Empower Counseling,PC

Tara Cothren, LPC

Tara is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Virginia with over nine years of experience working in various therapeutic settings. She completed her Masters of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lynchburg College in 2012 and received a Bachelor's of Science degree from Liberty University in 2007

Throughout the years, Tara has sought out specialized training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) to address traumatic life events of children through young adults, and specialized basic training in Eye Movement Desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to address a variety of presenting problems. These include processing traumatic life events, addressing problematic core beliefs which negatively impact daily life functioning, and instilling positive adaptive beliefs and methods of coping.

Tara has also received specialized training in Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (ACRA) as well as skills training in the ASAM model (American Society of Addiction Medicine) to treat substance abuse issues with her clients. Other clinical interests include exploration of the connection between physical and mental health, and exploring the benefits of physical activity in decreasing anxiety and depression. She takes an individualized, person centered approach in working with children, adolescents, and adults in individual or group therapy settings. Currently, Tara is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) and is training under the supervision of Trish to become a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS). 

Dr. Debbie Kleinsmith, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

 I received my undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, then attended Florida Institute of Technology for my masters and doctorate degrees in the field of clinical psychology. I later moved to Richmond, where I completed a one year internship in child and family therapy at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children. Afterwards, I worked in community mental health and at a residential treatment hospital for children dually diagnosed with medical and emotional difficulties.

Forest became home to me in 1997, when I began working for Centra Health at Bridges Residential Treatment Center and part time at the student counseling center at Sweet Briar College. After having my second child, I chose to stay home and focus on raising my own children. Several years later, I began volunteering with Girls on the Run of Central Virginia, a non-profit organization, and fell in love with its positive approach to empowering school aged girls. For the next 7 years, I was employed at the Director of Development there and helped grow the program in Central Virginia. I truly enjoyed seeing the positive benefits for the girls, as well as the volunteer coaches, who often seemed as impacted by the program as the participants themselves.

I am excited to work again in the clinical field. Drawing on my training, experience in inpatient, outpatient and residential settings, as well as my own life experience, I look forward to working individually with clients using cognitive behavioral approaches, positive psychology and mindfulness techniques to overcome depression, anxiety, grief, self-esteem issues and the many challenges that are an inevitable part of life.

“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.” 

Debra Crowder, LPC

I attended and graduated from the University of Virginia when the student body was still predominantly male. Afterwards, I worked in business before spending time as a stay at home mom with my 3 now grown daughters.

Following raising my daughters, I obtained my M. Ed. in Counseling from Lynchburg College and I have worked in community mental health for more than 10 years as a therapist and also clinical supervisor. I enjoy vegetable gardening in my spare time.

My specialties include clients struggling with: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Panic, Phobias, Trauma, Sexual and Physical Abuse, Autism/Asperger's, Grief. Loss and Separation. 

Jane Snider, LPC

I am a Virginia Licensed Professional Counselor with fifty years of experience. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and then my Master’s degree in Counseling from James Madison University. I have worked in many different settings in Virginia, and have owned my own business for rehabilitation of individuals with traumatic brain injury.

I am the mother of three grown children and grandmother to five children. My hobbies include loving cats, reading and swimming.

My specialties include clients struggling with anxiety and depression; traumatic brain injury; divorce, loss, illness and grief issues. I also enjoy working with families and adolescents. Over the many years of my practice I have continued to keep my “counseling tool box” refreshed with training in many new techniques, including EMDR for trauma related issues.

I look forward to meeting you!

Sandra Noble MA, Resident in Counseling, NCC, CCTP

Sandra has a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and has completed postgraduate work in Counselor Education, and is now working toward counseling licensure in Virginia. She is passionate about helping others find hope, healing, and strength through the process of counseling. She has several years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings, both individually and in groups. Her experience includes working with depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, relationship issues, and identity development. Sandra approaches counseling from a client-centered therapy framework while integrating practical and evidence-based concepts from cognitive behavioral, existential, and attachment-focused therapies. She has completed levels 1 & 2 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, and has received training in neurofeedback and in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction practices. Sandra also provides Christian faith integrated counseling when requested. She will come alongside you to identify needs and work toward healing and freedom in a safe and empowering setting. Recently, Sandra earned the title of Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) issued by the International Association of

Trauma Professionals and also is an EMDR trained clinician. 

As a Resident in Counseling, Sandra sees clients at a reduced rate of $40 per session. 

Adam Cothren, LPC

Since 2005 I have enjoyed working in various mental health treatment settings including Emergency mental health treatment, residential, and community mental health agencies. I am currently accepting clients for individual outpatient counseling. Over the past year I was fortunate enough to provide therapy at Sweet Briar College as part of their mental health and wellness program. I have always valued the therapeutic relationship formed with clients, and utilize a client-centered approach and a safe, non-judgmental therapeutic environment.

I have a certification in Adolescent Community Rehabilitation Approach for treating substance abuse and other mental health issues, I have specialized training in Motivational Interviewing, Intensive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I am originally from the Philadelphia area, transplanted into Lynchburg since 2007. I am a semi-retired musician, love buying records, spending time with my wife and beloved dog Gibson and suffering through seasons with the Eagles.

 Carrie Wamsley, LPC 

During my 8 years working as a Mental Health Counselor, I have provided direct care to clients ages 3+ through a multitude of programs including outpatient counseling, crisis counseling, inpatient care, and intensive in-home counseling. I have worked with a variety of diagnoses including Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Oppositional Defiance, Eating Disorders, Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder, and more. My therapeutic approaches include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused, Person-Centered, Behavioral Therapy, Strength Based, & more.

I am currently finishing my Residency in Counseling and have been working as a Counselor since 2011 in a variety of settings including every level of care from outpatient counseling to inpatient hospitalization.

My personal philosophy is that mental health affects us just as much as our physical and spiritual health. We continue to work for the stigma to be removed from accessing mental health care and I would love the opportunity to work with you to help you increase your overall well-being.

Kim Epperly, LPC 

I am a Virginia Licensed Professional Counselor with 20 years of experience. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Special Education from Lynchburg College in 1999 and my Master’s in Professional Counseling from Liberty University in 2014. I have worked in various types of therapeutic settings from In-patient hospitalization for children and teens to providing Crisis se​rvices for children and teens to providing Outpatient therapy for adults, children and teens who suffering with a variety of mental health needs.

My specialties include clients who struggle with Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Sexual abuse and grief/loss. My passion is working with women and teenage girls who have suffered trauma through healing and accompanying them on their journey toward wholeness

Gwen Seiler, Resident In Counseling 

     My career background before pursuing my Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (Graduating in August 2020), was as a Registered Nurse and then as executive director of a nonprofit ministry for women dealing with Eating Disorders and more. I also helped organize and lead the Empowered Families Group here at Empower Counseling, PC to educate and support family members of those with an eating disorder.

     When assessing a client I try to take in the whole person, body, mind, and spirit, considering how each of these components is impacting the others. If a client chooses, I am willing to incorporate Christian faith-based counseling, in addition to a mix of therapeutic approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Strengths-Based, Person-Centered, Gestalt, and more. I also provide couples counseling. 

     I have been married for 34 years and we have three grown daughters (two of whom are married), one grandchild, and two doodle-pups. I love watching sunrises and sunsets especially over mountains and beaches, traveling, horseback riding, exploring, and spending time with those I love.