We are located at:

10712 Ballantraye Dr, Ste 304
Fredericksburg, VA 22407

We specialize in both Mental Health & Substance Abuse Counseling.

Please call to talk to someone today!
Main Office: (540) 318-7313
Site Director: 
(540) 318-0556

Meet Our Counselors

Laurencia duSantos 200x200Laurencia duSantos, PsyD, LCP

Practice Director/Clinician

I was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. I served in the US Army as a nuclear, biological, chemical operations specialist. My experience in the army sparked an interest in mental health, which led to a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Upon completing my term of service in the Army, I earned my master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Arlington, VA. I am a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in testing, diagnosing and treating various psychological difficulties such as ADHD, mood and anxiety disorders, intellectual disabilities/learning disorders, and emotional and behavioral difficulties. In addition to clinical work, I taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels as an adjunct professor at the Art Institute of Washington and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. I particularly enjoy working with school-age children, immigrant populations, military/veterans and families, forensic populations, and victims of trauma, abuse and domestic violence. I also provide Bible-centered therapy. I mostly enjoy reading, listening to music, cooking, travelling, and decorating.

Traci 6071Traci DeMerchant, LCSW


I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. I arrived in Virginia by way of a military transfer. I spent 8 years in the U.S. Navy, and 15 years as a military spouse, giving me an expansive background in the issues of military service members and their families. I graduated with my MSW from VCU in 2007 and have been an LCSW since 2011. I am a school social worker in Stafford and provide psychiatric services at Mary Washington Hospital. I have been with National Counseling Group since 2013 and am excited to be able to provide individual, person-centered, and solution-focused therapy.

Rachel Edmunds Clinician 200x200Rachel Edmunds, LCSW


With more than 20 years' experience in public schools and private practice, I'm a passionate counselor who believes in establishing a strong therapeutic alliance with my clients. I believe each person has resources for self-understanding and change, especially when provided with a supportive environment that promotes health. I enjoy working with individual adults and have experience providing support on issues related to mood management, stress management, life transitions, elders and their care partners, grief/bereavement, self-esteem and lifelong effects of surviving abuse. My academic preparation was at Georgetown University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Melissa Hunt Clinician 200x200Melissa Hunt, LCSW


I have been working in the field for 15 years with adolescents, adults and geriatric individuals. I have provided specialized services to adolescents who have had sexually harmful behaviors. In addition, I have worked extensively with adolescents dealing with oppositional and conduct related behaviors. I tailor my therapeutic approach to meet the needs of the individuals I serve.

Alayshia Pinkney Clinician 200x200Alayshia Pinkney, MA, ICADC


I was born and raised in the inner city of Brooklyn, NY, exposed to the generational effects of trauma and substance misuse on the individual, the family, and the community. This early exposure greatly influenced my interests as a counselor specializing in trauma and substance use disorders, and the influence of spiritual growth on the recovery process. My experience includes working with adults and adolescents with substance use and co-occurring disorders. I received a BA in psychology from SUNY Stonybrook in Stonybrook, NY in 2003, and an MA in professional counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA in 2014. I currently hold certification as an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC) and am working towards LPC licensure. I believe that anyone can recover from substance misuse with the proper supports. In my leisure time I enjoy learning about God, singing, and spending time with loved ones.

Debbie Toscano Clinician 200x200 2Debbie Toscano


Recently relocating from Long Island, New York, Debbie Toscano comes to Virginia with over 25 years of diverse experiences in individual, family and marital therapy. Working in private practice for more than 15 years, Debbie has dealt with various groups of people, including children and adolescents, focusing mostly on utilizing solution-focused and cognitive behavioral therapy. She's passionate about educating and nurturing individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, stress, phobias and beyond. Since receiving her Master's Degree in 1988 from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, Debbie has continued to evolve as a therapist, social worker, mediator, and mentor. In addition, Debbie is a Reiki master/practitioner utilizing meditation in dealing with anxiety and stress.

Shimeca Meaders 200X200 2Shimeca Meaders

Central Intake Specialist

I was born and raised in Lumberton, North Carolina. I am a military spouse and a mother of two wonderful children. My family and I recently relocated to Virginia from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. By being a working mother and military spouse I have firsthand experience in the hardships of everyday life and the tole that it takes on a family. I have over four years of experience in the medical field and I am currently serving as the Central Intake Specialist. I am a customer service oriented professional and look forward to providing administrative support and function as the primary interface between the patient and the provider.

Find out how you can become a member of the Avenues to Wellness team.

Visit the Join Our Team page

Are you or a loved one experiencing any of the following?

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Anger issues
  • Depression
  • Abuse and trauma
  • Image and esteem
  • Behavioral issues
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Loss and grief
  • OCD
  • Phobias
  • Serious mental illness

If so, we can help!