|| Carolyn Baird || Dr. Elizabeth
Ventura || Vanessa Meredith
Pauline Amaismeier BSN,
MS, LPC, NCC, RN-BC, DCC
name is Pauline Amaismeier. Being a mental health care provider,
I sometimes become frustrated when I see “initials” behind
people’s names and have no idea what they mean. Let me explain
The BSN shows that I have a Bachelor of
Science in Nursing from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.
The MS signifies that I have a Master of
Science in Community Agency Counseling from California
University of Pennsylvania in California, PA.
The LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor
in the State of Pennsylvania.
The NCC shows that I qualified as a National
Certified Counselor by the National Board of Certified
The RN shows that I am a Registered Nurse in
the State of Pennsylvania.
The BC signifies that I have met the
requirements as a Board Certified Psychiatric and Mental Health
Nurse according to the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
The DCC is a Distance Credentialed
Counselor. I have taken hours of training in distance
counseling, which includes learning about online email and chat
counseling. This has met the requirements by the Center for
Credentialing and Education. Check at
I have worked as a psychiatric nurse with
both adults and children who were inpatient in a hospital and
outpatient for mental health problems. As a therapist I have
worked mainly with adults but have also worked with a few
adolescents and children with mental health diagnoses. I have
also had a lot of experience in working with people who have
experienced some kind of mental health trauma. It may have been
caused by a man made or natural disaster, emotional, sexual or
physical abuse, accidents, traumatic deaths and grief issues
I use an eclectic approach in choosing the
type of therapy to use for each client. I have been trained in
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), a proven
method of working with trauma clients. This is just one, among
other types of therapy that I may choose to use, as needed, to
meet the needs of the client. Some of these other types of
therapy include Cognitive Behavioral, Art (in face-to-face
therapy sessions), Narrative and Person Centered Therapies.
I have been trained in Critical Incident
Stress Management and have worked on the local CISM team. In
addition to that I am an active volunteer for the American Red
Cross, and have worked on both local and national disasters. The
American Red Cross is not involved with my practice as a mental
health counselor. I am only considered a Red Cross
representative during my volunteer times. I included this
because it expands my knowledge in working with people who have
experienced mental health trauma. I am also on the Disaster
County Response Team (DCORT) for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
and can be called to provide mental health assistance during a
crisis or disaster.
I strongly believe in keeping up to date
with my profession. I am a member of several organizations which
can assist me in keeping up to date in my local community and
state on counseling, mental health trauma and online counseling
issues. They are: American Counseling Association, Pennsylvania
Counseling Association, Greater Pittsburgh Counseling
Association, National Board for Certified Counselors,
International Society of Mental Health Online, Eye Movement
Desensitization Reprocessing International Association (EMDRIA),
Association of Play Therapy.
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Carolyn Baird, DNP, MBA,
RN-BC, CARN-AP, ICCDPD
Dr Baird has practiced as a mental health/dual disorders
therapist providing individual, family, marital and group
counseling, EMDR, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, and EAP
services since 1996. Her almost 30 years experience in the
healthcare field have been spent in providing treatment to
individuals of all ages with addiction, mental health and
co-occurring disorders in the full continuum of settings.
She received both her Doctorate in Nursing Practice and her
Masters in Business Administration - Heath Care emphasis from
Waynesburg University. A Certified Psych-Mental Health Nurse
since 1987 and an Internationally Certified Co-occurring
Professional Diplomate level since 2004, co-occurring disorders
have been a professional focus for most of her career.
A member of the International Nurses Society
on Addictions (IntNSA) since 1997, she holds the credentials of
Certified Addictions Registered Nurse (1998) and CARN-Advanced
Practice (2001). In 2002 she received the IntNSA Annual Award
for Excellence in Administration/ Management and in 2008 the
IntNSA Annual Award for Excellence in Clinical/Direct Service.
She was recognized in 2004 with the Carlow University Alumnae
Service Award for Health Care and in 2007 with the Caron
Community Service Awards, Medical Professional-Nurse.
In addition to IntNSA, Dr Baird is a member
of the American Nurses Association, the American Psychiatric
Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International and serves as
a Board Member on the Addiction Nursing Certification Board and
the Journal of Addictions Nursing Editorial Board. She is an
author, reviewer, journal special issue editor, presenter and
adjunct nursing faculty member.
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Dr. Elizabeth Ventura
Dr. Elizabeth Ventura is a licensed professional counselor (http://www.licensepa.state.pa.us/)
and has been practicing since 2004. She received her doctorate
from Duquesne University in 2010 and has been clinically trained
at the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals in Cleveland, OH
and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Dr. Ventura also
is a full time faculty member in the Graduate Counseling Program
at Waynesburg University. Dr. Ventura has presented at numerous
local, state, and national conferences, including the
professions flagship professional conference, The American
Counseling Association (http://www.counseling.org)
on counseling related topics and she is published in several
texts regarding trauma work and clinical issues in therapy.
Professionally, Dr. Ventura adheres to the professions code of
and maintains active continuing education credits required for
Dr. Ventura has had extensive experience
treating adults and children, couples and families struggling
with various mental health and developmental conditions. She has
specific training in both cognitive behavioral therapy and
dialectical behavioral therapy (www.behavioraltech.org),
however, believes completely in meeting the needs of each
specific individual and therefore utilizes an eclectic approach
to enhance the strengths of each individual. Dr Ventura believes
in the inherent strength that each person embodies and therefore
uses therapy as a place to enhance the inner experiences of each
client from a holistic perspective.
She has spent a majority of her training
working across the lifespan from childhood to adulthood, and
within family systems. In addition, Dr Ventura has specific
training in addiction, eating disorders, trauma, self- esteem,
and mood disorders.
Dr Ventura also has training in treatments
specific for individuals with neurobehavioral conditions, such
as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Tourette's Syndrome, ADHD,
Learning Disabilities, Early Childhood Developmental Delays, and
Lastly, as both a clinician and educator,
Dr. Ventura believes in the value of continuing education and
professional organizations in the field of counseling. She is an
active member of the ACA (www.counseling.org)
and participates in the associations' trauma division. She
consults for local attorneys regarding conduct and behavioral
assessments as part if the PA Bar Examination and remains active
in her research and writing. Currently, Dr. Ventura is beginning
the process of becoming certified in a trauma specific
therapeutic approach, EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and
reprocessing treatment (
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Vanessa Alimario Meredith has over 20 years of direct clinical experience providing individual, couples, family and group counseling. She has also served in various supervisory and administrative capacities in the mental health field.
Vanessa is licensed through the PA State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors http://www.licensepa.state.pa.us/ and has also achieved national certification through the
National Board for Certified Counselors www.nbcc.org.
Vanessa utilizes an eclectic approach to counseling which essentially centers the course of treatment based on the individual needs of the client. For example, when working with clients relating problems with anxiety or
depression, cognitive behavioral approaches which examine the individuals thinking patterns are introduced. Couples experiencing discord may need to work on rebuilding communication and conflict resolution skills to help repair their relationship. Families in crisis may benefit from
exploring maladaptive patterns that have developed over time and then identifying ways to change those patterns.
In addition to providing individual, couples and family therapy, Vanessa has also facilitated psycho-educational and therapeutic groups/workshops. Groups/workshops include—Coping with Depression, Surviving Separation and Divorce, Managing Stress, Helping Families Cope with Grief and Loss, and Codependency Groups.
On an administrative level, Vanessa serves as a consultant in the area of performance improvement to assist agencies/facilities in achieving optimum level of care. This is accomplished by ensuring that quality therapeutic services are provided, ethical standards
are being met, and programs are complying with standards set forth by accrediting bodies or local/state mental health departments. Vanessa has also worked with organizations to provide trainings on Ethics and Confidentiality, Stress
Management in the Workplace, and Recovery Oriented Principles in Mental Health.
Vanessa obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from West Virginia University. She then earned a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston College, which according to
US News and World Report, has been ranked among the top 20 programs in the United States.
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