Meet The Team
Our psychotherapists are all highly skilled in working with children and families and have a variety of trauma-informed specialties. Each of our team members is devoted to providing the highest standard of mental health care.
Vanessa Kellner, LCPC, NCC, RPT-S, CCPT, RYT
Owner | Therapist
Vanessa received both her master's degree and her post-master's certificate from Johns Hopkins University in 2011. She is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the state of Maryland and a National Board Certified Counselor. She is a credentialed Play Therapist and Play Therapy Supervisor (RPT-S) and member of the Association for Play Therapy (APT) and the American Counseling Association (ACA). Vanessa specializes in child centered play therapy and has earned her certification as a Child-Centered Play Therapist, credentialed through the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement.
In addition to being a licensed therapist, Vanessa is a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. She has developed and run school-based yoga programs in both public and private schools. Vanessa has also worked with other local mental health providers to create yoga and mindfulness group curriculums, offering yoga programs addressing the mental health needs of children and families. Some of these programs include Yoga for Anxiety, Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids, and Yoga and Mindfulness Workshops for Pre-Teens and Families. In addition to creating and running these yoga programs, Vanessa regularly weaves mindfulness strategies and yoga practices into her therapeutic work.
Vanessa believes deeply in the importance of nature and expressive arts in healing. It is this passion that led to the creation of the Nature-Based Expressive Arts Therapy Group, co-created with Ashley Taylor. You can read more about this program here. Vanessa regularly utilizes nature and other expressive arts in her therapy work, including nature based sessions, movement, sandplay therapy, and a variety of art mediums.
Vanessa uses a person-centered / holistic approach in her practice. Practically speaking, this means she takes into account the many factors that can impact a client's functioning and trusts in the inner wisdom of her clients to guide the therapeutic journey.
Areas of Specialty:
Therapy with Pre-Teens and Teens
Family Consultation and Therapy
Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT)
Supervision Services Offered:
Play Therapy Supervision
Mental Health Counseling Supervision (in the state of MD)
Brooke Riffe, LCSW-C, RPT
Brooke graduated from University of Maryland School of Social Work with her Masters of Social Work in 2013. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Maryland and credentialed Play Therapist (RPT). Brooke has completed the Trauma Certificate program through the Ferentz Institute. She is also completing the Foundational Theraplay Practitioner Practicum in Theraplay , a child and family therapy focused on building stronger attachments with children and their caregivers.
Brooke has worked with children, adolescents, adults and families as a school social worker, outpatient mental health therapist, school-based mental health therapist, and domestic violence and sexual assault therapist. She is passionate about helping others heal from trauma, develop positive coping strategies, and engage in healthy relationships.
Brooke utilizes child centered play therapy, sand tray and expressive arts, and trauma-informed, person–centered approach to therapy. She enjoys incorporating nature into sessions.
Nancy D'Imperio, LCSW-C
Nancy graduated from University of Maryland School of Social Work with her Masters of Social Work in 1992. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Maryland She has earned her certification as a Child-Centered Play Therapist, Filial Therapist and Relationship Enhancement Therapist credentialed through the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement. She has had the opportunity to do extensive training with several leaders in the field of expressive arts and trauma therapy, including Dr. Dee Preston-Dillon (Sandtray Therapy), Lisa Ferentz (Trauma training) and Deany Laliotis (EMDR Trauma Certification).
Nancy has worked in an outpatient clinic with children, adolescents and families for over 25 years. She has experience with a variety of issues including trauma, anxiety, depression and ADHD. In addition to individual and family therapy, Nancy developed and has facilitated several children's groups focusing on social skills, grief and loss, and separation/divorce.
Nancy utilizes child centered play therapy, sand tray and expressive arts. She specializes in trauma therapy and is Certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Recovery) and TF-CBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy) to assist clients in recovering from traumatic experiences. As a family therapist, she is particularly sensitive and supportive to parenting struggles and offers a calm, supportive presence for parents and their children.
Nancy is a holistic therapist and is a proponent of alternative therapies including homeopathy, acupuncture and aromatherapy. She has trained in Reiki (Level 2) and frequently recommends mindfulness activities to clients. Her goal is to assist clients to have a more balanced lifestyle. Helping children and their families improve their overall functioning is her goal and passion. In her spare time, Nancy loves spending time at the beach, listening to live music and playing with her great-nephew for fun.
Master's Level Clinical Counseling Intern
Caroline graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a BA in psychology in 2021. Caroline is currently in her final year of the Clinical Professional Counseling master’s degree program at Loyola University Maryland. She has worked with children in a school-based setting and in the home as a Registered Behavioral Technician. She has also co-authored a research grant for a classroom curriculum which highlights ways to include positive coping strategies and trauma informed care in the classroom for students of diverse backgrounds.
Caroline is passionate about incorporating trauma-informed care in therapy, working with children with neurodivergence, and creating a space for all children to feel truly heard and seen through Child-Center Play Therapy. She also deeply appreciates the healing powers of movement and nature and plans to include both in the therapeutic space.
Master's Level Clinical Counseling Intern
Livy graduated from Loyola University Maryland with her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship-Business Administration in 2021. She is in pursuing her Clinical Professional Counseling Degree from Loyola University and is expected to graduate in December 2023.
Livy is excited to provide the opportunity for children and families who meet with her to feel seen, heard, and cared for. She will do this by applying all her newly acquired counseling skills as well as her life experiences. She is innately compassionate, thoughtful, and sympathetic towards everyone she meets and connects with.
Livy is passionate about working with children and families struggling to help them be happy and healthy.
Nature-Based Expressive Arts Camp Director
Ashley graduated from Towson University in 2011 with a degree in theatre and a concentration in acting and community outreach. As a proud member of the Teaching Artists of the Mid-Atlantic, she worked with Compass Rose, teaching theatre in Annapolis and leading various classes encompassing ages 4-11. In her spare time she has also directed a number of children's plays. Ashley's passion is empowering children to discover their own uniqueness and to realize their potential through the use of imagination and creativity. Ashley's ideas and expertise were the inspiration for the Expressive Arts Therapy Group. She has been an integral part of the creation, execution, and continued success of this wonderful offering. She is currently working towards her dream of obtaining her Master's degree in counseling. We will be honored to have her on staff as a fellow therapist at Wholesome Healing when she completes her studies.
Max, Helping Paws
Meet Max! Our resident emotional support dog in training. You may see Max around the office or at events. He is a two year old goldendoodle who we hope will take up a regular place at the office in the near future.