Andy Smola, MS, LPC
Prior to attending college, I spent three years in the United States Army as a medic in the 82nd Airborne Division. After my military experience, I received a Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in anthropology, and a Master’s degree in counseling psychology. Upon graduation, I began working for a community mental health center as a supervisor for the community psychiatric rehabilitation program. My experience increased working with adults who were suffering from severe and persistent mental illness. As my leadership skills continued to grow, I was promoted to a director’s position overseeing their crisis services that covered 20 counties in Missouri. I was involved in several state committees with the Department of Mental Health and provided numerous trainings to organizations across the state. I furthered my experience with children and adolescents by serving as a clinical supervisor for a children’s case management team. This work allowed me to learn much more about children, adolescence and their families. As an added benefit my familiarity increased with the state’s system and their initiatives. Currently, I am a Licensed Professional Counselor providing licensure supervision and in-home counseling for Midwest Counseling & Consulting. I am married and we have two amazing boys. For recreation we go on bike rides, camping, skiing and return to my family farm for fishing and hunting.
Renee Smola, MS, MBA, LPC, NCC
I have a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and have state Licensure and National Certification. Upon finishing my Master’s I pursued additional training in Sexual and Physical Abuse. I moved up quickly in my career and became the Director at a Residential facility. It did not take long for me to decide I wanted to provide counseling and not be an executive. In 1998 I began working in private practice and have haven’t looked back. I love my job. I provide individual, family, couples, and group therapy and work with all ages, starting at 4 years old. In addition to counseling and supervising other counselors for licensure, I also serve as a board member for the Missouri Mental Health Counselor Association and teach psychology and business classes at two colleges in St. Louis. Most recently I was asked to write the therapist and parent guide for children's books dealing with adoption, grief, being in foster, starting over, etc. On the personal side, I was raised on a farm in rural Missouri (6 miles outside of Bland, MO) and now live in St. Louis. Andy and I, have 2 sons, a small petting zoo consisting of a dog, cat, 3 hamsters, a guinea pig, 2 fish tanks and horses. My favorite spare time activities are to do anything outside: fishing, horseback riding, camping, and jeeping. On cold wintery days my favorite thing to do is have pajama day and watch movies while eating popcorn and candy with my family.
Patsy Ware, MA, PLPC
I received my Master of Arts in Counseling from Webster University. I am a Provisionally Licensed Professional Counselor, and am working towards licensure in Missouri. I have several years experience working with children and adults providing in-home based mental health services. I also have experience working with the developmentally delayed population. I loved working with this population and focusing on their unique individual strengths. I work with children, adults, families, and groups. I have experience with teaching parenting skills, and also have experience in drug treatment settings. I have collaborated with Children's Division and Juvenile officers through my experience. I believe that there is good in each individual. I am eager to assist people with finding and enhancing their strengths and potential. Personally, I've had the privilege of helping to parent 15 children at some point in their lives, 5 of which I gave birth to. In my spare time, I love spending time with my family, reading, watching movies, and doing things outdoors with my children.
Corita M. Taylor, MS, LPC, NBCC
I obtained both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Los Angeles California where I grew up.
My Bachelor’s degree is in Rehabilitation Counseling with a Drug and Alcohol specialist certification and my Master’s degree is in Counseling with the School Counseling option.
I began my career as a Deputy Juvenile Officer with the Division of Youth Services in Anaheim California. I worked as a Vocational Counselor for the Los Angeles Job Corps for several years. After earning my Master’s degree I relocated to the state of Georgia where I began working for the Department of Family and Children’s Services recruiting and training prospective foster and adoptive parents as well as providing foster care case management. My social work background as an Adoption and Foster care worker allowed me to gain great knowledge in understanding child abuse and trauma.
I currently work at a middle school as a Guidance Counselor. This position allows me to work closely with students in the areas of social development, academic progress and assisting them in preparing for high school.
I have worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor for the past 15 years providing counseling to youth of all ages as well as adults. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to assist others in their growth and development.
I have 2 adult sons, 2 grandchildren and a cat and a dog. I enjoy baking, gardening, traveling and being outside in nature.
Dianne Parr, PhD, PLPC
I was destined to be a counselor, growing up my family and teachers identified my helping skills at an early age. I majored in psychology in undergrad and entered the workforce as a social worker for the Children’s Division and held positions with the abuse neglect hotline, foster care, and adoption. Having been a deputy juvenile officer for St. Louis County Family Court, I am familiar with all facets of the system for the care of our youth and children. Since that time, I have worn many hats! I decided to teach for a while but continued graduate school to earn my master’s Degree in Counseling and soon after began school counseling for the Hazelwood School District, where I practiced most of my career. As a school counselor, I was a leader in the field as President of the Missouri School Counselor Association and serving many years as a governing board member in numerous positions. Still, my education continued during those years as I completed my doctorate in Educational Leadership. I have written curriculum for the Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education and the Hazelwood School District and provided numerous professional workshops for school counselors, administrators, educators, and others both locally and internationally. My goal is to always do my best to make a difference in the lives I touch! I teach spinning at a local gym and enjoy running, biking, traveling, movies and hanging out with my grandkids.
William "Bud" McKenzie, MA, MS, PLPC
Friedrich Nietzsche stated, “If you know your why, you can endure any how”; I believe my why is helping people. My personal mission is to recognize potential in others, shine into them, and help create pathways to success. Growing up I had many dreams and aspirations but none greater than finding creative ways to help and bless others. As the grandson and nephew of church pastors, my life has comprised of blessing others through the talents I have been granted. God has fueled me with passion which has been multiplied as I continue to develop these talent through continual growth and education.
I received my Bachelor of Arts of Education in 2006; this was the first door of my journey in the helping professions. Discovering inspired ways to help individuals create meaning through career based counseling services became my passion, but helping those in the transition of unemployment, underemployment or those unable to answer the question “what do I want to do when I grow up”, was not enough. On this path, I found those desperately seeking more than just assistance with job search. This became my inspiration to walk through a second door and seek my Masters of Education in Counseling Psychology in 2010.
While traveling through my second door and completing my training I was blessed to provide mental health services and educational guidance for individuals in a variety of settings. This also allowed me the opportunity to continue using my passion for teaching with East Central College in a career transition program. Upon my graduation in 2015, I began a new chapter of life working with the families impacted by Autism and Intellectual Disabilities as a service coordinator/case worker. This opportunity created avenues for continued growth in behavioral therapy as I began to provide Positive Behavior Supports, Applied Behavior Analysis and I developed a skills training program under the Medicaid Waiver funding.
I am currently in the process of walking through my third door. In December of 2017, I finished an important educational milestone in completing my Masters of Science degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. This has provided me with the skills to assist individuals and organizations seeking to create a more stable and beneficial workforce. Additionally, August 2018, I am finalizing my Professional Counseling Licensure and will become an LPC. There has been joy in each leg of my journey, but am glad to have finally found myself here where I can now open your door and help you find personal solutions.
On a personal note, I love to write and am currently working on a number of small personal writing projects. One of my biggest past times is performing music; I happen to play a variety of instruments and am an accomplished singer. I feel blessed in my journey to have the support of my beautiful wife and three children who bring joy and light to my life. We love to find ways to connect and put into practice the skills that I love to share with families. Thank you for taking a moment to read about my journey, I look forward to serving as you and your families and am excited to take part in your journey.
Angela Sastry, MA, LPC, NCC
I have enjoyed over seventeen years of working with individuals, children and families, providing support to people of all ages and a diversity of backgrounds while in a variety of capacities and roles. I believe providing encouragement and acceptance are important to the therapeutic process. Therefore, I apply an integrative, client-centered and culturally-sensitive approach to helping individuals achieve their goals and maintain personal wellness. Mixing conventional and alternative approaches, I draw on a variety of styles and techniques to incorporate what will be most helpful. By working toward identifying and fortifying unique strengths, clients are better able to attain lasting personal empowerment.
I am a Nationally Board Certified Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri. I obtained a Master's in Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University and a Master's in Sociology, along with a Bachelor's in psychology from Southern Illinois University. My advanced training and certifications include Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Problem Sexual Behavioral (PSB-CBT) and Integrative Treatment Complex Trauma for Adolescents (ITCT-A), just to name a few. To support each person's specific needs, I utilize an eclectic mix of treatment modalities tailored toward individualized objectives. Among my area of practice are anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, ADHD, emotional dysregulation, child abuse and neglect, mood disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, relationship issues and everyday life challenges. Additionally, I have experience helping client with navigating systems, parenting and family issues and resourcing for success.
For my own health and happiness, I enjoy traveling and learning about different cultures, canoeing and hiking around the beautiful Missouri rivers and forests and practicing yoga. Also, I love to spend leisurely time relaxing with my family , friends and dog, Fritz.
Amanda Lewis, MAC, Office Manager
I received my Master of Arts in Counseling from Missouri Baptist University. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from UMSL. I currently enjoy working as an office manager as it gives me the time and flexibility to spend more time with my family and young children. I will most likely work towards becoming a licensed professional counselor in the future. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, baking, snowboarding, completing crafts/DIY projects and vacationing.
Marnie Schneider, Office manager
I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Kennesaw State University. I had worked as a RN for over 15 years when I decided it was time to raise and spend time with my 3 children. They are a full time job!! I enjoy working as an office manager because it gives me great flexibility so I can spend time with my family. We have 3 rescue dogs, 2 birds, and a hamster. In my spare time I love to read, watch movies, and hang out with my family.
Linda Trevino Crothers, BSEE, MBA
I am a Purdue University BS Electrical Engineering graduate with an MBA. I have over 15 years as a Director and Sr. Manager with an extensive background in telecommunications and information technology. I am currently a consultant for small to large enterprises. I provide expertise in IT, engineering, project management, daily operations support including the development, creation, and implementation of technical and soft skill HR guidelines and technical training manuals. I provide online and on-site instruction. I am honored to provide IT support for Midwest Counseling and Consulting as they assist and guide children, adults, and families through crisis and day to day life challenges. The MWCC team is a wonderful group of people and I am happy to contribute towards their success. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am originally from Texas; however, I have become a huge fan of Missouri. I recently participated in two 5K charity runs and plan to continue 5K runs as my overall physical and mental health goals. I enjoy traveling, scuba diving, skydiving, and dancing. Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my family at football games, scout events, dinner parties, bonfires, and just chilling out.