Our Therapists and Staff

Johanna Ciak, Director of the William A. Presti Center for Families and Youth, M.S.W., Clinical Social Worker and Coach.

Johanna received her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2006. She has worked in the Social Work field since 1982. Johanna has worked in a variety of settings, ranging from mental health to education. Johanna has worked with teenagers, couples, and individuals, with a variety of issues.

Johanna will help you develop healthy approaches to solving problems. If you are struggling with relationship issues, anxiety, low self-esteem, Johanna can offer positive techniques and guidance to help you overcome negative self-talk and self-limiting beliefs. If you are serious about becoming self-aware and improving your emotional well-being, Johanna can help you develop tools to reach your potential.

Johanna has been the Director and a therapist at the William A. Presti Center for Families and Youth since 2006. She has gained a great deal of knowledge in her dual role. She is changing her focus from therapy and diagnosing clients to mindfulness practices that focus on the “whole” person. In addition, Johanna has taken life coaching classes which promote taking positive action to resolve whatever issue is holding you back in life. She looks forward to working with you!

Johanna founded the William A. Presti Center for Families and Youth because she wanted to provide a caring, empathetic, and supportive environment for people that are struggling with emotional issues. She also wanted to provide reasonably priced services for people who otherwise may not be able to access services.

Email: jo@wapcenter.org

Arica VanGelderen, Clinical Operations Manager

Arica VanGelderen, LLMSW, Therapist, Clinical Operations Manager, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in therapy with children, adolescents, and young adults, but has experience working with all age groups. She is skilled in the use of creative expression as a form of therapy, and facilitates a variety of art therapy groups for adolescents. Arica specializes in the treatment of anxiety, ADHD, depression, sensory-related disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Additionally, she works with individuals of any age undergoing difficult life transitions or experiencing trauma-related symptoms.

Arica is also a contributing writer for Liv Fun magazine, where she writes a quarterly column titled “Advice for the Journey”. Read her work here

Arica lives locally with her husband, two dogs, and two cats. She enjoys making art and tackling various DIY projects in her spare time. She has a passion for sharing her creativity with her friends, family, and clients.

Email: arica@wapcenter.org

Amy Shoemaker

Amy Shoemaker MA, LPC received her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s Degree in Counseling Education at Western Michigan University. She then sought out further education at the University of California Santa Barbra in order to specialize in working with adolescents who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as their families.

Amy holds great value in recognizing the mind and body connection, which led her to completing 300 hours of coursework becoming a certified Mindfulness and Meditation instructor through the Mclean Meditation Institute.

Amy has extensive knowledge in evidenced-based treatment modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Her true passion is helping individuals heal from their underlying struggles and move to a place of positive change and well-being. Amy has found that the practice of meditation and present awareness can truly catapult individuals from their underlying struggles (fear) into a place of positive change. She understands that beginning therapy can often seem overwhelming. Amy provides a sense of safety and comfort that empowers individuals to open up and work towards their goals, often during some of life’s most challenging experiences. Her main career goal is to help clients identify their strengths to live a healthy, happy, empowered life. Amy specializes in working with anxiety, depression, life transitions, grief, and mindfulness. She works with teens, young adults, and adults.

Amy lives in Novi where she enjoys finding fun new ways to stay active and any excuse to travel.

Email: amy@wapcenter.org

Brandon Yerebeck

Brandon Yerebeck MA, LLPC received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies from Michigan State University. He received his Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. Brandon is skilled in working with anxiety, depression, ADHD, adult and childhood trauma, family dysfunction, low self-esteem, gender identity issues, and spiritual concerns.

Brandon approaches counseling from a person-centered perspective and believes working collaboratively with his clients is the most affective way to maintain a healthy therapeutic relationship. He uses a wide range of therapeutic interventions and techniques that best fit his clients needs. He also has additional training in experiential techniques. He has attended trainings specifically for couples interventions and play therapy for children. He works with a wide range of ages including, teens, adults, couples, families, and children

Brandon believes that everyone has the ability to live a happy life. He wants to work with you utilizing your strengths to learn new tools and healthy techniques to deal with difficult situations. He is committed to understanding your unique life experience and validating your feelings. He provides a warm, empathetic, environment where you will feel safe to share your “story.” Whether you have experienced trauma or need support to improve your relationship, Brandon will support and validate your experience.

Brandon lives locally with his partner and is passionate about discovering and exploring music, film analysis, literature, and fashion. He looks forward to meeting you and starting on a new journey of self fulfillment and empowerment.

Email: brandon@wapcenter.org

Marlene Henriquez, M.A, LLPC, QIDP

Marlene received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice and a Psychology minor. She received her Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health from Siena Heights University.

Marlene specializes in working with teens and adults. She is skilled in working with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, family conflict, ADHD, women’s issues, PTSD, and sexuality, sexual dysfunction and intimacy issues. Whether virtually or at the comfort of a face-to-face session, Marlene provides a safe environment for her clients. She works collaboratively with you and always validates your feelings and experience. Marlene uses cognitive and humanistic approaches with her clients. She is also skilled in utilizing Mindfulness practices with her clients.

Marlene understands that life can change and alter itself causing you to feel like you are losing control. You feel like you are tied up in knots. Her goal is help you untangle those knots and help you heal from emotional pain. Marlene will help you discover new, healthy, ways to cope with the challenges of life. She wants you to feel empowered in your life.

Marlene lives in Ypsilanti with her sister and her three year old German Shepherd. Marlene enjoys reading fantasy or thriller books. She also enjoys taking her dog Eva for walks and writing poetry and short stories.

Email: marlene@wapcenter.org

Kisha Hath, LLMSW, Therapist

Kisha received her Master’s in Social Work from Michigan State University. Kisha also received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Baker College.

Kisha specializes in working with children and teens, but has experience with all age groups. She has worked with children as young as two, teens as old as 17 and adults. Kisha specializes in trauma, anxiety, depression, family conflict, and sexuality. Her passion is to help children, teens, and adults heal from emotional pain. Kisha strives to help her clients live an empowered life. Kisha utilizes evidence-based practices with her clients. She incorporates mindfulness, play and art therapy in her work with children and teens. Kisha always validates her client’s feelings and listens to everyone’s “story.”

Whether in-person or virtually, Kisha provides a safe, welcoming, and judgement free environment. She works with your strengths to achieve your goals. Kisha understands that life is everchanging. She helps her clients work through feelings of helplessness, fear, and anger. She is an empathetic and caring clinician.

Kisha lives in Fowlerville with her grandparents and younger brother. She has a five year old Pomchi and a one year old cat. She enjoys traveling, concerts, crafting, and spending time with friends. She is an avid movie fan, especially horror movies.

Email: Kisha@wapcenter.org


Bailey Vanderweel LLMSW

Bailey Vanderweel, LLMSW received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with a double major in Psychology from Central Michigan University. She received her Masters in Social Work from Madonna University. Her Masters concentration was in mental health.

Bailey specializes in working with pre-teens, teens, and young adults. She utilizes mindfulness practices with her clients. Bailey also practices Cognitive Behavioral therapy with her clients. Bailey has worked in educational and mental health settings with teens and adults. She has experience working with older adults that struggle with persistent mental illness.

Bailey specializes in working with people who struggle with depression, ADD, ADHD, low self- esteem, trauma, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. In addition, she has significant experience working with people diagnosed with chronic mental illness. Her unique background and experience gives her the ability to work with a variety of people with various emotional and mental health issues. Bailey’s passion is to help people live a healthy, happy, life. She looks forward to joining you on your journey to pursue an empowered life!

In her free time, Bailey enjoys relaxing and spending time with friends. Currently, she lives in Whitmore Lake. Bailey looks forward to meeting you!

Email: Bailey@wapcenter.org

Amanda Leestma

Amanda Leestma is our Administrative Assistant/Scheduling Coordinator at our center. Amanda has previous experience doing administrative work. In addition, she worked in the Records Department at Child and Family Services. Amanda also worked as a Toddler Daycare Teacher.

Amanda schedules new appointments, maintains our Facebook page, and handles all administrative responsibilities for the center. She is the main point of contact for anyone seeking our services. Amanda is always friendly and eager to support our team. She is an integral part of our center and we appreciate her contribution. She has always wanted to help others and be a part of their healing journey.

Amanda lives in Hartland with her husband and three children. When she is not working, she is busy running from one activity to the next with her children!  In her spare time, she likes to craft and read. Amanda and her family are very active in outdoor sports all year long.

Email: Amanda@wapcenter.org

Contact Today

8123 Grand River Avenue Suite 3
Brighton, MI 48114

(810) 299-1472

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