Meet Our Family
We are not only experts in our field, we are compassionate and caring people who love seeing hope grow, strength flourish, and lives transform. That’s what drives our work and inspires us to make a difference in this world.
Myra McNair, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Owner and founder of Anesis Family Therapy, Myra is a Marriage and Family Therapist and trauma specialist. Myra has a Bachelors of Art in Biology and a Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy with specialties in addiction, depression, anxiety, infant mental health, parent/child attachment, marriage counseling, trauma informed practices and cultural interventions. Myra is trained in (EMDR) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, (TFCBT) Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (CPP) Child Parent Psychotherapy and Infant Mental Health. Myra is a community coordinator for the ACT, Adults and Children Together, Raising Safe Families Program and provides training for community workers and agencies in the ACT curriculum. Most recently Myra is a 2017 M List recipient as a Health Innovator.
James Hawk, CSAC & Peer Support Specialist
James Hawk Sr. started his role in the service community working with at risk teens in the Neighborhood Intervention Program. (NIP). He then went on to continue his career as an Alcohol and Drug counselor employed by Tellurian Community Inc. James is a recovering substance abuser who has not used in 29 years. He was employed at the Mental Health Center of Dane County for 12 years. He is a certified AODA counselor. He has been involved in the recovery field for over 22 years. He has worked in the Wisconsin State Prison System as a counselor and chaplain, with a focus of helping men to make a successful reintegration back into society.
He was the executive director of ARISE Family Services, located in Madison WI. This program was instituted to help men returning from prison to have a safe living space while they made a successful re-entry into the community. Mr. Hawk has also managed the Quality Addiction Services Methadone Clinic in Madison. He is also the State Coordinator for Dane County’s (CIP) Christian Intervention Program. WI. This program helps to reconnect people with lost roots of faith from childhood, or build upon existing faith and beliefs. Mr. Hawk has also become an ordained minister with Calvary Gospel Church in Madison, WI.
Kevin Doss, SAC-IT & Peer Support Specialist
As a culturally competent human service professional, I have a passion for providing support to individuals: assisting them in connecting with their strengths and introducing them to coping strategies in order that they may function independently. I utilize solution focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy in conjunction with dialectical behavior therapy.
I specialize in case management and individual skill building for children, adolescents and adults and substance abuse counseling. “The mind is more powerful than the body and it has the strength to influence any obstacles.” Motivating an individual to focus on the solution and resources instead of the problem creates an environment where individuals become excited about discovering hidden strengths and unrecognized internal solutions.
Gilberto Gutierrez, Marriage and Family Therapist
My greatest reward as a therapist is helping all of my clients find new ways to make the changes in their lives and in their homes this will allow them to look forward to the future with hope. I have a strong belief that we all need someone to communicate with who will really listen and accept us as we are, without judgment. I provide my clients with a nonjudgmental environment. I also provide the client’s a safe place to talk about their issues. These issues may be stopping you from living the life you want to live. I am a trained child psychotherapist and use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Therapy and Psycho-education.
My experience includes working with clients dealing with abandonment issues, addictions, grief, women’s abuse, and mood disorders. Having previously worked for at a public school for over 10 years, I believe I have the experience needed to understand children and parents. I have also have experience working at women’s shelters and an inpatient facility for paroled offenders. Having the client engage in therapy is a crucial point in the process. The issue(s) tend to not get resolved if the client does not engage. Also, having the client bring in support is always seen a plus. I think that everyone has issues, but not everyone wants to deal with their issues. Everyone is capable of conquering their problems and it always helps to have a professional help you conquer these issues.
Vanessa Statam, Advanced Practice Social Worker, MSW
Bio coming soon
Clifton Davis, Professional Counselor- IT
Bio coming soon
Pamela Soward, Licensed Professional Counselor
Pamela is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Substance Abuse Counselor, and Cultural Identity intervention expert. Pamela has a Bachelor of Art in Management and Communication and a Master of Science in Professional Counseling with specialties in addiction, depression, anxiety, infant mental health, parent/child attachment, family intervention counseling, spiritual intervention counseling, marriage counseling, trauma informed practices grief and loss interventions, and cultural interventions. I have 10+ years of experience working as a Family Community Liaison in the Madison Metro School District advocating for families of color during IEP interventions, parent/teacher conferences, college tours to HBCU’s and I have case management community resource experience. “It is my privilege to help impact people to change their thoughts, feelings and behaviors from negative to positive.”
Pamela Ramsey, Professional Counseling IT
In her more than 25 years in the healthcare field, Pamela Ramsey has found that life is a great and intriguing circle. We each stand in one of three stages, either just coming out of a situation, standing in the midst of a situation, or on the way into a situation. And then we repeat…
Pamela has a passion for physical health and wellness with an emphasis on mental health restoration. She has years of experience through Charter Behavioral Hospital (renamed Roger’s Memorial Hospital) in Brown Deer, Wisconsin working with the male population of African American teen sex offenders. Her background covers a variety of healthcare specialties ranging from internal medicine to obstetrics, however, Pamela’s experience in assessing the environmental and abuse issues that challenge our young people of color are what lies close to her heart. This along with empowering the diverse female population causes a stir in her spirit to reach in to our communities. Pamela has a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management with a graduate educational focus in Counseling which affords her the insight needed to view the circle of life in its entirety.
Pamela understands that the ability to connect and relate to experiences in which each client brings to Anesis is invaluable for client and counselor. She believes that there is a piece of everyone’s story that can be connected to someone else’s who has walked or will walk in their shoes. This is the great circle of life that connects us all.
None are exempt from the harshness and realities that are faced throughout life. A healthy and compassionate support team makes all the difference in empowering someone with the tools to embrace those challenges. Pamela chooses to be one of these, through Anesis, holding the ladder of others in an effort to enable them to come out on the other side stronger and more invisible than before.
Brittany Neal, Masters in Clinical Social Work
Bio coming soon
Kianna Goodwin, Advanced Practice Clinical Social Worker
Kianna was born and raised in Los Angeles and holds a master’s in Social Work from UW Madison with a specialization in mental health. Before coming to Anesis, she had four years of advocacy and counseling experience working with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in Madison. She lived abroad for several years and has done policy research in India with a focus on healthcare, education and rights for women and minorities as well as taught English in Vietnam and China.
She is particularly interested in exploring how trauma impacts the individual, family systems, and communities. She is also interested in understanding how the body holds trauma and finding different ways to incorporate this mind-body connection into therapeutic work.
Kianna comes from a multi-cultural background and is interested in exploring the importance of identity and how our identities impact the way that we engage with the world.She is open, patient, and compassionate and she hopes to provide clients a space to be themselves and help them discover what they need to feel supported and confident moving forward in their own lives.
Blanca Cruz, Professional Counselor IT
Blanca N. Cruz is a Bilingual Professional providing Mental Health Services and Support. Some highlights about Blanca N. Cruz connect to her Counseling License and her role as a Family and Community Engagement Coordinator at Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). Blanca N. Cruz has worked in this community for many (over 20) years, for the County in the early 1990s and for the State in early 2000s. Blanca started working for MMSD in 2004 as a Bilingual Resource Specialist and as an English as a Second Language Teacher. Blanca also taught Bilingual Education, while working on her Masters’ Degree as Bilingual Educator at Edgewood College. Concurrently Blanca worked as an Instructor at Madison College in the High School Equivalency Program for adults of underrepresented populations.
Blanca N. Cruz graduated with Honors from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Rio Piedras Campus with a Bachelors’ Degree in Psychology. Blanca N. Cruz graduated with Honors from the UW System with a Masters’ in Science of Education, Counseling. She also earned credits towards a certificate in Human Resources and will be again at Madison College seeking her SAC Certification in the Human Services field. Currently, Blanca is pursuing a Capstone Certificate through the UW Psychiatry Department in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health.
Blanca brings an array of professional experiences and education that allows her to connect with families from diverse populations and with other professionals to bring a holistic approach to her practice. In addition, her work in areas of equity, language and culture gives her a unique perspective to those interested in consultation or handling situations that might be barriers for underrepresented families.
Anei Reyes, Clinical Intern of Marriage and Family Therapy
Anei Reyes was born in Puerto Rico and was raised in Sheboygan, WI. Their experiences as a child of migrant parents has inspired in them a desire to find and include those who are marginalized and silenced. This perspective led them to pursue a Bachelor’s in history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There they studied contemporary Latin American history and queer history in the United States.
Upon graduation from UW-Madison in 2013, Anei moved to Chicago, IL where they began their career in social services and healthcare at Howard Brown Health as a Ryan White Medical Case Manager. Howard Brown Health is a federally-qualified health center that provides services centered on LGBT people. As a case manager, Anei provided culturally-informed services to adults living with HIV/AIDS. At Howard Brown, Anei also contributed to the Trans Health Steering Committee that helped update the center’s Informed Consent policy for providing hormone therapy to trans patients. After leaving Howard Brown, Anei continued working to advocate for the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS as a Paralegal at The Legal Council for Health Justice. At the Legal Council, Anei provided training to the community on rights and benefits in English and Spanish. They also staffed legal clinics and assisted clients in applying for disability and other public benefits.
Currently Anei is a graduate student at Edgewood College pursuing a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. Anei is interested in providing therapy for all people that is informed by the systems that impact all of our lives. Anei has specialized knowledge in working with Spanish-speakers, folks exploring their gender identity and sexuality, and those affected by HIV/AIDS.
Nancy Gomez, Clinical Intern of Marriage and Family Therapy
Nancy Jessenia Gomez is currently working toward a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Edgewood College with a set date of May 2020 for graduation.
She is a first generation college graduate in her family, with a Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from University of Wisconsin- Madison in 2014.
She has over 5 years of experience working with youth and families in nonprofit settings that provided wrap around services. With experience in youth and young adult homelessness, bilingual resources, immigrant community and trauma. She has a people first approach to her therapeutic work that allows for clients to connect in a genuine level allowing for the therapeutic relationship.
Akillah Wali, Licensed Professional Counselor
Bio coming soon.
Alex Steele, Clinical Intern of Professional Counseling
Bio Coming soon
Yeng Vang, Masters in Public Health, Service Facilitator and Crisis Stabilization Case Manager
Yeng Vang Beyler was born in Laos and immigrated to the United States with her family in the 1980’s as refugees. Yeng was raised in Wausau, WI and received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Resource Management from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and a Master in Public Health from University of Wisconsin- Madison. Being a first-generation child of immigrant parents who traversed a war-torn county to freedom in the United States, Yeng is determined to give back to her community and provide services to underserved populations.
Yeng has been with Anesis Therapy since the beginning of 2019 and continues to provide guidance and nurture as a Service Facilitator. Yeng has over 6 years of experience working with underserved populations focusing on health, mental health, and disability. Yeng is interested in exploring how mental health, especially trauma and cultural competency, impacts individuals and their families and communities. Yeng is also interested in sharing with the community how mental health has impacted the Hmong and how to decrease the stigma of mental health in the Hmong community. Yeng is bilingual in Hmong and English.
Tara Wilhelmi, Certified Peer Specialist and Service Facilitator
Tara Wilhelmi is a Peer Support Specialist certified in substance use and mental health wellness support.
She has academic experience in psychology, human services, substance use counseling, criminal justice, early childhood & special education.She believes in taking a trauma-informed, strengths-based approach to supporting clients and peers through their journey.
She has supported peers dealing with homelessness and housing issues, substance dealing and use lifestyle recovery & wellness, parenting & family conflict management; including single parenting, co-parenting, and transracial parenting.
Additionally, Tara has experience supporting peers encountering racial/cultural fatigue, stress from court involvement and police contact, domestic violence, community violence, low income/poverty trauma, mental & emotional resilience fatigue.
She prides herself on using her education and experience to provide culturally informed CCS service facilitation & peer support in a down-to-earth and genuine manner.