Empower Counseling, PC

Counseling for Women and Adolescent Girls

Tara Cothren, LPC 

     Tara is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Virginia with over nine years of experience working in various therapeutic settings. She completed her Masters of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lynchburg College in 2012 and received a Bachelor's of Science degree from Liberty University in 2007. 

     Throughout the years, Tara has sought out specialized training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) to address traumatic life events of children through young adults,  and specialized basic training in Eye Movement Desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to address a variety of presenting problems. These include processing traumatic life events, addressing problematic core beliefs which negatively impact daily life functioning, and instilling positive adaptive beliefs and methods of coping. 

     Tara has also received specialized training in Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (ACRA) as well as skills training in the ASAM model (American Society of Addiction Medicine) to treat substance abuse issues with her clients. Other clinical interests include exploration of the connection between physical and mental health, and exploring the benefits of physical activity in decreasing anxiety and depression. She takes an individualized, person centered approach in working with children, adolescents, and adults in individual or group therapy settings.

Dr. Debbie Kleinsmith, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

      I received my undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, then attended Florida Institute of Technology for my masters and doctorate degrees in the field of clinical psychology. I later moved to Richmond, where I completed a one year internship in child and family therapy at the Virginia Treatment Center for Children. Afterwards, I worked in community mental health and at a residential treatment hospital for children dually diagnosed with medical and emotional difficulties.

      Forest became home to me in 1997, when I began working for Centra Health at Bridges Residential Treatment Center and part time at the student counseling center at Sweet Briar College. After having my second child, I chose to stay home and focus on raising my own children. Several years later, I began volunteering with Girls on the Run of Central Virginia, a non-profit organization, and fell in love with its positive approach to empowering school aged girls. For the next 7 years, I was employed at the Director of Development there and helped grow the program in Central Virginia. I truly enjoyed seeing the positive benefits for the girls, as well as the volunteer coaches, who often seemed as impacted by the program as the participants themselves.

      I am excited to work again in the clinical field. Drawing on my training, experience in inpatient, outpatient and residential settings, as well as my own life experience, I look forward to working individually with clients using cognitive behavioral approaches, positive psychology and mindfulness techniques to overcome depression, anxiety, grief, self-esteem issues and the many challenges that are an inevitable part of life.

“We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.” 
― Steve MaraboliUnapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Debra Crowder, LPC 

      I attended and graduated from the University of Virginia when the student body was still predominantly male. Afterwards, I worked in business before spending time as a stay at home mom with my 3 now grown daughters. 

      Following raising my daughters, I obtained my M. Ed. in Counseling from Lynchburg College and  I have worked in community mental health for more than 10 years as a therapist and also clinical supervisor. I enjoy vegetable gardening in my spare time. 

      Currently my hours with Empower Counseling are Monday evenings and Saturday mornings. My specialties include clients struggling with: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Panic, Phobias, Trauma, Sexual and Physical Abuse, Autism/Asperger's, Grief. Loss and Separation. 

Sandra Noble MA, Resident in Counseling 
      Sandra has a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and has completed postgraduate work in Counselor Education, and is now working toward counseling licensure in Virginia.  She is passionate about helping others find hope, healing, and strength through the process of counseling.  She has several years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings, both individually and in groups.  Her experience includes working with depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, relationship issues, and identity development.  Sandra approaches counseling from a client-centered therapy framework while integrating practical and evidence-based concepts from cognitive behavioral, existential, and attachment-focused therapies.  She has completed levels 1 & 2 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, and has received training in neurofeedback and in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction practices. Sandra also provides Christian faith integrated counseling when requested.  She will come alongside you to identify needs and work toward healing and freedom in a safe and empowering setting.

                                                                                          As a Resident in Counseling, Sandra sees clients at a reduced rate. Please call the office for more information. (434) 219-5621