We All Need Help

HopeWell exists to partner with churches to provide help and hope for you when life hurts. We love to see marriages healed, broken relationships restored, and local congregations empowered to walk alongside you when you need a helper, a mentor, or a friend.
HopeWell exists to partner with churches to provide help and hope for you when life hurts. We love to see marriages healed, broken relationships restored, and local congregations empowered to walk alongside you when you need a helper, a mentor, or a friend.

Compassionate Counselors

HopeWell has a trained team of pastors and counselors skilled in helping clients work through interpersonal and mental health issues using sound biblical counseling practices.

Trainers for the Church

HopeWell Ministries is a vehicle to Gospel-centered change for hurt and wounded people, working partnership with the local church by:

  • Providing theologically sound and skilled counseling when complex issues rise beyond the ability of trained lay helpers.
  • Providing local pastors with a safe place to which they can refer parishioners for counselors.
  • Partnering with local churches equipping lay leaders to support people in need.
  • Offering consulting services for church leadership as they seek to serve individuals and couples in their congregations.

Current Clients

Meet our Christian Care Team

We look forward to working with you.
Rev. Dr. Cron Gibson

Rev. Dr. Cron Gibson

Founder, Executive Director

Dr. Marriage and Family Therapy, Master of Divinity, Clinical Fellow American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy

I think of myself as a pastor who happens to be clinically trained. The Dr. describes my clinical education while the Rev. describes the framework through which I understand relationship with God, self, and other. As a pastor and counselor, I have been serving individuals and couples who have been wounded by emotional, sexual, physical, and spiritual brokenness for most of my adult life. My passion is helping people find life-transforming hope, build deep and satisfying relationships with others, and learn peace in their own souls in the midst of the deepest struggles in their lives and relationships. My vision for HopeWell came out of my own broken story, my healing journey, and my experience as a pastor. I work with a great team to integrate sound psychological principles into a vibrant and deeply rooted Christian understanding of God, people, and life.

Leslie Macchia, LPC

Leslie Macchia, LPC

Clinical Director

Master of Arts in Community Counseling

I received a Master of Arts in Community Counseling from Regent University in Virginia Beach following my undergraduate experience at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Both educational experiences were formative in the way I view and practice spiritual integration in the helping professions. My experience has led me through work with adolescents in residential facilities as well as 18 years of work in pregnancy center counseling and management. I have enjoyed working with a variety of ages, races, and stages of life as they face and work through crisis and I am passionate about helping people break free from bondage. I am additionally trained in EMDR, an empirically researched and evidenced based approach to treating trauma. My own story has driven an additional interest in walking alongside individuals impacted by marital difficulties and divorce. I appreciate that Hopewell offers a unique opportunity to integrate faith in practice. A true extrovert, I enjoy spending my free time with my husband, my two wonderful children, and many great friends.

Traci Via

Traci Via

Christian Care Counselor

Master of Arts in Counselor Education

Knowing that my heart’s desire is to help love and care for hurting people, I completed my bachelors and masters degrees from the University of VIrginia in Psychology, Religious Studies, and Counselor Education to help me pursue my calling and my passion. I have struggled with a lifelong genetic condition that brings me invisible pain, and I am also a recent cancer survivor. As I personally walked and continue to walk the path of physical illness, both visible and invisible, God has taught me so much about how He loves us. Combining the experience I have gained as a counselor in high schools, nursing homes, at Hopewell, and across life, I hope to come alongside people who are hurting or confused whether they are old or young, single or married; offering hope, support, and peace through a deeper understanding of His love.

Corina Kojack

Corina Kojack

Board Certified Pastoral Counselor

Master of Arts in Counseling

I am a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor credentialed with the International Board of Christian Counselors and ordained through The River Revival Network. I started working in lay ministry in the areas of addiction and sexual and relational brokenness in 2002. I received my Masters in Counseling from Regent University in 2004 and worked as a professional counselor from 2005-2023. I have worked as a supervisor for counseling graduates within their Virginia residencies since 2014.

Everyone’s journey and path is unique to them. There is not a record in the gospels of Jesus healing the same way as he did in another encounter. There are lots of tools and options, and healing is expedited when you let the Lord light the path. My goal is to lead individuals to a safe place to learn how to work through hurt, rejection, bad experience, stress and insecurities and allow the Healer to guide them into a life of balanced health. Trauma takes a toll on the body. Using body-mind techniques, address the body and the way the body stores emotions.

Ron Jones

Ron Jones

Pastoral Counseling

Master of Arts in Biblical Studies and Counseling

I joined HopeWell because I believe in our mission to provide quality psychological care that is fully integrated into a Christian worldview. As a pastor and counselor, I’ve seen that there is nothing the nearness of Christ can’t overcome. My wife and I have been married over thirty years and raised two children while I served as a Navy Officer and as a minister – two vocations that place unique demands upon marriages and families. I have 20 years’ experience working with men in discipling relationships. I hold a Master’s degrees in Biblical Studies and Counseling. My goal in counseling is to make myself available to people and God and have Him lead us to His genius solutions to our difficulties.

Ken Shomo

Ken Shomo

Pastoral Counseling

Master of Divinity

My primary areas of focus are marriage and relationship counseling, serving ministry leaders, and guidance for spiritual and emotional health. I’ve been married 22 years and our family has learned God’s grace through challenging seasons of special needs and chronic illness; an adoption journey; and decades of ministry leadership. I know there is good news and hope for each stage of life, and that God has created us to flourish within the context of compassionate, healing relationships. I earned an M.Div from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis in 2003, where I’m currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree in Advanced Models for Pastoral Counseling. I’ve received advanced training in couple’s counseling through the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) and additionally through the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF).

Laura Sprinkle Aeschliman

Laura Sprinkle Aeschliman

Resident In Counseling

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

In 2018, I received my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regent University. Prior to this, I spent over a decade working in ministry and came to the realization that I wanted to help people heal from the wounds of their past and walk in the fulness of what they have been created for. The work that I get to do with individuals and couples is a privilege that I am humbled by. I have come to recognize, in my own healing journey, that knowing and understanding the love of the Father and incorporating the science of counseling together creates space for a deep, healing work to take place. This is what you will find at HopeWell.

I have been trained in EMDR Therapy, which helps individuals process through the most painful pieces of their story and find hope and peace in the present. I have also been trained in Prepare and Enrich, to help premarital couples begin marriage well and for married couples to learn to navigate and resolve conflict well.

When I am not in the counseling office, you’ll find me enjoying quality time with my husband, family and friends.

Wendy King

Wendy King

Christian Care Counselor

Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from Messiah College in 2002. Afterwards I moved to Texas to grow in my understanding of discipleship and counseling. I worked on staff at a local church with their youth ministry for ten years. During this time, in 2008, I also received my Masters in Biblical counseling at Dallas Theological Seminary. Through the years I have counseled high school and college students, individuals and married couples. I have a passion for helping people find healing and change through exploring their stories and seeing Jesus in the midst. I consider it a privilege to walk alongside people in depression, anxiety, life changes, family dynamics, and many other circumstances. I was born and raised in Norfolk, where I now live with my husband and two kids.

Michelle Mejia

Michelle Mejia

Resident in Counseling and Registered Art Therapist Provisional, ATR-P

Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling and Post-Master’s Certificate in Art Therapy

I joined the HopeWell team because I am passionate about God, His Word, and serving people through counseling and ministry. I have a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Art Therapy from Pennsylvania Western University.

I have experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families both in the local church and in numerous behavioral health settings including inpatient facilities and as an in-home counselor. I have worked with clients who have experienced spiritual abuse and religious trauma, anxiety, depression, family of origin conflict, life transitions, existential questions, and spiritual/faith struggles. I counsel from a person-centered and attachment based perspective. I am IFS-informed, and I enjoy working with people in all seasons of life and utilizing diverse therapeutic models such as CBT, DBT, and Narrative Therapy or story work. In addition, many clients may benefit from utilizing art interventions and creative techniques as a way of encouraging self-awareness, emotional intelligence, healing, growth, and change. Outside of counseling, I am usually spending time with my son Josiah and hanging out with my husband while we catch up on our days over an iced latte.

Julie Smead

Julie Smead

Resident in Counseling

Master of Arts in Counseling

As a Virginia Beach native, I love having the opportunity to work in my hometown helping individuals and families find hope and healing. I have been married to my husband Chris for over 16 years, and together we have four children. I graduated from the University of Virginia (go Cavaliers!) before pursuing my Masters Degree in Counseling. I enjoy working with individuals and families, helping navigate issues of trauma, grief, loss, relationship struggles and more. Additionally, I am an EMDR trained practitioner with specialized training in Somatic and Attachment focused EMDR. In my spare time, you can find me enjoying the outdoors with my family, drinking coffee with friends, or teaching fitness classes at the YMCA.

Josh Phillips

Josh Phillips

Resident in Counseling

Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

I graduated from William and Mary with my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I have experience working with adolescents and adults through complex issues like anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress across contexts including hospital, university and private practice settings.

People go through a range of painful experiences which negatively impact thoughts, feelings and behaviors. In turn, I understand that forming an alliance to collaboratively and gracefully explore someone’s story reveals the healing power of the Gospel of Christ. This can be a difficult and beautiful process that leads to a healthier, more vibrant life. Other approaches in my practice include psychological testing and neurofeedback (more info for these can be found on our Services page). In my free time, I enjoy quality time with my wife, brothers and friends in addition to engaging in life-giving activities like sports, games, and reading old sci-fi.

Cassie Phillips

Cassie Phillips

Christian Care Counselor

Master of Arts in Addictions Counseling, Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration

I am passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and specialize in addictions counseling, trauma healing, group therapy, and working with those who have experienced the criminal justice system. l have obtained a Master’s in Addictions Counseling from Liberty University and a Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration through Point Park University. Additionally, I am trained in Eye Movement Integration (EMI) which is used as a treatment for trauma. I have worked in a variety of counseling settings, including helping open an inpatient treatment center and running a substance-abuse program at a local jail.

Processing your story, the joy of deliverance, and discipleship are the focal points of my counseling because lasting change and freedom are only found in the Lord. I have 8 years of personal experience in being delivered from a myriad of addictions and struggles and I will walk with you as the Lord delivers you, too. Whether you need someone to listen, emphasize, or guide, I am here to love, encourage, and challenge you into knowing the Lord, your identity in Christ, and the specific call He has for you.

Jeff Whitfield

Jeff Whitfield

Licensed Professional Counselor

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling

As the son of a pastor, I was born in Fort Worth, Texas and raised in Texas and Arkansas. My parents’ honeymoon was driving from their home state of Georgia to Texas for Dad to go to seminary there, I have been cross-cultural all my life! I believe I inherited my dad’s pastoral calling and gifting and have now been in the counseling field for over 30 years with a wide range of experience, including 11 years overseas working with a missionary sending agency. With my cross-culture experience, I have come to believe that every relationship is a cross-cultural relationship! I really enjoy working with couples as well as individually with men, women, and older teens. I believe God created us for intimacy, first with Himself, then with spouse and family, and then with His Church. Our own life struggles and hurts lead us to experience discouragement, fear, and shame and thus away from true intimacy–fully known and fully loved–that God created us for. In a God-honoring counseling relationship, where I see myself as the under counselor, I will work with you to guide you toward healing of hurts, losses, and traumas and toward healthy relationship skills that will allow you to begin to experience the intimacy for which you were created.

I lived in Virginia for 15 years, where we enjoyed both city, mountain, and beach life equally, and we are now in Wilmington, North Carolina for the last 18 months. Hurray for beach life! I am married to Alma, who is also a counselor in this practice, and we have two young girls who keep us busy. We are learning more and more to experience and love close fellowship with our local church here as well.

Alma Whitfield

Alma Whitfield

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Master’s of Social Work

I’m South Carolina born and raised, and I studied at Columbia International University for undergrad with a focus in Bible Teaching, Theology, and Intercultural Studies. Post-grad, I landed in Virginia and, after some serious soul searching and navigating through my own dark night of the soul, I began my Master’s of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University. I’ve worked in a variety of settings, including with senior citizens in affordable housing, with patients in a state psychiatric hospital, and middle-class clients in private practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. The common thread among them all is trauma. It can be debilitating, but the good news is that healing is possible.

I’m passionate about helping people navigate the muck of life; including anxiety/depression, traumatic experiences, grief, end-of-life transitions for individuals and families, and those who’ve experienced spiritual abuse or are navigating the meaning of faith in Jesus. The prophet Jeremiah said, “They (the religious rulers of the day) have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” I believe you’re worth more. We can work together to find complete healing and joy to move forward in your life. Life is messy…complicated…multifaceted. Peeling back the layers, we can get you through whatever you’re facing.

I focus on the whole-person (physical, emotional, social, spiritual), meeting you where you are. We were made to live with joy, and if you’re in a place that you are finding hard to get through–know it is possible to come out of the other side. My approach is kind and compassionate, but sometimes confrontation and challenge is part of the healing process.

My family and I currently live in Wilmington, NC. If you were to bump into me on a day off, you’d find me at the beach, eating out, or at a park with my husband and two daughters. If you want to work together, we will meet via telehealth.

Christina Hart

Christina Hart

Registered Art Therapist- Provisional: ATR-P

Master of Arts in Art Therapy with an Emphasis in Counseling

I am a pre-licensed professional holding a provisional art therapy certification after receiving my master’s degree in art therapy at Saint Mary of the Woods College.

I joined the Hopewell team because I believe we are created for deep connection with God, self, and others. Through trials in my own life my own sense of hope and connection with God has carried me. It is my passion to help others find healing in Him through spirituality, art therapy, and counseling.  I have experience working with children, adolescents, adults, groups, couples, and families dealing with a range of situations such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, relationship distress, life transitions, parenting, adoption, post-partum, stress, divorce – all through the therapeutic lens of art therapy. I take a client-centered approach to art therapy and incorporate dream therapy, Polyvagal therapy, parts work, mindfulness, and coping skills.

Art therapy is a wonderful way to help an individual or family unit explore and process innermost feelings, memories, thoughts, and fears through self-expression when verbal communication may be difficult. I take a Christian approach and have experience using Polyvagal therapy and dream work depending on the client.

In my free time; I enjoy spending time with my husband and five children, pyrography art, painting, reading, hiking, camping, Krav Maga, gardening, caring for our growing homestead, and helping at our local church community.

I look forward to meeting you and growing in this journey together.

Anna Hinkle

Anna Hinkle

Licensed Professional Counselor

Master of Arts in Counseling

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Virginia and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Kansas. I am recognized as a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors. I graduated with a Master of Arts in Counseling from MidAmerica Nazarene University.

I have a passion for helping individuals see themselves as the Lord sees them – as a son or daughter of the Most High! I enjoy helping individuals experience the joy of deepening their relationship with Christ while becoming rooted and grounded in an identity based on their attachment to our ever faithful Savior. I desire to create a space for each person walking into my office (either in person or virtually) that is safe, full of empathy and warmth, and that is an escape from the rush of day to day life – a space to slow down and to practice being mindful and present with the Lord and with ourselves. It is my joy to help individuals reach their personal goals utilizing a variety of approaches including ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, narrative therapy, and mindfulness/meditation techniques. With over a decade of experience, I have walked with my clients through struggles with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, family and relationship issues, identity and self-worth, and adjustments to major life changes, and have also experienced many of these struggles on a personal level. I have additional training in CBIT (Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (therapy for tics and Tourette Syndrome).

In my free time, you’ll find me playing board games or video games with my husband, playing volleyball, going to the park with my dog, baking and cooking, or engaging in one of many craft hobbies (knitting, crocheting, wheel throwing, or painting).

Larry Hackman

Larry Hackman

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Master in Marriage and Family Therapy and Master of Divinity

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Washington and an ordained minister currently serving at a church plant. I earned a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Abilene Christian University and a Masters of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. With my combined pastoral and clinical experience, I have over a decade of experience working with people in distress.

I have a relaxed, down-to-earth approach that integrates a faith perspective with clinical practice. I especially enjoy working with couples, but also work with individuals and families working through anxiety, depression, relational conflict, and sexual issues. I primarily use interventions based on Emotionally Focused Therapy and Attachment-Based Family Therapy, with a smattering of Gottman Method, Mindfulness, and Solutions-Focused Therapy interventions where appropriate. I believe God created us with a longing for connection, so it’s a privilege for me to have a front row seat witnessing people tap into that longing by renewing (or finding for the first time!) that connection to each other, themselves, and God.

Your Support Can Change a Life

Your gifts to HopeWell are tax deductible. More importantly, your gifts can literally save someone's life. We help people all the time who don't have the funds to get the help they need. In order for us to continue helping them, we need scholarship funds to provide for them. Would you give today to help provide for men, women, and children who need help? You can be the answer to their prayers.