Woods, LPC-S, RPT-S, NCC
Owner & Executive Director
Wendie Woods is a Nationally Certified Counselor, a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor, and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor specializing in individual, couples and family, and children’s therapies. She is the Executive Director of Christian Changes Counseling and Recovery Center, a private practice counseling center in Starkville, MS.
With 20+ years experience as a clinician and as a graduate of Mississippi State University (MS Counselor Education and BS Educational Psychology) she has experience working with clients with a broad spectrum of mental and behavioral health needs. In addition, Ms. Woods has presented at conferences and to general audiences on topics including crisis response, stress management, recognizing and preventing abuse, and mental health wellness.
License, Certifications, and Specialized Education:
Nationally Certified Counselor 1997
Licensed Professional Counselor 1998
Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor 2008
Diploma in Biblical Counseling 2012
Professional Activities and Memberships:
American Association of Christian Counselors
American Counseling Association
Association for Play Therapy
Chi Sigma Iota, Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International
Mississippi Association for Play Therapy, President 2009*2011
Mississippi Counseling Association
Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselor’s Association
Julia Stephenson, LPC, NCC, MS
Clinical Director & Lead Therapist
Julia Stephenson is a Nationally Certified Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor with her Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health. Julia has been with Christian Changes Counseling and Recovery Center since 2014 and provides services as a Mental Health Therapist to individuals, couples and families, the elderly, and group therapy. As well as being the Clinical Director for Christian Changes Counseling.
A Message From Julia – My strengths as a Licensed Professional Counselor include my ability to be authentic, share warmth and encouragement, and build a connection with my clients who represent diverse and unique backgrounds, life experiences, belief systems, and needs. I have a person centered and existential theoretical grounding but I do often use techniques and interventions from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT); as well as, other treatment modalities. I am always open to my clients’ suggestions and participation regarding techniques, activities, and therapeutic interventions that they would like to include in sessions. Also, I recognize that a great value for many clients is having a supportive, skilled, and objective listener. I find that the power of words and verbal communication or the simple act of talking with another human being who knows how to listen, reflect, interpret, ask questions, and seek meaning alongside you is a perfectly complete form of helping and healing.
Counseling can be a benefit to many people; clients might be seeking increased self-awareness or personal growth, they may need support and accountability as they work to change or face a difficult situation. Some may need help with trauma or abuse from which they have not healed, others may be facing devastating grief and loss, some clients may need some career or life coaching, and still others may need some help in the direction of their spiritual journey or ministry path. Whatever your need and desire is, it will be my highest pleasure and privilege to become a part of your journey, just as you will become a part of mine.
Laura Ann Moore, LPC, MS
Laura Ann Moore is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been practicing since 2003 in community mental health and private practice. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Mississippi State University and her Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling at Reformed Theological Seminary. She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Laura Ann has worked at Christian Changes Counseling and Recovery since 2011 and currently provides services at our Main Office in Starkville, MS and our North MS Office in Pontotoc, MS to individuals, couples, and families. She is married with two boys and lives in Pontotoc, MS
Connie Holland, LPC, NCC, MA
Connie Holland is a Nationally Certified Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor with her Master of Arts in Professional Counseling and her Bachelor of Arts in Special Education. Connie has been with Christian Changes Counseling since 2015 and provides services as a Clinical Mental Health Therapist.
A Message from Connie - As a single mother of four children, I believe I have an understanding of the influences of daily stressors and the importance of handling life as it comes. Sometimes the “struggle is real” and it is difficult to see the future clearly, to find hope in current circumstances or to fully understand the effects of past events. In cases such as this, I tend to take a solution focused approach. I determine where you are right now in your therapeutic process and how you got there with full intentions of discovering where you want to be. To unveil this is my main pursue and focus with clients. It is important to me to empower clients to stand on their own and learn to be their own self-advocate over time.
My undergraduate degree is in Special Education has aided me as a counselor. I have had the opportunity to work with many children struggling from the effects of ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and attachment disorders. My work as a Behavioral Specialist with ICS, INC. Head Start has also given me experience working on behaviors in children that are causing disruptions in school; as well as, the home. I often work with parents in this setting; as well as, within school and office sessions to determine how they may improve communication and parenting skills. My heart truly lies with teenagers. I enjoy helping parents and teens work through respect and behavior issues caused by the adolescent’s growing needs for independence.
I view my role as a therapist as one who comes alongside an individual to walk through their issues with them. I offer encouragement and guidance while teaching clients skills necessary to push them towards change in their lives. I tend to draw from several theoretical bases when counseling; however, I mostly use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques. Having been a Christian since I was a child and being involved in church my entire life, I am very open to counseling from a Christian perspective with those wishing for such services. At the same time, I am considerate to those who do not wish to include a faith-based perspective in their services. Regardless, I feel I have a true calling to help bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom to the captives, comfort those who mourn, and help establish others as oaks of righteousness as mentioned in Isaiah 61.
Brandance Gandy Dyar, MS
Clinical Therapist / ICS Behavioral Specialist
Brandance Gandy Dyar is a professional counselor with her Master of Science in Counselor Education with an emphasis in Clinical Mental Health. Brandance has been with Christian Changes Counseling and Recovery Center since 2015. She currently provides services as a Mental Health and Recovery Therapist for individuals, couples, families; as well as, a Behavioral Specialist with the Institute of Community Services (ICS, INC.) Head Start. She also leads our Recovery Therapy Group each week.
A Message From Brandance – I am passionate about my work as a clinical mental health and addiction therapist because it allows me the opportunity to help many incredible, resilient people reach their fullest potential. I am a firm believer that we are all capable of achieving incredible things in order to live our heart’s desires.
Often we get stuck and can no longer hear the truth that is within us. Therapy done in a trustworthy, caring, and safe environment can open the door for self-exploration and personal growth. In therapy, your role, as the client, is to tell your story that includes all the wonderfulness of you; as well as, your struggles and fears. My role, as your therapist, is to listen, aid you in learning new skills, challenge you to see new ways of living, and most importantly to support you in believing in yourself.
I am passionate about creating a genuine therapeutic connection with all individuals, families, couples, and groups that I serve. I am dedicated to helping people cope with a variety of personal growth needs; including facing relationship obstacles, adjusting to major life change, handling issues with trauma, and seeking recovery for your life.
I utilize a wide variety of tools in my practice including thought and behavior modification, motivational strategies, art therapy, and self-exploration skills.
I earned my Master of Science in Counselor Education with an emphasis in Clinical Mental Health from Mississippi State University and I am currently working towards my licensure.
Darlene Strickland, MA
Clinical Therapist / ICS Behavioral Specialist
Darlene Strickland holds a Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Grace College and Seminary; as well as, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Mississippi University for Women. She has been with Christian Changes Counseling since 2016 and is a professional therapist to individuals of all ages, couples, families, and groups. She is also an ICS Behavioral Specialist working in the local schools and HeadStart Centers. Darlene is a member of the American Counseling Association the Mississippi Counseling Association, Mississippi Licensed Profession Counselors for Students, and the Mississippi Association of Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling. Darlene resides in the Louisville area and is a wife, mother, and grandmother.
A Message From Darlene – As a professional counselor, I endeavor to walk beside you through the struggles of your life. I do not believe that I have the power to change you or your situation. I see myself as a vessel to be used of God to bring hope to your situation. As a Christian, I believe we are all created in God’s image, but that sin has marred the choices we make. Therefore, I believe that together we can work to find new ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving that will promote a healthy healing process.
The counseling approach that I adhere most to is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I feel that the bible supports CBT when it states that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). I also integrate other therapy modalities when needed or requested. A strong part of CBT includes a person-center approach which allows me to be authentic and personable with my clients. I enjoy knowing who and what makes you the person that you are, which benefits the therapeutic journey of counseling. I have a strong passion for victims of trauma and plan to specialize in trauma-informed therapy.
William Sansing, PhD
William Sansing is a part-time professional therapist with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) focused in Counselor Education, School Counseling, Guidance Services, and Sociology from Mississippi State University. As an experienced professional counselor, he demonstrates his history and skills in higher education, non-profit organizations, sociology, pastoral counseling, and academic advising. William also works full-time as the Associate Dean of Instruction at East Mississippi Community College. William currently offers services for both mental health clients; as well as, recovery clients and those struggling with addictions.
Executive Office Administrator
Katherine Campbell has worked at Christian Changes Counseling and Recovery Center since 2015. She provides administrative support to our staff, receptionist to our clients and inquiring individuals, processes the insurance, handles the financial aspects of the business, schedules and books appointments, and aids clients in understand the paperwork and legal side to coming to counseling. She also handles our social media and website maintenance. She has worked in the administrative industry since 2012 and has a diverse knowledge of business, non-profit organizations, church and religious organizations, higher education administration, and management.