THE STAFF

SENIOR ADVISOR

Santiago Fallon, MA, LMHC, NCC
Santiago is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with the Florida Department of Health. Mr. Fallon received his Bachelor’s and Master's degrees at the University of Central Florida. Santiago is a National Certified Counselor and also holds certifications in hypnotherapy and gerontology. He received his Ph.D. at Barry University, with a specialization in Marital, Couple, Family Counseling and Therapy.  He conducts workshops in marriage and divorce issues, stress and anger management, and relaxation techniques and hypnotherapy. He is multi-lingual and has conducted trainings at international conferences in three continents.  He has been a psychotherapist in private practice since 1999.  He has worked with chronically mentally ill adults suffering from schizoaffective and bi-polar disorders  to more common anxiety and mood disorders. He has been a psychotherapist at the Sexual Trauma Recovery Center/The Healing Tree at Arnold Palmer Hospital and at Centaur/Central Florida Aids Unified Resources. Mr. Fallon has also held the position of clinical supervisor for the Family Trauma Center at Kids House of Seminole.  At Kids House, Mr  Fallon helped develop the mental health program which focuses on helping children that have been abused or that have experienced trauma and their families.   He was an affiliate at The Center for Counseling and Consulting until September, 2011, where he was the program director.  He is currently an Honorary Board Member for Safe House, a domestic violence shelter in Seminole county and he is a Senior Advisor Consultant for Dustin Project, a faith based grief counseling program.  He works with families, couples, children, adolescents, and individual clients in private practice.  He is very interested in collaborative approaches for divorcing families, including family mediation and parent coordination.  His current independent practice is affiliated with Serenity Yoga, a wellness and holistic Center.  He continues his development of post-modern approaches to psychotherapy, with a mind, body and spirit approach.




SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH COORDINATOR

Deborah Mahany Ed. S, NBCT
Debbie is a nationally certified school counselor. She earned her B.A. degree in Philosophy, and her Masters and Specialist degrees in School Counseling from the University of Florida. She recently retired from Seminole County Public Schools after 35 years as a Certified School Counselor. The last 26 years of her career Debbie was the Guidance Director at Lake Mary High School. Debbie is well known and respected throughout the community for her work and commitment to students and families.

Her passion for the welfare of students is evidenced by some of the many accolades she has earned throughout her career:

  • Seminole County High School Counselor of the Year '92 - '93
  • Seminole Counseling Association President '93 - '94
  • Seminole County High School Counselor of the Year '93 - '94
  • Florida School Counselor of the Year '93 - '94
  • Principal's Award '02 - '03
  • Seminole Education Association Visionary Leader of the Year '04 - '05
  • Principal's Award '07 - '08
  • National Board Certification '09 - '10
  • Teacher of the Year 2011

Debbie is excited about her position with the Dustin Project. She feels a special connection to the Dustin Project as she was Dustin Garber's school counselor at Lake Mary High. She is passionate about providing services to professionals in the schools and community ensuring that students in need of grief counseling receive the help needed to work through their grief and continue to lead happy and successful lives.




COUNSELORS

Lori Lauridsen, M.A., LMHC, Certified Addictions Professional (CAP)
Ms. Lauridsen has more than five years experience in residential and outpatient substance abuse counseling. Ms. Lauridsen has been effective in helping individuals and families heal the wounds of addiction through education, therapy and relapse prevention. She has experience in creating and facilitating therapy groups including self-esteem, addiction, multi-family and cognitive-behavioral therapy groups.

Ms. Lauridsen works with individuals, couples, children, and families on a variety of concerns including but not limited to anxiety and stress management, depression, grief, mood disturbances, adjustment disorders, life transitions with a special emphasis on addiction, co-occurring disorders and couples’ issues. Ms. Lauridsen received her Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida and her certification in Hypnotherapy in 2005.

Lori began her career in the psychology field as a Behavior Training Specialist for Autistic Adults in 2003 and has provided counseling on both an outpatient and residential basis ever since.


Soni McCarty, LMHC
Soni McCarty, LMHC, has more than 15 years of experience as a mental health counselor. She has worked in several capacities at Orlando Health in the field of social work, helping both children and adults. She was the first counselor at the Kids House Wayne Densch Children's Advocacy Center in Seminole County where she worked with hundreds of the area's most vulnerable children. She also has worked at the University Behavioral Center, where she conducts assessments, small groups and family sessions. Soni has also been a trainer, providing services to crisis response professionals, university students studying play therapy and foster care organizations nationwide.

Soni specializes in children with trauma issues. She motivates children to tell their story, feel safe, know what to do with intense feelings, tolerate making mistakes, not act out as much and be proud of their accomplishments. Soni also specializes in relationship issues within families. Her compassionate and non-judgmental attitude provides a safe haven for families to work together to learn effective coping skills, regulate emotions, and learn new ways to work together.


Joseph Noecker, MA, LMHC
Joe originates from Illinois and has been in Central Florida most of his adult life. As a Licensed Psychotherapist and Certified Life Coach, he takes pride in helping individuals and organizations move towards wholeness, fulfillment, relaxation, and improved performance. Joe has extensive experience with grief, trauma, and stress related issues.

Joe has specialized expertise in the following areas:

  • Grief Counseling
  • Certified in Clinical Hypnosis
  • Certified Professional Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner
  • EFT Practitioner
  • Mindfulness Meditation and Stress Reduction
  • Personality Styles Assessments (MBTI, Enneagram, DISC)
  • Anxiety, Depression, Performance, Trauma Issues


Katharine (Kitty) White Mendoza, MSW, LCSW
Kitty is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida. Mrs. Mendoza worked as an Oncology Social Worker 5 years at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical hospital in their Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 2001, she was awarded the American Cancer Society Hope Award in recognition of her work in counseling, facilitating workshops and linking patients to resources. The next 10 years, she worked at Hospice of the Comforter, first as a field social worker, then as an Assistant Director, helping hospice patients and families manage end-of-life challenges.

Mrs. Mendoza presently has a private practice in Longwood where she helps adolescents, adults and geriatric clients with unresolved grief and loss. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Mindfulness Therapy. She understands the importance effective grief processing has on a family due to the death of her uncle in infancy. Using her life experience in conjunction with her education and training she brings insight and understanding into her sessions.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Complicated Grief Counseling
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Loss – Loved one, Relationship, Career, Self-Esteem, etc.
  • Mindfulness Counseling and Stress Reduction