Meet the Therapists

Connie Dawson, M.A., LMHC, RPT-S, CAS

Connie believes the counseling process begins with the idea that each person wants to work past current challenges and has the ability to grow and change given a helpful provider and appropriate intervention. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Registered Play Therapy-Supervisor, a Qualified Supervisor in Mental Health and Family Therapy and and a Certified Brainspotting Therapist. She has more than 20 years of experience working with clients in a variety of settings including advocacy work and community education, and founded The Hazel Counseling Center for Families and Children, PLLC in 2008. She is dedicated to providing quality mental health interventions using integrative treatment methods and pursues current training and knowledge in the mental health field in order to provide the Oviedo/Winter Springs area with dynamic care in a group practice setting.

Connie gets to know each person in order to understand their story, and then applies the most relevant technique while using more comprehensive interventions as needed. Connie believes in the client’s right to guide their own counseling experience.

Connie emphasizes the use of Interpersonal Neurobiology in order to use what we know and understand about the mind and body working together to offer the most complete resolution and sense of well being with presenting problems. She supplements this with her training in Play Therapy, Coherence Therapy, Brainspotting Therapy, and Sand Tray Therapy. It is often a combination of these interventions that helps a client move past and through challenges.

As a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, Connie provides a dedicated space within the counseling offices in order to provide play therapy as well as offering play therapy training for other therapists.

When Connie has free time, you will often find her out on the bike trails and elsewhere taking in nature. Watch for some photos of those adventures when you come in for a visit!

Please contact Connie to discuss your counseling needs.


  • Master’s Degree in Counselor Education-University of South Dakota
  • Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor-Association for Play Therapy
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology-Purdue University

Shoko Churchwell, LMHC, MCAP

Shoko believes in helping her clients connect to their inner strengths in order to address presenting issues and ultimately to feel “unstuck” in life. She has had a wide variety of work experience which allows her to connect to people with diverse backgrounds who are seeking supportive therapy. Shoko welcomes all of her clients with a warm and non-judgmental space for them to feel at ease during the counseling process.

Shoko’s training in multiple treatment interventions makes her a great ally in treating and addressing issues related to depression, anxiety and grief. She also has experience in using child centered play therapy to address children’s concerns as she obtained a second master’s degree in clinical psychology focused on Play Therapy, where traditional non-directional play therapy services were provided. She has used both individual child therapy as well as counseling with parents of children with emotional and/or development disabilities.

Shoko specializes in supporting trauma and addiction recovery. She is certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and trained in ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy). She is also a registered yoga teacher, and uses mindfulness based interventions to help clients foster a connection between their mind and body. All of her clinical interventions are evidence based.

She first obtained a master’s degree in Sports and Exercise Psychology, and worked with professional athletes for performance enhancement. She then obtained her second master’s degree in clinical psychology as she realized a deeper interest in the area of clinical psychology. Shoko has worked at a Juvenile Justice Commitment residential program providing individual, group and family counseling. She was a supervisor for a federally funded program, serving adults with chronic homelessness, a substance abuse residential program for adolescents, and, most recently, a medication assisted treatment program serving adults with severe substance abuse disorders.

In her free time, she plays tennis as she was a former NCAA collegiate tennis player and NCAA All-American. She loves practicing yoga and cooking.

Please contact Shoko to discuss your counseling needs.

Mark Zauss, M.A., NCC, CCMHC, LMHC

Hi, my name is Mark. I specialize in working with adolescents and adults using evidence-based cognitive-behavioral techniques as well as positive psychology. My counseling style is respectful, accepting, nonjudgmental, and empathetic. I help the individual identify his or her strengths for the purpose of building self-esteem and confidence. I believe in everybody’s ability to succeed and grow and am dedicated to helping each person I work with. My goal is to actively engage with you and create a safe and secure environment while always taking the time to listen to your needs. I am mindful of being patient and sympathetic towards each person I meet with.

I use positive psychology which research in mental health has shown to be a highly effective therapeutic technique. This approach encourages the building of inner strength and positive emotions rather than focusing on only negative symptoms. Positive psychology has been proven to be effective in reframing negative thoughts and emotions to focus on the positive aspects of your character. This helps you build your confidence, discover your inner strengths, and empower you to make healthy decisions.

I am a licensed mental health counselor in Florida with over 12 years of experience. I’m a board-certified clinical mental health counselor by the NBCC – (National Board for Certified Counselors), a nationally certified counselor by the NBCC as well as a Board-Certified Telehealth provider for online counseling.

My areas of specialty include treating anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, fear of being in a public place, social anxiety, relationship issues, career problems, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and substance abuse and addiction issues. I specialize in helping people cope with new and difficult situations as a way to adjust to changes in life.


  • Bachelor’s Degree: Rollins College
  • Master’s Degree: Rollins College
  • LMHC – Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  • CCMHC – Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor
  • NCC – Nationally Certified Counselor
  • BC-TMC – Board Certified Tele-Mental Health Counselor

Yemanja Krasnow, MSW, LCSW

I believe in creating a safe, compassionate, and trustworthy environment where my clients feel heard, not judged, and empowered to choose their own path to healing.  I believe in providing a holistic approach for each individual client to help them develop their own toolbox with skills that not only will guide them through their healing process, but also maintain their treatment gains on days to come.

I have twenty years of direct experience designing, managing, and implementing programs that address sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, parenting education, and life coping skills. I work with individuals, couples, families, groups, veterans, first responders, and the military community.
As a fulltime employee at UCF RESTORES, I have focused my clinical efforts on treating individuals struggling with complex issues including trauma, anxiety, dual-diagnosis, and other mood disorders. I have been a longtime advocate for many underrepresented populations including the Latino, survivors of sexual violence, and the LGBTQ+ community. I am fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and am available to provided services in both languages.
When not working, I spend time advocating for my community and enjoy having fun in the water with my three children.
I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and a Master of Clinical Social Work degree with a sub-concentration in military social work and veteran services from the University of Southern California.

Meredith Snelson, M.A., LMHC, RPT-S

Hi, I’m Meredith. I specialize in counseling children, adolescents, and parents. I work with individuals and families using a collaborative approach. Play is the language of children and I use play to help children process and express their feelings in the way that is most comfortable for them. I love using creative methods in my work such as art and sand tray. I foster genuine connection in the therapist/client relationship.

I was born and raised in Central Florida and am passionate about this community. Since 2003, I have worked as a mental health counselor in the Orlando area both in schools, community agencies and private practice. As I am also a Professional Certified School Counselor, I understand the need for collaboration with a child’s school to affect change and growth across settings.

My background includes presenting at local agencies and conferences on play therapy as well as involvement in the local chapter of the Association for Play Therapy. I love sharing my experiences with other therapists and I offer supervision for both licensure and the play therapy credentialing.

I received my Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Florida and went on to complete my Masters in Mental Health Counseling at Rollins College. I am licensed as a Mental Health Counselor, and have completed additional requirements to become a Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor.

I am a self-described “dog person” and in my spare time you can find me with my human and furry family at the beach or at the dog park.

  • MA in Mental Health Counseling-Rollins College
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Qualified Supervisor
  • Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor (Association for Play Therapy)
  • Certified Sand Tray Therapist (Institute for Playful Healing)
  • Professional Certified School Counselor (Florida Department of Education)

Contact Today

2441 W SR 426 Suite 1051
Oviedo, FL 32765
(407) 365-1199

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