Meet the Thrive Team

Meet the Thrive Team

Emily Mertz, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, LPAT

Emily, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, LPAT is a 2008 graduate of Drexel University. She has almost 15 years of experience working in the field of mental health and human services, as both a clinical Counselor and Creative Arts Therapist. Emily specializes in treating trauma, providing art therapy services to individuals who have experienced significant distress, loss, or those with histories of exposure to violence and abuse. For the past 4 years I have worked with victims of domestic violence and their children. However, I also have varied experiences in multiple settings and at every level of care; working with those who suffer from Chronic mental health conditions, couples and families, children in foster care, teens in residential treatment, and adult perpetrators of crimes.

Beth Beal-Williams, MA

Beth is a master’s level clinician who works with children and adolescents providing in-home therapy through our NJ Children's System of Care (PerformCare) services in Camden, Gloucester, Burlington, and Atlantic Counties as well as providing child and adolescent counseling in our outpatient locations in Voorhees and Egg Harbor Township. Beth's experience with young people spans more than 30 years. For 27 years, she has served as a senior probation officer working with juveniles in an effort to redirect their lives in a more positive direction. During her tenure with the court system, Beth has completed extensive trainings in mediation/conciliation, supporting individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental health first aid, domestic violence and substance abuse. Beth has worked as an adjunct professor at a local college, completed her certification as a criminal justice counselor, and served as the assistant coordinator for the Atlantic City Rites of Passage Program.

Sofia Capinha, Certified BA

Sofia comes to Thrive with 10 years of experience as a Behavioral Assistant and teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish with a minor in German and a Concentration in International Studies and Asian Studies. She is considered an expert in Spanish and Portuguese, proficient in German, and currently is employed as a Spanish Teacher in a high school. She has worked with elementary and high school students and has experience working with trauma, bullying, anger management, and LGBTQ youth, utilizing play and mindfulness techniques. Sofia is a welcome addition to Thrive.

Amber Chastine, MSW, LSW

Amber Chastine is a licensed social worker with a master’s degree in social work from Boston University. She works with children, young adults, and families in our Egg Harbor Township outpatient center, and provides in-home therapy throughout Cape May and Atlantic counties through the NJ Children's System of Care (PerformCare). Amber has experience in a variety of settings and with diverse populations, including nonprofits, hospitals, and classroom settings. Her areas of expertise include trauma-informed care, positive parenting, attachment theory, crisis intervention, anger management, and mindfulness. She believes in honoring individuals’ true selves through acceptance, empathy, and a focus on self-worth. She uses a strength-based approach with children and young adults to be an ally in finding their voice.

Beyond her social worker career, Amber is an Air Force veteran, earning Commendation Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and many more. She completed her undergraduate studies in the field of criminal justice and when she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Jill Chiciak, ATR-BC, LPAT

Jill is a Master’s level, Board Certified Art Therapist, offering many valuable skills and interventions to treat and transform trauma into resiliency, including sand play and play therapy, children’s yoga, Cognitive Therapy, and training in Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction. Jill has the belief that every individual, family, group, and community has the capacity for healing through a holistic approach that includes direct participation in the creative arts.

Jill’s specialties include working with youth and families in the foster care system, children and adults impacted by various traumatic experiences, and families who have experienced domestic violence.

Tiffany Grove, MS

Tiffany is a masters level clinician serving children, adolescents, and adults. With over 16 years of experience in the social services field, Tiffany knows how important it is to feel and be heard. She is an adept listener and expert communicator, having earned a bachelors  degree in communication from Millersville University. Tiffany works as a collaborator with clients through a strength-based lens while understanding how unique every person is and the gifts they have to offer the world.

Tiffany is passionate about serving communities of color while destigmatizing the therapeutic approach to problem solving. She has organized and facilitated trainings surrounding cultural competency and person-centered approaches. Tiffany can be described as inspiring, generous, and overall kind. Tiffany agrees that there is hope for everyone and that therapy can bring about peace in ways that were never once discovered.

Stephanie Hendricks, LPC, LPAT, ATR-BC, NCC

Stephanie is a licensed and nationally certified mental health counselor, as well as a licensed and board certified art therapist who works as an outpatient therapist out of Thrive's Cherry Hill office. She holds a master's in mental health counseling with an art therapy specialization from Caldwell University, as well as a bachelor's in psychology from CU and an associates in fine art from Bergen CC. She has been working in nonprofit and community organizations serving various populations since 2015. Stephanie has a passion for working with marginalized and stigmatized populations, such as individuals effected by HIV/AIDS and the LGBTQ+ community. She believes in providing unconditional positive regard to the youth she serves and empowering them to be the best versions of themselves by celebrating their individuality and strengths. She enjoys using art therapy interventions in the counseling services she provides as a means of self-expression in times when the right words are hard to find and as a way to delve deeper into the unconscious self in order to achieve healing and autonomy. Her cats, Calley and Ollie, have been known to make an appearance on Telehealth sessions and love to meet other pets and animal lovers.

Phyzna Lamartine, MSW, LCSW

Phyzna is a New Jersey licensed clinical social worker. Phyzna works as an outpatient therapist out of the Cherry Hill, NJ office delivering services to youth, children and adults. She is passionate in providing a safe space for clients to receive specialized treatment for depression, anxiety, trauma/PTSD, relationship issues, sexual abuse, phase of life problems, women’s issues, and self-esteem issues. She has also facilitated weekly 6 hours addictions recovery intensive outpatient groups in which issues such as substance abuse, work/life balance, relationships, identity, and trauma were discussed. She utilizes various therapeutic approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and humanistic therapy.

Phyzna attended New Jersey University where she obtained her degree in psychology with a minor in women’s and gender studies. While completing her master’s degree in social work from Rutgers University, she worked with adults providing mental health services in the community. She has experience providing comprehensive mental health and therapeutic residential treatment to adolescents affected by a broad range of emotional, behavioral, and developmental challenges. She is trained in structural family therapy and has worked with families working on adjusting and strengthening the family system through boundaries setting.

Phyzna is a plant mom and book lover who enjoys home décor, DIY projects, Haitian cuisine, traveling the world, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Jamie Martino, MA, LAC

Jamie attended Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (now Stockton University) for four years where she obtained her degree in psychology, a minor in gerontology, a minor in behavioral neuroscience, and completed a senior Project for Distinction. She graduated magna cum laude and earned membership into three Honor Societies.

After graduation, she attended William Paterson University where she completed a Master’s in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. During her graduate program, she completed an internship where she learned valuable information under the supervision of a knowledgeable geriatric neuropsychologist who assisted her in developing skills with interventions depending on each individual clients’ needs. Jamie has gained valuable work experience providing services for children, teens, and adults.

Tina McNeal, MS

Tina has a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in Specialized Counseling and Her Doctorate in Theology. Her background includes in-home therapist, quality improvement and program development of SJ Independent Living Program and she completed her internship at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, holding group sessions to educate parents. Her passion is to assist parents and children, diagnosed with ASD, ADHD, and OD, to develop skills that improve daily work functions and to help them “live a better tomorrow.”

Tina has a strong attention to detail, strong case management and analytical/problem solving skills, and has a great enthusiasm for working with Thrive families.

Adam Munsick, MA, LAC

Adam is a New Jersey licensed associate counselor. He provides clinical services as an outpatient therapist at The Thrive Network’s Egg Harbor Township office and provides in-home therapy for Cape May County. Adam takes a humanistic and person-centered approach to providing individualized services to youth and families and utilizes a systems-based perspective. He specializes in working with youth using a child-centered play therapy approach and is working towards certification to become a registered play therapist.
Adam began working in the mental health field in 2018 while working at a residential group home for adults suffering from various mental health diagnoses. He then continued working as a behavioral assistant doing intensive in-community work as well as working as an intern therapist, providing outpatient services to adolescents and adults struggling with mental health and/or substance use disorders. Adam has worked with a diverse population of children, adolescents, and younger and older adults.

Adam earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Master of Arts degree in counseling from Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey. In his spare time, Adam loves playing golf, fishing, hiking, and submerging himself in nature. He also enjoys practicing mindfulness and meditating as well as spending time with his family and friends.

Jessica Nokes, MS, LAC, NCC

Jessica has graduated from Monmouth University with her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. She is a licensed associate counselor (LAC) and a national certified counselor (NCC). In her program, Jessica interned at a counseling center where she provided individual therapy to a wide range of clients struggling with mental health and substance abuse. Jessica also volunteered at a grief center for children and families, where she facilitated activity-based support groups, to help children process through loss.

Jessica has experience working with individuals and families to process through traumatic experiences, utilizing goal-oriented, person-centered modalities. Jessica focuses on the unique needs of each individual client and assists them in their journey to improve their mental health.

Julie Sjostrom Wells, MA, LAC

Julie has her Master’s in Professional Counseling with a Forensic Psychology certificate. She specializes in working with children who have experienced trauma and emotional disturbances, and has experience working with many extreme behaviors. Julie has provided interventions which assist youth to achieve their goals in positive ways.

Julie is passionate about the welfare of the children she works with and will try different approaches in order to help them succeed in reaching their goals. She also works closely with their parents to ensure that they and their children are all on the same page with the therapy and interventions being used.

Jennifer Tapley, M.Ed, PhD (in process)

Jeni’s background includes extensive experience working in education advocating for students with special needs, writing IEP’s and 504 plans, curriculum development, diversity in learning styles, classroom management as well as accommodations for the DD/ID population. Jeni has completed coursework for her Ph.D. in educational leadership. Clinically, Ms. Tapley specializes in the DD/ID population (Autism Spectrum Disorders) but also has expertise in substance abuse recovery, domestic violence, trauma, early childhood intervention, and family systems.

Tara Will, MS, MAT, LAC

Tara is a NJ licensed associate counselor who has been a pre-school teacher for the past ten years, in addition to serving as an adjunct professor at a local college. While teaching college classes on health, safety, and nutrition, Tara has broadened her knowledge of both mental and physical health. Her varied teaching experiences have shaped her understanding of the need for an increase in mental health and behavioral services. This led her to pursue an additional degree in mental health in addition to workshops on topics including developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, behavior concerns, family communication, play therapy, community involvement, and self-regulation strategies. Tara cites her play therapy training from Eliana Gil at the Starbright Institute as one of her most influential experiences.

Melissa Wissler, MSW, LSW, Certified Educator - Level II

Melissa brings a unique blend of knowledge and skills to Thrive. She is a master's level clinician, licensed social worker, licensed educator, and artist who is devout in her work with children of all ages and young adults. Melissa currently provides outpatient therapy in Cherry Hill as well as in-home services throughout Camden and neighboring counties. Passionate about trauma-informed care and the expressive arts, Melissa’s previous experience includes art education, special education, social work, and early intervention. Her work has spanned across many settings and levels of care, such as public schools, residential facilities, non-profit agencies, partial hospitalization, case management, and intensive outpatient, serving a diverse array of populations. Melissa’s varied experiences led her to become a strong advocate for mental and behavioral health, eventually earning her master’s degree in mental health social work from Case Western Reserve University.

Melissa is a “lifetime learner” and is currently working towards earning her LCSW licensure to further pursue her mission of providing quality therapeutic services for youth. She is dedicated to supporting individuals in transforming complex trauma from ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving,’ promoting resiliency, healing, and hope. She utilizes a strength-based approach and provides inclusive, culturally sensitive, unconditional positive regard for all individuals, working with specific groups such as those affected by abuse/neglect, complex trauma, special education, DD/ID, youth in crisis, LGBTQ+, foster care and adoption, homelessness, poverty, and advocacy for social injustices. Melissa is a compassionate, patient, and creative individual who strives to empower those she works with, with the belief that every child holds the inner strengths and potential to thrive. She excels at incorporating multi-media art into her practice, understanding that art can speak louder than words.

Devin Schoenberg, LSW

Devin is an experienced licensed social worker currently providing teletherapy services to youth and young adults. Devin earned her Bachelors and Masters in Social Work from Marywood University with an emphasis on Mental and Behavioral Health. Devin earned a postmasters endorsement certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders from the School of Education at Marywood University. She is also a Certified School Social Worker with 4 years of experience.

Devin's passion in life is to help others. She has a vast array of interest and experience, however, has focused primarily on trauma, depression, anxiety, crisis stabilization, and developmental disabilities. Devin believes in the strength-based approach and utilizes that to tailor the sessions to your individual needs.

When Devin is not working you can find her at the beach, if weather permits, as she loves the outdoors. She is also a fur mom and avid animal lover.

Karen Glenney, LCSW, RPT-S

Karen earned a Master's Degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Administrative, Policy and Planning from Rutgers University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with supervisory capabilities. She is a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. She has an extensive history working with children and adolescents treating severe and complex trauma. She has worked in psychiatric hospitals, correctional facilities, residential treatment centers and outpatient treatment programs. Her extensive clinical training and knowledge focuses include depression and anxiety, ADHD, trauma, play therapy, and adoption issues. Karen's focus in treatment is to help her clients find healthy ways to manage difficult parts of life. Karen enjoys traveling, the beach, reading and spending time with her family.



Christie Babilonia , LCSW

Christie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She provides outpatient services at The Thrive Network's Cherry Hill office. Christie earned her Bachelor's and Master's of Social Work at Rutger's University, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa (prestigious academic honor society). She has provided individual and family counseling to diverse populations of juveniles and adults since 2014. Her area of experience include cognitive therapy, evidence based practices, anger management, and smoking cessation.

In her spare time, Christie enjoys reading, going hiking, and playing volleyball. She is a world traveler and loves to spend time with family.


Kandice Cooper, DMin, MDiv, MSW, LSW, LMSW, LADC, CAADC, CSSW, CDP, DRCC

Dr Kandice Cooper is a New Jersey Licensed Social Worker, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Certified School Social Worker, Certified Dementia Practitioner, and Disaster Response Crisis Counselor, Delaware Licensed Masters Social Worker, and Pennsylvania Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

Dr Cooper is an alumnus of: The Community College of Allegheny County, California University of Pennsylvania, The University of Pittsburgh, and a two-time graduate of Cornerstone Graduate School. She has a strong spiritual belief system that drives both her personal and professional life.

Dr Cooper has a heart for people and a passion to empower them to be the best version of themselves. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in mental/behavioral health, addictions, and geriatrics. During telehealth therapy sessions, she fosters and supports the mindset that her clients have power, purpose, promise, and potential.

Her work history includes the following settings: group homes, the state prison, outpatient/partial hospitalization programs, intensive in-community work with serious and persistent mentally ill, a private special education school, and inpatient state psychiatric hospitals.

Kelly Clement, LAC

Kelly Clement is a NJ LAC. Kelly is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson University’s Community and Trauma Counseling program with specialities in both Art and Play therapy. She is currently in the Doctor of Health Sciences program at Jefferson. Kelly's clinical interests include mind, body, spirit healing, the mind-gut connection, the neuroscience of trauma, and the intersectionality of Art and Play therapy. Kelly is pursuing her LPC, LPAT, ATR-BC, and RPT. She has presented at the Philadelphia Trauma Conference. Kelly enjoys working with children and does both outpatient and In Community Counseling. She loves bringing  enthusiasm and creativity to sessions. 

Jillian Gawricki, MT-BC

Jillian Gawricki is a master’s level, board-certified music therapist working out of the Egg Harbor Township office for both outpatient and in-home services. Currently receiving a supplemental certification in vocal psychotherapy, she specializes in trauma-informed care working mainly with children, adolescents, and adults. She utilizes various creative arts and music therapy interventions to empower and give client’s the space to express themselves and work through various complex situations and emotions. Jillian prefers a humanistic approach with psychodynamic ideologies thrown in the mix and will often utilize music relaxation and improvisational approaches to help form trust and bonds within the therapeutic relationship.

Jillian’s skills include singing, guitar, piano, ukulele, percussion, and French horn. She will often use these instruments within sessions and invite clients to participate in songwriting, music relaxation, singing, music and movement, and improvisational instrumental playing. Jillian received her bachelors in vocal performance and contemporary music-pre music therapy track, and her Master of Science in music therapy from SUNY New Paltz. While within the program, her internships included older adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia, children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her past clinical experiences include a variety of settings, including nursing homes, assisted livings, schools, group homes, and private practice. In her spare time, Jillian likes to play video games, read, crochet, write music, and cuddle with her dogs. Jillian hopes to learn and grow further working with the Thrive team!

Melissa McNamee, LAC

Melissa is a licensed associate counselor in the state of New Jersey, and a master’s level art therapist. She works in the outpatient setting at Cherry Hill, and also provides in-home services. Melissa’s experience spans across individual, group, and family therapy in a variety of settings such as outpatient, adolescent residential treatment homes, and a safe house for survivors of domestic violence. She has worked with a range of populations from children and families of abuse, at-risk teens, people with DD/ID, and people with a variety of mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and more. She specializes in trauma-informed care, and utilizes a person-centered approach to aid individuals in their own personalized goals. She incorporates mindfulness and strength-based art activities to assist individuals and families to improve self-regulation, co-regulation, self-empowerment, and increased self-esteem. She believes in the therapeutic benefits of art and play, and shows great enthusiasm to work alongside others in their healing journey.

Maria Ashmen, MA

Maria graduated from Drexel University with a Master of the Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling and has had 6 years experience prior to working at Thrive. She is currently in the process of licensure for her LAC and ATR-P. Maria has had a wide range of experience utilizing art therapy to support children, adolescents and adults in managing mental health symptoms. While earning her degree, Maria had practicum and internship opportunities at the Children’s Home of Burlington County, Brookfield Elementary, Ancora, Belmont Behavioral Health and The Salvation Army Reed House. During her time at Reed House, Maria created and directed the art therapy program there to provide a safe space for chronically homeless adults to recover from past trauma. As a Master’s level clinician Maria worked for 6 years in a partial care setting with adults who experienced severe and persistent mental health symptoms. Currently Maria provides intensive in-home therapy services in Camden and Burlington counties, as well as outpatient services at The Thrive Network's Cherry Hill location. She is passionate about engaging others in their journey of healing and recovery. Maria firmly believes in accentuating strengths and promoting self acceptance through the power of personal expression. She utilizes a trauma informed care approach to promote safety, trust, support, and empowerment with individuals she serves. Maria incorporates narratives in art therapy to assist individuals with experienced trauma, abuse and neglect to create emotional distance so that they may safely process traumatic experiences and reconnect with their own voice through creative expression.

Brittany Taylor, MT-BC

Brittany Taylor is a Masters level board-certified music therapist who received her masters degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2018. Brittany works with children and adolescents within their home and at our Cherry Hill outpatient building. 

She has 6+ years of clinical experiences, the last 3 years have been working within the mental health system in a partial hospitalization setting.

Brittany has experience with a variety of other settings/populations, including nonprofits, schools, partial hospitalizations and with individuals diagnosed with Autism and various other special needs. She utilizes various music therapy approaches and a strength based approach in her sessions to create a safe and inviting environment that allows everyone involved to be themselves through a fun and creative way. 

Emily Steinhauser, LMFT

Emily is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She graduated with her Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2016 from La Salle University.  She has been working with children and families for the past five years providing therapy that is trauma informed and attachment-based. She uses a systemic lens that looks at both the individual and the family and works to help them come together to best support each other.Emily is passionate about helping caregivers and families create sustainable change and connection. Her history includes providing intensive in-home treatment to families, working with the LBGTQAI+ population, and working in a residential setting with teens. She has experience with Trauma Focused-CBT, Eco-Systemic Structural Family Therapy, Nurtured Heart, and Prolonged Exposure Therapy.

Sarah Swiderski, LSW

Sarah Swiderski is a licensed social worker and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rutgers University. After graduation, she worked with individuals struggling with addiction and mental illness. Sarah’s experience motivated her to pursue graduate study in the field of social work. She later received her Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University School of Social Work as she continued to work in the mental health field. She also has had experience working with children in a school setting and enjoys helping build the skills a child needs to thrive. Sarah believes strongly in advocating for individuals and guiding them to reach their goals.

Shelley Lenhardt, Behavioral Assistant

Shelley is an Educator both inside & outside the classroom. She currently holds a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary/ Early Childhood Education and a Graduate Certificate to teach English As A Second Language. Working with grades Pre-K through 8th, Shelley is responsible for implementing strategies to help struggling learners as well as scaffold learning to increase English Language Proficiency. As schools are focusing more on Social Emotional learning, Shelley has had the added benefit of training in the Nurtured Heart Approach. This consists of a set of strategies that assist children in further developing their self-regulation. Her focus is on mentoring children of all ages using a non judgemental, compassionate & empathetic approach. Shelley also enjoys collaborating with colleagues whether for personal growth, to develop curriculum or set & carry out goals as a team.

An avid reader, Shelley enjoys books for the purpose of learning, growing, relaxing & enhancing her life! She has even written a children’s book on the topic of alcoholism/addiction when struggling to find an appropriate book to discuss the subject. Shelley believes education comes in all forms and especially enjoys learning with her friends & family through travel, games, crafts, gardening, hiking, and book clubs!

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