CHILD & ADOLESCENT THERAPISTS
Elizabeth Reitz, PhD (she/her)
Dr. Elizabeth Reitz is a Licensed Psychologist, and the owner and founder of Strong Foundations. Dr. Reitz has 20 years of experience treating children, adolescents, and families. Dr. Reitz works with children as young as two years old to improve parent-child relationships, and to help with mood and behavioral difficulties. She specializes in treating anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and ADHD. Dr. Reitz does not treat a symptom in isolation. Instead she involves the parents and caretakers in the therapy to teach the whole family new techniques and coping skills. Parents of her patients learn how to create healthy structure and discipline, help their children regulate their emotions, and promote well-being and happiness. Children learn how to recognize emotions in themselves and others, gain awareness of the intensity of their emotions, and master strategies needed to manage their emotions and navigate situations with success.
When appropriate, Dr. Reitz works with schools and other doctors to provide the highest quality and most integrated care possible. Dr. Reitz’ therapeutic work is grounded in scientific evidence. She uses Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT), Exposure-Response prevention (ERP), Dialectical-Behavioral (DBT) and Mindfulness techniques to improve patients’ mental health and to help them to achieve their goals. Dr. Reitz values diversity and is committed to creating a safe space for all youth and families.
Dr. Reitz provides clinical supervision to many of our staff members. Her goal in starting Strong Foundations was to create a practice that consistently provides individualized and high quality care to each patient. Our staff is carefully chosen to emulate the values of using evidence-based practices, providing personalized and responsive care, and practicing inclusion.
Dr. Reitz completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell University, earned her doctorate from The Pennsylvania State University, and did her postdoctoral training at The University of Pittsburgh.
Mauri Tate, LCSW (she/her)
Mauri Tate is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with a certificate in Child, Youth, and Family. She has years of experience working in children’s behavioral health and in school settings. She comes from a person-centered approach to treat children experiencing depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, and ADHD, just to name a few. While her treatment focus is centered on improving the life of the child, she strives to improve the function of the family structure as well.
Mauri’s ability to build a meaningful rapport with her clients, joined with her gentle, easy going personality allows for children to gain the most out of treatment. This in turn builds the trust of their parent(s), allowing both the child and family to make great strides in therapy.
Mauri utilizes evidence-based therapy models such as Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT), Exposure-Response Prevention (ERP), Motivational Interviewing, and Structural Family Therapy. In short, Mauri’s goals of treatment are to always empower the child and to fill their toolbox for success in life.
Mauri graduated from Duquesne University with her Bachelors in Sociology. She completed her Masters of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh in 2015.
Amanda Roberts, LMFT (she/her)
Amanda Roberts is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) with 15 years of experience in the behavioral health field across various settings including community, inpatient, residential, and school-based. Amanda works with children, adolescents, and adults providing individual, family, and couples therapy. She is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and specializes in treating PTSD, depression, anxiety, ADHD, grief/loss, adjustment, anger, and relational disruptions.
Amanda’s treatment approach is based in systemic theory that considers all parts of a person in the context of their larger systems. She uses eclectic and integrative techniques to meet the individual needs of her clients including CBT, Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing, and experiential processing. Her style is warm, collaborative and client-centered.
Amanda graduated from Saint Vincent College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and obtained her Master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Seton Hill University in 2014.
Alicia Reiser, LPC (she/her)
Alicia is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has over 6 years of experience in the mental health
field. Alicia earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnston
and her Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling at Carlow University. Alicia has experience
working with children, adolescents and their families, as well as adults. Alicia has worked in various
clinical settings such Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Programs, Drug and Alcohol
Counseling, and School-Based Therapy. Alicia works with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, social challenges, and inattention.
Alicia strives to create a safe space for every client so they can explore the relationships among their emotions, behaviors and thoughts without judgment. Alicia views each individual through a strength-based lens, seeking to help her clients to own their resilience to help them tackle the difficult parts of life. Alicia primarily uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help her clients to work through and cope with identified stressors.
Shatona Hollingsworth, LSW (she/her)
Shatona Hollingsworth is a Licensed Social Worker with a certification in Mental Health. Shatona has years of experience working with children of all grade levels in the school setting as well as working with children who have special needs. She has also worked with adults in mental health treatment facilities and also with the elderly at the end of life. She uses a person centered approach to focus on empowering clients and helping them function better to achieve their goals.
One of Shatona’s core beliefs is compassion. She has a strong desire to alleviate difficult situations that clients may be experiencing. Shatona has serviced clients experiencing depression, anxiety, ADHD, grief/loss, adjustment and trauma using individual, group and family sessions. She specializes in using Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT) , Motivational Interviewing, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to help restore altered or dysfunctional behaviors or thinking in children and adults.
Shatona earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Slippery Rock University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh.
Kaitlyn Earnesty Cree, LCSW (she/her)
Kaitlyn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who has experience working with diverse populations within different settings including school-based, family-based, hospital, and outpatient. Kaitlyn works with children and adolescents providing individual and family therapy. Kaitlyn specializes in treating ADHD, anxiety, OCD, depression, and anger outbursts.
Kaitlyn utilizes a variety of techniques and skills drawn from recognized therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Psychoeducation, Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), Play Therapy, Behavior Modification, and Mindfulness. Kaitlyn uses a comprehensive, strength-based, person centered approach to guide her practice.
Kaitlyn's style is warm and inviting, as well as organized and goal- focused. She exhibits creativity to engage children in the therapeutic process and is an excellent communicator with parents.
Kaitlyn graduated from California University of Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelors in Social Work and went on to obtain her Master’s in Social Work from their advanced standing program.
Candace Hawthorne, PhD (she/her)
Dr. Candace Hawthorne is a Licensed Psychologist with a doctorate in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Hawthorne has been working with children and families for over 40 years. She began her career as an occupational therapist and has been working as a licensed psychologist for the last 10 years. As a result, Dr. Hawthorne brings a multidisciplinary approach to her work. As a psychologist, her previous positions include psychologist at Children’s Hospital of UPMC/Pittsburgh, the Matilda Theiss Child Development Center at Western Psychiatric Institutes and Clinic at UPMC/Pittsburgh, and Early Childhood Partnerships program at the Office of Child Development at University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Hawthorne has provided assessments and ongoing therapy to children, as well as consultation in hospital clinics (feeding and NICU). Dr. Hawthorne has provided inpatient and outpatient care, in various early childhood settings including early intervention, Head Start, private practice, and early care and education centers. Dr. Hawthorne is internationally certified in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and in Child and Parent Psychotherapy for Trauma (CPP). Dr. Hawthorne specializes in working with children and parents from toddlerhood into middle childhood, helping to decrease family conflict, and to increase child compliance and emotion regulation.
Jackie Micklege, LSW (she/her)
Jackie is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) who has experience working with children over the past ten years in various capacities. Jackie started her career within the community directing a YMCA summer camp in South Park, as well as working with children in partial programming with more acute mental health needs. Jackie has spent the past four years working with children, adolescents, and families providing behavioral health support across environments within the Pittsburgh area, specializing in supporting clients with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and Autism.
Jackie finds it valuable to incorporate a variety of therapeutic techniques pulled from evidence-based treatment models including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, Client-Centered Therapy, General Behavior Modification, and Family Focused approaches. Jackie aims to build a safe and trusting environment to assist clients and families in developing skills to let their individual strengths take the lead. Jackie values the personality and abilities each client brings to session and respects each family's experiences and existing knowledge that can be used for further skill building.
Jackie attended California University of Pennsylvania where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Communication. She then went on to receive her Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh, obtaining her License in Social Work one year later. Jackie is currently working towards becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, collaborating with fellow clinicians in the practice to broaden her abilities within the field.
Kate Bigley, LPC (she/her)
Kate Bigley is a Chatham University graduate with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Kate is experienced in working with children to improve overall emotion regulation, to treat depression, anxiety, and to address behavioral difficulties. Kate uses evidence-based treatment models, including but not limited to, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Mindfulness. She is trained in treating children and adolescents with obsessive compulsive disorder, using exposure and responsive prevention (ERP).
Kate believes that it's of the utmost importance to create a safe space for clients to feel comfortable sharing their lived experiences. Kate aims to create a collaborative approach with each client that emphasizes respect. She feels that a large component to therapy is to build meaningful rapport with her clients and hopes to make therapy an experience that children and adolescents look forward to partaking in. Her ultimate goal is to help them to get the most out of their time in therapy, and to achieve the goals they set for themselves. Kate involves parents when working with children and teens so they feel empowered and informed throughout the therapeutic process. Her goal is for children and parents to gain new skills and ways of interacting so that the whole family feels more peaceful.
Abbey Clark, LPC, NBCC (she/her)
Abbey Clark is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified School Counselor. She has years of experience working with children as young as 3 years, adolescents, and adults. She has provided treatment and support to individuals, families, and couples across diverse settings. Abbey currently works with adolescents and adults to teach healthy coping skills. Abbey has experience helping individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and family conflict.
Abbey practices from a whole-person approach, providing comprehensive treatment with focus on all areas of life. She utilizes a broad range of tools and practices allowing her to tailor treatment to meet the unique needs of each person. She lends herself to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectal Behavioral Therapy, psychoeducation, behavior modification, solution-focused, and mindfulness to help clients gain awareness of the connections between their emotions, thoughts, and physical experiences. Abbey’s personality and treatment style is supportive and accepting. She focuses on individual strengths to build an intrinsic sense of self-confidence. She prides herself in building strong therapeutic connections and supporting individuals through their therapeutic journey.
Abbey graduated from LaRoche University with her Bachelor’s in Psychology. She completed her Masters of Education as a National Board Certified Counselor at Slippery Rock University in 2016.
Michelle Johnson, LSW (she/her)
Michelle is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) who has experience working with children and adolescents in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Michelle works with children and families to help them navigate the complex aspects of growing up! Michelle specializes in treating anxiety, depression, conduct disorders, attention deficit disorder, and the unique needs of prior and former military families.
Michelle tailors her therapeutic interventions for the unique needs of each client. Michelle has experience utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Structural Family Therapy, and Psychoeducation. Michelle appreciates the strengths of each client, and incorporates these strengths into the treatment process. Michelle has a genuine cultivated interest in her clients, and treats each case with sensitivity, kindness, and open mindedness. Michelle finds great joy in her work- celebrating her client's successes, and standing by them through their challenges.
Michelle graduated from Duquesne University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations. After traveling the country for thirteen years as a military spouse, Michelle obtained her Master’s in Social Work from Indiana University. Michelle participates in disability advocacy, and is currently learning therapeutic horsemanship.
Avory Billman, LSW (she/her)
Avory Billman is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) with years of experience working in a variety of settings, including school-based, residential, in-home, and outpatient. Her approach consists of person-centered therapies with a core belief in the inherent worth of all clients. Avory is a trauma-informed, LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist specializing in the treatment of trauma-related disorders, mood disorders, life transitions, and more. She strives to create a safe space to support clients in sharing their stories and creating meaningful changes to improve their overall quality of life.
Avory works with adolescents and young adults providing individual and couples therapy. Her approach involves building strong rapport to support clients in reaching their goals by creating an individualized treatment plan using techniques from evidence-based practices. She specializes in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Avory graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors degree in Social Work and a Masters degree in Clinical Social Work with a focus on trauma and child development.
Brianna Sivy, LSW (she/her)
Brianna Sivy is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW) who has experience working with diverse populations within residential, outpatient, hospital-based and crisis intervention environments. Brianna has experience in individual and group counseling. Brianna specializes in treating trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder/Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, substance use disorders, anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues. Brianna works with children and adolescents to provide individual therapy.
Brianna utilizes a variety of therapeutic skills and interventions acquired form evidence-based modalities such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Mindfulness. Brianna uses ERP to treat OCD. Brianna believes in the use of person in environment, and person-centered approaches in her interventions with clients to ensure the best possible outcomes. Brianna emphasizes a judgment-free, accepting, and compassionate space for her clients and their families. Brianna’s therapeutic style is best characterized as warm, empathetic, and solution-focused.
Brianna graduated from Ohio University with her Bachelor’s in Social Work. She then received
her Master’s in Social Work from The Ohio State University in their advanced standing program.
Brianna is also an active public speaker and public advocate for survivors of sexual trauma and
Stephanie Berg, LPC (she/her)
Stephanie Berg is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Stephanie has over 15 years of experience working with children and adolescents. Stephanie works with children as young as three years old using play therapy techniques that teach emotional awareness and better emotion regulation. When children walk into Stephanie's office, they will be greeted by a variety of toys that will help them communicate and learn about their emotional worlds. Stephanie also specializes in helping adolescents cope with and manage mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Teens and children learn strategies to recognize how they feel, to calm down when needed, and to think in ways that support mental-health. Stephanie has expertise in treating anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Stephanie involves parents in work with children and teens so that the whole family learns new skills and ways of interacting.
Stephanie uses Play Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Family Systems informed treatments in her work. She strives to create a warm, non-judgmental, and accepting atmosphere for her clients. Stephanie is a LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist.
Stephanie attended Salisbury State University for her Bachelor's Degree, and California University for her Master's Degree in Counseling.
Kori McIver Granata, LSW (she/her)
Kori McIver is a Licensed Social Worker, currently receiving clinical supervision toward becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Kori has experience working with children and adolescents in the residential setting. She is experienced in treating clients with Autism, Mood Disorders, ADHD, and behavioral concerns. She uses a trauma informed, strength based approach to empower clients and their families to reach their goals in treatment. Kori uses evidenced based approaches such as Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and behavior modification techniques to help build self-esteem, awareness, insight, and emotion regulation skills.
Kori believes that therapy can be fun! Games and playing with others is how children learn about the world around them and can help with processing difficult emotions, learning impulse control, mindfulness, and learning about their own strengths. Kori focuses on building strong therapeutic rapport with clients and their families in order to create a safe and inviting atmosphere to work together toward identified goals.
Kori graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, and earned her
Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Nicole Varley, LPC (she/her)
Nicole Varley is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 20 years of experience in the mental health field. Nicole began her career working with children, adolescents, and their families in a community based setting. She continued working in community agencies before transitioning to private practice and has been in private practice for 10 years.
Nicole’s goal of therapy is to build on strengths and enhance skills to improve functioning within the home, school, and community. She strives to ensure that children enjoy the therapeutic experience so that they are able and willing to fully engage. She helps children to identify and regulate their emotions, gain coping skills to manage feelings, and think socially about their interactions with others. Nicole includes the parents and caretakers in the process so that everyone learns new skills and puts them to use outside of sessions.
In practice, Nicole uses a variety of modalities including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Behavior Modification, and Mindfulness. Nicole has experience working with children and adolescents struggling with Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Adjustment Disorders, anger management and behavior problems, low self-esteem, and parent-child conflict.
Nicole earned her undergraduate degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has a Masters degree in clinical psychology from Xavier University.
Stephanie A. Fox, PhD (she/her)
Stephanie Fox, PhD is a licensed psychologist with expertise in diagnostic assessment and treatment of a broad range of developmental and behavioral presentations across the lifespan. Dr. Fox has over ten years of experience working therapeutically with children and families.
Dr. Fox also implements a variety evidence-based treatment modalities to reduce distress and improve mental wellness for her clients and their families. She takes the time to build strong therapeutic relationships to optimize treatment effectiveness. Dr. Fox has training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), and the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). Dr. Fox believes in working with the family system to support individual well-being, parent empowerment, and overall quality of life. She has a particular passion for helping caregivers navigate the fulfilling yet challenging role of parenthood.
Dr. Fox graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010 and received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY) in 2017. Before returning to Pittsburgh in 2022, Dr. Fox was a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. She has since served as a licensed psychologist at UPMC’s Whole Child Wellness Clinic and Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders (CADD).