ABOUT OUR THERAPISTS

MEET DR. LAURA BETH COOPER

Dr. Cooper is a licensed psychologist and has worked in the mental health field for over 10 years. Her work with individuals, couples and families emphasize cognitive behavior therapy, motivational interviewing and other solution focused strategies to empower and strengthen individuals who are struggling to cope with everyday life circumstances, as well as those battling severe mental health issues. Her approach with children emphasizes behavior management programs, parent support, and creative strategies to decrease maladaptive behavior.

Dr.Cooper is a dedicated and energetic psychologist that focuses on assisting clients in making positive life changes, improving their relationships with others and their overall quality of life. She takes an eclectic approach, but currently specializes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing.  

Dr. Cooper received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at East Texas Baptist University. She received her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University, then received her Ph.D. in School Psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University. Her thesis research “Attachment to God, religious coping and scrupulosity among Protestant Christians in a nonclinical sample” led to two poster presentations in 2007 and 2008 at the Texas Psychological Association, Annual Conventions, and two publications in academic journals in 2009 and 2011.

Dr. Cooper is a member of the Texas Psychological Association and serves on the Diboll ISD School Board.

Education

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN PSYCHOLOGY, EAST TEXAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY
MASTER OF ARTS IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY
PH.D. IN SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY

Specialties

      • Children
      • Adolescents
      • Adults
      • Individuals
      • Couples
      • Families
      • Behavior
      • Anxiety
      • Depression
      • Trauma
      • Psychological Evaluations

MEET LORI COON

I became interested in counseling while teaching Women Studies class. I realized many women were struggling with deep emotions and past traumas, causing them to have self-doubt, fear and shame.

I could listen to their concerns as a friend, but I lacked the tools to really help them heal. This created in me a desire to expand my knowledge so that I could lend more than a listening ear. I decided to return to college and pursue this passion. Being married and having a child sometimes proved difficult but working with these women gave me motivation to complete my goal.

My first job after completing my degree was at Crisis Center where I worked with women, men, and children who were victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  In my work with clients, I use Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) & Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) to work with individuals who struggle to maintain a productive life and a healthy thought process.

No one is exempt from the far-reaching effects of imbalances or situational happenings beyond our control. The highlight of my counseling career is when I witness my clients’ enlightening ‘Ah Ha’ moments.

I enjoy working with all ages and have no gender preference. Prior to my counseling career, I worked extensively with children and youth in the role of a teacher and music director. In these roles, I gained insight to emotions, passions, and the fear of being vulnerable. As the daughter and granddaughter of ministers, I developed a keen sense of the silent needs of others, and the struggle to keep up appearances in our society. I have two fantastic sisters and a wonderful son who has added to my repertoire of working with teens and young adults.

I enjoy sailing, traveling, and spending time sitting beside the ocean.

Professional Credentials

  • B.A. Psychology
  • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Licensed Professional Counseling, Texas License #70035
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Certification
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy Certification

Professional Involvement

  • Psi Chi Honor Society
  • Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Honor Society
  • American Counseling Association

MEET STEPHANIE KNOX

Born and raised in Lufkin, Stephanie’s experiences volunteering in the community led her to pursue a career in social work. She attended Texas Christian University where she completed a Bachelor of Social Work degree and then continued her education at The University of Texas in Arlington where she earned a Master of Social Work. Stephanie is a Licensed Master Social Worker and is practicing under Steffanie Strawbridge, a Licensed Clinical Social Work Supervisor.
Stephanie has almost 20 years of experience working with children and families. She spent 10 of those years with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Fort Worth and Austin growing mentor relationships and assisting families. During this same time frame, she spent two years working shifts at the largest hospital system in Austin focusing on mental health crisis. As life does, an unexpected journey took her and her family to a rural community in southeast Iowa. Stephanie collaborated with agencies to serve the local children and families. She taught parenting classes, offered various programs at the local Iowa State University Extension and Outreach office, and worked at the city and county level to make positive changes. Stephanie was excited to bring her family back to her hometown of Lufkin where she provided counseling services at a local elementary school for two years.

Stephanie enjoys making time to explore the outdoors with her family and to expand her gardening skills.

MEET JOHN MLINAR

Born in Houston, Texas, John is a Nacogdoches resident with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Clinical/Mental Health Counseling. He received both degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University, where he also briefly worked as a career counselor and shortly after as mental health counselor.

His areas of expertise include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex Trauma, and he uses an eclectic theoretical approach in therapy sessions which reflects a continually growing enthusiasm for the field of counseling and psychotherapy, drawing from Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Gestalt, Emotion-Focused, Motivational Interviewing, and Schema Therapy approaches.

John spends his free time in coffee shops, loves collecting books for his library even though he currently has enough unread books to last him a decade, has been a dedicated acoustic guitar player for twenty years, and enjoys the idea of writing because he doesn’t actually do it as much as he should.

MEET SHELBY MURPHY

Shelby Murphy is a Licensed Professional Counselor – Associate, practicing under the supervision of Crystal Bonner, LPC – Supervisor. She was born and raised in Lufkin Texas and lives with her husband and four dogs. Shelby has loved people from an early age and after receiving her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University she found God’s path for her and returned back home. She then received her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Stephen F. Austin State University. She enjoys doing anything outdoors and spending time with her family. She is always happy to try something new and spontaneous. She has worked with a variety of clients and cannot wait to join you in your journey to reach your full potential.

MEET JEFF SCHULZ

Jeff has 25 years of experience working in social services, mental health care, and psychotherapy. Over the years, he has worked with a diverse population and with a wide range of mental health concerns. Jeff has experience in counseling and psychoeducation in both adult inpatient, outpatient, college, and adolescent treatment programs. Jeff uses an eclectic, empirical-based approach, bringing aspects of both cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, as well as acceptance and commitment therapy with a client-centered delivery in sessions.  His approach to therapy is to assist clients in a non-judgmental environment to process past experiences for deeper understanding, clarity, and insight.  Jeff provides his clients with valuable life and coping tools for development of a balanced lifestyle focused on well-being and improved quality of life experience.  Jeff has areas of interest in helping others to recover from past trauma, men’s concerns, relationship concerns, anxiety, depression, grief, and adjustment to life stages challenges.   

MEET DR. ELAINE TURNER

Dr. Elaine Turner is a Licensed Psychologist specializing in behavioral interventions and social skills training for children and adolescents with ADHD and autism. Dr. Turner graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with her Ph.D. in School Psychology and is also a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology. She has worked in the public school system and currently works as an Assistant Professor at SFA.

MEET CHELLEY FARR

Chelley Farr is the friendly voice you hear on the phone when you call to schedule. With over 10 years in office administration, Chelley ensures that business operations run smoothly. She is available to answer any questions you may have about payments, insurance benefits and appointment scheduling.

Chelley lives in the Lufkin area with her daughter and son, a college student and high school student, respectively. In addition to her professional skills and wonderful family, Chelley is a sweet and compassionate person. We know she will take great care of you when you call!

Laura Beth CooperABOUT