Meet Our Therapists

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Alexandra Connor, LCSW

Jillian Lepera, LMHC, C-DBT

Alexandra is Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in working with tweens, teens, and young adults, those who identify as LGBTQ+, and those who self-harm.   

Tara McDonnell, LCSW, RPT

Tara is a Registered Play Therapist and specializes in working with children under six, as well as Gifted and Highly Sensitive Children and those with Sensory Processing Difficulties. Tara is also an Adjunct Professor at Florida Atlantic University. 

Jillian specializes in working with children, adolescents and young adults in relationship building, communication strategies, and trauma resolution. Jillian is also an Adjunct Professor at Palm Beach State University. 

                  Tara McDonnell, founder of the Center for Mindful Families, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) a Registered Play Therapist (RPT), and a HSP-Knowledgeable (Highly Sensitive People Knowledgeable) Therapist who specializes in working with children under 6. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida Atlantic University. Tara is dedicated to providing early intervention to help families create a strong and healthy foundation for a lifetime of health and well-being, and has worked successfully with children who have experienced anxiety, attachment issues, depression, divorce, grief and loss, sensory processing challenges, sexual abuse, and trauma, as well as gifted children with social-emotional difficulties.

 

Before opening a private practice, Tara began her career in mental health at the Center for Child Counseling, the leading social service agency in Palm Beach County serving children under 6, the most critical period in child development. Tara has extensive experience and training in evidenced-based interventions such as Child-Centered Play Therapy, Brazelton Touchpoints, Infant Mental Health, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and utilizing art therapy techniques. Tara is also an HSP-Knowledgeable Professional, specializing in working with Highly Sensitive People (HSP) and Children (HSC).

 

Tara has provided services in a variety of settings including schools and child-care centers and is certified in teaching yoga to children and families. Tara has also provided professional training in supporting the social-emotional wellness of children and families to police officers, first responders, teachers, school counselors, and pediatricians. Prior to her work in the mental health field, Tara spent her career raising money for nonprofit organizations in the community. Tara is a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County, Class of 2010.

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                 Jillian Lepera is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) who specializes in working with children, adolescents and young adults in relationship building, communication strategies, and trauma resolution. She received her undergraduate degree from Emory University in Psychology and Dance and her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling & Behavioral Medicine from Boston University Medical School. 

 

Jillian believes in working with the adolescent-parent dyad using empowering strategies that foster relationship building and communication. She has provided services in many arenas including: community mental health, inpatient residential, outpatient therapy, group therapy settings and pediatric primary care. Dedicated to considering the whole mind, body and spirit in therapeutic work, Jillian brings creativity, self-expression and positive psychology to help individuals create meaningful lives and relationships. 

 

Her approach encompasses behavioral, cognitive, dialectical-behavioral and person-centered treatment modalities. She is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), a therapy effective for trauma resolution. Jillian is certified in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), a skills-based treatment structure training mindfulness, coping with stress, emotional regulation and improving relationships with others. Trained in art therapy techniques and play therapy strategies, Jillian provides creative interventions and modes of expression for her clients. She holds a background in the creative arts and dance, which brings an exciting and unique spin to her work with adolescents. 

Jillian is also an adjunct professor at Palm Beach State College in the Human Services department.

A Palm Beach County native, Jillian is always seeking an outdoor adventure and plans to build the outdoor therapy arena into the South Florida community. When not providing therapy services, you may find her paddle-boarding, fishing, exercising outside or working on her green thumb. 

              Alexandra Connor is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has spent her career working with children and their families. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida and a Master’s Degree in Cross-Disciplinary Studies before receiving her Master’s in Social Work from Florida Atlantic University. Before entering private practice, she provided services in a variety of settings such as schools and outpatient settings. She also worked as a Therapist and Program Coordinator at Tykes and Teens, the largest mental health agency in Martin County, where she created an LGBTQ+ group for youth.

 

Alex is dedicated to working with families from a systems perspective, which recognizes how the environment and systems you exist in profoundly affect your life, and she works with both individuals and groups whose concerns may include depression, anxiety, abuse, gender identity and sexual identity, as well as emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse. Each treatment plan is tailored to fit her client’s emotional and therapeutic needs and can include Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused, and Psychodrama interventions.

“Play is the highest form of research.”

--Albert Einstein