Paris Goodyear-Brown, the founder and director of Nurture House, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor with 25+ years of experience in treating families in need. While she specializes in treating trauma (sexual abuse, physical abuse, maltreatment and neglect) and attachment disturbances, she often provides help for anxious, angry or depressed children and teens. A child development expert, she frequently provides parent consultation, dyadic assessment and parent coaching to help parents manage and resolve their children’s behavior problems. She is an Adjunct Instructor of Psychiatric Mental Health at Vanderbilt University, guest lecturer for several universities in middle Tennessee, and has an international reputation as a dynamic speaker and innovative clinician. She provides play therapy and licensure supervision and consults with various school districts, agencies and mental health organizations to help develop play therapy programs and create more developmentally sensitive programming. With trainings in Morocco, Australia, and Sweden, as well as frequent domestic presentations, she is best known for developing clinically sound, played-based interventions that are used to treat a variety of childhood problems. She has received the APT award for Play Therapy Promotion and Education. She is the author of multiple books, chapters and articles related to child therapy. Her newest books include Tackling Touchy Subjects, the Handbook of Child Sexual Abuse: Identification, Assessment, and Treatment, Play Therapy with Traumatized Children: A Prescriptive Approach and The Worry Wars: An Anxiety Workbook for Kids and their Helpful Adults. For the whole of her career, she has carried a vision of a place – a home – in which the space itself would help children and parents feel safe, nurtured and ready to do the deep work of healing. Although it looks like a playhouse – and her child clients call it “the kid’s palace” -the fun, highly playful environment helps the hard stuff go down easier.
Eleah Hyatt, M.A, LMFT, RPT
Eleah Hyatt is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist (LMFT) and a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). She considers it a privilege to walk alongside children, adolescents and families as they move through the highs and lows of life, traumatic experiences, emotional distress, behavioral issues and wounded relationships. Helping children and families grow through these experiences while building stronger connections with one another brings her the greatest joy. Eleah is trained in EMDR level 2 (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Theraplay™ level 2, Group Theraplay™, TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention), Prepare/ Enrich and TF-CBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). She is a certified TraumaPlay™ therapist and provides supervision and consultation towards certification in the TraumaPlay™ model.
Angela Scruggs, LPC-MHSP, MAMFC, NIC, QMHI
Angela Scruggs has a Ph.D. in Psychology & Counseling and a Master’s in Marriage and Family Counseling, both from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Mental Health Service Provider designation (LPC-MHSP). She is trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies, Child-Parent Relationship Therapy, and TraumaPlay Therapy. She has worked with clients of varying ages and life stages with a range of clinical challenges. In over a decade of providing therapy, her experiences have included work in residential and recovery programs, school systems, nonprofit agencies, traditional counseling settings, and in-home therapy. Angela is a creative thinker who enjoys expressive arts therapy. In New Orleans, she developed a creative-expressive arts therapy group using music, art, and other expressive mediums to foster healing. Angela is also fluent in American Sign Language and specializes in providing direct services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population. She is passionate about cultivating hope and healing for children, adolescents, and families.
Kelly Stephens, LPC/MHSP, RPT-S, Certified TF-CBT Provider
Lisa Masri, LCSW
Lisa Masri is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). She earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Indiana University and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University. Lisa’s professional experience includes working with children, adolescents and adults in the home-based and school-based therapeutic settings, outpatient setting at a community mental health center and in private practice. She considers it a privilege to journey with children, adolescents and families and help them grow through difficult times and develop deeper connections in their relationships. She believes that change is encouraged in a non-judgmental, relational and hopeful environment where everyone in the family is known, understood and loved.
Lisa has worked with children and their families addressing emotional distress, grief/loss, transitions and divorce, anxiety, depression, ADHD as well as other challenges. She is especially passionate about helping those that have been affected by a traumatic experience heal.
Lisa is trained in EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), TBRI (Trust-based Relational Intervention), PCIT (Parent Child Interaction Therapy), (CBT)Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (DBT) Dialectical Behavior Therapy and other trauma-focused treatment techniques and attachment-based interventions.
Lisa is a native Hoosier and has lived most of her life in Indiana until recently making her home in Nashville. She is married and has two children. She loves to be outdoors hiking, kayaking walking her Golden Retriever Drake, and spending time with her husband on little adventures.
Katherine Faliski, LCSW, RPT
Katherine Faliski is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). She earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University as well as a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Texas. Katherine loves working alongside children, teens, families, parents, and couples to help them grow through their difficulties and strengthen their relationships. Katherine has worked with children and families to address a variety of life experiences, such as school challenges, emotional distress, behavioral issues, divorce, and grief and loss to name a few. Due to Katherine’s personal journey through adoption and her work in the Nation’s Children’s Hospital, she also feels a strong connection to families struggling through some of the highs and lows of these life experiences. Katherine is trained in Theraplay™ Level 2, Group Theraplay™, Sand Therapy, Filial and Client Centered Play Therapy, and a communication model suited for families with teenagers and couples called Relationship Enhancement Therapy. She is married and has two children. Katherine is thrilled to be a part of the Nurture House team, and considers it a true privilege to work with clients and their families.
Jennifer Rubens, LPC-MHSP
Jennifer completed her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in July of 2020 with a concentration in Play Therapy at Lipscomb University. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology-Individual Differences from the University of Houston where she conducted research in Autism. Jennifer is a member of the American Counseling Association, Association for Play Therapy and Chi Sigma Iota honor society. She is trained in TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention), will soon be a TraumaPlay Certified Therapist, and is focused on creating safe spaces for children and family members who have been affected by trauma. She believes empowering children and building a strong foundation of connection is essential to the therapeutic process. Jennifer is very excited to be a part of the Nurture House family and looks forward to the journey. Outside of work she loves spending time with her husband, three daughters and her chocolate labs.
Merna ElSols, MMFT, Candidate for LMFT
Merna completed her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Lipscomb University in August of 2021. Merna uses a person-centered, integrative, and systemic approach to help individuals and families increase their emotional expression and enhance their communication styles. She believes that the answers to many of the struggles we go through in life come from within us and that, through effective communication and emotional disclosure, we can build stronger relationships to endure any life hardship we encounter. Merna is a Certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Provider (TF-CBT), a APR Gatekeeper Trainer, a Pre-/Enrich Facilitator, and a Mental Health First Aider; she continues to receive training in Gottman Method, Restoration Therapy, TraumaPlay, and play therapy. She is passionate about working with individuals and families from all walks of life and witnessing their growth and development of self-confidence, grace, compassion, and emotional expression. She is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) and is thrilled to be part of the Nurture House team.
Tandy Jackson, Ed. S, Candidate for LPC-MHSP
Tandy completed her master’s and educational specialist degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Harding University in May of 2019. After graduation she worked as a school-based therapist in Denver, Colorado with children ages 5-15 and their families. She now lives in Nashville, where she works with Nurture House and as a counselor with Catholic Charities. In her previous roles, she worked with children and families to address a variety of life experiences, such as relational issues, emotional distress, behavioral issues, divorce, school challenges, adjustments, depression, anxiety, traumatic experiences, and grief and loss. Tandy has training in play therapy, sand tray, TF-CBT, and trauma narrative therapy interventions, and is currently in training to be a certified TraumaPlay Therapist. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and the Association for Play Therapy. Tandy believes that laughter, connection, trust, and play are essential to the therapeutic relationship. She uses a variety of interventions based on each child’s needs and personal strengths to provide support for children and their families. Outside of Nurture House, Tandy enjoys spending time outside, baking, cooking, reading, trying new coffee shops, and spending time with family and friends.
Laurence Lopez, MMFT, Candidate for LMFT
Laurence completed his master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University in November 2019. Laurence believes that healing and change begin with the therapeutic relationship itself. He aims to connect with clients, to establish a safe environment for exploration and collaboration, and to model healthy relationships for children and families. Most of all, Laurence welcomes and invites people from all walks of life and the full spectrum of their emotions into his office. Also, he’ll be the first to tell you, “A bit of laughter never hurt anyone.” His professional memberships include the American Counseling Association, and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. He is excited to be a part of the Nurture House team.
Aleya Cunningham, M. Ed., Candidate for LPC-MHSP
Aleya graduated with an M.S in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in children and adolescents from Azusa Pacific University in 2022. During this time she worked as a counselor trainee serving a diverse range of children, adolescents and families within the Los Angeles community. Aleya has extensive experience counseling those who have undergone trauma related to abuse, neglect and loss. She has also helped clients with feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and substance use. Aleya particularly enjoys working alongside parents and believes in a holistic approach to supporting children. It is a priority of Aleya’s to make sure the families she works with feel heard and accepted. She knows that everyone has unique strengths and strives to highlight them as an avenue for growth. Aleya has training in a variety of play therapy techniques including Sandtray and nondirective play therapy. She continues to receive training in TraumaPlay and TF-CBT. Prior to counseling, Aleya earned her Masters in Education and taught at the elementary school level. With sustained interest in this field, she now teaches counseling courses as a postsecondary professor. Aleya is a member of the American Counseling Association and Association for Play Therapy. Outside of work, Aleya enjoys dancing, rock climbing and hikes with her husband and goldendoodle! Even though Aleya is new to Nashville, she looks forward to interacting with the community and being immersed in its lively culture.
Brooke Pate, M.A., NCC, Candidate for LPC-MHSP
Brooke has been working with children and families for 25+ years in the early childhood/elementary education field. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Elementary Education. She founded PB & J Day School, a preschool located in Franklin, TN, in 2010. She was the owner and director of it until she sold the school in 2020. Brooke felt a need to further her education to help others in a therapeutic capacity. She earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Trevecca University in December 2021. She is a National Certified Counselor and is a candidate for LPC-MHSP. She has training in sand tray, play therapy, TF-CBT, Brainspotting, and is currently in training to be a certified TraumaPlay therapist. Brooke is a member of American Counseling Association, Association for Play Therapy, and Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association. Brooke lives in Thompsons Station with her husband, teenage son, and three fur babies (aka dogs). In her free time, she enjoys playing board games, painting, reading, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.
Catherine Parker, M.Ed., Candidate for LPC-MHSP
Catherine completed her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Auburn University at Montgomery. She now lives in Nashville, where she works with Nurture House and as a counselor with Centerstone. She previously counseled at Child Protect Children’s Advocacy Center. She has experience counseling children from ages 3-19 who have experienced some form of abuse (sexual, physical, and neglect), or witnessed a violent crime. She worked with children and families to address the realities of domestic violence and sexual abuse, anxiety and depression, and behavioral issues. Catherine has had training in play therapy, sand tray, TF-CBT, and trauma narrative therapy interventions. She views each child as an individual, and uses a variety of interventions based on the child’s needs and strengths in order to provide the best treatment for her clients and their families. Catherine believes that a therapeutic relationship is a trusting connection that is built with empathy, trust, support, communication, respect, positivity, and a mutual understanding. Facing and healing from adversity can be a difficult journey. Catherine enjoys using her creativity and ability to be innovative while using a holistic and integrative approach to help guide and encourage her clients throughout the therapeutic process. She is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), and Chi Sigma Iota. She feels honored to have the privilege to be a part of the Nurture House team.
Doreen D’Agostino, M.A., NCC, Candidate for LPC-MHSP
Doreen is a warm, authentic, and empathic counselor who values connection and relationship with her clients. Doreen’s background is varied and her work in education, counseling, business, and the community gives her the ability to understand and appreciate the unique story of each child and their family. She considers it a privilege to hold a safe space for children and families to heal and grow together. She has a holistic, person-centered approach to counseling that enables her to be flexible and open-minded about the therapies and interventions she uses.
Doreen earned her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of the Cumberlands and is training to be a certified TraumaPlay Therapist. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, Association for Play Therapy and Nashville Psychotherapy Institute. As her last name may imply, Doreen is a native New Yorker, who loves nothing more than cooking a big pot of sauce on Sundays and spending time with her family and friends. No invitation needed, there’s always room at the table.
Emily McGee, M.Ed, Candidate for LPC-MHSP
Amanda Wells, M.A., Candidate for LPC-MHSP
Amanda completed her internship at Nurture House, and her masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Play Therapy from Lipscomb University in 2022. Before pursuing a Master’s Degree, she worked closely with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. Amanda enjoys working with children of all ages and abilities and loves using play as means of communication and discovery with clients. She believes that every client’s story is unique and worth exploring. Her professional memberships include the American Counseling Association, the Association for Play Therapy, and the Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society.
Mary Margaret Tardy, Clinical Intern
Mary Margaret is working towards her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Play Therapy from Lipscomb University. Mary Margaret is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling, Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society, and is a student member of the Association for Play Therapy. Before entering her master’s program, Mary Margaret worked for a children’s learning program. She has always enjoyed working closely with children, and she is looking forward to helping children and families in a more direct and meaningful way. Mary Margaret is also passionate about expressive arts as a healing process and hopes to utilize this in creating a safe environment to promote healing with her clients. Outside of work, Mary Margaret enjoys providing childcare as a nursery worker, painting, and playing with her dog, Mildred. Mary Margaret is honored and elated to be a part of the Nurture House team and looks forward to meeting the children and families involved.
Halle Sullivan, Clinical Intern
Halle is currently pursuing her masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Vanderbilt University. She studied at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development where she worked alongside adoptive families at Hope Connection 2.0 Camps, family camps designed to help increase connection and regulate behaviors in the context of relationships. She also has experience working with children and adolescents who have experience physical and sexual abuse. Halle is passionate about working with children of all ages, and she loves developing a genuine connection with others. There are strengths in every child, and Halle enjoys using play as a way to explore these strengths. She believes that the heartbeat of joy is connection, and when connection meets play, hope and healing is possible for every child and family. Halle is a TBRI practitioner, and her professional memberships include the American Counseling Association and Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society. She is so grateful to be part of the Nurture House team!
Jennifer Trew, Clinical Intern
Jennifer will graduate in December with an Ed.S. degree in Professional School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health from Middle Tennessee State University. She has a unique background with experience in Child Protective Services, children in foster care, and working with and training foster parents. She also worked with children who have learning and developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, and Down Syndrome in the public-school setting. Earning a child’s trust is the first step in the therapeutic relationship and Jennifer appreciates the time and dedication that takes. Jennifer values the tender place that parents face when their child has experienced trauma, abuse, has difficulty managing feelings, adapting, and in need of development of coping and regulation skills.She is a member of the American School Counseling Association (ASCA), Tennessee School Counselor Association (TSCA) and Chi Sigma Iota honor society for counseling students. Jennifer lives in Murfreesboro with her teenage son and teenage daughter, dog, and 3 cats. She loves landscaping and gardening, is a football and hockey enthusiast, traveling and is a lifelong learner.
Lily Tillman, Clinical Intern
Lily is completing her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Trevecca University. Years of caring for siblings, cousins, and children she’s nannied have fueled a deep passion for the minds of young generations—and those that have been placed in their lives to care for them. Lily is honored to journey alongside her clients in their path towards healing. She utilizes a holistic and integrative approach when working with kids, teens, and families, and believes in the power of creativity as a means to strengthen connections and find safety and healing. Lily has received training in play therapy, sand tray therapy, and TF-CBT. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association, and a student member of the Association for Play Therapy. Lily is honored to be part of the Nuture House team and grateful for the opportunity to provide a fun, loving, safe environment for children, adolescents, and their loved ones.