Counselors and Therapists in Lexington, KY

Janet Vessels, Ph.D. LPCC-S RPT-S and EMDRIA Approved Consultant. Why is this important? Janet is well-qualified to help you, and she teaches and supervises/consults others in the area of counseling and her specialties.

Janet is graduate of the University of the Cumberlands with a doctorate in the Counselor Education and Supervision Program. Her research areas include the clinical use of EMDR, play therapy, and a treatment protocol for children with tic disorders. 

Janet received her Master’s degree from Kansas State University in Human Development and Family Studies, with a specialization in adolescence and youth. She is a licensed professional clinical counselor-supervisor in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. She has over twenty years of experience in mental health counseling with individuals, families and groups. She is a Registered Play Therapist -Supervisor (RPT-S) through the Association of Play Therapy (APT). She uses play therapy with children, 2 years old and older. She uses EMDR with children and adults for a variety of problems. Janet is a member of the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) and American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) and many other professional organizations.

Janet’s approach to counseling is that every person has strengths, resources and resiliencies to help them and their family overcome obstacles and life problems. Counseling will not be a long process if she and the client work together to develop skills to solve current and future problems. She will offer various strategies and goals that focus on education and guidance which are clear, logical and practical. As a mental health professional, Janet has a strong obligation to help her clients to achieve optimal mental health. As a potential client or parent, you want to be confident that any mental health professional you choose is well trained in their primary disciplines and specializations.

Janet believes that play therapy and expressive therapies may be the best modality to treat her children and adolescent clients. Play therapy and expressive therapies involves using puppets, toys, dramatic play, games, art, music, stories, and books (bibliotherapy). Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. Play provides a safe psychological distance from their problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development. Parents may involved in or encouraged to use similar play therapy techniques and expressive interventions at home as homework or to assist in encouraging positive behavior at home. Janet has worked with the client’s teacher to create tools for a positive school experience. Play and expressive therapies can even be used with adults, parents and families to enhance communication, problem-solving and better cope with crisis. After all, it is a fun, enjoyable activity that elevates our spirits and brightens our outlook on life. Play, itself, expands self-expression, self-knowledge, self-actualization and self-efficacy.

"What we achieve inwardly will change our outer reality" - Plutarch

Kari Ayoroa, LPCC-S received her bachelors degree from the University of Kentucky in 2004 and masters degree from Eastern Kentucky University 2008.  She has been a licensed professional clinical counselor in Kentucky since 2011 and working in private practice during that time. 

Curltural competency is an important part of Kari's practice as she was raised in South Africa and has experience working with many different cultures and ethnicities.  Kari's approach to counseling is to reach each individual where they are at and utilize skills, therapeutic techniques and experience to ensure the most comprehensive treatment. 

Kari has a wide range of experience working with adolesents, adults and families.  Her training includes Cognitive Behavioral and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness and PCIT.

“You will step forward into growth or you will step backward into safety” Abraham Maslow.


Changes in life can be challenging at times.  New events, situations, or people that come into or out of your life can cause a disruption.  Sometimes these changes can be overwhelming and difficult to manage.  Life can begin to feel challenging.  Often, when this happens, it can be difficult to know what to do.  Working with a counselor can be a great way to help you through this process and gain personal growth for yourself. 


Imelda “Immie” Bratton has over 20 years experience working with children and families.  She has experience working with children, adolescents, and families in the school and community setting. 

She specializes in working with treating trauma, anxiety, depression, and attachment issues.  Imelda collaborates with parents and caregivers to help parents resolve children’s behavior issues and build stronger child parent relationships.


Imelda uses a variety of modalities in the counseling process in addition to talk therapy.  She specializes in play therapy, sandtray, and expressive arts.  Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is also used with children and adults who have experienced trauma or distressing events.  For couples wanting to work on their relationship, Imelda uses Gottman couples therapy.  She believes in a client-centered approach using Existential theory.  She believes in a strengths based focus and building positive attachments. 


Imelda graduated from Idaho State University in 2008, with a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Counseling. She obtained her M.Ed. in 1999 from Sam Houston State University.  She teaches graduate courses in counseling, school counseling, play therapy, and expressive arts.  Imelda has authored book chapters and articles in the use of expressive arts and play therapy with children and adults.  She offers training on play therapy, sandtray, and expressive arts locally and internationally at conferences.

Chris received his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 1996 and, Master's degree in Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2000. He is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the state of Kentucky since September 2001 and, a National Certified Counselor since October of 2001. He is a member of the Association for Play Therapy and the American Association of Christian Counselors.


Christopher has over 12 years counseling experience with severely emotionally disturbed children and, their families. His focus is to help families where they are and use their strengths and community resources to help make positive change in their lives. This approach allows Chris to achieve success with child & family in counseling and, also in school and community to help clients succeed. Chris recently acquired a specialized credential as a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). He continues to learn more about an integrative approach to treatment. 

Chris' office is filled with play therapy games and interventions for children, adolescents and families. Chris has training in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) which helps parents learn more effective methods of coping with their child's misbehavior and emotions. 

Monica Woodard, M.A.E., LPCC

Monica received her bachelors degree in Psychology from the Eastern Illinois University and masters degree in Marriage, Family and Couples Therapy from Western Kentucky University.  

Monica utilizes a client centered approach where individuals can focus on their most pressing needs and learn to utilize skills to help them overcome their obstacles.  Modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Client-Centered.  Working with adolescents, young adults, couples and families who deal with depression, stress, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental related issues is the focus of Monica's practice.