Dr. Aimee Thomas is a licensed Psychologist and Professional Clinical Counselor with a Supervision Endorsement.  She has undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Political Science from Kent State University, a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Kent State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from The University of Akron.  In addition to the foregoing degrees in counseling and psychology, Dr. Thomas also has a Juris Doctorate degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.  Although Dr. Thomas is a licensed attorney, her license is currently inactive and she does not practice law.
Dr. Thomas has 22 years of experience in private practice, correctional facilities, and the Veteran’s Administration.  Dr. Thomas conducts parenting evaluations, psychological evaluations with parenting emphasis, and custody evaluations.  These evaluations always prioritize the best interests of the child/children involved in the litigation.  Additionally, Dr. Thomas has conducted numerous sexual abuse evaluations, competency evaluations, disposition evaluations, amenability evaluations, and special youth offender evaluations.  Dr. Thomas estimates that she has conducted more than 3,000 evaluations and testified as expert witness more than 300 times throughout Ohio. She is also a member of the Ohio Supreme Court faculty and has given presentations/workshops on a multitude of topics, including courtroom testimony, custody evaluations, and the impact of child abuse on parenting.
In November 2018, Dr. Thomas, along with four of her colleagues, founded Lighthouse Family Center, Ltd. with the purpose of creating a child and family centered counseling and assessment practice, and with a foundation on trauma-informed and evidenced-based services.  In addition to conducting a variety of court involved assessments, Dr. Thomas also provides counseling servcies to individuals diagnosed with co-occurring mental health and drug and alcohol use, co-occurring chronic pain and addiction, gender identity issues, high conflict family problems, and general mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Personality Disorders.  
 




Ms. Schnirring graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Dayton, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. She was then awarded a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology from Xavier University. She has been employed as a mental health provider for over 20 years.  Ms. Schnirring has extensive experience in psychological assessment, and to-date, she has conducted well over 1500 evaluations with children to determine mental health diagnoses and treatment needs.  She also has tremendous experience regarding trauma informed care, trauma focused therapy, and other counseling modalities. She is additionally skilled in the provision of parent consultation regarding children with behavioral difficulties and regarding children whose parents are involved in high conflict divorce proceedings or custody battles. 
Ms. Schnirring is the mental health liaison for the Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Team of Stark County and her office is located inside the Children’s Network of Stark County’s CAC. As such, she receives many referrals from various social services agencies throughout Northeast Ohio and many of the children that she assists are in the foster care system. Her primary focus has become childhood sexual abuse, and much of her evaluation work has been dedicated to the assessment of children and adolescents that have made sexual abuse allegations and/or who have made disclosures about other traumatic experiences. Her work with this special population has resulted in her involvement in legally complex cases that have required expert witness testimony in both criminal and family court settings. 
Ms. Schnirring has been designated as an Expert Witness in Stark County, Summit County, Holmes County, Tuscarawas County, and Fairfield County.  Ms. Schnirring is listed on the Data Bank of Experts on Child Abuse (DECA List) that is recognized by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

 




Ms. Denise McPherson is a licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who graduated from Walsh University with a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling and Human Development.  Ms. McPherson obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Kent State University with collaborative research experience in psychoneuroimmunology; the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body.

Ms. McPherson has a vast understanding of the social service field, which influences her counseling practice.  At the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Ms. McPherson assisted individuals in this program to become successful at working independently within their local communities.  As a caseworker for the Department of Job and Family Services, Children’s Services division, Ms. McPherson used a strength-based approach when working with children and their families. She has also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate Guardian Ad Litem for the Stark County Family Courts, representing abused, neglected, and dependent children.  Ms. McPherson has provided court testimony in the aforementioned roles, and additionally as mental health professional.

Ms. McPherson is trained in several treatment modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Play Therapy including creative art activities.  Ms. McPherson counsels individuals of all ages with Depression, Anxiety, Adjustment Disorders, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, ADHD, Substance Abuse, Autism and Learning Disorders, and Childhood Behavioral Disorders.  Ms. McPherson also has experience in working with family members during high conflict divorce.  She has helped victims of sexual abuse and/or assault to prepare for court testimony, and assisted family members in their supportive roles.   

Ms. McPherson encourages family involvement in counseling sessions, when appropriate.  She understands that “family” is a single word with many meanings, and particularly enjoys working with families during the adoption process and beyond.  Ms. McPherson values a holistic approach to counseling, and recognizes the importance of caring for one’s self mentally, physically, and spiritually. 


 



 Leah Schilling, LPCC-S
After Ms. Schilling completed her undergraduate education at Ohio Wesleyan University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Anthropology, she earned a Masters of Education in Community Counseling from Kent State University in 2008.
Ms. Schilling is an independently licensed Supervising Professional Clinical Counselor, attaining licensure in 2009 by the State of Ohio’s Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. Ms. Schilling’s clinical experience includes home-based and outpatient intervention with children, adolescents, adults and families. Additional experience includes the clinical and administrative management of an In-home therapeutic service program. Although Ms. Schilling has provided treatment services to individuals and families presenting a variety of mental health concerns, Ms. Schilling has dedicated her career to assisting individuals in their recovery from trauma and adversity through fostering hope, strength and resiliency.
Ms. Schilling has received training, supervision and consultation in the evidenced-based treatment modalities of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). These evidence-based therapeutic modalities are helpful adjuncts to trauma-focused treatment services. Ms. Schilling provides services to children (age 5 and above), adolescents, adults and families exhibiting a diversity of emotional and behavioral health concerns.

Areas of specialty:

Adjustment Issues
Adolescents Involved with the Juvenile Justice System and Children Services (including foster care)
Anxiety
Depression
Domestic Violence
Grief and Loss
Parent/Caregiver Consultation
Physical Abuse and Neglect
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Self-harm
Suicidal Thoughts/Actions
Survivors of Human Trafficking
Traumatic Stress

   



Ms. Ortega-Gomes graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston College where she completed a Bachelor of Art in Psychology; she was then awarded a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling from the Johns Hopkins University in 2005. She has been practicing for over 12 years specializing in trauma-focused counseling. She provides therapeutic services primarily to children and adolescents with a history of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse and/or neglect.  She has extensive experience in helping clients who struggle with Depression, Anxiety, and other mental health diagnoses. Treatment modalities that she has been trained in include Play Therapy, Art Therapy, Sand Tray Therapy, Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).

Ms. Ortega-Gomes works closely with social service agencies, case workers and Guardian Ad Litems, aiding children and their families during and after their involvement with these agencies. Treatment focuses on helping caregivers become aware of how their trauma and/or the child’s trauma affect the family unit and how it might impact their ability to parent effectively.

Ms. Ortega-Gomes has worked closely with prosecutors and court advocates to help prepare children for court testimony. As part of her involvement with the Children’s Network of Stark County, she has been designated as an expert witness.  Thanks to her cultural background, she is also able to effectively counsel Hispanic families in their native language which positively affects their mental health treatment.

Ms. Ortega-Gomes strives to provide a safe space for her clients, she encourages them to understand the importance of focusing on wellness, self-care, and strengths. She is dedicated to helping her clients and their caregivers become aware of the body’s normal responses to trauma so that they can better understand why certain thoughts, feelings and behaviors might occur.


OFFICES
Summit County Office
4526 Stow Rd.
Ste. #A
  Stow, Ohio 44224
Goodwill Campus  
408 9th St. SW     
 Ste. #1610
Canton, Ohio 44707
The Children’s Network
 213 Market Ave. N
Ste. #200
Canton, Ohio 44702  
Key Bank Building  
145 North Chestnut
Ste. #203     
Ravenna, Ohio 44266