Arón Bautista opened the Austin Center for Therapy and Assessment (ACTA) doors for the first time in the summer of 2007. It is his aim to provide the most comfortable and serene environment possible so that ACTA patients can confidently work through their concerns. He addresses patient concerns using a variety of approaches including cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, solution focused, and rational emotive techniques, as well as EMDR. In his counseling work, he tailors his approach for each client based on their concerns, personality style, developmental level, and the nature of their treatment goals. He specializes in the assessment and treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, but is also quite competent in assessing and treating other mental health concerns.
Mr. Bautista developed ACTA after years of planning and preparation. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Austin College, a small liberal arts school north of Dallas. He continued his education at the University of North Texas where he completed the Master of Counseling Psychology program. His graduate school external practicum in Dallas, Texas focused primarily on neuropsychological and psychological assessment of adults with various concerns ranging from depression, to learning disabilities, to attention deficit disorder, to brain injuries.
After completing graduate school, Mr. Bautista worked at two private practices in the North Texas area completing internships in adult and child neuropsychological and psychological assessment. During that time, he strengthened his counseling skills, working with diverse populations and age ranges. He also supervised numerous undergraduate and graduate interns, as well as post-graduate interns in assessment work. Mr. Bautista returned to Austin in 2005 and began working at a private practice in Westlake. During that time, he developed skills in neurofeedback or EEG biofeedback and completed several training programs in the field.
Mr. Bautista is licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. He is a member of the American Counseling Association and the Austin Neuropsychological Society.
Dr. Wayne Dees completed his master's degree in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, CA, and his doctorate in Health Psychology at Spalding University in Louisville, KY. He completed his APA-accredited predoctoral internship in Clinical Health Psychology at Oak Forest Hospital in Chicago, IL where he provided neuropsychological assessments, treatment, and consultation to patients with neurological disorders, chronic diseases, developmental disabilities and general psychiatric disorders. He also completed a one-year post-doctoral training in traumatic brain injury services.
As part of his doctoral studies, Dr. Dees designed, implemented and supervised an innovative program that utilizes an integrative, system-of- care treatment approach to neuropsychological and chemical dependency services within the traumatic brain injured population. He also provided individual and group treatment interventions that focused on strategies and coping mechanisms for community reintegration, as well as neuropsychological and comprehensive psychological assessments, psychological evaluations, behavior treatment plans, and intakes. He was responsible for providing direction for the development and implementation of services, as well as supervision of staff and clinicians.
Dr. Dees has been providing individual and group treatment interventions and neuropsychological evaluations as part of his practice for the past 14 years, working with children, adults, couples, the homeless, and geriatric populations. He has worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals, counseling centers, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, and in private practice. He has extensive experience working with a multidisciplinary team to treat and manage patients with chronic emotional, behavioral and/or health problems, and assisting in the development of programs to prevent further psychological or physical decompensation of these patients.
Dr. Dees has provided neuropsychological assessments for the Department of Rehabilitative Services, Social Security disability, L & I, schools, attorneys, and other agencies. Assessments have been focused on examination of cognitive functioning, memory and attention deficits, academic skills, verbal and visuospatial functions, reasoning and judgment, personality traits, adaptive behaviors, and rehabilitation potential.
Dr. Jessica Woods is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She is formally trained pediatric neuropsychologist with a specialization in the neuropsychological assessment of neurodevelopmental and neuro-medical disorders. Dr. Woods has extensive experience evaluating children, adolescents, and adults. As part of her training, she participated in interdisciplinary treatment teams, in an inpatient and outpatient context, to treat clients presenting with a variety of neurological, neurodevelopmental, and psychological needs. Her training in school psychology provides her with expertise in collaborating and consulting with educators and other professionals to develop comprehensive, individualized educational and treatment plans. She adopts a multi-faceted approach to neuropsychological assessment, which takes an individual’s culture, social-emotional functioning, cognitive profile, and academic performance into account to develop a holistic understanding of each patient’s unique presentation. Her areas of expertise include Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), concussion, epilepsy, dementia, stroke, and developmental disabilities.
Dr. Woods obtained her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Widener University. She completed an integrated-neuropsychology internship, splitting her time between a private practice and Jefferson Hospital Neuropsychology, in Philadelphia, PA. She then completed a two-year fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at the Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health (CNNH) in South Jersey. Over the course of her training, she has worked with patient populations across the lifespan, from toddlers to geriatric individuals, presenting with ADHD, learning disabilities, epilepsy, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, brain injury and concussion, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as behavioral and psychiatric disorders. Most recently, Dr. Woods continued on as a staff neuropsychologist with CNNH when they expanded and rebranded into their current program, NeurAbilities.
Dr. Amy Duckwall completed her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at American University in Washington, D.C., and her doctorate in Child and Adolescent Psychology at Argosy University in Atlanta, Georgia. She completed her pre-doctoral internship in Orlando, Florida at the University of Central Florida's Counseling Center, where she worked with a culturally diverse population of graduate and undergraduate students on a wide variety of presenting concerns, including substance abuse, GLBTQ clients, and veterans returning to college after combat.
Dr. Duckwall has extensive experience working as part of a multidisciplinary team to help provide a holistic system of care to clients of all ages, from young children to older adults. She has a passion for and specialized training in working with mothers and their partners who are experiencing perinatal mood and/or anxiety symptoms, perinatal loss, birth trauma, or infertility. Dr. Duckwall has worked in both brief- and long-term therapy modalities with individuals, couples and families who present with concerns such as trauma, postpartum PTSD and related mood disorders, adjustment issues, relationship problems, and family of origin issues.
Dr. Duckwall provides comprehensive neuropsychological assessments as well as assessments of intellectual, academic, and psychological issues. Assessments are focused on a comprehensive evaluation of cognitive functioning and possible deficits in memory and attention, intelligence and academic skills, personality traits, and other referral concerns.
Dr. Duckwall is a member of Postpartum Support International (PSI), Pregnancy and Postpartum Health Alliance of Texas (PPHATX), and the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN).
In her free time, Dr. Duckwall enjoys spending time with her husband and their two daughters, exercising, traveling, exploring Austin and surrounding areas, cooking, and indulging her inner bookworm.
Dr. Josh Marbach graduated with his doctorate in School Psychology from Texas A&M University, after obtaining an undergraduate and master’s degree from Texas A&M University as well. He completed an internship in school psychology at Fort Worth Independent School District and has experience in a variety of clinical and school-based settings. As both a former teacher and practicing school psychologist, Dr. Marbach has extensive experience evaluating children, adolescents, and adults across a range of disabilities. As a part of his training, Dr. Marbach participated in interdisciplinary treatment teams to provide effective assessment and treatment for school-aged children and adults presenting with a variety of neurological, neurodevelopmental, and psychological needs. He has worked in a range of settings, including hospitals, schools, counseling centers, outpatient clinics, and in private practice.
Dr. Marbach’s training and years of experience in school psychology provides him with expertise in collaborating and consulting with educators and other professionals to develop comprehensive, individualized educational and treatment plans as well as offering parental guidance and support as they navigate the transition from the home to school setting. He adopts a multi-faceted approach to neuropsychological assessment, which takes an individual’s culture, social-emotional functioning, cognitive profile, and academic performance into account to develop a holistic understanding of each patient’s unique presentation. His areas of expertise include differential diagnosis of complex psychiatric and mood symptoms, autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders, specific learning disabilities, behavioral challenges, and Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Tara W. Lehew is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in the state of Texas and holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied the field of psychology and pursued a minor in business. While at the University of Texas, Ms. Lehew participated in an organization called 'Women in Psychology' in order to help educate students on campus about mental illness.
Ms. Lehew has experience working with diverse populations, including five years at the University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center providing individual and group counseling to undergraduate and graduate students, with a specialty in treating anxiety disorders. She also spent two years working with Collin County Mental Health/Mental Retardation providing counseling, skills training, and crisis management to adults of all ages. As a graduate student, Ms. Lehew provided individual counseling and academic assessment services to students at the University of North Texas and Southern Methodist University. As a practicum student, she also helped develop and provide lectures for students, staff, and faculty at Southern Methodist University on topics such as the Psychology of Creativity and Conflict Resolution.
Ms. Lehew joined ACTA part-time in January 2008 and became a full-time employee in September 2012. She currently provides individual counseling services to adolescents and adults of all ages. Her diagnostic specialties include depression, anxiety, undergraduate & graduate students, body image concerns & social confidence, co-dependency, ACOA issues, and grief/loss. Additionally, she has extensive knowledge of and experience with intellectual, academic, psychological, and neuropsychological assessment. Ms. Lehew uses an integrative approach that borrows from relational, cognitive-behavioral, and mindfulness approaches when working with clients. She strongly believes that developing a trusting and respectful relationship with each of her clients is necessary for personal growth. In her free time, Ms. Lehew enjoys running, yoga, and spending time with her friends, husband and daughter.
Thad Cox is a Professional Counselor in the state of Texas. He earned his PhD in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine from Northcentral University and a Master’s in Psychology from the Clinical PsyD program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Austin College, a small liberal arts school north of Dallas.
Coming from a rich background in the therapeutic arts, which incorporates cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, existential-humanistic, and family-systems approaches, Mr. Cox seeks to provide clients with a strong and trusted ally with whom clients may join to facilitate the understanding, resolution, and healing of emotional wounds and relational turmoil. In this pursuit, it is his simultaneous goal to provide a foundation of trusting support and expertise while assisting clients achieve maximal progress toward their therapeutic goals.
In his clinical experience, Mr. Cox has conducted groups and provided individual treatment in the tradition of Dr. Marsha Linehan, known as Dialectical Behavioral therapy, which provides an in-depth format from which to develop some of life’s most important skills in emotional-regulation, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness. Mr. Cox has worked extensively with couples, adolescents and individuals, including those seeking liberation from traumatic histories, substance abuse, and co-dependent relationships.
Mr. Cox is also a Level 2 practitioner of EMDR—a therapeutic modality which has been endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association and the Department of Defense as one of the most effective approaches to resolving acute and complex trauma in the treatment of PTSD and trauma-based anxiety and depression. Mr. Cox also has a special interest in working with children, adolescents, and families undergoing periods of transition and conflict. It is during these times, or immediately following, that new and sometimes difficult realities can be better integrated, thus reducing the duration and complexity of suffering they might otherwise entail. Often past wounds must be addressed later in life, and this experience can ultimately be profoundly liberating.
Mr. Cox is currently providing counseling services for adults and late adolescents who are sixteen years old and older.
In his free time, Mr. Cox enjoys getting regular exercise, keeping up with world events, refining his culinary skills, maintaining quality relationships, and practicing cello, yoga, and the healing arts.
Kat Furley, a Masters level Licensed Psychological Associate, relocated to Austin in 2012 from her home-town of Houston. During her Masters education at Houston Baptist University, she completed her internship at Ben Taub General Hospital's Neuropsychiatric Center where she conducted a variety of psychological assessments and led skills training groups based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Her background includes fMRI research with OEF/OIF Veterans, clinical research with adults with diagnoses of Schizophrenia, Major Depressive Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder.
Amy Anderson is a Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA). She is currently providing neuropsychological and psychological assessment services under the supervision of Jessica Woods, PsyD, Amy Duckwall, PsyD, and Josh Marbach PhD. Ms. Anderson earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The George Washington University. With a desire to continue her pursuit of working in the mental health field, she has earned Master’s degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, and Fielding Graduate University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology at Fielding Graduate University.
During her Master’s degree practicum experiences, Ms. Anderson provided counseling and assessment services at two university counseling centers, at New Life Institute of Austin, and at a Veterans’ Administration outpatient clinic.
In her free time, she enjoys exploring Austin with her family, listening to music and gaming.
Nicole Hoffman is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). She is currently providing neuropsychological and psychological assessment services under the supervision of Jessica Woods, PsyD, Amy Duckwall, PsyD, and Josh Marbach PhD. Ms. Hoffman earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Texas A&M University. With a desire to continue her pursuit of working in the mental health field, she enrolled in the University of Texas at Tyler where she received a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology.
During her pre-graduate internship experience, she provided individual and group therapy at Terrell State Hospital for children who had diagnoses of various mental health disorders as well as extensive trauma histories. While she was there, she also administered neuropsychological assessments to children and adults. Ms. Hoffman completed her second practicum at local non-profit community mental health clinic, Capital Area Counseling, where she provided individual therapy for adults of various ages on presenting concerns such as depression, anxiety, social anxiety, relationship issues, anger, self-exploration/identity development, grief, self-esteem, and coping skills. She also co-facilitated a group for new and expecting mothers.
In her free time, she enjoys exercising, listening to music and her favorite podcasts, cooking, as well as spending time with friends and family.
Daniela Castano is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She is currently providing neuropsychological and psychological assessment services under the supervision of Jessica Woods, PsyD, Amy Duckwall, PsyD, and Josh Marbach PhD. She also provides counseling services. Ms. Castano completed her Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology at The University of Texas in Tyler. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Texas State University where she graduated with the highest honors. Ms. Castano graduated from her master’s program in December 2018. Shortly thereafter, she joined the ACTA clinical team in January 2019.
While at the University of Texas in Tyler, Ms. Castano carried out an independent correlational research design to study the relationship between engagement in meaningful activities and the symptoms of depression. Her research findings concluded that an active, meaningful, and socially integrated lifestyle may protect against major depression.
During her graduate practicum experiences at Rusk State Hospital and Austin State Hospital, Ms. Castano provided individual and group psychotherapy services, along with a variety of psychological and neuropsychological assessments, to individuals experiencing severe mental illnesses.
As a therapist, Ms. Castano is committed to providing a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental environment to help clients overcome adversity and lead more meaningful lives. Her approach to therapy combines the skills and techniques she has learned throughout her education and supervised training. Ms. Castano uses an integrative approach that borrows from cognitive-behavioral, existential, and mindfulness approaches when working with clients.
Michaela Hernandez is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate who provides counseling under the supervision of Tara W. Lehew, MS, LPC-S., as well as neuropsychological and psychological assessment services under the supervision of Jessica Woods, PsyD, Amy Duckwall, PsyD, and Josh Marbach PhD. She earned a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization of neuropsychology from the University of Texas at Tyler in December 2018. Shortly thereafter, she joined the ACTA clinical team in January 2019.
During her graduate practicum experience at NeuroRestorative and Martin Neurobehavioral Center in Tyler, Texas, Ms. Hernandez administered a variety of neuropsychological and psychological assessments, provided counseling services, and instructed a Life Skills class where she discussed and presented on topics such as emotional identification, resilience, stress & anger management skills, relaxation techniques, coping skills, and resource gathering.
At Neurorestorative, she obtained experience assisting adults with brain, spinal cord and medically complex injuries, illnesses and other challenges in rebuilding their lives. She worked with clients to increase their independence and their chances of smoothly returning to their homes and communities.
At Martin Neurobehavioral Center, she obtained experience assisting individuals with traumatic brain injury, stroke, dementia, spinal cord injuries, learning disabilities, chronic pain, and other neurological disorders.
As a clinician, Ms. Hernandez is committed to providing a safe and non-judgmental environment during testing to assist clients to obtain the information they need in order to take the recommended steps forward.
Jessica Hinojosa is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Texas who earned a Master’s degree in counseling from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Texas State University.
Ms. Hinojosa has experience working with diverse populations. She began her career working for a 24/7 crisis hotline, before pursuing a Master’s degree in counseling. Ms. Hinojosa provided skills training as well as crisis and case management at Nueces County Community Mental Health Agency for two years. She then provided both individual and group therapy to adolescents and adults at Bayview Behavioral Psychiatric Hospital. Ms. Hinojosa has also worked in private practice before joining the Austin Center for Therapy and Assessment team in 2021.
Ms. Hinojosa currently provides individual counseling services to older adolescents and adults. Her areas of clinical focus include depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders and trauma. She uses an integrative approach that combines cognitive behavioral, mindfulness, and humanistic forms of healing. Ms. Hinojosa’s education and experience in both inpatient and outpatient clinical settings created the foundation of her integrative care. She believes the foundation of healing starts with an empathetic therapeutic rapport and she strives to meet her clients where they are.
Stavonna Bello currently serves as a Psychometrist providing neuropsychological and psychological assessment services under the supervision of Jessica Woods, PsyD, Amy Duckwall, PsyD, and Josh Marbach PhD. Ms. Bello earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin which further influenced her desire to work within the mental health field. With her increased interest, she continued education and obtained a Master of Education in Counselor Education also from The University of Texas at Austin. She is currently pursuing licensure to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) post-graduation.
During her graduate practicum experiences with Webb Middle School and the Travis County Sheriff's Office, Ms. Bello provided individual and group psychotherapy services to both children and adults with a variety of mental health diagnoses and concerns.
Gale Knighten is a Psychometrist providing neuropsychological and psychological assessment services under the supervision of Jessica Woods, PsyD, Amy Duckwall, PsyD, and Josh Marbach PhD for the Austin Center of Therapy and Assessment. Mx. Knighten holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida. Looking to further their work within the mental health field, Mx. Knighten earned accreditation as a Certified Specialist in Psychometry (CSP) through the National Board of Certified Psychometrists. Mx. Knighten provided psychometric services at a private practice in Florida before joining the ACTA team.
Mx. Knighten has experience working with diverse populations having mental health diagnoses and concerns such as autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, learning disorders, memory issues, and traumatic brain injuries.