Therapist & Staff Bios

Art of Awareness clinicians are seasoned psychotherapists who continue to enhance their craft through peer supervision and continuing education opportunities. We are committed to providing effective treatment options that meet the current standards of the field.

Each clinician offers individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy. Please contact us to discuss your treatment needs.

Ida O’Donnell, LCSW, Director
Ida received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of New England. Her therapeutic style is relationship based with a strong focus on helping people to find sustainable self care. She specializes in working with individuals with eating disorders and trauma related disorders. Ida has worked as a psychotherapist, consultant and workshop presenter since 1992. Throughout this time, she has gained experience by working in mental health agencies, private practice, hospital, and partial hospitalization settings. She is a level II trained EMDR therapist and is also trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Hypnotherapy, and Solutions Focused Therapy. Ida teachers Mindfulness Classes and Yoga Nidra at Bridge Studio at Art of Awareness. She completed her 40 hour certification in Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra with Jennifer Reis at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Ida founded Art of Awareness in 2007.

Karina Chandler, LCSW
Karina received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of New England. She is trauma-sensitive, Lyme-literate, and is a level II trained EMDR therapist. Karina has clinical experience in medical, correctional, and private practice settings. Using a strength based, direct, and holistic approach she empowers clients to improve their overall well-being and seek healthier balance in their lives.

Erin Daigle, LCSW
Erin received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of New England.  Her practice draws from the foundations of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and motivational enhancement techniques.  Her approach to treatment is relationship  and strengths based, with the emphasis on the client being the expert of his/her experience.  Erin has experience working with adolescents, adults and families within residential, correctional, crisis and outpatient settings.  

Audra George, LCPC-ET
Audra received her Master of Arts degree in mental health counseling with a specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University. She uses an integrative and strengths-based approach to work collaboratively with clients to identify and work towards treatment goals. Her counseling is guided by an intrinsic belief that clients become their own most effective healer, and she supports individuals, families, and couples with a wide range of issues by taking a holistic approach to healing. Her practice draws from treatment models such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical-behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, and expressive therapies (i.e. music, movement, drama, creative writing, and art). Audra has worked in schools as both a teaching artist and clinician, and also has extensive experience counseling parents, families, and children in outpatient, home, and community-based settings. She has also worked in an inpatient psychiatric setting providing treatment for adults and adolescents working through a diverse range of issues, including acute crisis and dual-diagnosis, and has supported clients in substance detox and early recovery.

Michael Johnston, LMSW-CC
Michael received his Bachelor of Arts degree in developmental psychology with a minor in child and family relations from the University of Maine at Orono, and his Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern Maine. He has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults within hospital, school, and private settings. Michael uses a strength-based approach to therapy that utilizes components of Acceptance Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. He enjoys working with individuals of all ages and is a facilitator in our Intensive Outpatient Program.

Joan Leaman, LCSW, LADC
Joan received her Bachelor of Arts degree in social work from the University of Southern Maine, and her Master of Social Work degree from the University of New England. Additionally, she studied concepts of spirituality and forgiveness, and self-forgiveness to assist in the healing process at the Chaplaincy Institue of Maine (ChIME).  Her approach is strengths-based, relational, and trauma sensitive. She draws from several therapeutic modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Aceptance and Commitment Therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness. Joan specializes in helping people heal from loss, addiction, and trauma as well as navigating life transitions—from selecting educational paths to retirement planning.  Joan has experience working with teenagers through adults, both male and female, in community and residential/institutional settings.

Heather Newton Westleigh, LCPC, NCC
Heather received her Master of Arts degree in mental health counseling from Union Institute and University, and her undergraduate degree from Goddard College, where she studied transpersonal psychology, mindfulness based approaches, and expressive modalities.  Heather has a background working with youth and families, as well as adults, and has supported clients who identify on gender and sexual identity continuums, experience addiction symptoms, and personality disruption.  Heather is committed to supporting each client’s best thinking; her approach is strength-focused, relational, and trauma-sensitive, drawing on skills from DBT, CBT, and motivational interviewing

Bretton Neider Hall, LCSW
Bretton received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of New England. She practices from a blended theories approach with an emphases on a strength-based, mindful approach with clients and is also a level II trained EMDR therapist. Bretton has worked in hospital, school, and private practice settings. She enjoys working with people of all ages and approaches working with her clients as individuals, not as diagnoses. Her past experiences also include working with individuals with developmental disabilities as well as individuals who have been affected by commercial sexual exploitation.

Kristen Pierce, LCPC, AT
Kristen received her Bachelor of Arts in visual studies from Dartmouth College, and a Master of Arts degree in art therapy and mental health counseling from Lesley University. She is a professional artist who applies an expressive arts approach to counseling. Using imagery and symbols to tell their stories, Kristen’s clients discover uncharted pathways to wellness, recovery and change. Kristen has experience working with a range of psychological disorders as well as with persons challenged by traumatic brain injury and disease. Kristen has training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy, and is a level II trained EMDR therapist. She also earned a 200hr hatha yoga teacher certification through Bridge Studio.

Emily Roberson, LCSW
Emily received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Kentucky. She practices from an attachment and mindfulness based perspective and works with individuals of all ages. She has received training in CBT, DBT, IFS, Theraplay, and is a level II trained EMDR therapist. Her previous work includes home and community based therapy, working in a psychiatric hospital setting, intensive outpatient treatment and working within the school system.

Dana Robison, FNP-BC, PMHNP-CS (Nurse Practitioner)
Dana is a nationally board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a Master of Science degree in nursing and a post-graduate clinical specialty in adolescent/child psychiatric nursing from Husson University. She has spent much of her career working in pediatrics and women’s health, especially with high-risk youth, and spent 7 years at Maine Integrative Healthcare, where she honed her practice of using both conventional and integrative modalities with a holistic focus that recognizes the relationship between mind, body, and spirit–and the impact of this relationship on health. Dana is also a certified yoga instructor with training in mind-body medicine and alternative healing practices, including osteopathic techniques, Reiki, accupressure, herbal medicine, and homeopathy. She has experience and education in the healing practices of indigenous populations’ and a deep appreciation for their respect for nature and use of plants and the environment for healing.

Dara Saffer, LCSW
Dara received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern Maine. She trained at the Island Institute for Trauma Recovery and the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, and has worked as an individual therapist and group facilitator in community based mental health as well as school settings, with a primary focus on post traumatic stress and complex trauma. Dara is a level II trained EMDR therapist and has training in Internal Family Systems therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Cognitive Processing Therapy. She works with clients to resolve traumatic stress by processing experiences as they are held in the mind and in the body.

Stephanie Rose Tranchemontagne, LCSW
Stephanie Rose received her Master of Social Work degree from University of Southern Maine. She uses an integrative approach to treatment, drawing from many different therapeutic modalities with an emphasis on strength-based work. Stephanie works with individual clients as well as facilitating our Intensive Outpatient Program. Her previous professional experience includes working with individuals with traumatic brain injury, adults with intellectual disabilities, and individuals with substance abuse and addiction issues. Stephanie is also a level II trained EMDR therapist.

Sonya Theriault, LMSW-CC
Sonya received both her Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern Maine. She uses an integrative-based approach with a focus on mindfulness. Sonya works with both individual clients and in a group settings. She has been trained in Nonviolent Communication, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, and Emotional Freedom Techniques, and is a level II trained EMDR therapist. Sonya believes that building self-compassion and acceptance are key components to recovery and wellness, and she works with clients to nurture and build these practices.

Tommy Waltz, LCSW
Tommy received his Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern Maine. He specializes in working with complex trauma, LGBTQ related issues, substance use, transitions and identity formulation. Tommy’s previous clinical experience includes individual, family, and group work within residential, school, and community level environments. His practice is rooted in an integrative, strength-based approach, drawing upon several modalities including: CBT, Narrative, ACT, DBT, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and he is a level II trained EMDR therapist. Tommy is also a trained professional performing artist who incorporates elements of psychodrama into his clinical practice when appropriate. Tommy’s platform for this avenue of treatment is best highlighted in his 2014 TEDxDirigo talk, “Drama Therapy Changed My Impressions of Homelessness.” In addition to offering individual, family, couples, and group psychotherapy. Tommy is also a facilitator in the Intensive Outpatient Program.

STAFF

Katie Beane, RYT 500hr, Marketing Director
Katie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and English from Assumption College. She has a background in marketing, communications, and fundraising and has worked at several non-profits and universities, including Boston University and Harvard University. She strives to make each client feel comfortable and to facilitate a streamlined intake process. Katie is also a yoga instructor (RYT 500hr) and a Master Reiki practitioner and teacher at Bridge Studio.

Molly Crosen, Client Services Coordinator
Molly currently studies psychology at Southern Maine Community College and plans to pursue a career in mental health with a focus in Wilderness Therapy. She is also enrolled in the 200hr Yoga Teacher Training program through Bridge Studio and is a seasoned Reiki practitioner. Molly has extensive customer service experience and strives to make each client feel comfortable and to facilitate a streamlined intake process in her role as client services coordinator.