Grace E. Petty MA, LPC

808 Wiggington Road, Suite. D,
Lynchburg, VA 24503

Phone: 434-616-4980
Fax: 434-616-4981

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About Central Virginia Counseling

Grace Petty founded Central Virginia Counseling PLLC to provide effective therapeutic counseling services to Lynchburg, Virginia and the surrounding areas. To learn more about specific services offered, please click here. To learn more about Grace and her associates, please read below.

Grace E. Petty, MA, LPC

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with over fifteen years of experience working with adults and adolescents in Private Practice, University, Residential Treatment, Public Health, and Public School settings. I am a native of Lynchburg, Va., but spent most of my adult life in western North Carolina and the wilds of west Texas before returning home to Virginia. I have two sons from whom I learn every day… I enjoy running — both road and trail — skiing, hiking, traveling, being at the ocean, and spending time with my family and friends.

I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Virginia, Master of Arts Degree in School Counseling from Appalachian State University, and completed the Licensed Professional Counselor Certification Program at Sul Ross State University in Texas.

The unexpected will happen and the only constant is change. To realize when we need help shows self awareness and to ask for help shows strength. I look forward to working with you.


AaronAaron Ruehle, ED. S.

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and have provided outpatient counseling to the residents of Lynchburg for the past 32 years.

My work with children, adolescents, adults and couples has been a culmination of a rich clinical background that includes acute, residential and day treatment psychiatric services where I have provided individual, group and family therapy.

I received my M.Ed. and Ed.S. degrees at the University of Virginia. My training guides my respect for the unique biological, social, psychological and familial aspects of each individual that I serve.

I am married and have three grown children. My family and I have enjoyed making Central Virginia our home since 1986.


BerkleyHolstonPhotoBerkley Holston, MA, LPC

I was born and raised in Lynchburg, VA, but have had the amazing opportunity to live and work all over the country including Washington, DC; New Orleans, LA; Miami, FL and Boulder, CO. Lynchburg is by far my favorite place, and I was happy to return home in 2005. I have one daughter and I enjoy cooking, gardening, reading and spending time with my family and friends.

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor. I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2003 with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Community Counseling. During my graduate studies I was called to help children, adolescents and their families move through many challenging problems. My varied experience includes work in the community mental health setting, at an inpatient adolescent hospital, and conducting forensic evaluations to assess juvenile competency to stand trial. I serve on the Board of Directors of CASA of Central Virginia (Court Appointed Special Advocates). I support children and their families in court during custody issues as well as in criminal cases. Many of these children have suffered from the trauma of sexual, physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or have witnessed community violence.

I work every day with children, adolescents and adults with serious mental health issues. I specialize in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solutions Focused Brief Therapy. My practice assists persons with Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Sexual Abuse, PTSD, Mood Disorders, Grief, Adjustment Disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Substance Abuse, Peer Relationships, Bullying and GLBTQ issues.

It takes courage to reach out for assistance in navigating the many challenges and transitions in life. My mission is to provide an emotionally safe and confidential place to work on healing and coping with these issues. I promise to provide that safe space and look forward to working with you.


StephenFinalStephen Oakley, LPC

More than a decade ago, I began my career working in the inpatient hospital setting. Since then, I have worked with clients and families of all ages in a variety of settings. I am a Nationally Certified Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor and I incorporate various modalities while working with clients, such as Cognitive Behavioral, Acceptance and Commitment, Solution-Focused, Existential, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapies.
My goal for all my clients is to empower them with the tools to live a rewarding and fulfilling life, no matter the challenges that arise. I prioritize a person-centered approach, recognizing that each person is an individual with unique goals and needs.
I hold a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. I have been married to my wife for 11 years and we have three small children, as well as a mini-dachshund, Tucker. As a family, we enjoy exploring nature, playing games, cooking, and Friday night movie nights.

Populations served: adolescents, pre-adolescents, and adults.

My specialty areas include

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood Disorders
  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Trauma, including PTSD
  • Substance Abuse
  • Anger Management
  • LGBTQ+ issues
  • Grief and Loss
  • Relationship Issues
  • Stress Management

I look forward to working with you!


NicoleFinalNicole Chalmers, MA, LPC

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 20 years' experience working in the Behavioral Health field. I hold a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Lynchburg College and a M.A. in Professional Counseling from Liberty University.

Throughout my career, I have served in many clinical capacities, including being a counselor and a Director of Intensive-In Home Services. I also have served as Program Manager for Intensive Services and Residential Manager for Horizon Behavioral Intermediate Care Facilities.

When I began my work as a Licensed Professional Counselor for Campbell County Schools in 2015, it was the perfect opportunity to address my deep desire to bridge the ever-growing gap between schools and mental health treatment. I continue to serve the County's students on a full-time basis.

I am certified as a Trauma Specialist, Telehealth Certified, and am a Nationally Certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer. Of all of my achievements, I consider my children and family my greatest accomplishment. My husband and I have been married for 19 years, and we have a set of 16-year-old twins. My son and daughter have taught me more about life than any course ever could.

I specialize in treatment of:

• Children ages 5 and up & Adolescents (Bullying, School/Home behavioral concerns)
• Adjustment Disorders
• Grief & Loss
• Life transitions
• Relationship issues
• Self-esteem
• Stress management
• Anxiety
• Trauma
• Sleep Concerns
• PTSD


Burks370Burks O. Harkins, M.Ed, LPC

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, with more than 15 years' experience working in various treatment settings, including a private psychiatric hospital, a residential setting, and most recently, in community mental health providing clinical assessments and outpatient therapy.

I received my BA from the University of Virginia and my MEd from Lynchburg College. I focus on the treatment of trauma, depression, anxiety, Bipolar disorders, ADHD, and substance abuse. Other areas of focus include grief and loss, parenting issues, and LGBTQ-affirmative therapy, utilizing such modalities as Eye Movement Densensitization and Reprocessing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. My goal is to provide a supportive environment where clients tap into their own strengths to focus on issues at their own pace.

I have been married 28 years, have two adult children and a grandchild. My hobbies include attempting to garden and chasing my grandson and rescue dogs.


Sarit Johnson
Sarit Johnson, MSW, LCSW

I believe in the power of therapy to help you be the best version of yourself. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and am committed to partnering with individuals and couples as they navigate the challenges of life. I received a BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Syracuse University and a Masters in Social Work and Graduate Certificate in Substance Use Counseling from East Carolina University.

I have 20 years of experience working in the human service field. I specialize in treating PTSD, depression, anxiety, mood disorders and substance use. I also assist with navigating life changes, grief and loss, parenting issues and relationship challenges. I utilize Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to help individuals heal from distressing life events. I have been trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy(ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) and Motivational Interviewing(MI) with a strong foundation in psychodynamic theory that guides me.

Most importantly, I partner with you to help you get what you want out of therapy and tailor treatment to your goals. My focus is on helping you uncover truths and insights that allow you to make the changes that lead to you living a life of acceptance, meaning and purpose.

In my free time I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, cooking and traveling. I am married and have three children.


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