About

Leading breakthrough

We believe everyone has barriers preventing them from living truly fulfilled lives

Our counseling focuses on individuals and families in need of change. As a team of therapists with diverse specialties, we are uniquely equipped to come alongside the whole family. We believe the greatest impact is made when the family is viewed as a unit.

Our coaching focuses on the executive development of leaders. We equip individuals to understand their own weaknesses and opportunities as leaders to help them best serve and manage those around them.

Our marriage intensives are intended for marriages in crisis or on the brink of failure. Intensives offer the greatest chance of healing for couples in distress. Our marriage retreats are intentionally designed to strengthen a couple's bond, allowing them to experience deeper levels of connection and satisfaction.

A Different Experience

High Quality Counseling

Our therapists are hand-picked not only for their expertise, but also their passion. They genuinely care about their clients and always strive for clinical excellence. To insure the highest quality counseling possible, LifeGate is not regulated by insurance networks. Our primary goal is to meet the needs of our clients, not navigate the red tape of insurance.

Intensive Programs

Our intensive program is one of a kind and truly transforms marriages, leaders, and families. By leveraging the blessing of a sequestered retreat environment, we can make a bigger impact and produce greater healing.

Real Counselors

We’re real people who have stories and struggles of our own. We have families, friends and hobbies and are actively engaged within our communities. We do not pretend to be experts on other people's lives. Instead, we come alongside those who are hurting, stuck or longing for change and empower them to reach their goals

Christian Worldview

Our Christian faith is our foundation. It informs how we view the world and our work. However, we never force spiritual exploration or faith-based topics. Instead, we allow our clients to choose if and how they integrate their faith into their therapy.

Todd Sandel, CEO & Managing Director

Todd Sandel, CEO & Managing Director

Executive Coach, Marriage Specialist, Speaker

Todd serves as the Managing Director, and he also provides executive development as a Certified Executive Coach in addition to his practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

SPECIAL NICHE

Clinical Therapy:

  • Equipping engaged couples to succeed
  • Creating change for struggling marriages
  • Empowering men to live, love and lead well

Executive Coaching:

As an Executive Coach, Todd has helps guide CEO's, corporate executives, senior managers, business owners, and ministry leaders to a higher level of leadership effectiveness.

  • Strategic Vision
  • Leadership Development
  • Organizational Performance

Speaker:

Todd presents seminars, workshops, and retreats for churches, schools, companies and organizations in the following areas:

  • Marriage and family health
  • Leadership excellence
  • Personal development
  • Team and organizational health
PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS

Licensure

  • Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Certifications

  • Certified Executive Coach
  • Certified Birkman Consultant
  • Certified DISC Personality Consultant
  • Certified Prepare-Enrich Seminar Director
  • Gottman Educator
  • Certified Family Wellness Instructor

Education

  • Emory University Goizueta School of Business- Leadership Certificate
  • Fuller School of Psychology- MS in Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Fuller Theological Seminary- MA in Christian Leadership

Professional Memberships

  • American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Georgia Association of Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Center for Executive Coaching
  • Seminar Director for Prepare-Enrich
ONLINE RESOURCES

Links

UPCOMING SPEAKING EVENTS

2017

February 3: Clairmont Presbyterian Church (ATLANTA)

February 7: Peachtree MOPS Event (ATLANTA)

March 3-5th: Winshape Marriage; Retreat Speaker (ROME, GA.)

April 10th: Chick-fil-A Operators Leadership Workshop (ATLANTA)

April 28-29th: Peachtree Marriage Retreat (ATLANTA)

May 3-5th: FCA Coaches Retreat, (NEW YORK)

June 9th: Chick-fil-A, Inc. Business Consultants Leadership Forum

July 7-9th: Winshape Marriage; Retreat Speaker (ROME, GA.)

August 1-2nd: Chick-fil-A Operators Retreat, The CEO Mindset (Lubbock, Texas)

August 11th: Prepare-Enrich; Certification Trainer (ATLANTA)

August 17th: Willis Towers Watson, facilitating all day training seminar on Developing Executive Presence (ATLANTA)

August 25th: Chick-fil-A, Inc.; Business Consultants Leadership Forum

August 30-31: NAPC; Strategic Leadership Retreat, (CONYERS, GA)

September 12-21st: Winshape; Epic Marriage Adventure, (MACHU PICCHU, PERU)

September 25th: Chick-fil-A, Inc.; Business Consultants Leadership Forum

September 29-30th: Winshape Marriage; Retreat Speaker (ROME, GA.)

October 4th: Chick-fil-A, Inc.; Annual Field Operations Conference; seminar speaker, Leadership On Purpose (ALABAMA)

October 6-8th: Sanctuary; Marriage Retreat Speaker (ROME, GA.)

October 27th: Chick-fil-A, Inc.; Business Consultants Leadership Forum

November 3rd: Dunwoody MOPS (DUNWOODY, GA.)

November 9th: Keynote speaker, Chick-fil-A Midwest Regional Summit Conference

November 18-20: FCA Coaches Retreat (NEW YORK)

December 1st: Chick-fil-A, Inc.; Business Consultants Leadership Forum

HOBBIES
  • Trail running
  • Snow skiing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Outdoor adventures with my family
Read my Posts
Ryan Jackson, Executive Director

Ryan Jackson, Executive Director

Executive Director and Director of Marriage Intensives

Marriage Therapist, Consultant, Speaker

Ryan came to The LifeGate Group from California in 2011 to join the team as a Marriage and Family Therapist where he works with couples who are married, engaged, and dating. Additionally he sees individual adult clients seeking to get unstuck and live more whole-heartedly.

 

Email:  Ryan@LifeGategroup.org

 

Specific Focus

Clinical Therapy:

    • Creating safe space for couples to experience genuine connection with each other
    • Challenging men and women to live authentically and courageously
    • Facilitating honest conversations integrating Christian Faith with life in the here and now.

Speaker:

Ryan speaks for churches, schools, and organizations on the topics of marriage health and/or enrichment, team and community culture, self-care, and the integration of Christian faith with emotional maturity.

Credentials

Licensure

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Certifications

  • Pending certification as an Emotionally Focused Therapist
  • Certified Prepare-Enrich Counselor
  • Education
  • Point Loma Nazarene University-BA in Psychology
  • San Diego State University—MS in Counseling with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy

Professional Memberships

  • American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Georgia Association of Marriage & Family Therapists
  • International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT)
Online Resources
Book Recommendations
  1. With- Skye Jethani
  2. Soul Keeping- John Ortberg
  3. The Meaning of Marriage- Tim Keller
  4. Hold Me Tight- Sue Johnson
  5. Safe Haven Marriage- Sharon Hart-Morris
  6. Reaching Out- Henri Nouwen
  7. Return of the Prodigal Son- Henri Nouwen
  8. Daring Greatly- Brene Brown
Hobbies
  • Snow Skiing
  • Golf
  • Volleyball
  • Watching the SF 49ers and Giants, the Warriors, Sharks, and Stanford Football
  • Time with my wife and 3 daughters
Lisa Watts

Lisa Watts

Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Doctoral Student of Psychology

Relationship and Intimacy Specialist

Email: Lisa@LifeGateGroup.org

About Lisa

Living in Atlanta for 25 years has allowed Lisa to create a rich community of resources and support for her practice, and her clients.  As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Lisa has worked in the public and private sectors of mental health care, including four years of service as the Executive Director of a non-profit community mental health organization in Midtown, Atlanta.

Aside from her career at Lifegate, Lisa is pursuing her PhD in Psychology, and is a graduate teaching assistant at University of West Georgia.

Practice Focus

Specialities:

  • Infidelity
  • Divorce Recovery
  • Communication in relationships

Lisa works with clients on the following issues:

  • New Motherhood Transition
  • Parenting
  • Personal and Professional Harmony
  • Life Mapping
Education

PhD Psychology (in progress): Univ. of West Georgia

Masters of Social Work: Georgia State University

BFA Arts & Management: Brenau Women's College

Professional Training

Bringing Baby Home Instructor: Gottman Institute

Human Sexuality & Culture

Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy

Children's and Family Grief

Prepare-Enrich Certified Facilitator

Dori Whitworth

Dori Whitworth

Licensed Professional Counselor

ADHD Coaching, Trauma specialist, and Adaptive Aging

Email: Dori@LifeGateGroup.org

Becky Nguyen

Becky Nguyen

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Hello. I'm so glad you are here, and exploring the prospect of healing and growth in your life. I believe that investing in your well being and the health of your relationships is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and our loved ones. It takes courage to ask for help and make a change, and I admire each of my clients for taking that step. It would be a great privilege to walk with you through your challenges and help you find your healing path forward. - Becky

Email: Becky@LifeGateGroup.org

Special Therapy Focus

Young adults: life decisions, relationships, and/or family of origin issues;

Adult children of alcoholics/addicts;

Parents: help navigating a problem they are having with their child(ren);

Adults: relationship concerns, life-transition issues, self-worth concerns, and family matters.

Couples: dating, engaged, and married

Credentials

Licensure:

Licensed Mental Health Professional in State of Washington (2000-2007)

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in State of Georgia (since 2007)

Certifications:

Certified Prepare-Enrich Facilitator

Education:

BS Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University, 1997

MS Marriage and Family Therapy, Auburn University, 2000

Memberships:

American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy

Online Resources

Book recommendations:

Speaking

Becky has spoken for many groups on a variety of topics including, but not limited to: parenting, marriage, interpersonal boundaries, self-worth, managing conflict in the workplace, managing anxiety.

Becky also conducts Love & Logic® and Preparing for Marriage Workshops.

About

Practicing since 2000, and at LifeGate since 2007, Becky's counseling focus has evolved over the years from a focus on children, adolescents, and families to a focus primarily on individual adults and their relationships.

Having a rich background in child/adolescent therapy enables her to be particularly helpful to adults who are working through issues that may have some of their roots in their childhood, as well as to be helpful as a consultant to parents who are wanting a better relationship with their young or adult children, or wanting to problem-solve a specific parenting issue.

Having a strong background in family systems offers Becky important insights about people within the context of their relationships—with themselves, others, and God.

Becky is also passionate about preparing engaged couples for a successful marriage and strengthening or reconciling the relationships of married couples.

Additionally she enjoys helping dating couples work through specific issues which often helps the couple to better discern the direction of their relationship.

Becky has been married for 10 years and has 2 young children.

Melissa Sparks

Melissa Sparks

Eating Disorders Specialist

Style of Therapy

Melissa takes a bio•psycho•social•spiritual approach to counseling and practices with openness and respect for individual and cultural differences.

She believes that a full recovery can be attained with appropriate emotional, physical, and spiritual intervention. She utilizes evidence-based treatments and often collaborates with a multidisciplinary team, including registered dietitians, physicians, psychiatrists, physical therapists, etc.

Treatment modalities include cognitive-behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, dialectical-behavior therapy, solution-focused therapy, and exposure with response prevention.

 

Email: Melissa@LifeGateGroup.org

SPECIAL FOCUS

Clinical Therapy

Individual, Couples, Family, Group, and Meal Coaching for Adolescents and Adults

  • Eating Disorders (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder), body image concerns, compulsive exercise, etc.
  • Anxiety Disorders (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Phobia)
  • General relationship concerns, career and life transitions, identity formation, self-esteem, depression, grief and loss, and pre-marital counseling
SPEAKER

Melissa presents in schools, churches, seminars, and professional conferences on topics primarily related to eating disorder prevention and awareness. Recent presentations include the following list:

  • Eating Disorders 101 (for various middle schools and high schools)
  • How to Raise Intuitive Eaters (MOPS-Mom’s of Preschoolers)
  • Mom in the Mirror (MOPS-Mom’s of Preschoolers; co-presented with Kate Ferguson, LPC)
  • Escaping the Comparison Trap (Peachtree Presbyterian Church Women’s Ministry; co-presented with Miriam Ryan)
  • Depression and Cutting (for parents of a church youth group; co-presented with Susanne Stribling, PsyD)
  • Eating Disorder Panel (with a Registered Dietitian, Physician, Physical Therapist, and a person in recovery from an eating disorder)
  • Managing Relationship, Nutrition, and Sport Issues (The Renfrew Conference, Eating Disorder in Sport Conference; co-presented with Page Love, R.D.)
  • The Multidisciplinary Approach to treating Anorexia Nervosa and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (The National Eating Disorder Association Conference; co-presented with Carrie Poline, M.D., Ryan Schwerzmann, LMFT, and Eileen Shaw, R.D.)
CREDENTIALS

Education

M.A. – Marriage and Family Therapy, Richmont Graduate University

B.A. – Psychology with Religion Minor, Lee University

Certifications

  • National Certified Counselor
  • Certified PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor

Professional Memberships

  • International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, Atlanta Chapter
  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
ONLINE RESOURCES
BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole R.D & Elyse Resch R.D.

8 Keys to Recovery from and Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costin MFT, M.ED

Eating Mindfully by Susan Albers, PsyD

Women Food and God by Geneen Roth

Life Without ED by Jenni Schaefer

Goodbye ED, Hello Me by Jenni Schaefer

Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnston PhD

Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle with Anorexia by Harriet Brown

The Parents Guide to Eating Disorders by Marcia Herrin RD

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown PhD, LMSW

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown PhD, LMSW

The New Codependency by Melody Beattie

Perfectionism: What’s Bad About Being Too Good by Miriam Adderholdt PhD

Brainlock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Jeffrey Schwartz MD

Brianna Bacorn

Brianna Bacorn

Staff Therapist

 

Play Therapy Specialist

Child & Adolescent Specialist

Adult Therapist

 

 

Email:  Brianna@LifeGategroup.org

SPECIFIC FOCUS

Child Centered Play Therapy

I enjoy working with children and seeing their resilience to get through challenging situations. When children are placed in safe environments and given the chance to use their natural language of play, they are able to process and work through challenges in their daily lives. Children who are given the opportunity to work through their challenges when they are young are also less likely to experience mental health issues into their adulthood, equipping them to lead healthy and functional lives. It is wonderful to see kids process the world around them and learn to see the world in more helpful ways. I get to be a guide along the way.

Adolescent and Adult Clinical Therapy

  • Help people experience freedom from anxiety
  • Work through people’s life transitions from college to career
  • Guide people to live the lives they envision

 

TARGETED ISSUES
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • General Anxiety
  • Social Anxiety
  • Test Anxiety
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Physiological Manifestations of Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Depression
  • Anger Management for Children and Adolescents
  • Divorce Transitions for Children
  • Pre-Marital Counseling
CREDENTIALS

Licensure

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Education

  • Florida State University- Master of Social Work
  • Florida State University- Bachelor of Social Work

Professional Memberships

  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Association for Play Therapy
ONLINE RESOURCES
Burke Buster

Burke Buster

Staff Therapist

I feel honored to walk alongside people in their journey toward change.

Email:  Burke@LifeGategroup.org

Therapy Focus
  • Life transitions
  • Couples: dating, engaged, married
  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • Adolescents
  • Grief
  • Anxiety
Credentials

Licensure

  • License number: APC005070 in the State of Georgia

Training

  • Certified Prepare-Enrich Facilitator
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy Externship
  • Restoration Therapy
  • Healing the Wounded Heart, Allender Center

Education

  • Richmont Graduate University, MS in Professional Counseling
  • Auburn University, BA in Business Marketing
Therapy Experience

Atlanta Mission: Shepherds Inn, Therapist, 2014-2015

Hope Counseling Center, Therapist, 2014-2015

Ridgeview Institute, Access Center Clinician, 2015-2017

Lifegate Group, Staff Therapist & Marriage Intensive Co-Facilitator, 2015-present

Hobbies

Burke is a music enthusiast who has played with his band the Rusty Busters throughout the Southeast for the past four years. In addition to performing, he enjoys watching anything that has to do with Auburn athletics and fishing with his wife.

Staci Bolton

Staci Bolton

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Bolton is a licensed psychologist who provides psychological testing for children, adolescents, and adults at LifeGate.

 

Credentials

Licensure

Licensed Psychologist

Education

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Child and Family Clinical Practice from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University
  • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University
  • Master of Science in Christian Psychological Studies from the Psychological Studies Institute

Professional Memberships

  • Georgia Psychological Association
  • American Association of Christian Counselors
Specific Focus

Psychological/Educational Testing is provided to assist LifeGate Clients with the following:

  • Determine a psychological diagnosis related to an emotional, behavioral, or learning problem
  • Facilitate treatment planning and offer strategies for clients who may be “stuck” in their therapy progress
  • Make recommendations for educational or vocational planning
  • Assess eligibility for special needs resources (including admissions to gifted programs)
  • Admissions testing for some private schools and undergraduate/graduate academic support programs
  • Develop understanding of individual strengths and weaknesses (e.g., learning style or personality style)
Hobbies
  • Cheering on my kids
  • Reading
  • Tennis
Mary Beth Pierce

Mary Beth Pierce

Licensed Professional Counselor

The decision to offer yourself care in the midst of pain is one of the kindest decisions you can make. My hope is to provide a place of honesty where you can pursue wholeness and restoration, and to guide you through your story to uncover the beauty that has been hidden. It would be an honor to hear your story and offer you care.

Email: marybeth@lifegategroup.org

Phone: (404) 842-3155

THERAPY FOCUS

Mary Beth helps clients engage the impact of their story as they pursue healing in the following areas:

• Trauma
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Abuse
• PTSD
• Grief
• Relationship issues
• Spirituality
• Codependency
• Identity
• Spouses of addicts
• Sexuality

CREDENTIALS

Licensure:

Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Georgia, LPC008990

Education:

MA, Marriage and Family Therapy, Richmont Graduate University 2012

BBA, Business Management, University of Georgia 2006

Trainings/Certifications:

EMDR Basic Training, EMDR Institute

Advanced Counseling Trauma Certificate, Allender Center

School of Spiritual Direction, Newway Ministries, Dr. Larry Crabb

Certified PREPARE/ENRICH relationship assessment Facilitator

ABOUT

Mary Beth grew up in St. Simons Island, GA, and has lived in the Atlanta area for 11 years. She studied business management at UGA and began a career in business before shifting her focus to counseling 8 years ago. Her practice has been primarily in church settings and non-profits.

Mary Beth loves adventure and spending time outdoors, and enjoys snow skiing, kayaking, biking, and hiking with her Golden Retriever, Annie.