Our Wellness Team

At Stella Maris Counseling & Wellness our counselors have diverse backgrounds and professional focuses to provide well rounded expertise to our clients. Whether it is an individual or family need, our team of counselors are able to help. If you are contacting us for the first time, we encourage you to call or email us to see which counselor is best matched for you. This compatability will be  based on your need of counseling experience, availability, and other matching factors. Also feel free to read our counselor biographies below to learn about our counselors and their backgrounds. 
Meet The Team
Susan Melnyk, M.S.Ed., LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor 
Susan Melnyk is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Indiana in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts, with double majors in Psychology and Sociology. After college, she attended Old Dominion University and graduated in 2003 with a Master of Science in Psychology. Susan recently graduated as an Education Specialist from the Mental Health counseling program at Old Dominion University.

Susan is a member of the Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) Counseling Honor Society; the American Counseling Association (ACA), Association for Adult Development and Aging (AADA), the Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC), the International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC), International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp) Foundation and National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Susan began working in the counseling/healthcare profession in 2004 as a long-term care social worker. She began working as an outpatient counselor in 2013 when she began her practicum and internship at Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia.

Susan’s areas of interest include body image concerns and eating disorders. She has three resultant publications in academic journals from research on body image she completed during her Master’s program. She has worked as a long-term care Social Worker and enjoys working with the geriatric population and end of life concerns. Susan developed and facilitated a psychoeducational support group for young women with body-image and self-esteem concerns and has a true passion for working with children and adolescents. She is also comfortable working to help parents participate in cooperative parenting.
    
Anna Huddleston, M.A.
Resident in Counseling
Anna’s counseling interests are working with couples, families, and children to help with relationship adjustments and difficulties. She is experienced in counseling individuals through life stage transitions and the family implications that result from them. Anna has a thorough understanding of counseling military members and their family members before, during, and after family separations/ deployments/ transitions. Counseling children, adolescents, and parents through difficult life stages is a strength. Anna employs strength based cognitive counseling techniques and positive psychology when appropriate.​​​

Anna graduated from Liberty University with a Masters in Professional Counseling with High Distinction. Anna is a member of the ACA (American Counseling Association) and the AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors) with Marriage and Family Membership and Military Counseling Initiative Divisional Memberships.

Anna has volunteered at numerous military spouse support organizations and held classes for new parents in adjusting to life with a new baby. She has been actively involved in coaching and counseling children and adolescents. Anna has also been the Athletic Director at a local Catholic School helping facilitate positive sports participation for athletes and a positive experience for the parents. Anna has significant experience in helping children, adolescents, and adults to discover effective ways of navigating through school and athletic challenges.
    
Laura Pace, M.A.
Resident in Counseling
Laura received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Old Dominion University in 2013, cum laude. During her undergraduate, she was a member of Psi Chi, a psychology honors society, and a research assistant in the Center for Advanced Statistical Analysis of Health Behaviors. Research focused on risky heath behavior antecedents and intervention for adolescents and young adults.​​​​

Recently, she completed her master’s degree in counseling education from Old Dominion University in 2016, magna cum laude. She currently counsels in both outpatient and school settings. Her integrative approach to client concerns includes cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, mindfulness skills, and motivational interviewing.  
    
Stephanie Dorais, M.A., NCC
Resident in Counseling
   
Stephanie is a nationally certified counselor. She specializes working with adolescents and young adults. Her specific areas of expertise include but are not limited to overcoming depression, managing anxiety, recovering from trauma, and integrating a fractured sense of self. Her therapeutic perspective combines Gestalt therapy, rational emotive behavioral strategies, and person-centered listening skills. Her work is based on principles of empathy and respect for clients. She brings an inner healing perspective and collaborates with clients when shaping a treatment plan around their goals. Stephanie’s general aim is that her clients come out of therapy with a more empowered sense of self, stronger relationship skills, more balanced emotions, greater daily functioning, and keener self-awareness.​​​​​​​​

Stephanie graduated from Regent University with her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She continues to work at Regent University as a college counselor as well. She completed her practicum and internship at Christian Psychotherapy Services, where she received extensive training in conducting psychological evaluations. She is trained in EMDR and is working towards certification. She is a member of the American Association for Christian Counselors (AACC) and Virginia Counselors Association (VCA).
        
Alton Wampler, M.A.
Resident in Counseling
  Alton is a Resident in Counseling in the state of Virginia. He enjoys working with adolescents, college students, and adults. His main areas of expertise include but are not limited to issues pertaining to anxiety, depression, sexuality, relationships, trauma, stress, and family systems. In addition, he enjoys working with couples in both marriage and premarital counseling. He believes that the core goal of therapy is to help individuals live, love, and work more effectively in their daily lives. He believes that this is best accomplished through process-oriented therapy which explores the underlying conflicts that lead individuals to engage in certain behavioral patterns.

Alton graduated from James Madison University with his bachelor's degree in Psychology and from Regent University with his master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He also currently works with college students in the counseling center at Virginia Wesleyan University where he completed his internship experience. He is a current member of the American Counseling Association (ACA).
        
Jasmine Dhillon, M.S.Ed.
Resident in Counseling
Jasmine is a Resident in Counseling currently completing requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. She graduated from Old Dominion University with a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in clinical mental health counseling. Since then, she has provided counseling services to individuals suffering from a wide range of difficulties. She utilizes a strength-based approach along with cognitive behavioral techniques and motivational interviewing.
Jasmine has worked as an undergraduate research assistant and conducted research on the effects of alcohol and related substances within the college population and also on psychological aggression in sexual minorities. She has also worked closely with older adults in nursing homes and adult day care settings and continues to provide services to this population. She has experience working as an Emergency Services clinician conducting pre-admission screenings to determine level of care needed for clients in psychological distress and crisis situations.
 
Jasmine is able to provide services to clients experiencing suicide and homicide ideations and is aware of the necessary resources and interventions to assist clients in crisis. She also has exposure with the treatment of substance use disorders as well as providing outpatient counseling through the medical model working at a local health clinic.