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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 Services Provider designation (LPC-MHSP) in the state of TN. She is also certified in Perinatal Mental Health (PMH-C). 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.



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.  



Dianne Stacks has an M. S., an MBA, and an M. Ed. with a concentration in School counseling. She has 15 years of professional experience providing trauma-related services to victims of domestic violence,
sexual assault, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES-related) trauma. Dianne has provided services for ADHD, grief, anxiety, bipolar, relationship issues, self-esteem, co-dependency,
coping skills, depression, family conflict, self-harming, and stress. She seeks to research the systemic effect of inter-generational traumatic experiences within African American communities to empower African American families and other indigenous populations for change. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her son, traveling and experiencing the various other cultures of the world.


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Coasy Hale is a licensed master’s level social worker (LMSW) in the state of TN and has been
working with vulnerable populations in the Memphis community for more than 20 years. Coasy
has experience providing therapeutic services to adults in acute crisis,
substance addiction and recovery for adults, adult and youth trauma survivors, and those
experiencing life and relationship stressors. Coasy utilizes a myriad of therapeutic approaches
as she works to help support individuals navigate restoration and healing for their lives. Coasy
believes in people’s inherent ability to transform their lives and she is honored to be able to offer
support and empowerment to those who have lost their voice. Coasy enjoys travel, music,
baking, and spending quality time with her loved ones.



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. 



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


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Kerith Hopper is a licensed master's level social worker (LMSW) in the state of TN and has worked with vulnerable children and families throughout her more than 20 years as a social worker. Kerith has experience providing therapeutic services to individuals of all ages, focusing on children from birth through young adulthood and the relationship between parent and child. Kerith has a strong history of advocacy for children and their families and hopes to expand this advocacy and therapeutic focus by working with Apple Seeds and supporting their mission. Kerith believes adamantly in client-led therapy and approaches all her work with humility seeking to partner with clients and provide a safe and respectful space to support their healing journey. Kerith enjoys spending time with her family, baking, writing, drawing, hiking, being in nature, and learning. 


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DeKayla Thomas is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) working towards becoming a licensed professional counselor with mental health service provider designation (LPC-MHSP) in the state of Tennessee. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Alcorn State University before obtaining her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from the University of Memphis. DeKayla has experience providing therapeutic services to individuals as young as 3 to the lovely age of 60. She has provided support with a multitude of concerns including adjustment/life transitions, anxiety, depression, family conflict, academic stress, grief/loss, micro-aggression processing, cultural identity, disparities, LGBTQ+, and so much more. She is integrative in her therapeutic approach and believes that the client is the expert in their healing journey, and she is there to walk beside them while providing a means for deeper introspection. DeKayla is dedicated to making mental health care equal for all and to eradicating the stigma around mental and emotional wellness.

Clinical Student Therapist


Madison Neel is a Masters of Social Work student at the University of Memphis and serves as a clinical student therapist. 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 creating a comforting experience for our clients. In her free time, Madison enjoys pottery, nutrition, fitness, and spending time with family.

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