CATHY BATKA, PHD, HSPP; DIRECTOR
It has been more than 15 years that I have been practicing as a psychologist. I obtained my undergraduate degree in psychology from The Ohio State University. In 2001, I finished my doctoral training at Western Michigan University. My pre-doctoral internship was at The Penn State University's Counseling and Psychological Services. From there I worked in a faculty position teaching master's level counseling psychology and counselor education graduate students. However, most of my career has been providing clinical services in university counseling centers. I spent 7 years at the Bowling Green State University counseling center and 8 years at the Indiana University Counseling and Psychological Services. Then I started my private practice in the fall of 2015 and opened The Highlands Psychology Group in 2017.
I have worked with a wide range of concerns in my clinical practice. Although my clinical work will be individualized, I use a Relational Therapy approach combined with Cognitive / Behavioral Therapy techniques. That means I will initially address symptoms (e.g. sleep disturbance, anxiety), then we will focus on how and when the issues developed. I have found that if you understand why you experience symptoms and how the issues developed, it is easier for you to resolve your concerns and decrease the chances for it to occur again.
My specialty areas are - trauma, disordered eating, sleep disturbance, couples therapy, and working with gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer identified people.
I also greatly enjoy providing supervision and training. I have provided clinical training to master's students in their first clinical experience, field placement supervision, doctoral practicum students, pre-doctoral interns, and post-doctoral clinicians. This includes individual supervision, supervision of supervision, and supervision of group work. I have also provided training for suicide prevention, professional development, and Psychological First Aid to be used in disaster response.
KATIE CULLISON, PH.D.; CONTRACT THERAPIST
For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about psychology and understanding the human experience. I graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2006. At that point, I moved to Bloomington to begin my graduate training at IU in the School Psychology program and completed my doctoral degree in 2015. During my training, I worked in multiple settings, including schools, community mental health centers, and medical clinics, and with clients of varying ages. I am currently working towards licensure and my endorsement as a Health Service Provider in Psychology. In addition to individual clinical work with clients, I have enjoyed teaching both undergraduate and graduate psychology courses at Indiana University and Illinois State University.
My theoretical approach is primarily cognitive behavioral and relational in nature. My overall goal is to support clients to live a more satisfying, well-balanced life; however, what that looks like will be different depending on how the individual defines it. Often, my work with clients involves helping them examine and challenge thoughts and behaviors that are maladaptive and develop skills to move forward in a more productive way. I believe every person has their own unique strengths and resources that can be utilized when navigating life’s obstacles. Getting to know my clients is a privilege and honor, and I firmly believe that everyone can benefit from talking to a supportive mental health professional at some point in their life.
I have experience with clients from ages 6 to 65+. My school psychology training has provided me with a thorough understanding of children and adolescents’ academic, cognitive, emotional, and social development. I am happy to work individually with youth, as well as assist parents in supporting their children’s positive functioning. My areas of interest include: depression, anxiety, identity exploration, parenting, communication skills, and mindfulness.
ERIC ESTERS, MA, LMHC; CONTRACT THERAPIST
I believe the foundations of a therapeutic relationship to be kindness, acceptance, and relatability. These are the building blocks upon which my expertise rests. My intention is to genuinely connect as a human-being and use my therapeutic training to help find individualized paths to wellness. I use interpersonal therapy to help with need fulfillment and more effective communication in relationships. I also use EMDR therapy to help reduce disruptive symptoms, reprocess unresolved traumatic experiences, and restore freedom and balance to life. I also incorporate mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral approaches into therapy sessions to help relieve stress, pain, and substance cravings.
I’m a Certified EMDR Therapist, a licensed counselor in Indiana and Tennessee, and am nationally board-certified. I have 10 years experience in the field of health and 6 years practicing therapy. Prior to counseling, I worked in human subjects research with autism spectrum disorders, toured the country as a musician and entertainer, worked with public health initiatives, taught college courses, and co-founded a successful plant-based food business.
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Lipscomb University, Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University, and completed clinical training in psychotherapy & behavioral medicine at Vanderbilt University’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.
My specialty areas are - trauma, substance use, professionals with mental illness, & chronic pain.
NICKI MANNIA, MA, LMHC; CONTRACT THERAPIST
I graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology with minors in Sociology and Human Development and Family Studies. I went on to getting my Master’s degree in Counseling at Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 after working for five years with clients with developmental disabilities. I am currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC).
I have been in the mental health field in some capacity for the last 8 years working in multiple settings with various populations, ages, and diagnoses. Some of those settings include in home/group home settings, psychiatric hospitals (residential and acute units), and in community mental health. My clinical orientation is based in a relational approach combined with cognitive behavioral techniques. I typically will take in symptoms and presenting concerns while focusing on the relationships, emotions and thought patterns present and how our relationships with others and thoughts can create positive and productive outcomes, but also maladaptive behaviors and narratives. However, I do believe in a person-centered approach, and will adapt approaches for what will work for an individual client. Overall, I want to provide a positive productive experience for my clients that leads to a more meaningful and fulfilled life.
I also consider myself highly influenced by other approaches including humanistic, existential, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), solution focused therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). I am currently a trained DBT therapist with experience working in group and in individual settings with this approach.
My specialty areas include trauma, childhood abuse, anxiety, depression, relational issues, academic issues, grief/loss, life transitions, presenting concerns surrounding impulsivity, and personality disorders.
RHEMMA PAYNE, MA, LMHC; CONTRACT THERAPIST
I graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a Masters of Science in Applied Health Science with majors in Human Development and Family Studies and minors in Human Sexuality and Sociology in 2010. I went on to attend Liberty University to obtain my Masters of Arts in Professional Counseling, and graduated May 2015.
I am a board certified- National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Indiana. I am a Certified Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist and a trained Brainspotting practitioner. I have worked in the mental health counseling field over six years in various settings including, in-home counseling, psychiatric hospital (residential and acute units), and community mental health.
My clinical orientation is based in Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy (CBT), though I adapt my therapeutic approach to meet each individual client’s needs. Identifying and challenging negative core beliefs is often a gateway to healing. I have learned to integrate cognitive interventions into brain and body-based treatment approaches for maximum benefit to move through life's challenges.
My specialty areas include: trauma, anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, and brain-body based therapeutic techniques.