Our Staff


Clinical Director

Dr. Laura C Taylor is a licensed clinical social worker who has been a faculty member with the University of Memphis School of Social Work since 2011. She has 23 years of professional experience as a social worker, is trained in psychodynamic therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and reflective supervision. Dr. Taylor has been in private practice for 11 years and specializes in supporting African American women's mental wellness.


Dr. Taylor's research interests involve social determinants of health that influence how African Americans seek out and experience mental health care. Her research also includes the experience of infertility among African American couples. Lastly, Dr. Taylor has five published peer-reviewed articles and has been an invited speaker, locally and nationally.


Assistant Clinical Director

Memphis native, Jelisa Anderson is a licensed professional counselor with mental health service provider designation (LPC-MHSP) in the state of TN. Jelisa has 7 years of professional experience working with ages 16 and up in the areas of anxiety and stress management, adjustment issues, addiction, maternal mental health, relational conflicts, and self-esteem/self-worth empowerment. She incorporates an array of therapeutic techniques and tools to cater to the specific needs of her clients. Jelisa is compassionate and dedicated to work in a collaborative process to assist clients in their progression to wellness.


Lead Therapist

Tera Brownlee is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a designation of Mental Health Services Provider. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and her Master’s degree in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Memphis. Tera has experience counseling children, teens, and adults in various inpatient and outpatient settings. She has a passion for walking alongside clients as they heal and helping them navigate life transitions. She specializes is supporting women and young adults experiencing life transitions. Tera is a native Memphian and enjoys reading, spending time with family, travel, and attending live entertainment shows. 



Kelli Holloway is a graduate of University of Memphis’ School of Social Work. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in TN, MS, and AR. Kelli is a trauma-informed clinician with specialized training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Brainspotting therapy. Kelli has experience working with individuals experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, individuals living with chronic illnesses including HIV/AIDS, complex trauma, grief/loss, and interpersonal/intimate partner relationship stressors. She is passionate about helping individuals through their journey of healing, self-discovery, and self-empowerment—utilizing an eclectic mix of therapeutic modalities. Kelli is dedicated to providing collaboration and attunement in the therapy space, respecting the client as the expert in their own story.  

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Kimberly Adams received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Memphis. She continued her education and received her Masters of Social Work degree from Campbellsville University. Kimberly has 5 years of professional experience working with the adult mental health population, bringing hope to individuals by providing services that will help encourage clients to maintain their self-worth, independence, and dignity. Kimberly is passionate about working with women and families by providing therapeutic counseling to help clients succeed and live a better quality of life. Kimberly not only values the people she serves, but she loves being a wife and mother of four.



Dianne Stacks has a M.S., and M.Ed. She is currently employed with the University of Memphis as a Victim Coordinator. She has 15 years of professional experience providing trauma related services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She works professionally to increase the public’s awareness of impact intimate partner abuse and sexual assault within African American Community.  She seeks to research the systemic impact of intergenerational traumatic experience within African American communities to empower African American families and other indigenous populations for change. 

Her most important mission was rearing her son, coordinating efforts to serve at-risk neighborhoods by connecting residents to resources, and developing a teen pregnancy nurturing parent program at Wooddale High School.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling experiencing the various other cultures of the world.  

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Coasy Hale, LMSW is the Director of Survivor Services with Restore Corps; leading the care management team for human trafficking survivors (sex/labor trafficking of minors, adults, and foreign nationals). Coasy served with the TN Department of Children’s Services for 6 years in which she worked on the FBI’s first human trafficking case in Shelby County and received nationally recognized Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) training on the risks of exploitation for youth involved in the child welfare system.  She is a native Memphian and licensed master’s level social worker who has been working with vulnerable populations for the last 20+ years.  Coasy is a field instructor for The University of Memphis, Union University, The University of Mississippi schools of Social Work, providing training to up and coming Bachelor’s and Master’s level Social Workers and also serves on the A Step Ahead Foundation’s Community Advisory Board. Coasy is committed to advocacy for those who have lost their voice and believes in the inherent ability of people to change.



Nikeisha is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) that holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Memphis. She has extensive experience in various areas of social services including Parenting Education, Foster Care, Family Preservation, Child Protective Services, and Early Childhood Education as well as Community Engagement and Community Organizing.  Previous positions have afforded her the opportunity to work with diverse audiences including parents, community leaders, professionals, and more.  She enjoys building stronger communities through her work with children/youth, parents, and families.  

Nikeisha leverages knowledge learned from personal experiences as well that gleaned from her educational and professional endeavors to inform her practice as a therapist and social worker. She utilizes therapeutic methods designed to assist with targeting client’s issues to help them to resolve those issues through strengthening their coping skills. She specializes in parenting, infant and maternal mental health in addition to focuses on depression, anxiety, grief, and trauma.



Angela received her Bachelor of Social Work at LeMoyne Owen College. She also received her Master of Social Work from the University of Memphis in 2013. She is a Licensed Master of Social Work who has 8 years of professional experience working with children, teens, adults and geriatric populations. Angela has worked in various settings helping individuals battling addiction, weight issues, unresolved trauma, anxiety and stress management. Angela also holds certifications as a Certified Family Trauma Professional and is a Board-Certified Bariatric Counselor. Angela is working towards completing the requirements to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.


Angela truly believes in having a strong therapeutic relationship with her clients.  She uses an array of evidence-based practices as well as organic techniques that caters to the client’s needs.  Angela is a native Memphian who enjoys spending time with her son, Sunday dinners with family, crafting and painting.



Maria Garcia, a bilingual therapist (Spanish/English), received her Master’s degree in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Memphis.  She has 6 years’ experience working with children (6+), teens and adults in different community settings. Maria has worked with at risk communities in Memphis providing services to clients dealing with birth trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, life transition, childhood trauma, stress management and marriage conflict. Being of Mexican descent, Maria is committed to bringing mental health awareness to the Hispanic community. During her downtime, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children. 



Ashley Blackmon, LCSW is a seasoned clinical psychotherapist from Memphis, Tennessee. She received
her Master’s in Social Worker from University of Memphis in 2013. Ashley has worked professionally in
the field of social work for the past decade and served in many different arenas. Ashley specializes in the treatment of mental disorders, substance-use disorders, trauma and stress-related disorders. She has extensive experience in working with individuals with trauma histories, attachment issues, behavioral issues, life-stressors/adjustment issues, depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, anger
management, substance abuse recovery, chronic pain management, health issues, foster/adoptive and
traditional parenting issues, and geriatric counseling. Ashley has a special interest in perinatal
depression and anxiety. Ashley also has an clinical interest in working with individual with obsessive
compulsive disorders and body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRB) such as trichotillomania and skin
picking disorder.

Ashley brings an wealth of experience and expertise to the helping profession. Ashley serves an Lead
Social Worker in Memphis in a dialysis healthcare settling and lead a team of 10 social workers in the
Memphis, Georgia, New Jersey and South Carolina region. Ashley is trained and utilizes cognitive
behavioral, attachment, and solution focused modalities within her work with clients. Additionally,
Ashley holds a certification in Theraplay.

Ashley is proud to call Memphis home. She enjoys spending time family—mostly importantly her 7 year old daughter in her spare time. Ashley also enjoys giving back to her community. She volunteers with Flamingo Trauma Recovery as support group educator. Ashley is very passionate about improving the lives of others and assisting them to reach their fullest potential to achieve their highest quality of life.
“We are all a little broken. But last time I checked, broken crayons still color the same”- Trent Shelton



Elissa Brooks is a licensed professional counselor with mental health service provider designation (LPC.MHSP) in the state of Tennessee. Elissa received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in criminal justice prior to her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from the University of Memphis. Her areas of expertise and specialization include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). She is experienced in providing trauma-informed therapy to children, adolescents while also working with parents and families. She enjoys incorporating mindfulness, expressive arts interventions, and exploring family systems within her work with clients.


Elissa works to advocate for families and children by providing therapeutic support and breaking stigmas around mental health with compassion and understanding. She prioritizes fostering an open and safe therapeutic environment with clients and families.  


She enjoys traveling, being outdoors, reading, thrifting, and trying new places in the Memphis area in her free time.


Clinical Intern

Madison Neel is a Masters of Social Work student at the University of Memphis and serves as our intake specialist. She has a strong interest in counseling. After earning her LMSW she will go on to earn her LCSW. Madison is a therapist in training with a deep appreciation for the strength and resilience of Apple Seeds clientele. She is passionate about making Apple Seeds client intake an easy and comforting experience for our clients.