Meet the Clinicians

District Clinical Counseling Services (DCCS) is committed to increasing student enrollment, retention, and successful completion by supporting students with their personal goals. The DCCS provides support and assistance to students during difficult or crisis situations. Licensed and license-eligible clinical counselors will assist students through personal challenges, transitions, and the stressful times throughout a student’s college experience.  

To schedule an appointment or referral for mental health clinical services please submit a District Clinical Counseling Services Referral / Request.

North

Janny Hernandez Paneque, M.A., MFT, LPC, BC-TMH

Name: Janny Hernandez- Paneque

Title: Mental Health Counselor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

License: Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas

Education:  Master of Counseling Psychology in Marital & Family Therapy

Approach to Counseling: Janny works to serve clients based on a holistic approach, combined with clinical experience, personal observations; and advocacy, while deciding on mental health goals together, and providing recommendations in line with those goals. Janny strives to create a safe, positive, & trusting space for all of her clients within a foundation that is free of judgment, great communication, compassion, and mutual respect.

Professional Interests: Janny knew early on in her career journey that she wanted to major in psychology, when she first became a volunteer at the Braille Institute for the visually & hearing impaired while in college. Volunteering, she had the opportunity to serve as a Spanish translator during counseling sessions, and also assist students of all ages with basic living skills. She witnessed first-hand how special and powerful the “counseling experience” can be in influencing not just a client’s mental health & overall wellness, but also the entire family, and community. Working as a T.A in Special Education also broadened her curiosity & interest to further explore, and learn about human growth/development, and the psychology of behavior. These experiences were eye opening to the possibilities within counseling, and her love in working with neurodivergent clients. Janny’s other areas of experience and focus also include: Young adult/adolescent issues, suicide prevention, depression/anxiety, stress reduction, time management, acculturation/assimilation issues, grief & loss, truama, LGBTQ + education, social/communiction issues, & parenting education.

Approach to Wellness: Janny believes that a healthy mind is always a work in progress for everyone. Janny strongly believes that striving for life balance, internal peace, and contentment through life’s ups and downs- is never too much to ask for. She believes that standing in “your truth” is neither a good or bad thing, it is simply a place of authenticity where self awareness, and self-advocacy collide, awakening us to new possibilities that we didn’t even imagine were  possible.  NOTE: Janny Hernandez Paneque- offers counseling remotely via video/or in person sessions at the Cypress Campus. She is also fluent in Spanish.

Mary Forrest-Wright, MA, LPC-S, LMFT-S, BC-TMH

Name: Mary Forrest-Wright

Title: Mental Health Counselor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

License: Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist-Supervisor, Licensed Professional Counselor – Supervisor

Education: Master of Arts in Counseling & Marriage & Family Therapy, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio

Approach to Counseling: Mary works to offer culturally affirming and client-centered individual and group counseling to students. She likes to work collaboratively with her clients and their feedback is valued. Her approach is trauma-informed therapy and her approach is grounded in an integration of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, and understanding the role of neurobiology in our emotional system. She likes to focus on helping her clients identify their strengths while challenging and changing any negative thought filters that might be holding them back in life. She is committed to anti-racist and anti-oppressive therapeutic practice.

Professional Interests: Mary’s professional interests include trauma, suicide prevention, conflict management, relationships, anxiety, and depression.

Approach to Wellness: Mary strongly believes in self-care. She believes that taking care of oneself is just as important as making time for work and other obligations.  Mary enjoys cycling, strength training, yoga, meditation, reading (a lot), watching sci-fi and mystery shows, cuddling her two dogs, and spending time with her spouse, family, and friends.

Mary offers counseling remotely via video and/or phone. She also offers in-person sessions at the Round Rock Campus (RRC).

Rebeka Villarreal, LCSW

Name: Rebeka Villarreal

Title: Clinical Counselor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

License: Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Education: Master of Science in Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin

Approach to Counseling: Rebeka facilitates self-discovery and growth through a healing-centered and culturally sensitive lens. She emphasizes mindfulness and draws insights from a neurobiological perspective, navigating a holistic journey that honors individual experiences while promoting well-being and resilience.

Professional Interests: Rebeka’s professional interests include guiding people through life transitions, trauma, anxiety, depression, and grief & loss. She considers herself an agent of change and uses her voice to challenge injustices and advocate for change.

Approach to Wellness: Beyond her professional endeavors, Rebeka finds joy in exploring new recipes, deepening her knowledge of counseling, reading about culture, cherishing quality time with her family & friends, travel, and indulging in endless cuddles with her dog.

Central

Susan M. Lorino, M.ED., LPC, BC-TMH

Name: Susan Lorino

Title: Mental Health Counselor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

License: Licensed Professional Counselor

Education: Master of Education in Educational Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin

Approach to Counseling: Susan’s counseling style is compassionate, non-judgmental, curious, and embraces humor when appropriate (yes, you can laugh in therapy!).  She believes that the quality of the relationship between the counselor and client is the foundation to successful psychotherapy.  She strives to nurture a relationship that is open, trusting, and safe, a relationship where the client feels comfortable to show up as their authentic and true self so that they can get the most out of the therapeutic experience.  Susan integrates use of the Neuroaffective Relational Model, Internal Family Systems Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, and Accelerated Resolution Therapy to help clients move toward their goals, healing, and growth.

Professional Interests: Susan’s professional interests include adult/childhood trauma, relationship difficulties, grief/loss, depression, anxiety, and self-esteem issues.  She particularly enjoys working with clients to help them heal from trauma by reconnecting with themselves and their heart’s desires, finding greater peace, and rebuilding their self-esteem and confidence.  

Approach to Wellness: Susan’s favorite ways to care for herself and recharge are to hike Austin’s awesome trails, immerse herself in natural beautiful places (think mountains, beaches, rivers, and more hiking trails!), spend time with her favorite people and furbaby, and to laugh lots and lots.

Susan offers counseling remotely via video and/or phone. She also offers in-person sessions at the Rio Grande Campus (RGC).

Kenneth Luna, M.S., LPC, NCC, BC-TMH

Name: Kenneth T. Luna

Title: Mental Health Counselor

Pronouns: he/him/his

License: Licensed Professional Counselor

Education: Masters of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Texas A&M University-Central Texas

Approach to Counseling: We will discuss hard things and may sometimes not be talked about outside our therapeutic relationship. For this reason, the forefront of my process of therapy begins with rapport. Without mutual trust and respect in one another, healing cannot start. I believe it is my duty to establish a relationship that is unbiased and safe for you. While counseling can be hard and serious, I hope that we can have fun times and laugh while we discuss different aspects of your lives.

Professional Interests: LGBTQIA2S+ Issues, Young Adult/Adolescent Issues, Suicide & Crisis Management- Depression/Anxiety, Stress Reduction- Relationship Issues- Sexual Assault/Violence, Grief & Loss, Time Management, Stress Reduction, Self-Esteem & Personal Growth.

Approach to Wellness: I believe that wellness and self-care is more than just a buzzwords. Wellness and Self-care is something that is so imperative to the longevity of our well-being. Taking care of ourselves can be done in small spurts during the day, like drinking enough water or having lunch. Taking care of ourselves does not always have to be grand gestures.

Kenneth offers counseling remotely via video and/or phone. He also offers in-person sessions at the Elgin Campus (EGN).

Lucia Ponce, MSSW, LCSW, BC-TMH

Name: Lucía Ponce

Title: Mental Health Counselor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

License: Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Education: Master of Science in Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin

Approach to Counseling: Lucía believes everyone should have a safe and healing place to work through life’s difficulties. She works from a systemic, collaborative, strengths-based, mind-bodytherapeutic approach to help clients explore the various unique contexts which impact their lives, connect with their strengths, and learn new ways to live in wholeness. She is committed to providing care from an anti-oppressive, trauma-informed, culturally and LGBTQIA+ affirming lens. Lucía desires to come along side others to assist them in healing from trauma, building self-worth, improving communication in their relationships and reaching their goals.

Professional Interests: Lucía’s professional interest include complex trauma, anxiety and depression, LGBTQIA issues, mental health stigma in BIPOC communities, and race-based stress and trauma. She especially enjoys learning about the role of the mind-body connection in resolving trauma.

Approach to Wellness: Lucía believes self-care is an important component of overall wellness and key in living a free and full life. Lucía enjoys reading, gardening, nature, family activities including taking long walks with her dogs.

Lucía offers counseling remotely via video and/or phone. She also offers in-person sessions at the Eastview Campus (EVC).

Kenyatta L. Johnson, LCSW

Name: Kenyatta L. Johnson

Title: Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Pronouns: (she/her/hers)

License: Licensed Masters Social Worker

Education: Baccalaureate of Social Work; Angelo State University Masters of Science in Social Work; Our Lady of the Lake University

Approach to counseling: My therapeutic approach integrates evidence-based practices with culturally sensitive lenses, ensuring personalized and effective support. My overall goal is to provide a space that feels safe, freeing, and allows for individualisms to take place.  Overall,  making services accessible to marginalized populations and undoing societal constructs that perpetuate racism and discriminatory practices has been an objective of mine.

 Professional Interests: My personal interests include complex trauma, identity and purpose exploration, understanding societal and familial constraints within the BIPOC community, Chrisitan counseling and guidance. I am also profoundly interested in working with school aged children and young adults as I formerly worked in the public educational realm.

Approach to wellness: My approach to wellness focuses on the mind, body, and soul as I strongly believe in the interconnectedness of these components. I also enjoy reading, high intensity strength training workouts, traveling, being a part of a social community, and being a mommy. A good balance of these things brings much fulfillment on my wellness journey.

South

Andrew Silver, M.A., LPC-S, LCDC, BC-TMH

Name: Andrew Silver

Title: Mental Health Counselor

Pronouns: he/his

License: Licensed Professional Counselor – Supervisor, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor

Education: Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, Texas State University

Approach to Counseling: Using heart centered mindfulness, generative states of awareness, and cognitive therapy, Andrew works collaboratively with individuals to develop a compassionate relationship with their own experience. This helps guide people on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance, alleviates suffering, and can heal relational disconnects.He works with people who are dealing with a wide range of issues including: relationship problems, depression/anxiety, addictions, recovery, trauma, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, boundary issues, compulsive behaviors, and mood instability.

Professional Interests: Andrew’s professional interests include complex trauma, suicide prevention, anxiety and depression, mental health stigma in BIPOC communities, and relationship stress.

Approach to Wellness: Andrew strongly believes in self-care. He believes that taking care of oneself is just as important as making time for work and other obligations. Andrew enjoys yoga, working out, reading, and being in community.

Andrew offers counseling remotely via video and/or phone. He also offers in-person sessions at the South Austin Campus (SAC).

Sandra S. Elizondo, M.A., LPC, BC-TMH

Name: Sandra Elizondo

Title: Mental Health Counselor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

License: Licensed Professional Counselor

Education: Masters of Arts in Counseling (St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Tx.)

Approach to Counseling: Sandra believes in aclient-centered approach in individual and group counseling with students. She also uses cognitive behavior therapy to help students in the therapy sessions.  Sandra also works at helping students explore mindfulness and to use that in helping them relax and use grounding techniques to help regulate emotions.  She works on establishing a safe environment by being culturally sensitive and open to different perspectives so that individuals feel they have permission to speak about difficult issues.  

Professional Interests: Sandra’s professional interests include self-care, grief and loss, relationship issues, academic concerns/issues, imposter syndrome, depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, stress management, LGBTQIA issues, mental health issues across the board, mental health awareness and breaking the stigma.

Approach to Wellness: Sandra’s approach to wellness has to do with focusing her self-care on spiritual, emotional/mental, and physical well-being activities.  Sandra enjoys spending time praying, playing with her dog, spending quality time with family/friends/community, working on arts and crafts, reading, cooking/baking and gardening. 

Sandra offers counseling remotely via video and also offers in person counseling sessions at the Hays campus.  Sandra is bilingual in English and Spanish and can see individuals who prefer to do counseling in Spanish.

Ashley Chowdhury, M.A., LPC

Name: Ashley Chowdhury

Title: Mental Health Counselor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

License: Licensed Professional Counselor

Education: Master of Arts in Counseling, Dallas Theological Seminary

Approach to Counseling: Ashley’s aim is to create a safe environment where students are able to learn tools to help achieve their goals. Ashley’s approach is rooted in the integration of mindfulness, self-compassion practices, developing healthy coping skills.

Professional Interests: Ashley’s professional interests includes mood disorders, anxiety, relationship stressors, self-esteem issues, and managing life transitions. Ashley particularly enjoys working with students around family of origin concerns, developing a healthy self-concept, and navigating adulthood.

Approach to Wellness: Ashley strongly believes that self-care and cultivating healthy relationships are foundational for wellness. Ashley enjoys reading, finding fun activities to do in Austin, spending time with her family, and being in community with others.

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  • Request a DCCS Professional for an Event

  • If you would like for one of our Mental Health Clinical Professionals to virtually attend an event, schedule a workshop, or present please submit a Clinical Counseling Services Event Request form. A confirmation of the event request will be emailed separately.

  • Suicide Prevention

  • 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

  • If you or someone you know is considering harm to self (suicide) or to others please call 911 immediately.

  • Hotlines

    • Austin / Travis County 24 hour Crisis & Suicide hotline: 512-472-HELP (4357)
    • The Williamson County 24 hour Crisis hotline: 1-800-841-1255
    • Bastrop County Family Crisis Center hotline: 1-888-311-7755
    • Hays County 24 Hour Crisis Hotline: 1-877-466-0660
    • National Suicide Prevention Hotline:1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    • SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text: TalkWithUs to 66746: 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Drug Free Schools & College Prevention Program

  • Austin Community College is dedicated to providing a safe, healthy environment for students, employees, and visitors. Learn More.

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  • If you are concerned for a student that might be in distress, refer to CARES.

  • Drug & Alcohol and Suicide Prevention Courses

  • This module will introduce you to some foundational and key information on Drug & Alcohol and Suicide Prevention concerns as well as some beginning steps to take for assistance and support.

  • Learn more

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