Roy Wooten, MS

Executive Director

Roy Wooten has over twenty-five years experience in social services serving primarily in senior leadership of youth and family service nonprofit ministries. He holds a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Science in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Abilene Christian University and an honorary Doctorate in Ministry from Global Grace Seminary. Roy has held licenses with the Texas Department of Protective and Family Services and the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. He has served in leadership posts in civic, church and professional organizations.

Roy is the author of the best selling book “The Secret to Lifetime Love” and “Full Throttle Into Fatherhood, and is  a sought-after speaker and guest on relationship matters including marriage, parenting, fathering and family issues. He has presented at the National Association of Relationship and Marriage Educators, National Head Start Annual Conference, Texas Ministry Conference, Texas Network of Youth Services, Texas Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Christian Association for Psychological Studies, Texas Head Start Association, Texas Association of School Boards Leadership Institutes, Texas Parent Involvement Conferences, Oklahoma and Texas Parent Teachers Associations and many others. He has been interviewed in print and television media from Amarillo to Houston and consulted with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Harris County, City of Houston and churches, schools and nonprofits. He holds several memberships including the Christian Comedy Association.

Roy has been married to Devra since 1988 and has two adult children who are actively engaged at school, church and their community in the Northwest Houston area.

Melissa Rotholz, MS

Associate Director

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Texas State University and a Master of Science in Organizational and Human Resource Development from Abilene Christian University. She has over twelve years of experience leading organizational and human resource development teams dedicated to supporting and elevating individual and organization performance. Melissa enjoys program creation and facilitation, process design and improvement, strategic planning, consulting, and marketing. She loves meeting new people and finding ways to build lasting and impactful partnerships. She feels incredibly passionate about serving people in our community through mentoring, board and committee participation, and volunteering at her church, children’s schools, and many area ministries.

Melissa has been married since 1994 and has two teenage children that keep her busy with activities. In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time with friends, writing, and traveling.

Allie Scott, MA, LPC

Clinical Coordinator

Allie holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University.  She specializes in treatment of depression, anxiety, adjustment to trauma and difficult life situations, codependency, grief, parenting issues.  Additionally, Allie has had experience and success working with adult victims of childhood sexual abuse.  She has participated in many of Shield Bearer’s Marriage Intensives, and has extensive experience working with couples in distress.  Allie is skilled at providing practical and applicable counseling to help her clients navigate the difficulties of life.

Allie has been married to her husband Elliott since 1992. They have five children.  In her spare time she enjoys exercising, singing in her praise team, reading, doing cross-word puzzles, cooking, and camping with her family.

Pam Cosart, MA, LPC-S, CART

Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor

Pam holds a Business degree from Eastern Illinois University and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Liberty University. She is a veteran facilitator of women’s bible study groups and oversees the Soul Care Counseling Ministry at Cy-Fair Christian Church. Pam specializes in treatment of anxiety, depression, grief and loss; she provides individual, adolescent, children, couple and family counseling, including pre-marital and marriages in distress. She journeys with women who are navigating through transitions of life. Additionally, she is a certified anger resolution therapist. Her theoretical orientation includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and existentialism from a biblical perspective. Pam is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, the Board of Christian Professional and Pastoral Counselors, and the American Counseling Association.

Pam married her husband Al in 1975. They have three adult children: Audra, Jordan and Alex. In her spare time, she likes to read and walk/jog for fitness. She enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with their grandchildren.

Joyce Finch, Ed.D. MA, LPC, CSC


Joyce holds a Bachelor of Science in Education at the University of Houston, a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling at Sam Houston State University, a Doctorate in Counselor Education at Texas Southern University. She was a school counselor for 23 years – 10 as an intermediate and 13 as a high school counselor. Joyce is an assistant professor at Texas Southern University and teaches school and agency counseling. She specializes in the treatment of grief and loss, depression, and anxiety and provides Christian, adolescent, and individual counseling. Joyce is a member of the Texas Counseling Association and Chi Sigma Iota (International Honor Society for Counseling Majors on the Graduate Level). She married her husband Robert (Bob) in 1969, and they have two adult daughters and six grandchildren. In her spare time she plays tennis, exercises at the gym, walks, and swims. Joyce enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with their grandchildren.

MaryLou Shackleton, MA, LPC-S, LMFT-S

Clinical Supervisor and Marriage and Family Therapist

MaryLou holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Family Therapy from University of Houston-Clear Lake and has been practicing since 2002. She served in the preschool and counseling ministries at Sagemont Church in Houston since 1982. MaryLou helps clients, young and old, with depression, anxiety, grief and loss, and helps families work through premarital counseling, marriage issues, parenting challenges and blended family concerns at her private practice. She supervises students and licensed interns. MaryLou is married and blessed with grandchildren and she enjoys sewing, old movies, and finding treasures in resale shops!


Patsy Koenig, MA, LPC


Patsy holds a Master’s of Arts in Counseling from Houston Graduate School of Theology and is a member of the American Counseling Association. She has a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and a Masters of Arts in Education from Southwest Texas State University. Patsy works with individuals and couples, and she facilitates Shield Bearer’s anger management classes. Patsy has a heart for restoring and strengthening relationships. She cares deeply that her clients find healing for their wounds and a path through the challenges of their life. Patsy has a gift for encouragement, and a goal of helping her clients recognize hope. When the client so chooses, she values integrating faith into the counseling experience. Patsy has been married to Randy since 1981. They have five children and recently gained a son-in-law. Patsy’s favorite pastime is spending time with family and friends.

Tammy Cover, MS, LPC, EMDR Trained


Tammy holds a Master of Science in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. She has a heart for women who have gone through or are going through divorce, as well as those in difficult marriages. Her passion is helping people recognize their own value as an Image Bearer of the Creator and their special purpose in His plan. Tammy works with children and adolescents, couples, and adult women. Tammy enjoys concerts, theater, and time with friends and family. She moved from Arizona to Texas in 2015 after her two adult sons moved here. She has one grandson and another grandchild on the way.

Roy Garcia, MDiv, MA, LPC-Intern


Roy is a caring counselor who has helped many individuals and couples, adults and adolescents, overcome communication issues, anxiety, depression, marriage and relationship problems. Roy earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the Houston Graduate School of Theology graduating Magna Cum Laude. Previously Roy earned a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri and a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Roy previously owned a successful construction company in Corpus Christi and pastored a church in Austin. Roy and his wife enjoy their son and daughter and their six grandchildren. Roy and his wife are members of Lakewood Church, where they are involved in various ministries. Roy is fluent in Spanish.

Carmen Dennistoun, MA, LPC


Carmen graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She provides individual, adolescent, couple and family counseling and has worked in various settings including Christian counseling center, private clinic, women and children’s homeless shelter, residential home for children, domestic violence center and psychiatric/substance abuse hospital. Her special interests are working with clients dealing with substance abuse, addiction, depression, bipolar, anxiety and stress, life transitions, marriage and family conflict and survivors of abuse. Carmen also facilitates Shield Bearer’s Depression and Bipolar Support group.

Carmen has been married since 1993 and has two teenage children.  She enjoys spending time with family, extended family and close friends. Her hobbies are playing the piano, skiing the blues, jogging a little, great movies and watching anyone else cook as long as it isn’t her.

Britney Maxwell Shirk, MA, LMFT-A


Britney holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Akron. She received her Bachelors of Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. Britney has worked with families, children and teens in a counseling setting as well as in church and institutional settings. She provides individual, family, child and adolescent counseling. Britney loves to work with clients to develop a plan together that empowers the individual as well as support growth inter personally.

Britney has three young children, two daughters and one son. Her pets are also part of the family. She values connecting with people, but she also appreciates yoga, running, travel, reading, painting, drawing, and playing outdoors.

Nancy Williams, MA, LPC-S


Nancy holds a License as a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor in the State of Texas.  Her degrees and certifications include a Master of Music, MA in Counseling, Certified Anger Resolution Therapist, training in Play Therapy, Theraplay, Movement Therapy, Music Therapy and an Instructor’s license in WholyFit, which is a Christian alternative to Yoga. Her formal education and experience has prepared her to work with individuals, families and groups.  She is an Approved Supervisor by the Board since December. 2010. Nancy began counseling in schools in 1995 working with elementary children, while working on her LPC license.  She also holds a teaching certificate licensed in Arkansas and Texas in all grades, with experience at the University level as well.  Other counseling experience includes private practice, working in two psychiatric hospitals in Texas and Arkansas, and working for Early Head Start.  Management and business ownership also are a part of her work experience.

Cynthia (Cindy) Leon, MA, LPC, EMDR Trained


Cindy holds a Master’s in Professional Counseling from Texas State University in 2010. Before becoming a counselor she worked as a middle school teacher for 10 years.  Cindy’s passion for working with children and adolescents has led her to a desire to help them through the difficult issues that they can face as they grow. She believes that if children and adolescents are able to learn how to deal with their struggles at an early age then they will be more likely to grow up to become productive and capable adults. Issues such as defiance, anxiety, divorce, self-confidence and assertiveness can all be addressed through counseling to help children and adolescents to become better adjusted and able to handle what life throws at them.  Cindy uses a number of different treatment types to work with clients including: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), sand tray therapy, play therapy, art therapy, and talk therapy. Cindy has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, families, couples, first-responders, and trauma-victims.  Cindy is married and has 3 children. She enjoys spending time with her family and travelling.


Dorothy Stippler

Client Relations Specialist

Dorothy holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and has 10+ years of experience in the social sciences field. She started as a Community Corrections Case Manager in Alabama specializing in people in the criminal justice system. When she moved to Texas, she taught offender education classes to individuals on probation. She started with Shield Bearer in March of 2016. She is often the first person people come in contact with at Shield Bearer and everyone she meets is very important to her. She strives to give hope to all. She specializes in crisis management and giving hope to survivors. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, sewing, and volunteering at church.

Graduate Student Interns

Shield-Bearer is proud to be an internship/practicum site for new professionals who desire to help us meet our mission of high quality services without regard to ability to pay. Very few applicants are selected to become a part of the Shield-Bearer family. Graduate students selected have typically been those who have life and field experience in addition to their formal education and who fit well with our values and mission. Being counseled by a graduate student provides the most current evidence-based approaches with weekly (sometimes daily) supervision by credentialed onsite and graduate school supervisors. We are proud to have been a part of facilitating the ongoing training of new counselors in conjunction with the following graduate programs:

• Baylor University, Graduate School of Social Work

• Houston Graduate School of Theology, Counseling Department

• Houston Baptist University, Christian Counseling Department

• Liberty University, Counseling Department

• Sam Houston State University, Education and Counseling Departments

• University of Houston, Psychology, Education and Social Work Departments

• Texas Women’s University, Family Therapy Doctoral Program

• Ashland Theological Seminary, Pastoral Counseling Department

• Dallas Theological Seminary, Christian Counseling Department