our staff

Eliezer VazqueZ 


Eliezer has worked in the mental health field since 1977. His passion for helping others through counseling stems from his own personal experience of the therapy process and its benefits, and he enjoys guiding others on their own journeys. Having worked with adolescents, adults, and families, Eliezer has the most experience in guiding clients through issues related to substance abuse and adolescence. Using an eclectic therapeutic approach, Eliezer works with every client to determine what interventions are most appropriate for their unique situations and experiences, drawing from cognitive behavioral, client-centered, and behavioral modification therapeutic techniques.


Tristin White 


Tristin received her Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2002 and has worked in the mental health and substance abuse fields for over 16 years.  She is a licensed counselor in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Washington State and also holds certification as a National Certified Counselor and Master Addictions Counselor.  Tristin is experienced in outpatient, inpatient, correctional, and crisis-based treatment settings and has served clients of all ages with diverse backgrounds.  While she may utilize a variety of counseling techniques best suited for her client’s needs, Tristin’s clinical practice focuses on reality therapy.  Reality therapy is a cognitive-behavioral approach to counseling and helps a client to explore what they really want in life and if what they are currently doing is actually bringing them closer to that goal.


Kevin Patton


Kevin is a Clinical Counselor who obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology from Winthrop University and his Master’s degree in mental health counseling from Webster University.  He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Addiction Counselor and a Master's Addiction Counselor. He has worked with hundreds of patient’s that have used or abused alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD).  He has a passion for helping others and adapting his clinical skills and intervention strategies to best meet the client's individual needs.


tobie mabe-smith

MS, LPca

Tobie is a licensed professional counselor associate who obtained her Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Tobie enjoys working with individuals, couples and families helping people 

through counseling to attain mental and emotional well being and to reach their personal goals. She 

utilizes an eclectic, holistic approach incorporating appropriate modalities from various counseling theories. 

She has worked with individuals, couples and families working through challenges including relationship issues, life transitions, recovery from sexual abuse, codependency issues, divorce recovery, grief, single parenting, 

anxiety, and depression. She is certified in the Gottman method levels I and II. She has a lay counseling 

background of working with women in inpatient facilities working through issues surrounding addiction and at times incarceration. She has also worked with teenagers through Teen Court, an alternative to juvenile court program. Tobie enjoys hiking and kayaking which she utilizes as self-care. 

AJ JOhnson

ma, lcpa​

Mr. AJ Johnson is a Licensed Professional Counseling Associate with a Master’s in Professional Counseling. He has worked with children, adolescents, students, parents, and families since 2007 in numerous settings including school, home, office, and the community. Mr. Johnson has extensive experience with children and adolescents who are experiencing depression, anxiety, addiction, self-injurious behavior, aggression, trauma, social, emotional, and educational struggles, attention difficulties, oppositional behaviors, truancy issues, and legal issues. Mr. Johnson uses a person-centered approach, so he tends to see the good in people who aren’t always able to see it for themselves.  To encourage change, he uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness, and psycho-dynamic approaches. He strives to work collaboratively with clients and assist them in building on the strengths they might not have known they’ve always had.

Jacquelyn Grier


Jacquelyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has over 11 years of therapeutic experience in non-profit, state, academic, and private practice settings. She is dedicated to helping adult men, women, and couples heal from childhood trauma, abuse, neglect, and abandonment. She guides her clients to develop a strong sense of self, more balanced well-being, and to discover their authentic and highest self. She is especially interested in working with diverse couples struggling to regain trust, work through trauma, intimacy issues, and emotional disconnection, so they can experience a more fulfilling and long-lasting relationship. Her counseling style is an integrative and holistic approach incorporating mind, body, and spirit, which allows for a deeper comprehensive healing and wellness transformation.  


Julie Risher


As a Licensed Professional Counselor in the field of mental health, Julie continually found her greatest successes have been achieved in the areas of social perceptiveness, listening, and communications. In the mental health field, Julie's credentials include progressive responsibility with documented success at various organizational levels. Her background in Emergency Room Nursing, as well as Clinical Counseling play a large part in helping individuals become more self-sufficient in navigating today’s stress-filled world. Julie delivers individual therapy for those who suffer from Depression, Anxiety, Eating Disorders, Self-harm, Grief and Addictions. She is known as a versatile contributor with experience in all core counseling functions, top-flight consensus-building and problem-solving skills, and the ability to make difficult decisions.  


Caroline Williams


Caroline is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) in both North and South Carolina. Caroline holds a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Much of Caroline's counseling experience comes from her time at Lenoir Rhyne University's counseling center. There, Caroline had the privilege of meeting with clients of many different ages and presenting problems. Caroline has experience working with individuals struggling with anxiety, grief, mood disorders, self-harm, and self-esteem related problems, as well as individuals dealing with stages of life transition. Caroline's therapeutic style is heavily influenced by person-centered therapy, expressive arts therapy, mindfulness, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She values the uniqueness of the relationship with each of her clients and strives to create a space where each individual can truly feel heard and accepted.

Mitchell Culbertson


Mitchell Culbertson is a counselor specializing in individual, couples, and family therapy.  Mr. Culbertson is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate and a National Board Certified Counselor trained in traditional and post-modern therapies.  Mr. Culbertson is an Air Force Veteran and member of Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International and believes culturally competent care is the key to people remaining engaged in the counseling process. Mr. Culbertson believes each person is equipped to address many of the concerns which plague them and seeks to create an environment which allows people to move beyond their present circumstances. He has worked with many agencies and organizations in the past and has established Case Management Services to help individuals and families to navigate the maze of accessing needed services in their quest for a Better Tomorrow! 

 Favorite quote:  "As A Man Thinketh in His Heart So Is He" (Proverbs 23:7)



Michelle earned her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from UNC Charlotte and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in both South Carolina and North Carolina. Michelle has diverse experience providing counseling to individuals, families, children, adolescents and groups in various settings and has worked with clients with a wide range of concerns including depression, anxiety, grief and loss, end of life, relationship issues, parenting problems, career challenges, and coping with life transitions.  Michelle has also been successful helping people find ways to cope and heal from traumatic experiences.

Michelle’s counseling style is warm and collaborative. Michelle is committed to providing empathy, sensitivity, compassion, and respect to her clients, as these are essential to establishing a safe and trusting relationship from which clients can thrive and achieve their goals. Michelle’s approach to counseling is most heavily influenced by Person-Centered, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Attachment, Existential, and Grief and Loss models and encourages clients to seek creative solutions and replace self-defeating thoughts and behaviors with more positive ways of thinking and engaging with their environment. Mindfulness, expressive arts, and sandplaytherapy can be effective interventions to foster self-awareness, growth and healing and Michelle often incorporates these practices into therapy. Michelle views children, adolescents and teenagers through a developmental lens, and especially for her work with young children under the age of 10, believes play is their natural language and utilizes child-centered play therapy to provide the safe, healing space most children need to heal.  Lastly, it is Michelle's belief that anyone can overcome the challenges which they encounter and she looks forward to working with you in creating positive solutions to discover more freedom and self-direction in your life.  

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Janel Guntle


Counselor and prior-auth Administrator

Janel has a master's degree in professional counseling and a deep passion for helping children that may be struggling with emotional and behavioral mental health challenges. She has fifteen years of clinical experience working with clients at the Therapeutic Day Treatment program in Virginia, where she worked with hundreds of children, parents, and families. Janel found her time there to be rewarding as well as integral to her professional development as a counselor. After making the move to South Carolina, Janel found her clinical home here with Thrive Family Services, where she continues to grow professionally as she strives to help as many people as possible. She is currently working on becoming a certified Sandplay Therapist (SPT). is a psychotherapeutic method applied in the work with children, adolescents, and adults, with a theoretical background in psychodynamic theories of play therapy, and especially in CG Jung's analytical psychology. 


Laurie Grove


Laurie is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPCA) in both North and South Carolina and is certified as a National Certified Counselor (NCC).  She is holds a Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Winthrop University, a Master of Arts degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.  In addition to her work as a counselor, Laurie works at Winthrop University as a Student Services Program Coordinator in the College of Business Administration.  She enjoys counseling individuals of different ages and from different backgrounds.  




Meet Decatur Wilson (DW).  DW is first a husband and father to 3 beautiful girls.  DW graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with bachelors in Industrial Engineering and Technology.  He also has 11 years of experience leading large teams (100+ people) and managing multi-million dollar accounts for a Fortune 50 company.  DW also is a licensed real estate broker in North and South Carolina.  DW loves to see people grow and seeing positive change.  He also has a passion to help and support people while doing life which is why he works with Thrive Family Services and why he is a real estate agent.  DW is responsible for the physical and financial health and growth of Thrive Family Services. 

ashley volta

billing administrator

Ashley is one of our Administrators here at Thrive. She has an A.A.S in Chemical Dependency Counseling as well as a B.A in English from the University of Baltimore. Her internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital with their outpatient substance abuse program helped transition her to counseling for various clinics that focused on Methadone Maintenance as a modality for harm reduction in certain areas.  She mainly worked with those individuals struggling with opioid addiction using individual and group counseling as well as acting as a liaison between clients and other local agencies.  She expanded her skills to the administrative side after the birth of her first daughter. Ashley and her family moved down to South Carolina where she has found her new administrative home at Thrive. She hopes to continue to develop her skills and abilities while contributing to Thrive's mission of helping the community.



Michaella is one of our Intake Specialists here at Thrive. She has a BA in Psychology and an AS in Chemical Dependency from Keene State College. She moved to the area in 2019 from New York where she was managing a multi site Psychiatric Office. She hopes to bring her experience to our growing office and the opening of Roots Psychiatry and Wellness!

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David brown

masters level intern

David is an intern working to complete his MS in Clinical Counseling. David believes in an eclectic form of therapy—drawing from many different theoretical orientations. David mostly utilizes cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), Gestalt, client-centered, and psychodynamic therapy; however, he utilizes the best therapeutic approaches depending on the client's need.


Lashaunda Abili

Master's level intern

LaShauda Abili (El) is a graduate intern supervised by Dr. Wilson. She enjoys helping people understand themselves on a deeper level so they are able to discover their hidden strengths and resilience. She's excited to be with Thrive, helping the community of Clover and surrounding areas. Whether you are new to counseling or have been active in the process previously, she is here to help support you along your journey to mental wellness. 

Let us help you thrive in every season of your life!


Fort Mill(803)228-4038

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© 2019  Thrive Family Services, LLC.