Our Staff

Reverend Marty Phillips, LPC (Executive Director)


Education: Manchester College (BS), Christian Theological Seminary (MA) 

Specialties:  Marriage and Family, Children, Anxiety, Grief, Depression, Anger Management 

Office Locations: Great Bridge United Methodist, Great Bridge Presbyterian and Second Presbyterian Church of Norfolk 

Availability: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays  

Dr. Kim Nielsen


Education: Rutgers University (BA), New Brunswick Theological Seminary (M. Div) and New York Theological Seminary (D. Min) 

Certifications:  Fellow of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Full  Supervisor in the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education and  Certified Chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains

Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Grief, PTSD, Veterans and Military Issues

Office Locations: Second Presbyterian of Norfolk and Eastern Shore Chapel Virginia Beach

Availability: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings 

Mrs. Sarah Massie, LPC


Education: Regent University (MA) 

Specialties:  ADHD, Marriage and Family, Children, Anxiety, Grief, Depression, and EMDR 

Office Location: Second Presbyterian Church of Norfolk 

Availability: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 

Mrs. Patricia Hoeft, LMFT


Education: Wayne  State University (BS in Nursing), St. Xavier University (MS in  Pyschiatric Nursing), University of Michigan (MSW, specializing in  Marriage and Family Therapy), Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic (Post  Masters Training in Family Therapy) 

Specialties: Couples and Family Therapy, Blended Family Issues, Grief and Loss, Life Transitions, Anxiety, Depression, Chronic Illness

Office Location: Great Bridge United Methodist Church 

Availability:  Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays 

Ms. Deborah Sabatino


Education: Regent University (MA) 

Specialties:  Anxiety, Grief, Depression, Codependency Issues, and Trauma 

Office Locations: Second Presbyterian Church of Norfolk and 

St. Andrew's United Methodist Church (Virginia Beach)

Availability: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays 

Reverend Dr. Robert Gunn


Education:  Columbia College (A.B.), Andover Newton Theological School (D.Min.), Union Theological Seminary, N.Y.  (B.D., S.T.M., Ph.D.) 

Specialties:  Life Transitions, Couples and Family Therapy, Grief and Loss, Anxiety, Depression,  Sexual Identity and Orientation

Office Location: St. Andrew's United Methodist Church (Virginia Beach)

Availability: Wednesdays

Mrs. Autumn Leggett


Education- BSW Radford University, Masters of Biblical Counseling Southeastern Theological Seminary

Specialties- Women, Parenting, Anxiety, Life Transitions 

Availability - Thursday mornings, Calvary Baptist Church



Education: Culver-Stockton  College (BA), Lexington Theological Seminary (D.Min.), Old Dominion  University and Regent University (counseling coursework) 

Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Life Transitions and Marriage/Couples Therapy 

Office Locations: St. Aidan's Episcopal - Virginia Beach 

Availability: Wednesdays and Thursdays

Community Activities: Member of the YMCA Board, Columnist for "The Shopper" periodical

Reverend Linda D.T. Clark, LCSW


Education: Virginia Union University (BA), Norfolk State University (MSW), Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology (D.Min) (M.Div) 

Specialties: Anxiety, Depression, Grief, and Marriage/Couples Therapy 

Office Locations: Oak Grove United Methodist (Chesapeake) and New Calvary Baptist (Norfolk) 

Availability: Tuesdays and Thursdays 

Ms. Kay Dezern


Education: Milligan College (BS), Old Dominion University (MA) and Roanoke Bible College (coursework) 

Specialties:  Grief, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma and Crisis Intervention 

Office Locations: Oak Grove United Methodist, St. Andrew Presbyterian in Suffolk, First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, and Second Presbyterian Church of Norfolk

Availability: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays

Community Activities: Grief Support Groups with Lutheran Family Services 

Dr. Bill Hedrick


Education: Marshall University (BA), Union Theological Seminary (MA and D. Min) 

Specialties: Marriage and Family, Anxiety, Depression, Life Transitions 

Office Location: First Presbyterian of Virginia Beach 

Availability: Tuesdays and Wednesday

Reverend Dr. Marcus Small


Education:  Virginia Union University (BA)

Masters of Divinity, School of Theology at Virginia Union (M.Div)

Norfolk State University  MSW

Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (D. Min) 

Specialties: Pre-Marriage Seminar.  

His primary counseling  focus is at his local church where he is the Senior Pastor of New  Calvary Baptist in Norfolk.


Is Pastoral Counseling only for pastors or church members?


No. Pastoral counseling only describes the style of  counseling we do. Pastoral Counselors are trained mental health  professionals that also incorporate a spiritual element into their  therapy process. However, you do not have to be a church member to use  our services. Several of our clients are referred by local pastors and  congregations but many of our clients find us on the internet, in the  phone book or by talking to someone else we have helped. We see people  from various religious and non-religious backgrounds.   

Where are the counseling sessions held?


Several congregations in the Hampton Roads community  have generously donated office space to TPCS to facilitate our  counseling sessions. Please click here  for a complete list. When a potential client calls the office, our  staff attempts to match the client with the most convenient location  possible.  The rooms are private and are reserved specifically for TPCS  use during our schedule times.   

How does the financial part work? Can I use my health insurance?


There are two financial options. We accept most health  insurances as well as self pay agreements. Most health insurances  include a mental health benefit. If you have any questions about what is  covered and what your copay might be, we encourage you to call your  insurance company and ask their customer service for more  information. Must insurance companies will cover individual and family  sessions. If you do not have insurance or you choose not to use your  insurance, our counselors also offer a self pay option. We work on a  "sliding scale" which means we try to match the counseling fee to your  income and make counseling as affordable as possible. Please consult our  Payments and Forms page for more information.   

What do I expect at the first session?


At the beginning of the session your counselor will  ask you to complete a minimal amount of paperwork. We want to spend as  much time as possible getting to know you and educating you about the  counseling process. The first session lasts about an hour and consists  of collecting background information about you and your counseling  goals. TPCS does not set a limit on number of sessions. You are treated  as an individual case and we customize a treatment plan according to  your needs.    

What kinds of counseling happen at TPCS?


  • Grief                         
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • PTSD 
  • Couples & Marriage 
  • Pre-marriage 
  • Substance Abuse & Addictions 
  • Parenting and Children 
  • Caregiving and Elder Care 
  • Life Transitions 
  • Anger Managerment 
  • Family Counseling 
  • Mood Disorders 
  • Spritual Guidance 
  • Clergy Support 
  • EAP 

What does marriage and family counseling look like?


You are welcome to bring your spouse and/or other  family members to a counseling session if the issues you are concerned  about involve them. In fact, we encourage couples seeking marriage  couples to come together to at least the first session. Several of our  counselors are skilled in marriage communication and conflict. We also  have experience in various family situations and topics.Please let our  office staff know what kinds of issues you are dealing with and we will  be happy to match you up with a counselor best suited for your  situation.   

How do I learn more about the different counselors on staff?

  Please visit our Staff page  for detailed information about each staff member.  Also,our bimonthly  newsletter features a counselor each issue where more information can be  found regarding specialties and expertise. We have both male and female  counselors as well as therapists with different denominational  backgrounds (Presbyterian, Episcopal, Disciples of Christ, just to name a  few).    

Is my story confidential?

  TPCS is held to the same standard that other medical  professionals are held to regarding confidentiality.  We provide all our  clients with information about the HIPAA laws protecting their privacy.  You may view a copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices on our Forms page.