Kessler Psychological, LLC

Psychotherapy and Evaluation Services

Adam Hanson, LPC

Adam Hanson was born in Albany, NY, and grew up outside of Boston, MA, as well as in Virginia Beach. After graduating from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, he spent several years working with college students on career development, as well as on employee training and staff development. It was while doing this work that Adam discovered his passion for mental health counseling, at which point he returned to ODU to earn an M.S.Ed in Counseling. After completing the program, he spent several years practicing intensive in-home therapy with children, adolescents, and families. Utilizing play-based, recreational, cognitive-behavioral, narrative, and solution-focused approaches, he helped to facilitate growth and change in clients of all ages and backgrounds. In addition, Adam has continued his work with traditional and non-traditional college students, concentrating on developmental and transition-focused interventions. Adam has a specific passion for working with adolescents, teens, young adults, and LGBTQ populations, and enjoys finding creative solutions for facilitating transformations.

Susan Eastman, LPC, ATR-BC, ATCS

As a teenager volunteering at a local hospital, Susan met an Art Therapist and first learned about the field of Art Therapy. From that moment on, Susan knew what she wanted to do with her life. Art Therapy uses integrative methods to engage the mind, body, and spirit in ways that are distinct from verbal articulation alone within a psychotherapeutic relationship. While completing her graduate degree in Art Therapy at George Washington University in the 1980s, Susan interned at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. She went on to work for the state of Maryland at a residential facility for emotionally disturbed children and adolescents for over 9 years. There she gained skills in group therapy, expressive therapies, family therapy, trauma focused therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Susan taught Child Art Therapy at GWU and supervised interns in the GWU Art Therapy program for several years. Susan later returned to the classroom at Johns Hopkins University and became a licensed professional counselor. She spent many years contributing to her community through leading shelter groups for children and mothers fleeing domestic violence, working with families court ordered into treatment for DV and working as a school based mental health counselor through a non- profit program. For the past four years, Susan has worked in the Military Family Life Counseling program. Growing up in a Navy family and working with Military members and their children has given Susan a deep appreciation for today’s Military culture and the unique challenges and stresses these families face. Today, Susan remains true to her orientation of employing creativity in the therapy space with the primary goal of assisting individuals in expanding awareness and increasing integration of thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Nikkiah Smith, LPC, LMFT

Nikkiah W. Smith was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. For as long as she can remember, she has always been concerned about the feelings of others. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be in the helping profession where she could have a positive impact on the lives of others. Nikkiah went on to study at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, during which time she worked in a residential treatment facility. At the University of Tennessee she learned about the field of marriage and family therapy and decided that this was the area she wanted to pursue. After graduating, Nikkiah went on to receive her Master’s of Science in Human Development, with a Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, from Virginia Tech. Before and during her studies at Virginia Tech, she provided community and school based treatment to children, adolescents and families. During her internship, she provided outpatient counseling at the university clinic and school-based mental health services for a local multicultural non-profit agency in the Washington, D.C. area. Nikkiah then continued her work in community based and school-based settings, by providing individual, group and family counseling. She also provided these services in a group home setting for sex-offending adolescents. Nikkiah became licensed as a Professional Counselor in Washington, D.C. in 2008 and as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in 2009. In 2013, she became licensed as a Professional Counselor in Virginia. More recently, Nikkiah worked as a Clinical Supervisor for a foster care agency in Northern Virginia and a community mental health agency in Norfolk and Suffolk, Virginia. She continues to provide outpatient counseling services to individuals, couples and families primarily from a cognitive-behavioral, strengths-based framework. She is interested in helping families and couples re-discover love and understanding and interested in helping individuals, young and older, access change that propels their lives into new and promising directions.

Breanne Fenning, MS, Resident in Counseling
Breanne Fenning was born and raised in Coudersport, PA. Her first class in psychology, combined with her own personal life experiences, quickly allowed her to realize that helping others through their life challenges was her passion. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Lock Haven University and then continued on to receive her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from The University of South Carolina-Aiken. She gained clinical experience during her internship, providing individual psychotherapy, as well as conducting psychological testing for children and adults. She also led psycho-educational groups on parenting skills, anger management, and ADHD. Upon completion of her Master’s Degree, she began providing mental health services in a day treatment center with adults experiencing a range of psychiatric disorders, as well as community based mental health services within the home and school setting for children and adolescents. She has also continued offering psychological assessments and psychotherapy services. She incorporates a cognitive-behavioral and emotion-focused therapeutic orientation to provide services to individuals with a range of mental health issues, challenging them to explore their thoughts and behaviors in a safe environment and identify positive changes and skills to reach their fullest potential.

David Wisenauer, MSEd, Resident in Counseling

David Wisenauer grew up in upstate New York and in the Chicagoland area of Illinois before settling into Hampton Roads. From an early age David knew that he wanted to help others but lacked a specific direction for this passion. Upon being exposed to some psychology electives in school, the seed was planted, and David's desire to help people became rooted in the field of mental health. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Old Dominion University. David completed clinical internships with the Norfolk Community Services Board intake and outpatient clinic, and Indian Creek Correctional Center's psychology department. He has worked in a residential treatment center with youth experiencing a broad range of psychiatric disorders and provided community-based mental health services throughout Hampton Roads. He is also a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. David seeks to empower clients through a cognitive-behavioral framework, to make desired changes and lead more fulfilling lives.

Alexander Shappie, B.A., Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate 

Alexander Shappie is a doctoral candidate at the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology. He moved to Norfolk in 2014 to begin his PhD after receiving his bachelor's degree in Psychology and Medical Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University, located in Cleveland, Ohio. Alex is actively involved in multiple research projects investigating how sexual stigma interacts with various aspects of identity to impact health, well-being, and interpersonal functioning among sexual minorities. In addition, he teaches undergraduate psychology students at Old Dominion University, which he enjoys very much. Alex has experience working in a variety of clinical settings, including the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, the Public-School System, Primary Care, and University Counseling Centers. He has experience conducting educational and cognitive testing with children, as well as neuropsychological assessments and ADHD evaluations with adults. Alex is particularly interested in working with young adults and individuals who identify as a sexual or gender minority, but has experience providing individual and group therapy services to adults of all ages and presenting concerns. He seeks to provide a space in which clients can navigate the obstacles in life that block their pathway to realizing their full potential, with an emphasis on identifying and correcting unhealthy relationship patterns.