Vernisha is a Licensed Resident in Counseling in Virginia and a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC). She has a passion for making therapy a brave space that creates long-lasting positive impact for her clients and for our community at large.
Clinical Focus Areas and Counseling Approach
Vernisha works in-person and online with individuals aged 16 and up, as well as couples. She supports clients experiencing: life transitions, co-occurring disorders, stress management, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, healthy relationship building, family related concerns, military life support needs, and more. She utilizes a blend of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused and Person-Centered Therapy.
According to Vernisha, “I see therapy as a powerful chance to explore and develop wellness across many interconnected areas of your life, including mind, body, spirit and more. I offer empathy and unconditional support as a foundation with my clients. Building on this, I love helping therapy become a ‘brave space’ where you feel empowered to pursue the goals most important to you and encouraged as you take each step toward them. It’s truly an honor to come alongside you and celebrate you as you use your strengths to change your life and fulfill your inspired goals.”
Vernisha earned a Masters of Science in Education (M.S.Ed) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology from Virginia Wesleyan University (formerly Virginia Wesleyan College). She continues her ongoing professional training under direct clinical supervision from Free Spirit owner and Clinical Director, Dr. Jill Nardin, PhD, LPC.
Vernisha brings ten years of valuable experience in mental health and substance abuse treatment. She worked in a diverse range of settings, including residential, hospital, school, intensive in-home, outpatient, and substance abuse treatment center sites. Additionally, she served in a variety of roles including mental health counselor, behavioral counselor, special education teacher, and substance abuse counselor. Her breadth and depth of experience enriches her strong clinical skills, grounded in real world knowledge.
Fun Facts About Vernisha
- Vernisha loves spending time with her family and vacationing anywhere with good food and views.
- She also enjoys going to comedy shows, hiking, and binging TV shows with her partner.
- Her favorite color is burgundy.
- She can name any song that comes on in the grocery store or the doctor’s office.
- Her favorite music artists are singer/songwriters like H.E.R, Phil Collins, Babyface, and Stevie Wonder
- The background you see in Vernisha’s photo is from our office “The Lagoon” here at Free Spirit.
**SPECIAL NOTE on Insurance/Co-pays – As a Licensed Resident in Counseling, Vernisha is currently in-network with Cigna/Evernorth commercial insurance and 3 Medicaid Plans: Anthem Healthkeepers+, Optima Family/Community Care, and Virginia Premier. For other non-medicaid insurance, she sees clients for a negotiable sliding scale resident fee.