Wendie 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.
Ms. Woods is a graduate of Mississippi State University (MS Counselor Education and BS Educational Psychology) and she earned a Diploma in Biblical Counseling from Light University. With 20+ years experience as a clinician, she has worked with clients with a broad spectrum of mental and behavioral health needs. In addition, Ms. Woods has presented at conferences, organizations and to general audiences on topics including crisis response, stress management, recognizing and preventing abuse, emotional wellness and numerous mental health issues.
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, President-Elect 2019
Mississippi Counseling Association
Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselor’s Association
Julia Stephenson, MS, LPC, NCC
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, she is our Clinical Director and Lead Therapist providing services to individuals, couples and families, the aging, and group therapy.
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.
Darlene Strickland, MA, P-LPC
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.
Brandance Gandy Dyar, MS, P-LPC
Brandance Gandy Dyar is a part-time 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, she leads Recovery Therapy Group each week. She is also a part-time instructor at East Mississippi Community College.
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.
William Sansing, PhD, P-LPC
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.
Maggie Cresswell, MS
Counselor & ICS Behavioral Specialist
Maggie Cresswell is a full-time Master's Level Intern Therapist and will be completing her Master's of Clinical Mental Health from Mississippi State University in the Summer of 2019. Maggie has been with Christian Changes Counseling and Recovery Center since 2018. She offers mental health services to individuals, couples and families, children and adolescents, and the aging.
A Message From Maggie – I want to invite each client into a safe place where it is okay to ask questions and express our individuality as well as seek out the deeper meaning of ourselves and our reason for being on this earth, as well as the connection to the world around us- both natural and spiritual.
I believe that counseling should be seen and felt as a soft and welcoming place to examine ourselves and our relationships with those around us, as well as rest and lay your guards down. I believe that this can be done in a variety of ways, as each client is totally different- connecting, feeling, and relating differently.
I want to help people to discover or reconnect with their joy and self expression through the work of counseling. I believe that a connection with my clients on a deeper level and building trust is essential in a therapeutic relationship.
I welcome each and every individual, from every walk of life, and come into this meeting them where they are, with unconditional acceptance and love, believing that is what we all deserve.
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.