New Beginnings Counseling Center LLC (NBCC) located in Fitchburg, WI, was founded in 2017 by Frederick Harris. Frederick noticed there was a lack of diverse providers in Dane County and many agencies were ethnocentric in their services to culturally diverse populations, which resulted in treatment approaches that were color-blind. To address the underutilization of mental health services by minorities, which continues to be an ongoing issue in the behavioral health field, Fred offered low-cost, self-pay, therapeutic services to children, adults, and families of marginalized groups.
As the Executive Clinical Director and Founder of New Beginnings Counseling Center, LLC Frederick began his career twenty years ago as a case manager in Toledo, OH, at a maximum-security prison providing services to incarcerated men of color and reunifying them with their families. His journey started working in the criminal justice system; where he served a diverse population comprised of substance abuse, mental health, homelessness, transitions, family dynamics, and criminal behavior. He has had great opportunities to develop restorative and rehabilitation programs, managed in-patient, and outpatient programs for co-occurring disorders, and provided clinical therapy to adolescents and adults from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. His direct, warm, and honest approach has been effective in building and maintaining therapeutic relationships.
Frederick holds two marginalized identities, being a person of color and gay. Frederick brings a deep understanding of multicultural, sexuality, and other identity issues, where he offers a multidimensional perspective and insights from different populations and personal life experiences. His clinical training includes an array of treatment modalities, which he finds to be important because his belief is that one single approach does not work for every individual. People with marginalized identities are seeking therapy from therapists they can identify with, relate to, and feel safe with. NBCC aims to incorporate staff that are diverse, hold marginalized identities, and are representative of the client populations we serve.
There are many barriers to receiving therapy including, but not limited to, affordability, access to culturally competent care, and the stigma of mental health issues. In addressing these barriers, New Beginnings Counseling Center, LLC provides culturally specific services and broaches dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, and culture during the counseling process. Also, by giving attention to these identities and the intersectionality of clients. New Beginnings Counseling Center, LLC addresses the barrier to receiving culturally competent care, in hopes that the clients feel validated and affirmed.
Tony (he/his) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Substance Abuse Counselor who graduated from UW-Madison. First, with a BA in psychology and later, a Master’s of Social Work. He has developed and honed his therapeutic practice in Madison, working with individuals experiencing co-occurring disorders, substance use issues, or persistent mental health concerns.
Tony has also worked in higher education at UW-Madison, providing case management for vulnerable students at UW-Madison and as a core member of the campus’s Behavioral Intervention Team. Tony began his professional career as a resident counselor, working with individuals to build mental health management and independent living skills. Tony also has a strong coaching background from his time as a recreation coordinator for the YMCA and as a volunteer youth sports coach. Through his myriad experiences working with individuals, groups, and communities, Tony has benefited from exposure to many forms of diversity and allowed Tony to build a reputation as a fierce advocate, ally, and ethical practitioner.
Tony’s core belief in the value, dignity, and worth of all individuals, community building, and the ability all individuals possess to heal, is what forms his clinical foundation. His focus in therapy is to offer healing and harmony to clients’ lives through introspection, positive communication, mutual commitment, and intentional trust-building.
As a psychotherapist, Lucas (he/his) primarily works with young adults in transition, though he also works with people from across the lifespan. He approaches his relationships with openness and curiosity; strives to be trauma-informed, recovery oriented, and culturally humble/responsive; and his person-driven, insight-oriented practice draws from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and psychoeducation.
Lucas supervises clinical interns and lectures at the University of Wisconsin Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work. Through his work as a lecturer, he was a member of the National Substance Use Disorder Curriculum Task Force with the Counsel on Social Work Education to help establish best practices and curriculum expectations for accredited Master of Social Work programs throughout the United States.
In addition, Lucas also has experience working at the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services as the Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment Coordinator, has presented at various conferences, and has consulted for the Usona Institute.
Marcus Weathers Jr. (he/his) is a doctoral student in the Rehabilitation Counselor Education program at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Marcus is a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) and a licensed professional counselor in-training (LPC-IT) with experience in working with transition-aged youth (ages 13-26) with intellectual and developmental disabilities and in the juvenile justice system. He also has experience in working with adults living with psychiatric disabilities.
His expertise lies in emotional regulation and soft skills training, which he believes are crucial for personal growth and success. Across his educational journey and field work experience, Marcus has developed a deeper understanding of the unique challenges that young people of color face, including systemic injustices and cultural barriers. When working with youth of color, he focuses on creating a safe and supportive environment where they can explore their emotions, build their self-esteem, and learn practical tools for managing stress and anxiety. Marcus is committed to helping them develop a strong sense of identity and purpose, and to empowering them to navigate the challenges of adolescence and beyond with confidence and resilience.
His clinical values are rooted in humanistic and mindfulness practices, which means that he prioritizes empathy, authenticity, and non-judgmental listening in his work. Marcus believes that every individual has the capacity for self-awareness and positive change, and his job is to facilitate that process through a collaborative and empowering approach. He also has experience in teaching (both graduate and undergraduate level courses) and conducting research (specifically examining how stigma influences the behaviors of individuals who have been involved with the criminal justice system) at UW-Madison.
Lexi Bonilla (she/her) is a Licensed Psychotherapist / Advanced Practice Social Worker at NBCC. She completed her graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a mental health focus.
Her approach in working with clients involves a collaborative process building on strengths and unpacking struggles where she brings a compassionate, empathetic, and validating voice to sessions. Lexi works with clients aged 18+ in addressing a variety of issues including but not limited to anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, couples counseling, and other types of adjustments to various life changes. She enjoys supporting adults through a person-centered, strengths-based approach paired with strategies from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and trauma-informed care.
Lexi strives to create a warm, trusting, and non-judgmental therapeutic space where clients of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, and socioeconomic statuses feel supported, safe, and heard. She has learned there is no “one size fits all” approach to therapy, so she works with clients to create goals uniquely tailored to them.
Katie (she/hers) is a Professional Counselor and Substance Abuse Counselor who graduated with a Master of Arts in Counseling Degree from Lakeland University. Katie enjoys therapeutic work with people from all walks of life, especially adolescents and young adults who are struggling co-occurring with mental health and substance use disorders. Additionally, Katie has experience working with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other types of adjustments to various life changes.
Katie began her career working at Mendota Mental Health Institute within the Juvenile Treatment Center, prior to returning to graduate school. There, she provided case management to individuals within the criminal justice system and assisted individuals in exploring mental health and substance abuse concerns, family dynamics, and systemic injustices.
Katie believes in empowering clients through a person-centered, strengths-based, and trauma-informed approach and works alongside clients to create healthy relationships with others and with oneself. Katie works to create a safe space where clients can explore life’s challenges and feel heard and accepted. Additionally, Katie is working towards obtaining a certification in Animal Assisted Therapy where she will incorporate her personal connection with horses and guide clients to have a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them utilizing equine facilitated therapy.
Antoria Robbins (she/her) obtained both her BSW and her graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a focus on child and family welfare.
As a Black Woman, Antoria is passionate about holistic approaches to healing and wellness for marginalized communities and believes that there is no one right way to achieve personal therapy goals. Her work with clients is based in Systems Theory, Attachment Theory, and CBT. Antoria has dedicated herself to partnering with individuals and families on their healing journey by focusing on how individuals are a part of larger systems and draws from CBT to inform trauma and attachment work.
In addition, as a private and community birth doula, Antoria also has an emphasis on women and pregnancy. In particular, she feels strongly about supporting pregnant women with perinatal mental health disorders while simultaneously addressing racial disparities in maternal and infant health amongst Black women and babies.
Antoria believes that therapy should take a healing centered approach and offer a safe space for clients to embrace their humanity in a way that allows them to see themselves and be seen. With this perspective, Antoria believes all clients are capable and deserving of exploring the barriers that exist to living their full selves and feel empowered to transform those barriers.
In her free time, she is a mother of two who enjoys reading, gardening, being with family, and helping babies come to the earth side.
Taylor (she/her) is an advanced practice social worker who graduated with her master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2023. She enjoys working with individuals across the life span, from childhood to adulthood.
Taylor strives to approach each therapeutic relationship with a strengths-based, person-centered, and trauma-informed perspective. She draws from motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and more in her work with clients. Taylor believes that every individual’s journey to healing is different and that every person deserves dignity and respect.
*** Taylor has immediate availability for Telehealth appointments. ***
Salinda (she/her) has extensive experience in the human services field and enjoys helping others. Salinda has worked in assisted living facilities helping the elderly and disabled. She has also worked in substance abuse facilities and helped people experiencing homelessness.
Salina enjoys baking and caring for animals as well as spending time with her son. She looks forward to working for New Beginnings.
Reagan (she/her) is currently a graduate student studying clinical mental health counseling at Moody in downtown Chicago. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology with a certificate in health development from Texas A&M University. She is excited to be a part of the NBCC team!
Reagan is eager to apply her education and experience with clients of all ages and demographics. She is passionate about supporting foster, adoptive, and at-risk families. Reagan is knowledgeable in youth and adolescent development, including social, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive strategies.
Logan (he/him) is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater studying clinical mental health counseling. He received his bachelor's degree in genetics and plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Logan is excited to work as part of the New Beginnings team. He is passionate about helping people all stages of life and supporting their mental wellness journey. Logan enjoys working with relationship and family concerns, LGBTQ+ populations, and identity exploration.
In his free time, Logan enjoys board games, Dungeons and Dragons, movies, and creating art.
Andrew (he/him) is pursuing a Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. He's dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ individuals and is well-versed in anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and trauma-informed care.
Andrew embraces an adaptable and holistic approach, drawing inspiration from motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mindfulness practices. He firmly believes in tailoring his methods to fit each client's unique needs, recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Rooted in his core values, Andrew prioritizes the significance of diversity and inclusion within therapeutic spaces. He aspires to create safe spaces where individuals from all walks of life can explore their experiences and emotions without judgment.
Mya Berry (they/them) is a Development Associate for New Beginnings. Mya is an advocate for Black and Brown people as well as the LGBTQIA+ community. They have a deep passion to liberate marginalized communities with resources and love.
Mya recently earned a Master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education where they studied Human Development and Education. In their role at New Beginnings, they hope to use their knowledge to secure grants in order to cultivate culturally appropriate environments that are safe, joyful, and uplifting for the community.
Copyright © 2023 New Beginnings Counseling Center LLC.
All Rights Reserved.