Virginia Family Therapy was founded in 2014. We believe that youth and families thrive when they feel good in their relationships, are active and work hard, and are part of their larger community. We also understand that this is easier said than done! The therapists at Virginia Family Therapy strive to help clients get there by providing a warm and supportive atmosphere while also offering solutions and encouraging change.
Virginia Family Therapyoffers the unique opportunity to get outside as part of therapy. We all know that play, exercise, and fresh air improve the way we feel, so we frequently take our clients behind our office to walk among the trees, look for turtles in the pond, or throw a football in the field. We believe the use of the outdoors lends itself to a more natural relationship between client and therapist, models healthy coping strategies, and is simply more fun! So whether you have an infant in a stroller or a teenager who opens up more while walking, we are happy to get outside with you!
Virginia Family Therapy believes it takes a community to raise a family. Sometimes you may need a therapist, sometimes you may need a mentor or an academic coach. Our team of specialists was developed to help your family with a specific problem while also being committed to the ideals of Virginia Family Therapy. These specialists are chosen with the understanding that families today are busy and working with this team is frequently more time and cost effective for you.
Amanda Sovik-Johnston was voted Best of Charlottesville Mental Health Practitioner- Runner Up in 2019.
Amanda Sovik-Johnston, Ph.D.
Hi. I'm a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in working with pre-teen and teenage girls as well as families of all ages. I understand how hard it is to raise a family and feel so lucky to be able to experience the highs and lows of life with my clients. As a therapist, I am solution-oriented, offer suggestions regularly, and actively teach people healthier ways of interacting during sessions. I balance this orientation with warmth and empathy.
I have worked with youth and families for over twenty years. I have experience working with children with severe emotional disabilities in residential settings, served as a school psychologist for Albemarle County, and worked in UVA's Department of Family Medicine. I am an adjunct faculty at UVA's Clinical and School Psychology Department and co-authored the curriculum for the Young Women Leaders Program and book chapter A Competence Approach to Therapy with Families with Multiple Problems. I also co-founded Charlottesville Families in Action, a group dedicated to making community engagement a family value.
I earned my Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate degrees from the University of Virginia. I have been a fan of UVA basketball since the U-Hall days and jump at the chance to talk about Tony Bennett during therapy sessions. My husband, Robert Johnston, is a child psychiatrist in town and our three blonde-headed boys keep us laughing (and cleaning) regularly. I am also a competitive Masters swimmer and love working with student-athletes!
Caroline Megargel, MSW
After growing up in Charlottesville, I attended Vanderbilt University and pursued an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I later attended Boston College and earned my Masters of Social Work. While in Boston, I provided individual and group therapy to adolescents in the day treatment setting. After moving back to Nashville in 2016, I began working as the therapist at a grades K – 8 exceptional education school for severe behavioral intervention. I returned to Charlottesville in 2018, where I began practicing as an outpatient therapist specialized in counseling with children, adolescents and young adults. I am currently a Supervisee in Social Work, which means I am in the process of completing my licensure. I am supervised by Amy Columbus, LCSW.
I am passionate about using a collaborative, change-oriented relationship with clients to promote growth. I am committed to utilizing evidence-based practices in effective and creative ways to empower my clients. Outside the office, I enjoy walking my dog, spending time with friends, and listening to podcasts.
Emily Helft, M.Ed.
I'm a school psychologist and accessible education/technology specialist based in central Virginia. I help spread the word about assistive technology through courses, coaching, and consulting; I love showing people how tech can make a positive difference in the lives of just about everyone-including you! From basic app recommendations to long-term coaching, I help the world get the most out of the technology that's available to them, as well as help open people's eyes to the endless possibilities of the intersection between tech, life, and success.
I want to help children, teens, adults, and exceptional learners and thinkers achieve personal success, which I do through courses, consultation, and coaching. I love helping others see ways that we can use technology in our everyday lives to maximize success so that we can spend more time being happy, healthy, and content. You can be successful thanks to the help of assistive technology because there really is an app (or feature, or tool, or gadget) for that (whatever it may be!) and I'm here to help you find and learn to use just the right one.