About Us

About Us

Apple Valley Behavioral Health, LLC is a private counseling practice located on South Main Street (Route 10) in Southington, CT. Easily accessible from I-84 and major commuting points, AVBH is easy to find while maintaining a private and comfortable atmosphere.  We offer rear parking and entry into an inviting waiting area that includes refreshments.

AVBH is comprised of licensed clinical staff with extensive backgrounds and experiences in the fields of psychology, counseling, and education. Our clinicians are passionate and have dedicated their lives to helping those in need. All of our therapists are trained in leading evidenced-based interventions designed to reduce distress and enhance the social, emotional, and behavioral health and wellness of others. Our therapists understand that each counseling experience is unique and should be tailored to the specific needs of the individual, couple, or family system seeking support.

Meet Our Staff:

Tim Dowling is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Certified School Counselor, and co-owner of Apple Valley Behavioral Health.  With over ten years of experience in the field of psychology, Tim has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, and private settings. He has extensive training and experience in a wide range of issues including social, emotional, behavioral, psychological, and educational difficulties. Tim understands that in today’s world children, adolescents, adults, and families are faced with a variety of complex issues that can make life extremely difficult. Armed with a sense of passion and genuineness, Tim strives to establish a welcoming and supportive environment where clients can process concerns and work to explore solutions. He believes in an eclectic counseling philosophy that allows for versatility, individualizing every counseling experience according to the strengths and needs of the individual. His experiences in school counseling and addictions therapy also provide him with specialized interventions designed to promote school-based success and to treat issues related to drug, alcohol or technology abuse.

Joanne Etter is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified School Counselor and co-owner of Apple Valley Behavioral Health. She brings 30+ years of successful experience counseling children, adolescents and families, to the private practice setting. Joanne has assisted countless children, adolescents and adults in achieving their emotional, behavioral, educational, social and career goals. She offers a safe and supportive environment in which to explore and meet your health and wellness goals. Joanne utilizes a variety of treatment options, which allows for flexibility and individual choices. She provides individual, group and family counseling for all age groups. Joanne’s extensive experiences as a School Counselor provides her with the expertise to support and assist families in navigating the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) and 504 process in order to ensure that each child receives the appropriate services that they are entitled to. She is goal-oriented and solution focused. Her strengths lie in empowering clients to create structured plans and set attainable goals. AVBH’s motto “support when you need it most” encompasses Joanne’s mission. Regardless of what brings you to seek support, Joanne will be there to support you in taking the steps necessary to accomplish the changes you would like to achieve.

Ashley Favreau is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a background in education. Ashley brings to private practice her expertise working as a behavioral therapist with special needs children. Ashley also has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and families in home and school settings. She is well rounded in a variety of therapeutic approaches such as; trauma focused, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and solution-focused, which creates opportunities for client growth while tailoring counseling to meet each individual’s needs. Ashley strives to assist clients in identifying and enhancing their strengths, setting and achieving their goals, and improving their overall well-being. She provides a warm and welcoming environment where clients can feel comfortable addressing areas of need while working towards success.

Katie Claywell is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a background as an Art Therapist. She has been trained as a mental health clinician in traditional talk therapy and also art therapy, allowing a client to express themselves in a variety of ways. If a person is struggling emotionally, Katie offers genuine guidance through conversation and/or creative expression. It is her goal to see a client’s happiness and peace restored through self-discovery and self-expression. The approach Katie uses is person-centered and humanistic, while utilizing cognitive-behavioral techniques. Focusing on a person’s strengths, rather than weaknesses, Katie provides a safe environment to support clients through each life challenge. Katie has helped many people through her empathetic listening and problem solving.

Marcie Danton is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a background in counseling children, adolescents, and dual diagnosis adults. She has experience providing individual and group counseling in educational, outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospital programs. Marcie uses a client-centered and strengths-based approach to connect with each person she works with as she knows everyone has their own unique challenges and life journeys to process through. She incorporates evidence-based practices such as Solution-Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Marcie advocates for children, adolescents, and their family members by accessing appropriate academic supports through the 504 or PPT process.  Marcie provides a warm environment for health and healing.

Jennifer Courchesne is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings including; a group home, an outpatient clinic, home-based services and a child and adolescent inpatient unit at a psychiatric hospital.  She has been in the field for over 20 years and has additional experience in other settings such as; residential facilities, Extended Day Treatment (EDT), and an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). She has experience working with diverse cultures and individuals with a wide range of diagnoses.  As part of her current work, Jennifer provides individual, family, and group therapy and has the ability to do couples therapy as well. She works with clients to create individualized treatment plans that focus on their needs and work to incorporate their strengths. Jennifer has assisted many individuals and families in achieving their emotional, behavioral, social, and relational goals. Jennifer works with all systems by collaborating with other providers, agencies, and schools to improve and strengthen an individual’s overall functioning, well-being, and goals.  In Jennifer’s work with children, adolescents, and families she strongly believes in using a trauma informed approach. Jennifer has been trained in Risking Connection and the Restorative Approach. She is also a certified MATCH-ADTC clinician (Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct). Jennifer is working towards being certified in TF-CBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy). In addition, she has experience doing DBT therapy and has worked with parents on learning new effective parenting techniques and building on the strengths they already possess.

Timothy Kearns is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a background in counseling children and adolescents in a variety of settings including; public schools, residential facilities and an outpatient clinic. He has extensive experience working with individuals who have experienced; trauma, school-related issues, crisis, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Generalized Anxiety and Depression. Tim’s goal, when working with clients, is to incorporate multiple treatment approaches, including; trauma focused, strength focused, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Person-Centered Therapy. This allows individuals the flexibility to develop and reach their goals in a variety of ways. Additionally, Tim’s experience working within school systems assists in providing additional support to children, adolescents and families in regards to the PPT and 504 process.

Evan LeClair is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience working with adults, children, and families in a variety of settings. Evan uses a client centered, strengths based approach to help clients overcome their own unique challenges. Evan has experience working with individuals going through a variety of life stressors such as Trauma, Domestic Violence, and Housing issues. Evan understands that often times mental health and experiences in the environment go hand in hand. Evan believes people are the experts in their own lives, and wants to help others find that path that works for them.


Valerie Dahlmeyer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a background in working with children, adolescents, families, adults and young adults in various treatment settings. Valerie has experience providing treatment to individuals, families and groups in intensive settings including residential treatment programs, intensive community treatment programs, in-home and outpatient settings. Valerie has extensive practice working with individuals of all ages in the areas of: trauma, attachment, crisis management, depression, anxiety, and circumstances surrounding life changes. Valerie utilizes a multifaceted, person centered approach in therapy, pulling from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solution Focused Therapy, Attachment-Based and Trauma Informed Therapy. Valerie understands that each individual seeking therapy is unique in their needs and strives to provide a warm and comfortable environment, meeting individuals where they are at in their journey through life and empowering them to be in control of their treatment.

Rosanna Ventura is a Licensed Professional Counselor with extensive experience working with children, adolescents, families, and adults. Rosanna has worked in a variety of settings including: residential, juvenile detention, schools, hospitals, and in-home. Rosanna uses a strength-based, client centered approach, allowing for sessions to be focused on an individual’s unique needs. She provides goal-directed treatment, utilizing a variety of evidence-based practices. She strives to provide a warm, welcoming, and judgment free space as she helps individuals identify and navigate obstacles that often cause distress, anxiety, feelings of depression, and a variety of other symptoms. Rosanna’s main priority is to empower individuals to set meaningful goals and to take action to achieve those goals.

Suzanne Andreyev is an Licensed Professional Counselor with over 30 years’ experience and an extensive background in counseling both adolescents and adults with diverse cultural backgrounds.  She has experience in working with a variety of populations in both individual and group settings. Her past experiences include working with individuals in the substance abuse field, with incarcerated individuals and others involved in the criminal justice system, as well as intensive work in military communities.  She is particularly adept at working with those experiencing anxiety and depression, as well as helping clients to navigate life transitions. 

Suzanne’s practice style is focused on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and is supportive, goal oriented and problem solving. She uses motivational strategies and incorporates gentle humor in helping clients to determine the changes they would like to see in their lives and to help them to break down the barriers to their own success.

Lindsay Matera is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a background in treating children, adolescents, adults, families, and groups. Lindsay has worked in a variety of settings, including a therapeutic group home, outpatient clinics, and intensive and partial hospital programs. Lindsay has extensive experience working with individuals in the areas of trauma, crisis management, generalized anxiety, depression, and attachment. Lindsay incorporates multiple treatment approaches to best meet each client’s needs, including Solution-Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). She provides a safe and non-judgmental environment using an empathic and person-centered approach to help clients focus on meeting their emotional, behavioral, and social needs. She will work together with you to identify effective coping skills and personal strengths. She will help you identify triggers, develop skills to increase control in your life, and achieve goals. Lindsay’s main focus is to help individuals make positive change by increasing their sense of empowerment and overall quality of life.

Kerry Holland is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).  Kerry has experience in both individual and family therapy.  She has worked with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings including outpatient and residential facilities. Kerry comes from a client-centered, strength-based approach.  She understands that each individual and family have unique needs and therefore utilizes what she learns about each client to determine the techniques that would prove most effective in creating the desired outcome.  Kerry incorporates multiple modalities in her practice including; Solution-Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy as well as Mindfulness Techniques.  Kerry has experience working with those who experience symptoms of; anxiety, depression, ADHD, behavioral issues and trauma. She also has a passion for working with individuals and families needing assistance navigating through life transitions such as; divorce, empty nest, life after high school or college graduation, job loss, and grief. Kerry’s goal as a clinician is to provide a safe space that promotes healing and allows individuals to identify ways to optimize their success in meeting  their goals.

Shelbi Nadeau is a Licensed Professional Counselor with experience working with a diverse population of children, adolescents, and families. Shelbi has worked in a variety of settings including Extended Day Treatment, Intensive Outpatient, schools, and hospital settings. Shelbi utilizes a strength-based and client-centered approach to accommodate to the specific needs of her clients and highlight upon their strengths. Shelbi strives to provide a welcoming, non judgmental space where clients can feel comfortable and safe to work on achieving goals or conquering challenging obstacles one step at a time. Shelbi has over 3 years of experience working with clients navigating distress caused by anxiety, depression, trauma, self-esteem, conduct, and many other symptoms that may cause distress. Shelbi believes in taking a collaborative approach and reaches out to providers, schools, and any other supports in place to improve the client’s overall well-being in all areas. Shelbi also emphasizes the importance of creativity and self-care by incorporating meditation, mindfulness, music, and art into her sessions.

Zack Etter is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) with a background in Sport and Performance Psychology. Zack has provided comprehensive assessment and therapy for individuals and groups in a variety of settings including inpatient, intensive outpatient, community, and in schools. Zack uses a needs-based approach, tailoring services based on the client’s strengths and weaknesses, and can provide treatment modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Solution-Focused Therapy. Services typically aim to identify harmful thoughts and beliefs that negatively impact functioning and work to replace them with more helpful, adaptive perspectives. Zack has experience working with individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, adjustment to change, identity, sexuality, and addiction. Zack helps clients alleviate symptoms to improve enjoyment and functioning in important areas of life such as work, school, home, relationships, hobbies, and pursuing goals. Zack will help you develop skills to improve emotional regulation, resilience, confidence, communication, and balance, which leads to a higher quality of life and achievement. 

Morgan McGaughey is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a background providing individual and group therapy to children, adolescents, and adults in various treatment settings including residential facilities, partial hospitalization programs, outpatient settings, schools, hospitals, and various community settings. Morgan has experience working with individuals with substance use disorders, co-occurring disorders, trauma, anxiety, depression, and personality disorders, as well as experience with crisis intervention and management. She utilizes an empathetic, strengths-based approach to provide a judgment-free space in order to address client concerns. Morgan utilizes a variety of treatment modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing, and Strengths-Based Therapy to tailor treatment to client’s specific needs.

Heather Kocum is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a background in counseling children, adolescents, adults, and families in outpatient settings. She utilizes a variety of treatment modalities tailored to the unique needs of her clients and believes in a person-centered, strengths-based approach to help each client achieve the goals they set for themselves. Her work includes treatment for trauma, anxiety, depression, substance use, conduct disorders, ADHD, and familial and peer conflict. Heather is a state certified TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) provider and is experienced in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and MATCH-ADTC (Modular Approach to Children & Adolescents with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, & Conduct). Heather’s goal as a therapist is to establish a safe and affirming partnership with her clients in order to empower them to overcome life’s challenges. 

Makea Carrasco is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate with a background  working with individuals across the lifespan. Makea has gained clinical experience by working in a variety of settings, including at a residential hospital program and an intensive outpatient program at a local non-profit organization. Makea also has knowledge and experience working with individuals with traumatic brain injuries, who are challenged by behavioral, cognitive, and or emotional limitations. She is also versed in treating addiction, anger, anxiety, depression, trauma, and co-morbid conditions. Makea has utilized a holistic combination of person-centered, strength-based, and cognitive behavioral approaches when doing collaborative, therapeutic work with clients. Makea’s ever-growing passion and enthusiasm for counseling has made it possible for her to create a safe, warm, and non-judgmental environment for her clients. With Makea’s ongoing efforts to improve her practice, she has made it her goal to help build trust, promote resilience and autonomy, encourage inclusivity and freedom of self-expression, and instill hope within the client to ultimately support achieving their own unique goals for treatment.

Kate Mulhall is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a background in providing individual and group therapy to a wide range of clients. She has clinical experience in a variety of environments including inpatient, outpatient, and educational settings. Kate works with clients who have challenges such as; depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, other mood disorders, interpersonal issues, self-esteem, and personality disorders. Kate uses an eclectic approach, drawing from a person-centered, strengths-based, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy methods. In her work, Kate strives for trauma-informed, culturally competent care at all times. She prides herself on meeting clients where they are, while placing an emphasis on empathy and sensitivity.  Through empowerment and validation, Kate helps clients facilitate change in their everyday life, while assisting them in healing from their past experiences. Kate believes we all have the strength and ability to improve our own lives, and she will help you find that within yourself.

Leslie Hauge is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a background encompassing over twenty years of experience as a certified School Counselor in the educational setting. Her career has afforded her the opportunity to help numerous children, as well as support families and adults along the way, effectively addressing a variety of social, emotional, and behavioral issues. Leslie’s areas of expertise include anxiety, depression, self-regulation, socialization, self-esteem, conflict-resolution, family changes, trauma, grief and loss, school performance and parenting strategies. Additionally, she can provide consultation having served as a Section 504 case manager and being a member of Planning and Placement Team Meetings while working in the school system. Leslie’s priority is to build a positive, genuine, and collaborative rapport with her clients to promote problem-solving, healing, and change. Her integrative treatment approach utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Therapy, Mindfulness, Play Therapy, and/or Bibliotherapy. Leslie strives to adapt and find what works best for her clients to succeed in achieving their goals.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AVBH-Bio-Image-684x1024.jpg

Derek Wilson is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate with a unique background in Performance Psychology. Derek has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, young adults, and adults in diverse treatment settings. Derek has delivered therapeutic interventions within adventure-based settings, across elementary, high school, and collegiate education systems, as well as encompassing performing arts and athletic program settings. Derek is well-versed in offering support to individuals grappling with trauma, depression, anxiety, ADHD, adapting to change, performance anxiety, self-esteem, confidence, disorderly eating, as well as various other challenges. Employing an all-encompassing, person-centered methodology, he weaves many modalities such as; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Trauma-Informed Therapy into his practice. Derek strongly advocates for the uniqueness of each individual. He cultivates a welcoming space that embraces his client’s journey and empowers his clients to steer their own treatment path.

Carly Gambardella is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience in working in the public school system, health care facilities, and in home treatment settings. She obtained her BA in Criminal Justice at Quinnipiac University and her Master of Social Work at the University of Connecticut. She currently specializes in working with children, adolescents, adults, and families. Carly has worked with individuals who are coping with ADHD, depression, personality disorders, trauma, and anxiety. Her skills include, but are not limited to; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Carly assists clients in strengthening their skills in the areas of; Social Pragmatic Communication, Conflict Resolution and Mindfulness Practices, to name a few.  In her work, Carly utilizes a strengths-based approach in which clients feel empowered to make their own decisions. She has experience working with individual clients and families who are dealing with trauma, depression, and various life stressors. Carly believes that mutual trust, respect, and care in the therapeutic relationship are key ingredients to making therapy successful.

Abigail Horowitz is a Licensed Social Worker (LMSW) and a current Doctoral student in Clinical Psychology. She completed her Master in Social Work degree at Springfield College after obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree(s) in Psychology, Spanish, and Youth Services from the University of Saint Joseph. Abby has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in a multitude of settings including but not limited to therapeutic day programs, high acuity residential programs, addiction and mental health residential treatment programs, and schools. In addition to being a certified school social worker, she has also participated in ADHD and academic coaching programs with an emphasis on executive functioning skills. She believes in a holistic, strength-based approach with an integration of different modalities that are trauma-informed and culturally sensitive. Steadfast in her commitment to fostering positive and lasting change, she believes learning is a life-long process and is passionate about collaborating with clients to empower them to reach their full potential.

Ariel Vaccarelli is a Licensed Social Worker (LMSW) with a background in education. She brings to private practice her experience in counseling children and adolescents in the school setting as well as working with families and adults from many diverse backgrounds. Through her work in education Ariel has advocated for and supported her students and their families in the areas of their educational, behavioral, and social emotional needs. Ariel has experience in assisting people as they navigate challenges related but not limited to grief, trauma, conflict, and self-esteem.  Ariel is well rounded and enjoys working with clients of all ages while utilizing a variety of evidence-based approaches such as Play Therapy, Person-Centered Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness. Ariel provides a safe, supportive and nurturing environment which allows her clients to be empowered to achieve their goals. 

Kim Mozak is a Licensed Social Worker (LMSW). She completed her BA in Social Work from Central Connecticut State University and obtained her Masters of Social Work from Fordham University. Kim holds over three years in the educational field supporting individuals with social, emotional, and/or behavioral concerns. She has experience working with individuals who struggle with ADHD, trauma, anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief and loss, and emotional regulation. She incorporates evidence based practices such as the strengths based perspective, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and DBT interventions. Kim creates a safe and supportive environment for clients to be able to express themselves and heal. She believes in using client -centered, goal oriented, and solution based approaches in order for clients to develop coping skills, and achieve their goals. She has a passion for helping individuals reach their full potential and thrive. Kim understands everyone’s circumstances are unique, therefore provides individualized care personalized to fit their needs.