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
Dr. Felicia J. Holloway is the former Program Director of Outreach Clinical Services at The Family Place, the largest family violence intervention and prevention organization in North Texas. 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 Contract Counselors and Licensed Interns
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 working in inpatient hospital settings, working with adults with chronic behavioral and mental health concerns, as well as providing counseling and therapeutic services to youth, 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 are with serving tweens and teens experiencing behavioral issues and families and couples going through relationship conflicts that are causing stress, strain, and 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. 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 at Arlington in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.
Kim Lovelace, LPC Intern
Supervised by Michael Ellison, PhD, LPC-S
Education: Tarleton State University, Masters in Education School Counseling
Believing that the visual arts can heal, for the last 24 years I have been a high school art teacher in the Tarrant County public education system. Through humor and a no-nonsense approach, I want to hold a safe space for individuals as they walk through their journey, overcome their current struggles, and find their voice. I have extensive experience with the LGBTQ community and enjoy working with that population, especially youth. Additionally, I have counseled with 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, my clients achieve their therapeutic goals. I look forward to getting to know you.
April W. Moody, MA, LPC Intern
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.
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. 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 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.