Saralu P. Belkofer, M.S., L.P.C.
Saralu (Sam) Belkofer is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She is a 1969 graduate of Auburn University with a BA in Education and graduated from Georgia State University with an MA in Counseling in 1988.
Prior to coming to The Samaritan Counseling Center, Sam counseled adults at Chemical Addictions Program from 1994 until 1999; Therapeutic Programs, Inc., where she worked with children and foster parents of children in need of therapeutic foster care; and at Helping Montgomery Families Initiative, sponsored by Ellen Brooks and the District Attorney’s office, assisting troubled children/youth in Montgomery Public Schools and their families.
Most recently, she served as the Montgomery County Director of Adult Outpatient Services with Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority until November 2013.
Sam counsels adolescents, young adults and adults, employing psychotherapy to gain insight into problems to develop needed strategies for life transitions, survivors of abuse and neglect, addictions, forgiveness, ADHD, anxiety and depression, issues of abandonment, attachment, gender issues (LGBTQ+), and development of life skills.
Kay Cannady, M.S., L.P.C.
Kay Cannady is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 32 years working with adults and adolescents with chemical dependency and mood disorders. She graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a B.A. in Broadcast Communications in 1977 and earned a M.S. in Counseling and Human Development from Troy University-Montgomery in 1988. At The Samaritan Counseling Center, Inc. she focuses on clients whose lives have been affected with substance use or the problem behaviors, consequences and moods associated with addiction.
Prior to coming to The Samaritan Counseling Center, Kay has worked in a variety of settings with adolescents and adults. Kay worked at Alabama Psychiatric Services as a clinician working with psychiatric and addictive disorders patients for eight years. She has also worked with juvenile delinquent behaviors at the Alabama Department of Youth Services and other organizations with referrals from DHR. Her experience includes ten years working in public schools as a Guidance Counselor for ages K-12. She uses cognitive behavioral skills training to help clients deal appropriately with stress and loss in everyday life.
Monica L. Cone, M.Ed., L.P.C., N.C.C.
Ms. Cone graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Development in 1993 and 1995, respectively. Her post graduate training was with children, including forensic interviewer training for abused children. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
She has worked with children, teens and adults for many years. Her collaboration with local psychologists and psychiatrists affords her the opportunity to see diverse populations of clients including assessments or testing of adults and children for anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, specific trauma and survivors of sexual abuse.
Ms. Cone has specialized training in working with abused and traumatized children, assessing and treating children with special needs, and helping children struggling with issues with divorce, death, adjustment to life changes, school problems, other and mental health issues. Ms. Cone provides play therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy with children.
Deborah S. Cowell, M.S., L.M.F.T.
Debbie Cowell is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is a member of the Alabama Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the American Association of Christian Counselors.
In 1970, she received an Associate of Science Degree in nursing from Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College and worked for many years as a Registered Nurse. In 1999, she received a B.S. in Psychology from St. Leo College and in 2002 graduated from Southern Christian University (currently Amridge University) with a M.S in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Prior to her work at The Samaritan Counseling Center, she worked at Family Guidance Center and in a private Christian school.
Ms. Cowell works with individuals, couples, families, adults, adolescents and children. Debbie’s clinical interests include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, grief, spiritual and identity development, marriage and family counseling, parenting issues, adolescent issues, and child behavior issues.
Nicole Ely, M.S.,L.P.C.
Nicole has over 10 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor. She obtained her undergraduate degree in psychology at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO and her graduate degree from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. She enjoys working with adults, adolescents, and couples and has experience treating a wide variety of issues. Her specialty areas including helping those that struggle with depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, and relationship issues. She also has experience providing therapy to primarily Spanish speaking individuals. She believes that treatment is a collaborative process designed to meet the unique needs of each client and she works to help clients understand complex emotions and difficulties, learn coping skills, and examine unhelpful thought patterns that impact their happiness.
Nicole was born and raised in St. Louis, MO but has lived in several different places since marrying her husband who works in the Air Force. This unique life experience has also provided her with the opportunity to help many military families and children as well.
Jessica Gibbe Fernandez, Ph.D., L.M.F.T.
Dr. Jessica Gibbe Fernandez is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Alabama. She is originally from Mexico and fully bilingual in Spanish and English. Dr. Gibbe Fernandez joined the center since her internship in 2006.
She graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Monterrey, Mexico in 2000, and obtained her Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology from Auburn University at Montgomery in 2006. She received her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amridge University. Dr. Gibbe Fernandez is a Certified Sex Therapist and a Certified Hypnotherapist. She is a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, The Alabama Counseling Association, and an Approved Supervisor for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
Jessica’s clinical interests include marriage and couples therapy, healthy relationships, and family therapy. She sees adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, stress, self-esteem and personal growth issues, life transitions, gender issues (LGBTQ+), sexuality issues, family adjustment and acculturation.
Daryl K. Hamblin, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
Dr. D. Kim Hamblin is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Alabama. He received a B.A. in Psychology from Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. His clinical experience includes working with the U.S. Army, the Veteran’s Administration and the U.S. Air Force, with his final station being Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He entered private practice in August, 1993, on retirement from the USAF. Dr. Hamblin is a member of the American Psychological Association.
He maintains a fulltime private practice which specializes in adult individual therapy. Dr. Hamblin began clinical practice in 1971. He brings many years of clinical experience that have been integrated with psychiatric services prior to joining the staff at Samaritan Counseling Center in 2009. He is a strong believer in the power of psychotherapy and psychotherapy as an adjunct to psychotropic medication. He is also a strong believer in the importance of availability and a caring relationship as a key element in psychotherapy. His special interests include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), obsessive compulsive disorders and ADD/ADHD.
Christy H. Holding, M.Ed., R.N., L.P.C.
Christy Holding is a graduate of Trinity Presbyterian School and received her undergraduate degree at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1976. She obtained her Master’s degree from Georgia State University in Community Counseling in 1984. In 1996 she received a B.S. in nursing from Auburn University at Montgomery. Christy is a member of the American Academy of Christian Counselors.
Her varied experience as a private practitioner, a school counselor, and a nurse enables her to work with many different issues. Ms. Holding provides individual and group counseling to adolescents and adults.
Christy has a passion to see people walk in wholeness and freedom and experience the life they were created to live. Her experience includes working with those struggling with depression, anxiety disorders, chronic disease including cancer, grief, loss, eating disorders and other self-harming behaviors.
Prior to coming to work at The Samaritan Counseling Center, she also worked in hospice for 10 years dealing with grief and loss.
Lennie Howard, M.S., M.Div., D.Min., L.P.C., L.M.F.T.
Dr. Howard received is M.S. from Troy University-Montgomery, M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary. He has been a Licensed Professional Counselor for 31 years, and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for 21 years. He has served as Chaplain at Tutwiler Prison, and pastored Southern Baptist and United Methodist Churches. Lennie counseled for 20 years at the Frazer Counseling Center.
Dr. Howard works with adolescents and adults focusing on many areas of relationship issues; such as, marriage, premarital, parent-child, and spiritual. His special concerns are in the areas of marital relationships, depression, stress management, anxiety, and spiritual wellness.
Rebecca Morris, Ed.S., N.C.C, L.P.C-S
Rebecca Morris, Clinical Director, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and a Counseling Supervisor. She graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Auburn University Montgomery in 1998 and her Ed.S. from Troy University Montgomery in 2003.
Rebecca was previously Executive Director and Therapist at the Second Chance Foundation, a day treatment facility serving youth expelled from school or otherwise outside of the educational mainstream and their families. She has served in the Graduate Counseling Program at Troy University Montgomery as an Adjunct Instructor since 2002, teaching Group Dynamics and supervising Practicum and Intern students.
Rebecca works with adolescents, adults, couples and families to address a wide range of issues including anxiety, depression, stress, grief, divorce recovery, life transitions, and personal growth. She has received specialized training in relational and betrayal trauma recovery.
Avery Berry, M.Ed., N.C.C., A.L.C.
Avery Berry is an Associate Licensed Counselor and a National Certified Counselor under the supervision of Rebecca Morris, Ed. S., NCC, LPC-S. He holds a Bachelor’s of Human Environmental Science in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Alabama and is a recent graduate of Auburn University where he obtained a Master’s of Education degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Avery has a great deal of experience working with individuals who are experiencing issues related to substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. Avery’s passions include: interpersonal relationships, substance use disorders, romantic relationships, and the experiences of post-traumatic stress. He counsels adults, couples, and adolescents and divides his time between Samaritan Counseling Center and partnering with Valiant Cross Academy as an in-house mental health counselor.
Kaila McCarthy, M.S., Associate M.F.T.
Kaila McCarthy is an associate licensed marriage and family therapist under the supervision of Dr. Jessica Gibbe-Fernandez. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Alabama. Also, she is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in human sexuality with a focus in sex therapy at Widener University. Kaila’s specific areas of passion include: sexual relationships, survivors of sexual trauma, and the LGBTQ+ community. She has over two years’ experience of working with a variety of individuals, couples, families, and children (ages 2 and up) from diverse backgrounds.
Leander Robinson, M.S., A.L.C., N.C.C.
Leander is an Associate Licensed Counselor and National Certified Counselor. He is retired from the United States Air Force after serving 21 years of honorable service and co-founded Covenant Warriors Church in Greenville, Alabama, where he serves as senior pastor. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theological Studies from Vision Christian College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Troy University, and a Master’s Degree in Counseling & Psychology with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Troy University. Leander and his wife have been married for 40 years.
He also works as a counselor at Second Chance Foundation, a day treatment facility serving youth expelled from school. He has 22 years of pastoral skills coupled with 40 years of marital experience which he brings to help hurting marriages and families. He has a passion for helping troubled teens and at risks youth with behavior issues to navigate their ways in an ever changing world.
In Consultation with Will G. O’Rear, Esq.
Will G. O’Rear is a licensed attorney in the state of Alabama and a former Family Court Judge. He received a B.A. in Psychology from Auburn University, an M.S. in Counseling from Troy University Montgomery, and a J.D. from Jones School of Law.
Prior to his appointment by Governor Riley as a Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge in the Family Court Division, he served as Legal Counsel and Mental Health Coordinator for the Montgomery County Probate Office and was a Licensed Professional Counselor. His counseling experience included experience in individual and group counseling, crisis intervention and involuntary commitment.
Will has significant experience in the areas of domestic relations, custody, divorce, eldercare law, mental health and probate law. He is particularly interested in preserving family relationships throughout the divorce and custody deliberations and mediates with other attorneys in this process.
He has served on the Alabama Department of Mental Health Board of Trustees, as Vice President of the Alabama National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and as President of the Board of Mental Health America Montgomery.