Clinicians and Staff

A little something about us.

The Families Forward team focuses on providing the best quality therapeutic services to the children, adolescents, and adults that entrust us with their care. Each of our providers use evidence-based practices while focusing on the individual or family’s needs. Please read about our clinicians in more detail below.

Dara Delancy, Psy.D.

Dara Delancy is a child and adolescent psychologist and co-owner of Families Forward. She has been working in the Augusta area since 2006 when she completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia (currently Augusta University) in the Psychiatry and Pediatric Departments.

Amy Holsten, Ph.D.

Amy Holsten is a licensed psychologist specializing in the treatment of children and adolescents. She received her undergraduate degree from Columbus State University, her Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Augusta State University and her Doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Fielding Graduate University.

Marie Gehle, Psy.D.

Marie Gehle is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and  young adults. She earned her Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) from Xavier University in Cincinnati in 2008.

Leslie Owen, LPC

Leslie Owen is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree at Centre College, her Master’s Degree at the University of Memphis, and, later, pursued further graduate training at Western Kentucky University.

Christopher Hollar, LPC

Christopher Hollar focuses on serving as a counselor for children, adolescents, young adults and families in an effort to assist them with improving their quality of life. He has 12 years of experience working in multiple settings, including inpatient and outpatient facilities, a community mental health agency, and offering in-home services.


Fran Speer M.A., L.P.C., L.P.A. graduated from Lander University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a Counseling Emphasis and obtained her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Appalachian State University.


Amanda Viola-Brooke is a licensed professional counselor working with children, adolescents, and young adults. Amanda obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Georgia, and her Master’s degree in Counselor Education, in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track, from Augusta University. Amanda completed her practicum at the Child Advocacy Center of Child Enrichment, Inc. working with children who had experienced sexual abuse and other traumas and completed her internship at Families Forward.

Kelsey Thompson, LMFT

Kelsey Thompson, LMFT received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Presbyterian College, located in Clinton, SC, and holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Converse College, located in Spartanburg, SC.  She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Georgia, and a Clinical Fellow in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Debbie Fain, M.Ed., LPC

Debbie Fain is a licensed professional counselor and has been practicing in the Augusta area since 2011. Debbie has 30 years experience working with children as a school teacher.  She has extensive training and experience in substance abuse and takes a holistic approach to therapy.


Daniel Horgan, LAPC, has spent the last eleven years working with children and adolescents in a variety of capacities. Dan was a high school teacher in Boston, MA before relocating to Georgia and attending graduate school at Augusta University. While at Augusta University, Dan completed his practicum and internship at Families Forward.


Laura Pearson is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Liberty University with a B.S. in Psychology with a specialty in Christian Counseling. Laura then continued her graduate studies at Liberty University and graduated with a M.A. in Professional Counseling. Laura has been trained in Strategic Trauma and Abuse Recovery (S.T.A.R.) as a modality to treat those affected by trauma or abuse of any type.


Sarah Merten, LAPC, has worked with children in a variety of capacities and age ranges for the past 10 years. With an undergraduate degree in Family and Consumer Science Education, she has taught middle and high school in Illinois and Georgia. She attended graduate school at Liberty University obtaining an MA in Professional Counseling. Sarah completed her practicum at Georgia Family Crisis Solutions and her internship at Families Forward.

Sessions with Sarah are conducted through teleconferencing (skype or facetime), making it easier for the client to attend session. Evening and weekend appointments are available for both therapy and parenting coaching. Contact the office or email Sarah at to learn more information and schedule an appointment.


Meredith completed her undergraduate degree at Georgia Southern University and her Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Augusta University.  Meredith co-leads the parenting support and strategies group.


Stefanie obtained her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology at American Military University and her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Augusta University. She works with adolescents, young adults, and adults and specializes in trauma and PTSD.

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