Our Providers

Laura Dowell, MSW

Pre-Licensed Clinical Social Worker


Laura specializes in providing support to individuals coping with anxiety, depression, grief, and loss, as well as challenges around neurodivergence, emotional regulation and parenting.

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Parent support and family therapy
  • Works with adults, adolescents, and children
  • Women’s issues, including pregnancy and post-partum support
  • Support for neurodivergent individuals and their families
  • Anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, and loss
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Mindfulness, grounding, and coping skills for emotional regulation


Laura enjoys working with children, adolescents and adults seeking support in a variety of areas, including coping skills for managing stress, trauma, and anxiety, as well as navigating concerns around grief, loss, self-esteem, and body image. She has a particular interest in women’s issues, including providing support during pregnancy and in the post-partum stage, as well as support for parents and families seeking to build strong bonds and to navigate concerns around neurodivergence. She draws from a wide range of therapeutic modalities, including cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and attachment-based approaches. Laura’s therapeutic practice is rooted in compassionate listening and support, from a person-centered, strengths-based lens.

Laura Dowell completed her master’s degree in clinical social work at Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2024. As a Supervisee in Social Work, she completed two field placements: one at Elk Hill’s residential services program, providing individual, family and group therapy to youth with mental and behavioral challenges, and one at the Women’s Initiative, providing individual therapy to adult women. Previously, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Mary Washington. Laura served three years in Americorps in Boston Public Schools, developing, and managing academic and arts curriculum for inner city students, and also worked at a humanitarian organization in Calgary, AB, Canada, as an employment coach for the homeless, before moving to Charlottesville to raise her kids.

In her free time, Laura loves to garden outdoors and care for her indoor plants, read memoirs and novels, run, hike, and spend time with her family and friends. Her family enjoys caring for their four pets and playing board games together.


  • MSW, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2024
  • BA in English, University of Mary Washington, 2005


  • De-Escalation and Crisis Prevention, The Mandt System
  • Mandated Reporters: Recognizing and Reporting Childhood Abuse and Neglect, Virginia Department of Social Services
  • DARS Reporting: Adult Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation
  • Psychological First Aid (PFA) Online, The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Shelley Faulkner, MA/EdS, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor


Shelley specializes in working with Teens, Young Adults, and Adults ages 13 and up

  • Individual therapy
  • Parenting support and Family Therapy
  • Trauma focused therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Works with transgender and gender expansive individuals and families
  • Women’s issues and female identified issues
  • Serves neurodivergent individuals and their families
  • Consultation and training on affirmative therapy
  • Specializes in building social-emotional competence with teens and young adults experiencing stress and trauma.


Shelley Faulkner (she/her) is a Charlottesville-based counselor with over eighteen years of experience supporting and improving the lives of youth and their families. Shelley’s goal is to guide people through a wide range of processes in order to enhance emotional well-being, social skills, and self-esteem. She works with LGBTQIA+ and neurodivergent populations. 

Shelley works with adults as well as specializing in working with teenagers who struggle with age-appropriate behaviors, interpersonal communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution. Her goal is to help ease psychological suffering brought on by trauma and other negative life circumstances and make sense of overwhelming emotions/responses. 

Shelley has a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She served as an in-home counselor at Charlottesville League of Therapists, ReadyKids, The women’s initiative, and as a private practitioner. She uses the structural family systems model of therapy, affirmative therapy, (IFS) and specializes in attachment work through a trauma informed approach.

Shelley hopes to provide reparative emotional experiences that create healing and growth for her clients through safe connection and authenticity.


  • MA/EdS, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, James Madison University, 2018
  • BS., Exercise Science, Wingate University, 1989


  • TF-CBT- Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
  • Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP)

Ronnie Ransome Jr, M.Ed, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor


Ronnie specializes in working with Teens, Young Adults, and Adults (ages 16-50)

  • Individual therapy
  • Couples/Family therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 
  • Trauma therapy using TF-CBT
  • Internal Family Systems Approach Therapy
  • Parent/Child dynamics 
  • Men’s issues 
  • Anger management


Ronnie has worked in the field of mental health since 2015, managing a diverse caseload of individuals of all ages, from children to adolescents and adults with various mental health concerns in agencies such as Supportive Intervention Services, Destiny Services, and Virginia Counseling Associates.

His experiences as a clinical assessor and QMHP supervisor honed his ability to assess, diagnose, and develop comprehensive treatment plans tailored to each individual’s unique needs. 

Ronnie’s areas of expertise include addressing anxiety, depression, stress management, performance anxiety, substance use/addiction, men’s issues, minority-status issues and other issues commonly faced by student athletes and individuals of all walks of life.  His commitment to ongoing professional development ensures that he is up to date with the latest research and evidence-based practices in mental health.

Ronnie focuses on building strong rapport and trust with his clients and recognizes the importance of building relationships based on empathy, understanding, and active listening by utilizing Holistic approaches. 

In his free time, Ronnie loves to hang out with his family of 4 humans and three dogs. He co-hosts a podcast titled “House Talk Pre-Game” all things sports and mental health are discussed. Including how to advocate for safe spaces where our athletes can be heard and respected for more than what they can do on the field/court.


  • LPC, 2023
  • M.Ed, Counselor Education Virginia State University, 2020
  • B.A, Sociology – minor in philosophy, Virginia State University, 2015

Shana Little, Ed.S, NCSP

School Psychology Resident


Shana sees children and adolescents who experience difficulties with anxiety, behavioral challenges, and social concerns.

  • Psychological assessments for concerns about ADHD, learning issues, social skills, executive functioning, anxiety, and general well-being
  • Educational testing for accommodations on standardized testing (SAT, ACT, GREs, etc.)
  • Individual therapy 
  • Parent education/advocacy
  • Social Justice Workshops


Shana joined ACES in 2022 as an assessment technician and has recently been approved to complete her residency training towards her full Virginia licensure. She provides psychoeducational assessments and individual therapy for children, adolescents, and young adults to address topics such as executive functioning, social skill development, mild depression, and anxiety. Shana is a trained School Psychologist and has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the policy and procedures of special education within the public school system. Her favorite part of being a School Psychologist is advocacy. She has facilitated “courageous conversations” among her colleagues where discussions centered around an understanding of race and the implications for school-aged children. Shana hopes to continue these services and conversations in the Charlottesvelle and Richmond community to improve the mental health and wellbeing of all students.


  • Ed.S., School Psychology, James Madison University, 2018
  • M.A., School Psychology, James Madison University, 2016
  • B.S., Psychology, Virginia State University, 2014

Licenses and Certifications

  • Virginia Board of Health Professions, Psychology Resident 
  • Pupil Personnel License. School Psychologist, Virginia Department of Education
  • Nationally Certified School Psychologist, National Association of School Psychologists 


The Equity Challenge: Serving Through a Social Justice Lens
Virginia Association of School Psychologist Spring Conference, May 2021 
Session that highlighted opportunities to implement initiatives, which support diversity and social justice such as leading courageous conversations. 

David Lewis, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Dave Lewis specializes in building social-emotional competence with children, teens and young adults experiencing stress and trauma:

  • Individual therapy
  • Parenting support and Family Therapy
  • Works with adults, teens, and children
  • Trauma focused therapy (TF-CBT and EMDR)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Systems advocacy assistance
  • Works with transgender and gender expansive individuals and families
  • Consultation and training on affirmative therapy


Dave provides individual and trauma-focused therapy for clients of all ages. He emphasizes a strength-based approach and uses a variety of modalities particularly CBT, psychodynamic, and attachment-related approaches. He has worked as an advocate for children and families for over 20 years. He has served as a Therapist and Supervisor in programs for children and teens with a history of trauma or significant personal/family challenges and has initiated and facilitated support groups for LGBTQ+ teens and pre-teens. He also worked as a counselor and tutor in school-based programs with at-risk middle schoolers. Prior to becoming a social worker, Dave worked with young children and their families in Head Start, Early Intervention Special Education, and childcare settings, as well as with teens.

Dave received his Masters Degree in Social Work with Distinction from California State University, Chico, and undergraduate degree as a Bonnor Scholar at Oberlin College. In 2020 he was recommended by his teenage clients and recognized by the Virginia NASW as social worker of the year for his work with transgender youth. He provides individual and family therapy; play therapy; substance-use therapy for co-occurring disorders; and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). He offers clinical supervision for licensure; and has provided professional training in Affirmative Therapy for LGBTQIA+ clients, Motivational Interviewing, Trauma-Informed Care Giving (TICG), ADHD skill building, Anger Management for teens (ART), and Safe-Space Training for mental health clinics.


  • M.S.W., Masters Degree in Social Work, California State University, Chico, 2011
  • B.A., Oberlin College, 2001

National Association of Social Work


  • EMDRIA- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing
  • TF-CBT- Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Varinia Anderson, M.Ed, LPC

Bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor

Varinia Anderson specializes in work with adults and adolescents:

  • Individual therapy
  • Couples therapy
  • Trauma therapy using EMDR and TF-CBT
  • Internal Family Systems Approach Therapy
  • Parenting and Attachment work


Varinia Anderson recently joined the ACES team, Spring of 2023. Varinia Anderson comes from Costa Rica where she grew up and at the age of 19 moved to the United States to begin her college studies. Varinia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Roanoke College in 2005. In 2011 Varinia received her Masters degree in Counseling from the Commonwealth of Virginia University.

Varinia has worked in the mental health field since 2011 through various agencies such: as Region Ten, ReadyKids, Albemarle County, Charlottesville City Schools, Mary Ainsworth Attachment Clinic, and The Women’s Initiative. In 2019 Varinia became a Licensed Professional Counselor and has continued to work as a Trauma Informed-Bilingual clinician to the local  Charlotesville and Albemarle community. Varinia has  experience in treating adults, and teens with complex trauma, anxiety, depression, domestic violence, sexual abuse, attachment disorders, neglect, and immigration trauma.

Varinia has been trained in Trauma Focus Cognitive Behavior Therapy, EMDR, play therapy, Internal Family Systems, and Mindfulness.Varinia became certified in Attachment using the Circle of Security protocol as she worked with the Mary Ainsworth Attachment Clinic for several years assessing and treating families dealing with attachment disorders.

Varinia uses various clinical approaches and one of her great passions and emphasis when working with clients is focusing on race and cultural humility intersectionality. Varinia a strong advocate for the Immigrant, LGBTQ+, and Hispanic/Latino populations, which inspires her to provide positive healing to those who need encouragement and strength.


  • LPC, 2019
  • M.Ed, Virginia CommonWealth University 2011
  • BA Psychology, Roanoke College VA, 2005

Certifications and Memberships

  • EMDRIA- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprossesing International Association
  • IFS  Internal Family Systems Institute
  • CF-CBT-  Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Attachment Circle of Security Protocol

Anna Hebb, Ed.D, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Dr. Hebb specializes in work with adults and adolescents:

  • Clinical support for concerns related to learning issues, social skills, executive functioning,
    anxiety, and general well-being
  • Premarital Counseling that provides foundational work around communication, finances, and
  • General Couples Therapy (referred to specialist If there are concerns with substance use or
  • Women’s Issues related to miscarriage, loss, parenting, body image, and caretaker role stress
  • Managing complex change and implementing systems change as a leader; coaching supports for your work within your organization and/or business
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for adults and adolescents
  • Supporting college students with transition, online learning, and organizational skills
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for adults to manage anxiety, life stressors, and
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to identify and change negative thinking patterns for
    positive behavioral changes and improved relationships
  • Use of personal inventories to build self-awareness and self-discovery and to understand
    behaviors, gain perspective, and to build empathy for others and self-compassion
  • Trauma-Informed Care practices that support communication, growth, and building positive


Dr. Hebb recently joined ACES in 2022. Specific areas of expertise based on her years of experience in
education, clinical social work, and research are in the areas of trauma informed care, anxiety,
depression, and the impact of loss and life adjustments that cause ongoing hardship and grief.
Dr. Hebb started out as a school social worker in 1994. She served in this capacity until 2017 for
Chesterfield County Public Schools. She supported the Early Childhood Preschool team, elementary,
middle, and high schools along with alternative placements for youth needing extra support and
services. During this time, she studied to obtain her L.C.S.W. in 2012.

In 2016, Dr. Hebb transitioned from her work as a school social worker to work full time serving divisions
across The Commonwealth as a Systems Coach and Local Education Agency Lead. This work has
provided ongoing professional learning, coaching, and research that supports adult and student mental
well-being, academics, and behavior. She is often asked to present on specific topics that support
educators to improve student outcomes.

Dr. Hebb has an interest and experience in providing couples therapy. Using researched based tools and
resources, couples will recognize and understand the importance of foundational relationship skills that
promotes respect and positive connection.

Dr. Hebb is an adjunct professor for V.C.U School of Social Work. She teaches master’s level students in
policy analysis and social work in the school setting.

Dr. Hebb continues her work of cultural humility and awareness for diverse cultures, influences, and
perspectives as they intersect with individuals, families, and the community in which we work and live.
Through her work in trauma-informed care, she promotes and utilizes mindfulness and practices that
support overall well-being and spiritual awareness. She promotes ongoing and consistent self-care and
the importance of collective care within community.


  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2015
  • M.S.W., Social Work/Certificate in School Social Work/Pupil Personnel License, 1994
  • B.S., Business Administration and Management/Personnel Track, 1988

Certifications and Memberships

  • Let Me Learn, Educational Trainer
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • School Social Work Certificate and Pupil Personnel License
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Greater Richmond Trauma Informed Community Network

Personal Hobbies and Volunteer Work

  • Founder of Woman of Worth Mentoring
  • Vocalist, blogger, song writer
  • Creativity and art as a form of self-care and healing
  • The use of podcasts and books to promote ongoing learning and community
  • Letter writing, journaling
  • Discovering trails to walk, visiting unique towns, and attending concerts

Patricia Onorato, Ph.D., NCSP

Bilingual Educational Psychologist


  • Psychological Testing
  • Educational Testing
  • Developmental Evaluations
  • Multidisciplinary Team Assessments
  • Parent Support And Training
  • School Divisions Consultations
  • All services can be provided in English and/or Spanish


Dr. Patricia Onorato is a bilingual School Psychologist with 16 years of experience in various school divisions in Virginia. Prior to moving to the United States, she practiced as an Educational Psychologist in private schools and preschools and as a Professor Assistant in the Department of Psychology at Catholic University in Lima, Perú. She also provides consultation and training with School Psychologists and Special Education practitioners in the Commonwealth of Virginia for evaluations of English Learners. Dr. Onorato has particular interest in researching language development and second language acquisition. She has taught, as an Adjunct Professor, at VCU in the School of Education. Dr. Onorato joined ACES in 2021 hoping to help increase access to services for the diverse RVA community. 

Dr. Onorato enjoys working with preschoolers as well as school age children and adolescents.  She provides psychoeducational evaluations to diagnose a range of conditions including Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Anxiety.   


La Dra. Patricia Onorato es Psicóloga Escolar bilingüe con 16 años de experiencia en diversas divisiones escolares en Virginia. Antes de vivir en los Estados Unidos, ella se desempeñó como Psicóloga Educacional en escuelas privadas y centros preescolares así como Asistente de Docente Universitario en el Departamento de Psicología de la Universidad Católica en Lima, Perú. Ella también brinda servicios de consultoría para psicólogos escolares y profesionales de educación especial en relación con evaluaciones de estudiantes desarrollando inglés como segundo idioma.  La Dra. Onorato tiene un interés especial en investigar el desarrollo de lenguaje y adquisición de segundo idioma. Ella ha enseñado con Profesora Adjunta en El Departamento de Educación en VCU. La Dra. Onorato se unió a ACES en 2021 con el ánimo de ayudar a expandir el acceso a servicios para la diversa comunidad de RVA. 

A la Dra. Onorato le gusta trabajar con niños en edad preescolar, así como con niños y adolescentes en edad escolar. Ella da servicios de evaluaciones psicoeducativas para diagnosticar una variedad de condiciones que incluyen Autismo, TDAH, Dislexia y Ansiedad.


  • Bachillerato en Letras y Ciencias Humanas, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, 1992
  • Licenciada en Psicología Educacional. Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2000
  • M.Ed., Special Education and Teaching, Hampton University, 1998
  • Ed.S., School Psychology, The College of William and Mary, 2003
  • Ph.D., Special Education and Disability Policy, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2016

Licenses and Certifications

  • Pupil Personnel License. School Psychologist, Virginia Department of Education
  • Nationally Certified School Psychologist, National Association of School Psychologists

P. Melissa Moore M.D.



  • Psychiatric Assessment
  • Psychiatric Consultation
  • Psychotherapy (supportive therapy, play therapy)
  • Medication Management
    • (Please note that Dr. Moore does not provide custody or forensic evaluations. Dr. Moore does not provide ongoing prescriptions for benzodiazepines.)


Dr. Moore is a psychiatrist who completed her residency in general psychiatry at the University of Virginia and went on to complete additional training in the child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at UVA where she was Chief Fellow. During residency, she received several honors including the Peer Commendation Award, the Humanitarian Award, and the Scholar Award. Her Scholar Award was based in part on her published research on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). During her fellowship, she received additional specialized training in psychodynamic play therapy and traveled to the Tavestock Clinic in London, England to further her training. She is board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry and has worked at UVA and in various community mental health settings.

She provides comprehensive psychiatric assessments for children and some adults, and she enjoys providing consultations for primary care physicians. For each individual, she develops targeted treatment plans, which often include a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach of psychotherapy, family therapy, and support services. She offers medication management for children and adults who may benefit from this as part of their broader treatment plan. During both assessments and ongoing treatment, she emphasizes understanding each individual’s unique perspective to explore the underlying causes of difficult feelings.

She is experienced in working with a broad range of conditions and is interested in working with children and young adults with anxiety, depression, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, and problems with adjustments or transitions. She offers play therapy as a treatment modality for younger children who often feel more comfortable expressing themselves through play rather than verbal communication.


  • B.A., Biology and Chemistry Double Major, Wesleyan College, 1996
  • M.D. Doctor of Medicine, Mercer University School of Medicine, 2000
  • Residency: Psychiatry. University of Virginia, 2004
  • Fellowship: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Virginia, 2006

Certifications and Memberships

  • Board Certified by the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2023
  • Board certified by ABPN in Adult Psychiatry from 2006-2016
  • Board certified by ABPN in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2015 to present

Karen Stinson, MA.Ed

Assessment Technician


  • Administration of educational assessments
  • Administration of psychological assessments under the guidance of a licensed psychologist
  • Deaf Services


Karen is the program advisor and a faculty member at Radford University where she teaches future educators to become teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, as well as graduate courses on educational assessment. She started her career as an itinerant teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in public schools in Georgia and Alabama. Then moved to Virginia to work at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind as a teacher, supervisor, and technology coordinator.

Karen has a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and is in the process of obtaining her certificate in Educational Psychometry at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Her areas of expertise include both working directly with DHH children in the classroom and providing assessment services that help teachers make educational decisions to best meet student needs.

Karen is fluent in American Sign Language and Cued Speech.


  • B.S.-Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • M.A. Ed- Curriculum and Instruction
  • Coursework in Educational Psychometry

Certifications and Memberships

  • Member-CEC: Council for Exceptional Children
  • Member-ASCD: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • Member-ACE-DHH: Association of College Educators-Deaf and Hard of Hearing