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.
Gianna Vaccarino is a licensed mental health counselor offering services to children, adolescents and adults in New York. She has a variety of clinical interests; however, she specializes in trauma and PTSD, anxiety disorders, domestic violence and abuse, and self-esteem. Gianna found a lot of personal relief in therapy through the different stages of her life. It is because of this experience that she chose to pursue a career that could do the same for others.
Gianna takes a very human to human approach with her clients. She wants them to feel comfortable and to feel as though they are equals. Gianna tries her best to combine empathy and therapeutic skills to be an integrative part in overcoming whatever obstacles her clients bring to therapy.
Gianna has a fur-baby named Theo and is currently learning to speak Italian. Her favorite thing to do is to read a new book at the beach.
“The only way out is through it.”
Rachel Zettl, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist offering services to children, adolescents, and adults in Texas. She has an array of clinical interests; however, she specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry, depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders. Dr. Zettl became interested in behavioral health care after watching individuals in the community where she grew up struggle silently with mental health disorders due to lack of resources and stigma. She wanted to provide good quality care without the judgement or stigma that keep so many from seeking the care that can improve their lives.
Dr. Zettl’s approach to care is that this is a journey she and her patient will be taking together. The patient is the captain, and the provider should be the navigator. Dr. Zettl believes that the provider is only there to help keep the treatment on track, and the patient should be the one setting the destination.
Fun fact: Dr. Zettl was a high school teacher prior to medical school. She also loves pugs and enjoys crocheting.
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a person changes their own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards the person… We need not wait to see what others do.”
Leah Mackus is a licensed clinical social worker offering services to adolescents and adults in Michigan. Leah offers a vast array of clinical interests; however, she specializes in anxiety, relationship issues and adoption. Her interest in mental and behavioral healthcare started during her childhood. She had the honor of being part of a meaningful therapeutic alliance for several years. She seeks to foster this during every encounter while also helping navigate life’s challenges, focus on personal growth and develop a stronger sense of purpose.
Leah’s approach to therapy is collaborative, person-centered, non-judgmental and strength-based. Her clinical skillset is eclectic, and she believes in tailoring treatment to individual goals.
Leah loves to travel, is an avid reader and is an adoptee, in addition to being an adoptive parent!
“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”
Lorraine Jefferson is a licensed clinical social worker offering behavioral care services to adults in Florida, New Jersey and Tennessee. Lorraine has a wide array of clinical interests, and her expertise includes trauma-PTSD, depression, anxiety, mood disorders and addiction.
Lorraine’s interest in behavioral health care began 20 years ago, after suffering in silence with her own mental and behavioral health issues, she attempted to engage in therapy. Although counseling was unacceptable in her family and culture, she took the brave step to “try it out anyway.” Her hope was to discover the path toward healing and was short-lived due to experiencing cultural insensitivity and judgement. She knew then that what she had experiences was not the ideal therapeutic relationship, so she decided to become the person who would give others what she was unable to receive – compassion, empathy, safety, nonjudgement, care and genuineness.
Lorraine strives to always have a positive affective presence and she prides herself on her reputation for being able to rapidly form a meaningful rapport with her patient.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Ghandi
Angela is a licensed clinical social worker offering services to children, adolescents and adults in Michigan. She offers a wide variety of clinical issues that she treats and her expertise lies in geriatric therapy, child/adolescent therapy, depression, anxiety and stress management.
Her interest in working in behavioral health care began as a young child living in a multicultural community. She could see the many barriers and was drawn to empowering and increasing mental health care needed to overcome those barriers.
Angela is a big supporter of compassionate therapeutic care. Her approach to care is to offer a welcoming non-judgmental, warm and supportive environment for her patients.
Angela enjoys traveling to Arizona and Hawaii. She also enjoys classical music, specifically violin and piano.
“Take one day at a time and it is okay to take baby steps.”
Misty Annarino is a licensed mental health counselor offering services to children, adolescents and adults in North Carolina. She provides a wide range of counseling services and her expertise includes trauma, PTSD, anxiety, stress and family conflict.
Misty became interested in behavioral health care after recognizing the need for qualified individuals in the field. She believes that we all experience difficult life challenges and having good people willing to assist us through those times is greatly beneficial to our healing journey. She believes in whole-person care and that the person receiving services should guide and facilitate their care.
Fun facts about Misty include she is an identical twin; she is a trained EMDR, and she absolutely loves nature and hiking.
“Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Even though you want to run. Even though it’s heaving and difficult. Even though you’re not quite sure of the way through. Healing happens by feeling.” – Rebecca Ray
Lisa Schuito is a licensed professional counselor offering behavioral health services to children, adolescents and adults in Missouri. She has a vast array of clinical interests, and her expertise includes relationship issues, family conflict, coping skills, anxiety disorders and life transitions. Lisa prefers to use coaching and positive psychology methods when treating her patients.
Dr. Shane Rau offers behavioral health care services to adults in North Carolina and Virginia. He has many clinical interests and his expertise lies in mood disorders, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, trauma & PTSD and psychosis. Dr. Rau’s interest in mental health arose at the intersection of his interests in the study of the brain and mind with a hope to make a difference in people’s lives.
Dr. Rau’s prefers to take a shared decision-making approach to understand his patient’s perspective to ultimately empower his patient to improve their mental health.
Dr. Rau is a huge movie buff with a special interest in science fiction and historical drama. He also loves nature and enjoys the time that he can spend outdoors.
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
AJ Horowitz is a licensed clinical social worker offering services to adults in California, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Utah. He has a vast array of clinical interests and offers services in trauma and PTSD, anxiety, substance use, LGBT issues, and codependency.
AJ’s personal recovery from alcohol use disorder over 30 years ago made his desire to help people not only a want, but an imperative. AJ believes that treatment is a joint effort between him and his patient. He will work with his patient to explore issues that are troubling and together, will look for healing as a team.
AJ has lived all over the country and worked with the military for nearly a decade.
“If I am not for me then who is for me. If I am only for myself then what am I.”