24/7 Crisis Hotline: 757.251.0144

Counseling

Every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

Our program meets the needs of victims of sexual assault and domestic violence by providing comprehensive mental health counseling and support services for individuals, couples, families, and children. Recognizing a need for expanded services and increased access in underserved communities, the program maintains satellite offices in the cities of Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Our Counseling Center in Norfolk continues to provide support services, hospital accompaniment, short and long-term counseling, support groups and legal advocacy primarily for victims of rape and personal violence. The program is an active participant in coordination of Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART’s) in each of the following localities: Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach, as well as a military SART.

To meet a counselor, please call us at 757-625-4248.

Meet our counselors:

Nicole Nordan M.S.Ed, LPC, CTTS
Program Director of Counseling
Nicole is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Virginia, a Certified Trauma Treatment Specialist and a graduate of Old Dominion University with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Nicole has been working with adolescents and adults since 2009, gaining experience from working in middle schools, colleges and homeless/domestic violence programs. Nicole specializes in treating trauma, specifically with victims of sexual assault/domestic violence and early childhood traumas. Nicole takes an eclectic approach in therapy, utilizing various therapies to help clients through the healing processes including; Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, EMDR level 1 & 2, interpersonal practice and core strength development. She also works with males, females, couples and families with issues related to self-esteem, depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, grief and loss, emotional regulation, interpersonal relationships, domestic/sexual violence and gender and sexual identity.  Nicole believes a positive therapeutic relationship between a therapist and client is essential to the growth process. She creates a collaborative, warm and comfortable environment in which clients can feel free to explore. Through her strength-based, holistic approach, she strives to help individuals achieve the goals they have in mind for themselves.

Mary Williams, M.S.Ed., LPC, NCC, CSAC
Counselor II
Mary is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor in the state of Virginia. Her Master’s degree was conferred in 2013, at Old Dominion University, in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She received Traumatology Certification through Green Cross at Regent University and is trained in EMDR, Level I. In addition, she holds certification in Death and Grief Studies. Mary worked as a clinician for several years in local community service boards, and an outpatient treatment clinic, gaining additional experience with crisis intervention, child trauma, sexual and domestic violence, anxiety and depressive issues, emotional dysregulation, serious mental issues, and substance use disorders. She believes the counseling relationship is the primary tool for client change and focuses on creating a positive, empowering and safe environment for her professional work. She utilizes an eclectic orientation, based on her client’s needs, which may include: Person Centered, Existential, Narrative, Rational, Feminist, Dialectic Behavioral, Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, Motivational Interviewing, and Trauma Informed Counseling. Mary envisions life as a journey, and experience has taught her that individuals sometimes lose their way, and may need assistance in order to get to their next destination.

Melanie Mosbarger, M.A.
Counselor I
Melanie received her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a certificate of Graduate Studies in Trauma Counseling from Regent University. Melanie is a Certified Field Traumatologist trained in issues related to grief and loss, incidents related to natural disaster, EMDR I, victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She is also a bilingual counselor that speaks Spanish. Melanie works with children and adults with issues related to self-esteem, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and LGBTQ issues. Melanie also has experience in psychological testing with mental health and personality disorders such as ADHD, Spectrum Disorder, Bipolar, Anxiety, Depression, Borderline, as well as intelligence testing. Melanie became a therapist to provide hope and healing for people in the midst of their journey. She uses various strategies from trauma focused techniques to art therapy, mindfulness, and CBT to facilitate growth and positive reinforcements. Melanie enjoys spending time with her husband, hot yoga, and dancing.

Kathleen Engebretson, M.S., CAADC, CSAC
Counselor I
Kathleen graduated from Chaminade University of Honolulu with a Master’s in counseling psychology in 2015 with an emphasis in mental health counseling. She is currently a counselor in residence, a Certified Advanced Drug and Alcohol Counselor, and a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. Kathleen utilizes therapeutic play interventions, art directives, and talk therapy to assist children and adolescents in processing trauma, learning effective coping skills, improving self-esteem, and managing difficult emotions. Kathleen also encourages her clients to shift their thoughts and feelings in order to better cope with personal challenges. Kathleen has experience working with clients who struggle with emotional issues, domestic/sexual violence, substance abuse issues, homelessness, trauma, and difficult life transitions. Kathleen’s therapeutic style is eclectic and based in a cognitive-behavioral and emotion-focused orientation. Kathleen makes every effort to establish a collaborative relationship with her clients and focuses on establishing a non-judging, safe environment for the client to work towards achieving the life they have always envisioned for themselves.

Kelsie Weidenhammer, MSW
Children’s Counselor
Kelsie received her Master of Social Work from the University of West Florida, with a specialization in play therapy. Kelsie is currently a supervisee in Social work. She uses play therapy and talk therapy to help children and adolescents resolve issues, manage difficult emotions and behaviors, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve self-esteem. Kelsie has experience with various mental health diagnoses, domestic/sexual violence, homelessness, and other traumas. Kelsie has been working with children ages 3-18 since 2011 gaining experience from working within elementary schools, child development centers, and psychiatric hospitals. Kelsie became a therapist to help children build resilience and teach appropriate skills to be successful in all aspects of life. For more information on play therapy please visit, http://www.a4pt.org/

Octasia Gainer, M.A., NCC, CCMHC
Counselor l
Octasia received her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from South University in Virginia Beach, Virginia and she is a United States Navy Veteran. Octasia is a Nationally Certified Counselor, Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Certified Mental Health First Aid Responder with experience working with school age children, adolescent, traditional and nontraditional college students, military families, and adults. Her experience includes but are not limited to helping clients learn coping skills, psycho-education and interpersonal groups, processing trauma, and crisis intervention. She is proficient in the use of play therapy, person centered, narrative therapy, behavior modification, grounding exercises and mindfulness. Octasia became a counselor to assist people with coping skills, strength, and resilience within marginalized populations where many expect unfavorable results. 

Moriah Holland, M.S.Ed.
Counselor l
Moriah graduated from the Clinical Mental Health Master’s program at Old Dominion University in December of 2017. Moriah began at the YWCA as a shelter volunteer in October 2016 was then hired on to work in the shelter, providing crisis intervention, community referrals, and case management to adults who had been sexually abused and, or was fleeing from Domestic Violence relationships. While working for the YWCA, Moriah was then selected as the Clinical Intern within the YWCA Counseling Department. She spent her one year internship working with clients who were healing from various types of trauma to include sexual assault, domestic violence, childhood sexual abuse and other forms of complex trauma. She worked to assist them with gaining the skills necessary to cope and heal. She is currently a counselor in residence. Before coming to the YWCA, Moriah attained 3 years of experience assisting adolescents and young adults with career exploration, employment search, and financial literacy, while also building partnerships with employers, military recruiters, and academic advisers. Moriah chose the field of counseling to advocate for and educate others about the importance of mental health, to encourage self-reflection and self-awareness in individuals for healthier relationships and self-esteem, to assist people in exploring all of their options and empower them to make positive choices based upon what's in their control. Moriah's therapeutic approaches in counseling includes person-centered, strengths-based, CBT, and DBT.


To learn more about our graduate counseling internships, please click
here