Cheryl Zupancic is a nurse practitioner offering services to adolescents and adults in Maryland and Virginia. She has a vast array of clinical interests; however, she specializes in ADHD, anxiety disorders, and depression.
Cheryl became interested in behavioral health care in the early 2000’s when she worked as a clinician in a variety of settings – trauma, burn intensive care and surgical intensive care. She was usually routed to patients with significant mental illness as a causative factor of their medical illness. Also, during this time, her mother was known as the “Warrior Nurse” for her advocacy to fight to save DC General Hospital. She passed in 2014, but Cheryl was proud to follow in her mother’s footsteps by becoming a nurse.
Cheryl believes in the treatment of an individual as a whole and that often medical co-morbidities are harsh life circumstances are the root cause of mental health maladies. Effective treatment includes medication management alongside therapeutic care, but also acknowledgement and modification of troubling life circumstances that impair mental health.
As a mental and physical health advocate, her favorite quote is a simple phrase “never give up”. Cheryl believes that mental health is achievable by all, regardless of circumstances and even the most so-called hopeless of cases can result in well mental health and recovery. So, one should never give up.
Fun fact: Cheryl has two master’s degrees, the first of which was earned in Communication and Culture with a focus on Health Communications. It has been essential to her to understand human health behavior as we have navigated through the turbulence of the global pandemic.
Mark Lancet is a licensed professional counselor providing services to adolescents and adults in Pennsylvania and Virginia. He has a vast array of clinical interests and his areas of expertise include addiction, depression, codependency, geriatric therapy and self-esteem. Mark first became interested in behavioral health care because he wanted to make a positive impact on other people’s lives and to assist in constructing a path forward in partnership with each patient. Mark’s philosophy of care is to meet a person where they’re currently at in a non-judgmental and accepting way.
Fun facts about Mark include that he has appeared nationally on the Geraldo Rivera Show and has performed at the New York World’s Fair. Additionally, Mary has travelled to Great Britain, Spain and Italy.
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” – Elie Wiesel
Mary Raykowitz is a licensed professional counselor offering services to adults in Tennessee and Virginia. She has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializes in mood disorders, substance abuse, dependence, and addiction, bipolar disorder, stress management and women’s issues. In her practice, Mary believes all individuals have the ability to change with the appropriate assistance. With her clients’ leading the way, she helps guide them toward their most productive lives.
Mary’s interest in mental and behavioral health care developed while working in a corrections facility, where she interacted with individuals who were court-ordered for treatment. This spurred her interest to become a counselor and assist people with mental health issues to improve their lives.
Mary is currently working on obtaining a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. She owns two rescue chinchillas, loves to read and always has a book at hand.
“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Gustav Jung
Carlita Coley is a licensed professional counselor offering services to adults in Virginia. She has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializes in cognitive behavior therapy, stress management, women’s issues and health, LGBT issues and life coaching. In her practice, Carlita strongly believes in empowering clients to connect with and articulate their own truth.
Carlita’s interest in mental and behavioral health care came naturally at a young age. As a middle child, she was the “peacemaker” and always sought to try to understand and articulate everyone’s perspectives in order to obtain or maintain peace. A career in mental health was not something she believes she chose; it was more of calling.
Carlita had three children in a four-and-a-half-year span. She has a puppy named Maverick, who is part Chihuahua and part German Shepard, and the beach is her therapy.
“My mission in life is not to merely survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” – Maya Angelou
Andrea Davis is a licensed clinical social worker offering services to children, adolescents and adults in Virginia. She has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializes in mood disorders, parenting, marriage and relationship counseling, anxiety disorders and family therapy. In her practice, Andrea’s philosophy of care is centered around the belief that we are all in it together. She believes that we all have our struggles and sometimes it takes someone outside of the situation to help with gaining non-judgmental perspectives. Andrea sees her role as a mental health professional, as being like a chameleon of sorts where her approach changes to blend and partner with those she’s working with in order for successful outcomes. Together, her and her patients learn through trial and error until they resolve all issues.
Andrea’s interest in mental and behavioral healthcare began when she interviewed her school counselor for career day in 7th grade. As she developed as a professional, she realized that she was a stable presence for those in crisis and those dealing with more complex problems like chronic mental illness and severe mood and anxiety disorders. Through working with youth and families, she grew a passion for taking problems that seem complicated and breaking down solutions with manageable, bite sized steps toward healthy living.
Andrea enjoys animals and learning facts about animals with her kids; they visit zoos and animal exhibits often. When Andrea feels overwhelmed, she enjoys organizing and cleaning. A goal of hers is to visit all US territories and states, so far, she’s been to all states between Texas and Maine and several islands in the Caribbean.
“The mark of a wild heart is living out the paradox of love in our lives. It’s the ability to be tough and tender, excited and scared, brave and afraid—all in the same moment. It’s showing up in our vulnerability and our courage, being both fierce and kind.” – Brené Brown
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”– Princess Diana
Cheryl Simms is a licensed professional counselor offering services to children, adolescents and adults in South Carolina and Virginia. She has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializes in addiction, child and adolescent therapy, couple counseling, post-traumatic stress disorder and within the military community. In her practice, Cheryl’s philosophy of care is to provide excellent services that maintain the standards of professionalism, advocacy, moral, empowerment, empathy, honesty and diversity.
Cheryl’s interest in mental and behavioral health care stems from her love for helping others. She is always willing to advocate for others and is a great listener. She believes everyone has the power within themselves to do and be better.
Cheryl enjoys anything outdoors, as well as crafting and designing home decor.
“To thine own self be true.”
Rhonda Schwindt is a psychiatric nurse practitioner offering services to adult residents in Virginia and New Jersey. She has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializes in the treatment of mood, anxiety, thought and substance use disorders as well as post-traumatic stress. She also has extensive experience assisting people who are ready to quit smoking. While she enjoys working with all patient populations, she has a special interest in serving the LGBTQ community. Rhonda’s philosophy of care is deeply grounded in two fundamental principles. First, each person has the capacity for healing and possesses a unique set of strengths. Second, mental health care is not about a specific disease state or a list of criteria found inside a diagnostic manual. Rather, it is about soliciting each person’s life story and creating a collaborative plan that respects their individuality.
In addition to maintaining an active clinical practice, Rhonda is an associate professor at The George Washington University School of Nursing and Director of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. She has extensive experience in graduate education and has an established program of research focused on reducing the disproportionate impact of substance use disorders among those living with mental illness.
Rhonda is also a martial artist and an avid runner.
Shilpa Jaggi is a licensed clinical social worker offering services to adult residents in New Jersey and Virginia. She has a vast array of clinical interests; however, she specializes in life transitions, career guidance, and generational and cultural issues. Shilpa’s approach to care is to partner with patients to facilitate change empowering them to gain insight into their strengths and abilities.
Shilpa is passionate about giving back to her community and sees her role in mental and behavioral health care as a way to contribute and help others recognize their capabilities. She became interested in the field when she noticed deficits in the health care system and the lack of providers.
Shilpa loves college basketball and awards season, especially March Madness and the Oscars. One of her lifetime goals is to watch all four tennis Grand Slams, live.
“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.” – Roy T. Bennett
Melissa Rolfes is a licensed professional counselor in New Jersey and Virginia. She has a broad range of clinical experience, having worked in both hospital and community health settings. She specializes in working with individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trauma, existential crises, life transitions, and high stress. She also has experience working with individuals diagnosed with personality pathology, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders.
Regarding the philosophy of care: Melissa is a humanist. She believes that each of us, at our core, are good. She believes we do the best we can with what we have, and as we learn how to do better, we will do better. She believes the best therapeutic approach is to meet you where you are with unconditional positive regard, non-judgment, and genuine curiosity, and the techniques and interventions flow naturally from there. While she is a skilled diagnostician, she does not concentrate on diagnoses. Melissa’s focus is to reduce symptoms, increase functioning, and improve quality of life. In both her professional and personal life, Melissa strives to be anti-racist, LGBTQ+ competent, and body positive. In college, she studied biopsychology, eastern philosophy, and mindfulness approaches, and she enjoys implementing this knowledge in the therapeutic setting when appropriate. She also has an interest in evolutionary psychology and neuroscience.
Melissa’s favorite place to be is in her kayak, and she treasures time spent with loved ones. She is a life-long learner who enjoys listening to podcasts and reading, especially on topics related to her field. She is a proud dog mom, an amateur porch gardener, and in a past life helped start a microbrewery.
“And so it goes” -Kurt Vonnegut
Nena Forshee is a licensed clinical social worker offering services to child, adolescent and adult residents in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. She specializes in anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and adolescent and early adulthood therapy. Nena’s philosophy of care is centered around the belief that the most important part of providing care is understanding where patients are in their mental health journey and meeting them at that point. She enjoys taking a collaborative approach with clients to determine how they will work together in meeting their set goals.
Nena’s interest in mental and behavioral healthcare stems from her innate passion for helping others. She took a strong interest in mental health in high school which continued into college. She began working with children and adolescents in a residential program, where she became increasingly interested in diagnostic evaluations and different treatment models for therapy. Nena then went on to pursue her master’s in social work.
Last year Nena explored Europe visiting Ireland, France and England. She is extremely family oriented and her favorite place to be is on the beach listening to the ocean.
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places…” – Ernest Hemingway