Affinity Counseling Center Clinicians & Staff
Karen Timmer, LPC, RPT, Child and Family Therapist, Play Therapist, Owner/Founder
Karen Timmer is the owner and founder of Affinity Counseling Center. She earned her Master’s Degree from Georgian 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. Prior to this, Karen obtained experience working in homeless shelters, jails and prisons, and doing outreach work in the community with a population of individuals who were classified as having a severe mental illness. Karen has served as an Assertive Community Treatment team leader, an Intensive Family Intervention team leader, and as a Child and Adolescent Clinical Director.
Karen’s varied experience gives her a unique perspective when working with individuals with different cultural, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Karen’s areas of specialty include: anxiety, depression, grief and loss, divorce transitions, domestic violence, abuse and trauma, and gender dysphoria for young children. Karen uses a variety of counseling techniques depending on the needs of her clients, such as: Cognitive Behavior Therapy, DBT, 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, 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 4 dogs. She loves to spend time with her family, learn new things, read, and travel.
Lydia Gamble, LPC, CRC, Therapist
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.
Sarah Brown, LPC, Child and Family Therapist
Sarah Brown is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Georgia and a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of West Georgia and her Master of Arts in Community Counseling from Argosy University. She is a member of the Association for Play Therapy.
Sarah has worked in a variety of counseling settings since 2003. She has worked at a residential facility for boys who have experienced sexual abuse. Sarah’s Masters’ Internship was at a private school specializing in children and adolescents with learning disabilities, anxiety, ADHD, and other behavioral issues. For over 5 years she has been providing in-home and in-office therapy to families.
Sarah is known for her nurturing and calm disposition. Sarah specializes in working with children, adolescents, and their families. She has experience in the areas of anxiety, depression, grief and loss, anger management, low self esteem, family transition and parenting. Sarah is passionate about helping children and their families heal and grow together. She believes that parents are a truly integral piece of the process and encourages their participation during this journey.
Sarah’s approach to therapy is integrative and individualized to each client’s unique need. She utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, client centered therapy, DBT and mindfulness. Sarah enjoys making things fun and includes play therapy techniques and creative arts expressive techniques in her sessions.
Jordan Kerben, MFT, Child and Family Therapist
Jordan Kerben is a master’s level Marriage and Family Therapist. Jordan grew up in Orlando, Florida and attended Florida State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Child Sciences. She then earned her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Mercer University in Atlanta. Jordan joined Affinity’s team as an intern in 2016. Additionally, she completed a second internship at Crescent Pines Hospital working in the expressive therapy department with the children, adolescent, and adult in-patient units.
Jordan specializes in working with children, adolescents, and couples through a systemic perspective. She believes that all aspects of a family impact each other. Jordan practices strengths-based therapy with a client-centered approach, believing that every individual has unique strengths that can be utilized in therapy.
Jordan is currently working towards becoming a registered play therapist and utilizes play therapy techniques with many of her clients. Jordan is certified in Gottman Method Couples Therapy Levels 1 and 2.
When she is not practicing therapy, Jordan loves to travel, cook, hike, and play with her cat, Bella.
Christie Newson, LPC, Child and Family Therapist
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.
Marta Stefanyshyn, Ed.S., LPC, RPT, Child and Family Therapist, Play Therapist
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
Mitra Rokni Yavari, LPC, Child, Family and Couples Therapist
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.