Distinguished Alumni

At Change, Inc., we offer down-to-earth, non-judgmental counseling in South City, St. Louis.  And while it’s true that our counseling approach is designed to be accessible and common-sensical, it isn’t to say our therapists aren’t experts!  In fact, they’re much more than that — they’re Agents of Change™!!!  By that we mean that:

  • They are highly educated, highly respected leaders in their field
  • They’re people of depth who are committed not only to their work with you, but to their own interpersonal work, as they believe along with us that the core of who we are forms the most essential parts of the successful and impactful therapist
  • They’re not just people who show up a few times a week to wear a hat that reads, “counselor” (if you find that this is the case somewhere — run!!!), but people who became counselors because it is in their very DNA to do the soul-searching, life-altering, difficult work of personal integration that real growth demands
  • They’re the type of people who would never ask you to go somewhere psychologically that they themselves wouldn’t go or haven’t been, and the type who recognize what research has said over and over again — the single biggest predictor of success in therapy is not age, theoretical orientation, type of training, school attended, or even years of experience, but the therapeutic bond — their ability to connect well with others on a fundamentally human level.  Change, Inc. possess this special X-Factor in spades.

So, the truth is that we’re so impressed with the folks who provide you counseling, that even after they leave us, we’re still interested in showcasing them.  Without further ado, please find below a list of the Change, Inc. Distinguished Alumnitherapists who’ve worked with us in the past but who have gone on to do other new and wonderful things within the larger continuum of mental health care.  You can read about them and their new ventures, and even find links to their current work if you think you might like to contact them directly.  Enjoy!

NAME: Courtney Boddie

EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS: PhD in Counselor Education,  University of Missouri-St. Louis

LICENSURE: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

SPECIALIZED TRAINING/AWARDS: Illinois State Task Force on Behavioral Health (2018), Central Methodist University Counselor Educator of the Year (2017), National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Fellow (2016)

YEARS ACTIVE AT CHANGE, INC.: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

CURRENT GIG: Director of Counseling Services at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE)

BIO: Courtney Boddie is a licensed and board-certified doctoral-level counselor who identifies as a 30-year-old cisgender man of African and American Indian descent. For as long as he can remember, he was  interested in human behavior and deeply fascinated by the “hows” and “whys” of the human experience, informed partially by  the death of one of his elder brothers by suicide when he was 7.

Courtney’s cultivated expertise includes multicultural counseling (i.e., identity development, internalized oppression due to intersecting identities among minoritized populations, acculturative stress), cerebrodiversity (neurodevelopmental differences and their impact on learning and relationships), career development (i.e., exploration, decision-making, and role of pathology in career satisfaction and upward mobility), and integrated care (i.e., systems of providing co-located, interconnected psychological and medical care) in post-secondary settings.  As a counselor, his approach to psychotherapy is grounded in Adlerian Therapy/Individual Psychology and is informed by neurocounseling in an effort to support whole body/whole being health.

Courtney is currently the Director of Counseling Services at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville (SIUE), where his mission is to cultivate multiculturally-centered, ecological, and trauma-informed didactic, clinical, and policy development practices to improve the health, academic outcomes, adult functioning, and career trajectories of all learners. In addition, Courtney teaches courses on African American psychology at SIUE and clinical mental health counseling at UMSL and Webster University.

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT CHANGE, INC.:  I initially became interested in working at Change, Inc. to fulfill practice requirements for my clinical residency. At the time, I thought that working in a community-based practice staffed by young, highly-able, mental health providers from multiple training backgrounds would offer a great experience. That it did. During my tenure with the practice, I saw quite a range of clients from many walks of life. Between the diverse portfolio of humans with whom I had the pleasure of working with clinically, the abiding sense of camaraderie among the clinical team, and top-notch leadership by Ryan, I found Change, Inc. to be excellent.

NAME: Sarah Bollinger

EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS: PhD in Social Work, Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis

LICENSURE: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)


YEARS ACTIVE AT CHANGE, INC.: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

CURRENT GIG: Founder/Owner/Therapist at Sarah Bollinger Holistic Counseling;  Director of Leadership Development in Collegiate Ministry at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM)

BIO: Dr. Sarah E. Bollinger, LCSW is a therapist in private practice specializing in work with individuals based in Nashville, TN — Music City!  She received her Masters in Social Work (MSW) from New York University and a PhD in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, and is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in Tennessee and Missouri.  Dr. Bollinger works with clients on a range of issues including depression, anxiety, spiritual wounding, and creative identity, particularly with clients who are musicians, entrepreneurs, artists, or inventor, and otherwise those who may find themselves on the margins of life.  In addition to her work in private practice, she is also the Director of Leadership Development in Collegiate Ministry at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). In this role, Dr. Bollinger develops resources and programs to aid in the leadership development and formation of college and university chaplains, campus ministers, and other professionals in higher education with responsibilities for student success. Dr. Bollinger uses humanistic and existential perspectives on psychotherapy to inform her work, as well as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Mindfulness.

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT CHANGE, INC.: I was the first contracted therapist to work with Ryan when Change, Inc. was just beginning in St. Louis, MO. This was such a special opportunity for me to help grow something that would ultimately impact hundreds of lives, including my own. I deeply value the friendship that I cultivated with Ryan at this time in my life, and this relationship has continued to be a source of support and transformation for me both professionally and personally.

NAME: Melissa Chosid

EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS: MS in Marriage & Family Therapy, The Family Institute at Northwestern University

LICENSURE: Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

SPECIALIZED TRAINING/AWARDS: Internal Family Systems (IFS), Gottman Method Certified


CURRENT GIG: Founder/Owner/Therapist at St. Louis Couples Counseling

BIO: Melissa Chosid is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in couples therapy. She received her Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from The Family Institute at Northwestern University. At St. Louis Couples Counseling in Kirkwood, MO, Melissa helps couples to identify how shame and efforts to avoid shame reinforce conflict patterns between partners, and to help partners modify maladaptive relational behaviors.

Melissa believes that the key to strong relationships is the ability for each partner to be resilient against shame and the maladaptive behaviors we use to protect against it. Her primary goal in assisting clients is to help each individual, partnered or not, to develop a deep sense of self-love and acceptance that will serve him or her in all relationships, romantic or otherwise.

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT CHANGE, INC.: I loved the opportunity to expand my experience as a clinician in a diverse neighborhood like South City. I was a part of the Change, Inc. team during an exciting period of growth and was able to have input in developing the practice into the great mental health resource it is today.

NAME: Emily Schmittel

EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS: PhD in Marriage & Family Therapy, Michigan State University

LICENSURE: Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

SPECIALIZED TRAINING/AWARDS: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT)


CURRENT GIG: Assistant Professor at Northcentral University in the Department of Marriage and Family Sciences

BIO: Dr. Emily Schmittel is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and Assistant Professor at Northcentral University in the Department of Marriage and Family Sciences.  In current her position, she trains Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s and Doctoral students in a distance-based format. Dr. Schmittel is a committee member for dissertations on topics related to trauma and attachment and develops curricula on topics related to family therapy for children and adolescents, gerontology, and strategic family therapy. In addition, Dr. Schmittel supervises internship students who are placed throughout the United States in a variety of clinical settings. In her practice and supervision, she uses a systemic perspective integrating emotionally-focused therapy, narrative therapy, and structural family therapy. With nearly 10 years mental health experience, she has found that one of the most important ingredients to successful therapy is taking time to foster emotional safety, allowing clients to feel heard and validated.  Her approach to therapy and supervision is collaborative and supportive, yet direct when providing feedback.

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT CHANGE, INC.:  When I reflect on my time at Change, Inc. I first feel gratitude for the opportunities I had to walk alongside my clients as they accomplished powerful changes. Beyond working with clients, my time at Change, Inc. provided me with an important stage of growth in my development as a therapist. When I joined the practice, I found a team that was highly committed to fostering a strong community between therapists to ensure that they are in the best mindset to do the intense, vulnerable work that is therapy. What I appreciated most is the deep sense of care that each clinician has about one another and the opportunities to gain support and connection both formally and informally.  Change, Inc. reminded me that at the core, being a therapist is means being an authentic, fully present human both in and outside of therapy with our clients.

NAME: Tara Vossenkemper

EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS: PhD (ABD) in Counselor Education,  University of Missouri-St. Louis

LICENSURE: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

SPECIALIZED TRAINING/AWARDS: Gottman Method Level Three/Certification

YEARS ACTIVE AT CHANGE, INC.: 2015, 2016, 2017

CURRENT GIG: The Counseling Hub (Columbia, MO)

BIO:Tara Vossenkemper is an almost Ph.D., Gottman-loving therapist that specializes in couples, infidelity, and conflict. Tara’s earned her Master’s degree from Missouri Baptist University, finished all her coursework and is currently writing her dissertation for her Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and is in the certification process (after three levels of training) to become a Certified Gottman Therapist. Tara takes a very special interest in working with couples, including infidelity, conflict, and communication, and especially loves working with couples on the brink of divorce. She was an assistant professor and director of clinician counseling center with Central Methodist University for a two-year stint before realizing her love and passion for private practice was overwhelming her need for the politics of academia. This resulted in a shit from a part-time solo private practice to a full-time group practice, The Counseling Hub, in Columbia, Mo.

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT CHANGE, INC.I hate to be cliché, but I don’t have many words to accurately represent my time at Change, Inc. It was exceptional. My experience with the practice was pivotal in shaping my development as a clinician and as a practice owner. As a clinician, I was encouraged to develop my skillset and to focus on my own growth and development under ongoing mentorship and informal supervision, which felt safe and supportive. I felt valued and cared for, and I really felt like I was part of something much larger than myself. As a current practice owner, I felt like the ins and outs of the practice were accessible and grounded in people, as in making things readily accessible to clients and other clinicians. Ryan inadvertently (and sometimes directly) taught me that I could run a practice that was true to myself and with integrity, while also valuing clients, clinicians, and the community. I’ll never be able to truly verbalize or repay the level of indebtedness that I feel about my time there.