Meet Our Staff

Meet Alicia Grindstaff

Alicia started working in the mental health field at Healing Grace Counseling Center assisting in office duties in 2012 while she was attending UMKC to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After finishing there, she continued on to get her Master’s in Counseling Psychology and a Certificate in Child and Adolescent Counseling from Avila University. Alicia’s internship experience included outpatient services at Healing Grace, and inpatient services at Crittenton Children’s Center. She completed her course work in May of 2015. In December of 2018 she completed training to become a certified yoga instructor to integrate the mind-body connection in healing with her clients. In January of 2021 Alicia opened her own private practice, and in 2022 became a registered supervisor for the State of Missouri.

Alicia enjoys working with individuals, families, couples, and supervising future mental health professionals. She especially enjoys working with children and adolescents. She understands that each person and family is unique with their own ideas and experiences, and she hopes to reflect this understanding in her approach to therapy. Over the years Alicia has completed trainings in various approaches to therapy to be able to integrate additional tools to her overall psychodynamic perspective.

Alicia describes herself as a continuous student, and is always wanting to learn (even if that means she is learning more about her hobbies, such as gardening, beekeeping, and training her two dogs).

Alicia's Continuing Education Training:

  • Ethics Collection (Dual Relationships, Informed Consent, & Professional Wills) – October 2022
  • Medical and Recreational Marijuana for Mental Health and Healthcare Professionals: Answers to Your Biggest Questions– October 2022
  • Somatic Experiencing Professional Training: Basics Workshop – September 2022
  • DSM-5-TR Review of Changes July 2022
  • Understanding Yoga: From Neuroscience to PracticeFebruary 2022
  • CVN’s Caring for Our Diverse Military Population February 2022
  • Pumped: Building a Better Brain Through Exercise and Movement November 2021
  • Social Justice Practices in Evidence Based Clinical Care September 2021
  • Online Supervision in Mental Health August 2021
  • Supervision in Mental Health Care August 2021
  • The Efficacy of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy April 2021
  • Listening to the Body: Understanding the Language of Stress-Related Symptoms May 2020
  • Distinguishing Suicidal Ideation from Intrusive Self-Harm OCD – May, 2020
  • Telehealth for Mental Health Professionals 2-Day Distance Therapy Training – April, 2020
  • Counseling Individuals and Families with Life-Threatening Illness – September, 2019
  • EMDR: Effectively Treat Trauma and Move Clients Forward – January, 2019
  • Ethics and Boundaries Issues – 2018 – October, 2018
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Clients: Clinical Issues and Treatment Services – September, 2018
  •  Nutritional and Integrative Interventions for Mental Health Disorders: Non-pharmaceutical Interventions for Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar & ADHD – April, 2018
  • Military Culture: Core Competencies for Healthcare Professionals – January, 2018
  • Job Analysis Incentive Reading and Post Test – August, 2017
  • The Body Keeps Score-Trauma Healing with Bessel van der Kolk, MD – April, 2017
  • Neuroscience for Clinicians: Brain Change for Stress, Anxiety, Trauma, Moods, and Substance Abuse – December, 2016
  • Mindfulness, Healing & Transformation – The Pain and the Promise of Befriending the Full Catastrophe – August, 2016
  • Play Therapy for Children, Adolescents and Adults Techniques to move beyond talk therapy and “Play it Out” – June, 2016
  • Diagnosing and Treating Personality Disorders – May, 2015
  • If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit: Tips, Tools and Techniques to Help Grieving Children, Teens and Adults – April 2016
  • Helicopters, Drill Sergeants, & Consultants: Parenting Styles and the Messages They Send – April, 2016
  • Parenting the Love and Logic Way – April, 2016
  • GOTTMAN METHOD COUPLES THERAPY LEVEL 1: Bridging the Couple Chasm – March, 2014 and February, 2018

Meet Destiny Lakin

Destiny is a Provisionally Licensed Professional counselor (PLPC), practicing under the supervision of Alicia Grindstaff, LPC. Destiny completed her bachelor’s in psychology in 2017 and her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in May of 2019. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Counseling Education and Supervision. 
In addition to seeing clients with AG counseling, Destiny has been an elementary school counselor in an alternative school for grades K-6 since August 2018. Prior to working as a school counselor Destiny worked as an instructional assistant for the personal development classroom in K-12 alternative education, as a part-time behavior specialist with foster adopt connect, and spent a year as a case manager for Jackson County Children’s Division. 
Destiny enjoys working with children and adolescents and has a strong background working with a diverse population, with a variety of different needs. She strives to normalize mental health and create an environment of unconditional acceptance. 
In her spare time, Destiny enjoys spending time with family and friends, working on home renovations, going to the gym, and traveling.

Destiny's Continuing Education Training:

  • Somatic Experiencing Professional Training: Basics Workshop – September 2022
  • First Call: Signs of Suicide Training 2022 February 2022
  • The Zones of Regulation- Pathways to Self-Regulation October 2018

Meet Wilson

Wilson was born July of 2018. He started his therapy dog training prior to the covid-19 pandemic, and due to this is still in his “in-training” phase. Wilson’s favorite activities include playing and giving kisses. Wilson typically assists Alicia with therapy several days a week. Wilson has a crate in the office both for him to take breaks if needed, and for patients to opt out of animal assisted therapy.

Meet Penelope

Penelope was part of a foster program from Midwest Animal Resq sponsored by Buzzelli Law. Buzzelli Law is located in the same office suite as AG Counseling and fosters cats looking for their forever home. Penelope immediately seemed at home and the staff at Buzzelli Law adopted her and gave her the permanent title of Office Cat. She spends most of her day napping on Alicia’s couches eager to give affection to each patient. There are often still foster cats available for adoption at the office. To see a full list of animals available click here

Alicia is an animal lover, but this is not the primary reason that animal assisted therapy is offered. Many therapeutic settings have seen positive outcomes by incorporating animals into treatment. This is especially powerful for those individuals that have had traumatic experiences making it difficult for them to trust and open up to people. The trust and bond created with an animal can be the first step to trusting and bonding with a human, strengthening the therapeutic outcome.

Have questions? Ready to get started?