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    The Team

  • Valerie A. Cheney, M.A.
    Valerie A. Cheney, M.A.
    Mental Health Therapist
    Valerie A. Cheney, M.A.
    Valerie A. Cheney, M.A.
    Mental Health Therapist
    Valerie earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology with a minor in speech and communications from the Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, where she also earned her master's degree in counseling. She is currently on track to earn her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Gannon University. With more than 20 years of experience in the field, Valerie focuses on helping others build healthy relationships within the family system, their environment, and the community in which they live. She has worked in a variety of different mental health settings serving all types of populations including individuals, couples, families & groups. Valerie enjoys spending time with family and friends. She enjoys lap swimming, walks on the beach, and beautiful sunsets over the Gulf.
  • Bradley Dorrill, LMHC
    Bradley Dorrill, LMHC
    Infant Mental Health Lead Clinician/Trainer
    Bradley Dorrill, LMHC
    Bradley Dorrill, LMHC
    Infant Mental Health Lead Clinician/Trainer
    Bradley earned his Master of Arts in clinical counseling in 2012, from Columbia International University, with a concentration in child and adolescent therapy. Bradley is a licensed mental health counselor with advanced training in the following areas: Rutgers University Adoption Competency certified trainer; Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT); Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT); a leader for "A Window Between Worlds" - therapeutic art interventions; rostered as a Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) clinician, and a facilitator for the Circle of Security-Parenting Program (COS-P). Bradley has provided mental health treatment for children ages birth through 17 and their families in various settings including; juvenile detention center, therapeutic daycare, state sexual abuse treatment program, program for children with sexual behavior problems and early childhood outpatient mental health program. Bradley strives to be genuine and empathetic in both his work and personal life, and finds that these characteristics enhance his ability to relate to others in all circumstances.
  • Jeanie DeLa, LMHC
    Jeanie DeLa, LMHC
    Supervisor of Healthy Families Mental Health Providers
    Jeanie DeLa, LMHC
    Jeanie DeLa, LMHC
    Supervisor of Healthy Families Mental Health Providers
    Jeanie received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. She earned her master's degree from Texas A&M University in 1984, where she majored in counseling. Jeanie has worked with a variety of populations since completing her degrees including; those suffering substance abuse addiction, eating disorders and traumatic brain injuries. However, she found her calling when she began working with pregnant women and families with newborns and young children. She received the Healthy Start Mission Award in 2013 for her work with pregnant and nursing mothers and received a Teaming Up for Change Award from the Florida Department of Children and Families the following year. Jeanie is also expertly trained in the following areas: childbirth education, lactation counseling, Fussy Baby Network, Love's Cradle relationship enhancement facilitation, Circle of Security parenting, Traumatic Incident Reduction therapy and Group Peer Support (GPS). Jeanie serves as a trainer and facilitator for the Mothers and Babies post-partum depression prevention program. She is a mother of three and juggles school and sports with personal hobbies.
  • Michele Duss. LCSW
    Michele Duss. LCSW
    Social Emotional Consultant for Starfish Academy
    Michele Duss. LCSW
    Michele Duss. LCSW
    Social Emotional Consultant for Starfish Academy
    Michele earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in child and family development from Georgia Southern University in 2005. She went on to complete her master's in social work at the University of South Florida in 2013. She received her license as a clinical social worker in 2020. Michele has been working in the social services field for over fifteen years and has served a variety of populations from VPK students to seniors in hospice care. Michele also has leadership experience developing social worker trainings. At home Michele practices moments of gratitude with her two young daughters, as well as mindfulness and meditation. She also includes yoga and other forms of exercise in her daily routine. These practices help her and her family balance life and maintain a positive outlook.
  • Stephanie Essex, LMHC
    Stephanie Essex, LMHC
    Social Emotional Consultant for Starfish Academy
    Stephanie Essex, LMHC
    Stephanie Essex, LMHC
    Social Emotional Consultant for Starfish Academy
    Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology from the University of South Florida in 2012. She went on to achieve her master's degree in clinical mental health counseling from Argosy University in 2018. Stephanie is currently a certified parent educator for the Circle of Security parenting program and has been working with children for over four years. Previously, she worked for Kids and Families Matter where she provided supervised visitation services to children and families in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Stephanie enjoys being active and exploring nature. She finds that frequent bike rides, hikes, and nature walks improve her state of mind and help her feel more relaxed at work and home.
  • Alexis Hampilos, RCSWI
    Alexis Hampilos, RCSWI
    Mental Health Therapist
    Alexis Hampilos, RCSWI
    Alexis Hampilos, RCSWI
    Mental Health Therapist
    Alexis earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2017. She then obtained her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of South Florida in 2020. Alexis has experience working with young children and their families and has experience in Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) and Circle of Security (COS) intervention. Alexis is passionate about young children and is ambitious about enhancing child-parent relationships. In her free time, Alexis enjoys spending time at the beach and exercising. She also enjoys incorporating meditation and journaling into her everyday life.
  • Emily Kaspar, LMHC
    Emily Kaspar, LMHC
    Mental Health Therapist
    Emily Kaspar, LMHC
    Emily Kaspar, LMHC
    Mental Health Therapist
    Emily earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology and a minor in public health from the University of South Florida. She went on to receive her masters and specialist degree in education with a focus on mental health counseling from the University of Florida in 2017. Emily has experience working with traumatized and abused children and families for the last three years, and specializes in play therapy and mindfulness techniques. Emily has been working with children and families formally and informally for ten years. She practices mindfulness, journaling, art, cooking, exercise and gardening during her free time.
  • Patricia Stoff, MSW
    Patricia Stoff, MSW
    Mental Health
    Patricia Stoff, MSW
    Patricia Stoff, MSW
    Mental Health
    Patricia received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of South Florida and her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Florida Gulf Coast University. She continues to build on her academic qualifications through continued professional development and by pursuing licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Before joining The Florida Center, Patricia’s background included working with local families experiencing homelessness, vulnerable populations, and diverse students and families in the public school system. Patricia is passionate about enriching the lives of children and is committed to supporting families as they overcome life challenges to reach their full potential. In her spare time, Patricia enjoys photography, reading, and spending quality time with friends and family. She finds that engaging in relaxation activities and artistic expression helps improve her personal well-being and professional ability to provide the best possible services to her clients.
  • Stephanie Strahlman, LMHC
    Stephanie Strahlman, LMHC
    Mental Health Therapist
    Stephanie Strahlman, LMHC
    Stephanie Strahlman, LMHC
    Mental Health Therapist
    Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent mental health at New York University. She attended graduate school at Argosy University, receiving a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. Stephanie has extensive training in the area of play therapy and specializes in treating children and families affected by trauma. Stephanie has completed additional trainings in in FirstPlay® Infant Massage Storytelling, Circle of Security Parenting and Child-Parent Psychotherapy. Stephanie has more than three years’ experience working as a Guardian ad Litem for Sarasota County where she advocated for children placed in the foster care system. Stephanie receives ongoing training and supervision in the use of play therapy as a member of the Association for Play Therapy and is devoted to her work with children and families. She enjoys practicing yoga and mindfulness as well as embracing her playfulness in Zumba dance classes. She embraces these activities to nurture her mind, body, and spirit. She loves traveling, the theater and spending time in nature.
  • Deanna Veremchuk, LMHC
    Deanna Veremchuk, LMHC
    Mental Health Therapist
    Deanna Veremchuk, LMHC
    Deanna Veremchuk, LMHC
    Mental Health Therapist
    Deanna earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services from Southeastern University in 2009. She went on to achieve her master's degree in counseling from Webster University in 2013 and earned her Florida license as a mental health counselor in 2018. Deanna continues to pursue additional education with a focus on children and families.