Our Interns

Kathy Pendlay is a graduate student in Liberty University's Clinical Mental Health program. She received a Bachelor’s in Human Services from Wingate University and has worked on an operations support team at Mecklenburg Emergency Services Agency. For over ten years, Kathy has volunteered with the American Red Cross in the areas of Disaster Emergency Response and Services to Armed Forces. Kathy's aim is to provide trauma therapy for military and first responders, their families, and diverse populations. She would also like to provide mental health services during natural disasters.

Christie Benton is a Clinical Mental Health graduate intern. With twenty-five years’ experience as a parent to four biological children as well as therapeutic foster parent, Christie approaches counseling from a client-centered approach, incorporating techniques from Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other trauma-informed techniques when appropriate. Christie has experience working with women and children who have experienced trauma, depression and anxiety. Christie enjoys working with young children and is interested in utilizing play therapy techniques when possible.

Kayla Kirkland is a graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at UNC Charlotte. She received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from North Greenville University, and has experience working in both college counseling centers and crisis intervention settings. Kayla practices counseling from an existential-humanistic framework and is passionate about helping clients who struggle with suicidality, self-harm, depression, and anxiety.


Ashley Rifenburg is an intern in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at UNC Charlotte. She graduated from High Point University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Nonprofit Management and Leadership and a minor in Human Relations. Ashley primarily approaches counseling from an existential-humanistic framework but believes each client has unique counseling needs. Ashley has special interest in Psycho-oncology, chronic pain and illness, caregiver counseling, and palliative care. She looks forward to working with you!


Megan Draughn is a graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at UNC Charlotte. She will graduate in May of 2021 and is pursuing the LCMHC-A licensure. Megan approaches counseling from a cognitive behavioral, client-centered perspective, while also incorporating non-traditional interventions such as equine therapy. Megan is interested in working with adolescents and adults who are seeking treatment for anxiety, depression, grief, coping skills, and relational problems. She is additionally pursuing further training in working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and complex trauma.

Jennifer Hinson is a MSW intern at Boise State University. She has 15 years of experience in social work, primarily in adult services. Jennifer loves incorporating animals into the treatment process and believes that they have the ability to help humans heal from trauma.




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