Counselors

Counselors
Dean Beckloff, PhD, LPC-S
Dr. Beckloff currently maintains an active counseling practice in North Dallas, specializing in treatment for children and families. He is a trained Play Therapist for children, and specializes in family counseling and parenting, working with children with emotional or behavioral issues, as well as children with ADD, Asperger's Disorder, and others. Dr. Beckloff also works extensively with families dealing with divorce issues, both during the divorce and post-divorce with parents and children.

A Licensed Professional Counselor, Dr. Beckloff has worked extensively in individual and group therapy for children. Dr. Beckloff also specializes in filial play therapy treatment – a therapeutic approach to helping children through the use of play, with the parent as the person working with the child.

Dr. Beckloff has extensive experience working with children and their families. He has worked as an elementary teacher in Oklahoma and Texas. He also served as an elementary school counselor in the Richardson School District, consulting with administrators, teachers, and parents, conducting individual and group counseling, crisis counseling and coordinating special programs. In addition he conducted teacher in-services on student behavior and managing discipline appropriately. He has studied at and worked for the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas. Dr. Beckloff is active in the community, speaking to various groups and working with community groups especially concerned with children.

Contact Information:
Phone: 972-250-1700
Jarrod Hood, MA, LPC
Jarrod enjoys helping children, adolescents and their families navigate through the complexities of powerful emotions and challenging life circumstances. Jarrod brings a warm sense of humor with an empathetic awareness to people struggling in tough situations. He wants to meet you where you are in life’s journey, while bringing a fresh, non-judgmental perspective to each counseling session.

A Licensed Professional Counselor, Jarrod specializes in child and adolescent counseling. Jarrod earned a degree in finance from Texas A&M University, and then received a master's degree specializing in counseling and theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He gained experience in his master's program working with people dealing with traumatic hardships. His specialty during his post-graduate internship included play therapy and child/adolescent counseling.

Jarrod completed his certification to become a parenting facilitator in the state of Texas in July 2014. 

Jarrod's special areas of interest include anxiety, ADHD, anger management, grief, depression, divorce care and school problems.

Contact Information:
Phone: 972-250-1700
Emily Walker-Van Pelt, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S
As a Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor and a Licensed Professional Counselor – Supervisor, Dr .Van Pelt has been highly trained to work with children struggling with a variety of presenting concerns. Dr. Van Pelt works with children, pre-adolescents, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Van Pelt believes in working closely with both, parents and children to develop and create a plan that works for the family system. Dr. Van Pelt continually works to create a supportive environment for children so the child gains insight and understanding into their unique world. Building on this insight, Dr. Van Pelt and the child then collaborate further to reduce the child’s existing stressors that may have led to problematic behaviors.

Dr. Van Pelt earned her B.A. from the University of Iowa in Psychology. Dr. Van Pelt then completed her M.Ed. in Counseling, specializing in play therapy from the University of North Texas. Dr. Van Pelt went on to earn her Ph.D. from the University of North Texas in Counseling and Higher Education, specializing in play therapy.

Dr. Van Pelt’s special interest areas and areas of research include pre- and post-divorce care, high conflict divorce situations, multiple birth children, sibling rivalry, AD/HD, anxiety, depression, and children with selective mutism. Dr. Van Pelt has been trained in parent facilitation/coordination, mediation, and as the MPH in collaborative law cases. Additionally, Dr. Van Pelt enjoys speaking throughout the community on a variety of topics related to child behavior and mental health.

Contact Information:
Phone: 972-250-1700 ext. 105
Zac Grisham, MS, LPC-S
Zac received his Bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech University in the Summer of 2004. After that Zac went on to teach at a local charter school in Dallas, TX. There he taught 4th grade Science and led numerous after-school activities and sports. His background in teaching helps him relate to educators as he is eager to work with your child's teachers to aide in your child's development. 

Zac earned his Master's degree in Counseling from Texas A&M University @ Commerce. There he was trained in Play Therapy, Family Therapy, and Sandtray Therapy. During his time pursuing his graduate degree, he received excellent experience counseling client's at the Irving Family Advocacy Center where he worked with many children, adolescents, adults, and families on a variety of issues.   

Zac has a special interest in working with only children, adolescents dealing with depression, and children dealing with anger management issues. 

Contact Information:
Phone: 972-250-1700
Donald E. “Mac” McGuire, PhD, LPC
Since earning a Master of Education in Counseling from University of North Texas (UNT), Dr. McGuire has been working with children, adolescents, and families, as well as adults and couples. While continuing his counseling practice he later returned to UNT, earning his Ph.D. in Counseling in 2000; his dissertation was about Group Play Therapy with Kindergarteners. He and his wife published the book Linking Parents to Play Therapy: a Practical Guide with Applications, Interventions, and Case Studies, which provides helpful insight and information for play therapists, counselors, students, & professionals. Dr. McGuire has also been an Adjunct Professor of Counseling and Play Therapy with UNT & TAMU-Commerce, as well as Counseling Ethics & Legal Issues at Amberton University. Over the years he has volunteered to help, support, chaperone, and coach with children and teens. He has also given numerous speeches, conference presentations, and workshops for parents, families, and therapists.

Contact Information:
Phone: 972-250-1700
Valerie Villarreal, MEd, LPC
Valerie believes in meeting clients where they are at and helping them and their parents reach their goals. Through a positive relationship with her clients she tries to help them gain insight into their desire to belong and have significance, as well as learn coping strategies.

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Valerie specializes in play therapy and works with children and adolescents. She has earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1999. Valerie then earned her Master’s in Counseling from the University of North Texas in 2010. She has taught elementary school for 9 years and has been a school counselor for 4 years.

Valerie works with parents and schools as well to help children. She specializes in ADHD, anger or behavioral issues, emotional disturbance, anxiety, depression, divorce, bullying, and problems at school. 

Contact Information:
Phone: 972-250-1700 ext. 207
Vera Leipold, MEd, LPC
A Licensed Professional Counselor, Vera works with children, adolescents, families, adults, and couples. Vera specializes in play and activity therapy. Vera received extra training to work with clients struggling with self-harming behaviors. Vera received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Child Development at the University of Texas at Dallas and completed her Master's of Education in Counseling at the University of North Texas. Vera was trained in Applied Behavioral Analysis and worked with children with autism. During her graduate internship, Vera gained experience counseling children affected by trauma at the Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center. During her post-graduate internship, Vera utilized couples counseling, individual, play, activity, family, and sibling therapy.

Vera’s special areas of interest include ADHD, anxiety, depression, self-harming, self-esteem, risk-taking behavior, family conflict, autism, social deficits, and behavioral problems. 

Vera believes therapeutic progress is achieved by helping clients journey towards a healthier sense of self utilizing cognitive-behavioral therapy. Vera allows clients to gain insight by creating a warm, emphatic, and supportive environment. When working with children and adolescents, Vera understands that parents are an important component to achieving growth.

Contact Information:
Phone: 972-250-1700
Patty Gobin, MEd, LPC
Patty earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Baylor University and later her Master’s degree from the University of North Texas in Counseling and Student Services in 1993. She has worked both as a teacher and a counselor in public and private school settings in the North Dallas area. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Patty enjoys helping children and families work together through challenges faced at school and home. Through her many years as a professional as well as through her own experiences, she feels many obstacles can eventually be looked upon as a catalyst for growth especially in the areas of resiliency and confidence.

With over three decades of experience, Patty has a true understanding of the needs of children in the school setting. She likes to use practical ways to involve the child in being an active participant in therapy and works closely with the parents to tailor a plan that best fits their family. Patty uses both Play Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral techniques and if requested will include a faith based approach in working with children and families.

Patty’s special areas of interest include anxiety, ADHD, depression, divorce, grief and loss as well as the unique challenges children with special needs face along with their siblings.

Contact Information:
Phone:972-250-1700
Damion P. Davis, MEd, LPC
Damion is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) through the state of Texas and is trained to work with children and adults with differing degrees of emotional and behavioral issues. Damion believes in taking a holistic approach to counseling, which means viewing the person in their entirety. Whatever the presenting problem, it is part of a bigger picture and is connected to other aspects of the client’s life. Damion’s goal is to create a positive therapeutic environment, assist the client with gaining insight, and collaborate on strategies to overcome the presenting problem.

Damion earned his B.A. from the University of Texas at Arlington. Damion then completed his M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of North Texas, with a specialization in adolescent and family therapy. Damion is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education at Texas A&M University-Commerce.  

Damion works with pre-teens, adolescents, adults, couples, and groups. While working with children, Damion believes in keeping the parents involved in the process. Damion’s areas of experience include working with children with AD/HD, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s, anxiety, depression, social skills, behavioral issues, school issues, divorce care, reunification counseling, reintegration counseling (release from psychiatric hospital of correctional facility), and failure to launch. Damion partners with school teachers and administrators to craft a plan that best assist the student’s success.

Contact Information:
Phone: 972-250-1700
Kim Servent, MS, LPC
Kim has an absolute passion and positive outlook for working with children, adolescents and families. As a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Kim specializes in anxiety, anger, trauma, ADHD, Autism and general behavioral management. She is a certified play therapist, uses child focused CBT to reduce anxiety, is EMDR certified and incorporates music and movement therapies, along with relaxation techniques. Kim has over 12 years of experience and earned both her Bachelor and Master degrees from University of Wisconsin. She has worked with high conflict family stressors, such as divorce, custody, teenage substance abuse, and truancy. Kim has worked in the elementary school system as a contracted mental health counselor for 7 years, helping students with anxiety and behavioral adjustment issues. Kim believes it is important to work collaboratively with parents and other support systems to promote good health and happiness at school, home and in the community. In her experience, most clients do want to change and that is truly inspiring.

Contact Information:
Phone:972-250-1700
Email: 

Matthew Fish, MA, LPC-Intern
Supervised by Emily Walker-Van Pelt, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S
Matthew Fish enjoys working with families to develop a healthy home. He received his Bachelor's from North Central University in Minneapolis, MN and his Master's in Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling at the University of Texas A&M - Commerce, where his research focus is on family relationships with children who have a developmental disorder.

Matthew has extensive experience and interest in working with children and adolescents who have ADHD,  ASD, and other developmental differences, having worked for Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics Center in Dallas, TX in patient care for over 6 years. He did his graduate internship at Dallas LIFE in homeless rehabilitation. He has been involved in research on childhood ADHD and counseling effectiveness in the homeless population.

As a Licensed Professional Counselor - Intern, Matthew works with children, adolescents, and adults. His primary areas of interest include family relations, child/adolescent behavioral and social concerns, ADHD, ASD, marriage, anxiety, and depression.

In his free time Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife and doing triathlons.

Contact Information:
Phone:972-250-1700, ext 210
Jill Freeze, MS, LPC-Intern
Supervised by Emily Walker-Van Pelt, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S
Jill works with children, adolescents, and adults. Understanding that each individual has a unique perspective on life, Jill works to create a safe therapeutic relationship based on trust and acceptance to promote growth and change. Jill has a passion for working with children, as well as their families. When working with children, she believes in the importance of working collaboratively with the parents.

Jill received her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies from The University of Alabama in 2013. She went on to earn her Master’s of Science in Counseling from Southern Methodist University. During her graduate level internship, Jill gained experience counseling women and children affected by domestic violence at Genesis Women’s Shelter. Jill has specialty training in play therapy, activity therapy, child-parent relationship therapy and family therapy.

Jill’s areas of interest include play therapy, parent-child relationships, anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, behavioral problems, and trauma.

Contact Information:
Phone:972-250-1700
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