At Richmond Creative Counseling, we believe that a team-approach is often the best for providing comprehensive care that considers all of the variables that contribute to the issues you wish to address. We recognize the challenges many of our clients face in trying to access Psychiatric services and being faced with long wait-lists, long wait times, and inconsistent collaboration between treatment providers. We offer in-house Psychiatric services for children, adolescents, and adults that are provided by licensed Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs) with over 30 collective years of experience working in the mental health field. Our PMHNPs actively engage in routine clinical case consultation with seasoned colleagues and have more clinical and administrative support than any other practice around. Additionally, several of our PMHNPs offer supportive psychotherapy as part of their clinical treatment approach. These PMHNPs actively engage in clinical supervision with one of our Licensed Clinical Psychologists to ensure they remain current on the latest trends and ethics in psychotherapy. We currently accept Anthem, Optima, Optum/United, Aetna, Magellan, and Cigna products for Psychiatric Services.
About Cassie Ahrens, PMHNP-BC:
Cassie (she/her) is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who graduated with her Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Virginia in 2020. She is a clinician who offers psychiatric medication management and supportive counseling. Before beginning her work as a Nurse Practitioner, Cassie worked as a registered nurse for five years. Her nursing work included Inpatient Hematology, Oncology, and Bone Marrow Transplants and Inpatient Adult Acute Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.
Cassie enjoys getting to know people, and she has a warm and open-minded approach. She is genuine, calm, and curious. Her training as a nurse has informed her practice of seeing people first, as they are and where they are, instead of seeing people as their symptoms or a diagnosis. In her practice, she works to validate emotions and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Cassie strives to provide a nonjudgmental, safe space for all. Her work is inspired by mindfulness and meditation, as well as narrative therapy. Cassie works collaboratively with people to identify each person’s goals of treatment and assist in their journey. Cassie takes a holistic approach to mental health by exploring lifestyle changes, exercise, food, and alternative therapies, in addition to traditional western medicine.
While Cassie is licensed to treat patients across the lifespan, she has a particular interest in working with adults ages 18-65. She treats all general psychiatric issues, with a clinical focus on Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, and Schizophrenia. Her areas of interest include working with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, and trauma. She also enjoys working with women, and people in the LGBTQ+ community and provides LGBTQ+ competent and affirming care.
About Lauren Connelly, PMHNP-BC:
Lauren (she/her) is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who works with children, adolescents, and adults. She uses a collaborative and holistic approach to develop a personalized treatment plan for each client and emphasizes the importance of shared decision-making and client education. Lauren believes medication management is just one part of successful psychiatric care, and also encourages therapy, self-care, and the development of coping strategies as important components in achieving whole health and well-being.
Lauren received both her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia. Lauren has experience working in a variety of settings including inpatient and outpatient psychiatry as well as community mental health. She treats all general psychiatric issues, with a clinical focus on Depression, Anxiety, OCD, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, and Schizoaffective Disorder. Along with the rest of our staff at RCC, Lauren provides LGBTQ+ competent and affirming care.
About Furdous Eltahir, PMHNP-BC:
Furdous she/her) is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who utilizes a holistic and recovery approach to care that stems from the understanding that overall wellness comes from mental, physical, social, and spiritual well-being. In addition to medication management, she aims to support you through your journey and personalized goals while providing education on various complementary interventions such as therapy, mindfulness, stress management, exercise, and sleep hygiene.
Furdous works with children, adolescents, and adults, and treats a wide variety of psychiatric disorders with a primary interest in addiction, trauma, psychosis, and neurodevelopmental disorders. Furdous has over 6 years of psychiatric nursing experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology & Nursing, as well as her Master's of Science in Nursing, from Virginia Commonwealth University.
About Ashley Garcia, PMHNP:
Ashley (she/her) is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with substantial training in Functional Medicine. She received her Master's of Science in Nursing from The University of Virginia and has experience working in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient psychiatry. Ashley works with children, adolescents, and adults. She treats all general psychiatric issues including, but not limited to: Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, OCD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, ADHD, Perinatal Mood Disorders, ASD, Sleep Disorders, and Stress Management. Ashley enjoys supporting her clients in exploring the underlying root causes of symptoms which often involves a careful examination of physical, emotional, and psychological factors. Ashley is well versed in the relationship between food and mood and supports her clients in exploring natural, integrative approaches to improved mental health. Ashley currently accepts Anthem, Aetna, Cigna, Magellan, Optum/United, and Optima products.
About Lindsay Hawkins, PMHNP-BC:
Lindsay (she/her) is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner working with children, adolescents, and adults. Lindsay is a generalist who is comfortable working with most mental health clinical issues, including, but not limited to: Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Phobias, Panic Disorder, and ADHD. She is also comfortable treating Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Substance Use Disorders and Addiction issues and works to collaborate closely with other treatment providers. Lindsay completed her Masters of Science in Nursing at Vanderbilt University. She has spent the past 10 years working in inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings. Along with the rest of our staff at RCC, Lindsay is LGBTQ competent and affirming. She currently accepts Anthem, Cigna , Optima, Aetna, Optum/United, and Magellan products.
About Jessica Roberts, PMHNP-BC:
Jessica Roberts (she/her) is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who works with children, adolescents and young adults. She has over 2 decades of experience in mental health, having previously worked in emergency psychiatry and inpatient hospital settings.
Jessica received both her Bachelors of Science degrees in Psychology & Nursing from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her Masters of Science in Nursing with a Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration from the University of Virginia. She also completed the Play Therapy training program at Old Dominion University. She is able to prescribe for and treat many psychiatric conditions to include: Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, PTSD and Bipolar Disorder. She provides a holistic approach when supporting the mental health needs of her clients, working to foster trusting relationships while collaborating to develop a highly individualized, dynamic plan to improve emotional wellbeing. Along with the rest of our staff at RCC, Jessica is LGBTQ+ competent and affirming.
About Drew Smith, PMHNP-BC:
I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) who graduated with honors from The University of Virginia with an MSN in 2017. I completed clinical rotations in a variety of outpatient settings, including VCU and the Hunter Holmes-McGuire VA Medical Center, as well as inpatient services with HCA. After graduating, I spent 2 years working on the acute stabilization/ inpatient units within Tucker Pavilion at Chippenham Hospital. While having training to work with clients throughout the lifespan, I have focused on the treatment of child and adolescent (ages 10-18) mental health and developmental issues and adults (ages 18-65) with a variety of types and severity of mental health concerns. Treatment is focused on the initiation and management of psychiatric medications, as well as instituting lifestyle modifications, and engaging in supportive counseling.
I believe in a patient-centered, holistic approach to providing mental health care. I approach treatment by viewing each client as a unique individual and not merely their diagnosis; this helps transcend the constrains created by these labels and allows for a treatment plan to be custom tailored to meet the needs of each individual. I achieve this by partnering with each client to better understand their wants, needs, preferences, and goals. While I may be the captain of the ship, you are the navigator, and together we can work as a team to get you to where you want to be.
About Natalie Taylor, PMHNP:
Natalie Taylor (she/her) is a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who works with patients across the lifespan. She is currently training to become a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist with The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals Foundation and is under the supervision of Dr. Kerry Landry, MD, CEDS. Natalie is passionate about being an integral member of a well-rounded treatment team for brave individuals along their journey towards recovery from an eating disorder. Additionally, she is trained to treat a variety of psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD and bipolar disorder. Other areas of passion and clinical interest for Natalie include working with clients who are experiencing spiritual distress and faith transitions. Natalie is LGBTQIA+ affirming.
Prior to returning to school in pursuit of a career as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Natalie worked as a Registered Nurse in Medical/ Oncology, an experience that helped her build a strong and compassionate foundation for her nursing career. Natalie believes strongly in patient autonomy and the importance of being invested in your own treatment. She is passionate about working within each unique family system to create solutions for long-term success of her patients.
When she's not working, Natalie enjoys running, hiking, spending time with her people, and the chaos of her large family including her five amazing kids.
About Lauren Woolfolk, PMHNP:
Lauren (she/her) has more than 14 years of experience as a Psychiatric Nurse working with children and adolescents in a hospital setting. She obtained her MSN at the University of Virginia and became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She completed her clinicals in both a crisis stabilization unit and in an outpatient psychiatric setting, treating children, adolescents, and adults. She is able to prescribe and treat many psychiatric issues, including, but not limited to: Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Panic Disorder. She enjoys working with members of the LGBTQ community as a Certified Transgender Care Provider and is currently completing her training and supervision hours to become a Registered Play Therapist. Lauren currently accepts all Anthem BC/BS products, Cigna, Aetna, Optima, Magellan, Optum/United. She is able to treat children, adolescents, and adults with psychiatric needs.