Our Team

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

Plato

We are currently accepting applications for children’s counselors and case managers. If you are interested in applying, please send a cover letter and resume to James Kirtland.

Karla M. Kirtland-Schweyer

MA, LPCC-S, RPT-S

As Clinical Director, Karla oversees our Counseling and Case Management programs for adults, children, and adolescents. She has over fifteen years of experience as a counselor and is one of the few Registered Play Therapists in the area. Her exceptional application of classical and play therapy methods have made her services very sought after in the community. She continues to maintain counseling clients despite her role as Director.

Tabitha Maneese

MAEd, LPCC-S

Tabitha is motivated by a desire to help children whose experiences impair their ability to grow. She uses play therapy to give children a way of playing out those experiences so that they may be resolved. A child’s past and future are deeply dependent on the influences in their life. For this reason, Tabitha is adamant about including parents as participants in treatment.

Patty Abel

DMin, MA, LPCC-S

Patty’s substantial career providing therapy to adults and adolescents uniquely qualified her to be our primary adult therapist. With decades of experience, Patty has enjoyed seeing the success of her work in the improved lives of countless clients. Behavioral problems, autism, trauma, and marriage and family issues have brought people to her door, as well as many other disorders and concerns that can affect our lives.

Bob Buford

MA, LPCC-S

Bob joined us as an adjunct adult therapist in 2017 to help serve clients in our growing adult counseling program. Since that time, he has been invaluable for his specialty in depression, anxiety, anger management, and marriage and family counseling. He is a graduate of Ashland Theological Seminary, where he earned a master’s degree in clinical counseling as well as a master’s degree in Spiritual Formation.

Heather Donnenwirth

MA, LSW

Heather joined GWPT in mid-2017 as a children’s counselor and has consistently provided compassionate and effective services throughout her time here. She has years of experience working with children, as well as a few kids of her own. Her experience and education as a Play Therapist create a world of opportunities for her clients to learn and grow.

Jonathon McKenna

MA, LPC

Jonathon was one of our early children’s counselors, hired soon after his graduation from Ashland Theological Seminary. His work employing play therapy forges relationships and fosters environments where children feel safe to express themselves. He also takes the time and effort to educate parents to ensure the gains made in therapy are maintained in the home. He recommends to every parent to read How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

Melanie Poorman

Originally joining us while completing her education as a student, Melanie has grown to be a spectacular play therapist. With kindness, compassion, and a young heart, Melanie is an engaging and responsive counselor for children of all ages. Despite severely reducing her availability after finding a job closer to home, she continues to maintain a small case load.

Katie Skeens

Katie is the latest student to join our ranks. As an Ashland University grad, her familiarity with the community led her to GWPT as a destination for play therapists. Though still in the process of completing her degree and license, her success in reaching healthy outcomes for her clients speaks for itself. Her clients love to see her and her playroom, which makes for a very welcoming and inviting place for them to grow.

Kim Ralich

Kim is our resident case manager and is the heart and soul of our CPST program. Her years of experience working with our community made her a perfect fit to help our clients with the many needs that counselors can’t resolve. We treasure her work as a client care advocate, a teacher for parents, and a guide for connecting to community services. She is as invaluable as she is kind and compassionate.

Mary Shaffer

One of the organization’s original employees with Tabitha and Karla, Mary has been a reliable and courteous foundation for GWPT’s growth over the last few years. She is, for many, the first person seen or heard as the one who answers the door and the phone. In addition to being the guide through every client’s enrollment process, Mary has served on the organization’s Board of Directors since its inception.

James Kirtland

As the head of the organization’s administrative side, James’s work is largely behind the scenes. Managing the organization’s operational tasks like payroll, technology, and HR are his domain, but is often the one to pick up the phone in the evenings when the office starts to empty out.

Arielle Dienstberger

Arielle started in April of 2017 as an Administrative Assistant and has been an enormous help to both our clinical and administrative personnel. She has a degree and license as a social worker and that expertise has made her an invaluable connection between the clinical and administrative worlds. She may occasionally answer the phone or door and is as friendly as anyone else in the organization.

Angela Lowther

A recent addition, Angela joins us as a specialist in Bio- and Neuro-feedback. Angela has been providing these services in the community for years but has brought her talents to GWPT to aid our clients in addressing the very real and troubling concerns that affect their processing and behavior. Her services deliver persistent and effective results, which makes her work a great fit for our programs.

Amy Kucscik

Amy has been teaching yoga since 2012 and joined us in 2018. Her work has evolved to focus on healing the body and spirit though body work with gentle yoga flow and restorative practice, as well as trauma informed yoga to compliment talk therapy.  Amy offers services with one on one and group appointments in conjunction with your counselor.

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