R. Keith Franklin, PhD, LPC-S, LCDC, CEAP

Dr. Franklin hails from Louisiana and was raised in a Military Family. He transitioned to the great city of San Antonio, Texas; whereby, he received his Master’s Degree from University of Texas at San Antonio in Educational Psychology (Counseling) and Doctoral degree (PhD) from St. Mary’s University. He has been a licensed psychotherapist since 2001. He holds a variety of professional certifications and licensures: Licensed Professional Counselor – Supervisor, Approved Clinical Supervisor, Nationally Certified Counselor, Nationally Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Certified Case Manager, Nationally Certified Psychiatric Technician, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, and Certified Employee Assistance Professional. He has had a variety of experiences with families, couples, and individual work.  His professional experiences include working with employee assistance programs, inpatient mental health, a university counseling, intensive outpatient programming, and with Military and Government.   His specialties include clinical supervision, mood disorders, depression/anxiety, phase of life issues, couples therapy, and GLBT issues. His philosophy on counseling psychotherapy is to provide an environment in which individuals feel empowered to change the quality of their lives, improve communication strategies, & create healthy relationships and wellness. He identifies his role as a therapist who assists his clients feeling heard, respected, and validated and, in turn, offering supportive, constructive feedback to help clients gain greater insight and understanding. He does not claim to be a quick “fix,” but he can be a facilitator for change if desired. A counselor serves as the catalyst for goal setting, decision-making, and problem resolution, and he feels that is his calling.  Dr. Franklin provides services part-time as his other duties are clinically supervising Licensed Professional Counselor Interns on and off site.

Currently NOT taking on NEW cases due to client capacity.  See INTERNS below for additional providers.


“Affordable and Low Cost Private Pay Options Available — Inquire by calling our offices today”

Licensed Professional Counselor Interns (LPC Intern) are those individuals who have graduated from a GRADUATE level program of education, successfully passed their licensing board exams, and are now being supervised for 3,000 clinical hours similar to a medical residency.  These individuals are NOT students, but professionals attempting to attain a full level of professional licensure.

Noel Blessing, MA, LPC Associate

I earned my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Texas at San Antonio and have recently been admitted into UTSA’s PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program.  My mission is to help you through whatever challenges your facing and to grow into the person you want to be. Through my training I’ve helped clients from all walks of life understand and develop skills to manage depression, anxiety, major life-transitions, and grief. Whatever your concern, I’ll work with you to address them in a trusting and nonjudgmental space.
Supervised by:  Robert K Franklin, PhD, LPC-S, ACS

Esther Heffler, MS, LPC Associate, LCDC Intern, NCC

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” – Brené Brown

This work is deeply personal and my role is to offer you a safe place to land where you can practice vulnerability and courageously speak your truth. A powerful element of healing can happen when you figure out how to talk about what you’ve been through. It’s easy to discuss the events in life that brought you joy, but it’s an entirely different process to discuss the events that broke you.

My hope is to hold space for your healing as you move through your pain. My counseling approach is tailored to the individual, but generally speaking our collaborative work in counseling would consist of: processing thoughts and emotions, identifying your personal goals, exploring possible solutions to your presenting issues and concerns, developing insight,  and practicing coping skills.

I like to say the counseling profession chose me because I have honestly always had a passion for building connections and having real hard conversations about everything from love and joy to heartbreak and hardships. Some background about me – I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Feel free to contact me directly if you would like to schedule an appointment – or 210-504-9524. You can also call the office asking specifically for an appointment with me – 210-446-8255.
Supervised By: Robert K. Franklin, PhD, LPC-S, LCDC, NCC

Kindra Marietti, MS, LPC Associate, Doctoral Student

“If positive psychology teaches us anything, it is that all of us are mixture of strengths and weaknesses. No one has it all, and no one lacks it all.” -Christopher Peterson

Like the quote above, everyone has some strengths and resources. I offer a collaborative, non-judgmental space for us to work together to find exceptions and highlight your strengths/resources to overcome the challenges you come with. My theoretical approach tends to align with Solution-Focused therapy, Narrative therapy, Person-Centered, Cognitive Behavioral, and incorporate Positive Psychology in sessions. I have a variety of experience working with families, couples, and individuals and find importance looking at the whole as opposed to only a part of the individual. Specialty areas include depression/anxiety, phase of life issues, couples’ therapy and trauma.

My education began with my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Baylor University, attended Lamar University for my Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and am continuing to pursue my Doctorate (PsyD) in Counseling Psychology at Our Lady of the Lake University. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern, a Board Certified National Certified Counselor.

Supervised by:  Robert K Franklin, PhD, LPC-S, ACS

Sasha Pinson, MS, LPC Associate, NCC

I was raised in a small East Texas town called Palestine, and moved to San Antonio in 2001. I am proud to have grown up and have completed my schooling in the Edgewood district. I have obtained my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and my Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from UTSA. I am in the process completing my state level internship hours to achieve full licensure (similar to a “residency”). In counseling, I want us to working together to maximize your quality of life. I believe it is best to let the client lead the therapeutic journey as we work together to help attain personal growth.

I love working with kids and teens. I am also versatile in working with adults, couples, and families. I find it a great privilege to be a part of your life’s journey.

I can be reached directly at (210) 369-8592 or at the office at 210-446-8255.

Supervised by:  Robert K Franklin, PhD, LPC-S, ACS

Ralph Porter, MS, LPC Associate, LCDC, NCC

When I am counseling clients, my approach is to address the complete person. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts -Aristotle.” Our journey will begin by building a relationship. I will listen to you. I will learn what it is that you want to change and how willing you are to make those changes. We will then establish goals, set priorities, and utilize clinically proven treatments that allow us to travel on this journey together; as a team. My role, as a therapist, is to be a catalyst to you and help you to set those goals, make those decisions, and develop a personal sense of self-worth.

Therapy is a place to identify and build on current strengths, learn problem-solving strategies, develop or enhance coping skills, learn more effective ways to communicate with others, and receive support and feedback. The counseling relationship is designed to be one that will facilitate change and growth.

My belief is that the therapist and the client both have active roles. My goal is to provide a comfortable and supportive environment. Your part will be to identify goals that you would like to achieve during therapy and be willing to examine any potential obstacles and strengths that will either hinder or help you move toward obtaining your desired goals.


Supervised by:  Robert K Franklin, Ph.D., LPC-S, ACS

Karen Rudd, MA, LPC Associate

Karen strives to create an environment of trust, empathy, and openness with every client. The establishment of a secure, nonjudgmental space for individuals to feel at ease to explore and examine issues is essential for all individuals coming to counseling. A clear understanding of obstacles helps put the client on the path toward confidence, stability, and contentment. She also works to teach and adapt simple tools to help individuals better understand themselves, create goals, and move forward.

Her clientele has expanded into a diverse group of individuals, couples, children, families, and refugees with a wide-ranging variety of issues.

Karen graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with High Distinction. She is a member of the academic honor societies: Phi Kappa Phi, Psi Chi, and Alpha Lambda Sigma. Karen went on to receive a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Supervised by:  Robert K Franklin, PhD, LPC-S, ACS

Valerie A F Stewart, MA, LPC Associate

When life presents challenges that are too difficult to overcome on your own, Valerie offers a safe, non-judgmental space to explore and express your emotions. Working together, you and Valerie will reveal your existing strengths and develop them into viable coping skills to overcome these challenges.  She has personal experience, as a parent and a daughter, in dealing with the challenges of physical and mental disabilities.

Valerie has lived and worked in various regions of the United States and abroad. In addition, she has led group therapy sessions for recent refugees arriving to the United States.  These experiences have given Valerie an open, accepting, and empathetic worldview.  She understands the feelings of isolation and uncertainty that can surface when in a new environment, situation, or even in every day circumstances.

With an extensive repertoire of applied theories to draw from, Valerie is qualified to treat a wide variety of clients including: individuals, children, couples, and families. She operates from a Positive Psychology/Strength-based perspective and is trained in a variety of evidenced-based counseling approaches such as: Relational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Solution-Focused Therapy. She will tailor her approach to address your specific needs. Her experience includes treating anxiety, depression, grief, as well as more complex concerns.

Graduating from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science with concentrations in Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, Valerie then continued her studies and received a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from The University of Texas at San Antonio.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern, a Board Certified National Certified Counselor, and a member of the American Counseling Association

Supervised by:  Robert K Franklin, PhD, LPC-S, ACS

Amanda Vega, MS, LPC Associate

Amanda was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. She attended The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where she double majored and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English in 2015. During her time there she gained experience in academic advising with students and university athletes. After receiving her degree Amanda moved to San Antonio seeking diversity in her masters program at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She graduated in 2018 with her Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health. Since graduating Amanda has gained certification as a National Certified Counselor offering the highest standards of practice. Amanda is currently licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Intern.

Theoretical frameworks that she draws from are Solution Focused, Dialectical Behavioral, Cognitive Behavioral, Person Centered, and Narrative. Amanda views counseling as a partnership between her and her clients to create overall wellness, focusing on the individual as a whole. She has experience working with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, bipolar, eating disorders, trichotillomania, borderline personality, grief, adjustment, divorce and substance use. Amanda also has experience in primary care where she focused on how to make behavioral changes with those struggling with high blood pressure, thyroid, diabetes, STI’s, insomnia, chronic pain, obesity, and medication adherence to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Supervised by:  Robert K. Franklin, PhD, LPC-S, ACS



Maribel Arias, LPC

My passion is to help people during the various stages, circumstances, and situations that people face throughout life and on a daily basis. My goal is to help create a safe and peaceful environment for my client to better understand them on an individual basis. I will strive to help my client find their unique qualities and purpose in life. My approach is a blend of Existential and Rogerian Theory in order to help my clients achieve their potential in life. By using an Existential approach, my client will strive to discover their meaning and purpose in life.

The benefit of a Rogerian approach is that it allows for the client to be fully involved with his or her own treatment since the focus will be on the client on an individual basis. I have experience in various issues and specialize in depression, abuse, grief, and self-esteem.

Psychology Today Link

Shawna Corley, PhD, LPC

I graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2014 with a Master’s of Arts degree in Community Counseling and most recently with my Doctorate in Counseling in 2019. My Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology was achieved at the University of the Incarnate Word in 2011.

I love working with kids and am skilled to handle the hard issues of sexual assault and abuse involving children.  In working with children I also work with the family unit. My work with children includes working with sibling/parent conflict, relationships, trauma, abuse, sexual identity, eating disorders, and grief. I am also available to perform Child Custody Evaluations and Adoptions Studies though the Bear County DRO.  Furthermore I enjoy working with adults presenting with a variety of presenting concerns.  I specialize in trauma, but also assist with depression, relationship conflicts, anxiety, sexual identity, grief, and family conflict.
I use an eclectic approach in my work with clients.  I also bring with me the opportunity to use animal assisted therapy in session with my therapy dog, Rylie.  I feel it is a great honor to work with the clients that I see as you are allowing me to be a part of your journey.  I look forward to meeting you and starting your journey to healing.  
Note:  Ms. Corley can be contacted directly at 210-853-2618.
Each Licensed Counselor is an Independent Practitioner and do not represent Counseling Connections of San Antonio


Diana Garcia, MA, LPC

In 2008 Diana received a Master’s in Community Counseling from The University of Texas At San Antonio. Her experience has included a two year internship working with bereaved children and families, conducting groups in a partial hospitalization program, seeing clients in a hospital outpatient setting, and working with individuals and couples in private practice. As a Licensed Professional Counselor she works with a diverse group of clients that include people suffering from Schizophrenia, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and relationship difficulties .As a native of South Texas she is very aware of peculiar experiences that this region can afford and the value of an approach that takes into consideration those multicultural components. Diana incorporates several theoretical approaches to the complex issues that clients present. She approaches each client as an individual and tailors her effort to the clients’ unique set of circumstances. She works with individual adults, couples, and adolescents.

Each Licensed Counselor is an Independent Practitioner and do not represent Counseling Connections of San Antonio

Jennifer Harkins, LPC

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1998, I began working with children and families at a local nonprofit organization focused on providing support and guidance through mentoring. My early career in social service work led me to focus on what can be most transformative and healing: understanding and accepting self. I received my master’s degree in counseling and became licensed as a Professional Counselor. I continued social service work as a counselor with Family Violence Prevention Services, Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas and The Center for Health Care Services. I now have a general practice that is shaped by my experiences and work with trauma. I appreciate working with a wide range of issues including but not limited to grief, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, childhood abuse, work/school challenges, life adjustments and addiction. As there are many unhealthy and compromising behaviors resulting from traumatic and stressful issues, I became licensed as a Chemical Dependency Counselor as well.

Note:  Mrs. Harkins can be contacted directly at 210-379-5364.  For more information about my experience and practice, please visit
Each Licensed Counselor is an Independent Practitioner and do not represent Counseling Connections of San Antonio

Ben Ligon, PhD, LPC, LCDC

“Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is a popular expression in the second sentence of the United States Declaration of Independence (US 1776).  The Declaration also espoused those three rights are given to all human beings by their Higher Power and governments that are established to protect such human rights.  We all deserve to live with freedom and explore what makes us happy.

I have always had a genuine interest in the well-being and uniqueness of everybody around me.  We do not need to feel disconnected from others, be alone, or feel isolated.  It is of great value to have a person by your side who is nonjudgmental, compassionate, and models what positive healthy growth with others should look and feel like.  I provide my clients with that warm, empathic, and relaxed environment—an atmosphere where clients feel valued and respected—a space of support to explore issues that hold you back from living the life you want.

I hold a Master’s degree in Counseling and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  I have provided consultation and training to a variety of graduate students enrolled in the clinical and mental health program as a professor in the Graduate Counseling Program at The University of Texas at San Antonio.  I have over 9 years of experience providing mental health and addictions-related counseling services to adolescents, adults, and elders in a variety of different settings.

I am dually licensed as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Intern (LCDC-I) and a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern (LPC Intern) under the clinical supervision of Robert Keith Franklin, PhD, LPC-S.  While I am trained in a variety of treatment modalities, the counseling approach I use with a particular client is determined by that person’s preferences and personal goals, as well as the nature of the issue being addressed.  Any approach I use has a client-centered focus with an emphasis on our strengths.  My individualized, diverse approach incorporates the utilization of treatments and methods from various types of therapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy, solution focused and motivational interviewing, and family systems.

You are ready to commit and bring healthy, positive change in your life and in relationships with others!  So, I urge you to take the first step with me.

Supervised by:  Robert K Franklin, PhD, LPC-S, ACS

Maggie Hlavinka, MS, LPC

I graduated from the University of Texas in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.  In 2007 I received a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University in the San Francisco Bay Area.  After graduate school I returned to my hometown of San Antonio to complete my internship and study Marriage and Family Therapy at St. Mary’s University.  I am now a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) for the state of Texas as well as a certified hypnotherapist. I have experience in helping individuals overcome anxiety, depression, trauma, bereavement, adjustment issues, LGBTQ issues, and relational difficulties, as well as a variety of other obstacles. I work with adults of all ages, as well as willing adolescents (ages 12 and up), through a variety of clinical approaches; I use hypnotherapy to help people quit smoking, eliminate unwanted behaviors, improve sleep and relaxation, and release negative emotions; and I facilitate counseling for couples. pre-marital counseling for couples.

Psychology Today Link

Each Licensed Counselor is an Independent Practitioner and do not represent Counseling Connections of San Antonio

Alexander F Montero, MA, LPC

Alexander is a Licensed Professional Counselor who is fluent in Spanish and is passionate about helping others gain an understanding on how to improve life. He developed a desire for wanting to help others after taking a high school psychology course. This passion led him to attend Texas A&M University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology in 2016. Hoping to one day provide services to others, Alexander finished his education by moving to San Antonio, Texas where he completed his Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling at St. Mary’s University in 2018. His training included the Family Service Association and the Family Violence Prevention Center where he gained tremendous experience with adults, children, families, LGBT individuals, youth on probation, domestic violence, depression, anger, and anxiety. While his primary interest surrounds adolescents, he is more  than capable and willing to work with a wide range of individuals and topics.

Using his theoretical approach, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Alexander assists clients by re-framing negative thoughts and constructing an understanding of the relationship between their views, emotions, and behaviors. The human experience is an overwhelming process for anyone to go through especially alone, which is why Alex’s main goal is to create a safe place people can feel heard, accepted, respected, valued, and supported. Feel free to contact him directly if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment or at the office asking specifically for me 210-446-8255.

Beth Owens

Beth Owens, LPC

I graduated from Trinity University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Women’s studies.  I also studied Music Therapy for a year at Texas Women’s University.  I obtained my Master’s in Community Counseling from University of Texas at San Antonio, and I have been accepted as a doctoral student at St. Mary’s in Counseling Education and Supervision.  My approach to therapy is primarily client-centered, where I actively listen with unconditional positive regard, and help clients to become their authentic, genuine selves. I treat all types of clients, and have experience working with couples, Gifted and Talented individuals, people struggling with anxiety and depression, and those making lifestyle changes to lose weight or accommodate bariatric surgery, such as gastric bypass.  I am sex positive, and work with LBGTQ people, as well as those with alternative lifestyles.  I am very open-minded.  I grew up in San Antonio, and live here with my husband and two cats.  Certified Hypnotherapist.

Psychology Today Link

Note:  Mrs. Owens can be contacted directly at 210-871-1572.

Each Licensed Counselor is an Independent Practitioner and do not represent Counseling Connections of San Antonio

Jillian Thomas, LPC

I was born and raised in San Antonio Texas where I received my master’s Degree in Counseling from Wayland Baptist University in 2011. I have deep family values and found my passion for helping people through my faith. These values had led me to the counseling profession. I  provide services to individuals, families, children and couples. I also have experience and currently offer faith-based counseling services to those who may be seeking incorporation of the Christian perspective.

Psychology Today Link

Note:  Ms. Thomas can be contacted directly at 210-871-1582.

Each Licensed Counselor is an Independent Practitioner and do not represent Counseling Connections of San Antonio


Each Licensed Counselor is an Independent Practitioner and do not represent Counseling Connections of San Antonio.

Priscilla Rodriguez, MS, LMFT
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Hello, I’m Priscilla Rodriguez and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Texas. I specialize in working with couples at all stages of their relationship and who may need to find a new way to reconnect with each other. My experience with couples involves working through recent affairs, blocks in communication, or lack of intimacy. I also work with individuals who want to regain balance in their lives by learning how to manage anxiety, improve their motivation or low self-esteem, and work on feeling more at peace. I provide premarital counseling to couples who are dating or engaged and want to develop a strong relationship foundation for themselves. I provide different packages where engaged couples can save $60 on their marriage license. In addition to my counseling services, I provide online relationship classes that will provide you with the strategic tools needed to enhance your relationship. If you would like to receive a free relationship workbook and 3-week email series, you can sign up here.

I received my Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy from Auburn University in 2015 and my Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2013. I have been working as a therapist since 2015 and been in private practice since 2016. San Antonio is my hometown and I love how this city is growing! I love spending time with my husband and our dog. We enjoy exploring new restaurants and love to cheer on the Spurs when they are in season.
For more information on my experience and how I can help you make a change in your life, you can visit my website at

If you are ready to schedule your session, you can do so online by clicking here and see what time frame works best for you.


Student Counselors are masters level students who have completed core educational and training components to put there education to the test in practical ways.  Student Counselors are the most eager to help a client through distress and are under the consistent supervision of Dr. Franklin.

Rachael Hayles, MS Student Counselor

I was raised in Houston Texas in the foster care system and had a love for helping others and giving back at a young age through volunteerism. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my Bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio and will graduate in December with my Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a certificate in Special Education Advocacy. I have always had a passion for working with marginalized communities and aim to be open and understanding of everyone.

I believe in working together and providing a safe and supportive environment in which the client feels in control of their destiny.

Supervised by Dr. Robert K. Franklin, PhD, LPC-S

Zoe Simons, BS, Clinical Support Specialist

My name is Zoe. I am a first generation American that was born and raised in Sugar Land, TX by a multicultural family. I came to San Antonio to receive my Bachelor of Arts in psychology and absolutely fell in love with the city, people, and everything in between. I hope to continue my mental health education in the future and become a counselor myself. My goals here at CCOSA are to connect clients with the best counselor for their needs, ensure comfort and confidentiality, and assist in the process to wellness.