About Us

How It All Got Started

It all started back in 2017, when Katherine decided that she was ready to branch out on her own.

As she started out, she decided the perfect name would be Core Connect Counseling. 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. The center has a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Naturopathic Medical Doctor/Acupuncturist, and 5 clinicians. The center is in the process of adding a child therapist to further expand the access to services in the community.

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 G. Perez, LPC

Katherine is the owner and Clinical Director of Core Connect Counseling. She is a Licensed Professional counselor with over 16 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. 

Ashley Berg, LMSW

Ashley enjoys working with individuals (ages 15+), couples and families as they break out of the loneliness and darkness that accompanies the struggles of this life. She will work alongside you to develop a plan for reaching your goals and overcoming obstacles along the way. 

Ashley uses a supportive, strength-based, and non-judgmental approach to therapy. She utilizes the following techniques: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Meditation, and The Gottman Technique for couples. Ashley is trauma informed and certified in EMDR therapy as well.

Ashley’s office is a safe and comfortable space where healing and transformation happens. Please feel free to call or email today for an appointment. 

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.

Tracy Hastings, LCSW

Tracy is a Licensed clinical Social Worker with 20 years of experience.  Tracy’s takes an authentic and client centered approach.  Through the use of; Positive Psychology, CBT, DBT, CPT and Motivational Interviewing, Tracy helps clients understand their own story.  She has worked extensively with Veterans, those in crisis, and clients from all backgrounds.  Tracy’s areas of focus include: PTSD, depression, anxiety, interpersonal skill building, emotional regulation, crisis prevention, low self- esteem, effective problem solving and domestic violence.

Kyla Kremis

Kyla is the Admin Assistant for Core Connect and comes with many years of experience. Her friendly personality and helpful demeanor will make you feel welcomed!

Dr. Ben Stills, NMD

Dr. Benjamin Stills received his BS in Biochemistry and BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015 and graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2020.

Dr. Stills is a fully licensed naturopathic physician who treats patients from all walks of life with a focus on addressing the root cause of illness and disease to help restore both physical and mental health for his patients as opposed to just suppressing their symptoms.

He has trained with several top physicians in the field of naturopathic medicine and specializes in regenerative medicine, women’s and men’s health, mental health, and chronic illness.

Jennifer Weatherford, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC

To meet all of our clients needs we also have a psychiatric nurse practitioner on site to provide evaluations, accurate diagnoses, and medication management services.  Jennifer Weatherford, our nurse practitioner, sees clients ages 5 and older and she provides a thorough psychiatric evaluation to ensure a proper diagnosis.  She can also prescribe medications and/or supplements to help each client meet their individual mental health and wellness goals.  

Jennifer is a family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Jennifer has experience working with adults and children in both community mental health and private practice settings. Before she went to school for her Master’s degree, Jennifer worked as a registered nurse in a variety of clinical areas including oncology, critical care, and telemetry within the hospital setting. Jennifer considers herself a life-long learner and is always reading the latest research in psychiatry to help her clients achieve optimal mental health and wellness outcomes. She has earned a bachelor of science in physiological sciences from the University of Arizona. Jennifer also has a bachelor of science in Nursing from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and a Master of Science in Nursing from Walden University. Jennifer is excited to collaborate with all the amazing counselors at Core Connect. She is eager to join a team that offers clients an integrative and holistic approach to mental health care.

Candace Wilkins, LAC

Candace is a Licensed Associate Counselor who loves helping clients develop positive ways of thinking and behaving that will empower them to change unwanted habits, while providing a safe environment to cultivate that change. Candace has experience with CBT and Brief Solution Focused therapies, treating young adults presenting with anxiety, depression, substance abuse and symptoms of trauma in an intensive outpatient setting. Candace believes the client is the expert of their own life, and finding and learning to trust oneself again is the key to emotional healing and life satisfaction.

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.

Liberty Garcia

Liberty is an administrative assistant with Core Connect. Liberty comes with tons of experience in the medical field, having worked for a local hospital in the ER. She is friendly and looks forward to helping you.