Find a Practitioner
Check below for our listing of AAIT Certified practitioners. You are welcome to contact them directly to inquire about their services.
Melanie is a licensed clinical social worker and the founder of Acceptance and Integration Training (AAIT), a promising approach to freeing people from the psychological pain and limitations that inhibit their ease of being while cultivating spiritual well-being.
AAIT is the confluence of years of my dedicated study with master therapists coupled with a decades long interest in non-dual philosophy and practices. Launching my psychotherapy career in 1984 was paired with a yearning for knowledge and skills that could HELP people.
I’ve taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee, the University of Utah and Maryville College. Serving as part of a teachings team for an international meditation and spiritual teachings organization, I developed and delivered courses and retreats related to meditation, contemplation and taking care of the body as a spiritual practice. I’ve presented at local, national and international conferences.
In addition to my award-winning book, An Illumined Life, I have written for local papers and Darshan Magazine. I’m the blogger behind AAIT.solutions and the guide for our online AAIT Community. There are now AAIT practitioners in multiple states.
Studying with a seasoned practitioner can take years off the time it takes to hone your skills. It fills my heart to share what I’ve learned.
These days, I balance a thriving psychotherapy practice with facilitating learning in AAIT, going for walks with Huxley, the wonderdog, and learning to prepare fresh healthy food for my husband and me.
Bobby McNamara is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing individual and group therapy services. He is certified in Acceptance and Integration Training. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Illinois State University and a Master’s of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee. Bobby’s area of expertise include trauma, addiction, athletics, depression, anxiety, and grief and loss. Bobby provides services in the Knoxville area and also conducts sessions via video conferencing. In his free time, Bobby enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, exercising, good pizza (hence the exercise), and watching the University of Tennessee and Chicago professional sports.
Florence Paquet is an MSW, Acceptance and Integration Training counselor, doula and reiki practitioner specializing in healing trauma. As a soulful healer, counselor, and doula living and working in East Tennessee, Flo is devoted to empowerment. She connects her clients to their own wisdom and strength with practical, deeply reflective tools for holistic healing.
Sara Ridner, L.C.S.W.
Sara Ridner, L.C.S.W. is the founder of Align Therapeutics - Facilitating Alignment of Body, Mind, Emotion, and Spirit through provision of coaching and psychotherapy.
With more than 28 years of Social Work practice, Sara has seen the gamut of life from the traumas of medical crisis, to the struggles experienced with mental illness and addiction.
Sara’s gift is helping her clients discover and ALIGN with their innate strengths and resilience. In the process, she collaborates with her clients as they learn to cope more effectively with stress, engage in more satisfying relationships and create they live they truly desire.
Sara has specialized in the treatment of trauma, addictions, mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, and difficulties in interpersonal relationships.
In addition to being a certified Acceptance and Integration Training practioner, Sara is skilled in the use of traditional therapies including EMDR for treatment of trauma, 12 Step Recovery, Schema Therapy, Family Systems, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. She has a collaborative approach to design a plan that will best serve you.
Sara enjoys working with adults to heal from traumas, deepen existing recovery from addictions, develop effective coping skills, improve relationships, and bring life into Alignment with True Self.
Lauren Startup specializes in spiritual direction. In her care, clients discover the solace and mysterious wonder of conscious living as their relationships improve, and they come home to who they really are. Lauren’s work as a certified Acceptance and Integration Training (tm) practitioner is imbued with creativity and wisdom. As a painter, she values living an artistic life through creative perspective rather than creation alone. Her personal spiritual practice mirrors this perspective which informs her work with clients. She facilitates groups and retreats regionally to provide accessible spaces of support for learning and sharing wholesome self-care. In her private practice, she offers unique and transformative sessions for her clients, helping them release the ties that bind them to pain and limitation. Lauren works and lives in the palms of coastal South Carolina with her two cats.