You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affections than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. -Gautama Buddha
Meet our team
Pegge Riley, LPC, CPCS Co-Founder and Co-Director of Sage Center Licensed Professional Counselor Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor EMDR Clinician
Pegge Riley holds a master's degree in counseling from Ohio University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor in the state of Georgia. With over 20 years' experience in the counseling field, Pegge works with individuals and couples in psychotherapy and provides counseling and mentorship to counseling students and other professionals. She specializes in the resolution of trauma; treatment of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder; issues of personal growth and wellness; issues related to grief and loss; positive and adaptive communication in relationships with others; and the development of a nurturing and supportive relationship with the self.
Pegge believes that we are born striving to prosper and grow. We respond to our life experiences in ways that will protect us and allow us to cope with our environments. Often times, the coping strategies that were essential at one point in our lives become ineffective-and even maladaptive-at another part of our lives. The therapeutic process allows us to explore our past and the patterns that we have created through our life experience, and learn to choose healthier and more adaptive ways of coping and being. Pegge approaches her work with clients from a base of empathy, respect, and acceptance, creating a safe, supportive, and confidential environment in which to overcome obstacles-and allow for positive growth and lasting change.
Pegge's counseling approach involves an integrative mix drawn from the humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic psychotherapy models that emphasize the role of the relationship between therapist and client and a belief in individuals' ability to achieve their goals. Pegge is trained and certified in the use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and uses it in treatment wherever it is applicable, primarily in the resolution of trauma and the reduction of stress and anxiety.
Angela Wacht, LPC Co-Founder and Co-Director of Sage Center Licensed Professional Counselor Certified Breathwork Coach Certified Grief Recovery Specialist ®
Angela Wacht holds a Master's Degree in Community Counseling from Argosy University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia, Certified Breathwork Coach, and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist ®. Angela began her work in mental health in 2005 while as a volunteer for Peace Corps in Honduras supporting individuals and families living with HIV/AIDs. From this, she began her own journey of exploration and growth, which led her to become a Certified Breathwork Coach in 2006. She began working within the community providing support to individuals living with a variety of challenges and those seeking for deeper connection with true self.
Since 2006, Angela has worked in private practice, community agencies, and hospice, providing counseling and psychotherapy. She also provides community support and Continuing Education workshops in the areas of self-care and grief/loss to the healthcare community in a variety of settings. Angela believes that "thought is creative"and utilizes a psychodynamic approach to support clients in releasing maladaptive thought processes and to recover from grief.
She specializes in Breathwork & Grief Recovery Method ®, treatment of Severe Persistent Mental Illness and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), issues of personal growth and wellness, positive and adaptive methods of communication in relationships with others, issues related to grief and loss, and the development of a nurturing and supportive relationship with self. Her theoretical orientation is an integrative mix drawn mostly from the cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and humanistic psychotherapy models. Angela believes that therapy begins with a solid foundation of trust, sincerity and open communication. She draws from her personal and professional experiences to provide the highest quality of care possible and support clients in (re)discovering their innocence and highest self.
LISA WILSON, LPC, NCC Licensed PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR NATIONALLY CERTIFIED COUNSELOR
Lisa Wilson holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor. She began her tenure at Sage Center as a counseling intern in 2015 serving clients through Sage Center's STEP (Sage Education and Therapy Partnership) program. She currently provides individual counseling for children and adults and facilitates a divorce support group for women and men who are in the middle of or have experienced divorce, separation, or a breakup.
In addition to completing her Master’s Degree in mental health counseling, Lisa holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Georgia State University and spent 12 years working in non-profit and public sector management. Lisa views counseling as a collaborative process and her role is to support clients in identifying obstacles in their paths and finding new routes around them.
Lisa accepts Aetna, Cigna, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield insurances. Please call 678-902-5472 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.
David Webber Psychotherapist
David Webber graduated with a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. He works under the direction and supervision of Sage Center co-founding Directors, Pegge Riley, LPC, CPCS and Angela Wacht, LPC. David has worked with Sage Center since 2016, providing counseling for adults, adolescents, and families with a variety of challenges from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
David's commitment and devotion to support others began as a youth while assisting his mother, community, and church leaders through summer enrichment programs in Detroit, Michigan. He has also served on mission trips in Nairobi, Kenya and Oradea, Romania. As a byproduct of his early work, David discovered his purpose: helping empower children to be the best version of themselves.
David's passion for helping children, particularly those from under-served communities, has served him well as an advocate for affordable housing, access to high quality education, clean air and water, economic and business opportunities, and community empowerment in places like Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Negril, Jamaica. David is also the clinical director for Experience Camps, a week long camp for children and teens who have experienced the death of a parent and/or sibling. David's background in the music industry has also supported and continues to support him in creating harmony and balance in all areas of life and he strives to bring this harmony to all of his clinical and professional relationships. David's strength, sincerity, personal experience, and background, along with current education and extensive supervision, provide a beautiful foundation to serve our community and support lasting and positive change with those he counsels.
David Mueller, LPC Licensed Professional Counselor
David holds a master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University and a Licensed Professional Counselor. He completed internships at the Hope Counseling Center and the Transitions Senior Program at Emory-Wesley Woods, an older adult focused Partial Hospitalization Program. Prior to becoming a counselor, David retired from GlaxoSmithKline after 24 years in sales and marketing. He proudly embraces his deep roots in the community, having graduated from Lakeside High School before attaining a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and an MBA from the University of Georgia.
David works with couples as well as adults and older adults in individual and group settings. His work includes helping those experiencing a variety of issues such as anxiety, depression, grief and loss, self-esteem, self-improvement, and life transitions. David utilizes Gottman theory to assist couples with conflict management, communication skills, and relationship building. He treats the relationship as the client and focuses on healing and growth. For premarital counseling, David is a certified Prepare/Enrich therapist. With individuals, David employs an integrative therapeutic orientation including psychodynamic, person-centered and cognitive behavioral therapy. Additionally, he has received specialized training in incorporating the client’s Christian beliefs into the counseling session when requested by the client. David believes that the clients are their own agents of change. Thus, the role of the therapist is to gently walk beside them through the process of self-discovery and insight, and ultimately empowering clients to resolve future life challenges with new coping skills. It is his hope that he can provide clients a safe space for growth, authenticity, and emotional healing. David has a special interest in working with older adults and has received extensive training with that population. He enjoys speaking to professional groups about mental health and well-being for seniors.
A Bates Canon, LPC, CPCS Licensed Professional Counselor Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor
Bates Canon holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Georgia in Community Counseling. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Professional Counselor Supervisor in the State of Georgia. Bates has worked with a diverse range of clients from high school age through senior citizens primarily through twenty-eight years of experience within higher education, where he has served as director of counseling within four different colleges and universities. His experience at the university level extends to work in academic advising, career services, disability services, plus college student development instruction. Operating as mysaturdaytherapist.com, Bates is available by appointment on Saturdays at Sage Center Atlanta, and offers standard appointments of sixty-minutes in length. On Bates’ Psychology Today profile, he writes: I use an integrative approach grounded in Mindful Presence (see mindfulpresence.com for more). My hope is to develop a safe and comfortable space for you to feel heard and understood so together we can discover and help you do what's best for you and your success.
Bates works with clients on a range of issues including: career visioning; changing relationships; creative problem-solving; life and work transitions; stress, anxiety, and depression; and spirituality and wellness.
Kelly Pierce National certified counselor emdr Practitioner
Kelly holds a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. She works under the supervision of Pegge Riley, LPC, CPCS, and direction of Angela Wacht, LPC.
Kelly specializes in working with adults who have experienced emotional traumas such as emotional neglect, emotional abuse, narcissistic abuse, or manipulation. When we are impacted by emotional trauma, it can lead to feeling empty, lonely, over-stressed, or lacking meaning in life. Sometimes these feelings turn into persistent anxiety, depression, or even what feels like PTSD. Kelly utilizes safety in the therapeutic relationship to work through the feeling that something is missing in your life. She will work with you to process past experiences, rebuild emotional development, and set the foundation for the happy, fulfilling, and meaningful life you deserve.
Her therapeutic approach is supportive and engaging, adapting to what works best for you. Kelly focuses on validating your feelings and exploring your past to see how it influences your present. She will help you gain both the insight and the skills to effectively support yourself in living the meaningful life you've always dreamed of.
Kelly is proud to be an LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist.
Afshan Lakhani Counseling intern
Afshan holds a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and Psychology, and is currently pursuing a Master's in Counseling from Northwestern University. Prior to pursuing a career in the field of counseling and mental health, she worked with non-profits focusing on youth advancement and education. Through her non-profit experience, Afshan has worked with youth from various backgrounds including youth working through family challenges, trauma, grief, anxiety, depression and identity development.
As a servant leader, Afshan has a deep history of community outreach and volunteerism, demonstrating the value of strengthening communities with purpose and intentionality every day. She is energetic, personable, and dedicated to the well-being and holistic development for all those around her. Afshan has the instinct, intuition, and experience to spark the very best in individuals and the teams she works with. She aspires to offer counseling and therapy services that will support everyone she works with to become the best version of themselves and live a quality lifestyle.
Afshan is providing counseling services at Sage Center Atlanta through Sage Therapy and Education Partnership (STEP) under the supervision of Pegge Riley, LPC and Angela Wacht, LPC.
Amber Amick Licensed Associate Professional Counselor
Amber Amick graduated with a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Mercer University. She works under the direction and supervision of Sage Center co-founding Directors, Pegge Riley, LPC, CPCS and Angela Wacht, LPC. Amber began her counseling career as a school counselor in 2017 and joined the Sage Center team in 2020.
Amber enjoys working authentically with youth and adults. She works with individuals and in small group settings. She looks at each day as an opportunity to sit with others as they journey through life. She mixes the knowledge she has gained as a student of psychology and counseling and combines that with her compassion and drive to care for and motivate others to be the healthiest version of themselves.
Amber’s approach to therapy is a blend of Adlerian and Existential theologies. When working with clients she often uses a mix of mindfulness, role-play, play, and solutions focused techniques with clients. She enjoys building a therapeutic relationship with clients and works hard to build trust, which includes respecting the confidentiality of all clients no matter their age. Amber’s background as a personal trainer and makeup artist has provided her with years of experience in being a catalyst for very personal life and image changes. She understands the balance of creating a safe environment to create trust while also understanding that in order to grow, we must become uncomfortable. Amber enjoys learning about new findings in mental health and educating clients. She specifically likes to share information on the positive benefits of mindfulness and the connection between the mind and body. Amber looks forward to hosting mindfulness groups and workshops at Sage Center in the coming months.
Irene Ferguson Licensed Professional Counselor Nationally Certified Counselor
Irene Ferguson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor. Irene received her Bachelor of Art in Psychology at University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL. She earned her Master’s degree in Community Counseling at the Georgia School for Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Atlanta.
She brings warmth and a calm, nurturing presence to the counseling process. She uses a psychodynamic approach of counseling to help clients identify their limiting beliefs and come up with creative ways to live a more fulfilling life while remaining true to themselves.
She has rich life and professional experience that enhances the therapeutic relationship. She has a progressive and accepting mindset that has allowed her to observe alternative lifestyles and interact with people from a myriad of backgrounds. She is LGBTQ and gender affirming and is passionate about being an advocate. She has been a therapist for HIV/AIDS patients for over two years.
Irene’s professional experience includes working in oncology and surgical medical offices bringing comfort to patients, volunteer work with domestic violence victims and high-risk pregnant women, and seven years of experience working in community service board, private practice, inpatient hospital, and non-profit agency environments. Insurances accepted include Aetna, Anthem BCBS, Cigna, Humana, United Healthcare (Optum Behavioral Health), and MultiPlan. Please call 770-765-7759 to make an appointment or to have a free phone consultation to see if Irene is a good fit for you.
Dr. Kristie Pszczola Chiropractor
Dr. Kristie has practiced in the Woodstock area since 1997 and has developed a unique approach that combines skilled manipulation (with energetic, soft tissue, and skeletal components), gentle coaching, and encouragement with powerful insight.
This approach allows patients to obtain quick results with treatment schedules that are much less frequent than most chiropractic techniques. Dr. Kristie’s special focus and passion is helping people change the patterns and habits that are preventing the body from healing itself. Dr. Kristie’s broad knowledge in nutrition, sports injury, pregnancy, early childhood, neck and back injury, as well as her experience in personal growth, allows Dr. Kristie to partner with each patient to help them achieve their desired health goals.