Refuge Center for Counseling
103 Forrest Crossing Blvd
Suite 102
Franklin TN 37064


Mission Statement
The Refuge Center for Counseling exists to offer affordable, professional counseling services in order to empower, educate, and support individuals, couples, and families in need.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Amy Alexander
Board Chair Mrs Nicole Smith
Board Chair Company Affiliation Vanderbilt University
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 2005
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $1,328,774.00
Projected Annual Revenue $1,328,794.00 (2018)
Mission The Refuge Center for Counseling exists to offer affordable, professional counseling services in order to empower, educate, and support individuals, couples, and families in need.
Background The Refuge Center for Counseling, Inc. opened in December 2005 as the vision of its founders Jennifer Gillett and Amy Alexander. Jennifer and Amy had completed their Master’s degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and had a strong desire to serve the county they both lived in-Williamson county. This county is often recognized for its wealth, which overshadows those who are in need. To live in a place with great prosperity and to be in need is to often feel invisible. The vision of The Refuge Center was to make sure that every individual and family had the opportunity to seek therapeutic resources, regardless of income level. Jennifer and Amy had discovered that there were few opportunities for affordable counseling in the area, as many local therapists charge $90-$150 per session. They wanted to be able to offer therapy to those who could not afford these fees, so they created a sliding-scale based on income that ranges from $19-$110. The name for the center came from a passage in Isaiah which says, “It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and a hiding place from the storm and the rain.” (Is 4:6). The vision is also that beyond being a place to receive affordable counseling, The Refuge will also be a place where people are able to find hope and healing from the storms of their daily lives. The Refuge currently has 30 counselors, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and 16 Masters level interns working at the agency. Each counselor has a different area of focus, including domestic and dating violence, adolescent behavioral issues, addictions, marital-therapy, grief and loss counseling, family counseling, and therapy for parent-training and adoptions-related issues. The Refuge receives referrals from over 80 different sources including churches, drug-court, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, juvenile detention centers, and other counselors. The Refuge Center currently serves clients coming from 15 counties in TN.  

In 2017, The Refuge Center achieved a number of significant accomplishments, including:   

1) Spending the year developing a capital campaign to be launched in 2018 for the purchase of property on which to add a new facility. For us, growth is not only about increased capacity for services, but also about becoming the most excellent in our service delivery and in the experience the client has. In order for anything to grow, it must be firmly planted. With the need for our counseling services at an all-time high, it is imperative that The Refuge Center find a larger, permanent home. Through generous partnerships, this 15,000 square foot lodge like facility will allow us to provide over 36,000 counseling sessions each year. We envision a campus with walking trails, a picnic pavilion, a healing garden, a prayer chapel and prayer labyrinth, play areas for children, and other spaces for reflection and processing of clinical activities. The building itself will incorporate many elements of nature and will be intended to create a feeling of safety, security and spaciousness. It will feature spaces for art, dance and yoga therapy and also spots for other holistic providers (such as nutrition, massage, acupuncture and spiritual direction) to offer care. A large multipurpose room will allow us to offer many clinical trainings, classes, groups and also retreats. The home we envision will serve as a physical manifestation of the culture of compassionate care that is a hallmark of our Attachment Based Leadership culture at The Refuge Center. This new facility will enable Refuge to alleviate the need for a constant, lengthy waiting list for clients and serve even more middle Tennessee residents.
2) Our Board of Directors diligently engaged in a strategic planning process that emphasizes development and leadership. Using a “balanced score card” approach this new plan will empower the board with key dashboards to stay true to the mission, drive sustainable growth and be champions of Refuge in the community to continuously improve quality and culture. Additionally, this allows us to take steps towards a permanent home for Refuge with our plans to launch a capital campaign in 2018.
3) Providing 18,322 therapeutic sessions for 2,783 individuals referred by 80 sources in 2017.
4) Held our most successful fundraising event to date in October at Hope Grows with over 330 guests in attendance raising over $160,000.
5) Updating our internal cultural model to emphasize our cultural values of character, connection and continuous growth.
The vision of The Refuge Center is to distinguish itself as the preeminent counseling organization in Tennessee. We will be recognized for our inclusive, family-centered atmosphere, talented therapists, cutting-edge services, and our ability to offer hope to a hurting world.
Goals for 2018 include:
1) Increase revenue to address capacity needs.
2) Increase awareness among the public about The Refuge Center through strategic branding efforts. 
3) Maintain strong staff culture and leadership development opportunities.
4) Ensure the Refuge Center's values of systemic health, affordability, excellence, Christ-centered faith, education, and hope through specific quality control assessments.
5) Develop tools, programs and processes to support the continued fulfillment of the board objectives and growth initiatives.
1) To purchase land to begin a 3-phase capital project.
2) To increase community awareness about services.
3) To increase annual fund 
4) To recruit board members with expertise in capital campaign.
5) To grow skill specific volunteer base
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer

To make a donation, please visit the link:

The Refuge Center for Counseling also gladly accepts donations made by mail. Please send your check or money order to:
The Refuge Center for Counseling
103 Forrest Crossing Blvd., Suite 102
Franklin, TN 37064

Volunteer Opportunities include:

◦Distribution of marketing materials
◦Event planning
◦Graphic/web design
◦Food preparation for events
◦Grant research
◦Administrative duties (copies, mailings, answering phones, etc.)
◦Being present at community booths to represent the Refuge
◦Interior Design
◦Office Maintenance
◦Play therapy room sanitizing/organizing
◦Service on our Board of Directors or Partnership Council
◦Product (tea, t-shirts, cards) needs

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Mental Health & Crisis Intervention / Counseling
Secondary Organization Category Human Services /
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Rutherford
TN - Williamson
TN - Davidson
TN - Maury
TN - Sumner
TN - Cheatham
TN - Dickson
TN - Marshall
TN - Hickman
TN - Giles
TN - Humphreys
TN - Lawrence
TN - Montgomery
TN - Robertson
TN - Wilson
The Refuge Center for Counseling primary offices are in Franklin (Williamson County.) We serve clients who reside in counties across Middle Tennessee (and beyond) - including Davidson, Cheatham, Dickson, Giles, Hickman, Humphreys, Lawrence, Wilson, Maury, Marshall, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford Sumner Counties and Williamson County.
Board Chair Statement

In 2011, I was looking to join a board of directors for a local nonprofit with a strong mission. As a recent graduate of Belmont’s Nonprofit Leadership Program, I asked my professor for the name of the healthiest board in town. His immediate answer was The Refuge Center for Counseling. I absolutely agree and have enjoyed serving on its board ever since. In 2017, I had the honor of serving as board president and this was my favorite year yet.


There have been a lot of changes over the last seven years. When I started, the budget was $250,000. This fall, we approved a budget of more than $1.3 million. This year was the 12th anniversary of The Refuge Center for Counseling and the agency provided its 100,000th counseling session. We quickly grew out of our first location and are now busting at the seams in our current space. The board is doing the due diligence for immediate- and long-term solutions to address these space constraints. After years of talking about a new campus, we also met the milestone of 100% of directors who financially contributed to it.


While the agency has evolved in remarkable ways, the board has evolved as well. In order to see more clients each year without sacrificing the excellence and quality that makes The Refuge Center for Counseling so special, the board transitioned its focus from operations to strategic governance. Like many transitions, it felt awkward at times but our commitment to best practices helped us through it. The directors developed a new organizational structure and adopted new leadership tools. The board’s Leadership Committee was in a heavy recruitment season this year and was careful to select new directors based on the board’s new strategic focus. Through these transitions there was intentional effort to maintain the balance between relationships and outcomes. I found this effort rewarding and it is what made 2017 my favorite.


I end the year with full confidence that the board is healthier than ever. I am grateful to serve with such compassionate and committed directors and I am ever impressed with the remarkable staff and counselors. It is their dedication to serving clients with excellence that inspires the board and community to support this mission. Thank you.


Vanessa Melius, 2017 Board President


CEO Statement

Twelve years ago the words of Isaiah 4:6 inspired the name for The Refuge Center for Counseling. The verse reads, “It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and the rain.” With the vision of providing people a safe place to navigate the storms of their daily lives, The Refuge Center has distinguished itself a place of HOPE -an inclusive, accessible, family-centered environment with talented, mission minded therapists, nurturing spaces, and affordable cutting-edge services. Affordability and excellence are hallmarks of the services at The Refuge Center and we support a culture of compassionate care, character, connection and continuous growth within the organization. Since we opened in 2005 we have now provided over 105,000 counseling sessions.

It has been an incredible year of unprecedented blessing and growth here at The Refuge Center for Counseling!  Our outstanding group of staff and Board have invested deeply into this organization to see that our clients receive the best possible care and access to emotional healing. This year we provided over 18,000 counseling sessions for more than 2,700 individuals in 2017. The Refuge Center received referrals from over 80 sources and also continues to partner with other local non-profit agencies for great collective impact and now has 9 formal collaborations.

If the mission and vision of our organization stirs your soul, we invite you to participate in the healing and transformative work of Refuge through the extension of your own gifts and resources. I would encourage you to explore if this vision aligns with your deepest, most heartfelt commitments. To see if it somehow connects you to a higher calling or soulful longing. We all ultimately want to be known for what we allocate, not what we accumulate. We want to leave a legacy of investing generously in the well-being of others. And so, at times such as these, we are afforded the opportunity to ask ourselves: If our resources could talk, what is the voice we would want them to have? What message do you most want to send to the world? At Refuge our message is, “You don’t have to walk this road alone.” Please join us!


Amy Alexander
Executive Director and Co-Founder
Description We offer counseling to trauma survivors, including domestic and sexual violence survivors who are referred from local shelters, lawyers, churches etc. With each survivor, therapy is focused on empowerment, self-efficacy, safety planning, goal setting, self-discovery, processing loss, and creating boundaries. Through this program the survivor is able to decrease symptoms of PTSD, is educated about power and control, the cycle of violence and about what constitutes health in relationships.  One in three women report being abused by a partner at some point in their lives, so the need for a confidential and affordable resource for women to begin their healing journey is apparent. TRC meets this need. Success is measured by the number of women who complete physical and emotional safety plans with their counselor and by the number of women who make a self-report of having identified their resources and options, and feel empowered having been able to do so. When using EMDR in trauma therapy success is measured by a SUD of 0, a VOC of 7, and a clear body-scan.
Population Served , ,
Short Term Success

Short term achievements for therapists working with domestic and sexual assault survivors include education about the cycle of violence and about physical and emotional safety planning as well as increased knowledge about resources. It is our goal that 100% of clients will complete a physical and emotional safety plan within the first two sessions and will also have the opportunity to review the power and control week and cycle of violence.

Long term Success

Long term goals of The Refuge Center therapists who work with domestic and sexual assault survivors  is to provide  trauma-based, psychoeducational counseling where women are given opportunity to receive holistic therapy emphasizing education about healthy relationships and Self-leadership. These services offer opportunity to process trauma and increase self-esteem. This renewed self-efficacy has a systemic impact on culture and the community as a whole will be profoundly impacted by each woman who finds physical and emotional freedom. Educated survivors are able to reset the language of the culture. The degree of improvement is dependent on the survivor’s readiness and ability (from a safety perspective). It is out goals that 90% of clients that commit to more than 3 sessions will report that they have increased their awareness of the dynamics of domestic violence, will identify strategies for physical and emotional safety, and will engage in trauma-processing and self-discovery projects that promote empowerment. When using EMDR in trauma therapy success is measured by a SUD of 0, a VOC of 7, and a clear body-scan.

Program Success Monitored By

Evidence of success for us comes from client testimonials, referrals from current and former clients and increased education about power and control and safety planning. Specific measurements of success include use of the Likert Scale for treatment goals, client self-report (decrease of symptoms related to domestic violence and PTSD) and progress notes. When using EMDR in trauma therapy success is measured by a SUD of 0, a VOC of 7, and a clear body-scan. Additionally, as of January 2009 we have also begun implementing a program service evaluation which will track specific outcomes.

Examples of Program Success
Client Testimonials:
Female, Age 27
"I would not have survived the trauma of assault without a strong community of support to leave my abuser. The Refuge Center was and is an integral part of the community that helped me realize my confidence and strength that had been hindered after years of spousal abuse.Through counseling I found renewed hope and much joy in my life. These are gifts that seemed amazingly far away but were brought so quickly forth the moment I sought help, and something The Refuge Center manages to bring forth for so many. Their name is apt; it's a place of refuge, but it also brings new life to those who are unable to see it is there."
Female, Age 51
“The counseling itself has personally been a great help. I have become very well educated on the problem of abuse. I was never judged or made to feel bad about myself. It has helped me to discover who I am and to grow as a person. I have become more confident in who I am and the decisions I make. I cannot even imagine what my life would be like without the counseling at The Refuge Center.”
Description The Refuge Center offers counseling for children and adolescents. Presenting issues for the youth we serve includes: child abuse, behavioral issues (cutting, addiction, aggression etc), adoption, trauma, attachment, grief and loss, peer relationships and family violence. Our children's counselors use a variety of specialized techniques in therapy including Theraplay, Expressive arts, EMDR, and Sand Tray. Goals for the sessions include identifying ways to increase physical and emotional safety, increasing positive coping skills, disclosure of trauma, active and non-violent engagement in play, self-discovery, ownership of choices, and defining boundaries.
Population Served , ,
Short Term Success

Short term achievements (based on one clinical session) for therapists working with children and families include gained confidence of decreasing symptoms and new knowledge of resources.  We have found that over 93% of clients who come to an intake session have enough hope in emotional health and growth (gained from insight given by therapists) that they return for more services and further sessions.

Long term Success

Long term goals of The Refuge Center therapists who work with children is to increase overall emotional and mental health for the entire family system.  The degree of improvement is dependent on the quality of care and the investment/motivation of the client and caregivers.  Our long-term goal is that75% of parents/caregivers will report that their child has benefited from services and that they have observed  behavioral improvements in at least two areas (ex: increased positive coping skills,ownership of choices, defining boundaries, active and non-violent engagement in play etc.)

Program Success Monitored By

Evidence of success for us comes from client testimonials, referrals from clients and decrease of symptoms in client cases.  Specific measurements include likert scale (modified for accessibility for children - incorporates play therapy), and reports by parents/caregivers, children and teachers. Additionally, as of January 2009 we have also begun implementing a program service evaluation which will track specific outcomes.


Examples of Program Success
Client testimonials from parents whose children have utilized services at TRC:

Female, Age 47
“My counselor at The Refuge Center helps my family and I to better understand one another. My son has had a lot of emotional problems. I have taken him to several therapists and even psychiatrists. But since coming to The Refuge Center he has been off all of his medications, has made friends, and is doing well in school. The Refuge Center has also been very accommodating financially and even offered some pro bono sessions when money was tight. I would highly recommend The Refuge Center for anyone seeking quality, professional counseling.”
Female, Age 44
"My 10 year old daughter and I experienced a traumatic event. She was not able to move on and was having fear and panic spread into her daily activities. Her counselor was able to give her the skills to put it in its proper place. She was able to use calming techniques that helped her tremendously. She also learned to apply them in other aspects of her routine and is back to being happy, calm, and self-confident. Thank you."
Description The Refuge Center offers family counseling in order to assist in helping families function more effectively as a whole, by identifying both individual and systemic opportunities to improve the health of the entire family. The goal of family work is to strengthen family bonds, increase individual members capacity for empathetic communication, disclosure of family secrets, and to create appropriate family structure and hierarchy with definitive boundaries and confirmation of safety. Family sessions also provide a platform for each family member to feel heard and valued.
Population Served Adults, ,
Short Term Success Short term achievements for therapists working with families includes many of the following: using a genogram to identify family patterns and themes, normalizing the stages of the family life cycle and addressing the emotional process of transition, increasing empathy, decreasing emotional reactivity, improving differentiation among individual members while decreasing anxiety and triangulation, reframing of symptoms, and addressing structural issues and boundaries.
Long term Success Long term goals of The Refuge Center therapists who work with families is to improve the quality of life for family system by helping people to make positive changes in their lives and empowering them to make healthy and effective choices. The goal of family counseling is to identify the dynamics that cause problems and to effect changes in the structure or style of how the family operates. A small change in one area can often have systemic impact on other areas which means that important gains can often be produced quickly and dramatically.
Program Success Monitored By Evidence of success for us comes from client testimonials, referrals from current and former clients and self-report as well as demonstration of improved functioning of the family system. Specific measurements include Likert Scale of treatment progress, reports by the client and session notes. Additionally, as of January 2009 we have also begun implementing a program service evaluation which will track specific outcomes.



Examples of Program Success
Testimonials from clients who have utilized family counseling at The Refuge Center:

Female, Age 37
"The Refuge Center has been a huge blessing for our family. Left with very little money, the sliding scale made it possible for my children to still receive the counseling services needed to get through a very tough time. Now, instead of just coping with things and trying to "get by" we are able to work through our issues and heal."

Female, Age 33
I personally have been no stranger to individual counseling.  I appreciate the approach taken at The Refuge Center with their counseling methods and philosophy.  I have been referred to The Refuge Center for both individual and family counseling, and am appreciative of their sliding fee scale, as it allows my family and I to do so.

Description The Refuge Center offers relationship counseling to those whose relationships have been affected by marital discord, interpersonal anxieties, affairs, anger, depression, grief and loss, addiction and financial strain/employment changes. Pre-marital counseling is also available. Various therapeutic techniques are utilized including psycho-educational work, IFS, cognitive behavioral techniques, and emotionally-focused therapy and specific assessments. Goals include helping each client to define Self, to define and implement personal boundaries, to process loss, to increase skills of empathetic communication, to identify triggers and maintain recovery, and to become more assertive.
Population Served Adults, ,
Short Term Success Short term achievements for therapists doing relationship counseling includes conducting any applicable assessments such as the PAIR or the Prepare and Enrich and using data to propose an applicable treatment plan, providing basic education about boundaries, triggers, conflict resolution etc. and providing the client with valuable resources and materials about their presenting issue(s). It is our goal that these activities be conducted within the first three sessions so that the client feels increasingly educated about the presenting problem and can determine commitment to long-term treatment planning.
Long term Success Long term goals of The Refuge Center therapists who conduct relationship therapy include helping each client to identify underlying emotions and triggers, to define and implement personal boundaries, to decrease anxiety within the relationship, to process loss, to increase skills of empathetic communication and conflict resolution, to identify triggers and maintain recovery, to become increasingly assertive rather than reactive.
Program Success Monitored By Evidence of success for us comes from client testimonials, referrals from current and former clients and increased education about relational dynamics. Specific measurements include assessment scores, Likert Scale of treatment progress, observation of improved interactions, reports by the client and session notes. Additionally, as of January 2009 we have also begun implementing a program service evaluation which will track specific outcomes.


Examples of Program Success
Testimonial from a client who has had relationship counseling through The Refuge Center:

Male, Age 35
“The Refuge Center has been a godsend. When my wife and I began counseling we did it as a preventative measure due to many things we were dealing with or about to deal with in our lives. As our financial situation changed the sliding scale to helped us continue counseling. The thing I get most from our counselor is a positive feeling when I leave. She asks such great questions and always has a way of making me feel that I am doing a good job handling the situations in my life.”

CEO Comments Budget could not be extracted for individual programs as expenses are shared for each type of therapy offered.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs Nicole Smith
Company Affiliation Vanderbilt University
Term Jan 2018 to Dec 2018
Email nicole.smith@Vanderbilt.Edu
Board Members
Mrs Amy Alexander The Refuge Center for CounselingExofficio
Mr Ben Christy Ramsey Solutions Voting
Mr Ken Corr Brentwood BaptistVoting
Mr Bryan Doleshel Williamson County Chamber of Commerce Voting
Mr. Doug Edwards Vanderbilt UniversityVoting
Mrs Jennifer Gillett The Refuge Center for CounselingNonVoting
Mr Chris Hamilton Mars, CanadaVoting
Mr Andy Hammer OptumVoting
Mrs Lindsay Harris Church of the CityVoting
Ms Sandra Hatcher Community VolunteerVoting
Mrs Mary Anne Locke Maxus RX, LLCVoting
Ms Vanessa Melius Independent Contractor, Grant WriterVoting
Ms Janean Overton HCA/TriStarVoting
Ms Lisa Prisock Company X, IncVoting
Mr. Chad Randall Franklin Synergy BankVoting
Mr Carl Roberts Thinking AheadVoting
Ms Nicole Smith Vanderbilt UniversityVoting
Matt Toy Trevecca Nazarene University Voting
Mr David Winningham Adoration HospiceVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 16
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 10
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 73%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Advisory Board
Board Development
Development / Fund Raising
Capital Campaign
Risk Management Provisions
Directors & Officers Policy
Medical Malpractice
Commercial General Liability
Professional Liability
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Additional Board Members
Mr. Dan Alexander HCA Core Trust
Mr. Mitch Anderson Anderson Financial Consulting
Mr. Gary Bailey Next Version Systems
Mrs. Cindy Beresh-Bryant HR Solutions by Design, LLC
Mr Brad Duke Small Buisiness Owner
Mrs. Natalie Embry Community Volunteer
Mrs Dawn Garcia Dawn A Garcia, Attorney-At-Law
Mr Steve Hackney HCA IT&S Department
Ms Kim Jensen Private Practice Therapist
Ms Jenna Monforte STARS Nashville
Mr. Cain Myers Peachtree Planning of TN
Mr. Brandon Nall Journey Pure
Mr Albert Partee Attourney at Law
Ms Kristen Patel Community Volunteer
Mrs Marianne Schroer Williamson County CASA
Mr Jordan See HCA IT&S Department
Ms Sara Sweat Change Healthcare
CEO Comments
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mrs. Amy Alexander
Term Start Dec 2005

Amy Alexander is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Refuge Center for Counseling. As the Executive Director, Amy encourages and supports practices that promote a culture of connection, character and growth within the Refuge Center organization. This culture of compassionate care emphasizes the value of staff and clients alike feeling seen, safe, secure, and soothed.

Amy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been practicing for sixteen years. Her areas of clinical focus include trauma, domestic and sexual violence, grief and loss, and identity work. Amy is trained in EMDR, Brainspotting, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Trust Based Relationship Interventions. She is an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Approved Supervisor and a Clinical Fellow of the association. Amy has been married to Dan for thirteen years and together they have three children.

Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 12
Volunteers 91
Contractors 15
Retention Rate 90%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Yes
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 2
When was Strategic Plan adopted? Nov 2017
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? Under Development
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
American Association of Christian Counselors2005
Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence2008
Williamson County Task Force Against Domestic Violence2008
Williamson County Chamber of Commerce2010
Medical AwardWilliamson County Task Force Against Domestic Violence2008
Compassionate Care FinalistBaptist Healing Trust -Salute to Excellence2012
Distinguished Service to Families AwardTennessee Association for Marriage and Family Therapy2014
Greatest Campaign Participation AwardUnited Way of Williamson County2014
Compassionate CareThe Healing Trust2016
Sizzle Award/Best Counseling in Williamson CountySizzle Award2017
Senior Staff
Title Executive Director/Therapist

Amy Alexander is a licensed marriage and family therapist and is the Co-Founder of The Refuge Center for Counseling. Her areas of clinical focus include: Trauma, Domestic and Sexual Violence, Women’s Issues, Traumatic Bereavement, and Addictions. Amy is trained in EMDR, Brainspotting, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. Amy is also clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and a member of the Nashville Area Association of Christian Counselors.

Title LMFT, Director of Post Masters Fellowship, Therapist

Pike Williams, L.M.F.T.

Director of Post Master's Fellowship Programs

Pike Williams has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and his clinical passion is to work with couples and with men. He is certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy and is trained in EMDR, a proven approach for helping clients process unresolved trauma. Pike is certified to administer the Prepare/Enrich Assessment, a valuable tool for pre-marital work, and he is a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the American Association of Christian Counselors. Outside of his time at The Refuge Center, Pike is married with three grown children and is also chaplain for the Nashville Predators.

Title Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Debra Partee MSN, APRN-BC

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Debra Partee MSN, APRN-BC is a Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurse with many years of assessing, evaluating, prescribing, and teaching those who are struggling with mental health issues and may need medication, or wish to restart medication.

Debra knows the importance of counseling and works closely with therapists and other support systems. She believes a thorough evaluation is needed to determine if medication is indicated, and will then develop a treatment plan with the client. Debra has experience treating adults in many different settings, with expertise in young adult/college populations, life transitions, integrative (Mind/Body) response, acute stress reactions, and depression.

Debra earned her nursing degrees from Vanderbilt and taught on the faculty for over 25 years. She developed faculty practices working at different non-profits to provide psychiatric support to the clients. One of those was The Refuge Center for Counseling and she is very happy to return. She also enjoys being with her family, anything outdoors, traveling and bird watching.

Title LPC-MHSP, Director of Children and Teen Programs, Therapist

Rob Fitzpatrick, LPC-MHSP

Director of Children and Teens Program

Rob Fitzpatrick is the Director of Children and Teens Program at The Refuge Center for Counseling. Rob has a B.A. in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. He is dedicated to working with individuals of all ages, especially young men as they develop their identity and face the challenges of life. He has been trained in EMDR and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. Rob is also trained in the Othmer method ILF HD neurofeedback technology.

He is a current member of the American Counseling Association and the Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association. Outside of The Refuge Center, Rob is an assistant coach with a Nashville area high school hockey team.

Title Director of Donor Relations
Experience/Biography Allena Bell is a strategic and collaborative city- wide leader who has dedicated the last four years advocating for students as a Board Member for the Franklin Special School District.  Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for Franklin Tomorrow, The Education Foundation of Williamson County, and Youth Leadership Franklin. Her previous work experience is in capital development, marketing, and pharmaceutical sales.  She will bring critical focus in building relationships with donors within our Middle Tennessee community.  Allena and her husband Gary have been married for 22 years and have 4 children.
Title Therapist/Director of Contract Programs
Experience/Biography  Abbé Utter is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a temporary status serving as a contract-therapist at The Refuge Center. She attained a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lipscomb University in 2014. Alongside serving at Refuge Center, Abbé runs a private practice in Brentwood, TN. She is passionate about serving individuals in any stage of life, but especially women and adolescent girls in transitional phases of life. Abbé strives to help those that feel they have lost their identity find their true self again. Using an integrative approach to counseling, Abbé helps each client gain awareness and insight around their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Her desire as a counselor is to meet clients where they are in love and compassion, and to help them achieve personal goals. Abbé is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the Nashville Area Association for Christian Counselors (NAACC).  She is trained in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exploring new places, running, and re-purposing old things.
Title Coordinator of Communications and Special Events
Experience/Biography  Amy grew up in Birmingham, AL and is a graduate of Auburn University with a degree in Merchandising and Business Administration. Amy started her career out of college in retail, as a buyer for a corporate gift catalog, then in planning and advertising for Parisian, a regional department store based in Alabama. A move to Nashville followed in 2007, and she took time off while her two boys were very young. She filled those years planning fundraising events and projects as a volunteer in the community for The Junior League of Nashville, her church, and her school PTO. When she decided to “re-enter” the workforce, Amy put her social media skills to use for a social media start-up focused on health care practices. After that, she turned her attention to the non-profit sector and joined a local non-profit as their marketing and social media coordinator.  Now, in her current role as Communications and Special Events Coordinator, Amy is excited to connect with the community to support and share the message of hope The Refuge Center for Counseling offers to those in need. Amy has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 16 years. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, beach trips, reading, cooking, cheering for the Tigers, and spending time with her family & friends.
Title Clinical Director

Lynde Ross, LMSW

Clinical Director

Lynde Ross is a Licensed Master Social Worker and the Clinical Director at Refuge. She aims to provide compassionate care by way of authentic regard for each client and their experiences. Lynde uses a strengths-based integrative approach to counseling, and she strongly believes that everyone has the capacity for growth and change. Her areas of clinical focus are grief and loss, anxiety, depression, trauma, marital and relationship issues, parenting concerns, and challenges associated with aging.

Lynde earned her Master of Science in Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. She is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Prepare-Enrich premarital counseling, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Nashville Area Association of Christian Counselors.

Title Assistant Clinical Director/Director of Compassionate Care/Therapist

Anita Pringle, LPC-MHSP

Assistant Clinical Director and Director of Compassionate Care

Anita Pringle is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC-MHSP) and Assistant Clinical Director at The Refuge Center. She also serves as Director of Compassionate Care. Her passion is to walk with hurting people to a place of health, wholeness and hope. She previously worked at The Ranch as a primary therapist for the Center for Relationship and Sexual Recovery program. The clients in the program struggle with sex, love and relationship addiction/issues, chemical dependence, codependence, lack of boundaries, eating disorders and trauma. Prior to her time at The Ranch she served for 30+ years as an ordained United Methodist minister.

Anita is a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University with a MA in Counseling, a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, Certified Daring Way Facilitator and a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor. She is a member of ACA, AACC and TLPCA. Anita is trained in EMDR. She enjoys working with people who struggle with depression/anxiety, grief/loss, addiction, faith issues, codependence, boundaries and relational issues. She enjoys doing group work and leads Grief Share groups.

Anita enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends. She was married to the love of her life for 8 1/2 years and has been widowed for 13 years. She parented her nephew although she does not have biological children of her own. Anita is blessed to journey with her clients here at The Refuge Center. 

Title Director of Intern Programs
Experience/Biography  Tina Goode, LPC/MHSP (temp), NCC serves as Director of the Intern Programs and earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University. She is also on-track to obtain her license as an Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor in 2017. Tina feels that counseling is a sacred calling. Tina believes in the inherent resiliency in each individual and offers hope as she journeys with her clients to find the growth, healing and wholeness they desire in their own lives. Her unique combination of life experience and professional training allow Tina to create a safe, empathic, non-judgmental and compassionate space for clients. In this space, concerns can be truly heard and addressed in a therapeutic manner.

In addition to being a Level II EMDR-trained therapist, Tina uses an integrative approach often including CBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness or Experiential Therapies to meet the specific needs of her clients. Tina works with individuals, families and groups. Tina has worked with the Wounded Hearts Group at Refuge since 2015. Tina is passionate about bringing healing to those dealing with issues of addiction, co-dependency, and recovery; as well as trauma/sexual abuse, and grief and loss especially as it relates to terminal illness within a family.

CEO Comments
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2018
Projected Revenue $1,328,794.00
Projected Expenses $1,328,774.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$428,463$284,395$229,617
Investment Income, Net of Losses$375$223$175
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$68,933$68,597$66,366
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$907,338$724,118$611,592
Administration Expense$37,297$98,425$82,775
Fundraising Expense$25,825$73,017$35,721
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.101.061.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses93%81%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue5%19%12%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$322,633$255,974$174,403
Current Assets$230,465$181,291$156,768
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$5,039$32,911$4,136
Total Net Assets$317,594$223,063$170,267
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities45.745.5137.90
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Revenue $566,423Program Revenue $533,070Program Revenue $439,992
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, Gifts and Grants $428,463Contributions, Gifts and Grants $284,395Contributions, Gifts, and Grants $229,617
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising Events $68,933Fundraising Events $68,597Fundraising Events $66,366
IRS Letter of Exemption
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? Yes
Campaign Purpose To build a 15,000 square foot lodge-like facility on 5 acres of land, featuring walking trails, a healing garden and spaces for relaxation, processing and clinical activities that would allow us to provide 36,000 counseling sessions each year.
Capital Campaign Goal $4,000,000.00
Campaign Start and End Dates Jan 2018 to July 2020
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires June 2018
Solicitations Permit
Charitable Solicitations 2017-2018
Organizational Budgets and Other Documents
2018 Budget2018
2017-2018 Strategic Map2018
2017 Budget2017
2016 Budget2016
2015 Impact Report2015 Financial Comments
Financials taken from the 990.
Financial documents prepared by Parsons & Associates, CPAs.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 6/19/17.
Nonprofit Refuge Center for Counseling
Address 103 Forrest Crossing Blvd
Suite 102
Franklin, TN 37064
Primary Phone (615) 591-5262
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Amy Alexander
Board Chair Mrs Nicole Smith
Board Chair Company Affiliation Vanderbilt University
Year of Incorporation 2005

Related Information

Mental Health and Mental Illness

“I’ve never shared my story with anybody.” -- The first step toward recovery can be the most difficult. The ability to engage in productive activities, to find relationships with other people fulfilling, and to adapt to change and cope with adversity are each vital to enjoying a happy and healthy life. But each of these facilities can be significantly impaired by mental health disorders. A mental health diagnosis should not define who a person is, or what a person can achieve through treatment and support. Middle Tennessee nonprofit organizations are ready to help make that first step toward good health a little easier.

Veterans & PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common psychological injury sustained by approximately 25% of our military service members who see combat. PTSD has devastating effects on those who suffer from it and their family members. The symptoms, such as hyper-alertness, dissociation, sleeplessness, and emotional detachment, give rise to even more serious problems like alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, domestic violence – and even suicide. There is no “cure” for PTSD.