The focus of Dwight's practice is working with those with stress, depression, self-esteem issues, or those who have experienced traumatic events such as sexual abuse, death, or cumulative trauma. Dwight has years of experience working with general clients, emergency first responders, and college-age students. He is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management and is a nationally certified Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist. EMDR assists those with traumatic memories and PTSD to process past events. At times, his practice may be limited to members of the uniformed services (fire, police, EMS, or military).
As a former paramedic, Dwight has a unique understanding of issues surrounding the lives of first responders. As a former faculty member at UMBC, he has tremendous experience with college age students and their concerns such as self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and LGBT issues. He also has experience working with males involved with social fraternities.
Dwight is a nationally recognized speaker and has published three textbooks and numerous articles in the field of mental health issues and emergency services. His practice is limited to individuals who are first responders and 18 years and older.
Bethany Shelton has been a Nurse Practitioner for more than 20 years. She supports the Freestate team with medication management. Bethany believes in a holistic approach towards treatment addressing the overall health of an individual in an open and collaborative environment. She focuses on making sure her patients are heard and includes her patients in decision making.
Bethany is a board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Maryland, a master's degree from Bowie State University, and completed post-graduate work at the University of Massachusetts. Bethany has worked in various settings, including oncology, primary care, intensive care, and research institutions including the National Institutes of Health.
Bethany is best known as a compassionate and passionate provider who gives her all for patients. In her free time, Bethany enjoys her time with family, friends, and her animals.
Dr. Tonya Phillips is a licensed clinical social worker with over 15 years of professional practice experience. Dr. Phillips has spent the past ten years of her career providing evidenced based clinical services to active duty military personnel. Previously she held positions at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, the University of Maryland Medical Center, and Baltimore Crisis Response – Mobile Crisis Team. Many of the service members and clients that she has treated have had chronic PTSD, anxiety, substance use and mood disorders. She is trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral therapy.
Tonya holds multiple degrees including a Bachelor of Social Work from Coppin State University, a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland Baltimore, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work from Morgan State University. She also is a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
She is well versed in military culture and understands many of the challenges that this population experiences. In addition to her clinical practice, she has experience with consultation, teaching and supervising newly licensed social workers. She is a talented facilitator with skill in conducting trainings and education in social work education, life skills training, stress management, substance abuse education and training, conflict resolution just to name a few. Tonya’s practice will focus on adults aged 18 and older. Adolescents ages 16 & 17 will be considered on a case by case basis.
Terri is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) with over 20 years of experience providing direct care in the field of mental health including inpatient, outpatient, day programs, emergency room crisis intervention, and private practice. Terri also has worked in Correctional Treatment facilities as well as local hospitals and outpatient clinics. She specializes in working with adults experiencing varying degrees of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other mood disorders.
She is a Baltimore native and completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Towson University. Terri is person who values her family and friends and loves to travel when time permits.
Dianne DeSantis is a licensed clinical professional counselor, clinician, presenter, and consultant in the field of psychological healthcare. Dianne is a locally recognized Parenting expert and coach, who is also the mother of four children.
Her education includes a BA in Psychology from University of Maryland, MS in Applied Psychology from University of Baltimore, Advanced Post Masters Certification in Psychology/ABD completion of doctoral coursework from Northcentral University. Dianne is also a certified ASIST Trainor (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer).
Dianne established MINDCare Consulting in 2004. She provides consultations, group trainings and seminars in her areas of specialization which include: Parenting, Child /Adolescent Development, Behavior Modification, Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Business, Anger Reformation, Crisis Intervention, Bereavement, Loss & Grief, Complex Grief, Loss of a Child Grief Counseling for Parents, Trauma/Suicide Awareness, Prevention, Intervention and Recovery. She has extensive training, education, and experience regarding the Developmentally Disabled, Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Recovery. She also produced a Series of Parenting Videos as Series for the Social Security Administration Library.
Her therapeutic approaches are education based incorporated with a variety of treatment methods including but not limited to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), TF-CBT (Trauma Focused), and Rational Emotive Theory.
Previously Dianne held positions as a Clinical Team Leader, Clinician, Psychotherapist and Director at institutions and agencies such as, Johns Hopkins Health System, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, University of Maryland Inpatient and Outpatient Psychiatry, HCCC & HC Hospital Wellness Center, Baltimore City Public School Systems, and the North Baltimore Center. Dianne has volunteered with many non-profit and government agencies.
Chris has 15 years of experience as a counselor. Most of his work has been in chemical addictions with clients who were involved with the criminal justice system. He also performed assessments for clients on United States Probation and Pre-Trial Services.
Most recently Chris helped firefighters from across the country with posttraumatic stress at the International Association of Fire Fighters’ Center of Excellence, a residential treatment center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. It was a life changing experience for him, and he continues to be fueled by the treasured memories of the firefighters that he worked with there.
Chris attended graduate school at Boston University where he completed a Master ofSocial Work and a Master of Education degree in policy, planning, and administration. Chris’s practice will be limited to adult clients. He will be seeing individual clients aswell as running several trauma groups for our practice. Chris is well versed on many treatment modalities including EMDR.
Chris Fay, Office Manager, is retired from Howard County government, having worked in the Office of Human Resources. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland, with a double concentration in Law & Public Policy and Personnel Management.
Chris has been a member of the Marine Corps League Auxiliary since 2001. She has served in various officer positions at both the local and state levels. Her family recently adopted two Siberian Huskies from a shelter. Their names are Cooper and Ratchet. They join an orange tabby named Poncho (also a rescue) and an Amazon parrot called Sinbad.
The staff and clients of Freestate Behavioral Health Associates would like to honor the memory of Dr. Simon j. Freyou. Dr. Freyou was an excellent Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who died in October 2022 after a courageous two year battle against multiple myeloma.
Dr. Freyou was a lifelong learner and who earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Maryland, a post-masters Adult Nurse Practitioner certificate from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing Care Delivery and Management from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Southwestern Louisiana School of Nursing.
He was an avid gardener and an experienced traveler. His journeys included more than 45 countries which led to a great appreciation for human diversity. He was known throughout the medical community as being an empathetic and compassionate medical provider who truly cared about each of his patients. He is tremendously missed by all.