We're seeking diverse, holistically-focused therapists
to join our wellness team.
Contact us for more information!
Meet The Team
Amanda Kostura, LISW-S (she/her/hers)
Founder & President, Carve Your Own Path, Inc.
Amanda Kostura is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology with a Minor in Child and Family Development and a Master’s of Science in Social Work from the University of Akron.
Amanda has been employed in the behavioral health field for over 10 years in both direct service and administrative positions. Her experiences have created expertise in treating substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, chronic pain and trauma. She has also built competence in the areas of domestic violence, the mind-body connection, and generational trauma. She has developed a strong passion for working with oppressed/disenfranchised populations including LGBTQ+ and people of color. Amanda views her clients from a strengths-based and person-in-environment approach, meaning she believes you already have everything you need within you to reach your goals!
Amanda is also very passionate about the development of the next generation of wellness professionals through training supervision of social workers acquiring independent licensing, and ongoing education of those currently practicing in the field.
Amanda is NOT currently accepting new clients.
We are not simply a body and a head, existing separately in this world. The mind and body are ONE, and must be treated as ONE, in order for healing to be possible.
Nicole West, LPC (she/her/hers)
Mental Health Therapist, Carve Your Own Path, Inc.
Nicole West is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with a Bachelor’s of Psychology from Kent State University and a Master’s of Education with a specialization in clinical mental health counseling from The University of Akron.
Nicole has over 13 years of experience working with diverse client populations and mental health conditions. She is passionate about working with teens and young adults on areas of self-esteem, anxiety, mood disorders including Bipolar, and basic life adjustments.
Nicole utilizes creative interventions, including music, to meet her clients where they are at and facilitate change toward individual goals.
Nicole is NOT currently accepting new clients.
"Everyone deserves the chance to know themselves through a new lens in order to see who they want to be in mind, body and spirit. Therapy is a place to make sense of challenges, grow from strengths and create hope".
A. Ellis Dowd
A. Ellis Dowd, CDCA (she/her/hers)
Mental Health Intern, Carve Your Own Path, Inc.
A. Ellis is a Pre-licensed psychotherapist with a Master's Degree in Critical Theory from Binghamton University and currently completing fieldwork for an MEd in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lamar University.
A. Ellis comes to her internship with ten years of behavioral health experience, including community outpatient settings and site-based counseling. Her commitment to serving marginalized populations is reflected in years of advocacy, policy development, teaching, and personal engagement with LGBTQI+, low-SES, BIPOC, and neurodiverse communities.
As a practitioner, she creates contexts that are conducive to change but also views her clients as having the inner resources to co-create their journey of healing. Because a one-size-fits-all treatment approach doesn't account for the uniqueness of each client, she works from an integrative stance. This person-centered modality ensures that a client's specific needs and strengths are taken into account.
Rooted in a humanistic and developmental ethos rather than a pathologizing one, A.Ellis supports clients through a wide range of life's challenges, including relationship or vocational difficulties, depression, social anxiety, self-esteem issues, grief, barriers to body positivity, being stuck in bad patterns, and more.
A. Ellis is currently accepting new clients ages 16 years old & up
for in-person sessions in Akron, and limited scheduling availability for tele-therapy sessions.
I chose this profession because I believe everyone deserves to thrive; to enjoy a life of meaningful purpose and a felt sense of authenticity. It's unfortunate that societal stigma sometimes prevents people from seeking counseling; most of the emotional difficulties that we struggle with are a natural part of the human experience, and needing help with them is too.
A. Ellis Dowd
Lisa R. Schaefer
Lisa R. Schaefer, MS, MSSA,LICDC-CS, LSW (she/her/hers)
Mental Health Therapist, Yoga Teacher & Reiki Healer, Carve Your Own Path, Inc.
Lisa R. Schaefer is a Licensed Social Worker. Lisa graduated with her Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University in 2019. Lisa received her Master of Science in Forensic Psychology from Tiffin University in 2009.
Lisa has been in the behavioral health field since 2006 giving Lisa extensive experience in the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. Lisa uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy, and Mind-Body Therapy in her practice. Lisa is a Registered Yoga Instructor (RYT-200) and a Reiki Master. Lisa teaches clients how to create a healthy alliance between mind and body which enables clients to manage stress, heal trauma, and create a functional lifestyle. Lisa works to provide holistic and trauma informed care utilizing evidence-based practices to promote healing on all levels.
In addition to traditional counseling sessions, Lisa offers Embodied Therapy incorporating Yoga and breathwork.
Lisa is currently accepting new clients ages 16 years old & up
for tele-therapy sessions.
"Just because no one else can heal or do your inner work for you, doesn't mean that you can, should, or need to do it alone."
Lisa R. Schaefer
Jenna Savago, LPC, MA, CCTP (she/her/hers)
Mental Health Therapist, Art Therapist, Carve Your Own Path, Inc.
Jenna Savago is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Art Therapist with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a Minor in Psychology and Fine Arts from Kent State University. Jenna has a Master’s of Counseling and Art Therapy from Ursuline College.
Jenna has been practicing Counseling and Art Therapy since 2017 with experience working with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, LGBTQ+, trauma, anxiety, mood disorders, and life changes. Jenna is passionate about the LGBTQ+ community and has worked with Trans Gender Non-Conforming individuals regarding support and letters for gender affirming surgeries and other needs.
Jenna utilizes Art therapy and Counseling through a Person-Centered approach to address a client’s specific needs, strengths, and growth.
Jenna is currently accepting new clients ages 18 years old & up
for in-person and tele-therapy sessions.
"There's more than one way to learn about ourselves. Creativity can help us grow when words are not enough."