Gaye B. Vance, Ph.D.

Doctor Vance is a licensed clinical psychologist and works with adults, adolescents and children. Dr. Vance has over 25 years of experience working with individuals and families. She graduated with honors from Florida Southern College, obtaining a degree in Psychology. Dr. Vance later earned her doctorate at UAB and completed her internship at the Children's Hospital of Michigan. She practiced her early years as a member of a group practice and founded Shelby Psychological Services in Pelham in 1997. Dr. Vance is a frequent speaker for schools and other organizations, as well as teaching classes at UAB and The University of Phoenix.  

Children's Hospital of Michigan - Internship
University of Alabama at Birmingham - awarded Doctor of Philosophy
Florida Southern College - awarded Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Ellen Spence, Ph.D.

Dr. Spence is a licensed clinical psychologist who works primarily with families of children and adolescents.  She has a specialization in developmental neuropsychology and performs assessments of children who have developmental delays, learning disabilities, and/or neurological illnesses.  She emphasizes the importance of understanding the child's strengths and weaknesses, and developing an effective intervention or educational plan.  Dr. Spence also enjoys working with children and families in therapy sessions to address emotional and behavioral issues.  Dr. Spence completed her internship in Child Psychology and Neuropsychology at UAB, and earned a doctorate in Clinical and Health Psychology from the University of Florida in 1992.  She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Developmental Neuropsychology at Georgia State University in 1994.  Dr. Spence was in private practice in the Birmingham area for twelve years before joining Shelby Psychological Services in January, 2009.  

Georgia State University - Post-doctoral Fellowship in Developmental Neuropsychology
University of Alabama at Birmingham - Internship
University of Florida - awarded Ph.D.
California State University at Northridge, Masters of Arts
Ohio State University, Bachelor of Arts

Leska Meeler, LPC

Leska has been practicing as a Licensed Professional Counselor since 1999, starting in Texas and transferring her license in 2003 to Alabama.  She is also credentialed to supervise other clinicians working towards obtaining their licensure  She has specialized training to do EMDR therapy (Pt. 1 & 2). 

The majority of her experience is working with youth and adults that have experienced trauma and loss, marriage and family/relationship counseling, pre-marital counseling, parenting issues, anxiety, spiritual issues and life transitions.   She also has years of experience supervising and consulting other counselors, as well as, being a consultant for workplace transitions and management. 

Leska’s theoretical orientation is solution-focused brief therapy, which builds off of the strengths and assets available within an individual in order to tap into creating change in the areas of their lives that have become stagnant, or problematic.  This is a goal-oriented therapy model that requires openness to the process and will entail an investment of time from the client to ‘experiment’ with practicing new ways of being outside of the therapy sessions.  Leska takes a supportive role as the clients push outside of their comfort zones, but her goal is to be a catalyst to empower clients to embrace the life they want for themselves. Therapy will not always ‘”feel comfortable.” Changing old habits, or thought patterns, can be a difficult process, but the abundant life we were created to have is worth the effort.


Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, 1998.
Master of Arts in Religious Education, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, 1998.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Religion, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama, 1995.


Joanna Milkay, LPC-S, NCC


Joanna Milkay graduated from the University of Montevallo in 2003 with a Master’s Degree in Education, focusing on Marriage and Family Counseling. She has been counseling children, adolescents, and adults since 2002. Initially, she worked in treatment and residential centers working with addictions and abuse. After her practicum and internship at The Bessemer Cut-Off Child Advocacy Center dba The Clay House, she was given an opportunity to continue her work in advocating for children that were victims of physical and sexual abuse. She became their Clinical Director and provide services in supervision, counseling, forensic interviews, court testimony, and collaboration with agencies in advocating for victims. During her 11 years of employment with the Clay House, she assisted in forensic interview training with The National Child Advocacy Center in Huntsville, AL. Working with the Quality Assurance Committee for The Department of Human Resources; she assisted in review and support of services to children and their family.

She started her private practice in 2015 and has focused on treating trauma, anxiety, stress, depression, and marriage and family issues. She is Level 1 and Level 2 trained in the use of EMDR. She trained in a one-year learning collaborative to treat trauma using Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Her approach with counseling is an integration of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused, Insight-Oriented and Evidenced-Based approaches to target trauma.

She is a member of Chi Sigma Iota, Alabama Counseling Association, and American Counseling Association.  Maintaining connections with the University of Montevallo, she is on the Advisory Council for the Counseling Department. She provides supervision of Associate Licensed Counselors that are working toward licensure. Personally, she is married and has one daughter. Joanna enjoys painting, sewing, reading, and time with friends and family. Her happy places are attending musicals and embracing the love of animals, especially her dogs.


Masters in Education in Counseling, University of Montevallo

Emily Tucker, LPC


Emily Tucker is a  Licensed Professional and Nationally Certified counselor in private practice. Ms. Tucker, a graduate of the University of Montevallo (2001) Currently resides in Shelby County AL. Emily began her private practice in 2010. Her practice moved into a full time venture in 2012.  Prior to opening her practice, Emily worked at a behavioral health treatment center, a community crisis center, and a community mental health center.  The professional experience obtained at these agencies and in her practice have allowed Emily to develop a highly intuitive and empathetic approach. Clients frequently present seeking support with mood disorders such as depression and bi-polar disorder, relationship issues, anxiety, trauma recovery, inner child healing, life adjustment support, grief and healing, behavior change and much more.


An experienced therapist, Emily finds working with mental health and wellness promotion especially meaningful. Her approach is “client -focused” in most situations, meaning the client can direct the therapy to focus in areas and exploring resources most helpful to each unique client.  Support, reflection, and building and modeling a healthy therapeutic relationship are seen as essential qualities in every session.  Emily works from the client centered model, but also utilizes other skills and techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), journaling, homework if requested by the client, reading from outside sources, Gottman method for couples, hypnotherapy when requested, and Lifespan Integration in trauma recovery when indicated.


Clients are encouraged to express what is most (and least) helpful in their personal process, allowing each therapy session to evolve in the most productive manner for each individual client. Emily believes that resources within each individual can be recognized and utilized in the therapy. Emily feels that within us all, we have connection to great hope and healing, sometimes we may simply need someone to walk with us, as we discover our own potential, strength and possibility.


Outside of her practice, Emily enjoys activities with her family, such as hiking, biking, and traveling. She also volunteers time with local animal rescue groups and also is pursuing her interest in health promotion, wellness, and healing philosophies.


Masters in Education in Counseling, University of Montevallo

Bachelor of Science in Psychology , University of Alabama at Birmingham






1940 Hwy 33 Unit A
Pelham, Alabama 35124

205-664-9928 (fax)

Mon - Fri: 8:30 am - 5 pm CST
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed



“It's up to you today to start making healthy choices. Not choices that are just healthy for your body, but healthy for your mind.”

"Mental health is not a destination but a process. It's about how you drive, not where you're going. The therapist is like a driving instuctor, not a chauffeur.”


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