About Us

Zola Counseling, PLLC was developed in April 2016 by owner and play therapist, Rebekah Talley. Zola Counseling stresses the importance of the therapeutic relationship by creating and establishing rapport with each client. Through developing rapport, Zola therapists ensure that everyone feels safe and comfortable in session by recognizing that their mental health matters.

The name “Zola” was uniquely chosen based on its meaning of quiet or tranquil in the Southern African dialect of Zulu. The name itself reflects the mission of recognizing and supporting the unique individual with the motto “mental health matters”. At Zola, we strive to meet the client where they are therapeutically and work together to develop treatment goals. This approach allows clients the self-determination to work collaboratively with their therapist to achieve treatment goals.

Meet the Therapists
Rebekah Talley, MSW, LCSW, RPT-S
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Our owner and child specialist, Rebekah Talley grew up in Raleigh, NC. She attended NC State University for her undergraduate degree in Sociology, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to complete her Masters in Social Work and Play Therapy Graduate Certificate. Rebekah is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. She has been working in the mental health field since 2011 with experience working with children in a psychiatric residential treatment facility, in the community providing intensive in-home therapy, and in an acute psychiatric setting on an adolescent behavioral health unit. Rebekah works with children ages 3-10 in individual therapy which incorporates trauma informed care, mindfulness, and primary therapeutic modality of play therapy. At this time, Rebekah exclusively works with clients who have experienced attachment disruption [adoption, foster care, or kinship care]; sexual trauma; traumatic grief/loss; and medical trauma. Her goal is to create a safe and therapeutic environment to assist children in safely expressing and coping with their emotions, while developing self-acceptance in the process. Rebekah enjoys spending her free time traveling back to Raleigh to cheer on Wolfpack athletics, as well as being active with her husband, daughter, and 2 dogs.

Advanced Training

  • Child-Centered Play Therapy at UNC-Charlotte and at the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas [Certified Child-Centered Play Therapist candidate]
  • Child Parent Relationship Therapy training at UNC-Charlotte and at the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas [Level II Certified CPRT Practitioner candidate]
  • Training for Adoption Competency [TAC] through C.A.S.E [Center for Adoption Support and Education]
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing [EMDR] trained and in consultation for EMDR certification; advanced training for play therapy adaptations to EMDR for children as young as 3
  • Internal Family Systems Level 1 trained

Rebekah accepts BCBS, CBHA, Cigna, Medcost, United, Aetna, and self-pay at this time.

Call 980-428- 6195 or email directly at rebekahtalley@zolacounseling.com to schedule with Rebekah. Professional inquiries for LCSW/RPT supervision should also be directed to Rebekah.

Ellen McNeill, MA, LCMHC, Registered Play Therapist™
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Ellen McNeill grew up in Los Angeles, CA and moved to Charlotte to attend graduate school. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated from UNC Charlotte with a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in play therapy. She is currently a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) and is a Registered Play Therapist (RPT).

Ellen focuses on supporting children aged 3-12 using Child-Centered Play Therapy and Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT); as well as incorporating Person-Centered Therapy with adult clients. Additionally, Ellen has advanced training in infant mental health, with extensive experience working with young children as an educator and learning resource specialist. Past clinical experiences include community based mental health support and private practice experience providing therapy to children, teens, and adults. Practice areas include supporting clients with anxiety, depression, life adjustment concerns, grief/loss, developmental issues, self-esteem, aggression, parenting support, mindfulness, and emotional regulation. Ellen also draws on her experience as an educator and learning resource specialist to provide specialized support to children, teachers, and parents involved in early childhood education by offering classroom observations, learning environment assessments, professional development for staff, parenting support and education, and several other related services. Ellen’s goal is to create an environment of trust and support where clients can access their inner resources and strengths to reach their fullest potential and truly flourish. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and yoga.

Advanced Training

  • Certificate in Child-Centered Play Therapy
  • Advanced training and supervision in Child-Parent Relationship Training
  • Advanced training and supervision in infant/toddler mental health through Minding the Baby (Yale University) and the University of Maryland

Ellen is able to file in network claims with Aetna, BCBS, CBHA, Cigna, Medcost, and United Healthcare. Zola Counseling can courtesy file most out of network claims. We also accept self-pay.

Call 704-389-0698 or email directly at ellenmcneill@zolacounseling.com to schedule an appointment with Ellen.

Corie Law, MA, LCMHCA
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I am Corie Law, and I look forward to working with you and your family! I am an Associate Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHCA) and am working toward becoming a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). I have advanced training in Child-Parent Relationship Training and Child-Centered Play Therapy, as well as extensive experience with early childhood education and empowering Autistic youth. My previous clinical experience includes school-based play therapy, child-parent relationship small groups, and intensive therapeutic services for youth in crisis. I have a special focus on children with anxiety, LGBTQ+ youth issues, and neurodiversity-affirming practices. I also place great emphasis on being multiculturally competent and affirming to all, and continually attend trainings and conferences on a wide variety of multicultural issues. My goal is to create a safe and supportive environment that allows children to access their inner strengths and resiliency in the face of life’s challenges.

Advanced Training

  • Advanced Training and supervision in Child-Centered Play Therapy
  • Child Parent Relationship Training
  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Corie is able to file in network claims with BCBS, Cigna, Aetna, and Medcost. Zola Counseling can courtesy file most out of network claims. We also accept self-pay.

Call 704-218-9216 or email directly at corielaw@zolacounseling.com to schedule an appointment with Corie.

Alexis Kressner, MS, LMFT

Alexis Kressner is a NC native who graduated from NC State with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She has a double Master’s degree from East Carolina University in Human Development and Family Science as well as Marriage and Family Therapy. She is currently a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and in the process of becoming a Registered Play Therapist.  Previous clinical settings include school based mental health services, providing mental health services within a medical setting, and previous private practice experience providing outpatient mental health services.  Alexis currently works with clients ages 2-10 using Child-Centered Play Therapy and/or AutPlay skills.  When working with ages 11-60, Alexis utilizes a Person-Centered therapeutic approach.  As a Marriage and Family Therapist, Alexis places special importance on the whole family system and relationships within the family. She enjoys supporting clients with anxiety, depression, grief/loss, life adjustment concerns, neurodivergence, parenting support, relationship issues, stress reduction, and trauma. In her spare time, Alexis enjoys cooking, kayaking, and spending time with her husband and dogs.

Advanced Training

  • AutPlay Trained & Certified
  • Trauma Informed Care through CCPT [Child-Centered Play Therapy]
  • Advanced training with Neurodivergence [ADHD, Autism, OCD, Dyslexia, Sensory Processing]

Alexis can currently file in network with Aetna, BCBS, CBHA, Cigna, Medcost, and United/Optum. Zola Counseling can courtesy file most out of network claims on your behalf. We also accept self-pay.

Call 704-750-0673 or email directly at Alexiskressner@zolacounseling.com to schedule an appointment with Alexis.

Athena Anibaldi, MA, LCMHCHA

Athena Anibaldi grew up mostly overseas, being in a Navy family, and moved back stateside during 7th grade.  She attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for both her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Counseling, with concentrations in Clinical Mental Health and Play Therapy.  She is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHCA) and is in the process of completing the final stage of her EMDR training.  Additionally, she’s pursuing credentialing to become a Registered Play Therapist (RPT).  Her experience includes providing school-based play therapy and talk therapy services for children and adolescents and facilitating Child-Parent Relationship Training (CPRT).  She has supported clients with concerns regarding self-regulation, concentration, social skills, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, grief/loss, trauma, adjustment, and parenting, using Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) & a Person-Centered orientation.  With adolescent and adult clients, she applies an Adlerian focus, incorporating techniques from Narrative, Expressive Arts, Mindfulness, and other approaches.  Through her background as a teacher working in Early Childhood Education, she has extensive experience providing the care children and their families need to thrive.  She views people holistically and considers one’s mind, body, and spirit as being integral to who a person is: providing a space in which all persons feel empowered.  Sandtray, Brainspotting, and Adventure-Based Counseling, are also other areas of future interest!

~ Life requires change, development, growth!  Life is not static, we may feel stuck, but be encouraged and reach out!

Advanced Training

  • Child-Centered Play Therapy at UNC-Charlotte
  • Child Parent Relationship Therapy training at UNC-Charlotte
  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR): in consultation (final stage of training)

Athena is currently able to file in network claims with Aetna, BCBS, and Cigna. Athena will soon be in network with CBHA & Medcost.  Zola Counseling can courtesy file most out of network claims.  We also accept self-pay.

Please note, Athena will be joining our team mid June and all inquiries should be sent to rebekahtalley@zolacounseling.com to be placed on her waitlist at this time.