Our Team

Michael Ciaccio

Michael Ciaccio

Director/Clinical Therapist
EMDR Trained


I have a passion for working with couples, families, individuals and teenagers by addressing the wholeness of the human person: spiritual, emotional, intellectual and biological. I work with a wide range of clients, including married/engaged couples, individuals working through trauma, anxiety, depression, and/or grief, those experiencing unwanted sexual behavior and men and women wanting to work through sexual addiction and drug and alcohol problems.  I also find that deeper roots to these problems often lie in family of origin issues, which I address through an attachment lens.

In 2014, I became certified through the Sexual Addiction Treatment Provider Program and am now the program coordinator.  This SATP certification has given me the education to effectively treat men and women struggling with a range of sexual problems from addiction (a term often misunderstood) to pornography usage.  Including practical tools, attachment theory and trauma based interventions, this specialization has helped many break free from the bonds of sexual behavior problems to find real freedom and meaning in their life.

I worked at Ozanam for several years and specialized in treating adolescent issues, such as depression, self harm, addiction, and oppositional defiance, among others.  Ozanam is the venue through which I was licensed and supervised for a period of time.

My goal is to create a safe space to process, heal and walk with you.  Relationship is a foundation to the human psyche and heart. If this aspect of life has been hurt or traumatized, I want to help you renew trust, hope and connection.  I believe the Lord is in the midst of your story as well.  Whether you are frustrated with Him or longing for His compassion, I hope to meet you there.  Prayer and inner healing techniques can be a part of treatment to encounter God through the struggle you might be enduring.  Feel free to ask me to include this in your therapy.

Having grown up in Omaha, NE, I went to Catholic schools through High School and then graduated from the University of Kansas with a BA in Marketing and a Minor in French.

Through the St. Lawrence Center at KU, I felt a calling to the priesthood, which led to some time with the Apostles of the Interior Life in Rome, Italy and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, IL - just outside of Chicago. 

I then discerned my true calling to counseling and pursued my profession as a therapist at Divine Mercy University (www.divinemercy.edu) -- an elite Catholic Graduate School which integrates theology, philosophy and psychology. 

I moved to Kansas City, MO, and finished graduate school at Avila University.  I provided counseling services at 'Ozanam' between 2010 and 2013. As a residential therapist and the substance abuse therapist, I counseled teenagers and families.  

I married my wife in 2010 and we have 7 kids, 2 sets of twins!  When I have down time, I enjoy playing with my kids, watching the Chicago Cubs and coaching baseball.   

Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology - Divine Mercy University (www.divinemercy.edu); Avila University

EMDR Trained (https://www.emdria.org/)

Sexual Addiction Treatment Provider - Mid American Nazarene University

Substance Abuse Treatment Provider - Matrix Institute

Trauma Informed Treatment

I treat the Following 

Individuals, Adolescents, Families, Addictions - Sexual, Drugs, Alcohol, Sexual Abuse Victims, Depressive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Child Bearing Loss, Post Abortion Syndrome

I use the following methods 

EMDR, Emotion Focused Therapy,   Inner Healing Techniques, Prayer, Internal Family Systems,  Existential Therapy, Expressive Therapeutics: Art  

Abigail Foard

Abigail Foard, MA, LPC, NCC

Clinical Therapist
EMDR Trained


Greetings! I consider it a privilege to work as a therapist, having found a profession that fits both my personal calling and my personality style. I believe I have strengths in discerning the roots of problems and drawing people into insight, healing, and joy. And, simply, I enjoy the honor of working with people in many walks of life for a specific healing season.

I completed my Master of Arts in Professional Counseling at Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta, GA and did additional coursework in sex therapy as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. I currently limit my practice to teenagers and adults, and I focus my therapeutic work around issues of abuse/trauma, sexual and gender identity, feelings of hopelessness, anxiety/fear, spiritual issues, philosophical and existential questioning, and adjustments to difficult life circumstances.

Prior to my graduate training, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Penn State University, and spent many hours practicing, performing, and teaching. My primary instrument was voice, and through that training I discovered the beauty of the human body as instrument and communicator. I find this training has also translated some into therapy, where I love helping people gain greater confidence and esteem in their unique "person."  It is an honor to help restore the expressive and communicative gifts of the physical self that can be stunted or blocked by trauma and other wounding. The interconnectedness of mind-body-emotions cannot be overstated!

I am a Christian and my relationship with Christ frames the way I view humanity, life, morality, hope, identity, gender, healing, etc. I love working with people in any place of their faith journey, but I would want my clients to know that this spiritual foundation undoubtedly colors my approach to therapy. While I never force issues of faith on my clients, I do believe that how we see God and engage with faith on a daily basis can play a critical role in our personal healing. I bring that into therapy as much as my clients are willing and interested.

When I have asked people to describe me, they have said things like “Her warm and welcoming spirit is a comfort to her clients…” and “[she has a] relentless curiosity about her conversation partners, non-judging attentiveness to their needs…Whether by nature or training, she clearly has the skills to be good at therapy.”

I would welcome the opportunity to meet you and if it's a good fit, to work with you for a season of both of our lives!

Abigail Foard is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri (LPC 2017009375), Georgia (LPC 007029), and is certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC #250664). She has a master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University with specialties in Sex Therapy and Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Penn State University.

Prior to moving to Kansas City in 2016, and coming alongside the great staff at Center for Healing, Abigail lived for 12 years in Atlanta, GA. She has been in practice since 2009, working in both private therapy practices and residential care. She opened her own practice in Atlanta in 2013, and concurrently spent over 6 years and hundreds of hours counseling men and women transitioning from homelessness, incarceration, acute psychological and addiction treatment, and domestic abuse settings.

Her work with each one of her clients has shown her the beauty and resilience of the human soul, as well as the deep possibilities for hope and life that exist, no matter what circumstance or life situation a person finds him/herself.

As one who continues to value personal growth and learning, Abigail has undergone additional training post master’s degree and is certified to use the Prepare-Enrich assessment for couples, and is Level 2 trained in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. She has also run groups for couples dealing with sexual addiction, survivors of sexual abuse, for women facing the unique challenges of singleness, and groups on detoxifying toxic thinking (using the material of cognitive neuropsychologist Caroline Leaf).

In addition to her work with Center for Healing, Abigail serves as the Assistant Director of Desert Stream Ministries, based in Kansas City, MO. Desert Stream is a Christian ministry providing care for individuals and training for the Church in addressing areas of sexual and relational brokenness including marital struggles, sexual trauma, addiction, gender identity struggles and more.

  • LPC in states of Missouri and Georgia
  • NCC, National Certified Counselor through the National Board of Certified Counselors
  • MA in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University
  • BS in Music Education from Penn State University

Treatment populations and methods

  • Trauma / Abuse
  • Depression
  • Anxiety/ fear
  • Sexual and gender issues
  • Spiritual issues
  • Couples and relationship work
  • Life Crisis/ Transitions
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Mark Martinez MA, LPC

Clinical Therapist
EMDR Trained

I have always considered my calling as a therapist to be a privilege as I am allowed to enter into some of the most difficult and joyful moments of my client’s lives. I believe my role as a therapist is to help people identify and utilize their strengths and gifts in order to live lives of fulfillment, meaning and joy. In the therapeutic relationships I form, I discern the needs of those receiving services and help them identify a healthy way to meet those needs through themselves, their family and community and/or their faith.

I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in theology from Benedictine College and my Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas Minneapolis. Since then I have continued my growth as a therapist in an effort to more fully understand our shared humanity through personal learning, prayer and various training opportunities. My faith holds me to a high standard of care for my clients and shapes the worldview in which I view the problems impacting the men and women I work with. I enjoy meeting clients where they are and I believe in adapting therapy to reflect the interests and values of those I work with.

My patience, communication and listening skills, empathy and humor are among my greatest therapeutic strengths. In therapy, I draw upon our universal experiences as human beings as well as my own personal experiences as a father, husband, teacher, and coach.

I was baptized and raised Catholic, but it was not until high school that I began to appreciate and accept the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith. Inspired by teachers who had awakened this desire to know Christ through the Catholic Church, I attended Benedictine College where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Theology. At Benedictine College I met my wife and was provided with a faith community where I learned to integrate my faith into all aspects of my life with the support and guidance of professors and lifelong friends.

I taught high school theology before discerning my current calling. I attended the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis and worked with inner city youth in a school setting. This experience opened me to the world of child and family therapy and allowed me to gain an understanding of how individuals are impacted by their family and community systems. After completing my degree in counseling psychology, my wife and I moved to the Kansas City area in 2015 to raise our family and be closer to extended family.

For two years I worked as a vocational counselor for the State of Missouri. In this role I worked with adolescents and adults with physical and mental disabilities, helping them find hope and meaning in their lives while searching for employment and providing on the job supports. My desire to provide therapy treatment has led me to work with children of various ages and their families for the last year and a half in behavioral health clinics, school, and in-home settings.

I love learning, and I enjoy playing with my children, watching baseball, playing music and exploring the outdoors with my family. My wife Katie and I have three children with a fourth on the way and spend a good deal of time volunteering with their activities and at our parish.

Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Missouri
Bachelor of Arts in Theology- Benedictine College
Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology-University of St. Thomas Minneapolis

Additional Training:
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Level One
Treating Trauma and Shame
Internal Family Systems Theory
Play Therapy
Motivational Interviewing

Treatment populations and methods
I treat the Following
Individuals, married couples, children, adolescents and families. Trauma/Abuse, Depressive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Adjustment Disorder, Grief, Couples and Relationship Conflict.

I use the following methods
Play therapy, Attachment theory, Internal Family Systems Theory, Inner Healing Techniques, Prayer, Existential Therapy, EMDR

Chris Ellman Photo

Chris Ellman

Clinical Therapist
(913) 568-8415

My goal is to accompany individuals, couples, and families who are struggling with the stress of life by addressing the whole person; mental, physical, and spiritual. I support those who are struggling with anxiety, depression, grief, and trauma. I also support those who are experiencing unwanted sexual behavior, pornography/sex addiction, and chemical addictions.

My name is Chris Ellman; my wife, Carrie, and I have four children. I'm proud to have called Kansas City my home since 2001. My family and I attend Our Lady of the Presentation and are also members of the Heart of the Redeemer Covenant Community. Our Catholic faith and our relationship with Jesus are very important to us and informs the decisions that we make.

Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to be in a profession where I could directly help others. After earning a Bachelor's Degree from Truman State University, I attended the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare and was awarded a Master's Degree in Social Work. My experience in the service profession is quite broad. I've worked for a hospice organization, a large hospital, and even spent a number of years as a Financial Advisor. Through the Lord's grace, I am now a clinical therapist at the Center for Healing.

In my free time I enjoy being with my wife and children and reading anything by G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. I am also an avid reptile enthusiast, a music fan, and I enjoy going to concerts and playing the drums.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Truman State University

Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas-School of Social Welfare 

Sexual Addictions Treatment Provider - SATP Institute

Certified Sex Addiction Therapist - International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals


Treatment populations and methods

I work with the following: Individuals, Couples, Adolescents, Families, Trauma, Abuse, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and Addictions

I use the following methods: Attachment Theory, Polyvagal Theory, Emotion Focused Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Inner Healing Work

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Julie Nielsen, LMSW

Clinical Therapist

It is a privilege and honor to work as a therapist and be a part of a client’s healing journey. I am continuously amazed by the human spirit and resilience to overcome challenges and barriers in one’s life. I believe in a holistic approach to therapy incorporating the mind, body, and spirit. I truly believe that God is the ultimate healer and I am only a vessel facilitating the space for a client to receive the healing God has in store. Incorporating faith into my practice is extremely important to me and I am prepared to utilize the level of faith each client embraces in sessions.

I have experience working with clients who are struggling with grief and loss, depression, anxiety, interpersonal difficulties, self-harming behaviors and clients who have experienced all types of trauma and abuse.

My goal is to walk alongside you creating a safe space for healing and allowing God to speak truth to the deepest, darkest parts of your heart and erase the lies you carry within. God has felt the heaviness, the weight, and the burden that you have been carrying. He has shed tears with you and He is waiting for you to let go and be free.

My name is Julie Nielsen and I was born and raised in South Dakota. I have lived in Kansas now for over a decade. My Catholic faith is a significant part and shapes how I live my life. My two passions are being a mom and a therapist. My priority for the last several years has been being a mom to the seven children I parent. I am also a birth mom to a daughter that I placed for adoption. We share an open adoption and my children and I get the opportunity to visit her frequently. My children are my world and I take great pride in each of them and their endeavors.

I completed my bachelor’s degree in social work at Avila University. I received my master’s degree in social work from The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. My previous work experience includes case management for low-income populations, therapy primarily around sexual trauma and abuse, working in a crisis pregnancy clinic, and working in the field of adoption with birth parents and adoptive families.

In addition to working at the Center for Healing part-time, I continue to work as an Adoption Coordinator at Adoption & Beyond. I am fulfilled by the opportunity to work with birth mom’s as I can relate and empathize on their journey. Being able to help others through their pain is empowering and healing.

Bachelor of Social Work – Avila University

Master of Social Work – University of Kansas School of Social Welfare

Licensed Masters Social Worker in Kansas and Missouri

Treatment populations and methods

Adults/ Adolescents/ Children, Trauma/Abuse, Grief and Loss, Pregnancy Related Loss/ Post Abortion Syndrome/ Adoption, Depression, Anxiety, Addictions, Sexual and Gender Issues, PTSD, Spiritual Issues, Life Crisis

Inner Healing Techniques, Prayer, Cognitive Techniques, Behavior Techniques, Art Therapy