Meet the Counselors

Heather Payne, LMHC, RPT, CAAPT 

Heather received a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University, Sarasota. She works with children, adults, couples, and families, and has received extra training in crisis intervention, grief and loss. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Association for Death Educators and Counselors, and the Association for Play Therapy. She is also a Registered Nurse, and a Nationally Certified Counselor through the NBCC.

Heather is working toward becoming a registered play therapist, and has two therapy dogs in training who she may use in sessions with clients who request animal assisted therapy. She uses a person centered approach combined with cognitive behavior techniques to provide individualized service for each client.  She is a trained Prepare Enrich facilitator and offers premarital counseling for interested couples.

Heather is also the Coordinator for the Lee Memorial Health System’s Pediatric and Pregnancy Bereavement Program.


Kayla Schusterman, LCSW

Kayla Schusterman, LCSW, received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida Gulf Coast University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Florida. Kayla is a certified Prepare/Enrich facilitator and also has experience in a variety of other settings including: non-profit community based suicide prevention; substance abuse including acute care, youth and adult outpatient, and adult felony drug court; as well as individual, couples, and group counseling.  Kayla is currently a School Social Worker for the Lee County School District and is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers.



Kimberly Bush, MA

Kimberly Bush is currently a post-graduate student, working at Delta Family Counseling to complete her internship. She has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is working towards her Specialist in Education (Ed.S) degree.


She is a member of the American Counseling Association and abides by their ethical standards. She works with individuals of all ages as well as couples and families.  In addition, she has experience with dual diagnosis in an inpatient setting. She adheres to a humanistic approach to treatment and strives to create an environment free of judgment where each individual can seek self-awareness, growth and creative expression.



Kaitlin Major, MSW


11351220_10153407294004742_4793325203150897163_nKaitlin Major, MSW graduated from Barry University with a Master’s degree in Social Work and completed her undergraduate education at Florida Gulf Coast University.  Kaitlin enjoys working with children, adolescents, and teens. Kaitlin is interested in becoming specialized in Play Therapy as well as utilizing pet assisted approaches. Kaitlin works directly with individuals and families that are experiencing homelessness in Lee County. Kaitlin is currently a member of the National Association of Social Workers and serves as a board member for the SW FL Unit. Additionally, Kaitlin has experience in non-profit community outreach and serves on a variety of community boards that are focused on eliminating barriers for individuals and families in crisis within the community.



Caitlin Carroll, MSW

Caitlin Carroll is a graduate from Florida State University with her Master’s in Social Work and her undergraduate from Florida Gulf Coast University. She has experience working with adolescents in residential substance abuse treatment and with children and their families involved in the child welfare system. Caitlin enjoys working with adolescents and adults using a solution focused approach combined with cognitive behavioral techniques. Caitlin is currently a member of the National Association of Social Workers and is actively pursuing her social work licensure to become a licensed clinical social worker(LCSW).



Certified Animal Assisted Play Therapy Dog

Abbey, a lemon beagle, is the first therapy dog employed by Delta Family Counseling. She is known as the “boss” around the practice. Abbey started at the practice at its original location in 2006. Abbey’s first steps into “working” were by accident, as she was having separation anxiety after Tara moved to Cape Coral and Abbey cried all day while home alone. Abbey came to the office and was invited into session by several clients and this is where Tara noticed that Abbey had a natural ability to help clients.

Tara and Abbey began to research if there was such a thing as a “Mental Health” therapy dog and the training began. Since that point, Abbey has provided services to many clients. Abbey is proud to wear her “work” bandanna and be in the office with the clients and fellow therapists. Abbey has taught Tara many things about compassion fatigue through her work, which inspired the workshop that Tara teaches “Life can be Ruff….Lessons from Therapy Dogs!” Abbey is also a rescue and was adopted into her forever family of the Moser’s from a rescue group in Orlando.



Certified Animal Assisted Play Therapy Dog

Bode is a favorite of many clients and parents at the practice, as well as known around town due to his size. Bode joined the practice in the summer of 2006 after joining the Moser family. Abbey picked Bode out from the local animal shelter and Tara already had the goal of training him to become a therapy dog so that both he and Abbey could come to work daily. Bode was labeled as a “hound mix” and Tara was told he would not become any bigger than 40 lbs. Many of you are laughing at this point, as Bode now weighs in at 160lbs and is a Great Dane (possibly a Great Dane/Boxer mix). Bode is affectionately known as by our younger clients as “Scooby-Doo” or “Marmaduke”. Bode is always up for a game of tag, hide and go seek, or a sword fight in the playroom and hold our teenage clients accountable to changes in their emotions during sessions.


Certified Animal Assisted Play Therapy Dog

More info on Griffin coming soon! He is Heather’s AAPT dog in training


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