Our Therapists

Stacy Carmichael, Ph.D., ABPP

Licensed Psychologist PY7472
Certified Autism Specialist
Board Certified, Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology

Stacy Carmichael PhD ABPP, is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in children and adolescents, although she also sees many adults for learning and neurodevelopmental concerns. Dr. Carmichael is in the unique child therapy position to have had not only the academic and clinical training related to specialized developmental concerns in childhood, but also the first-hand knowledge of the joys and tribulations of parenting and advocating for children with complex developmental, emotional, social and behavioral needs.

Dr. Carmichael is a 2003 graduate of the American Psychological Association’s accredited program at the University of Florida’s Department of Clinical & Health Psychology, with a concentration in Pediatric and Clinical Child Psychology. She is one of the 4% of psychologists that are Board Certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology. She has been licensed by the Board of Psychology in Florida since 2007, and is also licensed in Georgia and South Carolina. She founded MindWorks Psychological Services in 2015 to meet the needs of children and adults with mental health issues.

Maria Gabriella Zerpa, LMHC

Certified Autism Specialist, Clinical Supervisor

Mrs. Zerpa continually seeks to set a standard and best practice in the Mental Health field. She uniquely combines her education, training and practical experiences to encourage other professionals and teach the passion and commitment towards people in need. Mrs. Zerpa completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University Of Central Florida in 2002. Later in 2010, she completed her certification in HealthCare management at the University of Miami. Mrs. Zerpa continued her education with her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health & Psychology at Troy University in 2013 and received her Licensee as Mental Health Clinician in 2015.

During the past 10 years Mrs. Zerpa has worked at the management level for the University of Miami, Department of Psychiatry, the Department of Juvenile Justice in Orlando, Florida. and the Orange County Public School system. Her experiences have enhanced her knowledge and expertise to work with diverse populations and cultural backgrounds. Along with strong management and counseling skills, Mrs. Zerpa has built a strong expertise for all components of the Mental Health Practice. Mrs. Zerpa provides comprehensive individual and family therapy for children, adolescents, and adults with a wide variety of challenges. Her passion is helping individuals enhance their relationships and discover their strengths. She is strongly committed to helping individuals accomplish goals and live in a positive state of mind, leading to a more fulfilling life! She absolutely loves her work, which fuels her with enthusiasm for helping people reach their personal and professional goals. Additionally, she helps motivate professionals in the field to apply best practices and provide their services with heart and dedication, she leads, train and supervise individuals in the field, and therefore the community can receive the help needed at an outstanding level. 

Her work in the community is well recognized and appreciated by those who have received her services. Her strong vocation, dedication and commitment has made the difference in many lives.

Flora ToRra, EdS, ABSNP, SEP-Advanced

School Psychologist

Flora integrates the fields of education, school psychology, neuropsychology and psychotherapy to serve children and families in Central Florida. She practiced for 25 years as a school psychologist serving the needs of children and adolescents with problems with learning disabilities, autism spectrum, developmental delays, and giftedness. 

As a school psychologist, she began specializing in the therapeutic side of helping children and studied various forms of play and brain-based therapies. Her playful, curious and empathic approach provides therapy for situations involving lack of self control and behavior problems, anxiety, divorce & grief/loss, attachment issues, and issues related to attention and organization. 

Flora holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education from the University of South Florida, and she taught students with learning disabilities for 5 years. She has an Education Specialist degree from UCF and served K-12th grade students in Osceola and Orange County. Her interest in spirituality led her to obtain a second Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University. She holds a Diplomate with the American Board of School Neuropsychology (ABSNP). Flora began a private practice over 15 years ago. She holds a certificate in Sandplay therapy and a specialization in Somatic Experiencing, a therapeutic method for treating anxiety and trauma. 

Flora is bilingual and speaks Spanish fluently. 

Vista Parisoe-McSkulin, PhD

Vista Parisoe-McSkulin PhD, CCDVC, is a Christian Clinical Counselor who has been in practice for over 20 years. She is a 2005 graduate from Florida Christian University in Orlando Florida. Dr. V is a Licensed Clinical Counselor and Certified Temperament Counselor since 2004 by the National Christian Counselors Association.

She became a Clinically Certified Domestic Violence Counselor in 2004 by the National Association of Forensic Counselors. She received her Advanced Certification in QEEG and Neurofeedback in 2016 by BrainCore Systems. She received her Certification as an Accelerated Resolution Therapist in March of 2019 by the Rosenzweig Center for Rapid Recovery. She is also a trained clinician in Bio Regulation Therapy (BRT/PEMF).

She has held many positions in her field from Owner/Director, Program Director and most recently served as Clinical Director at an elite therapeutic boarding school in Orlando. She specializes in family and adolescent therapy including but not limited to; Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Eating Disorders, ADD/ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Borderline Disorder, Self-Harm, Adjustment Disorder and High Functioning ASD. She is proficient in several modalities; DBT, CBT, Emotional-Focused Therapy or EFT, Attachment Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy. A.R.T. (Accelerated Resolution Therapy) and Neurofeedback. 

She has 3 children and 8 grandchildren, her interests are music, travel, boating and spending time with family and friends. 

Lila Carder, MA, CCC-SLP

Speech and Language Therapist

Miss Lila is a compassionate, creative and experienced Speech-Language Pathologist accomplished in building Receptive and Expressive Communication skills, remediating articulation and fluency difficulties, developing social and pragmatic skills and strengthening literacy and reading comprehension in individuals with communication delays, learning difficulties and social skills challenges. She received her BA and MA in Communicative Disorders at the University of Central Florida. 

She has an extensive, personal library of fun and engaging therapy materials that she gathered over the past twenty plus years of serving Speech/Language Impaired individuals that target areas of weakness, develop attainable skills and achieve projected goals while instilling confidence! Miss Lila has provided Speech Therapy services to individuals ages 2-20 in central Florida’s public schools, private schools, private speech therapy group setting and home visit setting for 22 years. Often, she can go to local preschools or private schools during school hours to provide speech therapy lessons to your child on-site, if bringing your child to the office for a visit is inconvenient for you. She provides quality assessments and will develop a “Plan of Action” to meet your child’s communication needs, which she will carry out with individualize, engaging and fun therapy lessons aimed at building strong and confident communicators! Miss Lila will provide parent education and enlist parental support, which will allow your child to successfully meet his/her therapy goals.  Miss Lila is experienced in working with children with autism spectrum disorders.  Lila is a Certified member of ASHA, CCC-SLP, Florida State license #SA 14400. She is based at the Dr. Phillips office location but can do home or school visits as well.   


Populations Served: Language Delays, Articulation Disorders, Apraxia of Speech, Autism/ASD, Fluency, Auditory Processing Disorders, Dyslexia, Intellectual Disability, Traumatic Brain Injury, Chromosomal anomalies, Lip/Cleft Palate, Selective Mutism, Dysarthria, Hearing-Impaired and Voice Disorders.

Tracey Planintz EdS NCSP

Licensed School Psychologist
Nationally Certified School Psychologist

Tracey Planinz is a licensed School Psychologist in the state of Florida. She has more than five years’ experience working in the public schools as a School Psychologist, completing psychoeducational assessments and helping to develop intervention programs to support students. Additionally, she has an adult daughter who received special education services while in school. Tracey’s experience with psychoeducational evaluations and navigating the public education system comes from her experiences as a mother with a child with an IEP, as well as through working directly with children in the public schools. Tracey is passionate about helping children receive the tools they need to reach their full potential.

Tracey earned both her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, as well as her Specialist degree in School Psychology (EdS) from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She is both licensed by the Florida Department of Health and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). As a Central Florida local, Tracey is aware of the diverse needs of our children today. She has worked with children both privately and in the public schools in Brevard, Seminole, Orange, Citrus, Polk and Osceola counties. Her background includes children from diverse populations, including special needs populations with developmental and neurological differences.

Dr. Cari Alvarez

Pediatric Psychology Intern

Dr. Cari Alvarez is a bilingual psychologist in English and Spanish specializing in assessing and diagnosing autism spectrum disorder and other neuro-developmental concerns. Cari has been working as a clinician since 2018, treating social-emotional and disruptive behavioral concerns with families and participating in evolutions specifically studying the connections between behavior and brain functioning since 2014.

Dr. Cari Alvarez is a bilingual psychologist specializing in assessing and diagnosing autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental concerns. Dr. Alvarez has been working with neurodevelopment, social-emotional and disruptive behavioral concerns and participating in evolutions specifically studying the connections between behavior and brain functioning since 2014.
Dr. Alvarez is also trained and specializes in behavioral parent training, the leading treatment for disruptive behavior and ADHD in childhood. Behavioral Parent Training has been proven effective at improving skills for building caregiver-child relationships, effective communication, and behavioral management to help parents navigate and support their children and reduce oppositional and defiant behaviors.
Dr. Alvarez received her bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and earned her master’s degree from Florida International University. Her Doctoral training in Clinical Counseling Psychology was completed through Utah State University and her pediatric residency is through the University of Miami’s Miller school of Medicine.
Dr. Alvarez is providing therapeutic interventions services via telehealth and in person testing at our downtown Winter Garden office.

Meagan Ward

Art Therapist

Meagan received a Master’s of Professional Study in Art Therapy and Creative Development from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She completed practicums working in both the school system and homeless shelter environments with adolescent and adult survivors of complex trauma. She has worked with active-duty military service members in both inpatient and outpatient settings as a Primary Therapist and Art Therapist. Serving as a Therapist at a Mental Health Hospital, Meagan continues to work with adults, children, and adolescents at the inpatient crisis stabilization level and in a 28 day Addiction Treatment Program for Veterans. She truly believes in the power of art as a medium for healing and enjoys utilizing creative approaches to help guide clients through their individual healing journeys.

As a process-oriented therapist, Meagan practices on the belief that art provides us with a type of communication that we cannot always achieve with verbal language. At our very core, we each have an innate desire for self-expression; we want to be seen and feel heard. Whether working with active imagination, Gestalt, or exploring self-regulatory coping skills, we begin to find a new understanding for ourselves and others. We begin to speak through our art. Art Therapy provides an outlet for visceral and emotional experiences in a way that promotes mindfulness, healing, and personal growth. Through the expressive process, Meagan assists as clients manage anxieties and emotional distress, increase self-awareness, gain insight, and tap into inner thoughts and feelings in a cathartic way that feels safe and empowering. She has witnessed firsthand the power or art therapy in the healing process and values the work she is privileged to do every day. Sessions include medium and are 90 minutes in length. She can do in-office, in-home (for additional fee) or tele-health sessions.

Maureen J. Ito, PhD, NCSP

Educational Psychologist

Maureen J. Ito, PhD, NCSP, is a nationally certified school psychologist and newly licensed school psychologist in Florida. She has four years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families of diverse cultural backgrounds as a school psychologist in the public school system. Dr. Ito works at MindWorks Psychological Services as an independent contractor and enjoys evaluating for ADHD and learning disabilities.

Dr. Ito received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Miami and both her M.A. and doctorate in School Psychology from the Ohio State University. She has taught graduate psychology courses at the Ohio State University and has delivered presentations at the local, state, national, and international levels. Dr. Ito is currently certified and licensed as a school psychologist in Florida and works for Orange County Public Schools. Her employment as a school psychologist in one of the largest school districts in the nation has allowed her to gain valuable experiences working with a diverse population of students of various backgrounds, developmental levels, and exceptionalities across the K-12 settings.

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