Meet our Counselors

Michelle Howard, M.A. - Resident in Counseling

Michelle Howard is a License Eligible Counselor with Rawles Psychological Services. Dr. Rawles serves as her clinical supervisor. Ms. Howard received her Master of Arts, in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from South University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a CACREP accredited program. 


Ms. Howard conducts individual and group therapy with youth and adults at Rawles Psychological Services. Ms. Howard completed her Master’s internship at Christian Psychotherapy. During this internship, Ms. Howard provided individual and group therapy to children, adolescents, and adults, presenting with a variety of mental health issues such as: attention-deficit hyperactivity, depression, bipolar, dysthymic, anxiety, cognitive, schizoaffective, and borderline personality. 


Prior to pursuing a Master’s degree, Ms. Howard worked many years in financial departments of corporate settings.

image8

Ms. Cynthia "Cathy" Clay, M.A., NCC

Cynthia Clay is a Licensed Professional Counselor with Rawles & Associates, PLC. Cynthia has obtained her certification as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) the national licensing credential for the counseling industry. She also serves as the Practice Administrator. 


Cynthia received her bachelor’s degree from Arcadia University, and her Master of Arts, in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from South University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a CACREP accredited program. During her time at Arcadia University, Cynthia lived and studied abroad in Sicily, completing her thesis on the immigration challenges facing the nation of Italy and the EU, with an emphasis on unaccompanied minors. 


This experience provided Cynthia with a global, multicultural perspective, which continues to inform her work as a counselor. Cynthia conducts individual and group therapy with youth and adults at Rawles & Associates, PLC. She is also the developer of the Boys to Men, Empowerment Group for young men ages 7-17. 


Prior to pursuing a Master’s degree in counseling, Cynthia worked many years in corporate America for one of the major insurance companies in the United States. This experience provided Cynthia with the leadership and management skills that she continues to utilize in her counseling career. 


Cynthia is a strong advocate for children and from 2014-2017, she served as a Court Advocate Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer for Virginia Beach.

image9

Dr. Elissa Jarvis, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Elissa Jarvis is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with Rawles & Associates, PLC.  


She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University, and she received her Master of Arts and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology from Regent University. Dr. Jarvis completed her dissertation on the practice of cultural humility in therapy, and she is passionate about providing culturally sensitive services to individuals who often fall through the cracks of mental health care. 


Dr. Jarvis takes an interpersonal approach to treatment, with a special focus on individualized care that is based on research. She also offers trauma-informed and spiritually-integrated services.

Dr. Jarvis has worked in a variety of mental health settings, including a correctional facility, a group practice, and a Christian-based outpatient clinic. She also completed an APA-accredited internship at the Coatesville VA Medical Center. 


Dr. Jarvis is especially interested in serving adults and adolescents with depression, anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, and substance use. She has experience with providing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure (PE), Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R), and Motivational Interviewing (MI).


In addition to offering psychotherapy services, Dr. Jarvis conducts psychological evaluations to clarify diagnoses, determine appropriate recommendations, and provide education about mental health recovery.

Dr. Elissa Jaris, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Elissa Jaris, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Sharon Gardner, EdS, M.S. - Educational Consultant

Ms. Gardner is the Education Consultant with Rawles Psychological Services. Ms. Gardner has over 30 years of experience in special education. 


Ms. Gardner has held a variety of positions in special education departments of Norfolk and Virginia Beach school systems including Teacher of the Emotionally Disabled, Itinerant Teacher of the Emotionally Disabled Autistic Student, Building Program Specialist, Instructional Teacher Specialist, and Special Education Coordinator. 


Ms. Gardner is presently enrolled in the Special Education, doctoral program at Regent University.

image10

Michael Johnson,  M.A.  Licensed Professional Counselor

“…in order to be a good therapist, you need to be a good listener.” (Michael Johnson)

Mr. Michael Johnson is a Licensed Professional Counselor with Rawles Psychological Services.  


A native of Washington, DC, Mr. Johnson served 22 years in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Norfolk State University and a Master of Arts in Counseling at Regent University.  Mr. Johnson is happily married to his wife of 36 years and they have 3 children.


Mr. Johnson has over eight years of counseling experience as an intensive in-home counselor and mental health skill builder working with adults with severe mental health diagnosis.  He has served as a parenting coach for 3 years and over five years delivering church-based pre-marital counseling through his church.  Mr. Johnson served as Director of the Healing for the Soul Counseling ministry, where he developed the ministry from the ground up.


Mr. Johnson is an ordained minister and serves as an Associate Minister at Tabernacle Worship Center in Virginia Beach. He has been in ministry since 1984, serving in the Baptist church. 


He has served as Youth Pastor for eight years and Lead Teacher for Sunday School. He assists his pastor in teaching our ministers-in-training in classes designed to prepare them to be ministers of the gospel.

image11