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Author: HeartLife-Editor

Michelle Bates LPC, MHSP

Michelle’s Life Verse: “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” Acts 17: 26-27


Michelle Bates is a Licensed Professional Counselor and mental health service provider. She graduated with her Masters of Art in Counseling from Harding School of Theology in Memphis in 2013. She completed her practicum and internship locally and upon graduation worked at Youth Villages. During her time there she was a therapist at one of their residential facilities where she lead family sessions, individual sessions and group therapy sessions, and in one of their community based programs where she helped youth aging out of the foster care system transition to life in the community. After her time at Youth Villages, Michelle began working at HeartLife before moving away for her husband’s job. 

Michelle believes in the power of knowing you are not alone when you are facing life’s difficulties by finding comfort through God, authentic relationships and community. She often takes a cognitive behavioral approach to therapy while she strives to help clients know the peace that comes through God’s presence in the darkest moments. She strives to provide a safe environment to process life experiences and difficult emotions. Michelle works primarily with children, adolescents and young adults as they face issues such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, trauma, difficult life transitions, relationship issues, OCD and problems at school. 


Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters- usually doing something outside like going on walks, going to the zoo, or playing in the backyard. She enjoys reading, running, cooking, and being with friends and family. 

Rachel Huff, MMFT, MCE, Licensed Brain Health Trainer

Rachel’s life verse:
Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.  – Jeremiah‬ ‭29:12-13‬‭

Rachel Huff is a licensed brain health trainer and certified marriage coach. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Health Promotion from Auburn University. She then continued at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where she earned two Master’s degrees. Rachel graduated summa cum laude with a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Christian Education. She completed both her practicum and internship at the counseling center on Southwestern’s campus with a strong focus on women’s issues, abuse, and trauma.

Since completing her education in 2001, Rachel has worked in a variety of settings. Some settings include Wellness Director at TCU, Women’s Ministry Director and Church Counselor, and Behavior Coach for a UHC subsidiary. Her specializations include marriage and premarital counseling, divorce recovery, trauma and abuse, depression, anxiety, bereavement, eating disorders, coping with medical conditions and diagnoses, and working with parents of children with disabilities.

Rachel believes all were created in the image of God and have innate value. The Bible teaches each one of us was created uniquely and with purpose. Because of this, Rachel approaches each individual and couple uniquely, utilizing many therapeutic approaches and tools. With Rachel’s background in health and wellness, as well as the counseling, she holds a holistic perspective in how she sees and helps her clients.

Rachel is excited to be a part of HeartLife Soul Care where we are Christian counselors providing intentional Christian counseling. Rachel believes healing is incomplete without spiritual growth and health. Malachi 4:2 says, “but to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings.”

Rachel enjoys spending time with her family, reading, writing poetry and devotionals, and going on runs with her wild Goldendoodle. She loves teaching at women’s gatherings and leading Bible studies.

Kelsey Byrn, MS, NCC

Kelsey’s Life Verse: You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7 

Kelsey graduated with her Master of Science from the University of Memphis with a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Kelsey has previously worked with children, adolescents and adults at Hope House Memphis and Daybreak Treatment Center. 

Kelsey is passionate about helping others’, primarily children and adolescents, find freedom in many areas such as self-doubt, insecurity, anxiety, depression, OCD, grief, behavior and communication issues, social skills and life transitions (moving, divorce, changing schools, family additions). 

Kelsey mainly uses a CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) orientation but believes that a person-centered, human-to-human connection makes the greatest impact. She also believes that practicing from a biblical foundation of truth allows one to get to the core of the deeper struggles that exist by allowing our Creator to heal broken places. Kelsey believes that each individual she works with is unique, created fearfully and wonderfully, therefore each person has a unique set of learning, communication, and expressive styles. Kelsey enjoys using a blend of art and play therapies when appropriate; including painting, drawing, games and sand tray activities.  

Kelsey enjoys spending time with her husband, going on walks, reading, and volunteering to spend time with high school students through YoungLife. 

Meredith Bell, MS, NCC

Meredith’s life verse: I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. (Psalm 16:8-9)

Meredith Bell graduated with her Master of Science from the University of Memphis with a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in August of 2022. Prior to her graduate studies, she graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Child and Family Studies.

During her time as an undergraduate student, Meredith worked for the Grief Outreach Initiative (GOI), where she was a mentor to children who suffered from parental loss. She also held an internship where she worked in the advocacy department of the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee. Meredith also volunteered at Helen Ross McNabb, a particular agency that provided long-term residential care for adults with severe and persistent mental illness.

As a graduate student, Meredith completed her practicum and first half of internship at Daybreak Treatment Center in Germantown, Tennessee. At Daybreak, Meredith became familiar in working with adolescents, as well as leading group therapy and teaching therapy skills. Meredith completed her final internship at HeartLife under the supervision of Dr. Cyndi Jordan.

Meredith has begun the journey toward counseling licensure and is seeing individual clients, co-leading counseling groups, and assisting with psychoeducational testing.

Meredith enjoys spending time with her husband, as well as her friends and family. She loves finding creative outlets as forms of self-care, such as baking, creating art, in addition to reading and spending time outdoors.

Kelsey Harris, M.Ed., CCLS

Kelsey’s life verse: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

Kelsey Harris completed her Master of Education degree with a major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Tennessee- Martin in August of 2022. Prior to her graduate studies, Kelsey graduated with 2 Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Alabama in Human Development with concentrations in Child Life and Early Child Development. After graduating from the University of Alabama, she moved to Columbus, Ohio to complete two internships.  These internships were in Child Life at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and in Early Intervention with a non-profit organization, Youth Advocate Services. She was then hired on at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a Certified Child Life Specialist in the Level 1 Trauma Center Emergency Department, providing psychosocial interventions to children and families experiencing new medical diagnoses, traumatic injuries, and a wide array of medical emergencies.

After three years of working in Ohio, Kelsey’s southern roots brought her to Memphis. She began working at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital where she has been for the past 5 years. She has continued her work as a Certified Child Life Specialist, which led her to seek out additional education to enable her to work with children and families in a different capacity outside of healthcare. She completed her Clinical Mental Health Counseling internship under the supervision of Dr. Cyndi Jordan at Heartlife where she began seeing individual clients, co-leading a counseling group, and assisting with psycho-educational testing. She has now accepted a counseling position at HeartLife and has begin the journey toward counseling licensure!

Kelsey has extensive experience related to medical interventions/trauma, sudden unanticipated death, and anxiety in children. Her counseling style leans more towards a Cognitive Behavioral and Person-Centered approach, where she incorporates art and play into sessions as appropriate.  Her passion lies in working with children and teens navigating the difficulty of day-to-day life, identity development and healing from past trauma or abuse.

Outside of her studies and work, Kelsey enjoys reading books of any genre, aimlessly wandering down the aisles at Target and finding new recipes to prepare meals that redefine her dietary “restrictions!”

Lisa McClinton, PsyD-s, MPH, Clinical Psychology Doctoral Intern

Life Verse: Mental Health is Physical Health

Bible Verse: A healing heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. – Proverbs 17:22

School: Northwest MS Community College, Associates of Science in Pre-Medical

Bachelor’s degree of Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology, Lemoyne Owen College

Master’s degree in public health with a concentration of Mental Health and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology, Capella University, (Internship) at HeartLife Professional Soul Care

Lisa has been on the Memphis Police Department for 22 years where she developed a passion for integrity, ethics and helping first responders work through and cope with trauma and stress. She spent 12 years on the crisis intervention team where she acted as a liaison between the mental illness community and law enforcement. Lisa is also a peer counselor for her colleagues and critical incidents. Lisa recently completed two years of residency in Dallas Texas and currently working under the supervision of Dr. Hannaford as an intern doctor.  “My approach to psychology is like that of a detective. I like to conduct assessments to solve a case. I get an in-depth story of a person’s inner and outer life, a sort of journey into the intricacies of their psyche and behaviors”. Lisa strongly believes in serving the underserved community for their mental health.

Emily Barczak, Front Office Manager

Emily’s life verse: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:1-5 

Emily is from Nashville, TN and graduated from Harding University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. During the past two years, she spent time in Spain as an au pair and then as an immigration paralegal at a law firm in Memphis. Emily recently joined the team at HeartLife to gain experience within the administration side of a counseling center and hopes to start graduate school in the fall in order to obtain her master’s in counseling. In addition, she has just completed the Downline Institute Program this year.  

Emily loves investing in her church family and enjoys spending her free time running, exploring coffee shops, walking her dog, and learning to bake new desserts. She just got married in April and is excited to continue planting roots in Memphis! 

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“The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”

~ Psalm 34:17-19

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