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Meet Our Team


Jon Priest

Licensed Psychological Examiner – Independent

   - Parenting Coordinator

   - TF-CBT Trained

Jon earned both his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. Since being licensed in 2007, he has worked with children and their families in the school-based and inpatient hospital settings. In 2011, Jon followed God’s leading and joined his father in part-time practice at CPC, but after only a year’s time transitioned to full-time practice.


Jon has a laid back relational style that allows a client to explore and plan for the growth they want to experience while valuing the process far and above over the product. He is experienced in helping children and their families address behavioral challenges with healthy boundaries and connection and loves working with clients of any age explore their uniqueness to play to their strengths. Jon is a great fit for clients (especially males who hate the idea of counseling) wanting to deeply explore questions of identity, family of origin concerns, the meaning of his/her suffering, his/her core values, and questions of faith and who God is. Couples who want to learn how conflict can be another opportunity for intimacy will appreciate his approach as well. Jon is trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) to help children process difficult experiences and is a trained parenting coordinator equipped to assist high-conflict coparents cooperate effectively for their child(ren).


Jon is married with three children, who he adores and travels the country with whenever possible. He serves in his church through playing drums in the praise band and leading small groups. He also loves outdoor adventures of all sorts (backpacking and canoeing, especially), dark chocolate, and lame dad jokes.

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Andrea Self

Licensed Professional Counselor

Andrea earned both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Community Counseling from the University of Central Arkansas. She was licensed in 2001, and has spent 20 years working in community mental health.

She has worked with a variety of clients and has experience in treating adults with issues such as depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, chronic mental illness, and substance abuse. She especially enjoys working with women who are going through transition (e.g., into the empty nest) or struggling to find joy within their season (e.g., marital dissatisfaction). Andrea connects
with clients through the therapeutic relationship and helps them work through their issues in a safe, non-judgmental way and feels blessed to be able to help people work through their problems in a Christ-centered environment.

Andrea and her husband have two sons and a daughter.


Tad Tillemans, MD


Dr. Tillemans has over 17 years of experience in working with children, adolescents, adults, and families in a wide range of inpatient and outpatient settings. As an experienced psychiatrist and therapist, he works closely with both clients and their therapists to help treatment be as beneficial as possible. 

Dr. Tillemans has extensive experience in the field of pharmaceutical research, consulting, and advising.  He also has been a sought after lecturer and trainer to doctors across the country for the past 17 years in the areas of ADHD, Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia. This advanced knowledge of modern psychopharmacology along with his focus on therapist and client collaboration empowers clients to make informed decisions about medication management in their treatment.

Critical in all of this is the extra time Dr. Tillemans spends with clients to listen and understand their needs, answer their questions, and talk through options. This approach keeps our clients from feeling hurried through critical decision-making processes and thinking “The doctor only spent 5-10 minutes with me! How do they even know me or what I need?”  We're absolutely thrilled to offer our clients this critical service and Dr. Tillemans' skillful and attentive care.


Kenneth Priest

Licensed Psychological Examiner – Independent 

   - EMDR Trained

Kenneth, a licensed since 1989, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Bible from Central Baptist College and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. He started CPC in 1992 as a private practice in addition to his career at Conway Human Development Center where he has worked since 1990 with intellectually disabled individuals and their families. He is a Past President of the Arkansas Association of Psychological Examiners, an active member in his church by teaching and singing in choir, and is married with four children and seven grand-children. Kenneth specializes in marital therapy as well as treating adults struggling with such issues as anxiety, depression, and life transition. He is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to provide specialized help for those struggling with the effects of trauma.

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Kyle Purcell

Licensed Professional Counselor

   - EFT Trained

Kyle is a Licensed Professional Counselor. He grew up in Conway and earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas in 2007, after which he spent three years working in the Little Rock Drug Courts as a Drug Counselor. Kyle then earned a Masters of Arts degree in Biblical Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary. After graduating from DTS, he worked for Fellowship Bible Church Dallas as the Young Adult Pastor and Pastoral Counselor and has also worked for a local agency as a school-based therapist. Kyle has a wide range of experience in counseling helping adults and older children work through relational struggles, shame and guilt, anxiety, depression, substance abuse problem, marriage difficulties, and other issues. He has also recently been trained is Emotionally Focused Therapy for helping with marital and other relationship issues. Kyle loves providing a safe, non-judgmental environment where people can explore their struggles, and work toward healing the hurts they’ve experienced. When not working Kyle can usually be found hanging out with his wife and son or outdoors. Hiking, camping, and fly fishing are his passions. One of the most exciting things for him to do is introduce other people to the joy, excitement and peace that can be found in Creation.


Sara Whisenhunt

Licensed Professional Counselor

   - Certified in Thanatology

Sara, originally from Dallas, Texas, has lived in Central Arkansas since 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in psychology from Florida College in Tampa, Florida before completing her Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Central Arkansas. Sara’s passion and focus in counseling is grief and loss. She is an active member of the Association of Death Education and Counseling, and is a firm believer that grief is a common experience that binds us together in life. She is also Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying, and Bereavement. Sara has worked with a wide array of populations from geriatric, college students, couples, homeless, and loss. Sara is an active member of her church here in Conway and enjoys performing on stage, time with her family, watching baseball, and vacationing at Disney World. Sara and her husband are also the proud puppy parents of two Scottish Terriers. Sara is available to see clients during the week and some weekday evenings.

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Christen Warnock

Licensed Professional Counselor

   - Certified Integrative Mental Health        Professional

Christen earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Community Counseling from the University of Central Arkansas.  Since being licensed in 2010, she has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in the clinic, school, and client home environments, and she enjoyed supporting other mental health providers while in a clinical supervisor role.


Christen enjoys providing a nurturing and encouraging space in which each individual can utilize their strengths and passions in combination with evidence-based tools and interventions to pursue their goals, and she views counseling as an opportunity to partner with God in the work He is already faithfully completing in each person.  Christen has experience working with a wide variety of presenting concerns including anxiety, depression, behavioral challenges, difficulty adjusting to life changes, loss and the grieving process, communication difficulties, self-esteem or self-view concerns, difficulty managing stress, and trauma responses.  Christen also loves to work with individuals of any age who have the strength of being highly introverted or highly sensitive but who would like to work through maladaptive expressions of introversion/ sensitivity, improve communication, or build a self-care regimen that honors their personality and promotes balance. She recently became a Certified Integrative Mental Health Practitioner with a focus on the impact of nutrition on mental health as well.

Christen enjoys nature, exercise, creative pursuits, reading, and her family. 

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Melissa Bell, APRN

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

    - Spravato® Provider

Melissa Bell is an experienced Nurse Practitioner, who is dually certified in Family Practice and Psychiatry. She has 9 years of Advanced Practice experience in Urgent Care, Geriatrics, and Primary Care. She is certified to see all ages, but has a soft spot for adolescents and young adults.

Melissa's preferred practice style is creating an individualized treatment plan for each patient. She achieves this by obtaining a thorough understanding of her patient's medical and psychiatric history, and then uses that information to work with them to develop a unique treatment plan together. She believes that medical, mental, and spiritual needs influence each other. Therefore, she strives to address each of these needs in her practice through things like addressing vitamin deficiency and hormone imbalance or by using leading edge treatments like Spravato® for treatment-resistant depression. Because of her attention to detail, new patients can expect 50-60 minutes for initial appointments and 20-30 minutes for follow-up appointments.

Melissa is a transplant from Georgia, but has been living in Central Arkansas for the past couple of years. In her spare time, she enjoys running, hiking, traveling, and cheering for the GA Bulldogs with her husband and two teenagers.


Kelsey Sandefur

Licensed Professional Counselor

   - National Certified Counselor

   - CPT Certified

   - TF-CBT Certified

Kelsey Sandefur is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Arkansas, as well as a National Board-Certified Counselor. Kelsey received her Bachelors’ Degree in Psychology and Counseling from Central Baptist College in Conway, AR and her Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. With significant trauma training and certifications, including Cognitive Processing Therapy and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Kelsey is equipped to assist clients in processing through their trauma and meet their full potential in life.

Kelsey’s laid-back demeanor creates an atmosphere for her clients to come as they are, as Kelsey understands beginning the counseling journey can be a nerve-racking experience. With plans to pursue her doctorate in the near future in Child and Adolescent Development, Kelsey specializes in working with children, teens, and young adults.

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Michael Marsden

Licensed Psychologist

Michael is originally from Paragould, Arkansas. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Music at Ouachita Baptist University in 2009, and moved to Conway to earn a masters and PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas. Michael has worked for the past 7 years in a community mental health setting where he has gained experience working with adults of all ages who were learning to manage symptoms ranging from mild depression and worry to more severe symptoms of depression, trauma, panic, and even psychosis. Michael highly values learning and enjoys bringing current research findings and knowledge into the therapy process. Michael's strong emphasis on evidence-based treatment has led him to place a high priority on forming a strong therapeutic relationship with his clients as this is arguably one of the strongest predictors of therapeutic success. When he is not working or studying, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys cooking, dabbles in gardening, and loves when he can spare some time for his lifelong hobby of gaming.

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Katelynn Young

Licensed Professional Counselor

   - TF-CBT Trained

   - EMDR Trained

Katelynn earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Educational Specialist degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Harding University. She has worked with children and adults in a variety of settings, including acute inpatient, intensive outpatient/partial hospitalization programs, and traditional outpatient clinics. Katelynn loves helping clients rewrite the stories they are telling themselves about their experiences in order to develop a greater sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. She enjoys working with adolescents and young adults and is particularly interested in working with those who have experienced religious and spiritual trauma. Katelynn is trained in both Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to provide specialized help for those struggling with trauma effects. When she's not helping clients, Katelynn is a proud cat mom and enjoys a good cup of coffee, good conversation, and a good time outside.

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Jason Ribbing

Licensed Professional Counselor

Jason earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Lyon College in 2001 and his Master’s in Community Counseling at the University of Central Arkansas in 2004.

Since being licensed Jason has worked with a variety of clients in several different settings, including inpatient facilities, private practice, college counseling centers, and more.  Currently, his days are spent at the University of Central Arkansas Counseling Center working with young adults.

Jason enjoys working with individuals who want to improve their time management skills and problem solving abilities, helping athletes, and those who are working towards improving their relationships.  He utilizes Cognitive-Behavioral and Solution-Focused approaches and draws upon his experience as a college athlete when working with his clients.  Believing strongly in an individual’s ability to find his/her own answers, he provides an environment for clients to safely explore their thoughts and feelings as they move towards their ideal selves.


In his free time, Jason enjoys golfing, fishing, hunting, and family time with his wife and three children.


Brooke Meier

Licensed Professional Counselor

Brooke earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ouachita Baptist University and Master of Science in Community Counseling from the University of Central Arkansas.  Since being licensed in 2004, she has worked primarily in the school-based counseling setting, but in 2016 felt God leading her to use her training from a Christ-centered perspective.  Brooke’s passion is for working with children, adolescents, and adults alike by accepting them where they are and supporting those who feel broken by providing a safe environment in a Christ-centered setting.  Brooke enjoys serving in her church by working with the children and youth.  She’s married with two children, relaxes by doing craft projects, and loves to go to the beach.


Sarah Lindsey

Licensed Professional Counselor

   - Parenting Coordinator

   - Recognized Smart Stepfamily

     Therapy Provider

Sarah is originally from San Antonio and has recently moved back to Texas after having lived in Little Rock since 2005. She came to Arkansas after finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Colorado Christian University. Prior to returning to graduate school, Sarah worked directly with troubled teens at Youth Home, Inc. in Little Rock, and then transitioned to working with the homeless population at River City Ministry. In 2012, she completed her Master of Arts in Counseling at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and also became a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Sarah has a wide variety of experience working with career counseling, substance abuse, divorce, adolescents, adjustment issues, and people who simply feel stuck. She is also both a trained parenting coordinator, equipped to assist high-conflict coparents cooperate effectively for their child(ren), and a Recognized Smart Stepfamily Therapy Provider, having gone through specific training in blended family therapy. Sarah enjoys meeting people where they are, and joining each person on their unique, but blessed, journey. 

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Edison Sullivan

Licensed Associate Counselor

   - H. E. A. T. Certified

Edison earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Addictive Behavior Counseling and Prevention from Southern University at New Orleans. During his time in undergraduate school, Edison spent four years at LSU Health Science Center conducting behavioral research and is now finishing his Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from John Brown University.  For the past four years, Edison has served teenagers and their families in resolving personal and social issues through Deliver Hope, a central Arkansas-based non-profit organization with a passion to help teens see themselves the way God sees them. He has experience working with diverse populations and is passionate about providing culturally sensitive treatments. He is also certified in Habilitation Empowerment Accountability Therapy (H.E.A.T.) to provide specialized help for troubled youth. Edison is following God’s calling to impact the community by collaborating with individuals and families to overcome life’s challenges.  Edison enjoys spending time with family, hiking, engaging in sports, exercising, saunas, traveling, researching, and advocating for social justice.


Robert Ferguson

Student Therapist

Robert is currently enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Masters program at Liberty University. For over 14 years now, Robert has served the public as a Claims Specialist with the Social Security Administration. In this role, he has assisted individuals, families, and their children in navigating the complex disability, retirement, and Supplemental Security Income processes. It was through this role that Robert’s passion for mental health began to grow. Robert is scheduled to graduate in December of 2023 and will be available for very low-cost sessions throughout the Spring 2023 semester. He currently maintains a 4.0 GPA in his studies, and hopes to continue his service to the public as a mental health clinician for the Veterans Affairs.


Jordan Pitchford

Student Therapist

Jordan graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minors in Sociology and Addiction Studies. She is currently earning her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from John Brown University. Jordan has worked in various mental health settings with individuals of all ages and in many walks of life. 

Her journey in mental health thus far has given her the opportunity to understand the complexities of life and the importance of a compassionate and non-judgemental approach to counseling. Jordan's passion is to create a safe space for individuals to navigate life experiences. Jordan believes that each individual's journey is unique and she collaborates with her clients to create a space where vulnerability feels safe. Through evidence-based techniques and collaborative goal setting, Jordan works with her clients to navigate challenges, manage stress, and develop effective coping strategies. 


Jordan is married with two cats. In her free time, Jordan can be found creating art projects, reading, attempting to have a green thumb, cooking with her husband, and spending time with their families. She is a firm believer in self-care and can often be found practicing self-care through her hobbies. 


Kolton Thomas

Student Therapist

Kolton earned his Bachelor degree at Harding University and is earning his Master of Science in Counseling from John Brown University in Little Rock, Arkansas. Kolton spent more than 10 years volunteering for various non-profit organizations around Little Rock before entering into counseling and has experience working with foster youth, victims of human trafficking, and marginalized people living in poverty, including development efforts in Haiti. From these experiences, Kolton developed a passion for walking alongside hurting people to support them in their journey to overcome hardship and find holistic healing. 


Kolton loves helping his clients get to the root of their problems so that they can undergo a deep transformation that lasts (rather than simply undergoing surface level behavioral change), and he is comfortable working with individuals through their existential questions regarding faith, spirituality, identity, and the deconstruction of previously held beliefs. Kolton also has experience in helping men break free of unwanted behaviors, such as pornography, and is certified for working with the inner child therapy model which believes the road to recovery often goes through one's childhood.  In addition to working with individuals, Kolton enjoys helping couples who are dealing with high levels of stress and conflict in their relationship so that they can find peace and intimacy once again.

Kolton is married and enjoys being an outdoor enthusiast in the natural state, where he and his wife spend time backpacking, kayaking, and fishing together. He and his wife attend a local church where he helps with leading worship and serving in his community. 

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Lena Priest

Referral Liaison

Lena joined the CPC team full-time in June of 2023 after spending almost 20 years as a teacher, school counselor, and even a school bus driver!  She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and a Master's Degree in School Counseling and is a Nationally Board Certified School Counselor.  She enjoys using the skills and knowledge gained in her previous career to help people in her community get connected to the counseling care and resources they need.  Lena is excited to join her husband, Jon, to help run CPC's growing clinics, and will often be found around the Central Arkansas area at events telling people what CPC has to offer.  While she has long been a part of the behind the scenes planning and development of CPC, she is thrilled to now be able to devote more time and energy to helping people find healing and support through the community of Christ and the science of counseling.


When she isn't working, Lena loves spending time watching her three children at their extracurricular activities.  In her free time, Lena enjoys reading, baking, crafting, and vacationing with her family!  She hopes to one day write a blog about her family's road trips to National Parks.  She is also a committed member of her church where she teaches Sunday School and volunteers in many outreach ministries.   


Hannah Freeman

Administrative Assistant

Originally from Cabot, AR, Hannah relocated to Conway in 2018 to pursue her college education at NLC where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Christian Education in 2022.  Hannah enjoys leading worship at her Church, learning new instruments, trying out the best local coffee, and traveling whenever given the chance.  She is passionate about Jesus, and seeing people understand who the Lord created them to be.


Emily Riecker

Office Administrator

Emily joined the CPC staff in March of 2017 to provide administrative support for our expanding practice and now handles all reception, billing, and office management as well. She is originally from Oklahoma but has lived in Conway since 1997. When not in the office, Emily works as a small animal veterinarian providing relief services for various veterinary clinics in the area. In addition to her love of animals, she also enjoys trail running, is passionate about nutrition and fitness, and is a committed church member. We’re so blessed to have Emily’s support in helping our clients! 

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