About Us

How It All Got Started

2017... when Katherine decided that she was ready to branch out on her own, that's when the journey began .

Katherine decided the perfect name would be Core Connect Counseling, a place to connect the core of who you are, with where you are at . She started out in a small office with the thought of only practicing a couple of days per week.

As she met more and more clients, it became obvious to her that there was a much greater need for a comprehensive model that allowed clients to have multiple services in the same location but all working towards the client’s mental health success.

Building The Team

In January 2018, Katherine decided to expand the practice to be up and running full time and by May, she had expanded to a four office suite and started to build her team.

Core Connect Counseling was dedicated to continue growing the practice and to continue working towards the dream of a wellness center.

With the goal of taking her practice to the next level of including multiple wellness services, the dream and hard work paid off.  In April 2021, Core Connect Wellness Center was conceived and moved to a larger office in Gilbert.

We are dedicated to helping our clients find mental health wellness in all aspects of their lives and helping you, find yourself. 

Meet The Team

Katherine Garcia, LPC

Clinical Director/Owner

Katherine is a Licensed Professional counselor with over 18 years of experience working with a diverse population. Katherine‘s focus is to help you create outcome driven plans that will allow you to achieve the goals discussed.

Katherine is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavior, Rational Emotive Therapy and The Gottman Method for couples counseling as well as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) trained. Katherine works with General Mental health and relationship issues as well as Lifestyle couples and individuals (poly, swingers) and issues related to LGBT+, Trans/GNC/GNB, BDSM, kink and sexual dysfunction.


Melody Day, LAC

Melody is a Licensed Associate Counselor with more than 12 years’ experience nationally/internationally helping people work through what is keeping them stuck. She uses her knowledge & experience to provide outcome driven, individualized sessions. 

Melody also has extensive specialized training & experience with; trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, stress, sex, Trans/Gender Expansive & LGBQIA+, and is Sex+ & Kink, Poly, & ENM affirming. Melody prides herself on being trained in specific, varied techniques to provide powerful & dynamic individualized sessions (EMDR, DBT, Attachment Therapy, Gender Therapy, Solution-Focused, CBT, Multicultural, Narrative, Mindfulness/Meditation, The Gottman Method & more). Melody also provides evaluations and referral letters for gender confirmation services. 


Harbor's Edge Therapy Website

Kim Leversee, LMSW

Kim is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in the state of Arizona with 15 years of experience. She specializes in adolescents with anxiety, depression, substance abuse and social struggles. Her approach is based on specializing in each individual needs.  Kim uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Therapy and Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). She has a passion for change and progress through the life cycle. 

Kim graduated from Arizona State University with her master’s in social work and obtained her LMSW in 2011.  She has worked in several diverse populations: Juvenile Probation, Hospice, Adult Mental Health and Hospital settings. All of which gives her a good foundation and diverse approach to everyone she works with. 


Kimberly Jackowski, LAC

Kimberly's approach is rooted in CBT, as well as utilizing DBT skills such as mindfulness. Kimberly specializes in shame reduction, trauma work, and living a wholehearted and authentic life. She appreciates the positive impact of creating trust and a strong rapport with her clients combined with a cognitive approach to assist them with building a connection between thoughts and feelings.

Kimberly creates a safe environment utilizing empathic understanding and unconditional positive regard to support clients in exploring their values to reach their desired goals.

Kimberly's specific areas of focus include: anxiety, codependency, depression, communication skills, anger management, domestic violence, low self-esteem, boundary setting, emotion regulation and traumatic experience management.


Michelle Zyla, PMHNP-BC

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Michelle is a board-certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, licensed in the state of Arizona. Having been in healthcare for 30 years, she has worked in numerous practice areas. Michelle has a firm belief that when we improve mental health, we improve physical health, family relationships, and overall functioning in day-to-day life. Michelle is passionate about teaching her clients how to improve their mental health for the long term, by utilizing a healthcare team of therapists and nurse practitioners in their mental health journey. She believes in utilizing all the tools available including medication, vitamins, therapy, and self-awareness to promote mental healing. Michelle hopes to eliminate the stigmas associated with mental health concerns and seeking treatment through a collaborative and educational approach with clients and their families.


Jim Rankin, LCSW

Jim has 20 years of experience working with families who have needed help in one way or another. After completing his Master’s in Social work, he was a counselor for four years before becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker more than 10 years ago. He has worked in Behavioral, Cognitive Behavioral, Attachment and Psychodynamic methods to help clients move through the changes and challenges in their lives.  Jim works with clients experiencing Depression, Anxiety, and relational challenges as well as an interest and emphasis for couples counseling. Over the years he has attended graduate studies in Psychology as well as Psychoanalytical studies to provide a comprehensive therapeutic approach to help individuals and families. 


Hope Anderson

Executive Assistant

Hope comes to us with 10 years of experience in Operations and Business Management and is now Katherine Garcia's Executive Assistant. Prior to joining Core Connect she was a Regional Operations Manager overseeing multiple hotels in Gilbert and an Executive Assistant to a hotel broker. She studied Business at Grand Canyon University and is a mother to 3 children here in Gilbert.

She works behind the scenes of the Painting Wellness podcast and is always ready and willing to lend a helping hand to our clients and staff.


Dr. Emerald, DC

Doctor of Chiropractic, Base Camp Health

Through his own personal journey of discovering chiropractic care, breathwork, balance training, and reconnecting with his innate ability to heal, the course of Dr. Emerald's life shifted. Dr. Emerald works with others experiencing health hurdles with a core belief that our bodies are designed to heal and thrive if given the opportunity to do so. Dr. Emerald has the knowledge and experience to take you and your family to a new level of health and wellness.

Dr. Emerald is also the co-host of Painting Wellness-The Podcast in conjunction with Kat Garcia, owner of Core Connect Wellness.


Monica Cawley, LMFT

Monica is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapy with over 9 years in the mental health field ranging from working with seriously mentally ill adults to young children.  She approaches therapy through a family systems and strengths based lens and has helped many individuals and families overcome struggles and find their strength within.  She values the power of a great therapeutic relationship and works alongside you to achieve your goals while providing an empathetic and safe space to get there.


Monica is trained in EMDR, DBT, CBT, and the Gottman Method to work with children, teens, families, and couples.  She integrates skills such as mindfulness to help you feel more connected to your life, experiences, and relationships. Monica enjoys working with clients to address anxiety, depression, trauma, low self-esteem, adolescent substance use issues, communication, and relationship issues.


Stephanie Sampson, BHT

Stephanie is a transplant from the East Coast. She comes from a background of working with children, adolescents, and adults over the last 7 years. She has helped clients in hospital,  addiction centers, Intensive out patient, and private practice settings. 

Stephanie comes to help on your journey to wellness and will hold space for your healing. In conjunction with Art therapy, Stephanie incorporates mindfulness and evidence based behavioral techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral therapy and Dialectical Behavioral therapy. She also uses the arts, movement, and shamanic healing practices to help you move through your process. 

Stephanie practices virtual therapy and sees clients ages 5 and up.

Please note Stephanie is a Behavioral Health Technician and awaiting her license. She is supervised by Katherine Garcia, LPC.


Our Providers...

Please note that all our providers are independent practitioners and not employed by Core Connect Wellness