Our Staff

Heather C. Futral, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist and Clinical Director of Northeast Georgia Psychological Services. Dr. Futral provides treatment to children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. She specializes in the assessment and treatment depression, anxiety, trauma recovery, marital difficulties, and interpersonal problems. Dr. Futral has built thriving independent practices in both the Athens and Braselton areas. She annually supervises licensed psychologists and postdoctoral fellows in psychology. She has presented at multiple local and state conferences. Dr. Futral has been qualified as an expert witness in several court jurisdictions in Georgia. She is an active member of the Georgia Psychological Association. In addition to general practice, Dr. Futral has a great deal of experience with complex cases, disability issues, employment and medical screenings, and other fitness for duty evaluations. She supports the community through many forms of philanthropy. Dr. Futral graduated Summa Cum Laude with Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Columbia University, an Ivy league institution. She earned her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology degree from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology. She completed an APA-accredited internship program at the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, where she provided assessment and counseling services to children, adults, families, and couples. She completed over 2000 hours of postdoctoral training at Positive Outcomes Psychological Services in Athens, Georgia.

Debbie Gunnin, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who joined the practice in September 2019. She earned a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kansas in 1996. She completed an APA-accredited internship program in general psychology and a post-doctoral fellowship in forensic psychology at Western Missouri Mental Health Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Gunnin has over 20 years of experience as a practicing psychologist, and had done forensic psychological evaluations, general psychological evaluations, psychotherapy, and supervision of mental health providers. At Northeast Georgia Psychological Services, Dr. Gunnin provides psychotherapy and general psychological assessments. She uses an integrative/cognitive approach to psychotherapy. She enjoys helping people improve their relationships, increase self-confidence, enhance coping skills, and live life more fully. She specializes in helping people cope with stress, depression, anger, anxiety, interpersonal difficulties, infertility issues, substance abuse, psychotic disorders, and other problems.

Shelby Byrd, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who joined the practice in August 2021. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Georgia College & State University in 2012, a master’s degree in Clinical-Counseling Psychology from Valdosta State University in 2014, and a PhD in School Psychology from Louisiana State University in 2019. She completed an APA-accredited internship at the Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology – Boys Town. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health in Omaha, where she practiced for an additional year as a staff psychologist prior to returning to her home state of GA. Dr. Byrd provides individual and family therapy for children, adolescents and young adults who are experiencing various social/emotional and behavioral concerns. Her primary areas of expertise include anxiety, OCD, depression, self-harm behaviors, unhealthy eating, interpersonal/family conflict, and habits (hair pulling, fingernail biting, skin picking behaviors). She utilizes evidence-based approaches when working with clients, including acceptance- and mindfulness-based CBT and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Dr. Byrd also has extensive training and experience in providing parent behavioral management training and parent-client interaction therapy (PCIT) to address behavior problems at home.

Vanessa Pellicci, L.C.S.W. is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with twenty years of experience. She graduated in 1999 from Concordia College in Bronxville, New York with a Bachelor’s in Social Work. She then went on to complete her Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2001. Shortly after graduation in 1999 she began what would be an 18-year professional career at St. Vincent’s Hospital, a behavioral health hospital that provides various inpatient, and outpatient programs for people with mental illness and substance abuse. In addition to her years working on the inpatient acute care unit, she also worked in the outpatient partial hospital program as a primary mental health therapist providing group therapy, family therapy and individual therapy. In 2006, she started her private practice offering psychotherapy services to children, adolescents, adults, and families. She is licensed to practice both in Georgia and New York. She joined Northeast Georgia Psychological Services in April 2018 working with children via play therapy, adolescents, adults, couples, and family therapy. Her specialties include working with patients who struggle with serious mental illness, substance abuse, first breaks for those suffering from psychosis, trauma, attachment disorders, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders. This is where she feels in her element and she is blessed to work with professional clinicians who care deeply for their patients as well.

Lydia Breer, L.C.S.W.  earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2013 from the University of Georgia, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She holds a certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy.  Lydia served on the Board of Directors of the Tourette Information Center and Support of GA (T.I.C.S. of GA) from 2007-2015 serving in many roles including support group coordinator for the state of Georgia, Chairman of the Board, and staff social worker for Camp Twin Lake’s Camp Twitch and Shout, an international week-long summer camp for children ages 7-17 who have a primary diagnosis of Tourette’s disorder. Her practice focus includes parenting children with ADD/ADHD and/or Tourette’s disorder, women’s issues, couples conflict, grief and loss, aging in place, and career and life changes.  Lydia is a proponent of the strengths philosophy which emphasizes drawing upon inherent abilities and strengths to overcome challenges and obstacles.  She feels empowered to establish a partnership with clients so they can reach their full potential. She joined Northeast Georgia Psychological Services in February 2020 after serving as a hospice social worker and a therapist in private practice.

Brooke Harris, L.P.C. is a Licensed Professional Counselor who provides treatment to adolescents, adults and couples. She attended University of North Georgia to receive her Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a sociology minor. Brooke received her master’s in professional counseling from Liberty University, a Christian college. This enables Brooke to help clients who are seeking Christian counseling services as well as any clients with spirituality concerns unrelated to Christianity. Brooke uses an integrative approach to helping her clients because not every client responds to the same treatment and enables a higher success rate of bettering one’s life. Brooke specializes in clients who are struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, transitions of life, spirituality concerns, and self-esteem. She utilizes cognitive-behavioral therapy, narrative therapy, solution-focused approach, and other techniques. Brooke considers it an immense honor to come alongside her clients and partner with them in a journey to change and success.

Heather Mathis, L.P.C. is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has experience with substance abuse, depression, anxiety, severe and persistent mental illnesses, infertility, premarital counseling, and relationship issues. Heather is experienced in working with men, women, couples along with LGBTQ+ community. Heather graduated from Brenau University with a Master’s in Clinical Counseling Psychology and utilizes Cognitive Behavioral, and Reality therapy. She has been in the mental health field for over 10 years and is very passionate about her work with the family violence intervention program.

Dianna Singleton, A.P.C., N.C.C. is a master’s level associate licensed mental health counselor who has been a part of the NGPS group since 2015. Dianna works with adults, children ages 4 and older, teens, couples, those in alternative relationships, and families. Dianna provides treatment to those who experience issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, gender dysphoria, marital/alternative relationship issues, family conflict, and more. Depending on the client’s needs, Dianna may use theoretical orientations such as Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral, and/or Person-Centered therapy to assist clients in reaching their goals. Dianna received her Bachelors of Science degree in 2015 at the University of North Georgia and her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at South University in 2019. Dianna offers a safe environment for clients to feel heard and express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences at their own pace. Dianna has a calming personality and skill set that creates a safe and comfortable atmosphere to continue to connect with clients and work together to achieve their therapeutic goals.