Behavioral Wellness Clinic (BWC) clinicians are independent psychotherapists and mental health professionals practicing at a shared professional facility in Louisville, Kentucky or other locations. Each clinicians specializes in several different areas of counseling and mental health care, maintaining the highest professional standards. Therapists are university faculty, licensed professionals, interns, or doctoral students.
BWCC therapists have a cognitive-behavioral orientation, which means they tend take an active approach to treatment. Therapists use proven techniques to facilite progress and help clients meet individual goals. It is important to us that clients understand how therapy will help them and what to expect.
Anyone struggling with anxiety, phobia, traumatic memories, OCD, or related conditions can benefit from the services of BWC therapists. Additionally, couples seeking relationship counseling may experience positive changes in their intimacy, communication, and other obstacles that may interfere with their marital life.
Dr. Cheri Levinson is a licensed psychologist and clinical supervisor at the Behavioral Wellness Clinic. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Louisville and Director of the Eating Anxiety and Treatment (EAT) laboratory.
Dr. Levinson treats adults and adolescents with eating disorders. She specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and comorbid disorders (specifically anxiety disorders and OCD) using empirically supported cognitive-behavioral techniques. Before moving to Louisville, Dr. Levinson trained at the University of North Carolina Center of Excellence in Eating Disorders (CEED). While at CEED, she trained in cognitive behavioral therapies, dialectical behavior therapy, family based therapy for adolescents with anorexia nervosa, acceptance and commitment therapy, and mindfulness therapies for eating disorders. Dr. Levinson has also conducted clinical trials on the effectiveness of using exposure therapy and perfectionism treatment for eating disorders.
Prior to moving to Louisville, Dr. Levinson was a post-doctoral fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. She completed her clinical internship at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. She received her Master's and Doctoral degrees in the psychology department at Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology and history at the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Levinson's research focuses on (a) understanding the high levels of comorbidity between eating and anxiety disorders and (b) applying empirically supported treatments for anxiety disorders, specifically exposure therapy, to the eating disorders. Dr. Levinson has published more than 35 peer-reviewed manuscripts and chapters and has been the primary investigator on several national grants and awards. Dr. Levinson provides training, supervision, and consultation for therapists in the assessment and treatment of eating disorders. She lives in Louisville, KY with her husband and daughter.
Dr. Street Russell is a licensed clinical Psychologist and Associate Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic. As a health service provider (HSP), he provides supervision to practicum students and clinical trainees. He works with children, families, and adults with OCD and other disorders. He completed his Psy.D. while attending Spalding University in 2016 and completed an internship at the Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center in Topeka, Kansas where he conducted psychological and neuropsychological assessments, and provided psychological treatment to veterans. He has also obtained experience in providing therapeutic services that treated individuals with cancers of the head and neck.
Some of his experience includes training at the Colmery-O'Neil VA Medical Center. During this time he worked extensively with veterans treating PTSD and various anxiety disorders; this included neuropsychological assessments, psychological assessments, and outpatient behavioral health. He developed skills using an acceptance-based approach to treatment for individuals and groups with various mental health disorders. Dr. Russell had also worked to co-facilitate a support group for transgender veterans who were at various stages of their respective transitions.
Dr. Russell is experienced in the treatment of OCD, social anxiety, phobias, trichotillomania, excoriation disorder, and various other conditions across all ages. Dr. Russell had previously lived in Brazil and is fluent in Portuguese. He has a family of six and has been a professional stand-up comedian since 2010.
Doctorate: Spalding University
Clinical Internship: Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Post-doctoral Fellowship: Center for Eating Disorders
Dr. Alexandria “Alex” Pruitt is a licensed clinical psychologist who has committed her training and practice to helping children, adolescents, and families navigate psychological diagnoses compounded by medical complications. She graduated with a doctorate in Pediatric Psychology from Spalding University in 2014 and completed her clinical internship at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her fellowship training focused on the treatment of all eating disorders at The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt where she provided both inpatient and partial hospitalization level of care.
Dr. Alex has experience with the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders, pediatric obesity, diabetes management, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, chronic pain or illness and fatigue syndromes, as well as trauma. Her specialty training allows her to work with children as young as 3 years old. She delivers evidence-based treatments to individuals, groups, and families in a compassionate and solution focused manner. Dr. Alex leads a perfectionism group, a body image group, and an adolescent support group.
Some of her other clinical training experiences include Kosair Children’s Hospital and The Bingham Clinic, Wellstone Regional Hospital, Our Lady of Peace, Louisville VA Medical Center. Since graduation, she is also dedicated to training the next generation of practitioners, as she guest lectures at the University of Louisville psychological training programs, supervises graduate level students, and has taught advanced graduate course at Spalding University in Pediatric Psychology. Alex lives in Louisville with her husband and two sons.
Dr. Sarah Schirmer is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified to treat individuals across the lifespan. She is licensed in Kentucky and Indiana. She completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree at the University of Kentucky in 2015.
Dr. Schirmer began her career as a Professional Clinical Counselor working with children and families after completing a degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville in 2006. She has experience with the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, bipolar illness, schizophrenia and co-occurring substance use disorders. She lives in Louisville with her husband and son.
Dr. Paul J. Rosen, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Louisville, and Director of the RACER (Research in ADHD and Children’s Emotion Regulation) Lab.
Dr. Rosen in a nationally renowned expert in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children, with a specialization in researching and treating emotional difficulties and difficulties managing frustration in children with ADD/ADHD. Dr. Rosen provides treatment using evidenced-based behavioral and cognitive-behavioral approaches that include both direct counseling with children with ADHD and training with parents to help parents and children together develop better understanding and coping skills for children’s frustration and emotional difficulties. Dr. Rosen has developed several innovative techniques for helping children with ADHD manage their emotions and behavior including the Managing Frustration for Children with ADHD group treatment – the first evidence-based treatment designed specifically for emotional difficulties in children with ADHD.Originally born in New York City, Dr. Rosen completed a B.A. from University of Michigan, an M.S. and Ph.D, in Clinical Psychology from University of Kentucky, a predoctoral residency at University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for ADHD at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Rosen directs a large research program focusing on ADHD, emotions, and behavior in children, and has published multiple research articles in internationally respected journals including Journal of Attention Disorders, Aggressive Behavior, Social Development, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Journal of Child and Family Studies, and ADHD: Attention Deficit & hyperactivity Disorders. Dr. Rosen has spoken about ADHD at national organizations such as the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapists and the Society for Research in Child Development, and has given multiple community presentations on managing ADHD and frustration at home and in the classroom to organizations including the Kentucky Psychological Association (KPA), the U.S. Army Exceptional Family Member Program, the Center for ADHD at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the ARC of Kentucky, Seven Counties (now Centerstone) Behavioral Health Services, the Lincoln Foundation's Whitney M. Young Scholars, and several parent and faculty organizations within Jefferson County (KY) Public Schools, Louisville Catholic schools, and other community organizations. Information about Dr. Rosen’s research and handouts regarding ADHD for parents and teachers may be found at Dr. Rosen’s website, ADHDlouisville.com. Dr. Rosen enjoys music, sports, hiking, and woodworking. He lives in Louisville with his wife Megan, son Max, and poorly-behaved but sweet pointer-lab mix, Abe.
Dr. Broderick Sawyer obtained his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Louisville, completing his internship at Stony Brook University Counseling and Psychological Services. At Stony Brook, Dr. Sawyer conducted mindfulness meditation, self-compassion, and emotional processing groups, along with seeing individual psychotherapy clients. Dr. Sawyer has clinical experience working with anxiety, depression, trauma, OCD, eating disorders, race-based stress/trauma, sexual/gender identity development, and relational difficulties. Dr. Sawyer also routinely provides lectures on culturally competent psychotherapy at national psychology conferences and in other settings. In the therapy room, Dr. Sawyer is an “integrative” psychotherapist, using multiple empirically based techniques to 1) help clients overcome longstanding psychological difficulties, 2) understand why and how those difficulties developed, 3) safely experience challenging emotions once trust is established, and 4) develop a positive sense of self. As far as specific theories, Dr. Sawyer integrates Cognitive Behavioral, Mindfulness and Acceptance, Compassion, Relational Psychodynamic, Narrative, Attachment, and Neuroscientific based approaches.
While there may be many moving parts to the way he thinks about psychological health and wellbeing, a large focus is placed on the comfort and safety offered in the therapeutic relationship. Dr. Sawyer is a strong believer that an intervention’s strength is dependent on a strong client-therapist relationship, and he actively works each session to get to know clients not only for their difficulties, but for their strengths, interests, and overall personhood. He believes that if he can see the positive sides of his clients, they can begin to see the positives, too.
Dr. Sawyer has an enthusiastic interest in mindfulness and compassion-based meditation, and has had a personal meditation practice for nearly 2 years. He spends much free time reading empirical literature, as well as original spiritual texts, to continue to enhance his own meditation practice and knowledge; this allows him to effectively and thoroughly teach those interested in meditation, beginners and advanced practitioners alike. Dr. Sawyer’s primary focus when teaching meditation is to help clients become aware of, and ultimately gain some control over, the “thinking” mind. Once the “thinking” mind is seen and understood, through practice, clients can begin to identify how their thoughts might be limiting their behavioral responses to stress.
Beyond clinical work, Dr. Sawyer collaborates with community members in the West End of Louisville to spark community change, utilizing his understandings of race relations and oppressive systems. He is also an avid reader, loves video games, and as a former basketball player, loves spending time watching and playing.
Williams, M. T., Sawyer, B. A., Ellsworth, M., Singh, S., & Tellawi, G. (2017). Obsessive-compulsive disorder in ethnoracial minorities: Attitudes, stigma, & barriers to treatment. In J. Abromowitz, D. McKay, & E. Storch (Eds.), Handbook of Obsessive-Compulsive Related Disorders, Vol. 1. Wiley.
Sawyer, B. A., DeLapp, R. C. T., & Williams, M. T. (2016). Community violence exposure and racial discrimination as barriers to treatment: Implications for African American males in counseling. In W. Ross (ed.), The African American Male Series: Counseling in African American Males: Effective Therapeutic Interventions and Approaches. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Sawyer, B. A., Williams, M. T., DeLapp, R. C. T., Davis, D. M. (2016). Posttraumatic stress disorder, Chapter 14. In A. Breland-Noble, C. S. Al-Mateen, & N. N. Singh (Eds.), Handbook of Mental Health in African American Youth (pp. 237-247). Springer
Sawyer, B. A., Williams, M. T., Chasson, G., Davis, D. M., & Chapman, L. K. (2015). The impact of childhood family functioning on anxious, depressive, and obsessive–compulsive symptoms in adulthood among African Americans. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 4, 8-13.
Williams, M. T., Malcoun, E., Sawyer, B. A., Davis, D. M., Bahojb-Nouri, L., Leavell, S. (2014). Cultural adaptations of prolonged exposure therapy for treatment and prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder in African Americans. Behavioral Sciences, 4, 102–124.
Sara W. Sutphin, MEd, is a licensed psychological practitioner and therapist. In 1994, she earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Mary Baldwin College located in Staunton, Virginia. She received her Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2006. Since that time she has worked as a clinician in sex offender treatment at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange, Kentucky. Most recently, she has worked with adults with traumatic brain injuries.
Sara specializes in treating adults of all ages with issues that include mood disorders, psychosis, anxiety, history of sexual or other trauma, PTSD, OCD, personality disorders, anger management issues, relationship issues, bereavement, and self-sabotaging behaviors. She uses a cognitive-behavioral approach to therapy. She also conducts assessments for college students, sex offenders, and individuals with traumatic brain injuries.
Sara lives in Louisville with her husband and two boys.
Dr. Mark Schirmer obtained his master’s and doctoral degrees from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Schirmer completed his internship at the Lexington VA Medical Center, conducting individual and group therapy for Veterans with PTSD, substance use disorders, and metabolic syndrome. His experience included formal training in Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD and serving on the LGBTQQI Care Coordination Team. Dr. Schirmer has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families, treating clients with substance use disorders, PTSD, conduct disorders, personality disorders, OCD, depression, and anxiety disorders. Dr. Schirmer has also co-led gender-affirming group therapy for transgender adults.
Dr. Schirmer has extensive experience treating substance use disorders and is a certified facilitator for SMART Recovery, an evidence-based addiction recovery program grounded in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. His work in treating addictions includes rotations at the Lighthouse Adolescent Recovery Center and the Robley Rex VA Medical Center’s Substance Abuse Treatment Center. At the Behavioral Wellness Clinic, he is supervised by Dr. Street Russell.
Beyond his clinical work, Dr. Schirmer has served as Project Lead to establish a Kentucky-based affiliate of SAGE, a national non-profit organization working to improve the quality of life for older sexual and gender minority adults. He will remain on the leadership committee following the chapter's launch.
Schirmer, M. (2017, August). Rainbow in the Bluegrass: A Survey of the Well-Being of the Adult LGBTQ Population in Kentucky. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washignton DC.
Amanda Velez, MSSW, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Associate (MFTA) working with individuals, couples, children, and family. She has been trained to incorporate the influence of broader environmental systems within her evidence-based and individualized therapeutic practice, utilizing systemic perspectives for the treatment of OCD and related Anxiety Disorders, Depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Within her specialized graduate program, Amanda was trained in a variety of therapeutic models, with personal emphasis in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, and the STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation) model for PTSD. Additionally, Amanda volunteered as a Research Assistant, working with doctoral level students to review and recommend evidence-based mental health and psychosocial interventions for women involved in the criminal justice system. Amanda, along with the research team, presented their findings at the 2016 Annual Conference of the American Society of Criminology.
Amanda graduated from Transylvania University in 2010, obtaining a B.A. in Psychology. Upon returning to the mental health field in 2015 as a first year graduate student, Amanda served children and families experiencing behavioral challenges within the school environment, as well as facilitating group and individual therapy for children experiencing PTSD in the wake of violent crime. As an advanced student, Amanda worked as an on-site therapist in a medical setting, specializing in the treatment of cooccurring PTSD and Dissociative Seizures (Psychogenic and Non-Epileptic Seizures), Mood Disorders, and Anxiety Disorders in survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault; as a result, she has become dedicated to expanding her practical knowledge of empirically supported and trauma-informed therapeutic practices. Amanda Graduated from the University of Louisville with a Master’s of Science in Social Work and a Master’s Equivalency in Couple and Family Therapy.
Currently, Amanda utilizes Exposure Response and Ritual Prevention Therapy for the treatment of OCD and related Anxiety Disorders; Amanda’s practice within the Clinic includes children as young as 10 years old, as well as adults, couples and families living with OCD and Anxiety. When working with children and family systems, Amanda often utilizes Structural Family Therapy techniques to affect change in both children and the environmental factors which contribute to mental health concerns.
Michelle Eckhart, RD, LD, graduated Magna cum Laude with a degree in Dietetics from the University of Kentucky and did a dietetic internship at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Michelle has been a Registered Dietitian for over 20 years in the Louisville, Kentucky area, and worked with patients in many settings with a variety of diseases and health issues. Michelle was the Chief Clinical Dietitian at Jewish Hospital, Manager of the Jewish Diabetes Care Program, and the Manager of Employee Wellness for KentuckyOne Health.
Throughout her career, Michelle has been in private practice, working with individuals of all ages with Eating Disorders. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia can be devastating, life altering diseases, which affect the body, the mind, the spirit, the family and interrupt every aspect of that person’s life. Every person struggling with healthy eating is different and needs an individualized approach to help guide them back to nourishing their bodies properly. The end goal with these clients is to help normalize their relationship with food so they can go on to live healthy, happy lives.
Kristina Waters, MSSW, has been trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Kristina graduated from University of Louisville in 2018 with her Master of Science in Social Work and is pursuing a specialization in Couples and Family Therapy.
Throughout her graduate studies, Kristina served vulnerable populations including juvenile sexual offenders, families involved with Child Protective Services, and those experiencing depression, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, borderline personality disorder, relationship problems, and parent-child relationship issues in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Hillary Henize, MA. is a practicum student therapist at the Behavioral Wellness Clinic supervised by Dr. Street Russell. Hillary is currently a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Spalding University clinical psychology program. She obtained a B.S. in psychology from Centre College in Danville, KY.
Hillary has experience treating individuals with psychological trauma, depression, anxiety disorders, and severe mental illness. She has specialized clinical interest in mental health stigmatization, the assessment and treatment of ADHD, psychological interventions for chronic medical illness, and Gottman Method couples therapy. Aside from her clinical work, Hillary is an aspiring artist and certified Bikram-style yoga instructor.
Nardin Michaels, MA, is a practicum student therapist at the Behavioral Wellness Clinic, supervised by Dr. Street Russell. Previously, she earned an M.A. degree from the University of Denver and completed studies primarily in forensic settings. She is currently in her third year at Spalding University, working toward her doctorate in clinical psychology.
Jasmine Fairfax, BA is the office manager for the Behavioral Wellness Clinic. She ensures that operations are running smoothly and oversees the work of the other office staff. This includes phone intakes, payment processing, and scheduling.
Jasmine graduated from the University of Louisville with top honors, majoring in Nutrition Science and minoring in Chemistry and Math. She plans on pursuing graduate studies in Nutrition or Culinary Arts. When not working or studying, she enjoys baking, singing, and spending time with her family.
Terwilliger, J. M., Bach, N., Bryan, C., & Williams, M. T. (2013). Multicultural versus Colorblind Ideology: Implications for Mental Health and Counseling. In Psychology of Counseling, A., Di Fabio, ed., Nova Science Publishers. ISBN-13: 978-1-62618-410-7.
Davis, D., Steever, A., Terwilliger, J. M., & Williams, M. T. (2012). The Relationship between the Culture-Bound Syndrome Koro and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. In Psychology of Culture, G. R. Hayes & M. H. Bryant, eds., Nova Science Publishers. ISBN-13: 978-1-62257-274-8.
Jessica Dowell, BA, is part of the administrative team for the Behavioral Wellness Clinic. She helps to maintain daily functioning at the clinic as well as scheduling. She is also a research assistant who has assisted in several research projects, including validation of measures studies. Jessica recently graduated from the University of Louisville, with a bachelors degree in Psychology and a bachelors degree in Political Science. She is pursuing graduate studies in Counseling Psychology at the University of Louisville.
Dowell, J., Tellawi, G., Ellsworth, M., Ching, T., Slimowicz, J., Davis, D., & Williams, M. (2016, October). Anxiety, self-compassion, identity, and social support in sexual minority individuals. Poster presented at the Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies, New York, NY.
Ellsworth, M., Tellawi, G., Dowell, J., Salmon, P., & Williams, M. (2015, March). The Role of Self-Compassion in Mental Health Outcomes of Sexual Minorities. Poster presented at Kentucky Psychological Association Spring Academic Conference, Midway College, Midway, KY.
Behavioral Wellness Clinic
912 Lily Creek Road
Louisville, KY 40243
Office: (502) 338-0608
OCD Clinic: (502) 403-7818
Fax: (502) 245-1888
Clinical Director: Cheri Levinson, PhD
Office Manager: Jasmine Fairfax