Meet The Team
Sarai Lajas - MS, LPC, EMDR Trauma Therapy Intensives and Counseling Services
Sarai earned her Master of Science in Counseling Psychology and is a licensed counselor in Texas. Sarai has worked as a professional counselor with trauma counseling organizations and in the University setting. She is a specialist in trauma recovery and relational repair therapy, and she is fluent in Spanish and English and is Gottman Level 1 and EMDR trained. Sarai served honorably for 12 years in the United States Army, performing crisis intervention and counseling and conducting numerous workshops and retreats worldwide. Journey4ward is excited to have Saria counseling and serving our victims. Journey4ward’s victims that she has counseled have all expressed that she is a wonderful counselor, and she has helped them to process the stages of grief and helped them immensely in their recoveries.
Michelle McQueen- Licensed Professional Counselor, NCC, EMDR, Play Therapy
Michelle McQueen has two Master Level degrees, Master of Arts in International Relations, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is a Board-Certified Life Coach and Licensed Professional Counselor. Michelle utilizes her training in EMDR, Emotion-focused therapy, Sand play, and Play Therapy to bring healing to individuals.
My father joined the military and moved to Germany at the age of 9 which brought a better understanding of trauma in the home and in the community. Germany became my home until the age of 24. Most of my acquaintances were military associates. Through these experiences, I developed an understanding of silent sufferers. My first Masters was in International Relations in hopes of helping Third World Countries, but my journey led me to understand that healing begins with the heart, where I continued to get my second Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
My passion started with working with children in 2013 to bring healing and infiltrate a child’s worldview from harm to love and healing. Today I am a trained Play Therapist working with children starting at age 6 and Sand tray therapy for both adults and children to develop self-awareness of their inner child and heart with figures and images. My career led me to work with the military population in 2016 because I was immersed in the military culture in Germany. In graduate school, I volunteered to learn EMDR in 2014 to help those with post-traumatic stress and those who are silently suffering. Outside work, I love singing, dancing, and playing piano. My journey has taken me to four continents and now in Texas, where I aim to bring wellness everywhere.
Journey4ward is excited to have Michelle with us offering counseling to children 4 and up and their families.
Monet Smith, Psychotherapy, LPC-S
EMDR Therapist, CBT, DBT
Monet is a licensed professional counselor who has been providing therapy services for over seven years and is working towards becoming an LPC-S. Her vast experiences include inpatient and outpatient mental health care, school counseling, working with children, traumatic grief counseling, individual sessions, group sessions in mental health and substance abuse, and family group sessions. Monet uses evidence-based practice skills to include EMDR, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness/ motivation, stress relief skills, client-centered therapy, and solution-focused counseling. She is also trained to provide therapy services as a safe space in the LGBTQ community and is a victim of gun violence. Monet lost her sister to gun violence and is passionate about working to prevent gun violence in our community.
Sherri Mata, PsyD, ABD Instructor of Psychology
Sherri Mata is a full-time faculty member at Tarrant County College and Tarleton State University and a Licensed Professional Counselor. Sherri has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in professional counseling and is working towards a doctorate in clinical psychology that leads to licensure as a psychologist in the state of Texas. As an instructor, Sherri teaches general psychology, psychology of adjustment, lifespan/human growth and development, educational psychology & APA writing. As a counselor, Sherri has worked with the felony, victim, and college student populations. As a director of counseling, Sherri advocates for a community of non-violence, working with city officials, local independent school districts, and various coalitions representing the Victim’s Coalition and the Criminal Justice System. Sherri’s current research includes assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for victims of violent crimes as well as a disorder that is being researched and considered for the next edition of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Desired (Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder). Sherri also serves as a volunteer counselor for Journey4ward.
Keandra White, Journey4ward Trauma Counselor and EMDR Therapist, Sign Language, ages 12 and up
Keandra is a graduate student intern with eight years of experience in the mental health field and has a Bachelors's in Psychology from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She has worked with trauma victims in a behavioral health facility and has worked in a crisis call center helping clients. Keandra is currently pursuing her Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and will graduate in August 2022. Her approach to counseling includes EMDR, CBT, DBT, Christian Faith, and Client-Centered. Keandra also serves as our sign language counselor and Journey4ward is pleased to have Keandra as a part of our counseling team.
Sofia Naupari, Licensed Professional Counselor-Associate, National Certified Counselor
Sofia is a bilingual LPC Associate in Texas offering individual counseling services to adults, adolescents, and children virtually, and is fluent in Spanish. Maribel Corona LPC-S and Zulema Magana LPC-S supervise her. She earned her Masters Degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
She uses an integrative approach combining person-centered therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy to address the needs of each client. However, she adjusts and combines her approach to fit the needs of each client and address each client holistically. She feels it is important to see the client’s worldview, which includes the mental, physical, spiritual, and social aspects of their life.
Sofia will guide and support you through life’s difficult moments and listen to you as you find your way. She is the ideal counselor if you are dealing with life transitions, grief, trauma, and other monumental moments in your life. Whether you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or depression, you can expect Sofia to empathize and support you during these moments.
In her downtime, Sofia enjoys spending time with her family as well as running and staying active. Sofia enjoys learning about different cultures and traveling to different countries, and she has been to Japan, South America, and Europe.
Elizabeth Witowich, Student Intern
Elizabeth is working on her Masters's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Colorado Christian University and is set to graduate in Fall 2024.
She is passionate about fostering healthy relationships with families, couples, and individuals and has experience working with teenagers. Her experience includes treating a variety of mental health issues, including PTSD, trauma, anxiety, and depression. Elizabeth has spent the last eight years working in early childhood education and finds joy in exploring art and various creative outlets.
Auttaria Shinualt, Student Intern
Auttaria Shinault is currently attending school, getting her master's degree in clinical mental health. She has a passion for helping as many people as she can and helping clients gain peace in their lives. Our clients speak highly of Auttaria’s professional and caring work ethic and say that she truly cares about her client's mental health needs. She is excited about training in all areas of counseling and gaining more knowledge to further her career in mental health.
Journey4ward is searching for counselors that are interested in trauma-informed counseling and working with victims. We also offer internships to students in the state of Texas. If you are interested in working with Journey4ward please email us: email@example.com
Or you may call us
For information please call us at 817-999-7784