Meet Our Outpatient Professionals

As long standing experts and the first program to be certified in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy by the DBT-Linehan Board of Certification (dbt-lbc.org) in the Southeast, Hillside therapists have the experience and expertise to provide DBT that is strictly adherent to the principals of this highly sought after and proven therapy.

Katie Alioto, LCSW, DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician ™

Katie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working with children, adolescents and families for more than 10 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and her Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia in 2008. She participated in Core Clinical training and Case-Based clinical training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy with Shari Manning of Treatment Implementation Collaborative and formerly with Behavioral Tech, run by the creator of DBT, Marsha Linehan.

Katie completed Advanced Case Based DBT Training in 2014 and has advance formal training in Prolonged Exposure-DBT for trauma (DBT-PE). Katie provides DBT in group, individual and family settings and has extensive experience leading adolescent skills groups. Katie is one of the few DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™ in the state of Georgia.

Katie also has training in Theraplay® and is a Level One Theraplay® practitioner. She utilizes Theraplay® in groups, individual, and family therapy sessions. Katie enjoys working with pre-teens, adolescents and young adults struggling with depression, anxiety, self-injurious behaviors, PTSD and interpersonal difficulties.

Christina Fiddes, LCSW

Christina is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working with children, adolescents and families for more than 15 years. Christina completed her undergraduate studies in 1999 and returned to school at the University of Georgia to receive her Master of Social Work in 2010. She intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy with Charlie Swenson, MD and Shireen Rizvi, Ph.D. ABPP, of Behavioral Tech, run by the creator of DBT, Marsha Linehan, Ph.D.

Christina completed Advanced Case Based DBT Training in 2014 and has advance formal training in Prolonged Exposure-DBT for trauma (DBT-PE). She received training in DBT protocol adapted for children (DBT-C) from Francheska Perepletchikova, PhD, who developed and researched the DBT protocol for pre-adolescent children. She provides DBT in the group, individual and family setting and has led adolescent and parent skills group.
Christina has training in Level One and Two of Theraplay® and Group Theraplay® and is the first certified Theraplay® therapist in the state of Georgia. Christina practices Theraplay® in groups, individual and family therapy. She enjoys working with preteens, adolescents and young adults who struggle with depression, anxiety, PTSD, self-injurious behaviors, interpersonal relationships, emotion regulation, self-esteem and family conflict.

Elizabeth Lopez, LCSW

Elizabeth is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working with children, adolescents, and families for almost 10 years. She received her Bachelor of Science and her Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia. She intensively trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with Cedar Koons, LISW and Janice Kuo, Ph.D. of Behavioral Tech, run by the creator of DBT, Marsha Linehan, Ph.D. Elizabeth is proficient in the comprehensive protocol of DBT and has advance formal training in Prolonged Exposure-DBT for trauma (DBT-PE). She received training in DBT protocol adapted for children (DBT-C) from Francheska Perepletchikova, PhD, who developed and researched the DBT protocol for pre-adolescent children. Elizabeth also has additional training in Level One and Two of Theraplay® as well as Group Theraplay®.

Elizabeth provides DBT in the group, individual and family settings and has led adolescent and family skills groups. In addition to providing DBT, she also offers Theraplay® in groups, individual and family therapy sessions. Elizabeth enjoys working with children, pre-teens, and adolescents struggling with depression, anxiety, self-injurious behaviors, PTSD and interpersonal difficulties.

Dr. Kimberly Vay, Ed.D, LPC, CPCS, DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™

Dr. Vay is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been working with children, adolescents, adults and families for over a decade. As the first DBT Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™ in the state of Georgia, Dr. Vay has extensive experience using Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in her clinical work in residential treatment and outpatient settings. Dr. Vay provides DBT treatment for individuals and families as well as facilitates DBT skills group for adolescents, adults, and parents or family of the clients. Dr. Vay specializes in treatment of mood lability, anxiety, depression, non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors and suicidal behaviors. Her goals in treatment are to help individuals learn healthy and adaptive coping strategies and skills to effectively manage intense emotions and feelings and to build a “Life Worth Living.”

She received her Bachelor of Arts in Education at Edinboro University in PA, Master of Arts in Professional Counseling at Argosy University, and her Doctorate Degree in Counseling Psychology at Argosy University. She received Core Clinical training and Case-Based clinical training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy with Shari Manning Ph.D. of Treatment Implementation Collaborative and formerly with Behavioral Tech. Additionally, she completed Advanced Case Based DBT Training in 2014. Dr. Vay in proficient in the comprehensive protocol of DBT and has advance formal training in Prolonged Exposure-DBT for trauma (DBT-PE), DBT protocol adapted for children (DBT-C) as well as Level One and Two of Theraplay® and Group Theraplay®.

In addition to being a DBT Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™, Dr. Vay is skilled clinician and an experienced speaker who has presented at multiple professional conferences and facilitate training for clinicians, residential treatment staff, educators, and parents. She is passionate about DBT education and the effective practice of DBT as a modality of treatment. She was instrumental in helping Hillside ® become the first residential treatment in the nation to become a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Program™. Since Hillside’s certification process, Dr. Vay has become one of DBT-Linehan Board of Certification official site reviewers for future programs seeking certification.

There are currently less than 200 DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™ worldwide and our own clinician, Kimberly Vay, Ed.D, LPC has earned her place among this elite group of clinicians

David Sturgess, LPC, NCC

David is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor, who has been working with children, adolescents, and families for almost 10 years in private practice and residential settings, in addition to facilitating trainings in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Trauma Informed Care. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in Community Counseling at Argosy University, Atlanta.

He participated in Dialectical Behavior Therapy Foundation Training in Salt Lake City, UT with Cedar Koons, MSW, LISW and Janice Kuo, Ph.D. through Behavioral Tech. David provides DBT in adolescent groups, as well as in individual and family settings. Additionally, he co-facilitates parent DBT groups and trainings to therapists in the community. David is trained in Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Trauma Informed Care.

Ashlenn Von Wiegand, LPC

Ashlenn is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been working with adolescents and family for 10 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia, her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University, as well as her doctorate in Advanced Behavioral Health and is currently working on completing her dissertation.

Prior to joining Hillside’s clinical team, Ashlenn worked with adolescents in a therapeutic boarding school, outpatient settings, and in an acute inpatient hospital, focusing heavily with the teens who struggled with addiction and substance abuse. Ashlenn has formal training in Motivational Interviewing and completed Dialectical Behavior Therapy Foundation Training™ in September of 2017 with Annie McCall, MA, LMHC of Treatment Implementation Collaborative. Ashlenn provides DBT in individual, group, and family settings and strives to create a quality therapeutic relationship with her clients. Ashlenn enjoys working with adolescents struggling with substance abuse, anxiety, depression, self-injurious behaviors, eating disorders, and interpersonal difficulties.

Rajeive “RJ” Manradgh LAPC, NCC

Rajeive is a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor and National Certified Counselor, who has been working with children, adolescents, and families for 6 years in community and residential treatment settings. Rajeive’s career at Hillside started as a direct care staff in the residential treatment program in 2012, after he received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Emory University. His interest and passion in helping children and adolescents with mental health struggles led him to return to graduate school, and he completed his Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Mercer University. After his graduate studies, Rajeive returned to Hillside first, as one of the Intensive In-Home Program therapists and later on, as a clinical therapist for our residential treatment program.

He participated in Dialectical Behavior Therapy Foundation Training in January of 2018 in Hilton Head, SC with Shari Manning, Ph.D. and Elizabeth LoTempio, Psy.D. of Treatment Implementation Collaborative. Rajeive provides DBT in groups, as well as in individual and family settings. Rajeive has a special interest in creating experiential DBT programing and facilitates advanced experiential DBT groups for adolescents and for clients in both residential and day program. Rajeive practices under the supervision and direction Kimberly Vay, Ed.D, LPC, CPCS

Julie Justus, LMSW

Julie is a Licensed Social Worker who has been working with adolescents, young adults, and families for almost 4 years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of North Georgia and her Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia.

Julie started at Hillside as social work intern during her graduate studies and eventually returned to Hillside as a clinical therapist after a year of working as a clinical therapist in a residential treatment program for adults. She intensively trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with Adam Payne, Ph.D. of Behavioral Tech, run by the creator of DBT, Marsha Linehan Ph.D.

Julie provides DBT in individual, family, and group settings. She leads the caregivers’ DBT group as well as co- facilitates Animal-Assisted therapy and Advance Experiential DBT groups. She enjoys working with adolescent girls and has a passion for empowerment and helping girls start on the path of building a life worth living. She also utilizes a personal compassion meditation practice with clients to help them build self-esteem.

W. Gaan Akers, LPC, NCC

Gaan is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Georgia State University and completed her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Mercer University. Gaan has been working with children, adolescents, and families for over 10 years in various settings. Prior to joining Hillside, she spent 3 years working in an acute psychiatric care setting where her primary focus was providing therapeutic treatment to children, adolescents, and families.

Gaan’s experience of working with families in acute care setting has given her a deep empathy for parents and care-givers as well as a passion for mental health education and prevention. She is knowledgeable about levels of care in mental health treatment and is passionate about the importance of connecting clients and their families with the most appropriate treatment to meet their needs.

Gaan works with our clients, their families, and other clinicians during the referral and intake process to determine and refer to the appropriate level of care. She co-leads the DBT Skills group for parents and enjoys working with our clinicians to provide mental health education for children and families. She also coordinates workshops and skills training for teachers, school counselors, and mental health clinicians.

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Now Accepting Tricare Humana Military Insurance

Hillside, Inc. is proud to announce that as of October 1st, 2018, Tricare Humana Military Insurance is now an in-network provider for mental health services at Hillside! We know this will open up opportunities for so many military families and children throughout our...

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Day Program Updates & Outings

Check out some things we did this week in the Day Program! We started out practicing our contributing skill by making inspiration bookmarks for the Evans and Averill cottages! (Cut short and removable strings of course) We also made catapults with popsicle sticks,...

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