Deara Ball

Deara Ball, MS, LCMHC-A, LCAS-A

Associate Clinical Director/Primary Therapist

Deara received her Master’s in Counseling and Educational Psychology from Indiana University-Bloomington after pursuing her undergrad in journalism and English. As a journalism major, she fell in love with the process of uncovering the stories of the people she interviewed and applies that same curiosity and passion for discovery to her work as a therapist.

Deara counseled adolescents and young adults for several years in a variety of settings, including a public high school, a boarding school, and a wilderness therapy program before she transitioned into roles in marketing and admissions. In these roles she supported adolescent therapeutic programs in Colorado and North Carolina and young adult programs in Colorado and Arizona. Her ability to make connections with people, while also communicating and gathering necessary information, is crucial to her role as a therapist.

Her theoretical and clinical interests involve using Polyvagal Theory, Eastern philosophy, and mindfulness-based practices to help clients regulate the nervous system and gain clarity and insight into their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. As an Internal Family Systems-Informed therapist and a person on her own mental health journey, Deara is interested in helping clients cultivate compassion for themselves and build internal and external resources to help them navigate life’s challenges in healthy and balanced ways.

Deara loves exploring the outdoors, traveling the world, and reading. She’s lived in Asheville for over 10 years and enjoys practicing yoga, dancing, and appreciating the vast food scene the area has to offer.

Paige Blaha

Paige Blaha, MS, LCMHC-A, ATR, NCC

Milieu Therapist

Paige is a very passionate and creative therapist originally from Kansas where she gained a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, and two masters concurrently in clinical counseling and art therapy. Paige spent most of her intern work within prison settings, mental health hospitals, and within the Deaf community. Paige graduated at the top of her class as because of her diligent research and work with the Kansas School for the Deaf, as well as her research and study in expressive eco-art therapies overseas in Ireland. Paige spent her earliest years as a licensed therapist in Albuquerque, New Mexico at a psychiatric behavioral hospital providing creative expressive therapies to individuals with severe to persistent mental illnesses. Most recently, she has had the opportunity to work in a partial inpatient facility specializing in eating disorders providing group and individual therapy for adolescents and adults; this experience contributed a great amount of perspective, knowledge, and compassion to her craft.

Paige currently holds her LCMHCA in the state of North Carolina, is a Registered Art Therapist (ATR), as well as a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC).

Paige often finds herself nearest to a lake or river most weekends on her kayak, in surrounding nature with a sketchbook painting, or spending quality time with a book and her animals.

Suzanne Suzy Lynch

Suzanna “Suzy” Lynch, MA, LCAS-A, LCMHC-A, NCC

Primary Therapist

Suzy grew up in upstate New York but found her home in North Carolina when she moved here for graduate school. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Biophysics and Biochemistry from UNC Chapel Hill, however her own recovery journey led her to teaching high school math for 5 years. In this role Suzy learned that she was unable to help others in the meaningful ways she desired, which led to her getting her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. Suzy has also worked in group practice and as direct care staff at The Willows, which provide her with a unique perspective when working with clients.

Suzy’s theoretical approach is deeply rooted in the belief that everyone deserves a safe space where they can be seen and heard for exactly who they are without judgement. Suzy works from a framework of developmental and attachment theory, internal family systems, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and polyvagal techniques. Suzy’s goal is to help clients reduce their shame and increase their self-compassion to assist them in accessing their deep inner knowing and most centered self. She works with clients to develop new ways of being in the world that feel the most useful and authentic while unlearning coping strategies that no longer serve them and helping them find new ways of being.

When she’s not at work you can find Suzy cuddling with her beloved cats, Frank and Jack, playing cozy games on her Nintendo Switch, reading a fantasy novel, or hiking and finding waterfalls with her spouse.

Erin Kelley

Erin Kelly, MSW, LCAS-A, LCSW-A

Primary Therapist

Erin was born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusettes. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology with a self-created minor entitled the Study of Alternative Healing at the University of Vermont. Upon completing her undergraduate studies, she moved to the Asheville area and attended two local Western herbalism schools: the Terra Sylva School of Botanical Medicine and the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine. She then pursued a master’s degree in Social Work at Western Carolina University and simultaneously became an addiction studies certificate program scholar.

Erin has experience working within an intensive outpatient program (IOP) as well as a substance abuse comprehensive outpatient treatment (SACOT) program designed for women-identified people with substance use disorders. Additionally, she has worked in the Counseling and Psychological Services at Western Carolina University, supporting students seeking counseling services.

Erin utilizes a trauma-informed, strengths-based approach incorporating elements of attachment theory and focusing on nervous system regulation. She conceptualizes healing holistically and seeks to help clients gain insight and awareness in their lives to assist them on their recovery journeys.

When not at work, Erin enjoys spending time with her partner and animals, being in nature, practicing yoga, and cooking food with friends.

Raven Johnson

Raven Johnson, MSW, LCAS-A, LCSW-A

Primary Therapist

Raven Johnson was born and raised in Alabama. She has a background in community mental health and substance use prevention in the Greater Birmingham area. Her experience as an AmeriCorps VISTA and being a person in long term recovery motivated her to work with young women struggling with trauma, substance use, and co-occurring disorders.

Raven draws from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, polyvagal theory, and attachment-based approaches. She loves exposing clients to the 12-step recovery and helping them find direction and purpose in their lives. In her free time, she finds joy through trail running, baking new muffin recipes, exploring the Asheville area, and practicing yoga. She also enjoys traveling and hopes to one day see the northern lights and visit Patagonia.

Megan Shea

Megan Shea, MA, LCAS, LCMHC-A, NCC

Family Support Specialist

Megan Shea, MA, LCMHC-A, LCASA-A, NCC is excited to (re)join the Willows as Primary Therapist. She previously worked at The Willows in 2017 as Shift Supervisor and believes it is a place of true healing and growth.

Originally from the northeast and calling Maine her home, Megan has lived in Western North Carolina for about five years.  She attended Appalachian State University in Boone for her counseling program and holds an additional master’s in teaching from Simmons University in Boston. While at App State, Megan earned a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling with a concentration in couples and family counseling, along with a certificate in addictions counseling. She is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate, a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist Associate, and a Nationally Certified Counselor.

Megan has a rich experience in mental & behavioral healthcare (including wilderness therapy), English language arts education, and outdoor education. Prior to joining the Willows, Megan recently worked win Asheville as primary therapist at a therapeutic boarding school for adolescent boys. She integrates all her varied work experiences to inform her therapeutic approach.

Megan’s counseling orientation is relational, holistic, person-centered, and trauma-informed. Megan believes in the power of each individual’s and families’ innate ability to change. She sees her role as therapist one of walking with clients on their recovery journey and helping to witness and reflect change. Megan integrates many theories and modalities in her work with clients including CBT, ACT, mindfulness-based practices, eco-wellness, DBT skills, and polyvagal theory.  She works from an attachment-based and emotion-focused perspective. Lastly, Megan is inspired by the clinical works of Carl Rogers, Victor Frankl, Virginia Satir, Tara Brach, Gabor Mate, Dan Siegel, and Sue Johnson.

While Megan loves her work as a therapist, she has many outside interests and hobbies, including rec volleyball, roller skating, running, yoga, writing poetry, and hiking in the Pisgah National Forest. She also values quality time spent with family and friends, ideally sharing good food and laughs around a campfire.

Kallie Brown

Kallie Brown, MA, LCAS, LCMHC-A, NCC

Rites of Passage Coordinator

Kallie has been a part of Red Oak Recovery® team in various capacities for over five years. Kallie began her work with The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® in 2016 and has served as a Clinical Technician, Shift Supervisor, Senior Field Guide, Clinical Intern, and Primary Therapist. Kallie has extensive background in rites of passage work, and through this passion designed and developed a 5-day women’s rites of passage ceremony for clients moving towards their graduation.

A rite of passage can be understood as a way to intentional mark and honor the passage from one stage of life to the next. We often think of rites of passage such as graduation from high school and college or getting married. However, one of the most significant passages in person’s life can be stepping into recovery from addiction or stepping into a place of healing from a traumatic past.

Kallie completed her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Appalachian State University with a certificate in Expressive Arts therapy. Kallie is a licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHC-A), a Nationally Certified Counselor, and a Clinical Addiction Specialist Associate (LCAS-A). Prior to completing her master’s work, Kallie worked in a wilderness therapy setting with adolescents from 2011-2015.

It is through her own recovery journey that Kallie has found a passion in her work with women, guiding and supporting them as they move from a place of wounding and pain, to healing and recovery. Kallie facilitates therapeutic groups, providing a trauma informed approach, blending experiential psycho drama, eco therapy, and attachment theory into her work. She believes that the choice to come to treatment is one that takes tremendous courage, and she is grateful to be a part of such a dedicated and talented team of individuals.

Kallie is a native to Asheville, NC and in her free time enjoys hiking, camping, yoga, gardening, and connecting with friends and family.

Elke Gates

Elke Gates, CADC-I

Clinical Case Manager

Originally from Seattle, Washington, Elke spent much of her adult life traveling the country before settling down in Western North Carolina.

Elke graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from The University of Hawaii at Manoa. Before coming to work at The Willows, Elke worked as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Case Manager in Honolulu, Hawaii. Elke joined The Willows as a Recovery Support Specialist before transitioning into her role as Clinical Case Manager. In her new role, Elke is able to pull from her own personal experience of life in recovery, bringing a special insight and empathy to those just starting out on their own journey.

In her free time, Elke enjoys hiking and exploring the woods with her two dogs Goose and Kelso.

Carlyn Daubs

Dr. Carlyn Daubs, PhD, LP


Carlyn joined Red Oak Recovery® after obtaining her MS and PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas. Prior to joining the Red Oak Recovery team, Dr. Daubs treated children, adolescents, and families at many different therapeutic settings, including a community mental health clinic, university counseling centers, an adventure program, and a therapeutic boarding school. In addition to Dr. Daubs’ extensive clinical and assessment experience, she has also built and designed therapeutic programming for residential facilities for adolescents and their families.

Her research interests include family systems, parent-child attachment, internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, comorbid disorders, addiction processes, romantic attachment, and coping styles. In her spare time Dr. Daubs enjoys running, reading, and traveling.