Meet Our Therapists

Pathways Counseling Center’s therapy staff is comprised of interesting and diverse people from a variety of backgrounds with a range of experience. Take a moment to meet our staff of therapists introduced on our site.

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  • Nancy
  • Roberto
  • Susanne
  • Natalie
  • Susan
  • Anah
  • Brenda
  • Denzie
  • Teresa
Nancy A. Makar : MSW, LCSW - Owner / Director
Nancy A. Makar, MSW, LCSW - Owner / Director

Nancy, originally from Natchitoches, Louisiana has lived in Florida since 1974. Besides teaching school, Nancy founded and owned Suncoast Medical Oxygen and Wellwood Funeral Home (currently Grace) in Pasco County. During graduate school and her supervision years she was a school social worker in Hernando County.

 

Nancy received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Florida State University and her Master of Social Work from the University of South Florida and in 1991, Nancy founded Pathways Counseling Center.

 

Nancy believes her contribution to our community is to educate and help facilitate personal growth in the field of mental health. Her personal areas of expertise are working with Loss and Grief, Children and Adult Children from Dysfunctional/Alcoholic Addicted Families, Couples Counseling and Family Dynamics. Her personal and professional philosophy with regard to counseling and psychotherapy is:

 

Every client has the inherent ability to make positive changes in their lives based on their willingness to accept responsibility for the decisions they make today. Yes, each of us is a product of our life experience but we can use those experiences to our advantage and personal growth if we make that choice. Once someone realizes they have a choice, a whole new world can open to them.

 

It is not so much what happens to us in life, as how we handle the events that shape our lives. It is important to create a safe place here at Pathways Counseling Center for our clients to develop a trusting relationship with their therapist and our staff. Sometimes, this is the first time individuals have ever had that opportunity. My goal is to allow them that safe experience so they can create their own safe, personal environment elsewhere in their daily lives.

Roberto Quiroz : MS, LMHC
Roberto Quiroz, MS, LMHC

Roberto is a Mental Health Counselor who graduated with a Masters Degree from Nova Southeastern University in 1999.  Roberto received his license in 2003 and has been providing therapy to a variety of clients, ranging in age from 8-year-olds to senior citizens. His expertise is working with children and adolescents as well as couples and families with systemic issues. Roberto uses Solution Focused Therapy which helps the clients to focus on finding solutions to their problems, rather than dwelling on the problems themselves. He believes that each member of the family has a role in the answers they are looking for. The use of the “Miracle Question” and re-framing are among the many different strategies that are used to help the client create practical changes that will eventually produce a more complete and permanent transformation in the family as a whole.

Susanne Hampton Armstrong : M. Ed., Ed. S., LMHC
Susanne Hampton Armstrong, M. Ed., Ed. S., LMHC

Susanne was born and raised in Florida, attended the University of Florida in Gainesville and loves her “Gators”! Susanne has been working in the mental health field since obtaining her graduate degree in 1995, and she has been in private practice at Pathways since 2006. She loves children and has dedicated her life to helping children and families be happy, healthy, and successful in today’s challenging society. Susanne and her husband have a daughter that is the center of their world, and keeps them very busy. Susanne believes that families today have a much more difficult time being resilient, but feels that through counseling, they can begin to establish skills and attributes necessary for their lifelong success.

Two of Susanne's favorite quotes are:

 

We shall not achieve any significant change in society until we focus not only on what it means to be a parent, but also on what it means to be a child.

Take the hand of your child and invite her to go out and sit with you on the grass. The two of you may want to contemplate the green grass, the little flowers that grow among the grasses, or the sky. Breathing and smiling together- that is peace education. If we know how to appreciate these beautiful things, we will not have to search for anything else. Peace is available in every moment, in every breath, in every step.

Susanne has the innate ability to bond with children almost immediately. Her compassion, caring and empathy are easily observed by everyone in the offices at Pathways Counseling Center . Give her a call or better still, drop by the office and see for yourself the “energy” she exudes.

Natalie Tarr : LMHC
Natalie Tarr, LMHC

Natalie is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who received her Masters of Science degree from Nova Southeastern University. Natalie has been working with children and families since 1999.  She has provided therapeutic interventions and services to children ages 5-18. Natalie utilizes her skills in reality therapy and behavior modification principles in the therapeutic setting.

 

Natalie is originally from Rhode Island. She moved to Hernando County 20+ years ago. In her spare time Natalie enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She travels and enjoys relaxing at the beach whenever possible.

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Children are like wet cement, whatever falls on them makes an impression ~ Dr. H. Ginott

Susan Balsamo : MSW, LCSW
Susan Balsamo, MSW, LCSW

Susan is a native New Yorker who moved to Florida in 1991. She attended P.H.S.C. where she obtained her Associates Degree. She then went to Saint Leo University to complete her Bachelor’s Degree before earning her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work. During her internships, Susan focused on Geriatric Social Work and added a second internship in the Community Recovery Center, focusing on those struggling with addictions, earning her a Graduate Certification in Addictions and Substance Abuse.

 

Susan provided therapy and social services at Community Hospital’s In-Patient Crisis Stabilization Unit for two years and then worked for the Hernando County School Board as a School Social Worker for close to six years. She has been with Pathways Counseling Center since 2008 where she provides therapy for children who are 8 years of age and adults of all ages.

 

Just because you are alive doesn’t mean you are living, don’t forget to live. ~ Author Unknown

Anah Taylor :
Anah Taylor,

Anah is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing psychotherapy to adults, couples, seniors and families. She treats symptoms of anxiety, depression, loss, grief, and relationship problems. She has 10+ years’ experience as a psychotherapist and 20+ years working with clients in directly related mental health services including psychiatric hospitals and outpatient programs.

 

Anah utilizes the Solution Focused and Brief Therapy methods. She is a Level 1 practitioner of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) from the Beck Institute. She especially enjoys teaching clients with anxiety and depression the CBT skills which effectively reduces anxiety and depression. Anah believes CBT is a powerful tool clients can easily learn and use to change thinking and behavior.

 

She is also a Level 1 Gottman Couples Counselor and also utilizes Willard Harley material with couples when assigning homework between sessions. The grief counseling she provides is informed and based on the work and seminars by Alan Wolfelt. She employs the Family Systems approach when counseling families.

 

Clients learn early on in the therapeutic process that Anah believes strongly in clients’ resilience and capacity to learn and change. She will partner with them to identify achievable goals and she typically assigns relevant homework between sessions that help clients work towards those goals. This practice in situ is instrumental in developing the clients’ efficacy and ability to tolerate and reduce distress long after therapy sessions have ended.

 

Anah has been educated and employed in three countries and she says these experiences have shaped her appreciation for different cultures and religions. She holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology (BA) from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, a Masters (MA) in Sociology and PhD in Psychology/Sociology from Manchester University in Manchester, England. And a Masters in Social Work (MSW) from Indiana University School of Social work.

 

Anah has an enduring passion for children’s issues especially reducing gun violence against them and reducing child hunger. She is devoted to women’s issues especially greater representation in the political realm. She values most the people in her family; husband, children and grandchildren. She loves to travel, read, ride her bike, golf, and garden and watch her grandchildren perform in their sports and activities.

 

Her counseling philosophy is rooted in the following quotes;

 

“Life breaks us all- but it is in the broken
places we are often made stronger”

“people do what they know, when they know better-they do
better”.

Brenda W. Dillingham : LMFT
Brenda W. Dillingham, LMFT

Brenda is a licensed couple, marriage, and family therapist who graduated with distinction from Capella University in 2012. Currently working on a dissertation for completion of Doctor of Philosophy degree in Creative Systemic Studies in Marriage and Family Therapy at University of Louisiana @ Monroe.

Denzie Taylor : LCSW
Denzie Taylor, LCSW

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor with over 20 years of experience working with culturally diverse groups, individuals and families.

 

I have provided clinical services, including individual and group therapy, to children and adults on an inpatient and outpatient setting and with courts and justice systems. I have a proven record of
successful work with adults who are dually diagnosed (substance abuse and mental illness) and am skilled with adolescents who are in residential care.

 

I am a Qualified Supervisor for social workers pursuing licensure.

 

I currently enjoy working with adolescents, adults and couples and use elements of several theoretical modalities.

 

Originally from St Catherine, Jamaica I moved to Manchester, England at age 15. I met my wife in England and moved to the United States in 1996 and became an American citizen five years later. My work with young people in England led me to obtain a post secondary qualification in Education thinking that I would become a teacher. While I did become a teacher in math and science for a short while I eventually went into management of a health project for ethnic minorities. Later working with people in the court system, and at a Community Mental Health Center(CMHC), I realized I could be in a better position of helping them if I were able to provide more intensive therapy. Thus, in 2006 I earned a MSW at Indiana University and subsequently worked at a psychiatric hospital and also at a program to stop childhood abuse and neglect and at a CMHC.

 

In 2013 I moved to Florida and became the Clinical Social Director of staffing at a psychiatric hospital. I have been licensed in Florida for 3 years and am now the Clinical Director at Volunteers of America
in Tampa and joined Pathways Counseling Center in 2016.

 

Born a Jamaican and then becoming a Brit, naturally, I am an avid cricket fan (and ex player) and a Manchester United football fan. Currently, I enjoy fishing, golf and travel.

Teresa Estrada : MSW, LCSW
Teresa Estrada, MSW, LCSW

Teresa was born in New York and raised in Puerto Rico. She obtained her Bachelor's degree from Saint Leo University and a Masters degree from the University of Central Florida. She is currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Florida and holds a Professional Educator's Certificate (Social Work, Pre-K - 12) from the Florida Department of Education. Teresa is a highly skilled clinician with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of individuals suffering from emotional and mental health disorders.

 

In the counseling setting, Teresa, emphasizes building a therapeutic relationship with clients based on trust and empathy. She has helped many clients suffering from adjustment and mood disorders; including those due in part to acculturation issues. In her field of work she has successfully worked with, for, and serviced a diverse group of individuals, including children, adults, and couples. In sessions, Teresa, uses a variety of techniques from several modalities of therapy, such as .. Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy. Throughout her career, Teresa, has been a strong advocate of increasing family engagement in education. She has created and delivered presentations to parents and educators (statewide) in order to promote family involvement (including effective parenting skills, discipline techniques, and behavior modification
strategies).

 

Teresa's favorite quote is: "Being HAPPY does not mean EVERYTHING IS PERFECT .. .lt means YOU DECIDED to see beyond the imperfection" - Unknown Author