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Lindsay South, MA, LLP, LPC, RPT-S

Lindsay South is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Limited Licensed Psychologist*

and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor who has been practicing in Portage for 23 years. She completed her undergraduate degree in Art History at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT and her master’s degree in Counselor Education and Counseling

Psychology at Western Michigan University. Integrating her background in art and incorporating sand tray therapy in counseling became essential to Lindsay after finishing seven years of Sandtray-Worldplay training. Lindsay has special expertise in the areas of play therapy, body image and disordered eating, depression and anxiety, as well as divorce adjustment. As a credentialed supervisor of play therapists and licensed professional counselors, Lindsay maintains an active practice in training, supervision and consultation. She co-leads a monthly networking meeting for the Michigan Association of Play Therapy.

*Lindsay consults monthly with her supervising psychologist, Dr. Timothy Howard, a benefit for clients wishing added clinical input.

Contact Lindsay:  (269) 323-2553  Email:

Shannon E. Aardema, MA, LPC 

Shannon Aardema is a recent addition to this practice but has been working as a therapist for the past five years. Before starting her work as a therapist, Shannon spent twelve years as a teacher for Kalamazoo Public Schools. She taught middle school, elementary school and art. Shannon finds this background to be a major asset when working with children; especially those that are having difficulties in school.  She has a passion for working with children and adults that are on the Autism Spectrum, and assisting the family members around them. Additionally, she enjoys working with kids and adults that are suffering from depression and anxiety. She relies heavily on using play, expressive arts, and sand tray therapy in her practice. Shannon focuses on treating the whole person and is there to assist clients toward healthier ways of living and thinking. She finds the use of creativity and play to often be an effective way to help unlock minds and provide individuals with new perspectives. Shannon has both a Masters of Family Studies and a Masters of Counseling from Spring Arbor University. She also continues to hold her Michigan Teaching License. 

Contact Shannon:  (269) 447-0979  Email:

Leslie Pitts, MA LPC

Leslie Pitts, MA LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over fifteen years of experience working within the mental health field. She provides individual and family therapy to children, teens, and adults. She is trained in several evidenced based practices including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She utilizes a variety of tools and methods in order to assist clients through their journey of self-awareness, wellness, and recovery. Leslie focuses on treatment for
individuals struggling with Anxiety, Depression, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She is available primarily during evening hours at our practice.

Contact Leslie: (269) 377-2241. Email:

Sheila Hibbs MA, LPC

Sheila Hibbs is a Licensed Professional counselor with 20 years of experience in the mental health field. She received her undergraduate degree in Family Studies from Western Michigan University and then obtained a Masters in Counselor Education, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, also through Western Michigan University.  Over the years, Sheila has gained experience working with youth, adults, and families through intensive home based, crisis intervention, and outpatient therapy services. Sheila strives to build strong and collaborative therapeutic relationships with the individuals and families that she serves. She focuses on making sure to ensure that her clients feel truly heard while working towards healing, growth, and recovery. Her specialties include working with individuals who experience struggles with anxiety, depression, attention deficits, family conflict, and mood disorders. Sheila utilizes a variety of clinical techniques and interventions in order to meet her clients where they are and to best promote their individual growth. These techniques include solution focused, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral approaches, art, play therapy, and many more. Sheila is available primarily during evening hours at our practice to meet the needs of individuals and families who prefer that time.

Contact Sheila: (269)-888-1636  Email: 

Debbie Hindman, MA, NCC

Debbie Hindman earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood, and a Master of Education in Special Education from the University of Illinois. She continued her formal education by earning a Master of Arts in Counseling from Western Michigan University. She has worked with children and teenagers for the past 35 years as a special education teacher for both pre-primary impaired and high school special education students, and as a high school guidance counselor.  During her years in a high school setting, Debbie has worked with students and their parents helping them both cope with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and planning for life after high school. She also assisted with the organization of the high school's Gay Straight Alliance club. Debbie is currently a member of the Van Buren County Crisis Intervention Team. She utilizes a variety of relaxation techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy to help individuals live their best lives. Debbie is primarily available during late afternoon and evening hours to accommodate the needs of students and working families.                                      Contact Debbie:  (269) 341-0399  Email:

Jennifer Lindsay, MEd, MSW, LMSW

Jennifer Lindsay, MEd, MSW, LMSW, is a licensed clinical social worker. She received her MSW from Western Michigan in 2017, and has been a school-based therapist for 3 years at Woods Lake Elementary, a Magnet School for the Arts. Jenn has been a Crisis Clinician for Mobile Crisis Response through Integrated Services of Kalamazoo (formerly KCMH), where she assisted children and families through emergencies. She also holds a MEd in Higher Education from the University of Kansas (2000).
After finishing her masters, Jenn worked with students in their out of classroom experiences in Residence Life at the Interlochen Arts Academy, University of Kansas, St. Olaf College, Lake Forest College, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. There she worked closely with young adults and non-traditional aged students who were struggling with depression, anxiety, sexual abuse, grief, relationship difficulties (both romantic and familial), substance abuse, gender and sexual exploration, eating disorders, and other challenges.


Jenn believes in an eclectic approach to therapy, bringing together the tools, techniques, and strengths that are most helpful in each situation. With children, she combines mindfulness with play therapy, art, movement, and music to help with emotional regulation. With adults, she combines mindfulness with aspects of CBT, ACT, and talk therapy. Jenn has had training in trauma-based therapies, including TF-CBT
and research into neuroscience, and is currently working towards certification as a Registered Play Therapist. In her practice her primary wish is to provide a safe and caring relationship through which your change process can occur. She believes it is her responsibility to use her training and experience in helping you resolve the concerns that prompted you to seek help. It is your responsibility to talk honestly about yourself, to take what you learn from our sessions, and to do the work in your day-to-
day living. 

Contact Jenn:  (269) 447-1173. Email:

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It is with great sadness that I am writing to let you know that Brian Johnson, LLP, passed away suddenly at his home on Monday evening, August 7, 2023. We have been trying to reach most of his active clients by phone. If we were unable to reach you, please know that we are trying to connect.

Brian was a gentle spirit whose kind demeanor touched all that knew him. We are missing his presence a lot. He leaves a big hole in our hearts.

Please know that if you wish to continue receiving therapy, we are making Brian’s clients our top priority. All of the therapists in the practice are saving spots for his clients. If an appointment time is not convenient, we do not have the expertise to meet your needs, or you wish to seek services elsewhere, please let me know and I will help make a referral. I can be reached at the office by phone, (269) 323-2553, or by email at

For those of you with children who worked with Brian, you may be wondering how to tell your child about his death. We are here to help you process this with your child. Psychology Today has an excellent article,

The Do’s and Don’t of Talking to a Child about Death

Talking to Children about Death; an age by age guide is another good resource

Finally, Brian’s family wished to share his obituary with you:

If you would like to send a condolence note or have your child draw a picture, please send your note to us at 1591 W. Centre Ave. Suite 103, Portage, MI 49024. I will make sure Brian’s family receives it.


Lindsay P. South, MA
Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor
Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor

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Jane Connon, Limited License Psychologist

Jane Connon is a Limited Licensed Psychologist (LLP)* who enjoys working with adults, adolescents, and the elderly.  She completed her education at Western Michigan University.  She obtained an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Analysis and received her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. 


Jane has over 20 years experience in providing therapy to adults, families and teens.  She has worked as a professional in Community Mental Health agencies.  She also provided coordination and support as a family and children’s advocate for the State of Michigan.  Jane has expertise in trauma, anxiety, addictions, grief/bereavement, reconciliation, and co-parenting.  Her primary orientation is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  She is committed to supporting her clients in developing a balanced, healthy emotional and behavioral lifestyle.  


In her free time, Jane is a talented musician.  She has a long history of performing at professional musical engagements.  Currently, she is a Music Director and performs for a congregation in the greater Kalamazoo area.  Jane is committed to supporting her clients in all genres of artistic expression, which can be used not only as a vehicle for relaxation but also as an avenue for self-identity and personal growth.

*Jane consults monthly with her supervising psychologist, Dr. Timothy Howard, a benefit for clients wishing additional clinical input.

Contact Jane:  (269) 484-4502.  Email:

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Marisa Williams, LLMSW-C



Marisa Williams is a limited licensed clinical social worker. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree from Western Michigan University. Following graduation, she continued her education and earned a Master of Social Work, with a clinical emphasis on trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and trauma across the lifespan, also through Western Michigan University. 


Marisa works with kids, teens, and young adults utilizing a relational, down-to-earth, and trauma-informed approach. Marisa believes the most important determinant of success in therapy is the relationship between her and her clients/their families. She strives to create a safe space for her clients to show up as their most authentic self, where they can feel truly seen and heard. 


Marisa has received specialized training in evidence-based approaches, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). Marisa enjoys utilizing body-based and creative approaches to therapy, and regularly incorporates play and art therapy techniques into her sessions to help her clients develop an increased capacity for emotion expression, regulation, and self-esteem. Marisa has experience assisting her clients through a range of concerns such as: trauma (developmental, complex, acute), LGBTQIA+, suicidal thoughts/self-harm, depression/mood dysregulation, and anxiety.


In her spare time, Marisa enjoys volunteering, snuggling with her kitties, playing video games, attending concerts, and photography. 


*Marisa consults weekly with her clinical supervisor within the practice, Jennifer Lindsay, per state requirements for practicing limited licensed social workers. 


Contact Marisa: (269) 350-3218, text or call, Email:

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Kara Applegate, LLMSW-C, CFLE

Limited Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Family Life Educator


Kara graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in
Child and Family Development. She taught preschool in Kalamazoo and worked within
a company providing preschool tuition support. Kara then went on to pursue her
Masters in Social Work at Western Michigan University, where she also received a
specialization of trauma across the lifespan and TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive
Behavioral Therapy). Kara works with children who have been through a traumatic
experience. Kara has experience working with children in foster care, pre adoptive and
adopted children transitioning into a new routine and environment.

Kara is trained in PCIT (Parent Child Interaction Therapy), an evidence based
therapy that supports families and children on fostering relationship enhancement and
boundary setting between the child and parent. Kara uses her knowledge in early
childhood development and attachment to give parents tools and skills on how to work
with their child's challenging behaviors. Kara is also Gottman Level 1 trained in
couples’ and family counseling. She utilizes this training when working with families
who are struggling with change, needing support for relationship enhancement and
coping with disruptive behaviors. Kara is currently receiving training and supervision
for Play Therapy. Kara works with families and children who are adjusting to change and are looking to foster a strong attachment.

Her clinical interests are with children and families. Kara works within an attachment
focused lens on the parent child relationship. She enjoys giving families tools and
techniques for children with disruptive behaviors or anxious symptoms. She also likes
working with young children and mothers adjusting to change within motherhood. Kara
has experience working with children with differential diagnosis, developmental
concerns, including but not limited to, the identification of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

In her spare time Kara coaches for Special Olympics and teaches adaptive dance at
The Habitat Performing Arts Center. She enjoys alpine skiing in the winter and racing
sailboats in the summer. You can find Kara outside during her free time.

*Kara consults weekly with her clinical supervisor within the practice, Jennifer Lindsay,

LMSW, per state requirements for practicing limited licensed social workers.

Contact Kara: (269) 888-4417, text or call, Email:

Recent Articles:


It takes a village to Raise A Child


"As school winds down, the summer comes rapidly upon us. For many parents, the question of what to do with your young tween or teen who tells you he or she just hopes "to relax" all summer and "do whatever I want" becomes a bit of a conundrum."

Perfectionism and Eating Disorders: A Match Made in Heaven?

Your 14-year-old daughter decided to get in shape and wants "to eat healthy." Although the meals you prepare in your home are pretty well rounded, your daughter's goal doesn't sound like a bad one. Cutting out some of the typical teenage foods like pizza and occasional trips out for fast food with friends could be reasonable.



Coping With Loss During the Holidays

Changes that affect our family lives are keenly felt at the holiday season. The loss of a child suddenly is present as the family Christmas card photo is sent; the child who is laughing and clowning around in the middle of picture surrounded by all his cousins is no longer there. A divorced father faces Hanukah without his children for the first time. A newly formed, blended family or young, married couple faces a sudden burst of tension as two family sets of traditions collide; which rituals do we keep and what do we need to create anew? 



Stress, Anxiety Affect Children, Too

School starts in a few weeks. Your seven-year-old keeps complaining of a stomachache and wants to come home from his favorite soccer day camp. Headaches pop up too, and temper tantrums erupt. You contact the pediatrician and tests reveal no physical problems. You are both relieved and disappointed. Your son is miserable... and so are you.


Watch for Warning Signs of Eating Disorders

As summer is in full swing and bathing suits and shorts abound, many young teens become self conscious about their bodies. Both boys and girls are feeling more and more pressure to maintain a certain body type.

Our Practice

Lindsay South, MA, LLP, LPC opened this office in 2004 after practicing therapy for 16 years. Her background in community mental health, inpatient adult psychiatric hospitals, college counseling centers, and small group practice provides a solid background for working with a diverse array of clients. As Lindsay's practice developed in the mid-2000s and she had children of her own, she became increasingly fascinated by the emerging field of play therapy.  The office at 1591 W. Centre provides room for Lindsay's growing sand tray collection, art supplies, therapeutic games, and toys, along with space to take clients outside. 


The need for quality counseling services incorporating play, sand tray, and art therapy has continued to grow. In 2016, Lindsay expanded her practice to include others, who share Lindsay's enthusiasm in meeting an ever-increasing demand for quality counseling for children and teens, as well as their parents and families.


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