Our Therapists

Aspire’s therapists are fully licensed to practice in the state of Maryland. They are licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors. A fully licensed therapist has either a doctorate or a master’s degree and has completed required post-graduate supervised training.

Our consulting psychiatrist, Bruce Tanenbaum, MD is available to do medication evaluations and medication monitoring. There is a high demand for psychiatrists who accept insurance, and a limited number of psychiatrists who do so. For that reason, Dr. Tanenbaum can only treat clients who are currently seeing a therapist at Aspire. We do collaborate with other psychiatrists and primary care providers who prescribe medication for our clients.

America M. Caballero

Clinical Director America (Mecky) M. Caballero, LCPC

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

I was born in Guatemala and have over 20 years of experience working in the human, social and mental health services, which include 8 years providing psychotherapy. I completed a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Texas A&M University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Clinical Community Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. I began working with Aspire Counseling in 2008 as a therapist for our Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies program which provides home-based therapy to low-income mothers with perinatal mood disorders and became the program manager in 2013.

I am bilingual (Spanish/English) and provide therapy in our main office to adolescents, adults, couples and families dealing with issues of anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, anger and resentment, infidelity, separation and divorce, parenting, maternal depression, spirituality, family conflicts, reunification and cultural issues, life transitions, self-esteem, unwanted behaviors, and unresolved childhood traumas.

Tatiana Aviles, LCSW-C

Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical

I am currently a therapist for Aspire’s Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies program. I have 7 years of experience working for this program to help new mothers including teens, to decrease prenatal and postpartum depression. I also work at the Department of Health and Human Services for Montgomery County as a Social Worker II where I have, for the last seven years worked with victims of neglect, physical and sexual abuse. Prior to this I was an intern for the Crisis Center where I provided a full range of crisis intervention to individuals, families, children, homeless and individual with mental health illness.

I am committed to helping the family system to re-establish and rebuild trusting relationships and hope. I have also worked at the National Institute of Health as a Preschool and Kindergarten teacher and the Early Childhood Institute as a trainer in Early Childhood Education. I attended the University of Maryland School of Social Work Baltimore to receive my LCSW-C with a sub-specialization in Mental Health; the Catholic University, Colombia, Undergraduate Program in Psychology and the University of San Buenaventura, Colombia, Undergraduate Program in Early Childhood Education.

Jody Brand Levine, LCSW-C

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I have been in private practice since 1983. I received my Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania. I lecture for community groups and professional organizations on stress management and chronic illness and provide a broad range of clinical services including marital counseling and relationships, anxiety disorders and depression, life transitions, and grief/loss. I work with adolescents and adults.

Marti A. Crosby, LCSW-C

Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical

I am a licensed social worker in the state of Maryland and a Board Registered & Approved Supervisor, certified by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners.

I have worked in the social work field for over 30 years, and have developed extensive experience in several areas. Much of my training has included working with families with children of five years and older, adolescents, and young adults – as well as families going through the stages of divorce. I work with individuals, couples, and groups to address issues related to anger, depression, anxiety, low self-confidence, communication and parenting. I have also worked in substance abuse treatment programs [alcohol and drugs] and with sex offenders.

Chia-May Dougherty, Ph.D., LCPC, NCC, DCC, NBCCH

I have been practicing mental health counseling since 1997. I have a Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Transpersonal Psychology in which I was trained to provide mindfulness-based and integrative psychotherapy with an integration of body, mind, and spirit to help clients achieve inner equilibrium and personal transformation. I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, a National Certified Counselor, a Distance Credentialed Counselor, and a National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. I also have two master’s degrees specialized in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Community/Career Counseling.

I am specialized in anxiety/depression, relationship/adjustment issues, couples counseling, women’s issues, work issues/EAP, college students and stress, and personal/spiritual growth. I have eight years of experience in academic/career counseling in a college setting and six years of experience in human resources management. My primary approach to work with couples and individual clients is Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.

I started working at Aspire Counseling in 2005 and I am bilingual speaking fluent English and Mandarin Chinese. I practice deep empathy with clients focusing on their strengths and uniqueness through an I-Thou relationship. I help individual clients cultivate a transformative self to achieve their full potential and help couples integrate their “I” identity into a “We” identity in the couplehood to foster a fulfilling and healthy relationship.

Nancy Ebb, LCSW-C

Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical

I have been at Aspire Counseling since 2001. I see children, adults, adolescents, and seniors for therapy and serve as Aspire’s Clinical Director. Your decision to seek therapy may have been a tough one; I try to make therapy feel safe and welcoming. I strive to develop a collaborative, respectful relationship with clients, because therapy works best when we’re a team.

I have a particular interest in cognitive-behavioral therapy, an evidence-based approach that works well for anxiety, depression, panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I also see people with less specific symptoms that keep them from thriving. I have a particular interest in pre- and post-partum depression and in the relationship between physical and mental health challenges. I have advanced training from the Behavior Therapy Training Institute in providing exposure and response prevention therapy for clients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific kinds of anxiety disorders.

Therapy is not one-size-fits-all. My clients and I work together to develop an approach that matches their needs, personality, and comfort level. While cognitive-behavioral therapy is my starting point, I often integrate other approaches (such as mindfulness and psychodynamic therapy) into our sessions, and welcome your input about what works best for you.

Lia Felker, LCSW-C

Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical

What would your life look like if you could wake up tomorrow and everything was better? As a therapist, I love to help people imagine that answer.

I began working with Aspire Counseling in May 2016, but I have several years worth of experience working compassionately with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. I am a graduate of Fordham University and was first licensed to practice as a licensed clinical social worker in New York in 1998. I have been licensed in Maryland since 2002. My work has been primarily with individuals, (adolescents and adults), and I have specialized training in working with survivors of trauma from the University of Maryland. I also have extensive experience working with offenders. While technique is important, I believe a good fit between client and therapist is vital to doing meaningful work in therapy.

Sharon Fisher, LCSW

Licensed Certified Social Worker

I am an experienced psychotherapist who works with children, adolescents, couples, and adults to solve problems so that they can enjoy a more fulfilling life. I provide clients with a safe, warm, nonjudgmental environment in which to explore their unique issues. It is from this collaboration between client and therapist that effective changes are made. Although I work from a cognitive behavioral therapy model, I incorporate various approaches as needed by each client. Prior to working at Aspire, I worked in a private practice in Fairfax County, VA and more recently worked as a special education paraeducator in Montgomery County.

Esther Forrest, LCSW-C

Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical

I am a bilingual therapist (Spanish/English) and have expertise in working with families with reunification /adoption issues, couples therapy, parenting skills, adults and children 6 years or older dealing with childhood trauma. I also have experience with mood disorder illness such as Anxiety, Dysthymia, in addition to Perinatal /Post- Partum Depression. I have been working at Aspire Counseling for the past three years.

Cary Gamboa Sweet, LCSW-C

Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical

I have been providing individual therapy since 1992 and joined Aspire Counseling in 2014. My clientele includes adolescents and adults around the issues of ADHD, anxiety, coping skills, depression, grief, divorce, relationship issues, self-esteem and suicidal ideation.

My goal is to help individuals heal the wounds from the past and achieve a stronger self-identity. I want to facilitate with my clientele a creation of the life that they want for themselves.

Treatment Approaches include: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal, Client- Centered therapies.

Gabriele Glynn, LCPC

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

Are you suffering from depression, anxiety, loss, or relationship issues? Are you looking for help to understand yourself better, to grow, to be more accepting of yourself and others? Are you searching for meaning in your life? Going through a major life transition?

As a psychotherapist I strive to help you explore what is wrong in your life, to understand why it is troublesome to you, and to help you generate solutions using your own resources. I view clients as unique individuals, and I see my relationship with a client as collaborative—a journey of discovery by two equals. My theoretical approach to therapy incorporates cognitive-behavioral, existential, and person-centered theories.

I work with individuals and couples from all walks of life, and I tailor my style in response to the individual client’s needs and preferences.

My Master’s degree in counseling is from Johns Hopkins University. I joined Aspire Counseling in 2007.

Deena Goldsmith, LCSW-C

Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical

I have experience working with individuals as well as with couples; I’ve counseled both teens and adults. My focus is on how people communicate with and relate to one another in their personal, professional, and academic lives. Frequently we can feel disconnected from one another due to hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and communication difficulties. These disconnections can contribute to depression, anxiety, and/or anger/frustration. My expertise is in taking a holistic, body-centered approach, which focuses not only on the words one uses to express their thoughts and feelings, but also on nonverbal behaviors, which can be more telling than words. I have special training in working with people who have experienced trauma, broadly defined, originating in childhood and/or adulthood.

I have worked at Aspire Counseling since 2010 and received my clinical social work license in 1995. My previous experience includes working with individuals, families and groups in which addiction played a primary role. That continues to be a subset of the kinds of people I currently work with as well.

Melissa Goldstein-Boswell, LCSW-C

I have over 15 years of working in a variety of social services and mental health settings. I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology from The University of Maryland and I have a Master Degree in Social Work from The Catholic University of America and have my LCSW-C in Maryland. I also have a Certification in Child and Adolescent Therapy from University of Maryland School of Social Work and a Certification in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I have experience counseling at risk juveniles and their families in private practice as well as experience with children, adolescents and families in inpatient psychiatric and medical settings.

I work with children and adolescents, young adults and their families dealing with issues of anxiety, ADHD and educational issues, depression, domestic violence, obsessive-compulsive disorders, parenting, family conflicts, life transitions, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and unresolved childhood traumas. I believe in meeting the client where they are and looking for therapeutic strategies that fit their lifestyle and background. I see therapy as a tool to teach clients more effective coping strategies and that they can take with them and apply to their lives now and in the future.

I consider myself fortunate to be able to work in a profession that I truly love and I consider a privilege to be invited into my clients' inner lives, and to travel the journey with them through healing, change, and self-empowerment.

Christy E. Gordon, LCPC

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

I completed my Masters of Science Degree in Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and Bachelors in Business and Criminal Justice from Columbia Union College. I have worked as a Psychotherapist for the past 27 years and am a Board Certified Supervisor for LGPCs. I work individually with children, adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum, as well as those who have learning or developmental disabilities, and facilitate coping and social skill groups for them.

I am also certified in EMDR for trauma and cognitive therapy. My clients tend to need help with their anxiety, depression, bipolar, post- traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorders, social phobia, ACOA, spiritual angst, inter-personal conflicts or parenting. Therapeutic interventions depend on the presented issue and are typically based on cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, existential, gestalt, or Jungian models.

Frederika (Rika) Granger, LCSW-C

Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical

I am a licensed clinical social worker specializing in treating seniors, adults, and young adults. I received my Master’s in Social Work in 1995 from the National Catholic School of Social Service at the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.

I am skilled and experienced with individual, family and group psychotherapy. I work successfully with the following issues: grief and loss (both the loss of a loved one and the loss of stage in life or a plan for your life), life transitions, family systems, anxiety, depression, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have provided clinical supervision to clinicians who work with low income children and families and also been an administrator, working in program administration, development, and advocacy and in public policy.

Elizabeth Henrich, LCSW-C

I am a psychotherapist who is empathetic, encouraging, and passionate about working alongside clients to overcome obstacles. I would love to work with you to help heal from trauma, improve self-esteem, reduce anxiety, relax and cope with stress, and learn to better control anger.

I often use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to find and change negative thought patterns which affect feelings and behaviors in daily life. I also teach and use relaxation techniques and coping skills which help improve functioning and deal with stressors on a regular basis. I am trained in using TF-CBT to heal trauma, and am a certified Anger Management specialist. I am bilingual and bicultural in English and Spanish. I earned my MSSW from Columbia University in 2008, and am an LCSW-C in Maryland. I have been practicing social work for 9 years.

Elizabeth does not take office clients. She provides therapy onsite to patients at Mobile Medical Care.

Brian Higgins

Brian Higgins, LCSW-C

Sometimes there are difficult bumps in the road during our journey through life. The helping hand of a mental health professional can many times guide and support us through these troubled times. Or, perhaps, you are looking for the opportunity to mature and grow, explore your feelings, express your needs more readily, or improve your relationships. As a therapist, my approach is to raise the client’s awareness of his/her inner feelings and thoughts. However, my expertise also includes the spiritual dimensions behind the client’s issues and concerns if requested.

I have just joined the Aspire therapy team as of September of 2017. I am a graduate from the Hunter College School of Social Work, New York City, NY. I have been practicing social work in various and diverse capacities since 1987. I have been engaged in private therapy practice for the last several years with an emphasis on individual, couples and group therapy. I have additional training in addressing mental health disorders and substance abuse, such as primary (alcohol and illicit drugs) and secondary (e.g., gambling, sex) addictions.​

Carol Juran, Ph.D

I am a clinical psychologist who has been with Aspire Counseling forever (but not really). I work with adults individually or as couples to deal with relationship issues, anxiety, depression, and parenting concerns. Through psychotherapy, clients improve communication and build self-confidence to help with all aspects of their lives.

Kathy Lunsford, LCSW-C

Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical

I believe that a therapist's most important tasks are to build trust, to inspire hope, and to create a safe environment for distressed clients to begin the process of change. For over 35 years, I have helped clients to understand and heal from childhood traumas (such as physical and sexual abuse and neglect), partner abuse, family conflicts and painful losses. By drawing upon a person's strengths, resilience, and wisdom, I can establish a partnership that allows one to identify and change self-defeating patterns of behavior that involve fear, anxiety and isolation from others. In an atmosphere of respect and non-judgmental acceptance, I work collaboratively and creatively to provide the tools and skills that can enable one to accept and integrate past hurts and disappointments, and create a new sense of empowerment and optimism to deal with life's challenges. My areas of expertise are trauma recovery, depression, anxiety and issues with early life attachments.

Chris Mark, LCSW-C

Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical

When you experience a major life transition, family crisis, or personal conflict, it can feel overwhelming. By working together in a safe environment, practical solutions are developed to address the stress, anxiety, and depression that may result from difficult times.

My approach to therapy, based on 30 years of experience, is to build a trusting relationship so challenges can be addressed by:

  • identifying your abilities and capacities,
  • building on your strengths and resilience,
  • broadening your self-understanding, and
  • learning new skills to overcome obstacles and thrive.

I have expertise in crisis intervention counseling, domestic violence counseling, and family therapy. With clients including adults, adolescents, and families, I develop approaches customized for each individual and situation. I believe that relationships can be enriched and self-empowerment increased allowing for a fuller exploration of life goals.

Sandra Martins, LGSW, Bilingual Therapist

I am a Bilingual Therapist for Aspire’s Integrated Behavioral Health Program at Mobile Medical Care, Inc. Our Behavioral Health Program allows us to collaborate alongside clinic staff and medical specialists. Our behavioral health team consists of Clara Paynter, LCPC, Program Manager, Elizabeth Henrich, LCSW-C, Patsy Woolcott, Care Coordinator, Lauren Randel, Psychiatrist and Allen Kendall, Data Analyst.

I provide individual short term therapy treatment, and case management for adults who suffer from a variety of diagnosis including, but not limited to anxiety, depression, sleep, trauma, stress and grief. I graduated from the University of Maryland, School of Social Work in 2016. I am an active advocate against the negative stigmas associated with mental health disorders through psychoeducation. In my practice I use cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, relaxation techniques and coping skills through a tailored treatment plan.

Clara Paynter, LCPC

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

I have over five years of experience working as a therapist with Latino and other immigrant communities, and 10 years of experience working in the mental health field. I provide therapy in Spanish and English to individuals and families. I am bringing my passion for cross cultural connection and community empowerment to my role as Aspire Program Manager of behavioral health services at MobileMed clinics. I worked with Aspire an additional two years as a therapist with Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies, providing in home therapy to women with perinatal mood disorders.

Gary Saltzman, Ph.D

I am a licensed psychologist. For more than three decades I have worked to help the children, adults and families of Montgomery County to overcome life's challenges.

Karen Scalio, LCSW-C

I graduated with Honors from UMBC in 2006 obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Psychology. I graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Concentration in Mental Health in 2008. I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2006, primarily with Children, Adolescents and Young Adults.

I am passionate about helping young people thrive. I like to challenge my clients to find their inner strength by helping them to develop effective coping skills. I like to engage my clients with creative interactions; this fosters trust and reinforces the practice of their skills. I believe development of one's strengths will create a lasting healing effect. I offer support for my clients to develop coping skills, reduce stress, improve self-esteem and challenge negative thoughts and emotions.

To build a working relationship that best meets my client's goals; I use a variety of integrated approaches including play therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, relaxation and other creative therapy techniques.

Suzan Sigmond, LCSW-C

Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical

After receiving my Master's in Clinical Social Work; I went on to do a two-year program in family therapy. I have enjoyed working with families, couples, teens and adults for the past 40 years and have been part of the Aspire team since 1997. How systems impact individuals and vice versa is an important part of my work.

Randee Weiss LCSW-C

I have been a practicing psychotherapist for more than 30 years. I earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from Boston University. My area of expertise is with adults who are struggling with depression, anxiety, low self esteem, grief, anger, personal relationships and LGBT issues.

Barbara Wilson, LCPC

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

I provide a safe and accepting place where I can help my clients look at the issues they are facing in their lives. My philosophy is to honor the worth and dignity of every human being. I strive to build a trusting relationship with my clients in order to help them gain insight and be empowered to make changes to improve their lives. Some of the issues clients may be experiencing include anxiety, depression, including postpartum depression, anger management, grief and loss, identity development in young adults, relationship & intimacy issues, parenting, and illness/pain. I work with youths and adults.