, y tiene experiencia trabajando con niños, adolescentes, adultos y familias. Carla Summers tiene capacitación en áreas de autismo, intervención en crisis, violencia doméstica, y competencia en terapia conductual cognitiva centrada en el trauma. Carla ha proporcionado tratamiento para el manejo del comportamiento, ira, depresión, ansiedad, ADHD, problemas de autoestima y educación de los padres. Carla utiliza diversas técnicas terapéuticas, incluyendo terapia centrada en soluciones (SFT), la terapia cognitivo-conductual (CBT), la terapia de juego, y la relajación para empoderar a los clientes y ayudarlos a alcanzar sus objetivos.
Steve Tankersley, LCSW
Education: University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Science in Social Work
Clinical Leadership Team; Social Work Practicum Supervisor; BIPP Program Director
Steve is experienced 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. He has most recently worked with adults, though, he has past experience working with adolescents as well. Steve typically utilizes Cognitive/Behavioral approaches. He is a Social Worker at heart, so he also enjoys 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.
Kiarra Watts, LMFT Associate
Supervised by Dr. Sara Smock Jordan, PhD, LMFT-S, LMFT
Education: Texas Tech University, Master of Science in Couples, Marriage, and Family Therapy
Kiarra is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist associate. She has received training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and uses this training to help survivors heal and processes their traumatic experiences. Kiarra also has experience in the areas of anxiety, family conflict, relationship issues, anger management, child sexual abuse, trauma, and life transitions. She has provided services to children, adolescents, families, couples, and individuals.
Kiarra uses a Solution-Focused approach to help clients overcome barriers they may be experiencing. She also believes in collaborating with clients to meet their therapeutic needs.
Sylvia Williams, LPC
Education: Dallas Baptist University, Master of Arts in Counseling
Contract Counselor/BIPP Group Facilitator
Sylvia is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has received training in Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Education and Prevention, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She is a Certified Life Coach, Pastoral Counselor, and also a Certified Prepare Enrich Facilitator, which she uses for pre-marital counseling.
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 direct 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 the 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.