​Arlene Kagle Lerner, Ph.D.               


​Member of RACP since 2010

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, New York University
B.A., Biology, Sarah Lawrence College
Years in practice: 40+
Work settings: After I graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, a school known for its excellence in the Arts with a major in Biology, I spent the worst year of my life studying Genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dare I say "miraculously," I lucked into a job doing research about the first year of Head Start. I continued working with two wonderful mentors on a number of projects, ultimately running mental health programs in inner city Junior High Schools in Brooklyn, NY. Simultaneously, I attended graduate school and received my Ph.D. from NYU, which was a bastion of psychoanalysis. At work, my mentor and I were inventing CBT but we didn't know it so we are not famous or rich. I also was co-therapist with one of early leaders in family therapy. So, when I called my orientation "eclectic" I was accurate. After graduating, I was co-therapist in sex therapy with the only psychoanalyst trained by Masters and Johnson. We wrote the first paper about cases that required more than a two-week treatment period. In private practice, I continued to learn new things including hypnosis and psycho-pharmacology. My patients ranged from top executives in NYC to simple workmen who paid me in food from their gardens in upstate New York. In Dutchess County, NY, I became active in my local Psychological Association. I spent three years as President probably because I did something awful in a previous lifetime. I believe Mark Twain was right when he said, "Work is something you do when you would rather be doing something else." Given this definition, I never worked a day in 40 plus years. Six years ago, my husband and I, unexpectedly, moved to Richmond. With no intention of starting another private practice, I volunteered at the Fan Free Clinic, now known as Health Brigade, where I supervise graduate students on some amazing cases. In addition, I teach a course at the U of Richmond's Osher program called, "Think Like a Shrink - Understanding Psychology Through Literature and Literature Through Psychology”. At Fan Free Clinic, I met Bev Chamblin and then I was on the executive board at RACP.
Favorite things about being a clinical psychologist: Being really helpful and seeing people grow or stay functional.
Top professional opportunity for clinical psychologists now: Moving out of private practice into hospitals and doctor's offices and clinics with new sub-specialties.
Non-psychology dream job: Olympic figure skating
RACP leadership goals:  Encourage new membership and schedule more events for fun and fellowship. This is important because our professional lives can be lonely. These are not lofty goals but I believe they are both important and doable.

Past President                                  
Leah Farrell-Carnahan, Ph.D. ​












Member of RACP since 2011

M.S./Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Virginia Tech
M.A., Health Education/Health Behavior Studies, Columbia University
B.S., Psychology and Health Promotion/Exercise Science, Appalachian State University
Years in practice: 8
Work settings: Academic medical centers [Harlem Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, University of Virginia Health System, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (Affiliate Assistant Professor for research)]; the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center; the community training clinic at Virginia Tech; and private practice
Favorite things about being a clinical psychologist: I am incredibly curious about people. It is an honor and very satisfying to interact with people who entrust me with their innermost thoughts. Also, I enjoy the diversity of the work in that I can do different types of clinical work, research, program evaluation, and program leadership. I learn new things every day!
Top professional opportunity for clinical psychologists now: Our reverence for the research process and evidence-based practice sets us apart from other mental health disciplines. For clinical psychology to thrive and survive in large systems, like hospitals, I think we need to highlight our skills and training to build important roles on integrative healthcare teams as researchers, therapists, assessors, and administrators. It is up to us to inform colleagues from other healthcare disciplines, consumers, payers, and politicians of our value on teams and as interdisciplinary colleagues. I also think there are opportunities for us in private practice, particularly in niches. Finally, there is plenty of room for those of us who are interested in applying our skills in non-clinical capacities in policy-making and or program-implementing/managing positions in the public and private sectors.
Non-psychology dream job: documentary filmmaking
RACP leadership goals: To streamline administrative procedures, and to increase member and prospective member engagement by making RACP even more relevant and appealing.


Election Coming Soon!


Laura Brewer, Ph.D.










Member of RACP since 2010
Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, University of North Texas
B.A. with Honors, Indiana University
Years in practice: 17
Work settings: Soup Kitchen in Dallas, TX; Training Clinics at UNT (University Counseling Center and Psychology Clinic); LPC at Catholic Family Services (Dallas and St. Louis); Behavioral Medicine Clinic, Washington University, St. Louis, MO (Post- Doc); Marriage and Family Clinic, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (Post- Doc); Day Hospital - Monroe County MH, Rochester, NY; Private Practice, Rochester, NY;  Co-owner of Private Practice, Rochester, NY; Westhampton Family Psychologists, Richmond, VA
Favorite things about being a clinical psychologist: Working with adults with ADHD
Top professional opportunity for clinical psychologists now: Collaboration opportunities between physicians and mental health; Running businesses; Consultation to lawmakers
Non-psychology dream job: Still working that one out. I think it would involve travel, yarn, and good conversation with interesting people.
RACP leadership goals:  Enhance RACP's public standing by providing quality continuing educational programs and social outreach. Recruit new members to RACP and the coard by offering quality continuing education, social outreach, and personal statements to colleagues and new psychologists to the community.




Bridget Renee Dunnavant, Ph.D.














Member of RACP since 2015
Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, University of Memphis
M.S., Community Counseling, Austin Peay State University
B.A., Psychology, Transylvania University
Years in practice: 5
Work settings: private practice, university counseling Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, community agency
Favorite things about being a clinical psychologist: I enjoy most the creativity and privilege of witnessing individuals constructing their unique paths to what they need in their lives.
Top professional opportunity for clinical psychologists now: I hope to see us bolster our connections with one another and other local wellness professionals; then, work together to grow our collective political presence in order to increase social justice in our communities, as well as our own wellbeing as a field.
Dream non-clinical psychology job: artist/designer
RACP leadership goals: I'd like to get more involved in advocacy around mental health, LGBTQ and other social justice issues, and also to help early career psychologists, especially those interested in private practice.



Membership Chair

Beth Heller, Ph.D.













Member of RACP since 2015
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Virginia
M.Ed./Ed.S., School Psychology, James Madison University
B.S., Psychology, James Madison University    
Years in practice:29
Work settings: Wilson Rehabilitation Center (renamed Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center); DeJarnette Center for Children (renamed Commonwealth Center for Children); Lexington City Public Schools (School Psychology Internship); Rockingham County Public Schools; Chesterfield County Schools; Virginia Treatment Center for Children (Clinical Psychology Internship/Post-doc); Dominion Behavioral Healthcare; Commonwealth Counseling Associates; Virginia Commonwealth University, Dept. of Psychology
Favorite things about being a clinical psychologist: The opportunity to sit with people while they deal with some of the most important aspects of their lives. Witnessing their courage and dedication and having a role in fostering hope, though an awesome responsibility, feels like a privilege.
Top professional opportunity for clinical psychologists now: With behavioral health increasingly gaining recognition as an integral part of general health, there are new and expanded roles for clinical psychologists in integrated care settings.
Non-psychology dream job: landscape designer
RACP leadership goals: Facilitate collaboration between VCU, and other academic institutions in the area, and RACP. Increase RACP membership and engagement of local clinical psychologists through personal outreach



Continuing Education Co-Chair
Sherry Ceperich, Ph.D.











Member of RACP since 2016
Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, Arizona State University
M.S., Educational Psychology, University of Tennessee
B.S.J., Journalism, Northwestern University
Years in practice: 21
Work settings: I have worked in University Counseling Centers (ASU, H-SC, UR); Schools of Medicine (VCU, UVA) as a researcher; Government (contractor with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Veterans Affairs Medical Center); and private practice/consultation. 
Favorite things about being a clinical psychologist: It is never boring, given the variety of setting and tasks you can be involved with, and it offers endless opportunities to continue to learn about yourself and others.
Top professional opportunity for clinical psychologists now: The chance to be on the cutting edge of learning about human nature and implementing new findings/approaches to reduce suffering and enhance people's quality of life.  
Non-psychology dream job: Work in conservation, possibly for an organization like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. 
RACP leadership goals: Co-produce four CE events that are relevant, interesting, and timely for RACP members and to contribute to increasing and diversifying the membership.



Continuing Education Co-Chair
Rebecca Aycock, Ph.D.











​​Member of RACP since 2016
Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, University of Memphis
M.Ed, Counseling and Human Services, Lehigh University
B.S., Psychology, Virginia Tech
Years in practice: 4 
Work settings: Veterans Affairs Medical Center; academic medical center

Favorite things about being a clinical psychologist: Helping patients to know that they are not alone, that someone cares
Top professional opportunity for clinical psychologists now: I don’t see just one; I think that the field is expanding and that psychologists are so versatile they are making meaningful impacts in a variety of settings (colleges, hospitals, business, k-12 education)
Dream non-clinical psychology job: mechanical engineer 
RACP leadership goals:  Coordinate with co-chair and board to provide four continuing education events that provide RACP members with a range of topics that enhance their practice and understanding of human nature.



Daphne Bethune, Ph.D.










Member of RACP since 2011
Ph.D.,  Counseling Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University
M.S., Clinical Psychology, Virginia State University
Training as a Forensic Evaluator,  UVA Institute of Law, Psychiatry, & Public Policy
Years in practice: 26
Work settings: Dr. Bethune has provided mental health services in a variety of settings and with a variety of populations including children, adolescents, adults, couples, families, and geriatric individuals. She has a special interest in the assessment and treatment of ADHD, Major Depression, and adjustment difficulties in children, adolescents, and adults, and enjoys working with children with developmental disorders and their families. Dr. Bethune has held adjunct faculty positions at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, and Virginia Union University.
Favorite things about being a clinical psychologist: Meeting different people across the lifespan.
Non-psychology dream job: designing flower arrangements.  


Graduate Student Representative 
Ashley Hill, M.S.











Member of RACP since 2016
M.S. in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University 
B.S. in psychology from Howard University
Years in practicum: 2.5
Settings she’s worked in: I have worked in a variety service positions at amusement parks, movie theaters, and department stores in high school and college. During college, I also interned at a non-profit that provided emergency housing for homeless (or soon to be homeless) families in South Jersey. Additionally, I worked in a research lab at Howard University examined colorism and its influences mental health. In graduate school, I have worked as an Academic Adviser, Teaching Assistant and Research assistant. 
Her favorite things about being a clinical psychologist (in-training): As psychologists, we inherently believe in the power of change. Viewing that change and being supportive of my clients has been a rewarding and privileged experience. 
The top professional opportunity she sees for clinical psychologists now: The top opportunity for clinical psychologists now is to integrate clinical psychology into the overall community. There is a disconnect between the interests of psychology and those of marginalized populations. Bridging that gap, through advocacy and public policy, is the first step toward creating social change. 
Her non-psychology dream job would be in photography. 

RACP leadership goal: Increase social justice concerns within clinical psychology through using our knowledge and resources to advocate for the surrounding community.


Legislative Liaison 


A regional academy of ​The virginia academy of clinical psychologists