Who We Are

Amy Sander Montanez

LPC, LMFT, D.Min., Life Coach

Amy has been in private practice in Columbia, SC for more than 25 years as a licensed professional counselor (LPC), licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), spiritual director, life coach, writer/blogger, retreat leader, and speaker. She sees individuals, and is well-known for her helpful and compassionate work with couples. Additionally, she specializes in working with clergy from many denominations and with seminarians. She also teaches in several spiritual direction training programs. One of her greatest joys in life is seeing people grow into their wisdom and strength, living out their God-given potential. This happens, she believes, at that juncture where one’s personal psychology and personal spirituality intersect. Amy is passionate about her work, and invites you to explore her website for more information about her and her services.

Amy’s website, www.amysandermontanez.com

Visit www.messymarvelous.com for recent blogs.

I am not sure we would still be married if we had not been referred to Dr. Amy Montanez and decided to engage in intensive therapy and healing sessions.

Her greatest gift to me was learning so much about forgiveness and all that it entails.

Dr. Amy Montanez is one of the gifts that God put on earth. She truly has a way of providing spiritual guidance and healing therapy for so many of life’s problems.

From my first session (with Dr. Montanez) I felt a connection based on mutual respect.

Both the waiting and therapy spaces are calming and welcoming.

In my struggle and pain, I am seen and known as a beloved child of God, worthy of love and grace.

Dr. Montanez encourages and challenges me to grow in deep and meaningful ways.

Dr. Montanez’s approach to my care is wholistic – incorporating my mind, spirit, and body.

Nancy Beaver
Nancy C. Beaver


The practice of clinical social work has been Nancy’s joy and vocation for over forty years.

She has worked in nonprofit agencies, mental health centers, and in employment assistance programs. In those settings, Nancy provided psychotherapy, supervised clinical staff, facilitated therapy groups, managed programs, and coordinated intern training for MSW students.

When Nancy moved to Columbia twenty years ago, she began to pursue her dream of developing a private practice in psychotherapy and spiritual guidance.

Nancy brings a wealth of experience and wisdom.  She grounds her work in the following beliefs:  All things are connected. A compassionate look at the “real” can bring freedom. Love is not without pain but can also bring unimagined joy. Healing work is difficult but worth it.  Transformation has more to do with letting go than trying harder.

Nancy enjoys working with men and women, individuals and couples, young adults and older ones, too. Issues include loss, trauma, and relationships as well as anxiety and depression. Psychotherapy can also be helpful during periods of transition and stress.

For more information about Nancy, visit her at Psychology Today.

Going into counseling wasn’t an easy choice, but it was a very good one. After working with Nancy I’ve learned so much about myself and how to better cope with the ups and downs of life. She always provides a safe, welcoming and supportive environment where you can learn, heal and grow. 

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Cathy Cooper

Ph.D., LPC

Cathy Cooper has more than 20 years’ experience working with children and adolescents. She is a licensed professional counselor. Having received a master’s degree in music education with an emphasis in music therapy, she also utilizes the arts in her approach to working with clients.  She specializes in effectively developing positive relationships with young people that help support them through their emotional and social development. Cathy believes young children have the capacity to heal themselves using play media and works closely with parents in supporting their children’s emotional growth in her clinical practice. Adolescents need the support of an accepting, understanding, present, and experienced therapist to learn more effective ways of coping with the many stressors today’s youth experience. In addition, Cathy works with women of all ages.

To schedule an appointment with Cathy, please call our office.

Cathy Cooper is an exceptional therapist. She is authentic, insightful and kind. She had an ability to gently nudge you into your best self. She is a professional.

Female in her 60’s

I have found that a good therapist requires a delicate balance of strong empathy, excellent listening skills, and the ability to provide pragmatic, action-oriented guidance.  I can honestly say that in the 3 years that my teenage daughter and I have been seeing Ms. Cathy, she has proven that she possesses all 3 of those skills. She continues to help us both develop skills to better navigate the sometimes rocky terrain of both being a teenager and the parent of one. 😊 Without exception, we leave sessions with Ms. Cathy feeling good and better equipped to face life’s challenges.   

Parent of a 15 year-old
Debbie Cohn


Debbie Cohn is a Board Certified Coach (BCC) trained at the Institute For LIfe Coach Training, USA. She is a qualified group psychotherapist with the Institute for Group Analysis in London, UK. She has spent many years in the “helping professions” working with individuals and couples. She has extensive experience conducting groups and is a group facilitator at Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands specializing in domestic violence and sexual assault, women’s issues, and bereavement. She earned a Masters of Science degree in psychology from Birkbeck College, University of London.

Debbie also brings a wealth of her own "life experience" from working the past 40 years as a marketing and advertising professional, a woman business owner, fund raising specialist, wife, mother, grandmother and community philanthropist.

Visit Debbie at her website, www.cohnlifecoaching.com

Mary Ellen Haile

Mary Ellen became a Registered Nurse in 1985 and received her Master of Nursing in 1992. After a hospital-based nursing career since 1985, she has found a passion for private practice, serving people to help them reach goals toward living their best lives. She has a strong belief in and commitment to the holistic person, considering biological, psychological, sociological, spiritual and environmental influences as equally important in the lives we lead.

Serving as a Board Certified Nurse Coach and Wellness Consultant, Mary Ellen assists clients to determine their biggest dreams and to develop resilience in managing their heaviest burdens. She facilitates the work to identify values, commitment, and barriers. She then guides her clients toward incremental, sustainable lifestyle changes, teaching different tools to achieve success.

This transformative work is accomplished by combining the science and skills of nursing, the art of coaching, and personal experience. Known for her calm demeanor and leadership skills, she gives clients a non-judgmental, safe space of deep listening, powerful conversation, and devoted time to create goals, action steps, and an accountability plan.

Mary Ellen enjoys teaching groups of all sizes and specializes in mindfulness and self compassion. She is building a repertoire around grief and loss, to include divorce, job changes and burnout, health challenges, and support for family and friends of loved ones with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Please visit Mary Ellen’s website: MEHailewellnessconsulting.com.

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Amy McInnis


Amy joins our community as a licensed professional counselor with a calling to help others and a wealth of life experience to enhance her academic background and efficacy as a counselor.  In her earliest career as a teacher, the importance of her students’ mental wellness became quickly apparent.  This realization led her to the University of South Carolina where she earned her Master of Education Degree in School Guidance and Counseling, Educational Specialist Degree in Counselor Education with a focus on Marriage and Family Therapy, and Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision. 

The confidential, accepting, and collaborative exchange between a counselor and client has the potential to provide powerful and transformative change. As an inclusive counselor, Amy provides a warm, nurturing environment while incorporating various modalities of counseling according to the individual goals and needs of her client.

As a lifelong learner, Amy recently earned her certification as a yoga teacher to enhance her personal and professional life and the lives of others. She brings this knowledge into her career through the practice of mindfulness as a foundation for healing.  Having faced her own life struggles, Amy embraces life, discovering meaning during the challenges while seeking light during the dark seasons that each of us face.

Amy enjoys adventuring and creating memories with her daughter, a college junior.  She has two adorable pups, Ruby and Lucy, who bring her vast amusement and companionship sprinkled with plenty of opportunities to “just breathe” with their antics. While traveling colors Amy’s world, her most wonderful moments include exploring local coffee shops, sharing rich conversation, and savoring a great book and a mug of jasmine tea on her front porch.

Psychology Today

As our name reflects, our core belief is in treating the whole person to include lifestyle, life experience, personality, relationships, and spirituality