Adolescent and Family Therapists

Durham Raleigh Chapel Hill Telehealth

Durham Office

JEFF FISCHER, PH.D

Dr. Jeff Fischer has worked with teenagers and young adults on issues pertaining to separation and individuation, identity formation, and academic and career decision making. He recognizes that adolescence and early adulthood is a time of great change which can be stressful for both families and individuals. His approach is developmental in nature, with particular emphasis placed on supporting parents in helping adolescents learn key life skills, explore options, and make informed decisions. In addition to addressing the array of issues teens face, Dr. Fischer also has experience working with ADD/ADHD and with substance abuse issues impacting both families and younger populations.

DEE PHILBERT, LCSWA

Adolescents and families have been an area of interest for Ms. Dee Philbert throughout her career. She has worked with teens in a variety of settings, addressing the variety of problems teens and families experience. In working with adolescent clients and their families, services are tailored to their unique needs. Ms. Philbert utilizes CBT, DBT, and art therapy in sessions, and sessions can be solely for the adolescent, for the entire family, or mixed model depending on the needs of the teen and family. In individual therapy, Ms. Philbert works to build self-reliance among youth through problem solving and skill-building. Working at a pace and developmental level that best fits each unique teen, she strives to help adolescents reach their fullest potential. In family therapy Ms. Philbert coaches all family members on improved listening and understanding, effective communication skills, perspective-taking, and joint problem-solving.

COLLEEN HAMILTON, PSY.D.

Dr. Colleen Hamilton has a passion for working with teenagers and their families. Her background includes working with adolescents with a variety of presentations, including: behavior difficulties; social skills problems; depression; general, school, social and test anxiety; AD/HD; ASD; learning disabilities; trauma; self-image and self-esteem, identity development, and the spectrum of adolescent issues. For teens dealing with trauma she utilizes her specialized training in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. In addition, Dr. Hamilton has worked with special needs (i.e., autism spectrum and emotional-behavioral disturbance) and at-risk teens (i.e., teens involved in delinquent behaviors). Her experience with teenagers also includes career development for older teens. In her individual therapy with adolescents she demonstrates respect for the teen while guiding them in the development of new skills, behaviors and/or in mood regulation. Adolescence can be a hard transition for both teenagers and parents, and Dr. Hamilton can help the family navigate this time in family therapy. Dr. Hamilton utilizes various approaches such as psycho-education and improved listening and expression to help foster communication between teenagers and parents. She has assisted teens and parents in creating structure and a daily routine, teaching problem solving skills, conflict resolution skills, boundary setting, how to support a member with a mental illness, how to have a healthy argument, and how to have fun as a family. With over 15 years of experience specializing in kids and families, she has a wide array of tools to help teens and families.

BLAKELY MULDER, PH.D.

Being a teenager means getting caught in the middle between childhood and adulthood. It’s a constant tangle of emotions, relationship changes, and self-discovery. As an adolescent and family therapist, Dr. Blakely Mulder is passionate about helping teens and their families navigate the choppy waters of the teen years. She uses a cognitive-behavioral approach to help teens understand how their thoughts and feelings impact their behaviors, and how to counteract self-defeating mindsets that get them down. Dr. Mulder works with teens on building confidence, coping, self-regulation, and problem-solving skills. She helps ensure teens and their parents communicate and work together to facilitate the teen’s emerging adulthood. Dr. Mulder is a Licensed School Psychologist and previously provided counseling in a therapeutic high school program for teens whose mental health conditions interfered with their academic success. She particularly enjoys working with teens with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and acting-out behaviors.

DEJA BUCKNER, M.A.

Ms. Deja Buckner enjoys working with adolescents as well as young adults. Her work has involved helping adolescents develop a positive self-image, build self-esteem, learn coping mechanisms, navigate healthy social and familial relationships, manage learning disabilities, as well as career planning and transitioning to independence. She has worked with adolescents that struggle with depression, eating disorders, anxiety, self-injurious behavior, and more. Ms. Buckner enjoys working with adolescents as they navigate through the delicate teenage years by assisting them in creating a strong sense of self and identity, define their core values, set long-term goals, and provide a foundation of therapeutic skills they can use for a lifetime.

ERICA PRITZKER, PSY.D.

Dr. Erica Pritzker recognizes adolescence is characterized by various changes and obstacles that may require additional assistance to navigate. Her experience has included addressing the variety of issues teens struggle with. As such, Dr. Pritzker strives to foster an environment that is non-judgmental and empathic and values developing a collaborative therapeutic relationship with each teen that aids in growth and change. Furthermore, she focuses on providing supportive psychotherapy as well as helping adolescents develop coping skills to deal with stressors, skills to improve communication, strategies to establish boundaries, and exploration of their values. Dr. Pritzker finds creative and unique ways for adolescents to process their emotions and effectively express themselves while incorporating empirically-based treatments, such as ACT and CBT. Her broad smile and friendly demeanor make her a favorite among teens, and help them connect with her and engage in the therapy process. Dr. Pritzker has a passion for working with adolescents and began her career focused on helping children and families, working as a school psychologist before also becoming a clinical psychologist. Her extensive experience working with teens spans private practice, the school environment, and hospital programs. Her background includes working with children with a variety of presentations, including behavior difficulties, social skills problems, depression, anxiety, trauma, and the spectrum of childhood issues. In addition, she has worked with special needs (i.e., autism spectrum and emotional-behavioral disturbance), AD/HD and learning disabilities, and at-risk children. In addition to therapy, Dr. Pritzker enjoys using psychological and educational assessment to help adolescents and their families better understand the child’s strengths and how to best serve their learning style.

LAURA O’MALLEY, M.S., NCSP

In her work with adolescents, Ms. Laura O’Malley carefully considers the personal and environmental dynamics influencing development. These include age, life experiences, and emerging personality traits as well as family, educational and cultural factors. In the early stages of treatment, she gives adolescents room to develop rapport with her, for example, by talking about interests or playing games while beginning to discuss what brought the teen to therapy. As treatment progresses, she incorporates more targeted interventions to teach skills such as how to manage fears, cope with stress, build relationships, and develop self-esteem, to name a few. Regarding families, Ms. O’Malley takes a systems approach to treatment, recognizing the unique contributions of each member to a larger dynamic. Although families may initiate therapy to address a specific problem – such a separation or divorce, or an adolescent’s behavior – effective treatment often requires identifying and addressing underlying patterns. Through family therapy, members may gain insight into their role within a family system and practice relating more effectively with one another.

SOPHIA WALDER-HOGE, PSY.D.

Ms. Sophia Walder-Hoge has worked with teens and their families in a variety of settings, including private practice, schools, hospitals/medical facilities, and community mental health settings. She has provided individual therapy with adolescents and families with a variety of challenges, including interpersonal and relational difficulties, parenting, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and trauma. She has extensive experience working with teens and families experiencing major life transitions, behavioral/conduct issues, parenting concerns, AD/HD and developmental disorders, including autism spectrum. She has also conducted group therapy for teens for social skills training. Ms. Walder-Hoge has a special interest in working with teens and families with managing recent or ongoing medical concerns and supporting autonomy and identity exploration. Ms. Walder-Hoge believes that it is crucial to engage with teens in an accessible, fun, and respectful manner. She brings a sense of curiosity and acceptance that helps teens and families feel comfortable and facilitates addressing difficult topics. Ms. Walder-Hoge believes in the importance of a collaborative approach that includes family and parents, but also wishes to respect the need for a separate space for teens to feel safe and understood. She utilizes a variety of approaches, including cognitive-behavior therapy, to support adaptive coping, problem-solving skills, self-regulation, and interpersonal functioning. She is particularly attentive to communication, healthy boundaries, and family functioning, in addition to addressing the multitude of changes that accompany adolescence. 

RAE ANN HAMILTON, LPA

Rae Ann Hamilton enjoys working with tweens and teens (ages 10 and older). Issues she has training and experience in with young people include: anxiety, depression, Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, learning difficulties, social problems, anger management, self- esteem, giftedness, and life transitions such as from high school to college. Mrs. Hamilton incorporates several therapeutic approaches in

LINDSEY OHLER, PSY.D.

Dr. Ohler enjoys working with teenagers and their families. Her work has involved helping adolescents develop a sense of identify and personal mission, manage boundaries with friends and family, understand and cope with emotions, and transition to independence. She has worked with adolescents that struggle with depression, social skills deficits, anxiety, substance abuse, self-injurious behavior and disordered eating.

ERIN PIECHOCINSKI, PSY.D.

Dr. Piechocinski has worked with adolescents presenting with different areas of clinical focus. With adolescents Dr. Piechocinski understands the unique challenges and varying developmental stages of concern, including autonomy, physical and emotional changes, and strained parent-teen relationships. Dr. Piechocinski works with the adolescent to identify the area(s) of focus, as well as considering systems at large, such as parents, educational institutions, and social groups. She creates a space teens can feel heard and understood, while challenging them to make positive change, teaching new skills, and supporting them along the way.

TINA LEPAGE, PSY.D.

From the very beginning of her career, Dr. Lepage has been focusing on children and families; whereas most psychologists have an undergraduate that is, like their doctorate, in psychology, Dr. Lepage has an undergraduate in Child Development & Family Relationships. Her many years of specialization in child development and families make her highly sought out by parents seeking help for their child. Dr. Lepage has

Raleigh Office

ALEXANDRA MAESTRE, PSY.D.

Dr. Alexandra Maestre works with teenagers and families to improve behaviors, emotional functioning, learning, and social-emotional outcomes. Through a systematic, problem-solving approach, she seeks to understand the source of unique difficulties and address the system as well as improve coping skills to improve understanding of behaviors, distress tolerance for the teen and family, acceptance of diagnoses/challenges, and emotional regulation to facilitate more positive outcomes for children and families. Dr. Maestre helps adolescents learn adaptive coping skills which can be used throughout their lives in various circumstances and settings. Teens will find new ways of understanding their own behaviors and those of others, and parents will learn how to support growth so changes can be sustained.

MS. HOPE VENETTA

Ms. Hope Venetta works with all diagnoses in therapy with teens. In her therapy work, she combines her passion for building self-esteem and self-acceptance with the structure of goal setting and steady movement toward goals. Ms. Venetta believes everyone has the ability to create a vision of the change they want in their lives, and take steps to make that vision reality. It is her belief that the most effective change happens when there is a therapeutic alliance of mutual trust and respect between the therapist and clients. Some of her special interests are trauma work, including the mind-body connection, racial identity issues with African Americans, and career counseling. When a specific problem is plaguing a family, Ms. Hope Venetta helps families work on their relationships and communication patterns. Her approach regards the family, as a whole, as a living organism that is more than the sum of its individual members. It is her belief that the most effective change happens when there is a therapeutic alliance of mutual trust and respect between the therapist and all clients. Ms. Venetta seeks to help families analyze the process of family interaction and communication as a whole while offering a safe environment. Not taking sides with specific members is a part of this. In session, Ms. Venetta helps family members become more conscious of patterns or structures that had been previously taken for granted. For individuals seeking to restructure severely dysfunctional families, Ms. Venetta offers individualized therapy in preparation for family therapy.

CHERYL COHEN, LCSW

Cheryl Cohen has worked with adolescents for over 25 years. Cheryl’s undergraduate degree is in family systems, and in graduate school she maintained a family systems perspective. Cheryl has a non -judgmental, non-condemning, relationship-based approach. She believes it is the connection between clinician and client that determines outcomes.

Chapel Hill Office

STEPHEN MESSER, PH.D.

Dr. Messer has extensive training and experience working with adolescents in a multitude of settings, from home and school settings, to academic medical center inpatient units and specialty outpatient clinics. He understands the many potential sources of stressors and difficulties confronting young people and strives to learn more with each additional client and family, as well through his commitment to life-long professional education.

KEVIN METZ, PSY.D.

With extensive experience working with adolescents in a variety of settings, Dr. Kevin Metz is intimately familiar with the challenges facing teenagers and their families today. Dr. Metz understands that the teenage years can be complex and difficult times for teens and their families, and has helped guide many clients through this transitional period. Dr. Metz has a creative, skillful and supportive way of b

Telehealth Online Office

BRIANNA CUTHRELL, LCSWA, CAC

Ms. Cuthrell enjoys working with children, adolescents and their families. Her work has involved working in private practice, K-12 educational settings, community mental health, and in-home services. Ms. Cuthrell provides a safe and positive space for clients to identify and understand their emotions and identify and utilize coping strategies. She has worked with adolescents who struggle with depression, social skills deficits, anxiety, substance abuse, boundary setting, effective communication and self-injurious behavior.

LESA BRIDGES, LCSW, ED.D. (ABD)

With adolescents, Ms. Bridges understands the unique challenges and varying developmental stages of concern, including autonomy, physical and emotional changes, and strained parent-teen relationships. She works with the adolescent to identify the area(s) of focus, as well as considering systems at large, such as parents, educational institutions, and social groups. With children and teens of all ages, Ms. Bridges provides therapy for the broad array of childhood issues, such as depression, general anxiety, social anxiety, school anxiety and refusal, sibling rivalry, parent-child relationship rifts, oppositional behavior, conduct issues, academic struggles, learning differences, attention deficit, autism spectrum, healthy lifestyle (weight management and movement), and supportive therapy for life changes such as moving or divorce.