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Meet the Therapists


Connie Dawson-Toft, M.A., LMHC, RPT-S

Connie is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, and Qualified Supervisor in Mental Health and Family Therapy.  She has more than 20 years of experience working with individuals of all ages in multiple settings.  She has worked in a Domestic Violence shelter facilitating individual and group therapy for both women and children, has been an advocacy speaker, provided public education regarding mental health, and has founded two counseling centers and is currently the clinical director of The Hazel Counseling Center for Families and Children, PLLC.

Connie believes in a client's right to guide their own counseling process and offers a variety of approaches. She emphasizes Interpersonal Neurobiology in order to use what we know and understand about the mind and body working together to offer the most complete resolution and sense of well being with presenting problems. There are many integrative approaches offered in order to understand how to make better connections within oneself and also with others.

Connie is Registered Play Therapist -Supervisor and provides a dedicated space within the counseling center for play therapy.  She has also started a weekend family therapy clinic for more intensive intervention and a team approach. 

When Connie has free time, you will often find her out on the bike trails and elsewhere  taking in nature.  Watch for some photos of those adventures when you come in for a visit!

Please contact Connie to discuss your counseling needs.


Education:  Master's Degree in Counselor Education-University of South Dakota

                   Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor-Association for Play Therapy

                   Bachelor's Degree in Psychology-Purdue University



Amy E. Eshleman, LCSW, CTT, SEP

Amy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Somatic Experience Practitioner and Certified Trauma Therapist.  Amy is dedicated to helping others work through and move past difficult life experiences.  Amy has worked with with children in therapeutic foster care and residential settings to assist them with reunification to their families.  She has worked to prevent adolescents from becoming involved with the juvenile justice system as well.  In addition to child and family work, Amy has worked in outpatient mental health with adults for over 8 years, 6 of those being in private practice.  This has allowed her to work with a diversity of mental health concerns.

Amy has received training in various treatment approaches to address trauma, attachment, dissociation, and chronic stress.  She has been focused on assisting people in addressing their stress and trauma for over 10 years.  Amy spent time being trained as a Somatic Experience Practitioner and brings this opportunity for healing to the Central Florida region.  Please follow the link below for more information or call Amy and she will be happy to help you decide if this is something that might be helpful for you.


Amy enjoys reading, spending time with her dog, cheering on the Orlando City Soccer Club, and going to Disney whenever she can. 

Education:  Masters degree in Social Work-Temple University

                    Bachelor's degree from Grace College, Winona Lake, IN

Teresa Pilacek, MA, RMHI


Teresa is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in the state of Florida, who is trained in EMDR therapy and Mindfulness practices.  Teresa is dedicated to empowering individuals and families to be an active participant in their healing process.  Teresa has several years of experience working in a clinical mental health setting with both inpatient and outpatient adults seeking help with a wide variety of concerns, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, poor self-esteem, relationship conflict, substance use, medical conditions, and others. Teresa also has experience working with elementary and preschool age children in a variety of settings and is always inspired by the resiliency and creativity that children possess.


Teresa utilizes a client-focused, integrative approach in therapy in order to meet the needs of individuals and to make room for creativity in the therapeutic process. Teresa believes in the potential for every person to heal and aims to create an empathetic space of non-judgment to facilitate growth and insight.  In addition to EMDR therapy, Teresa incorporates techniques from a variety of therapies into her counseling, including play, Mindfulness, Sensorimotor, Solution-Focused, and Cognitive-Behavioral interventions.  Teresa considers the client to be the expert on his/her own life and uses the therapeutic relationship to work in partnership to meet the client’s therapeutic goals.


In her free time, Teresa enjoys spending time with her family, creating and trying herbal remedies, knitting, gardening, and spending time outside.


Education:  Masters Degree in Counseling- Rollins College


        EMDR trained- EMDR Counseling Associates


        Bachelors Degree in Psychology- Flagler College


onnie Dawson-Toft, MA 
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor
Approved Supervisor for Mental Health, Family and Play Therapy

I have been in the field of mental health for over 20 years and have had the opportunity to receive advanced training in multiple treatment methods.  I use an integrative approach including client-determined treatment goals and my role is to bring in available, current and evidence based clinical skills to create change.  I am trained in various treatment approaches that all have the common goal of accessing what we now understand about you and how your brain, body,  personality and life expreriences come together to create your current state of being.  
I work with people of all ages and the treatment approach depends on the age.  I am a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and provide a playroom in the therapy clinic to ensure children have the best chance to work toward change in a way that is natural for the child.
My training as a child therapist has made my work with adults more rewarding since I bring an understanding of development into adult work. The foundation of my work with adults is to integrate logic, emotion, and awareness of the physical body. This is then combined with learning self compassion to increase resliience and flexibility to promote healthy decision making and relationships.  
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