Our esteemed group of regular guest lecturers and group leaders
Jon discovered sound as therapy after his experiences and recovery from anxiety. As a touring musician, he knew the power of music to move our emotions, but following this experience, he understood its potential as a healing force. Since then, he has used his intuition, experiences, and studies to explore the role of sound and music in the healing arts and create new ways for people to relax, enhance self-healing, and expand their self-awareness.
Jon also frequently gives talks and workshops on sound therapy and meditation, which include appearances at TedX, National Spiritual Living Conference, GA State Social Workers Conference, Emory Wellness Center, Wigwam Wellness Festival and many more. In only a few years, his sound therapy tracks have been used by millions of people, and can be streamed on YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud and the Insight Timer app. They are also used by Golds Gym nationally in their Centergy yoga classes. He continues to explore ways in which sound, as therapy, can help people to relax, de-stress, enjoy deeper meditations and FEEL GREAT! http://sonicyogi.com
Mark Dannenfelser, MA, MPS, LPC
Mark is one of four certified MBSR teachers in the state of Georgia (Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society™). He is a licensed professional counselor (GA), a registered yoga teacher (RYT200) and a certified spiritual director (Spring Hill College).
Mark is adjunct lecturer in the graduate division of philosophy and theology at Spring Hill College and the Aquinas Center of Theology at Emory University commissioned lecturer on contemplation and Centering Prayer.
Dr. Jackie Pray
Dr. Jackie Pray, owner and director of Social Work Unlimited, has 40+ years of professional social work experience, which includes academic appointments, administration & management, grants & contract management, training and professional development, and direct practice. She has been actively involved in providing licensure exam prep services in GA and other states since 1999. In addition, she has authored numerous articles published in professional journals and is experienced in writing proposals and reports. Her resume includes an extensive list of professional trainings and conference presentations. She also has a consistent record of volunteer involvement in many service arenas throughout her professional career. Dr. Jackie Pray is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Georgia, and maintains professional membership in the National Association of Social Workers and the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work.
Jean Rowe, LCSW, OSW-C, CJT
Jean Rowe, LCSW, OSW-C, CJT is the Associate Director of Support Services at the Young Survival Coalition where the focus of her work is providing counseling and support to women age 40 and younger affected by breast cancer as well as program development for this population. She has provided supervision to individuals working toward clinical licensure since 2011. Jean has crafted and led workshops for mental health and nursing professionals addressing compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress and self-care. She has crafted and led workshops for re-establishing intimacy after cancer. Jean is on the faculty of the Center for Journal Therapy’s Therapeutic Writing Institute where she teaches classes on grief and body image. Jean has presented regionally, nationally and internationally on varied topics related to her work and interests.
Juliett Stovall, PhD, MSW, MEd, LCSW
Helen Vantine, Ph.D.
Helen Barnes Vantine, PhD, founded AMI in 2008 with a mission to help others find insight, love, joy, compassion, and acceptance through Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. She teaches mindfulness skills to individuals, businesses, small groups, health care professionals, and graduate students. In addition to her work at the Atlanta Mindfulness Institute, Dr. Vantine has a private psychotherapy practice in Serenbe, a small sustainable community south of Atlanta, where she offers Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy to her patients. She also teaches at the University of California in San Diego mentoring students toward certification as MBSR teachers.
Dr. Vantine has spent more than 40 years practicing meditation and studying Eastern and Western approaches to personal growth. She trained to become a certified MBSR instructor under Jon Kabat-Zinn and received her certification in 2011. She was trained by Zindal Segal in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and in Mindful Self Compassion by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer.
Stephanie Swann, Ph.D., LCSW
Stephanie Swann, Ph.D., LCSW is co-owner and faculty in the Atlanta Mindfulness Institute. Along with Dr. Vantine, Dr. Swann is one of only three certified MBSR instructors in the state of Georgia through the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness. She regularly teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to groups in the community as well as several advanced meditation courses. As a consultant, Dr. Swann trains mental health professionals in the use of mindfulness based psychotherapy. She also maintains a private counseling and consulting practice in the Atlanta area. In addition to Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy, Dr. Swann’s areas of expertise include working with survivors of trauma, specifically childhood sexual and physical abuse as well as adult onset trauma. With all of her clients, Dr. Swann uses mindfulness based interventions to assist them in developing greater awareness and balance in their daily lives. Dr. Swann received her doctorate in clinical social work from Smith College in 2001. She has over 18 years of experience teaching in universities as well as the community. Personally, she attends mindfulness meditation retreats regularly and has a dedicated daily meditation practice.
For more information on Dr. Swann or her psychotherapy practice please go to www.stephanieswann.com.
Nancy Kropf, MSW, PhD
Nancy P. Kropf, MSW, PhD has 35 years of experience as a social work practitioner, researcher, and academic. She has been a faculty member at multiple institutions and currently is dean and professor at Georgia State University. In her academic administrative roles, she has prepared graduates for social work, geriatrics and professional health care careers. In addition, she has extensive experience in curriculum design, instruction, and competency-based assessment. She holds membership in state and national membership organizations in social work and geriatrics/gerontology which is her area of specialization. Nancy is co-author or co-editor of eleven books, and almost 100 professional articles or book chapters. Nancy is also a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America which is the largest multidisciplinary organization for aging practice and research.
Nina Kram Schlachter
Nina Kram Schlachter, D.O., is a psychiatrist, board certified in Family Medicine and Adult and Adolescent Psychiatry. She was instrumental in designing and directing the first Georgia Based inpatient/residential treatment programs for women and adolescents, with a specialized focus on eating disorder treatment and recovery.
Dr. Schlachter practices integrative and holistic psychiatry. Because psychiatric diagnoses are diagnoses of exclusion, medical conditions, nutrition, support systems and lifestyle are important to know if considering medications and can be as important as medications. Dr. Schlachter practices with full disclosure and partners with her patients for optimum wellness. She is presently in private practice in Atlanta working with a team of other treatment experts, many of whom she has worked with for over 20 years.
Amy Stern, LCSW
Amy is a licensed clinical social worker with 20+ years’ experience working with adults of all ages, who specializes in supporting individuals and caregivers coping with aging; affected by chronic illness; end of life/grief; and related issues.
She has practiced adult outpatient counseling and psychotherapy as co-owner of Resolve Psychotherapy, LLC since 2011. In addition to her private practice, she regularly consults with aging service organizations and offers Mindful Self-Compassion courses. When engaged in routinely, self-compassion practices have been demonstrated to promote emotional resilience and counteract shame, self-criticism, and caregiver fatigue. Amy believes strongly in strength- and results-focused, collaborative work with clients and other involved service providers, in addition to educating families about other supportive resources. Her style is warm and direct (with an appropriate amount of gentleness and humor!), and she draws heavily from evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral, mindfulness, and Positive Psychology practices.
Chip Abernathy, MA, LPC
Chip has been helping people find and maintain recovery from addiction and co-occurring disorders for over 30 years. Treating the complex brain disease of addiction - and the mental health disorders that often accompany it - is challenging, and Chip is always working to improve his knowledge and skills. He also works with people who do not struggle with addiction but suffer from conditions such as depression, anxiety, attention deficits.
Chip works with adolescents, young adults, adults and their families. He has many years of special training and experience in relapse prevention, as well as treating professionals in the fields of healthcare, aviation, business and law. Individual, family and group therapy available. To contact Chip, please call (770) 862-7585.