Our Counselors


Executive Director
Ph.D., Clinical Christian Counseling; MA, New Testament Theology; Clinical Pastoral Counselor
EMAIL: mike@branchescounselingcenter.com

Mike Courtney is an author, speaker and Life Coach. He has 25 years experience in Pastoral Counseling to families, individuals and couples. He is also a husband and father who lives out his own recovery one day at a time. As director of the recovery center, Mike takes a personal interest in each client, each group and each recovery meeting. Mike is the author of Failure And How I Achieved It: a journey from addiction to hope. He and his wife Doris speak across the country on the intimacy that comes from brokenness.


Clinical Director
Licensed Professional Counselor; Mental Health Specialty; EMDR Trained Clinician, Level 1
EMAIL: trobison@branchescounselingcenter.com

“Branches is a safe place God has put together to help people find true healing through Christ. God laid on my heart at 14 to be a counselor. Branches is the place that has clearly given me a place for my voice through Him.”

Tracey specializes in treating those with depression, anxiety & bipolar disorder. She trains, counsels and supervises the counselors and interns at Branches. Tracey also teaches suicide prevention classes, leads a depression small group and joins her husband in crisis debriefing for those facing a critical incident. Tracey attended MTSU in the Psychology Department and went on to earn a Masters from Vanderbilt University in Human Development Counseling. Tracey’s work history includes helping start the Mobile Crisis Response Team in Rutherford, Williamson and Cannon counties, serving patients in the Community Assistance Program at Parthenon Pavilion, working with consumers through Magellan, and several years of private practice. God clearly directed her to become a part of Branches Counseling Center in the fall of 2007. Tracey is out of network with all insurance companies but will file to insurance upon client request.


Masters of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Lipscomb University
EMAIL: abarnes@branchescounselingcenter.com

Alex Barnes earned a Masters of Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lipscomb University. She is  a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Mental Health Service Provider designation. She enjoys helping and walking alongside those who are struggling with anxiety, depression, relational issues, grief and adjustment. Alex has been working in the mental health field since 2013. In her spare time she enjoys working out, being active outdoors, and spending time with family, friends and her dog.


Masters of Education in Professional Counseling, MTSU; National Certified Counselor, EMDR Trained Clinician, Level II
EMAIL: cbenefield@branchescounselingcenter.com

“The love and grace of God can be felt as soon as you walk into Branches. I’m grateful to be a part of all that is happening at Branches Counseling Center.”

Christina Benefield earned a Masters of Education in Professional Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Middle Tennessee State University. She is a National Certified Counselor and is licensed in TN as a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Mental Health Service Provider designation. Christina enjoys helping women with self-identity issues and individuals of all ages struggling with depression, anxiety, abuse, and transitions of life. When not counseling, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband, son, and their excessively spoiled dog, a lab named Charlie. Christina accepts Anthem EAP, Cigna, BCBS, and (OPTUM-out of network) insurance.


EMAIL: kbolton@branchescounselingcenter.com

Kevin Bolton, MA, MT-BC a native of West Virginia, received his Master’s degree in counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University in 2018. Kevin is an EMDR trained clinician with a desire to work with individuals who have experienced trauma and addiction. In addition, Kevin specializes in the use of music in counseling. Kevin received his Bachelor’s of Music in Music Therapy degree in 2003 from Radford University in Radford, VA and has been practicing music therapy for nearly 15 years. Kevin is excited to join the growing number of counselors that call Branches home. What he loves about Branches is that this is a place that combines the science of solid therapeutic techniques with the truth of the gospel.


Pastoral Counselor
Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®; NCCA Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor-Advanced Certified; NCCA Licensed Clinical Christian Counselor; FACCT Licensed Clinical Christian Therapist
EMAIL: mbutler@branchescounselingcenter.com

“I am always excited to walk alongside those seeking to live emotionally, physically and spiritually balanced lives to be all that God has called them to be. I am living out my calling through Branches.”

Marlena is a graduate of Jacksonville Theological Seminary and has a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Christian Counseling with advanced certifications in Temperament Therapy, Crisis & Abuse Therapy and Death & Grief Therapy. Her graduate training (MA, Nova Southeastern University) in Conflict Resolution and Family Systems Healthcare focused on providing assistance to patients and families dealing with grief, illness, end of life issues, and disability. She currently provides individual counseling to adults with a primary focus on trust issues, anger and conflict management, confidence/esteem issues and temperament therapy. Marlena specializes in grief recovery and offers the Pet Loss Support, Grief Support and Helping Children with Loss recovery programs to individual clients and the community. Each program provides a safe place, a safe person and specific tools to help grievers recover from loss and complete unresolved emotions.


B.S. in Biology, M.S. in Medicine
EMAIL: jcourtney@branchescounselingcenter.com

Joshua began as a minister, passionate about loving and serving others. That passion led him back to graduate school to become a Physician Assistant so he could serve in a more physical way. He now seeks to bring healing to hurting people via medicine. Joshua focuses on adults who deal with anxiety or mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder. He brings to Branches the ability to prescribe the appropriate medications and works closely with the Branches counselors. Joshua enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, watching football, coaching basketball, and playing golf. Joshua accepts Aetna, Cigna, and BCBS insurance.


Licensed Professional Counselor
M.A. in Counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University, B.A. in Bible & Ministry from Lipscomb University; EMDR Trained Clinician, Level II

EMAIL: dcrosby@branchescounselingcenter.com

Daniel meets with individuals 13 and older and also sees couples. He enjoys the opportunity of being invited to hear a person’s story and to walk alongside them in their journey of exploration and healing. Daniel specializes in helping people work through depression, anxiety, struggles in adolescence and young adulthood, communication, marriage struggles, and divorce adjustment. Having an undergraduate degree focus in Theology, Daniel especially enjoys helping those people who wrestle with the challenges between faith and life struggles.

In his spare time, Daniel loves the outdoors, cooking, working in the yard, and spoiling his dog Maddie. Daniel accepts Aetna, BCBS, Cigna, Optum, Magellan, Beacon, UHC, and various EAP insurances.



Transitional Life Coach
EMAIL: chornbaker@branchescounselingcenter.com

“Branches is an amazing place for healing and growth. One way to grow is to understand the plan and purpose God has for you but some times we need a life coach to help us in that journey.”

Cindy earned a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling at Liberty University and recently earned Life Coaching Certificate from New Life University. She worked at Branches for 5 years as a Licensed Professional counselor. Then life drastically changed, when her Husband joined the US Army Chaplaincy, and she has since transitioned into becoming an Army wife. In this new life, she is excited to turn her focus from counseling to virtual life coaching to help people grow and experience the potential that God has for them. Cindy enjoys coaching clients through their transitions and challenges with motivation and encouragement, whether it is centered around a relationship, career goal, life skills, parenting, infertility/foster/adoption journeys, wellness, or confidence. In her spare time, you can find her reading, spending time with her husband and daughter, playing games, being outside, camping, and enjoying family time.


Licensed Professional Counselor – Mental Health Service Provider; EMDR Trained Clinician, Level 2
EMAIL: fjohnson@branchescounselingcenter.com

“There is a great safety within the walls of Branches. I’m thankful to be a part of this healing ministry.”

Fred has combined his passion for people and his desire to serve others by pursuing a career in counseling. Fred enjoys joining with individuals and couples on their journey to work through issues of anxiety, depression, anger, trauma, marital issues, and the great many difficulties life transitions brings. Fred has earned a Master of Education in Professional Counseling with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Middle Tennessee State University. Fred is a National Certified Counselor and is licensed in TN as a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Mental Health Service Provider designation. When Fred isn’t counseling, he enjoys the outdoors, reading, and involvement within ministry at his church. Fred accepts Cigna, BCBS, and (Optum- out of network) insurance.


Master of Science in Counseling Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi.
EMAIL: tjohnston@branchescounselingcenter.com

“I feel blessed to be a part of the Branches family and excited about seeing Branches grow in new locations.”

Tammy Johnston has over 20 years of experience in counseling with individuals, couples, and families. She enjoys working with clients of all ages, from children over 10 years old to senior adults. She delights in seeing people free themselves from past hurts and learning healthier coping skills to deal with the issues of life. Tammy believes that counseling can help clients begin to live the full lives that God intended for them to have. Tammy has been married to Jim for 36 years, and they have 2 sons. During her free time, Tammy enjoys cooking, reading, and going on adventures with her family!


EMAIL: jlamb@branchescounselingcenter.com

Jan is a native of Shelbyville, Tennessee. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and her Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Jan is a Licensed Professional Counselor – Mental Health Service Provider.  She works with those who struggle with depression, anxiety, family struggles, and is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist. Jan loves the “family” atmosphere at Branches and the ability to share the love of God with clients. Jan accepts Cigna, BCBS, and Optum insurance.


Master of Arts in Christian Marriage, Family and Individual Counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
EMAIL: kmedlin@branchescounselingcenter.com

After some life events Kathy knew that God had laid it upon her heart to be a counselor. She has always had a deep compassion for people and this profession allowed her to pursue her passion. Kathy received her Master of Arts in Christian Marriage, Family and Individual Counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She has diverse experiences in group and individual counseling. Kathy enjoys working with adults on topics like: anxiety, depression, boundaries in relationships, premarital, marital counseling and with domestic violence victims and many more. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, exploring nature and spending valuable time with friends and family. Kathy accepts appointments at both the Murfreesboro office and Cornerstone, Nashville (726 W Old Hickory Blvd, Madison, TN 37115).


Life Coach
Certified Life Coach, New Life University; B.A. in Christian Counseling from Colorado Theological Seminary; Licensed Pastoral Counselor, NCCA; Certified Temperament Counselor, NCCA
EMAIL: lmiller@branchescounselingcenter.com

Lana is the Business Manager at Branches. She is also a Certified Temperament Counselor and Life Coach. She has been in full-time pastoral ministry with her husband, Wayne, for over 25 years.

Lana believes that effective Life Coaching is a relationship. A Life Coach is an unbiased brainstorming partner who can help enable you to envision your future, think positively, and imagine brand new ways of doing things. Lana works one on one with people, helping them to identify and reach their personal, spiritual or business goals.

In her spare time Lana can be found camping, hiking, kayaking, playing with her grandchildren, or watching a Hallmark movie.


Pastoral Counselor, Life Coach
Earned B.A. in Christian Counseling from Colorado Theological Seminary, Certified Temperament Counselor / Licensed Pastoral Counselor from N.C.C.A. (National Christian Counselor’s Association), Pastor and Ordained Minister.
EMAIL: wmiller@branchescounselingcenter.com

Wayne comes to Branches with over 25 years of pastoral / ministry experience. He is a counselor, teacher, mentor and life coach.

Wayne enjoys helping and walking with people struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, self-worth, loss, adjustment & transition and issues of faith. Wayne also works with couples and families to help them overcome conflict, better understand each other, improve communication and build healthy, long lasting relationships. Wayne says that his passion is to see people find healing and wholeness and to build the life they dream of.

In his spare time Wayne likes playing instruments, teaching music lessons, camping, hiking, kayaking, outdoor sports and spending time with family.


Pastoral Counselor, Life Coach
Masters of Arts in Psychology, MTSU; EMDR Trained Clinician, Level 1; Parent Project Certified Facilitator
EMAIL: brobison@branchescounselingcenter.com

Bill is a Counselor, Certified Life Coach, gifted artist & avid cyclist who views Branches as a safe place where God is at work in the hearts of His kids. When he is not at Branches he is sweating on a bicycle, cheering at a middle school girls soccer game for his daughter, supporting his son who loves racing his bike like his dad, or spending time with his wife Tracey and being forced by their dog Bruce to scratch his side.

Bill has his Masters of Arts in Psychology and spent 10 years working with behaviorally disordered children, adolescents & their families. Bill specializes in individual & marital/relational counseling including topics such as depression, anxiety, sexual addiction, anger management & parenting. He is a Parent Project Certified Facilitator and is leading an ongoing anger management small group at Branches.


Pastoral Counselor
Masters of Arts in Clinical Christian Counseling, Colorado Theological University; B.A. in Christian Counseling, Cornerstone University; EMDR Trained Clinician, Level 1; Certified Temperament Counselor; NCCA Clinical Member; Ordained Minister of Pastoral Counseling
EMAIL: drussell@branchescounselingcenter.com

“Branches is a blessing to me because I get to use the gifts God has given me to help others in their healing and growth. It is a blessing to my clients because it is a safe place to begin a process of healing and claiming the life God has planned for them.”

Debi is a Pastoral Counselor. She works with clients in both individual and marriage counseling to facilitate their healing. She is passionate about women’s issues, trauma work and spiritual growth. Debi is an instructor for New Life University, helping equip others to become pastoral counselors. She is married to Scott and they have three children. When she is not counseling she enjoys writing and speaking; travel; hanging out with her church community and family.


Spiritual Director
Master of Arts in Humanities; Master of Arts in Psychology; Doctorate of Ministry
EMAIL: dscott@branchescounselingcenter.com

Daniel Scott has offered clinical and pastoral counseling for over twenty-five years. Mentored by the highly respected pioneer counseling team formed by Ralph Earle and Marilyn Murray, he unites an academic background in the humanities, psychology, and theology with thirty years of practical experience in pastoral ministry. He brings to his practice the assumption that we are spiritual as well as physical, intellectual and social beings. As a result, effective therapy involves examination and change in all these areas of human life. Yo hablo Espanol. Je parle Francais.


Licensed Counselor
Master of Arts in Christian Counseling and Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Care, Oral Roberts University
EMAIL: asharpe@branchescounselingcenter.com

Ashley received her Master of Arts degree in Christian counseling in 2011. She has been a licensed counselor in Oklahoma and is now a LPC-MHSP in the state of Tennessee. Ashley enjoys working with adults and teens on a variety of situations such as: depression, relationship problems, anxiety, trauma, grief, adjustment, and more. Ashley also works with couples and families to improve communication, problem solving, increasing positive interactions, and more.

Ashley has lived in Tennessee with her husband and daughter since 2013 and has been with Branches since 2014. Ashley accepts appointments at both the Murfreesboro office and Cornerstone, Nashville (726 W Old Hickory Blvd, Madison, TN 37115).


M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Antioch University; B.S. in Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University; EMDR Trained Clinician, Level 1
EMAIL: dwilbur@branchescounselingcenter.com

Douglas Wilbur earned a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Antioch University. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology where he minored in mental illness and social welfare. He is currently seeking licensure with the state of Tennessee as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Douglas enjoys working with populations from teenagers to senior adults. He excels working with individuals who experience depression, anxiety, addiction, and other life issues and transitions. Douglas enjoys working in trauma and he is EMDR (level 2) trained so it is an area of passion of his and he utilizes his personal experience dealing with grief and loss to help others. In his spare time, he enjoys volunteering with hospice, watching sports, spending time with loved ones and playing with his dog. Doug sees clients in our Murfreesboro and Mt. Juliet offices.


Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, Trevecca Nazarene University; National Certified Counselor, EMDR Trained Clinician
EMAIL: lyingst@branchescounselingcenter.com

Lisa Yingst began her journey in ministry, passionate about loving and caring for others. Her passion led her to earn her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University. Lisa also holds a B.S. in Psychology with concentration in Christian Counseling from Liberty University.
Lisa’s therapeutic approach is eclectic. She believes each client has a unique story and tailors her approach to the individual. She is passionate about helping both individuals and couples connect with their stories, discover their needs, and find hope and wholeness.

Lisa has over 15 years of experience working with individuals in both pastoral and professional settings. Before returning to graduate school she worked in various pastoral roles including, 12 step recovery, grief recovery, issues of faith, women’s leadership training and discipleship counseling. In her clinical training Lisa has gained experience in treating depression, anxiety, grief, addiction, relationship counseling, codependency, self-worth, shame, and divorce adjustment. Lisa is passionate about working with women that have experienced trauma and is a level 2 EMDR trained clinician. In her spare time Lisa enjoys kayaking, reading, spending time in nature and with friends and family.

Lisa will see client’s in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville. Please indicate which office you prefer when making an appointment.

Our family of counselors at Branches Counseling Center