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912-349-8043 New Patient Forms

Meet Our Therapists

Welcome to Building Blocks Family Counseling!

Our therapists work collaboratively with their clients to help them find the best solutions for a happier and healthier life. Check out the profiles below to find the right therapist for you! 

Building Blocks Family Counseling has several interns available for low cost counseling sessions. Please call for more information. 

Licensed Therapists

PhD, LMFT, RPT-S, BC-TMH

Ph.D., LPC, NCC

LMFT

MS, LMFT

LPC, NCC

MS, LMFT, BC-TMH

Associate Therapists

M.Ed.

Tiffany Arkwright, MS, LMFT

Focuses: Individual Counseling, Couples Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 700
Locations: Pooler

 

Change! It is the one thing in life that is constant, yet certain. And we all go through changes. I can remember my transitions or changes through childhood as the youngest of a large working class, African American family–7 to be exact! I recall my changes from my childhood to teenage years, from teenager to young adulthood, and hoping to see classic fine wine adulthood! Change has definitely been a love and equally a frustration of mine that I chose and still choose to embrace for better or worse…Not disregarding the fact that it isn’t easy, in fact it can be quite messy and confusing…And without support otherwise known as “the village to raise a child folks”, life as I know it would have been…Well  unknown!

Perhaps, I would not have attended Albany State University where I received my Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology, or my dual Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing. Perhaps I would not have obtained my Master’s of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. Perhaps, I would not have learned the meaning of love through marriage to a wonderful husband, where worlds collided by chance…only to realize that we were always a block away from each other, attending the same elementary and high school to reconnect through a mutual best friend. Perhaps, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to develop experience working with couples, adolescents, families…All who experience change on a quicker rate due to trauma, addiction, marital issues, depression, minority issues/multiculturalism, stress, PTSD, anxiety, anger management, obesity/weight management, self-esteem, lack of motivation, etc. Perhaps, I would not have become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who thrives from collaborative solutions, challenges, and empowerment. Perhaps, I wouldn’t be able to help you with  detangling the web of confusion which we call life.

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Fellow of the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy,  detangling problems through promotion of healthy living physically and mentally presents an opportunity for growth, and providing skills that will support you in conquering the idea of being comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Can’t wait to conquer it with you!

I am now accepting new clients for Saturday appointments!

Shamshad Ahmed, Ph.D., LPC, NCC

Focuses: Individual Counseling, Couples Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 704
Locations: Pooler

 

Dr Ahmed graduated with a Doctorate from North Carolina State University and secured a teaching position at Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania. Dr Ahmed served as an educator, and trained students in the master’s and Doctoral Programs in clinical skills. While teaching and training she served on several Professional Boards. Dr Ahmed has published her scholarly work in reputed Journals; presented at International and National Conferences; received several grants for Collaborative Research.

Dr Ahmed is a Licensed Professional Counselor; a full time Counselor at Building Blocks Family Counseling, Pooler Georgia. She specializes in the areas of Stress Management, Relationship Issues, Conflict Management and Self Esteem Issues. Dr Ahmed works in the range of methods including Cognitive Behavior Family Therapy, Solution Focus Family Therapy, Strategic Family, Therapy and Person-Centered Therapy. Dr Ahmed caters to the needs of her clientele who are very diverse in Race, Ethnicity, Religiosity, Culture, Sexual Orientation.

Dr Ahmed says “I believe that relationships make up the core of our lives. They can be fulfilling, yet also challenging at times. When we get stuck in our relationships, my role is to assist my clients in working through their challenges, work with determination and search for new keys (solutions). I seek to know and work within your view of the world and what is meaningful to you. The counseling process is firstly a very human one and is about you, your life, your joy and pain and what gives you a sense of meaning and value. I aim to do my best to support you in your journey to Well Being”.

“I take part in your journey in with an Unconditional Positive Regard, Non-Judgmental, and trusting and providing a safe space for you express and bring a change. I work on a range of methods/Tools including, but limited: Meditation, Intuitive Guidance, Mindfulness, Journaling, Visualization, Drawings, and Exception thinking. I believe in collaborating with other professionals to help clients achieve fulfilling relationships and optimal health”. I work with individuals age range not limited 7-75 years.

Sarah Padgett, LMFT

Focuses: Couples Counseling, Kids & Teens Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 701
Locations: Rincon

 

Hey y’all! I’m Sarah Padgett, and I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. After finding the field of Marriage and Family Therapy, I knew there was no other career for me. I’ve always been passionate about helping children and families, and now I’m granted opportunities to on a daily basis. Truly living the dream for me! I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Georgia and went on to pursue my Master’s at East Carolina University. Now, I have the joy of working with families to create long-lasting change. I especially enjoy work with families with children & adolescents struggling with behavioral and social issues such as: depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, peer relationships, life transitions, difficulty with emotional expression, defiance, and anger outbursts. It is important for me to not only work with the children involved, but the whole family unit, to help create the desired home environment for your family through a strengths-based, solution-focused therapeutic approach. I look forward to working with your family soon!

Rachel Huffman, LMFT

Focuses: Couples Counseling, Kids & Teens Counseling, Online Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 708
Locations: Pooler, Online

 

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist. I graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in child and family development. I continued my education and graduated from Northcentral University with a Master’s in marriage and family therapy. I knew from a young age that my passion was helping people. In my experience I have worked with individuals, couples, families, parenting, children, and teens with a wide range of concerns. Together we have worked toward managing or overcoming depression, anxiety, personality disorders, infidelity, trust, commitment, communicating and understanding, past resentment and regrets, reunification and reconnecting, reconciling, emotional regulation, impulsivity, behavioral concerns, attention deficiet hyperactive disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), sexual, emotional, and physical abuse, substance abuse, trauma, suicidality, and much more.

Some methods that I utilize include: Gottman’s couples therapy, play therapy, Love and Logic parenting curriculum, talk therapy, client focused, dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, experiential, attachment theory, eclectic, collaborative and solution focused therapy. I also believe that your experiences and environment, including your family, help to shape who you are and what you believe. I help clients look at where they have been, where they are, and help them figure out where they are going. I believe you are the expert of your life and together we can reach any goal or outcome that you want.

I am accepting new clients and am located out of our Pooler location. I offer telehealth/online appointments in addition to offering in person availability. I look forward to helping you and your family in any way I can. I believe there is a therapist for every person and a person for every therapist. If we aren’t a good fit, I will help you transition to someone who will be.

Marlene Cairney, LPC

Focuses: Individual Counseling, Kids & Teens Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 707
Locations: Savannah

 

Marlene has over 30 years experience in education and counseling; initially as a classroom high school and middle school teacher and later as a school counselor having worked in elementary, middle, and high school as a professional school counselor. She has worked with all ages of children through young adulthood. After a chance introduction to Play Therapy during a training session, Marlene decided to chart a course as a future play therapist and counselor in private practice.  Her primary focus in counseling is in Experiential Theory through Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy. She is in the process of acquiring her Registered Play Therapy designation and believes this modality is useful for all ages therapeutically. 

Marlene holds memberships with the American Counseling Association, Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia, the American Association for Play Therapy, and The Professional Association for Georgia Educators. 

Marlene is accepting clients at our Savannah location (downtown) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Liz Smith, LMSW

Focuses: Kids & Teens Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 716
Locations: Pooler

 

Hello, my name is Liz and I’m a Licensed Master Social Worker. My passion is helping our future leaders reach their full potential. Unaddressed childhood mental, emotional, and behavioral concerns can carry over into adulthood. Fundamentally, children lack the ability to identify and express their needs which often results in maladaptive behaviors. Play is the child’s language which is why I utilize Play Therapy as my therapeutic approach. The power of play facilitates an environment for children to build self-confidence, regulate their emotions, and develop problem solving skills. My focus is with children ages 3-12 who are struggling with life changes, social anxiety, depression, anger, peer relationships, grief, and self-image. I am currently under supervision as I work towards becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Child Centered Play Therapist.

Now accepting new clients.

Kathryn Klock-Powell, PhD, LMFT, RPT-S, BC-TMH

Focuses: Kids & Teens Counseling, Online Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 703
Locations: Rincon

 

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, registered play therapist, and an approved supervisor for AAMFT and APT. I have over 20 years of clinical experience and specializes in children with trauma, high conflict divorce, and behavioral issues. My areas of expertise includes domestic violence, sexual abuse, trauma, families with children on the autism spectrum, and same sex relationships. I also utilize play therapy techniques and experiential activities in my clinical work. I am currently serving on the Georgia Composite Board for Licensed Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Social Workers.

Justine Rifkin, MS

Focuses: Individual Counseling, Couples Counseling, Kids & Teens Counseling, Online Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 714
Locations: Rincon

 

Hello! My name is Justine and I am a Marriage and Family Therapist with Building Blocks Family Therapy! I graduated with my M.S in 2021.I specialize in working with families and children. I focus on using family-system based approaches and modalities used in treatment such as Emotionally Focused therapy, Narrative, Structural and Solution Focused interventions. My goal is to help families and children live a more harmonious life together. I also focus on Marriage/Couple counseling in addition to individuals. My areas of interest include anxiety, depression, trauma, transitions and adjustments, identity development, parenting skills relational and family communication. I have worked with at risk youth, substance abuse and community mental health. I have a deep passion for therapy and strive to provide the best care for you and your family. I am currently under supervision as I am working towards full licensure.

Jessica Durbin, LPC, NCC

Focuses: Individual Counseling, Kids & Teens Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 711
Locations: Pooler

 

Hi! My name is Jessica and I am an Associate Professional Counselor with Building Blocks Family Counseling.

I graduated with my Master’s in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling from South University in 2019. I am currently getting my Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Children and Adolescent Therapy from Northcentral University. I am a National Certified Counselor. I have experience working with complex mental health issues having worked in a psychiatric hospitalization setting and the prison system as a mental health professional over the last 4 years.

I specialize in trauma, anxiety, and depression, as well as have worked with disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar, PTSD, and substance abuse. I focus on treatment techniques including cognitive behavioral therapy and solution focused. I work from a person centered, holistic approach. I understand how difficult life can be at times, having been a military spouse and currently a working mother. I thoroughly enjoy working in the mental health field and strive to provide the best care possible, treating the whole person.

Gabrielle Cecere, MS

Focuses:

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 706
Locations: Pooler

 

Gabrielle Cecere, a recent graduate from Columbia University’s renowned Clinical Social Work program, is a full-time Social Worker at Building Blocks Family Counseling. Gabby is located outside of Savannah, Georgia, although she is originally from Long Island, New York where she completed her dual undergraduate degree in Psychology and Child & Family Studies. She is under supervision and offers a discounted fee!

Gabby is on her way to being fully credentialed as a Play Therapist at Building Blocks in Pooler, Georgia. Her clinical interests include prenatal and early life trauma, grief studies, somatic co-regulation, developmental delays, as well as high-conflict households. Gabby is enthusiastic about applying her newly acquired knowledge and skills in the field.

Gabby is actively involved in the National Association for Social Workers (NASW) as well as the Association for Play Therapy (A4PT). She is dedicated to working with the smallest of humans collaboratively with their caretakers in effort to regulate and rewire trauma responses. She is passionate about modifying widely known therapy techniques so children are able to reap their benefits. Gabby is committed to making a positive impact in her community, one child at a time.”

Erin Watson, MS

Focuses: Individual Counseling, Kids & Teens Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 710
Locations: Pooler, Rincon

 

Hello, Everyone, I am Erin Allen Watson. I have been a Professional School Counselor for over twenty years, working with three-year-olds to twenty-one-year-olds. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Justice Studies, Master’s Degree in Counseling, and Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Counseling, all from Georgia Southern University. I am completing my Doctorate Degree at Capella University in Counselor Education and Supervision (2025).

I am in the process of completing the licensing process to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia. As an associate counselor, I deliver services encouraging all clients to progress toward individualized goals through therapeutic interventions. My role is to engage in talk therapy by building rapport, collaborative play, social skill development, and self-regulation skills. All clients can access services to navigate challenging situations such as emotional dysregulation, behavioral concerns, anger management, Anxiety, ADHD, and an Autism Spectrum Disorder. My continuous goal is to maintain confidentiality while providing an ethical and safe environment through individual counseling services. I enjoy working with children, adolescents, and young adults.

Danyel Lendrum, M.Ed.

Focuses: Individual Counseling, Kids & Teens Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 715
Locations: Pooler

 

Under the direction and supervision of Dr. Brandon Hunt, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS. Danyel is a graduate of Georgia Southern University where she received her Masters of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Currently, she is working towards licensure as an Associate Professional Counselor, her certification as a National Certified Counselor as well as training to become a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Professional (C-DBT). Seeking the most current education and training in her field, she has completed several other trainings one of which includes trauma-focused care.

Danyel also holds membership with the American Counseling Association. She believes compassion, understanding and a safe relationship between the client and counselor are essential in therapy. Her aim is to connect in this way with each person she works beside. She is an attachment-based, person-centered therapist and uses several different approaches to help individuals reach their goals. Some of these methods include cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and polyvagal therapy. She also incorporates mindfulness practices with these methods. She works with adolescents, individuals, couples and families, and provides trauma-informed care as well as LGBTQIA+ affirming care. Her experience includes treating attachment and trauma based disorders, emotional dysregulation, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, and life transitions.

Danyel is currently practicing under the supervision of Dr. Brandon Hunt, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS and offers a discounted fee. If she sounds like a good fit for you, please call to schedule an appointment.

Cassie Thompson, LPC

Focuses: Individual Counseling, Couples Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 709
Locations: Savannah

 

I love helping people bounce back from challenging times in their lives. I believe strongly in balancing self, family, and work and enjoy helping people find their own balance!

I’ve been working in the field of counseling for nearly 15 years and have a wide range of settings and clientele that I have worked with ranging from individuals, couples, and older teens. I specialize in trauma, anxiety, and depression with focuses on treatment techniques including Dialectic Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Trauma Informed CBT.

I hold several credentials including Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), and Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC). I attended undergrad and my Master’s degree program at University of Georgia and earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Sociology and Women’s Studies and a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling with a certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. I can provide telehealth therapy to South Carolina residents- TLC 656 LPC- https://llr.sc.gov/TeleHealth/Counselor.html

Ashley Moore, MS, LMFT, BC-TMH

Focuses: Couples Counseling, Online Counseling

[email protected]
912-349-8043 ext. 702
Locations: Pooler

 

I am a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in relationship issues in the Pooler, GA area. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Valdosta State University in 2008. During this time, I discovered my passion was working with couples and families in a therapeutic setting. This led me to complete my Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Valdosta State University in 2010. 

I specialize in working with couples dealing with premarital issues, infidelity, communication issues, conflict, intimacy issues, parenting, etc. I also work with parents and their children (ages 2-6) experiencing behavior issues.

I am currently a level one Gottman trained couples therapist as well as Certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitator. I am also currently working on my PCIT Certified Therapist credential. For more information on Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) see here. I also provide supervision to associate level therapists and am an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. I can provide telehealth therapy to South Carolina residents- TLC 642 MFT -https://llr.sc.gov/TeleHealth/Counselor.html

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    • Dear Parent/Guardian:

      Your student has been referred to the School Counseling Telehealth Program with Building Blocks Family Counseling. This is a collaboration between the Effingham School System and Building Blocks Family Counseling- a mental health private practice with locations in Savannah, Pooler, and Rincon.

      How does it work?

      A referral will be sent from your student’s school counselor to Building Blocks. You will receive a call from our office to set up an appointment, get insurance information, complete paperwork, etc. An online intake appointment will be scheduled for your student during the school day (based on times provided by the school counselor). An online intake appointment will also be scheduled between your student’s therapist and yourself to gather information regarding your student. The Therapist will schedule routine parent/guardian check-ins with you and family sessions as needed. Sessions with students will generally be weekly (during school hours) and last for 30-45 minutes. Parent/Guardian sessions can be held during or after school hours and last for 45-50 minutes.

      Paperwork Needed

      In order to provide these services we need the following paperwork completed for each student. A new client intake packet, child/adolescent questionnaire, and a release of information for the school counselor. We will be coordinating sessions with your student through the school counselors at their school so it is important we have the release of information completed.

      Appointments

      Appointment reminders via email, text, and phone will be sent the day before any scheduled appointments. Please make sure we have the best contact information on file so you will receive all of the reminders.

      If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to address these with your therapist. If you feel like your student no longer needs services, please also communicate this with your therapist. For more information on Building Blocks Family Counseling, please go to our website at www.buildingblocks.solutions.

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    • Type of Release: This release is to allow the school to openly communicate with the assigned therapist at Building Blocks regarding appointment scheduling and information about your child’s counseling services throughout the school year. Valid For: Current school year ONLY.
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