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About Us

Heather Risk, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist (she/her)


Dr. Risk has over two decades of experience working with survivors of traumatic events, is a Nationally Approved TF-CBT Trainer, and an Affiliate of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.  Dr. Risk has devoted her career to providing empirically supported treatments to survivors of all ages, with a primary focus on children and adolescents who have experienced multiple interpersonal traumas.  Due to Dr. Risk’s focus on increasing survivors’ access to interventions supported by research, she has focused her time in recent years on training and consultation services.  Dr. Risk has trained thousands of professionals, nationally and internationally, in trauma informed assessment skills, treatment interventions, and best practices to support survivors.  Dr. Risk’s particular expertise is in the implementation, supervision, consultation, and training of Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).  Prior to opening this practice, Dr. Risk received a Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University, a Doctorate of Psychology from Xavier University, completed an APPIC accredited internship at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, CAARE Center, worked in a variety of outpatient, school-based, residential, and inpatient programs over the years, and was the Project Director of a National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) site (the Child and Adolescent Trauma Treatment and Training Institute (CATTTI) at the University of Kentucky, Center on Trauma and Children) for nearly a decade.

Angela Combs, MS, Licensed Psychological Practitioner (she/her)


Angela Combs is a Licensed Psychological Practitioner who has over two decades of clinical experience working with children/adolescents, families, and adults with a specialization in trauma. She is an Affiliate Member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN).  Specific areas of clinical interest and experience include complex trauma, traumatic grief, high-risk teen behaviors, autism spectrum, eating issues, identity concerns and relationship issues. She has a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from The University of Kentucky and obtained an undergraduate degree in psychology from Kent State University. Ms. Combs has extensive experience providing evidence-based, trauma-informed therapies and assessments, caregiver risk assessments for the child welfare system, and psychological testing for adults and children. She also has a broad range of experience in trauma-informed training for child welfare workers, the court system, mental health providers, and foster/adoptive parents and providing trauma-informed supervision to graduate students and mental health professionals.  Prior to private practice at Heather Risk and Associates, Ms. Combs worked at the University of Kentucky’s Center on Trauma and Children (CTAC) in both the Child and Adolescent Trauma, Treatment, and Training Institute (CATTTI) program and at the Comprehensive Assessment and Training Project (CATS). While at CTAC she also served in a Director of Education role. Ms. Combs also worked for several years at University of Kentucky’s Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic providing evidenced-based treatments to adolescents, adults and families with various mental health and relationship concerns. Angela is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She is trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment for Emotional Disorders, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Functional Family Therapy.

Aimee Mau, MSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (she/her)


Aimee Mau is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has worked extensively with children and families during the past two decades with specialization in meeting the needs of those
impacted by trauma. She has experience implementing evidence-based therapies with
children and their families beginning with her previous role as a clinician at the University of
Kentucky’s Child and Adolescent Trauma, Treatment, and Training Institute (CATTTI) housed
in the Center on Trauma and Children. As the former Project Director of the Center’s
Comprehensive Assessment and Training Project (CATS), Ms. Mau assessed hundreds of
children and families involved with the child welfare system to provide a trauma informed
view of treatment needs and state-of the-art assessment of caregiving risks and strength.
Ms. Mau also has considerable experience supervising other clinicians on promoting best
practices in assessment and treatment through her previous work as a clinical supervisor at
Key Assets. More recently, Ms. Mau returned to the University of Kentucky where she is in
the role of Clinical Field Coordinator in College of Social Work. Through direct practice,
consultation, and training, Ms. Mau, a Certified TF-CBT provider, has focused on increasing
awareness regarding the importance of trauma assessment and engaging in evidence based
practice. Ms. Mau brings this extensive experience to Heather Risk, PsyD & Associates, PLLC
where she conducts assessments and treatment with children and adults with a variety of

Elizabeth Riley, PhD, Licensed Psychologist (she/her)


Elizabeth Riley, Ph.D. (she/her) completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Riley works with adult clients who have experienced trauma and other co-occurring mental health issues using research-based best practices. She has trained and worked in a variety of settings throughout Lexington, including community settings, counseling centers, psychiatric hospital settings, and the Veterans Administration. Dr. Riley operates using an evidence-based, skills-oriented therapeutic framework informed by Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, exposure-based therapies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and mindfulness. Dr. Riley works hard to be a safe and affirming therapist for clients of all identities and intersectionalities, including clients of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions.

Brian Gustman, PhD, Licensed Psychologist (he/they)


Dr. Gustman (he/him/his) is a licensed psychologist in Colorado, and a certified school
psychologist in Colorado and California. Dr. Gustman helps facilitate TF-CBT
trainings with Dr. Risk, and also participates in consultation calls. He has worked with
children and youth as a mental health provider since 2006 in school-based Youth
Service Centers, residential and day treatment, outpatient clinics, and public schools.
His areas of interest are school-based mental health services, culturally-attuned
psychological assessment and interventions, special education law and advocacy, and
supporting LGBTQ+ individuals and families. Dr. Gustman earned his Masters in
General Psychology in 2006, his Ed.S. in School Psychology in 2011, and his Ph.D. in
School/Educational Psychology all from the University of Kentucky. He completed his
APA-approved predoctoral internship at the Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center in Erie,
PA. Since that time he has worked at the UK Child Trauma Institute, directed clinical
services for a public day school, worked as a lead psychologist for Denver Public
Schools, developed a private practice providing psychoeducational evaluations and
psychotherapy in Colorado, and currently works in San Francisco Unified School District
as a school psychologist.

Heather Risk, PsyD & Associates, PLLC happily partner’s with Dr. Gustman’s practice
in California:

Caity Merritt, MA, Licensed Psychological Associate (she/her)


Caity Merritt is a Licensed Psychological Associate who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology at Union College. She has a background of working with various age groups including early childhood, middle childhood, adolescents, and adults. Ms. Merritt has experience providing treatment to clients with a wide range of mental health diagnosis including: trauma histories, behavior management, substance abuse, and dual diagnosis.  She has been practicing Psychology for 7 years with a combination of providing both therapy and psychological testing. Caity has a history of working in both inpatient and outpatient facilities. She has experience working in community based mental health, residential mental health, intensive outpatient, and hospital settings.  Ms. Merritt is passionate about serving the mental health needs of the public with a focus on treating trauma survivors. She is trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral therapy and operates utilizing framework from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Person Centered Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy.

Alex Kelly, MS, Temporarily Licensed Psychological Associates, Doctoral Candidate (she/her)


Alexandra Kelly, M.S. is currently a doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology
program at the University of Kentucky completing the APA-accredited University of
Kentucky Internship Consortium Program. Ms. Kelly enjoys helping clients from any
background who have experienced trauma and other co-occurring mental health issues
using research-based best practices. She utilizes an integrative approach to therapy
and works closely with clients to find the treatment strategies that work best for
addressing their concerns. She has trained and worked in a variety of settings, including
community settings, counseling centers, hospital settings, and clinical trials. Ms. Kelly
practices within an evidence-based, skills-oriented therapeutic framework informed by
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) among other therapeutic models.

Tonya Prather, MSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (she/her)


Tonya Prather is a Certified Social Worker who is currently completing hours toward becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. After completing undergraduate studies Ms.Prather worked with pregnant and parenting teens in a residential treatment facility and went on to complete her Master’s of Social Work with a clinical focus in family systems. During her graduate studies Ms.Prather worked in residential treatment with youth ages 12-17 in juvenile justice. She is currently a clinical therapist working full time in a non-profit foster care agency where she has worked since obtaining her MSW in 2017. She has worked predominantly with children, adolescents, and young adults who have often experienced many traumas and other mental health disorders and is focused on providing treatment using evidence based interventions and best practices. She is trained in and utilizes evidence based interventions including trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness based approaches.

Cassie Graham, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist (she/her)


Dr. Graham is a Licensed Psychologist who is assisting Dr. Risk’s practice by completing psychological assessments. After completing her undergraduate work and earning a Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology at Morehead State University, Dr. Graham continued her education at Spalding University where she earned a Doctorate of Psychology. Dr. Graham also completed an APA accredited internship at Kentucky River Community Care in Eastern Kentucky. Currently, Dr. Graham works full time for the Veteran’s Administration as a Clinical Psychologist working in Home-Based Primary Care. Dr. Graham is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorder and Prolonged Exposure.

Carolyn McDowell-Burgess (she/her)

Executive Assistant

I’ve spent over 40 years working in health care. I’m a certified Medical Technologist and have worked in labs as a bench tech, an educator, and a laboratory manager. I moved into the Health Care Information Technology field in 1996 where I managed the clinical applications for multiple hospitals providing every day support, leading upgrades for existing application, and the implementation of new applications. In 2001, I traded my home base hospital support for a position with a large IT company implementing applications for hospitals through out the US and Canada. During that time, I obtained my Project Management Certification with PMI. In 2016,I left my full-time job for part-time consultation work, and in May of 2018, I joined Heather Risk and Associates.