Lynn Wadsworth, MS, LCMHCS, LCAS, CCS, CTT-1
Director of Clinical Services – Red Oak Recovery® Programs
Lynn is a dually-licensed clinician in the state of North Carolina as a Mental Health Counselor and an Addictions Specialist. She has over 25 years of experience working with adolescents, young adults, and their families. Lynn came to ROR seven years ago and created the family program and has since served as Clinical Director, Executive Director, and now, Director of Clinical Services for all Red Oak Recovery® programs. She is also a licensed Substance Abuse and Mental Health supervisor.
Prior to her work at Red Oak, Lynn held a variety of leadership roles throughout her clinical career in various fields and settings, including HIV/AIDS, therapeutic boarding school, adolescent intensive outpatient program, wilderness programs, and hospital inpatient unit.
Lynn’s areas of clinical experience include:
- Addiction Therapy
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)
- Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
- Polyvagal Therapy
- Attachment-focused Therapy
- Family Systems Therapy
Lynn brings to this work a deep understanding and empathy for individuals and families in crisis. Lynn says her primary goal in this role is “to support the ongoing growth, development, and clinical expertise across all Red Oak Recovery® programs.” Lynn has a lifelong commitment to creating the best possible therapeutic relationship with all clients and families in order to create lasting healthy change in their lives.
Corinne Brown, LMHC, LCMHC, LCAS, NCC, CTP
Corinne was one of the developers of the women’s program at Red Oak Recovery® from its inception in August 2014 and has worked as a therapist for the past fifteen years and as an educator for 17 years. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor (NY), Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, Certified Trauma Therapist, and National Certified Counselor, with master’s degrees in mental health counseling and instructional technology and a bachelor’s degree in family studies. Originally from New York, Corinne’s passion for, and research of wilderness therapy brought her to Asheville in 2006 to work as a therapist in a young adult wilderness recovery treatment program. Corinne returned to New York briefly where she taught humanities and life skills classes and served as the Health and Wellness Coordinator at a private school while maintaining a private practice with young adults and adolescents. Corinne returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2014 to continue her therapeutic work for Red Oak Recovery’s women’s program and then as The Willows’ Family Support Specialist, where she provided education and support for the families of our clients, including weekly family phone sessions, webinars, and co-facilitating monthly 3-day family workshops. As Red Oak began expanded its programming, Corinne accepted an instrumental role in assisting in the development of the clinical programming and operation of Foothills, our adolescent program for boys, as the Clinical Director. Corinne feels grateful to have another exciting opportunity to provide clinical leadership and assistance in the growth of the Red Oak Programs, as The Willows expands their young adult women’s program, a program where her heart truly lives and her journey with the Red Oak family began.
Corinne is grateful to be working with an impassioned team dedicated to supporting the lives of young people in their healing process and feels honored to bear witness to the stories of families in recovery.
Wendy West, MS, LCMHC-A, LCAS-A
Primary Therapist and Family Therapist
Wendy first became inspired to obtain her counseling degree while working at an orphanage for abused and neglected girls in Taulabe, Honduras. She completed her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Carolina University and has been working with men and women in addiction recovery at United Ministries in Greenville, S.C.
While completing her masters degree Wendy worked as a mental health therapist at Brevard College’s Stamey Wellness Center and at WCU’s Center for Career and Professional Development as a Career Counselor. She co-created a curriculum for and has facilitated multiple Women’s Resilience Groups, spoken about leadership and mentoring at several university conferences, and published research in academic journals. Wendy is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHC-A) with advanced training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. She is currently pursuing her Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist Associate (LCAS-A) certification.
As an educator, counselor and mother of five, Wendy is passionate about working with young women who are trying to make healthy, powerful, and enduring changes in their lives. She understands the transformational value of supportive family and community in the development of emerging adults. In her free time Wendy loves hiking, hygge, and exploring unusual and interesting places.
Katherine Mierek, LCMHC, LCAS
Katherine is originally from upstate South Carolina and moved to North Carolina to pursue a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a certificate in Addictions Counseling. Prior to completing her Master’s degree, Katherine completed a 200-hour intensive yoga instructor training program which deepened her interest in the mind-body connection. Since completing her degree and becoming a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist Associate, Katherine has been serving people on their path to recovery from trauma, substance use and mental health disorders through her experience in residential and intensive outpatient treatment programs, including in women’s specific dual-diagnosis treatment.
Katherine believes that compassion and empowerment are key to healing. She supports people in their recovery process through an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach, which includes assisting clients in building resilience and empowering them to take actions that move them in the direction of their values. Katherine sees present-moment, nonjudgmental awareness as a powerful tool for cultivating the mind-body relationship, cultivating healing and creating long-term change. Katherine is also a trained Brainspotting practitioner and assists clients in processing and healing from trauma with this technique.
Katherine is an avid rock climber and hiker, and an occasional cyclist and trail runner. She enjoys sharing meals with friends and spending time with her cats and a good book.
Bess Perlstein, LCSWA, LCASA
Bess grew up in Connecticut and has been in Asheville since 2012. For her undergraduate studies, Bess attended Warren Wilson College where she focused on Environmental Studies and Experiential Education. She then completed her Master’s in Social Work with a specialization in addictions at East Tennessee State University. For the past several years, Bess has worked in residential mental health and continues to be inspired by the ability to heal through community, safety, and connection.
When working with clients and families, Bess embraces a person-centered, strengths-based and holistic approach that honors where each individual is at in their journey. She strongly believes in supporting clients holistically, considering emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of each person. Bess creates and offers a safe space for clients to explore, grow and heal. She brings empathy, hope, experience, and dedication to The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® team. Bess supports clients in cultivating authenticity, connection, passion, and empowerment.
Bess enjoys spending time outside, hiking with her dog, mountain biking, yoga, reading, and live music. While she loves her time in the mountains, she also loves spending time on the coast at the beaches.
Christen Taylor, LCMHC, LCAS, CCS
Christen is originally from Durham, North Carolina and while she has lived in several other places in the state, the mountains of Western North Carolina have called to her. While she never thought it was possible, she loves the mountains equally, if not more, than the beach!
Christen comes to The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® with a wide range and depth of experience, most recently from the Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT) world, working in the opioid epidemic with individuals needing addiction and mental health services. Some of Christen’s other professional experience includes work in the following fields: pediatric neuropsychiatry, end of life stages for those with dementia, intensive outpatient addiction services, and reintegrating veterans back into society post addiction. She deeply and personally understands the impact of addiction on the family system.
Christen obtained a Masters in Substance Abuse and Clinical Mental Health Counseling from East Carolina University and is licensed in both the mental health and addiction fields as well as providing supervision to counselors working in addictions. Her therapeutic style is grounded in Motivational Interviewing as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She is also a Gorski-trained clinical professional. Christen is passionate about helping others discover not only how to help themselves for the here and now but utilizing evidenced-based practices to build a foundation that can sustain them for a future. She prides herself in seeing an individual as entire entity, not just their diagnosis or needs. A diagnosis should never serve as a label or as someone’s sole identity, it is a part of who you are; not who you are. Christen shares that one of her favorite sayings is: “it is okay to not be okay as long as you tell someone you are not okay!”
Christen is a big Clemson fan (Go Tigers!) and she loves going to Clemson football games, concerts, and the lake.
Ellen Pallme, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CCS
Ellen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist. Her primary interest and area of expertise is working with co-occurring disorders, in particular trauma. Ellen has extensive training for trauma, including Attachment-Focused-EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), forward-facing trauma therapy, Brainspotting, polyvagal theory, and yoga for trauma and resiliency.
Ellen utilizes motivational interviewing to enhance the inherent desire of the people she works with to create the changes they want to see in their lives. She is also a registered yoga instructor with 230-hours of training. Her focus is meeting her clients where they are at and finding which therapeutic intervention works best for them. Ellen has a holistic approach and integrate movement, diet, and sleep hygiene into the therapeutic milieu.
Jennifer Brady, LCMHC, LCAS, CCS
Jennifer started her career as a high school math teacher, but later returned to school to pursue her passion for serving individuals and families by earning her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Carolina University in 2011. She has worked as a therapist and supervisor within community mental health and substance use services in Western North Carolina. She is fully licensed as a Professional Counselor, Clinical Addictions Specialist, and Certified Clinical Addictions Supervisor.
Jennifer is passionate about her role on The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® team as a Family Therapist because she can aid in the healing journey of individuals and families. With specialty training in working with people recovering from trauma and addiction, she brings a perspective of hope that recovery is possible for all. She enjoys walking side by side with folks taking courageous steps toward whole health and wellness. Coming from a family of six, she also understands the tremendous value of family to aid in this journey.
Jennifer was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, but moved to Wilmington, North Carolina just before high school and considers North Carolina her home. She presently resides in Asheville with her husband, Patrick. She loves to be outdoors, going hiking with friends, practicing her novice fly fishing skills, or spending time with her dog, Petey. She also is a geeky fan of HGTV and enjoys home improvement projects.
Erika Swiger, MSW, LCSW, LCAS-A
Erika was born and raised in Asheville. She is returning to the Blue Ridge mountains after eight years in New England where she graduated with an MSW from Boston College School of Social Work in 2017. For the past four years Erika has lived in Vermont and gained experience working in schools with adolescents and their families struggling with mental health and environmental challenges. Erika also has experience as a mental health crisis clinician working with clients of all ages in acute distress to mitigate risk, maintain safety, and move towards resolution.
Erika is passionate about supporting families in healing and reconnecting with each other. She is excited to collaborate with families and clients as they engage meaningfully in their recovery centered family work and create new patterns of interaction grounded in love, mutual respect, attunement, and joy. Erika brings a trauma responsive and client centered approach to her work; she believes in the inherent worth of every person and maintains unconditional positive regard for her clients.
Outside of work you can find Erika enjoying the outdoors with her husband and dog, curled up on the couch reading with her cat, or anywhere with live music. She enjoys yoga, contra dancing, spending quality time with friends and family, and gardening.
Paige Blaha, MS, LCHMCA, ATR, NCC
Paige is a very passionate and creative therapist originally from Kansas where she gained a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, and two masters concurrently in Clinical Counseling and Art Therapy, spending the majority of her intern work within prison settings, mental health hospitals, and within the Deaf community. During her graduate school experience, Paige did extensive work with the Kansas School for the Deaf and research in expressive eco-art therapies in Ireland. She spent her earliest years as a licensed therapist in Albuquerque, New Mexico at a psychiatric behavioral hospital working with severe to persistent mental illnesses. Most recently, Paige has had the opportunity to work in a partial inpatient facility specializing in eating disorders providing group and individual therapy for adolescents and adults; this experience contributed a great amount of perspective, knowledge, and compassion to her craft.
Paige currently holds her LCMHCA in the state of North Carolina, is a Registered Art Therapist (ATR), as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). Her therapeutic perspective derives from dialectical behavioral, cognitive behavioral, and person-centered therapies. Paige is absolutely thrilled at the idea of being able to implement her knowledge and personal experience with creative and expressive therapies The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® and have the opportunity to work with such a versatile and competent team of clinicians and professionals.
Paige often finds herself nearest to a lake or river most weekends on her kayak, in surrounding nature with a sketchbook painting, sculpting with various materials, building furniture, or at home with her animals, plants, and with a good book nearby.
Denise Marsters, CADC, CSAT
Certified Sex, Love, and Relationship Addiction Therapist
Denise is a native of Ireland and moved to the United States in 1984. She has worked in the addiction recovery field for over 25 years. Denise is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist and Consultant for Sex Addiction Treatment. She is also trained in Equine Therapy (EAGALA), Relapse Prevention Therapy (Gorski), certified in Adventure Therapy (ROPES), and has training in Psychodrama
Denise has worked with different populations and treatment settings at both inpatient and outpatient programs Denise has a private practice and facilitates intensive workshops, offers retreats and presents at conferences and symposiums throughout the country.
In 2008, she founded a non-profit (501c3) organization for sober living, which is a transitional living facility for women who have successfully completed inpatient treatment for addiction, trauma and substance use.
Denise is a member of MAAP (Mississippi Association of Addiction Professionals), NCASPPB (North Carolina Addictions Specialists Professional Practice Board), SASH (Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health), EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) and IITAP (International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals).
Shea McGinnis, LCSWA, LCAS, CSI
Program Director & Primary Therapist
KALLIE BROWN, MA, LCMHC-A, LCAS-A, NCC
Rites of Passage Coordinator
Kallie has been a part of Red Oak Recovery® team in various capacities for over five years. Kallie began her work with The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® in 2016 and has served as a Clinical Technician, Shift Supervisor, Senior Field Guide, Clinical Intern, and Primary Therapist. Kallie has extensive background in rites of passage work, and through this passion designed and developed a 5-day women’s rites of passage ceremony for clients moving towards their graduation.
A rite of passage can be understood as a way to intentional mark and honor the passage from one stage of life to the next. We often think of rites of passage such as graduation from high school and college or getting married. However, one of the most significant passages in person’s life can be stepping into recovery from addiction or stepping into a place of healing from a traumatic past.
Kallie completed her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Appalachian State University with a certificate in Expressive Arts therapy. Kallie is a licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHC-A), a Nationally Certified Counselor, and a Clinical Addiction Specialist Associate (LCAS-A). Prior to completing her master’s work, Kallie worked in a wilderness therapy setting with adolescents from 2011-2015.
It is through her own recovery journey that Kallie has found a passion in her work with women, guiding and supporting them as they move from a place of wounding and pain, to healing and recovery. Kallie facilitates therapeutic groups, providing a trauma informed approach, blending experiential psycho drama, eco therapy, and attachment theory into her work. She believes that the choice to come to treatment is one that takes tremendous courage, and she is grateful to be a part of such a dedicated and talented team of individuals.
Kallie is a native to Asheville, NC and in her free time enjoys hiking, camping, yoga, gardening, and connecting with friends and family.