Providers at Seaside Behavioral Health
PhD, PMH-NP/CNS B.C.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Jennifer Brown is a dually certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist. She received her Bachelors, Masters and Post-Masters degrees in Nursing from the University of Virginia and a Doctorate in Health Services Research from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to establishing Seaside Behavioral Health, Jenny practiced at Independence Therapy Center and held positions as an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at Virginia Commonwealth University and Norfolk State University. She currently holds an appointment as Consulting Faculty in the School of Nursing at Duke University and recently participated on a 2 year HRSA grant aimed to better prepare healthcare professionals (physicians, nurse practitioners & physician assistants) in meeting the emotional needs of individuals with multiple chronic conditions.
Philosophy and Practice Expertise
Jenny offers a range of services including crisis evaluation, individual/couples/family therapy, diagnostic evaluation and medication prescribing/management. She has experience providing services in public and private environments including acute inpatient, outpatient CSB, emergency room and nursing home settings. She has received funding, published and presented numerous occasions on the topic of psychiatric emergency services, recognizing local and national shortfalls and inadequate resources as barriers to quality outcomes and contributors to recidivism. Jenny facilitates patient and family efforts to better understand and navigate the mental health system. Jenny enjoys the diversity of her adult patient population; her clients include but are not limited to: active duty and retired military personnel and their families, persons who are disabled by the severity of their mental illness (including administration of long-acting antipsychotic injections), individuals experiencing work-related stress, parents looking for support/guidance related to issues in childrearing, elderly experiencing onset of memory disturbance, newly-separated needing support, grieving widows, intellectually disabled clients from a residential setting. In addition Jenny volunteers her services for the PIN (People in Need) Homeless Ministry Health Clinic.
Her approach to psychotherapy is eclectic – primarily cognitive behavioral with strengths-based, problem-solving and interpersonal components. Focus is on client’s coping with stress, identification and reframing of maladaptive thinking, understanding and managing illness, effective parenting, health and wellness strategies, interpersonal and conflict resolution skills, anticipatory and /or unresolved grief and loss, and goal setting.
Jenny is a founding member of Seaside Behavioral Health and looks forward to helping you!
Shannon W. Cray
Dr. Cray obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and her Master’s degree in Community and Clinical Psychology from Norfolk State University. She received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology through The Virginia Consortium Program of Clinical Psychology with emphases in neuropsychology and child psychology in 2014. Dr. Cray completed a two-year neuropsychology fellowship with Neurology Specialists. She is currently seeking board certification in Clinical Neuropsychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology. In addition to neuropsychological testing, Dr. Cray practices cognitive behavioral and interpersonal outpatient psychotherapy. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her children.
What is a neuropsychological evaluation? Neuropsychology is the study of brain function (e.g., memory, attention, language, problem solving) and how it relates to behavior and emotion. A neuropsychological evaluation is a series of paper and pencil tests administered by a trained technician to assess all aspects of cognitive functioning.
What is involved with the evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation is a three-part process (intake, assessment, feedback).
At the intake interview (about one hour), background information is obtained including personal history and current symptoms. If there is a family member or close friend who can provide additional information related to your symptoms, that person is encouraged to attend.
The second appointment is the actual testing, which can take several hours. Please try to get a good night’s sleep and eat a health breakfast. You may bring drinks and/or snacks to the appointment, as breaks can be taken as needed.
During the final appointment, your test results will be reviewed in depth including recommendations and next steps.
Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
Phyllis Eaton is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. She received her education from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois and Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. She has worked in the psychiatric/mental health field for over 25 years and has varied experience with inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment. During this time, she also worked in academia at the undergraduate and graduate level. She currently is a fulltime professor and works part-time in the outpatient setting at Seaside Behavioral Health. Her graduate doctoral work included a psychiatric/mental health focus that was centered on the coping strategies of family members of hospitalized patients. She is a published author related to this topic and has been a presenter at several national psychiatric conferences.
Philosophy and Practice Expertise
Phyllis has a variety of psychiatric and mental health experience. She started her psychiatric/mental health career in the western part of New York state in an inpatient psychiatric setting. She then moved to the Hampton Roads area and worked in a geriatric inpatient and outpatient setting. She has also worked inpatient as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at various inpatient psychiatric settings in Hampton Roads and became an administrator for a local psychiatric hospital. She moved to the outpatient setting and worked for Independence Therapy Center in Virginia Beach for six years prior to moving to Seaside Behavioral Health in January 2017.
Phyllis offers a variety of services including, but limited to, crisis intervention, stress management, problem-solving, and conflict management. She utilizes a cognitive behavioral approach to therapy and other empirically validated treatments. She provides a safe and trusting environment while helping clients work through difficult issues. Her specialty areas include anxiety and depression, anger management, stress reduction, recovery from loss and grief. She utilizes her academic, hospital, and outpatient experiences to provide a holistic approach to therapy.
Psy.D., LPC, ATR-BC
Licensed Professional Counselor and Art Therapist
Abby was raised in Dallas, Texas, received her BA in Sculpture and Sociology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, then on for a MS in Art Therapy/Counseling at Drexel University in Philadelphia. In 1992 she received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Argosy-Chicago. Her 40 – year career in academic and clinical arenas took her from Chicago to Montreal, Louisville, and back to Dallas before arriving in Virginia in 2008. Her academic positions included the School of the Art Institute – Chicago, University of Louisville, Concordia University (Montreal), Argosy University-Dallas and Eastern Virginia Medical School. Her clinical experience includes Billings Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, Southwestern Medical School Hospital, Central State Hospital, and Michael Reese Hospital as well as private, non-profit and community settings. She works with clients of all ages and types of issues ranging from mental/behavioral health, addictions, eating disorders and trauma, to medical issues. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor LPC in Virginia and a Registered and Board Certified ATR-BC Art Therapist.
Abby’s approach to psychotherapy is based on a collaborative relationship and is a blend of what the client chooses to work on and the therapist’s ability to facilitate exploration and growth. This process occurs through talking and other methods such as the use of imagery, play, and sandtray.
Delinda P. Swanston
Licensed Professional Counselor
Delinda is a licensed professional counselor in the Commonwealth of Virginia and has 25 years experience which has included work with adults, children, and adolescents in inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, and community-based settings. Additionally, Delinda has experience working with military personnel, both individually and in family therapy, overseas and, here, at home. She has served for 11 years as an Officer for Local Human Rights Committees, and 7 years in executive leadership, administration and management, including program development and supervision of services for adults with various types of disability.
Some of the individuals Delinda has worked with successfully have been dealing with the following challenges:
• Traumatic Stress
• Mood Disorder
• Childhood OCD
• Grief and Loss , (including Complicated, and Traumatic Grief)
• Coping with Chronic Illness and Treatment of Chronic Mental Illness
• Challenges related to Intellectual and Developmental Disability
• Behavior Management
• Emotional Management
She provides assessments and evaluations for diagnosis and works collaboratively with her patients to develop an individualized, evidence-based approach and treatment plan. Methods and techniques may include the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy, Short-term Solution Focused Therapy, or Psychodynamic approach with complimentary techniques such as, expressive and relationship skills training. Additionally, Delinda has a strong interest the use of Resilience psychology , resiliency skills development, to cope with and overcome adversity, trauma, and tragedy.
Carolyn A Baxter, CPC
Carolyn brings to Seaside Behavioral Health over thirty years of experience as a Practice Administration and Medical Billing Specialist. She is a certified professional coder with the Virginia Academy of Professional Coders since 1998 and a member of the local Virginia Chapter of Certified Coders. Carolyn oversees the day to day operation of the practice. She believes strongly in advocating for the patient. She enjoys the beach, reading, and spending time with her family and grandchildren.