Connie Dawson-Toft, M.A., LMHC, RPT-S
Connie believes the counseling process begins with the idea that each person wants to work past current challenges and has the ability to grow and change given a helpful provider and appropriate intervention. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Registered Play Therapy-Supervisor, and Qualified Supervisor in Mental Health and Family Therapy. She has more than 20 years of experience working with clients in a variety of settings including advocacy work and public education, and founded The Hazel Counseling Center for Families and Children, PLLC in 2008. She is dedicated to providing quality mental health interventions using integrative treatment methods and pursues current training and knowledge in the mental health field in order to provide the Oviedo/Winter Springs area with dynamic care in a group practice setting.
Connie gets to know each person in order to understand their story, and then applies the most relevant technique while using more comprehensive interventions as needed. Connie believes in the client’s right to guide their own counseling experience.
Connie emphasizes the use of 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. She supplements this with her training in Play Therapy, Coherence Therapy, Brainspotting, Sand Tray Therapy. It is often a combination of these interventions that helps a client move past and through challenges.
As a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, Connie provides a dedicated space within the counseling offices in order to provide play therapy as well as offering play therapy training for other therapists.
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
Teresa Pilacek, MA, RMHCI
Teresa Pilacek is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and also the treasurer for the Florida Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling. Teresa has worked in the personal growth field for over 6 years. In addition to providing therapy at Hazel Counseling Center, she is a Clinical Specialist and Therapist at La Amistad Behavioral Health Services adult outpatient facility, where she runs group therapy weekly in therapeutic processing, DBT skills, Mindfulness, Effective Communication, Therapeutic Writing, and Self-Compassion.
Teresa holds a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College. Her counseling approach is client-focused and integrative to help encourage empowerment and build resilience. Teresa believes it is essential to begin therapy work by building a strong, therapeutic bond, founded on understanding and trust. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Teresa’s concentrated specialties include play therapy, parenting, attachment, creative expression for teens, Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma/PTSD.
In her free time, Teresa spends time creating things and having new experiences with her family. She also loves knitting, crocheting, gardening, and spending time outside.
Masters of Art in Clinical Mental Health Counseling- Rollins College in Winter Park, FL
EMDR trained- EMDR Counseling Associates in Orange City, FL
Bachelors of Art in Psychology- Flagler College in St Augustine, FL
Shoko Churchwell, LMHC, MCAP
Shoko believes in helping her clients connect to their inner strengths in order to address presenting issues and ultimately to feel “unstuck” in life. She has had a wide variety of work experience which allows her to connect to people with diverse backgrounds who are seeking supportive therapy. Shoko welcomes all of her clients with a warm and non-judgmental space for them to feel at ease during the counseling process.
Shoko’s training in multiple treatment interventions makes her a great ally in treating and addressing issues related to depression, anxiety and grief. She also has experience in using child centered play therapy to address children’s concerns as she obtained a second master’s degree in clinical psychology focused on Play Therapy, where traditional non-directional play therapy services were provided. She has used both individual child therapy as well as counseling with parents of children with emotional and/or development disabilities.
Shoko specializes in supporting trauma and addiction recovery. She is certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and trained in ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy). She is also a registered yoga teacher, and uses mindfulness based interventions to help clients foster a connection between their mind and body. All of her clinical interventions are evidence based.
She first obtained a master’s degree in Sports and Exercise Psychology, and worked with professional athletes for performance enhancement. She then obtained her second master’s degree in clinical psychology as she realized a deeper interest in the area of clinical psychology. Shoko has worked at a Juvenile Justice Commitment residential program providing individual, group and family counseling. She was a supervisor for a federally funded program, serving adults with chronic homelessness, a substance abuse residential program for adolescents, and, most recently, a medication assisted treatment program serving adults with severe substance abuse disorders.
In her free time, she plays tennis as she was a former NCAA collegiate tennis player and NCAA All-American. She loves practicing yoga and cooking.
Please contact Shoko to discuss your counseling needs.