Affinity Counseling Center Clinicians & Staff

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Karen Timmer, LPC, RPT, CPCS, Child and Family Therapist, Play Therapist, Owner/Founder
Director
ktimmer@valuelives.com

Karen Timmer is the owner and founder of Affinity Counseling Center. She earned her Master’s Degree from Georgia Southern University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of GA, and a Registered Play Therapist. She has been working with children and families for over 10 years.

Karen’s areas of specialty include: anxiety, depression, grief and loss, divorce transitions, and domestic violence in families. Karen uses a variety of counseling techniques depending on the needs of her clients, such as: Cognitive Behavior Therapy, attachment based therapies, trauma based therapies, brain-based interventions, play therapy, Theraplay, mindfulness therapy, various expressive arts, and sand tray therapy.  

Karen is passionate about working with children (ages 3-18), parents and families. She engages with her clients in a sincere and playful way, and focuses on building a healthy, authentic therapeutic relationship. Her goal is to empower her clients to live out a life that is meaningful and joyful, to help them to identify their strengths, and to assist them in overcoming obstacles to achieving a joyful life.  In addition to working with children and teens, Karen enjoys working with the entire family, and assisting parents by offering support and education.

Karen is married with 3 children, and 3 dogs. She enjoys spending time with her family, kayaking, traveling and is an avid learner.


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Johanna Estevez, MFT, Bilingual Child, Adult and Family Therapist
jestevez@valuelives.com

Johanna is a highly skilled and compassionate bilingual therapist who enjoys working with a variety of clients. As a trained family therapist, she enjoys working with family issues, as well as adults, children and teens ages 11-18.

She has extensive experience working with adolescents and adults with trauma, substance abuse, and other mental health concerns. This includes working with high-risk situations and adolescents involved in the legal system.

Johanna has led groups for domestic violence, parenting and women’s groups. She is active in community collaboration, including speaking at community events and organizations.

Johanna uses different therapeutic methods when working with her clients, such as CBT, MI, family systems and more. She believes in compassionately empowering her clients so they can make healthy choices that lead to living healthy lives.


Lydia Gamble, LPC, CRC, Therapist
lgamble@valuelives.com

Lydia Gamble is a graduate of Georgia State University and a Licensed Professional Counselor.  Her goal is to help individuals to understand how all parts of their well-being are interrelated and to facilitate their individual journey in the growth process. Lydia’s specialty area includes counseling adolescents and emerging adults that are struggling to manage academic, behavioral and family issues, as well as helping parents to understand the developmental and cognitive changes that are taking place with their children. Lydia also works with adults whom are in the midst of transition and need additional support through life’s “ups and downs”.

 As a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Lydia advocates and assists individuals with developmental and physical disabilities navigate various aspects of vocational planning, as well as short and long term health care management. Additionally, Lydia provides information and resources to families about the similarities, differences and needs of individuals with various disabilities. Lydia’s individualized approach helps unique populations overcome various obstacles in order to obtain educational, employment, and social opportunities.


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Carlee Owens, MFT, Child and Family Therapist
cowens@valuelives.com

Carlee specializes in working with children, teens, adolescents, and families using play and expressive therapy techniques. Carlee is a family therapist, working through a systemic lens. She believes including the family and other systems in treatment is the most effective in resolving presenting problems. Carlee is a client-centered therapist, believing each individual possesses unique strengths which can be highlighted and utilized in therapy. Carlee has a passion for helping families reach their desired outcomes in a safe, comfortable environment.

Carlee works to provide nurturing space where families and individuals may express themselves and work through their problems. Each of Carlee's clients receives a personalized, caring approach to assist them in reaching their goals.

Carlee has experience with children, teenagers, adolescents, adults, and couples. Carlee has worked with individuals as young as 4 years old. Carlee receives regular play therapy training and supervision.


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Sareena Miduski, MA, LPC, Individual and Couple’s Therapist
smiduski@valuelives.com

I believe in sitting across from people, not diagnoses. Sessions often focus on overcoming trust issues, building self esteem, assertiveness training, goal setting, and self acceptance. Using strategies of CBT with eclectic methods, I will assist you in identifying your problem areas and together we will collaborate on steps you can take to overcome them through discussions, identifying triggers, and learning coping skills. I look forward to working with you and learning more about you as each individual's story is unique and worth telling!

Individuals and couples working through jealousy, sexual issues, sexual identity and orientation issues, and infidelity are unique to my practice. Additional specialties also include families, couples, non monogamous/monogamish couples, and polyamourous relationships.


Christie Newson, LPC, Child and Family Therapist
cnewsom@valuelives.com

Christie is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a graduate of Richmont Graduate University where she received her M.A. in Professional Counseling with a specialization in Children/Adolescents. She also received a B.S. in Human Relations from Atlanta Christian College. She gained extensive experience in her internship work at Peachford Psychiatric Hospital where she worked with children and adolescents as well as their families in an inpatient setting.

Christie specializes in working with children and adolescents along with their families in order strengthen relationships and bring peace to the home. She uses various modalities in order to best help her clients, but often uses play therapy techniques and is working toward becoming a registered play therapist. Christie is also trained as a spiritual sensitive therapist and feels incorporating faith into therapy can be tremendously beneficial to bring true healing.

Christie has been employed at Affinity for over five years and her training and experience has prepared her well for working with individuals, families and groups.  Christie’s specializations include children, adolescents and their families dealing with issues of self-harm, social and behavioral problems, impulsivity, experiences with bullying, trauma, anger and self-esteem. As well as, those working through transitions such as life-stage transitions, relationship changes, boundary setting, grief and loss, divorce and blended families. Those having feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, low self-esteem, loneliness and isolation, and excessive worry and anxiety. She also has a passion for helping parents become the best parents they can be and improving family communication.

Christie is married to a first-responder and has a unique understanding of the challenges faced by those working on the front lines of law enforcement, fire and rescue, and emergency medical services. She and her husband have 2 young children, one of which has a disability, which gives her insight as to what it is like raising a child with special needs.

Eight years of being in this field and being with people during their deep brokenness and seeing the amazing hope of healing has resulted in a profound appreciation for the human capacity for healing. Christie considers herself extremely blessed to walk with others through difficult and painful life experiences towards growth, healing, and restoration. She feels that each of her clients has come to her for a reason and truly sees being entrusted to be their therapist as a privilege and honor.


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Kendall Sentimore, MSW, LCSW, Child and Family Therapist
ksentimore@valuelives.com

Kendall has a Master’s in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington. He a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 8+ years of experience working with various populations from ages 5-70.

Kendall has experience working with at risk youths in a Therapeutic Day Treatment program, school-based, and psychiatric hospitals. Kendall has also served as a team leader on an IFI (Intensive Family Intervention) team working with families and other mental health professionals. Kendall has primarily worked with adolescent males ranging from ages 11-20.

In addition to seeing clients at Affinity, Kendall has spent the last 4 years of his career working with inmates at a local prison, who suffer from various mental illnesses. Additionally, Kendall has worked, part-time, with various agencies in the community serving youth, primarily adolescent males from ages 11-18.

Kendall utilizes a therapeutic model called motivational interviewing which is used to engage client’s motivation to change problematic behaviors through the use of open-ended questions, offering affirmations, reflecting feelings, and summarizing. He also incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to assist clients in exploring coping skills and support systems to manage mental health symptoms and stressors. Kendall attempts to restore optimism in clients and parents to assist them with overcoming their problems. Kendall uses a “team work” approach with clients and families in coming up with a plan that will best work for them to improve their lives.

Kendall is a devoted Christian and strong advocate for choice and free will. Kendall is an ex- Marine, who served on active duty for 4 years. He is from New Orleans, LA and is a die-hard New Orleans Saints and sports fan. Kendall enjoys using analogies in lessons he learns from sports and relates them to therapy. Kendall has a passion for working with clients and parents in becoming successful people for future generations.


Marta Stefanyshyn, Ed.S., LPC, RPT, Child and Family Therapist, Play Therapist
mstefanyshyn@valuelives.com

Marta is a Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in counseling individuals, couples, and families. She is dedicated to her profession and feels honored to be able to help people on their life journeys. She has worked in hospitals, communities, and private practice with diverse populations and various presenting concerns including depression, anxiety, relationship challenges, as well as a variety of other concerns.

 Marta holds these qualifications:

  • Masters and Educational Specialist degrees in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University

  • Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Georgia.

  • Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC).

  • Member of the American Counseling Association, North American Society of Adlerian Psychology, and Georgia Society of Adlerian Psychology.

  • Registered Play Therapist (RPT).

As a counselor, Marta’s purpose is to fully understand the client’s experience and provide interventions that will help in overcoming life challenges. To best meet her clients’ needs, she uses various techniques including Adlerian theory approach that helps understand which thoughts and behaviors sabotage your goals. She also uses therapy skills based on neuroscience findings, particularly with issues such as trauma, emotional-regulation, anger-management, and relationships. When working with children she utilizes developmentally appropriate techniques such as play therapy, sand-trays, and expressive arts. Marta is passionate about helping children discover their unique talents and gifts and in this way successfully function and thrive.

Marta also offers therapy services in Russian and Ukrainian language and multicultural counseling.


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Mitra Rokni Yavari, LPC, Child, Family and Couples Therapist
myavari@valuelives.com

Mitra is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Her specialty is working with children as young as 4 and adolescents. She does testing for ADHD. She also does Neurofeedback and Alpha Theta treatment. Neurofeedback is a treatment for ADHD, bed wetting, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Alpha Theta is a treatment for fears, phobias and addiction. Mitra teaches Anger Management classes and techniques to help people understand the nature of anger and different ways to control their aggression. 

Mitra also offers marriage/couples counseling and multicultural counseling. She been happily married for 30 years. In addition to her education and training, she also uses her own life experiences to help with marriage counseling.

Mitra is fluent in Farsi and English, and knows some Arabic. She has 12 years of experience working with multicultural children and teenagers. 


Deneé Hand, BS, Child, Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
dhand@valuelives.com

Clients who are longing for connection with themselves and others, who have somehow lost their way in life and are looking for hope, purpose, and a greater sense of self would find a safe place in my presence. Whether their issues be anxiety, depression, life satisfaction, or personal growth, I would love to help each client work towards finding solutions to a happier, more content life.

I can help by offering an empathic, nonjudgmental presence where we can collaborate together to work towards creating what you want in every facet of life. I use an approach that emphasizes self-growth, congruence, and experiences to help you achieve the change you are longing for.

I would love to help you piece your life back together or venture out in a new direction. Change is just a phone call away.