Who We Are
ARI was founded by Jennifer Kuck and Marilyn Witbeck in 2014. We are a cohesive team of marriage and family therapists, social workers, and professional counselors who provide a safe place for healing for a diverse population. Clinical practitioners working at the Atlanta Relationship Institute are regulated and monitored by the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists. At the Institute, therapists are trained in systems therapy, marriage and family therapy, play therapy, adolescents, trauma, and addiction and betrayal trauma recovery.
The mission of the Atlanta Relationship Institute is to promote healthy relational systems and increased fulfillment in family, business, and personal life. We advocate for increased love, connection, and attunement through mutually beneficial relationships, personal growth and healing.
Our core purpose is to help people think and act more relationally. Do you consider yourself to be relational? Have you developed emotional intelligence? Do you have the skill set to develop and maintain meaningful, fulfilling relationships?
ARI’s core values are respect, ownership, trust, boundaries, and vision
- Full respect living (for self and others)
- Take ownership and be accountable
- Trust in the healing process
- Hold healthy boundaries, while honoring others
- Envision yourself already where you want to be
Co-Owner / Bilingual Therapist Ed.S., LMFT, LPC, CSAT, CPCS, AAMFT Approved Supervisor
Jenni takes a compassionate, solution- focused approach in working with all ages to provide individual, couples, and family therapy. She specializes in healing relationship struggles such as communication and conflict resolution, strengthening connection, working to resolve sexual and behavioral addictions, and support for affair recovery and betrayal trauma. Jenni Helps children communicate through play therapy using adventure, art, and sand tray to heal from trauma, abuse/neglect, loss, and divorce. She coaches parents to strengthen the parent/child interaction. Jenni is Co-Owner of the institute and provides supervision to therapists working towards licensure. She also provides services in Spanish.
Credentials: Master’s & Specialist Degrees, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor, AAMFT Approved Supervisor, & Certified Trauma Specialist. Credentials conferred by the International Institute for Trauma & Addiction Professionals (IITAP) include Certified Multiple Addiction Therapist, Sexual Addiction Specialist, and Financial Disorders Specialist.
Co-Owner / Therapist MS, LMFT, LPC, CSAT, CPCS, AAMFT Approved Supervisor
Marilyn uses a positive, strength-based approach to work with individuals, couples, and families from the teenage years through adulthood. She inspires hope and healing by guiding clients through recovery from abuse and trauma. She works with adolescents to help them better function in their social, school, and family systems. She treats couples in crisis, and specializes in sex addiction and betrayal trauma recovery. Marilyn uses Discernment Counseling to help couples on the brink of divorce find clarity and confidence in choosing a path forward. She is a member of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology and uses energy psychology modalities including EMDR, Emotional Freedom Technique, and Healing Touch. As Co-Owner of the Institute, Marilyn provides supervision to therapists who are working towards their licensure.
Credentials: Master’s Degree, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor, AAMFT Approved Supervisor, & Trauma Specialist. Credentials conferred by the International Institute for Trauma & Addiction Professionals (IITAP) include Certified Multiple Addiction Therapist, Sexual Addiction Specialist, and Financial Disorders Specialist.
Dr. Melinda Paige
Therapist / Ph.D., LPC, CPCS, NCC
Melinda’s person-centered approach to trauma recovery honors the strength and resiliency of survivors. She views her clients as experts of their unique experiences and has confidence in their ability to recover from trauma & stress-related conditions. She uses approaches including EMDR and clinical hypnosis, ensuring that clients remain present and grounded throughout the therapeutic session. Traumatic memory is reprocessed and stored in the “done file.” Negative thoughts, behaviors, and/or emotions are eliminated since they are no longer needed for survival. What remains is an increased capacity for presence and post-traumatic growth. Melinda is the founder of the Trauma Competency Institute, and an Assistant Professor at Argosy University. She has published and presented nationally on trauma competency and protective factors in the prevention of secondary trauma and self-injury.
Credentials: Doctoral & Specialist Degrees, Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor, National Certified Counselor. Recipient of Chi Sigma Iota International Outstanding Practitioner Award (2014), American Counseling Association Professional Development Award (2018), & Chi Sigma Iota International Outstanding Faculty Award (2018).
Tracey Van Dyke
Therapist / MA, LPC, NCC
Tracey is dedicated to helping clients become empowered for personal growth and healing. She provides counseling to individuals, couples and families from teenage years to adulthood using a goal oriented approach. She assists clients working through issues related to anxiety, depression, sexual abuse, grief and trauma, stage of life transitions, and relational issues. Tracey provides customized anger management programs for individuals and groups.
Credentials: Master’s Degree, Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Certified Anger Management Specialist
Therapist / MSW, LCSW
Emily brings a deep passion and diverse knowledge to help clients access resources for health, healing, and rejuvenation. She provides individual, marriage and family counseling, as well as play therapy for children and adolescents. Emily specializes in guiding clients through healing from trauma and managing mood & eating disorders. She utilizes a number of strength-based methods and skills based approaches in her work including CBT, ACT, DBT, and mindfulness.
Credentials: Master’s Degree, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Trilingual Therapist / M.Ed., APC, NCC
Jermaine is passionate about helping his clients break through barriers, finding creative ways to overcome life’s difficult challenges. He provides counseling services to clients of all ages using a Cognitive-Behavioral approach. His areas of interest include depression, addiction, couples therapy, and family therapy. He provides counseling services in the evenings and speaks three languages: English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Jermaine works under the supervision of Jenni Kuck.
Credentials: Master’s Degree in Higher Education, Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling, Associate Professional Counselor, National Certified Counsellor.
Bilingual Family Therapist / MSW
Josefina is gifted at empowering her clients by pulling from their strengths. Her approach to therapy is positive and goal oriented, developing small tangible tasks towards desired outcomes. Josefina works with couples, families, and individuals from the age of 12 and up, specializing in the treatment of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, grief/bereavement, trauma, and relational issues. She has three years of social work experience in the public school system. With over 13 years of case management / bereavement counseling experience, and 15 years of social work experience related to geriatric and end-of-life care, Josefina understands the development of progressive disease and the impact for individuals and families. She provides services in English and Spanish. Josefina is under the supervision of Marilyn Witbeck.
Credentials: Master’s Degree, Licensed Master of Social Work
Megan has a passion for strengthening marriages and helping children heal. She uses a holistic approach to help clients attune to others, form secure relationships, and regulate emotions. Megan has eight years of experience as an elementary school teacher. She is proficient with at-risk behavioral interventions, character development, and working with gifted children. Previous advocacy experience in Atlanta and Washington D.C. includes grant writing and working with juvenile justice systems to promote healthy youth development and influence educational policy. Megan’s clinical focus includes play therapy for children, family conflict and divorce recovery, trauma and attachment issues, anxiety and depression, and parenting. Megan works under the supervision of Jenni Kuck/Marilyn Witbeck.
Credentials: Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 1 & 2, Completing Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling with a certificate in play therapy at Georgia State University
Sierra believes her clients have great capacity for self-actualization and taps into this inner wisdom by exploring higher planes of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual awareness. She enjoys using experiential and creative techniques based on her belief that the quest for healing should never be boring. Sierra has worked in a residential mental health facility with children, adolescents, and young adults where she gained experience with mindfulness, DBT, trauma work and crisis management. Life can be unbearably overwhelming at times. Through nurturing the therapeutic relationship, Sierra supports her clients in alleviating stress and anxiety to lead a more enriching and balanced life of holistic wellness. Sierra works under the supervision of Jenni Kuck/Marilyn Witbeck.
Credentials: ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) Certified, Completing Master’s in Clinical Mental Health at Georgia State University
Cristina Lazaro Garcia
Bilingual Counseling Intern
Cristina uses positive psychology and Adlerian theory, a motivational approach that focuses on increasing an individual’s sense of belonging and connectedness with others. She specializes in addressing anxiety, depression, and high sensitivities using mindfulness-based and adult play interventions, and does trauma work related to abuse recovery. She is passionate about helping clients and families who are faced with immigration issues or potential separation. She provides services for individuals, couples, and families in English and Spanish, and advocates for the Latino community. She works under the supervision of Jenni Kuck/Marilyn Witbeck.
Credentials: Completing Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling at Georgia State University
Wendy joined our staff in June of 2017. She enjoys working with clients to provide assistance in scheduling, processing payments, and providing payment receipts. Plus many other behind the scenes things that make ARI pleasant and efficient! Wendy has several years of experience as a property and office manager, and previously served as a Parent Advisor for the State of Georgia’s Educational Services.
Credentials: Master’s Degree in Education