Dr. Freilich is the co-founder of Solutions of Hickory. She no longer sees clients, but serves as a Clinical Consultant and Supervisor.
Dr. Elyse Freilich is a North Carolina licensed psychologist who specialized in the treatment of children for over 30 years. As a child psychologist her training and expertise in the treatment and assessment of childhood disorders. She is an expert in the assessment of differential diagnoses among young children and adolescents. She has years of experience in working with children, adolescents, and adults with Bipolar Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as mood and anxiety disorders. Over the course of her career, Dr. Freilich has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with children, adolescents, and families who have previously been identified as high-risk, and/or resistant to standard forms of treatment.
Dr. Freilich received her doctoral training at Georgia State University where she received her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Her residency at Crestwood Children's Hospital in Rochester, New York provided her with advanced training and hands-on assessment and treatment of children and families. In addition to her current roles at Solutions, her professional experience includes leadership roles in the area of clinical psychology and administration at Catawba County Mental Health, and Catawba Valley Medical Center.
Currently, Dr. Freilich is employed by the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs in the Charlotte clinic where she has developed an expertise in the treatment of trauma and post-traumatic stress conditions in the United States veteran population. Due to this position, Dr. Freilich is not accepting new clients at Solutions. Former clients or individuals referred to Dr. Freilich should contact the Solutions of Hickory business office for guidance related to appropriate treatment options.
Ms. McClain graduated Cum Laude and with Honors in Sociology from Lenoir-Rhyne University and obtained her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Radford University in Radford, Virginia. Licensed in NC as a Psychological Associate, she founded Solutions of Hickory in 2000. Early in her career, her specialized interest area and area of advanced expertise was the assessment and diagnosis of learning difficulties in children, adolescents, and adults. Since establishing Solutions of Hickory, Michelle has pursued training and developed additional areas of expertise in the areas of child, adolescent, and adult counseling, as well as couples and family treatment. Trained in the scientist/practitioner model of graduate education in psychology, she combines evidenced-based models of treatment including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused interventions, and approaches from the field of Positive Psychology with genuine compassion and love of joining clients on their personal journeys to achieve their goals and overcome life’s stressors. The treatment of adjustment difficulties in children, adolescents, and adults, such as divorce, grief and loss, and chronic illness; as well as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, depression and anxiety are also areas of expertise. At Solutions of Hickory, Ms. McClain developed an effective social skills training group, “FriendBuilders”, which is appropriate for children from ages 4 to 12 who are experiencing social difficulties. She has received advanced training and supervision in conducting forensic evaluations of individuals and families, pre-surgical assessments, and also treats children and families during and after high-conflict divorces. She is a current member of the Catawba Valley Association of Counselors & Therapists, International Dyslexia Association, and the North Carolina Association of Professional Psychologists. She has obtained training in the Darkness to Light sexual abuse prevention program, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, and is a champion for the safety and protection of children.
Sharing one’s gifts to benefit others and giving back to the community is a core value for Ms. McClain, which led to leadership positions in a variety of organizations. She is a past Executive Board member and Treasurer of the NC Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, and recipient of the 2008 Dr. Lucia Rooney Karnes Award for Excellence for service to this organization. She is also a past member and Executive Board member of the local non-profit group, OUTright Youth of Catawba Valley.
An alumna of Lenoir-Rhyne University, Ms. McClain continues to be part of the LRU community by serving as an adjunct instructor in the undergraduate Psychology Department. In this capacity, she enjoys exposing college students to the field of psychology.
Ms. McClain loves music, travel, live theater and spending time with family and friends who are family.
Angela Hamilton, MA, C.C.C. is a Speech Language Pathologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of various communication disorders for pediatric and adolescent clients and their families. She has special interests in early intervention, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and language-based learning disorders for school-aged children.
She has completed intensive training to provide research-based reading tutoring for children and adolescents with dyslexia and offers multi-sensory language instruction for dyslexia and dysgraphia. She has also received additional certification from the PROMPT Institute to work intensively with children with moderate to severe oromotor speech disorders.
She graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1982, and has worked in private practice or hospital settings in the states of California, Georgia, and North Carolina. Since 2003, she provided all speech, language, and voice services at Graystone Ear, Nose and Throat until the closing of that practice. Mrs. Hamilton is a certified member of the N.C. and the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Associations. Mrs. Hamilton resides in Hickory with her husband, Dr. David Hamilton.
Mrs. Linda Johnson is a Licensed Psychological Associate (also known as a master’s level psychologist) and a certified Health Services Provider who has been a clinician with Solutions of Hickory, PA for more than 10 years. Her fascination with the human psyche began at Warner Southern College where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, then continued at Spalding University where she earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, graduating Summa Cum Laude from both institutions. Professionally, Linda has had opportunities to work in a variety of educational, government, and clinical settings to include private and community colleges, state departments of corrections and social services, and in both non-profit and private practice agencies specializing in outpatient services.
Linda has years of experience working with children, teens, and adults and provides individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy services for these populations at Solutions. She especially enjoys working with teens and their families as they navigate the developmental challenges of increasing autonomy, as well as adults who are struggling with major life transitions and decisions. Linda is experienced with treating a variety of mental health related issues including depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anger, communication difficulties, relational conflicts, developmental and parenting concerns, maladaptive eating behaviors, grief, and identity development. Her clinical expertise extends to psychological assessment, specializing in socio-emotional evaluations that incorporate a combination of objective and subjective measures to ascertain the emotional and personality functioning of children and adults. This form of assessment is not only highly beneficial for diagnostic clarification but also includes practical treatment recommendations that can be utilized by mental health professionals as they begin or continuing working with these individuals.
As a self-proclaimed “nerd,” Linda firmly believes that knowledge can be empowering and regularly incorporates psychoeducation into her sessions, in addition to offering educational workshops to the community, teaching key psychological principles that will enhance awareness and promote wellbeing. Clients have said that Linda’s empathic, authentic, and often humorous approach creates an environment where they can easily and safely share their experiences, gain insight, and move toward healthier, more personally meaningful ways of living. Linda believes that “life is what you make it,” and she is passionate about the opportunity to help you make your life more of what you want it to be.
Mrs. Katy Randall is a Licensed Psychological Associate at Solutions of Hickory, PA. A native of New York, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Mrs. Randall went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Arts and Certificate of Advanced Study in School Psychology from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Following graduation, Mrs. Randall relocated to western North Carolina to work for Caldwell County Schools as a School Psychologist. Currently employed at Solutions of Hickory, PA on a part-time basis, Mrs. Randall completes comprehensive psychological evaluations for individuals of all ages, with professional expertise in assessing learning, attentional, and behavioral difficulties. She resides in Hickory, NC with her husband, daughter, Golden Retriever, and two cats.
Mrs. Heather Smith is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist Associate at Solutions of Hickory, PA. Heather’s professional endeavors began in education after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Lees-McRae College. She then spent 9 years in the public school system, working predominantly as an Exceptional Children’s (EC) teacher before being promoted to an EC Instructional Coach. Throughout these years, Heather specialized in children 5 to 12 years old with social and emotional disabilities, many of which also struggled with other obstacles to learning, such as dyslexia and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The opportunity to work with this population is credited for igniting her passion for mental health and ultimately led to her earning a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Montreat College. While working on her masters, Heather was a member of the National Honors Society, Chi Sigma Iota, and she is currently a National Certified Counselor and member of the American Counseling Association.
Prior to joining the clinical team at Solutions, Heather practiced as a group and individual counselor for adults that suffer from Substance Use Disorders, also treating many of these clients for co-occurring mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Her interests have expanded to include working with children, adolescents, and adults that are interested in utilizing supportive counseling as they work to become better versions of themselves. Heather specializes in the treatment of ADHD, Autism, learning disabilities, addiction, behavioral difficulties, sensory issues, and functional deficits, focusing on skill-building in areas such as planning and organization, time management, and social competency. Additionally, Heather’s expertise extends to difficulties associated with surgical weight loss, helping individuals increase preparedness before a procedure and/or adjust to changes following one, improving their chances of postoperative success. Special areas of interest for Heather include anxiety, depression, trauma, and disordered eating behaviors. Heather believes that through utilizing resources and support systems, overcoming life’s obstacles is possible, second chances are important, and empowerment can come from the word “yet,” because some things are worth the time it takes to work toward them.
I believe that every single person has the ability and the right to achieve their full potential. I make it my mission as your therapist to be honest, accepting, and supportive. My unique perspective has come from my education, training, and past experiences as a clinician as well as my own life experiences. I am a passionate coach, teacher, and clinician and I will bring an energetic and strengths-focused approach to our work together. I believe that we all have the ability to redefine negative experiences into positive opportunities for growth.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor), a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, and a Clinical Supervisor Intern(Certified Clinical Supervisor). I graduated from Catawba Valley Community College in 2005 earning an Associate in Arts, Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2008 earning a BA in Psychology, and in 2010 an MA in Agency Counseling. I enjoy working with diverse populations but specifically I have experience with teens, adults and couples. My specialty areas include addiction, depression, anxiety, life changes, men’s issues, relationships, and LGBTQIA issues. I also have over four years experience working with medication assisted treatment for opiate dependency and offer clinical supervision services for provisionally licensed substance abuse professionals. As an addictions specialist I also believe that addiction is a disorder, not a moral failing.
I am a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, but have lived in Hickory for over 16 (20) years with my spouse. I am passionate about theatre, music, creative arts and the importance of play as an adult. I am active in the community, organizing various fundraisers for non-profits in our community that serve the underserved. I am also a member of the Catawba Valley Association of Counselors and Therapists.
Life is a journey; I look forward to assisting you in yours.
Ashley Ridenour is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate at Solutions of Hickory, PA. She received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Virginia Tech University, and from there she started a career in teaching, as a middle school science teacher. During her time as a teacher, she noticed a need for mental health care for children and teens and she decided to return to school to receive her master’s degree. She obtained a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2023. While working to complete her master’s degree she was a member of the National Honors Society, Chi Sigma Iota, and she is currently a member of the American Counseling Associates.
At Solutions, Ashley specializes in treating depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, and personality disorders. She has experience working with children, teenagers, and with adults. Her group counseling experience was with adults who were in court ordered treatment and she also facilitated a transgender support group. During her clinical counseling experience Ashley developed an interest in counseling children and teens. She believes that people heal through connection and relationships. Ashley is passionate about helping clients work towards overall wellness. While using evidence-based practices, she incorporates a therapeutic bond with clients to assist them on their healing journey. She strives to be present in each session with you and believes in empowering you to take control of your life.