WE'RE LISTENING

Aspire Wellness Center has a multidisciplinary approach to treatment and our staff is comprised of an eclectic group of skill-centered professionals. While each person brings something unique to Aspire, it is our work as a team that helps us best help you.

FOUNDERS

 

Laurel Balanda Laurel Balanda

LCSW-C

Co-founder of Aspire Wellness Center, I received a Bachelor of Science degree in the field of psychology, and a Master of Social Work degree at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. I have over 10 years of experience in the field, including discharge planning in a hospital setting, director of a psychiatric rehabilitation facility, and psychotherapy. I have also received my certifications as a board-certified Professional Christian Counselor and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C). In my free time, I enjoy gardening, traveling, and horseback riding.

 

Jennifer Walker Gerhart

LCPC

Co-founder of Aspire Wellness Center, I have been providing psychotherapy services to children, adolescents, and adults for more than 10 years with proven success. I attended Johns Hopkins University where I earned a Master of Science degree in counseling as well as completed an advanced program of study in clinical psychology with an emphasis on anxiety disorders. I am a board-certified Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and am also an active member of the American Counseling Association. In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors, listening to music, taking pictures, and being with my family.

 

 

 

 

DOCTORS AND NURSES

 

 

Dr. Anson Liu

Medical Director, Psychiatrist

Prior to starting medical school, I completed my bachelor's degrees in biology as well as in economics and finance. I attended medical school at the University at Buffalo and completed my residency in psychiatry and my fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Maryland through Sheppard Pratt. I work with patients of all ages and treat depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD, and ADHD with a combination of medications and psychotherapy. In my free time, I enjoy lifting weights, playing sports, traveling, and spending time with my family.

 

Ronald Distler

PMHNP-BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

I have a bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's graduate degree from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and I am certified by both the Maryland Board of Nursing and the American Nurses Credentialing Center as an Adult Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I am a member of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland and I am licensed by the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration and by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene division of drug control. I have extensive experience working with adults in community outpatient settings.  In my free time, I enjoy traveling to new places with my wife.

 

Whitney Fox

CRNP, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

I graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with my bachelor's degree in psychology and criminal justice. I then went on to earn my master's degree through the Clinical Nurse Leader program at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. I practiced as a registered nurse in the psychiatric emergency services unit at the University of Maryland Medical Center for over six years and returned to the University of Maryland to obtain my post-master's certificate in advanced practice nursing. I am a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland, and Sigma Theta Tau Honors Society of Nursing. In my free time, I enjoy seeing my family, taking walks, playing sports, catching up on my favorite shows, and listening to music.

 

 

 

 

 

THERAPISTS

 

Amanda Honan

LCPC, Executive Director

I relocated to Maryland from Buffalo, New York in 2008 and subsequently completed my master's degree in psychology at the University of Baltimore. I have over 10 years of experience in the human services field, 7 years of which are as a substance abuse and mental health counselor. I am in charge of managing the daily operations of Aspire’s outpatient clinic. In addition, I provide individual therapy as well as lead the women’s “survivor of trauma” group. Some hobbies of mine include making jewelry, refinishing (and more recently building) furniture, antiquing, and gardening. I love a good joke, cheesy or not, so feel free to drop in and tell me a few!

 

Ari Jacobson

LCPC, Clinical Director

I began working as a mental health worker for preschool children with behavioral and developmental delays while attending college and I found that I really enjoyed that type of work. As a result, I pursued a master's degree in applied psychology with a concentration in counseling from the University of Baltimore. I have been working in the substance abuse field for over three years, and I have specialized in working with adult abusers of domestic violence, as well as abusers in same sex relationships. I also have extensive experience as an "in house" drug and alcohol counselor for two Baltimore city public schools. In my free time, I go to as many concerts/comedy shows as I can, I never miss a Ravens or Orioles game, and I play lacrosse and basketball.

 

Louis Blasetti

LCPC, Compliance Officer

I graduated from the University of Baltimore with a master's degree in counseling psychology. My graduate experience included working in group-based substance abuse and career counseling.  This work helped me develop an empathetic and direct approach to therapy. I began my career at Aspire Wellness Center in 2012 and have gained a great deal of experience working with depression and anxiety.  My therapeutic approach has proven successful, especially in working with clients experiencing trauma, impulse control issues, and personality disorders. My goal is to give the client an understanding and empathetic experience, while being straightforward and genuine. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, gardening, and listening to music.

 

Elizabeth McIntosh

LCPC, Program Director

I earned both my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Towson University with a concentration in counseling psychology. I have experience in family counseling and leading social skills groups for neuro-atypical children, as well as those on the autism spectrum. I absolutely love working with kids and found that I have a passion for special needs children and their families. In my free time, I love to cook, do yoga, and spend quality time with my husband, family, and friends.

 

Christa Morton

LCPC, Assistant Program Director

My clinical experience centers around working with adolescents dealing with a variety of mental illnesses including: anxiety, trauma, depression, and self-harming behaviors. In graduate school, I completed a yearlong internship where I conducted individual, group, and family therapy in a Partial Rehabilitation Program in Harford County. I also have experience working with adults in a hospital setting and I completed research on ADHD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). I specifically enjoy incorporating art therapy, mindfulness, and exercise into therapy. I am an onsite and offsite therapist at Aspire. In my free time, I enjoy running, hiking, and hanging out with my friends and family.

 

Julie Harris

LGSW, Therapist

I was born in Baltimore and am an onsite therapist at Aspire. After studying sociology at Haverford College, I was inspired to combine my passion for social justice with my interest in mental health. I began working as a peer counselor at the Berkeley Free Clinic. Later, I earned my master’s degree in social work at the University of California Berkeley School of Social Work, where I specialized in geriatric practice. I really enjoy being in nature, cooking, practicing yoga, and meditation.

 

Janel West

LGSW, Therapist

I am a Baltimore City native who is an onsite and offsite therapist at Aspire. I have degrees from the University of Connecticut and Bowie State University. I am experienced in program management, small grant writing, counseling with children and families, and conducting social skills and HIV positive support groups for children. I am a passionate professional with a desire to serve the DMV area. In my free time, I love traveling the world, indulging in good food, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Nichole Parrish

LGSW, Therapist

I am an offsite and onsite therapist at Aspire. I enjoy working with children, young adults, and families. While studying psychology in college, I was fascinated by the principles and theories about behavior. I found childhood development to be particularly interesting. Therefore, I decided to pursue clinical social work with a specialization in child and family health at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. In my free time, I enjoy writing, gardening, Pinterest DIYs, and outdoor activities.

 

Natalie Beglau-Pueyo

LCPC, Therapist

I am a California native where I first began my journey into becoming a therapist with a bachelor’s degree in theatre and double minors in psychology and musical theatre at the University of Southern California, followed by a master's degree in depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. When I moved to Baltimore, I attained additional training at John's Hopkins University, earning a post master's certificate in mental health counseling. I have experience working with trauma survivors, disordered eating, substance abuse, and mood disorders. I love to use art, drama, mindfulness and depth psychology influenced approaches to my work with clients. In my free time, I enjoy playing guitar, singing, traveling and I love to get outside, especially to coach and row, hike, run, garden and spend time with my family and friends.

 

Andrea Baden

LCPC, Therapist

I am an onsite and offsite therapist at Aspire. I received my undergraduate degrees in psychology and philosophy from the University of West Florida and a master’s degree in applied psychology from the University of Baltimore. I have experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in school, office, and home-based settings. I have experience running life skills and social skills groups in a school-based environment. In my free time, I enjoy seeing my friends and family, playing video and board games, and going for walks in the park.

 

Geeta Chattopadhyay

LGPC, Therapist

I grew up in Maryland and attended the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) for my undergraduate studies. During my years at UMCP, I worked on several research projects examining attachment theory in the child development lab. I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2006 and then served as a referral and intake specialist at a counseling center. I attended Towson University and received my master’s degree in counseling in 2009. At Towson, I had the opportunity to counsel students with academic and personal issues. I enjoy providing individual therapy as well as leading support groups. I also have experience with organizing seminars and self-empowerment workshops for women. In my free time, I like to practice yoga, listen to music, travel, and spend time with my family and friends.

 

Amberleigh Yoegel

LGPC, Therapist

I earned my undergraduate degree in psychology and criminology from the University of Maryland, College Park. After graduating, I started working at Sheppard Pratt Hospital as a mental health worker on the inpatient psychotic disorders unit. While working with this population, I realized that I wanted to be a therapist. I decided to go back to school and earned my masters degree in applied psychology with a concentration in counseling from the University of Baltimore. During my internship, I worked with a variety of clients, including those with anxiety disorders and psychotic disorders. In my free time, I enjoy cooking and eating (I am a total "foodie"), singing, and spending time with my family and friends.

 

Anna Pemberton

LGPC, Therapist

I am a mid-westerner, who moved to Baltimore to pursue a graduate degree in counseling psychology at Towson University. I completed my clinical internship at a domestic violence agency counseling both victims and perpetrators of intimate partner violence and abuse. I have worked in a school setting with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and emotional disabilities. Most recently, I have gained experience providing psychotherapy to adults who have substance use issues, addiction and co-occurring disorders. My areas of specialty are overcoming challenges related to trauma and abuse, substance abuse and treating symptoms of anxiety, depression and PTSD. As a therapist, I operate from an eclectic framework to meet specific, personalized client needs and, generally, I incorporate elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness. I am an avid reader, runner, and amateur gardener. I enjoy meeting new people and traveling.

 

Melissa Burns

LGPC, Therapist

My experience as a middle and high school teacher led me toward a career as a therapist. I often felt the most rewarding part of teaching was helping students as they realized their true potentials. I earned my master’s degree in counseling in 2006 and I have been at Aspire Wellness Center since 2015. I am experienced working with adolescents and adults, and I use a variety of methods to help treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD and bipolar disorder. I work to help my clients feel empowered to make the changes in their lives that they desire. In my free time, I enjoy running, reading, and being with my family.

 

Taylor Hopkins

LGSW, Therapist

As a Baltimore native, I received my undergraduate and master’s degrees in social work from Salisbury University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. While studying social work and psychology in college, I became passionate about helping children, families and young adults. I also became interested in mindfulness and different behavioral theories and integrating them into treatment with a creative approach. In my free time, I enjoy exercising, distance running, Pinterest, spending time with friends and family, and reading a good book.

 

 

 

ADMINISTRATION

 

 

Candice Owens

BS, Administrative Office Manager

I have been in the field of substance abuse and mental health since 2008. I began my endeavors with a small company who focused on dual diagnosis clients. I quickly learned this was my calling and where I am most comfortable. While employed as an office manager, I also worked on my bachelor's degree in health systems management and graduated in May 2017. As I continue to grow in my career, I will begin a graduate program at UMUC in September 2017. In my free time, I enjoy writing poetry, painting, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Amanda Zulauf

Executive Assistant

I am the executive assistant at Aspire Wellness Center. My goal is to ensure that everyone that walks into Aspire feels welcome and comfortable. I have ten years of experience in the medical field and I am passionate about helping others in need. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, traveling, and catching up on new shows.

 

Stevie Green

Financial Manager

I have worked as an administrative assistant for several years and enjoy working with the public. I have always wanted to work in the healthcare field and working at a place where we help people better their lives is the perfect job for me. I couldn't be happier to be a part of Aspire’s staff, which is full of amazing people. In my free time, I enjoy watching my son play sports, hanging out with my family and friends, couponing, and going on vacations.

 

Lori Brown

Medical Coordinator

I am a certified medical assistant at Aspire Wellness Center. I have been in the medical field for several years now and have found that I am passionate about helping others. It is my goal that every client at Aspire is satisfied! In my free time, I enjoy cooking, sports, and spending time with family and friends.

 

Ashley Kaminski

Administrative Assistant

I have worked as an administrative assistant for several years with 15 years of customer service experience. I enjoy working with our clients and making sure they feel welcome and are treated as a priority. In my free time, I am usually spending time with my family, traveling, or reading a good book.

 

 

Kate Przybylski

Billing Specialist

I joined Aspire over five years ago.  I handle billing and claims submission to the various insurance companies as well as track them to resolve any issues.  I also help with client authorizations, eligibility status, and provider credentialing. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family, gardening and walking my four dogs.

 

Megan Preston

Administrative Assistant

I am originally from Idaho and I have been in Maryland for 14 years now. After volunteering at a homeless shelter, I knew working in a mental health setting would be a great fit for me. I like talking to people and helping to make a difference. In my free time, I enjoy having fun with my husband and two children.

 

Alyssa McCleaf

Administrative Assistant

I am excited to attend CCBC in the fall to obtain my associates degree. I have been working in customer service for several years and I enjoy interacting with the public. When I'm not at Aspire, I enjoy spending time with my loved ones and reading.

 

 

Jakeya Howard

Administrative Assistant

I am new to the medical field and I am very excited to be part of the Aspire team. I am a people person and I put my best effort forward with clients. I am currently a graduate from the medical assistant program at Bright Wood College. My goal is to obtain my CRNA certification in the upcoming year. I love to sing, paint, and recreate makeup looks from YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5022 Campbell Boulevard, Suite L

Nottingham, MD 21236
P: 443.442.1568 • F: 443.442.1569
www.aspire-wellness.com

info@aspire-wellness.com

Laurel Balanda

Laurel Balanda

Laurel Balanda

Laurel Balanda Laurel Balanda

Jennifer Walker Gerhart

Dr. Anson Liu

Whitney Fox

Amanda Honan

Louis Blasetti

Christa Morton

Janel West

Nichole Parrish

Natalie Beglau-Pueyo

Andrea Baden

Amberleigh Yoegel

Anna Pemberton

Candice Owens

Amanda Zulauf

Stevie Green

Lori Brown

Ashley Kaminski

Alyssa McCleaf

Jakeya Howard

WE'RE LISTENING

Aspire Wellness Center has a multidisciplinary approach to treatment and our staff is comprised of an eclectic group of skill-centered professionals. While each person brings something unique to Aspire, it is our work as a team that helps us best help you.

 

5022 Campbell Boulevard, Suite L

Nottingham, MD 21236
P: 443.442.1568 • F: 443.442.1569
www.aspire-wellness.com

info@aspire-wellness.com

WE'RE LISTENING

 

Laurel Balanda