Meet Our Staff
Tova Kreps, LCSW; President & Co-Founder
Tova Kreps is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been practicing as a therapist with families, couples, individuals and children since 1990. She is a Qualified Counseling Supervisor in the state of Florida, and particularly specializes in trauma recovery work. She has also worked with children and parents in school, orphan-care and foster-care settings. She speaks and writes on a variety of mental health topics including trauma, active listening, parenting and relationships. She hosts a weekly radio/podcast program and has spoken at universities, conferences, workshops, retreats, churches, schools and small groups both domestically and internationally. Tova is also the creator of the Intentional Listening Training and the Bounce Trauma Resolution Program and its core curriculum, The Circle of Truth. Tova is married, the mother of three adult children and grandmother of two.
Christine Schlottman, LMHC, Co-Founder
Christine is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She specializes in issues regarding grief and loss as well as abuse and trauma. She is a Certified Practitioner of EMDR Therapy and a Certified Trauma Practitioner. She counsels adults and families. She is a Qualified Counseling Supervisor in the state of Florida. Christine has taught in the counseling program at Trinity International University and has led workshops on a variety of mental health topics in the U.S. , Latin America and the Caribbean. Christine's previous work experience also includes counseling children in a school setting at Christ Fellowship Academy. She has served as a missionary for over 35 years. Having lived abroad, she understands both the demands of ministry and the complexities of life in a cross-cultural context, and has counseled both immigrants and Christian workers. Christine is married, a mother of three adult children and a grandmother.
Dr. Leigh Byers, Executive Director
Leigh Byers is the Executive Director of Wellspring Counseling since 2017 managing the day-to-day operations of including organizational partnerships, human resources, finances, and communications. Leigh has a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) in Leadership from Walden University, a Master of Arts in Management & Leadership (MAML) from Liberty University and a B.A. in Public Affairs from Rollins College. She has in depth experience as a Ministry Director, specializing in programs for women, children, and families. Before joining Wellspring as the Executive Director, Leigh served as a board member. Leigh is married and a mother of two.
Monica Snyder, LMFT, Clinical Director
Monica is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She holds a BA from Covenant College in Psychology and a MA in Marriage and Family Counseling from Richmont University. Monica is a Qualified Counseling Supervisor for Mental Health and Marriage and Family Therapy. She has been in the counseling field since 2006. Monica enjoys working with individuals but her specialties include working with children, adolescent and parenting. She has experience dealing with a wide variety of issues including depression, anxiety, ADHD, grief and loss, social skills and parent child relationships. Monica has training in Trauma Focused CBT, DBT and is certified in EMDR. She is trained to provide couples' and premarital counseling. Monica is married and has three children.
Lyle Green, LMHC
Lyle is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a duel Ed.S. in Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy from Barry University. Lyle is also an ordained pastor with an M.A. in Theological Studies from Wheaton Graduate School. He specializes in personal and marital counseling with many years of clinical experience. His years as a counselor, pastor and teacher have equipped him to support individuals and couples through times of crisis or distress. Lyle worked as Pastor of Married Couples and Leadership Development at Christ Journey Church for 11 years. He has also worked on staff at Westminster Christian School for over 25 years serving as chaplain, teacher and counselor. Lyle has been married 40 years and has one adult child.
Heather Hendry, LMHC
Heather is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and the Trauma Resolution Program (TRP) Coordinator for Wellspring. She received her MS in Professional Counseling from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. As a therapist, Heather has experience with adolescents, adult individuals, and families. Although she has a passion to assist victims of trauma and abuse in finding healing and restoration, she has been trained to help clients dealing with a wide range of issues including self harm, behavioral difficulties in adolescents, family conflict, body image distress, domestic and dating violence, divorce and transitional adjustments, grief and loss, as well as anxiety and depression. Heather is a Certified Practitioner of EMDR Therapy and has been trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and multiple safety-focused techniques. Heather has been married for three years.
Elizabeth Taquechel, LCSW
Elizabeth is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been practicing as a therapist with individuals, couples, families and children for the past 25 years and offers her services in English and Spanish. She is trained in EMDR. She specializes in working with adults and children in trauma and recovery work, as well as grief and loss. She also treats children, adolescents and their families dealing with anxiety, social phobia, specific phobia and separation anxiety. She also offers academic support to middle school and high school students that are dealing with inattention and hyperactivity. She has a special affinity with public speaking and teaching at workshops, schools and small groups. Her prior work experience also includes behavioral consultation and clinical work with children of divorce. She has worked at the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University, where she taught parenting strategy courses. Elizabeth is married and a mother of two.
Christianne Porta, LMFT
Christianne is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist who believes that therapy is a safe space where we can discover our individual power of resilience and courage. For her therapy is a place where pain is processed, and healing is deepened. She is passionate about continuous learning, making connections, putting new knowledge into practice, and teaching. Christianne completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from FIU and later went on to complete dual Master’s in Psychology degree, specializing in Marriage & Family Therapy and School Counseling at Albizu University. She has bilingual skills in English and Spanish. Areas of emphasis she is experienced in include depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and varying degrees of trauma. Her specialty training in evidence-based interventions include EMDR, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, TF-CBT, and Level 1 in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Christianne is also an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College, mom of two boys, and a wife. Her favorite quote: “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do”-Brene Brown.
Carmine Vidaña, LMHC
Carmine is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She earned a B.A. degree in Christian Ministry, and an M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology, both from Trinity International University. Carmine specializes in working with couples who are struggling with their marriages, individuals dealing with relational conflicts and mood disorders, as well as adults and children who are suffering with unresolved trauma. She is trained in EMDR, Gottman method for couples,Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy, a specialized treatment for adults suffering from trauma. As a former social worker, Carmine has long advocated for the well-being of survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Along with her husband, she enjoys offering pre-marital counseling at her local church, where she has served for over twenty five years. Carmine is the mother of one adult child, and is fluent in English and Spanish.
Nicole Velez, LMHC
Nicole has been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor since 2007. She completed her BS at the University of Miami with a double major in Sociology and Communications. She went on to graduate from Carlos Albizu University with an MS. in Psychology. She has hospital psychiatric experience working with children, teens, and adults in crisis. She has also worked in both private practice and Community Mental Health Agency settings, offering therapeutic services in both English and Spanish. Before joining Wellspring Counseling, Nicole worked for 3 years at Caring for Miami. Nicole specializes in working with clients dealing with mood disorders, interpersonal conflict, loss, and grief. One of her passions is to help clients heal from severe trauma. She is trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She is also trained in EMDR (Eye Movement desensitization reprocessing therapy), a therapy used to help clients work through trauma and PTSD symptoms. Nicole is trained in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy which entails the use of horses to help clients heal from trauma and develop new relationship skills. Along with her husband, she is also involved in a nonprofit organization bringing hope to families who have been displaced from their homes in Colombia. She has been married since 2007 and has two children.
Patricia Salow, LMHC
Patricia is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She has a Masters in Practical Theology, a Masters in Mental Health Counseling, and is a certified Spiritual Director, all from St. Thomas University. Patricia specializes in working with men, women, children and their families who have experienced emotional, physical, or sexual abuse as well as any other type of trauma. Patricia is EMDR trained. She also has experience assisting others in the recovery process of loss and grief, divorce, life transitions and depression and anxiety. Patricia has worked with children in support groups of domestic violence, and co- designed and facilitated a holistic women's group for survivors of sexual abuse. Patricia has over 20 years experience in church ministry, especially in women's ministry. She is a mother of 3 adult children and is fluent in English and Spanish.
Lilliane Farinazo, LMHC
Lilliane is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor therapists and she holds a M.S. degree in Counseling Psychology from Florida International University. Lilliane has a passion for helping families to overcome challenges, improve interpersonal relationships, and improve quality of life. Lilliane is experienced in providing individual, family, and marital counseling services. She has also worked with children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders. Lilliane has received extensive training and is Level 3 certified in the Gottman method for couples counseling. Lilliane has been married since 1997 and has 2 children. She is fluent in Portuguese, English and conversational in Spanish.
Lindsey Steffen, LMHC
Lindsey is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Wellspring Counseling. She received her MA in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a specialization in Trauma Counseling and extensive experience working with child, adolescent and adult survivors of trauma and abuse. Much of this work has been with individuals healing from the sex industry and exploitation. She has worked in diverse settings, including inpatient treatment centers and private practice. She has experience addressing a wide variety of concerns, including: PTSD and dissociation, drug/alcohol addiction, anxiety, depression, domestic violence, trauma bonding, severe mental diagnoses, eating disorders, self harm and lack of emotion regulation. She is trained in EMDR therapy as well as Trauma Focused CBT. Lindsey is passionate about helping clients achieve lasting change in their lives, so they may experience freedom and be proud of the person they are. She also enjoys co-hosting Wellspring’s weekly radio show and podcast, “Wellspring on the Air”.
Beth Assis, RMHC
Beth has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Masters in International Education, and a Masters in Mental Health Counseling. She has a passion for walking alongside her clients and seeing transformational healing take place in their lives. Beth has experience working with trauma, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, low self-esteem, couples' therapy, parenting, spiritual confusion, and leading support groups for women. She also enjoys working with schools and churches to provide psycho-educational seminars for students, parents, and church members. Beth is trained in EMDR and the Gottman method for couples' therapy. She's been in ministry alongside her husband for many years and has a heart for providing counseling services to ministry families. Beth offers therapy in English and Portuguese. She has been married since 2000 and has 4 beautiful girls.
Goumah Conde, RMHC
Goumah (Gaw-Ma) is a Registered Marriage & Family Therapist Intern and author. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Asbury Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Florida Memorial University. Goumah chose to study at Asbury because she desired to combine theology with counseling theories, in order to offer her clients a balanced, Christ-centered perspective on marriage. Goumah has been in the counseling field since 2004. She is also a candidate for ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church. She is trained in Trauma-Focused CBT (Level-2) and has extensive experience in Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couple & Family Therapy (EFT). Goumah is also a Certified Prepared & Enrich Facilitator. She has a Micro-Expressions; Expert Level certificate. Goumah is passionate about serving couples and young women, particularly with trauma-related issues, as Goumah herself survived a 9-year civil war. Goumah has been married for 17 years and has 3 children (16, 12, & 4 yrs old). Goumah is fluent in English, Liberian Colloquial, and a little conversational French.
Angela Gonzalez, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
Angela is a registered Mental Health Counselor intern. She has a Master of Arts in Counseling and Psychology, and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Trinity International University. As a therapist, Angela has training in Integrative Behavioral Health, which takes into consideration medical conditions and related behavioral health care factors that affect one’s health and wellbeing. Angela has worked with adults, adolescents and children and has experience working with a wide variety of mental health concerns, including: anxiety, depression, ADHD, trauma, anger management and emotion regulation. She also has experience counseling addiction and substance abuse both in individual and group settings. Angela strives to look at the “whole person,” using a mixture of treatment modalities which may include CBT, DBT, ACT and mindfulness-based interventions aiming to help clients make positive changes in their lives. Angela has been married for 12 years and has two daughters.
Mark Macgowan PhD, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Mark is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a qualified supervisor of therapist interns. He has substantial clinical experience, most recently with helping people affected by disasters and other traumatic events. He serves nationally as a mental health specialist with a federal disaster medical assistance team (DMAT). Mark is a trainer of psychological first aid and is an EMDR therapist. In addition to his clinical experience, Mark is a tenured professor and associate dean at Florida International University. He advances the science of helping as a therapist scholar. He has over sixty publications, most in rigorous peer-reviewed journals and several books with scholarly publishers, including Oxford University Press. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals and is on the executive committee of the International Association of Social Work with Groups.
Melody Caton, Family Consultant
Melody is a Mental Health Counselor, Melody completed her residency working primarily with children and families. Her years of working as an elementary teacher prompted her to move into the field of counseling as she saw her ability to assist children and families who were struggling with specific emotional and developmental needs. Melody has worked in the field since 2009, beginning her work in a pediatric psych unit with children and adolescents dealing with a variety of mental/emotional health crisis. Melody’s specialty area is attachment and trauma. Melody uses CBT, play therapy, and assists families in crisis using an intervention called Trust Based Relational Interventions. Melody is passionate about equipping Foster/Adoptive Families for the difficult journey they may face. Melody is a parent trainer, attachment specialists, and educator focusing on attachment and trauma needs. Melody has been married since 1990 and has 4 daughters, 2 sons, and one grandson
Juan Finlay, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
Juan is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern. He received his Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Trinity International University and a Masters of Divinity from Knox Theological Seminary. Juan provides counseling services in English and Spanish to individuals, couples, and families. He also serves as a minister at Christ the King Anglican Church, where he provides counseling services to members of his congregation. Juan is married and has one child.
Erik Williams, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, EMDR Trained
Erik is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern. He has a Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Trinity International University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. Erik has worked with college students for 20 years, specializing in mentoring college students and helping students with career counseling, depressing, grief and family issues. Additionally, He has worked with students and adults on issues such as divorce, relationships, depression, PTSD, parenting children with special needs, men's issues and addiction, among other things. Erik is EMDR trained. His father is a Vietnam Veteran and his brother is in the Air Force. Erik has been married for 16 years and is a father of three children (13, 10 and 8 yrs old).
Yasamin Nosrati-Shamloo, RMHC, BOUNCE! Coordinator
Yasamin is a Registered Mental Health Counselor and the Clinical Coordinator for Wellspring’s BOUNCE Trauma-Resolution program. She received her MS in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Miami, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Florida. As a clinician, Yasamin has experience with children, adolescents, and adult individuals, specifically in trauma recovery. Yasamin is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy, a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of distressing life experiences. Although she is passionate in assisting survivors of trauma find healing and restoration, she is also trained in addressing a wide variety of concerns including: PTSD, anxiety, depression, ADHD, severe mental diagnoses, and lack of emotion regulation. She strives to help others overcome hardships and live a life full of purpose, strength, joy, and peace of mind.
Esther V. Gomez, Student Intern
Esther is currently in her practicum year with Wellspring and is completing the required course work for a Master’s of Counseling Psychology at Trinity International University. She received her Master’s of Arts in Human Service Counseling at Liberty International University. She also received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology at Florida International University. Esther has developed a passion for trauma focused therapies (TF-CBT, DBT, and Narrative Therapy) to help victims of childhood sexual abuse and survivors of human trafficking. She desires for individuals to discover wholeness and healing from a holistic point of view spiritually, mentally, and physically. Esther has had many years of community involvement both locally and globally. Esther has demonstrated acts of love and kindness during short-term mission trips to at-risk children and adolescent in Haiti, Cuba, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic. While in South Asia, Esther mentored trafficked women by applying the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking curriculum called Hands That Heal. Esther's life motto is to embrace and accept people for who they were created to be. Esther has been happily married for 2 years and is a dog-mom to Tucker and Mylo.
Jacob Williams, Student Intern
Jacob is a Student Intern pursuing his Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Trinity International University. He received his Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Marketing from Mississippi State University. Jacob managed a high-energy group fitness center in Coral Gables for over 3 years and is passionate about helping people become the healthiest version of themselves through physical fitness and professional counseling. He is currently serving as the Director of Guest Services at Christ Journey Church in Coral Gables, and he spends time each week mentoring teenagers at local high schools as an Intern for Miami Youth for Christ. Jacob has been blissfully married for over a year.
Jessidra Coleman, Student Intern
Jessidra is a native of Miami and completed her undergraduate degree in Human Services Counseling at Liberty University in Virginia, where she is in the process of receiving her Master’s degree in Professional Counseling. For more than 10 years, she has worked in the medical field providing social services for children with special needs and their families. She has worked as an advocate promoting early intervention services for young children and has served on various community boards in Miami and Monroe County ensuring that appropriate supports were made accessible for families. Jessidra is passionate about helping those in need and has a special interest in working with human trafficking victims and teenagers. As a believer, she is dedicated to enriching the lives of others by helping them to reclaim the joy and hope in life, despite the challenges that are faced.
Elizabeth Fulton, Student Intern
Elizabeth is a student intern currently in the process of receiving her Master’s degree from Wake Forest University. She is interested in using a holistic perspective to help people live healthy and fulfilling lives. She’s also interested in working with individuals facing life transitions or adjustments; multicultural couples navigating the blending of two experiences and perspectives; career counseling; and those working in ministry. Elizabeth has been active in her local church for many years and has worked with various non-profit organizations to provide physical, emotional, and monetary support to those in need. She has also served in full time ministry in Johannesburg, South Africa, leading bible studies, providing guidance, and working with a local non-profit. Although originally from Miami, she’s lived in Boston, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Johannesburg, South Africa. Elizabeth has been married since 2012 and has two basset hounds, Rolo and Twix.
Reta Singh, Office Manager
Reta is the Office Manager at Wellspring, managing the operations of all four locations and also providing excellent customer service to clients as well as staff. She brings over a decade of business development and operations experience to Wellspring having co-founded a family business. She mastered effective communications while working as a Liaison between departments at Jackson Memorial Hospital International. Reta graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management from the University of West Indies in her native Jamaica. She also has an MBA from Florida International University. She faithfully serves in her church and has a passion for the ministry of Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, where she serves as the Area Coordinator for the local Miami Team of volunteers.
Aileen Newell, Billing Manager
Aileen is Wellspring's Medical Insurance Specialist, helping our clients with all of their insurance needs and working with providers to better serve them. She was a Claims Variance Analyst for Baptist Health Systems of South Florida, and brings over 20 years of medical billing experience to Wellspring. She has a passion for youth at her Church and she and her husband host a small group for couples. Aileen is married and a mother of two boys.