Stacey Diane Arañez Litam Ph.D., LPCC-s, NCC, CCMHC
Dr. Litam is a Filipina-Chinese American, a licensed professional clinical counselor with a supervision designation, a nationally certified counselor, and certified clinical mental health counselor and EMDR trained. Her therapeutic style is characterized by compassion, openness, and unconditional acceptance and she honors the importance of human sexuality and sexual health as fundamental components to overall wellness. Dr. Litam co-creates a safe space with her clients who have survived sexual trauma, sex trafficking, and other traumatic experiences related to diverse affectional, racial, ethnic, and/or gender expansive identities. She endorses an individualized, strength-based, and trauma-informed approach with each client and believes that positive change is possible for all people.
Stephanie Barbee, LISW-S, CCM:
Stephanie is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with Supervision Designation and a Certified Case Manager. She graduated from Cleveland State University with a master’s degree in Social Work. Before joining PALS for Healing, Ms. Barbee has provided social services and counseling for 9 years and an extensive background as a medical trauma social worker and case manager for hospitals, post-acute settings, and telehealth therapy. Stephanie works to assist persons in the development of coping skills, resilience, and the identification and development of support systems following traumatic events. She was a Trauma Social Worker and specializes in providing therapeutic supports and interventions including EMDR following gun violence, intimate partner violence, and catastrophic medical life events. Interventions and supports tailored to meet the needs of the individual. With considerations to the religious, spiritual, and personal identification needs of the client. Stephanie has an interest in working with and advocating for persons with physical and developmental disabilities and victims of crime. She serves on councils and committees in the Greater Cleveland area.
Melanie Dente, LPCC-S, EMDR:
Melanie is an independently licensed counselor in Ohio with over 10 years of experience working with people who have experienced trauma, abuse, anxiety, and depression. She has also worked with clients to help improve their communication, ability to problem solve, and ability to regulate emotions. Her counseling style is validating, non-judgmental, and encouraging. She believes that respect and compassion are crucial elements to success in counseling. The most productive environment will be one where we can work collaboratively to achieve the change you are looking for. Melanie's goal is to empower clients with tools to reduce the severity of their symptoms and to develop strategies for overcoming barriers they face to living a balanced life.
Ally McCarley, ATR, LPCC:
Ally is an EMDR trained, licensed professional clinical counselor and a registered art therapist who has experience working with children, adolescents, and their families, as well as adults. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Visual Communications from Ohio University and dual Master’s degrees from Ursuline College in Counseling and Art Therapy. Ally has worked in a variety of clinical settings. These include outpatient counseling with kids, adolescents, and adults, day treatment for children in an academic and therapeutic environment, and residential substance abuse treatment for adolescents. As an art therapist, Ally strives to find a creative way to connect with clients. She assists clients in developing more effective means of communication, self-expression, independent coping skills, growth, and self-esteem. She values an eclectic, trauma-informed approach, and believes a unique plan is necessary and important in helping each person meet their individualized therapeutic goals.
Ilona Ponomariova, LPC:
Ilona started as a case manager and now is a licensed clinical counselor. She got her master’s degree in counseling from Cleveland State University and did her internship at a private practice. Ilona is interested in individual, couple and family counseling and is trained in the Gottman Couples Method and EMDR. Ilona has experience working with children and leading groups such as anger management and parenting classes. Her specialization is in grief, trauma, substance use, adjustment to life issues, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and women’s issues. She takes a person-centered approach and speaks and provides counseling in four languages: English, Lithuanian, Polish and Russian.
Misty Ramos, ATR, LPCC-S, EMDR, ACTP, Executive Director:
Misty has worked with grieving families as an educator, art therapist and counselor for six years. She continues to serve adults and children individually, run support groups, write curriculum, create and facilitate art therapy workshops, crisis response in schools and the community, and training locally and nationally. Misty obtained her master’s degree in art therapy and counseling from Ursuline college, EMDR training from the humanitarian assistance program, military behavioral health training from Star Behavioral Health, and advanced certified trauma practitioner certification from the national institute of trauma and loss in children. She specializes in using trauma-informed therapies to assist individuals and families who have been exposed directly or indirectly to trauma and/or loss. She helps families through divorce, parental incarceration, military deployment, domestic violence, sexual abuse, grief, and foster care. She also uses art therapy with children and adults with varied abilities.
Avril C. Sargeant, LPC:
Avril has worked in the mental health field for over seventeen years. She originates from South Carolina, where she attended undergraduate school at Morris College. Upon graduating from Morris College she began her career as a case manager and social worker. She then moved to Cleveland, Ohio where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Ashland University. Avril specializes in trauma, grief, women’s issues, youth, young adults, and Christian counseling. Overall, Sargeant takes pride in integrating her faith within her career and being able to connect with a diverse audience. She is fully trained in EMDR and a True-Mart Fellow, which has given her a unique perspective on youth development and resiliency.
Laura Serazin ATR, LPCC, ACTP:
Laura has worked for over twenty years as an art therapist, educator, and program developer specializing in grief, loss, and trauma presenting locally and nationally. She has trained school crisis response teams serving Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties and is also a responder. She obtained her master’s degree in art therapy and counseling from Ursuline College, EMDR training from the humanitarian assistance program, and advanced certified trauma practitioner certification from the national institute of trauma and loss in children. Laura specializes in Christian counseling, grief and loss, crisis intervention, family conflict, mood disorders, and women’s issues.
Michele Slaght, CTIP, RM:
Michele practices holistic wellness, treating the whole person, including mind, body, spirit, and emotions. Addressing the root of an ailment, which is often trauma-based. She has earned the Holy Fire II Reiki Master Certification at Ursuline College and is a Certified Trauma Integration Practitioner. Michele also utilizes E.F.T., Eden Energy Medicine, Acupressure, Creative Visualization, Emotion Code, and Mindfulness Meditation. Since 2016, she has serviced clients with a mind/body approach using a variety of techniques, with each session geared toward the client’s current needs. Experienced with both adults and children, she has worked with clients suffering from PTSD, anxiety, depression, cancer, autoimmune disorders, allergies, migraine headaches, and rheumatoid arthritis. Michele considers it her calling to practice the holistic modalities that worked for her, and is excited to be part of an integrated team approach at P.A.L.S. for Healing.