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Meet The Team

Allison M. Scarzini, LCSW-C, Board Approved Supervisor, Clinical Director & Owner
Niche: Brainspotting, Trauma, Addiction

Allison has been in the field of social work since 2008, and her background includes working with law enforcement, adolescent inpatient treatment, family therapy, crisis intervention, and substance abuse. She has certifications that include: Brainspotting, Embodied Recovery for Eating Disorders, Internal Family Systems (IFS), and Critical Incident & Stress Management (CISM) for first responders. She is also a certified addictions mental health professional (CAIMHP).  Allison founded Lotus Psychotherapy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, her practice has expanded to a group of talented and generous clinical therapists who are devoted to serving our community's mental health. Outside of work, she loves to travel and spend time with her husband, baby, and rescue pup. She enjoys mountain biking, rock climbing, yoga, and running.

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Leslie Rice, CSC-AD
Niche: Addiction 

As a Certified Supervised Counselor of Alcohol & Drugs, having earned her undergraduate in Psychology, and her graduate degree in Eastern Philosophy (MAEC - St. John’s College), Leslie's treatment approach is rooted in both schools. She believes passionately in addressing the whole person. To this end she uses a variety of therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Mind Body Therapy, and Zen Therapy. Leslie believes there are many paths towards healing and sustained wellness. She will work with you to find the path that is right for you.

Kaitlyn St. Peter, LCPC, Board Approved Supervisor & Clinical Supervisor
Niche: Anxiety, Crisis/Trauma, Depression, solution-focused and mindfulness-based treatment with an emphasis on emotional intelligence

As a clinician, Kaitlyn believes that the best healing journey begins with a strong therapeutic alliance. Connecting with your therapist is one of the most important aspects of quality therapeutic work. She truly enjoys engaging with her clients on a human level, having both casual and meaningful conversations. 

She earned a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University in 2016. Since then, she has worked in various treatment settings, including inpatient, residential, and outpatient levels of care. For the past 3 years, she has worked as the Clinical Supervisor for an adult residential mental health facility, centered on providing care for various mood, anxiety, and personality disorders. Within these roles, she has worked closely with leadership to manage admissions, engage in program development, and assist in overseeing patient care and clinical compliance.

David Richardson, CATC III 
Niche: Addiction, LGBTQ+, Codependency, Self-esteem, Energy Level Coaching

After getting sober 18 years ago, David dedicated himself to prioritizing my mental health. He welcomed different ways of learning and deepened his understanding of the world and the people around him. Through finding community in recovery rooms and building a chosen family, his desire to help others using creativity as a vehicle to connect and heal himself and others became a full-time job.   

David's educational journey took him to the California Institute of Integral Studies where his experiential learning was rooted in Psychology, Sociology, Activism, and Queer Studies. Eleven years later, he became a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor in California. He is pursuing a Coaching certification at iPEC to incorporate Life/Business coaching as another way of working with people to help them find clarity and become the best version of themselves.

In November of 2023, he returned to his hometown of Annapolis, MD, and has been integrating back into the area by reconnecting with family, nature, and friends. His curiosity about others and belief in humanity motivates his work with positivity and enthusiasm.

Wendie Malkinski, PMHNP
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner 

Wendie Malkinski is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. She has been a nurse for over 32 years. Over her career, she has worked in the fields of Labor and Delivery, Pediatrics, NICU, ICU, ER, and Psychiatry. She specialized in ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and PTSD. Wendie can also prescribe suboxone and administer vivitrol in the office. Additionally, she earned her Advanced Practice Degree at Walden University and is certified as a Trauma therapist and in EMDR. In her free time, Wendie enjoys spending time with her family, singing classic rock, and going to comedy shows.

Wendie is available virtually and in office at our Lotus Psych outpatient office in Cape St. Claire. She's in network with Medicaid, Carefirst, United Healthcare, Cigna and Medicare. She is currently accepting new patients ages 12 and up!

Therapy Dog in Training

Gus is a young golden retriever who loves coming to visit IOP programming at The Refuge whenever he can! He enjoys snacks, kisses, naps and lots of attention. He appears to gravitate towards clients that need it the most, usually clients that are feeling sad. Gus is our emotional support dog who will eventually be a certified therapy animal when he's older. 

Michelle Case, Director of IOP Treatment, LGPC,
Niche: Addiction, Trauma & Anxiety

Michelle brings over 9+ years of experience working in the addiction & mental health field. Michelle has experience working with adults of many ages with addiction, anxiety, depression, trauma, crisis intervention, case management, and enjoys working with clients to enhance coping skills.

Enjoying helping those out of their darkest times into the light, Michelle uses a humanistic and straightforward approach to build a trusting rapport with her clients as well as to help guide them along their journey. She understands that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and known to her colleagues to have an “abundance of patience and understanding, like a mom,” she is mindful to meet her clients where they are at in their journey to healing.

Melissa Thompson, LCSW-C
Niche: Adolescents

Melissa provides a supportive, nonjudgmental environment where clients can feel safe to share their story and know they are being seen and heard. Using a holistic, client-centered approach she helps folks find self-love, acceptance, and healthy ways to move through life transitions. Melissa uses a variety of clinical skills with children. She encourages parents of young children to attend sessions as she models behavioral techniques they can implement at home.

Melissa has a special place in her heart for all LGBTQIA teens as she believes only a skilled and seasoned can therapist truly understand the depth of their needs. She integrates a variety of DBT, ACT, CBT, attachment work, mindfulness, and trauma modalities.

Toyosi Alomaja, LCMFT 
Niche: Adolescents/young adults, emerging adult women & couples 

Toyosi is a couple and family therapist with a solution-focused approach to helping individuals and couples work through life’s difficulties. She is committed to being the bridge for others in helping them understand themselves and being able to voice those inner thoughts and feelings to others.  With almost 4 years as a couple and family therapist, she strongly believes the family and background you come from greatly shape both your thoughts on life as well as your behaviors and actions. 

She uses a collaborative approach with clients to develop skills, strategies and knowledge as they grow confidence in themselves and their ability to tackle whatever challenge they are currently facing.  She enjoys working with emerging adults looking to navigate their transition into adulthood and women of color who desire a place to work through race-related issues and grow in their empowerment and confidence in themselves.

Her areas of expertise include working with adolescent, young adult women, and couples. She has her degree from University of Maryland and utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  

Melissa Shumacher

As a student in Marriage and Family Therapy at Northwestern University, Melissa specializes in seeing couples and families and practices Integrative Systemic Therapy (IST). With this framework, she looks at her clients in the context of their relationships, community, and society. She strays away from pathologizing individuals and instead look at what is going on in the broader system. She is action-oriented and focused on the present, working with you to identify problems, suggest alternative solutions, and lift constraints or barriers to healing. She believes that problems can be solved, and therapy can come to a graceful end.


With a decade of work in the corporate world and a Master's in Business Administration from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, she deeply understands the struggle of balancing a 9-5 with everything else that needs to get done, all while striving to live a fulfilling life.  She also has deep experience in group facilitation and continues to teach and coach MBA students on developing skills in interpersonal dynamics.


Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her partner and family, reading light fiction, sitting on my back porch with a cup of tea, listening to true crime podcasts, and cooking easy and healthy meals.

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Chelsea Tarleton, LCSW
Niche: CBT, Positive Psychology and Mindfulness for Individuals and Couples

Chelsea is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Clinical supervisor. She has been practicing therapy for 8 years. She has extensive experience in treating anxiety, depressive disorders, substance use disorders and trauma.

Her clinical background working in various settings including crisis center, emergency department, school-based therapy services, geriatric therapeutic services, couples therapy and individual therapy of all ages!

She believes everyone is stronger than what they think. Chelsea utilizes a strength-based approach to empower her clients in developing coping skills to use in those times of adversity. "Meeting the client where they are," is a pillar of her practice meaning each client should be seen as a whole person and finding a treatment modality to best meet their needs. Her goal is to build on the natural strengths and help a person become the best version of themselves.

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