Meet our Partners and Staff Clinicians

We believe in the human potential to heal; all people have existing strengths, resources, and problem-solving skills necessary for wholeness. As therapists, our goal is to enhance our patients' belief and hope in those inner strengths, resources, and resiliency. When these solutions are identified and utilized, a positive change occurs.


K. Alesia Willis, LMFT, LMHC. – Owner

Alesia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and owner of Santa Rosa Counseling Center.  She has a passion to help families become healthier, happier, and more compatible. She has been happily married to her husband, Dean, for over 37 years. She has three adult children who live with their families in Santa Rosa County and six beautiful grand children. The rich personal experience of her own successful marriage and family, twenty plus years within the transient military life, and an extensive educational and clinical background equips her to help families in many of life's challenges. Alesia has practiced  psychotherapy in a variety of pastoral and clinical settings. She enjoys writing and has authored numerous articles, including the book, "The Godly Woman: A Walk into Wisdom." Others have said of her counseling approach that she provides a friendly, supportive, and non-judgmental atmosphere for people to experience growth and healing. Through the experience of unconditional acceptance, she seeks to empower others to live with happiness and hope in life's journey as they explore options for answers.

Master of Science, Psychology and Counseling, Troy State University

Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of West Florida

Theological Studies, Asbury Theological and North Central University

Brian E. Willis, LMHC – Managing Partner

Mr. Willis is a compassionate helper to individuals and couples seeking hope and solutions. He specializes in working with relationship problems, conflict resolution, communication skills, parenting skills, and mood disorders. The experiences and development as a devoted husband and father of sixteen years has equipped him to help families improve parenting and marital functioning. Brian's counseling approach is solution-focused, concentrating on practical and realistic goals. His approach is empowering and hopeful.

Mr. Willis is recognized by the 1st District Court of Florida as a Subject Matter Expert Witness for Infant Mental Health and Mental and Behavioral Health for children and families.

Brian has served proudly in the military and public service for over seventeen years. He serves voluntarily as a member of the Northwest Florida Crisis Intervention Team, a team that uses understanding and skills gained through specialized training to identify and provide the most effective and compassionate response possible involving persons in a mental health crisis.

Master of Science, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Psychology, Troy University

Bachelor of Science, Legal Studies and Pre-Law, University of West Florida

Staff Clinicians

Sue Gessler, LMHC

Sue has been practicing in Northwest Florida for well over 10 years. Her goal is to help people overcome life's challenges by allowing people to learn to understand themselves in a safe and secure environment. Sue specializes in assisting adolescents and young persons in understanding and overcoming substance abuse issues, exploring depression and anxiety issues, and providing educational and vocational guidance. Sue focuses on positive aspects that her clients may or may not be aware of to intervene and compliment their current circumstances. In each session with Sue, you can expect genuine positive regard, humor, professionalism and honesty. She offers compassionate and empathic listening, firm and candid understanding, as well as  a cognitive-behavioral approach to treatment. Sue also facilitates children's groups with a focus on reducing stress and anxiety.

Master of Arts, Clinical Psychology, Illinois School of Professional Psychology 

Brittany Paquette, LMHC

Brittany's compassion for helping others has led to careers in activity therapy, case management in community counseling agencies, and juvenile justice counseling and management. She has also enjoyed volunteering as an autism teacher and a counselor for sexual abuse/trauma. Her background as a treatment director and counselor in juvenile justice programs has allowed her to specialize in needs that challenge children, teens, and families including: spiritual needs, ethical dilemmas, suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, anger management. Counseling with Brittany is a safely guided journey led with honesty, humor, empathy, and patience. She seeks to counsel clients with a spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and discretion.

Master of Science, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Psychology, Troy University

Bachelor of Science, Psychology, University of Alaska Anchorage

Brandy Ingram, LCSW

Many people struggle to overcome difficult and challenging moments in their life. Brandy has a passion for helping people through these often-overwhelming moments. Her warm personality, sincere empathy, and even a little humor help her connect with others in order to guide them in identifying strengths they possess in order to handle any situation life throws at them. Brandy has specialized with teens in the juvenile justice system and community mental health. She enjoys working with children, teens, adults, families, and groups in the areas of anxiety, depression, stress management, anger management, and self-esteem.

“The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying small stones.”

—Chinese Proverb

Master of Science, Social Work, University of West Florida

Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice, University of West Florida

Mignon Mattingly, LMHC

Mignon is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.  She is a faithful and compassionate provider for children, adolescents, and families.  Her experiences includes working with individuals with ADHD, depression, anxiety, anger, adjustment disorders, adoptions, behavioral difficulties, and history of abuse and neglect. Mignon's goal is for her clients to feel empowered through the transitions of life.

Master of Arts, Mental Healthy Counseling, Lindsey Wilson College
Bachelor of Arts, Human Services and Counseling, Lindsey Wilson College

Jenna Vaughn, LMHC

Jenna Stewart Vaughn is a Clinical Traumatologist uniquely qualified in helping people understand and recover from upsetting life experiences that have a negative impact on how they feel about themselves, how they relate to to others and how they behave. She views her clients as mentally healthy individuals having understandable reactions to upsetting, disappointing or difficult aspects of life.  As a trained Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapist, she has extensive training and experience in trauma and grief work. EMDR is a whole brain approach to therapy that facilitates the brain's natural process for reprocessing and resolving memories of upsetting events that affect our behaviors and how we feel about ourselves.  She loves working as a therapist and is grateful for the privilege of hearing clients' stories and witnessing people grow, heal, and find more joy in life.

Master of Science, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Psychology, Troy University

Robert Paul Fillingim, LMHC

Robert has a strong projection of support, acceptance, and guidance for his clients.  His goal is to help others develop understanding and learn how to manage and resolve difficulties.  He aims to help his clients maximize their own quality of life with the confidence, success, and peace that is deserved. He will assist you in discovering and developing personalized, effective problem-solving strategies to implement in ways that will help you achieve the outcomes you desire.  Robert has extensive experience in treating addiction, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders.

Master of Science, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Psychology, Troy University

Melissa Garner, LMHC, RYT

Melissa Garner is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Registered Yoga Teacher.  She has been helping others heal, grow, and thrive since 2010. She has experience with helping through a variety of methods including individual counseling, group therapy, wellness workshops and day retreats, art therapy, public speaking, and yoga instruction.  She facilitates a weekly variety of therapeutic yoga groups and classes.

Specializing in managing and overcoming depression, anxiety, and stress, Melissa helps her clients develop healthier and more balanced minds, bodies, relationships, and lifestyles. Her teaching style offers a professional, candid, and compassionate focus on topics that are vital to one’s well-being and quality of life. Specialties, topics, and teachings include a focus on self-care, productive thinking, healthy coping, self esteem, personal development, self awareness, relaxation, boundaries, assertiveness, balance, and overall wellness.  

Master of Science, Mental Health Counseling and Psychology, Troy University
Bachelor of Science, Legal Studies and Pre-Law, University of West Florida 

Jacob Davis, M.S.

Jake is Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern.  He is effective in helping others sort out some of life’s most difficult issues. He works well with those who have problems with anxiety, depression, anger, and relational issues. He is exceptionally helpful in aiding teens and young adults to sort through educational and vocational goals and determine their life’s direction. He specializes in gaming addiction and enjoys helping youth balance their time with family, outdoor activities, and friends. He offers support, hope, empathy, understanding, and a safe environment for healing and growth.

Master of Science, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Psychology, Troy University
Bachelor of Science, Health Care Management, Pensacola State College

Your care will be managed by your personal clinician or other clinicians who are not employed by Santa Rosa Counseling Center, but have privileges to care for patients at this center. Your clinician's care is supported by a variety of individuals employed by Santa Rosa Counseling Center, including secretarial and billing staff. Your clinician may also decide to call in consultants who practice in other specialties and may be involved in your care. Like your clinician, those consultants have privileges to provide services for patients at this center, but are not employed by Santa Rosa Counseling Center.