Our Clinicians

All appointments currently being conducted via telehealth. Please visit the Telehealth Information page for more information.

Stephen E. Buie, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A

Stephen E. Buie, M.D., D.L.F.A.P.A

Psychiatrist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. Buie provides medication management for adults with all psychiatric conditions and has a particular interest in bipolar disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders.  He is trained in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a treatment for depression.  Dr. Buie attended the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill as an undergraduate on a Morehead Scholarship.  He obtained his medical education at the University of the North Carolina — Chapel Hill School of Medicine.  He completed a residency in internal medicine at Columbia University training hospital in New York and a psychiatry residency at Cornell Medical College, also in New York.  Dr. Buie is an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.  He is also the psychiatry course director at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Asheville campus as well as program director of the new Psychiatry Residency program at Mountain Areas Health Education Center (MAHEC).  He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in recognition of his contributions in several areas of psychiatry.  He is the past president of the North Carolina Psychiatric Association.  Dr. Buie is a founder and shareholder of The Pisgah Institute.

Susan Hill, Ed.D.

Susan Hill, Ed.D.

Psychologist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. Hill is a psychologist who began her practice in the public-school system and college counseling centers.  She continues to work with children, age six years and older, and has added adults to her therapy and testing practice.  Individual and family therapy along with psychological and psycho-educational testing are Dr. Hill’s areas of interest.  Her focus is psycho-dynamic theory with an eye towards development throughout the life span.  Mindfulness, hypnosis, and spirituality also inform her work.  She completed her training at Rutgers University in New Jersey in counseling psychology and moved to Western North Carolina.  Dr. Hill is a shareholder at The Pisgah Institute.  In her spare time, Dr. Hill enjoys long walks out in nature, live musical and theatrical performances, and playing with her spoiled cats.

For Directions Click Here

Mary Berg, M.D.

Mary Berg, M.D.

Psychiatrist - Accepting new patients for medication management

Dr. Berg is a psychiatrist who has been practicing general adult and geriatric psychiatry at The Pisgah Institute since 1999.  Her clinical interests include evaluation and medication management of a broad range of adult mental-health disorders.  She also administers transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy for major depressive disorder.  Dr. Berg obtained her undergraduate degree at Duke University and attended East Carolina University School of Medicine for medical school and psychiatry residency.  She has worked at the Copestone Psychiatric unit and administered ECT treatments in the past. Dr. Berg is a shareholder at The Pisgah Institute, serving as Vice-President and in a leadership and practice-management role.  Her personal areas of interest include medical missions, travel, and ballroom dancing.

Sarah Wells, M.D.

Sarah Wells, M.D.

Psychiatrist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. Wells is a psychiatrist who enjoys working with children, adolescents, and young adults. Primarily, she provides medication management, and she believes it is important to focus on healthy lifestyle habits and other ways to maximize one’s mental health, as part of treatment.  Dr. Wells sees patients at The Pisgah Institute but also works in a variety of other settings.  She is a consulting psychiatrist at the University of North Carolina — Asheville Student Health and Counseling Services, Asheville Academy for Girls, and SUWS of the Carolinas.  Her passion is teaching medical students and residents.  She is on the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. She serves as the associate program director for the new Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) Psychiatry Residency program.  Dr. Wells completed her training at University of North Carolina Hospitals. She is board certified in adult psychiatry as well as child and adolescent psychiatry.  Dr. Wells is the current President and shareholder of The Pisgah Institute.  In her spare time, she enjoys hiking in our beautiful mountains, as well as traveling to and experiencing new places.

Bill Barley, Ph.D.

Bill Barley, Ph.D.

Psychologist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. Barley is a clinical psychologist with four decades of experience in cognitive-behavior therapy for diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders, panic attacks, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, body-centered repetitive behavior disorders, and mood and depressive disorders.  He graduated from Texas Tech University’s doctoral program in clinical psychology in 1980.  He was a staff psychologist at Highland Hospital in Asheville till 1993.  Dr. Barley is a founding member of The Pisgah Institute and current shareholder of the practice.   He is twice past president of the Western North Carolina Psychological Association and is past president, long-time editor of the association’s newsletter, and member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Psychological Association.  Dr. Barley has several publications and has made many presentations to professional audiences in his areas of practice.  Occasionally he is told he resembles Stephen Spielberg, which his wife says he does, “vaguely.”

Danielle Mitchener, M.S.N., A.N.P., P.M.H.N.P

Danielle Mitchener, M.S.N., A.N.P., P.M.H.N.P

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner - Not accepting new patients

Mrs. Mitchener is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who joined The Pisgah Institute in 2008. Mrs. Mitchener enjoys working in multiple settings including a psychiatric crisis center as well as a substance-abuse and eating disorder inpatient and outpatient facility.  She also sees adult patients at The Pisgah Institute.  She treats a variety of psychiatric conditions including depression, anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, trauma, bipolar disorder, substance-use disorders, psychotic disorders, and personality disorders. Mrs. Mitchener attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for undergraduate and graduate education.  Prior to moving to Asheville, she worked at Duke University Medical Center in the Neurological Intensive Care Unit and as a Neurology Research Coordinator.  Mrs. Mitchener has become a shareholder at The Pisgah Institute in 2018, serving in a leadership and practice management role. When not working, she enjoys many of the great Asheville restaurants, yoga, hip hop dance, and spending time with friends and family.

Elizabeth Rollins, M.D.

Elizabeth Rollins, M.D.

Psychiatrist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. Rollins is a psychiatrist who completed residency training at the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill.  She treats all ages of adults (over 18 years) for problems including anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and mood disorders including bipolar disorder.  Additionally, she treats depression, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorders.  She has a special interest in dual-diagnosed clients (combinations of mental illness along with substance-use disorders). While her focus is pharmacological treatment (medication management), her practice is informed by her background study in psychoanalysis and cognitive-behavioral therapeutic modalities.   Dr. Rollins became a shareholder at The Pisgah Institute in 2019 and currently serves in a leadership and practice management role.  When Dr. Rollins is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, running, biking, and gardening.

Nancy McKeel, Ph.D.

Nancy McKeel, Ph.D.

Psychologist - Not accepting new patients

As a psychologist, Dr. McKeel works with adult men and women ages 45 and older using a variety of perspectives and interventions as appropriate for the client’s needs and goals. She strives to maintain a whole-person perspective, understanding that body, mind, emotions, and spirit all interact in the healing process.  Dr. McKeel came into psychology by way of nursing. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing from the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia. She worked as a registered nurse in public health, neonatology, and psychiatry/mental health. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Georgia State University and completed an internship at George Washington University Medical Center and a post-doctoral program in behavioral medicine at the University of Utah Medical Center. She has worked in group private practice as a psychotherapist since 1983. She moved to the North Carolina mountains in fulfillment of a lifelong dream in 1994 and joined The Pisgah Institute at that time.

Doug McKee, Psy.D.

Doug McKee, Psy.D.

Psychologist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. McKee is a psychologist who is dedicated to helping his clients work through their issues. He sees adults of all ages and children over the age of six years.  Dr. McKee sees each of his clients as a unique individual and therefore tailor makes his treatment plan accordingly. He is a Master Addiction Counselor and treats people with depression, anxiety, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder, and relationship issues that include romantic relationship problems and child-rearing problems. His style of therapy involves coaching techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy, experiential therapy, gestalt therapy, and family-systems approaches. He has worked in a variety of settings and has taught at two universities. He has been licensed as a psychologist in three states and is past president of the Western North Carolina Psychological Association. Dr. McKee is dedicated to his profession and wants to bring out the best in his clients. He has worked in the field of psychology for over 30 years.

Adam Hutchins, M.S.N., P.M.H.N.P.

Adam Hutchins, M.S.N., P.M.H.N.P.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner - Accepting new patients for medication management

Mr. Hutchins works with adolescent and adult patients with an array of mental-health and substance-abuse problems. He has seen patients in multiple settings including acute inpatient psychiatric crisis center, therapeutic boarding school for adolescents with autism, as well as residential and outpatient eating-disorder programs.  Mr. Hutchins now sees patients full-time at The Pisgah Institute.  Areas of particular interest include substance abuse, neuro-developmental disorders, thought disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders.  He completed his Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing at Winston-Salem State University and his Master’s of Science degree in psychiatric nursing at the University of South Alabama. He has worked in a variety of settings in the past as a case manager, psychiatric registered nurse, and nurse manager prior to coming to The Pisgah Institute. Mr. Hutchins came to western North Carolina in 1999 after living previously in Louisiana and Florida. He currently lives in a rural setting with his family.  Mr. Hutchins enjoys spending time with his children, gardening, hiking, raising goats and poultry, as well as cooking and foraging for wild foods.

Rita Christensen, Ph.D.

Rita Christensen, Ph.D.

Not accepting new patients - Retired June 1, 2020

Dr. Christensen is a psychologist who began her career in the mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. She works with adults and older adults, providing individual and couples therapy to address issues related to anxiety, depression, trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and relationship issues. An area of interest is the impact of addictive behavior on family members as well as the individual.  Dr. Christensen brings knowledge of family systems, cognitive-behavioral techniques, twelve-step principles, non-violent communication, and existentialism to people suffering with and affected by a wide range of addictive behaviors, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, and pornography. She completed her training at Florida State University in Tallahassee and completed her internship at the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Mountain Home, Tennessee. Following internship, she began private practice in Asheville. In her spare time, she enjoys homemaking, cooking, crocheting, golf, and driving enthusiastically.

Adena Altschul, Ph.D.

Adena Altschul, Ph.D.

Psychologist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. Altschul is a psychologist who adopts a strengths-based, whole-body approach to mental-health treatment and believes that the mind and body have an amazing capacity to heal with the right support and guidance.  Dr. Altschul combines psycho-education, mindfulness training, as well as creative and narrative therapies to support adolescents, adults, and couples struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, addictive behaviors, communication, and codependency issues.  In addition, Dr. Altschul co-leads Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills-training groups offered at The Pisgah Institute.  She completed her training in Charlottesville, Virginia at the University of Virginia’s Curry programs in clinical and school psychology.  She began her practice in the County of Los Angeles providing crisis intervention and intensive outpatient mental-health services to high-risk adolescents. Since then she has worked in a variety of  settings treating diagnostically complicated adolescents and adults who have experienced significant trauma histories and have also struggled with addictions, self-harming behaviors, depression, and dissociation.  In her spare time, Dr. Altschul loves exploring various creative endeavors, reading, and planning new adventures.

Dorcas "Cassie" Miller, Ph.D.

Dorcas "Cassie" Miller, Ph.D.

Psychologist - Not accepting new patients

In her private practice, Dr. Miller specializes in treating individuals with issues such as depression and anxiety, as well as chronic medical conditions, sexual identity, end-of-life concerns, substance abuse, and trauma. Dr. Miller is a psychologist who retired after 30 years at the Department of Public Safety working with female offenders and correctional staff.  She has served as a mental-health Red Cross volunteer and has provided critical incident debriefings for first responders and correctional personnel. She started her undergraduate studies at Indiana University and completed her graduate work at North Carolina State University. Dr. Miller uses cognitive-behavioral interventions and believes that individuals cope best by having physical, mental, and spiritual strategies to balance their lives. In her spare time she enjoys nature walks, attending live theater performances, learning piano, and singing in community chorus.

Keith Cox, Ph.D.

Keith Cox, Ph.D.

Psychologist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. Cox is a psychologist who received his doctorate in clinical and personality psychology from Northwestern University. He works with adults with mood disorders, anxiety, chronic pain, and trauma-related injuries. Dr. Cox also works with couples on relationship distress and dysfunction. He uses a broad range of approaches including behavioral therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, values-based approaches, and emotion-focused therapy.  He is also an active researcher who publishes and presents on multiple topics including post-traumatic stress disorder treatment, difficult periods in the life story, and personality. Dr. Cox is also an educator and a professor at a local university.

Nicholas K. Ladd, D.O.

Nicholas K. Ladd, D.O.

Psychiatrist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. Ladd is a psychiatrist who sees individuals across the spectrum of life but focuses on children and adolescents. In his work at The Pisgah Institute he teaches psychiatry residents from the new Mountain Area Health Education Center psychiatry residency program, where they work with children and adolescents. At The Pisgah Institute, he also sees private patients of all ages and mental-health challenges with particular interest in first-episode psychosis/mania, autism, intellectual disability, and PTSD. Dr. Ladd is dually board certified in general psychiatry as well as child and adolescent psychiatry.  He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, attended medical school at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and completed his residency and fellowship at Wake Forest Baptist Health. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, and cooking.

Parks Harper, P.A.

Parks Harper, P.A.

Physician Assistant - Accepting new patients for medication management

Ms. Harper enjoys helping adolescents and adults with many types of mental health issues to reach their highest potential. She  currently sees patients at The Pisgah Institute for medication management services and works with students at University of North Carolina Asheville.   Ms. Harper previously worked with patients at an acute inpatient psychiatric facility for crisis stabilization. She completed her Master of Science degree in physician assistant studies at Wake Forest School of Medicine after graduating with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before coming to The Pisgah Institute, Ms. Harper worked in family practice and in ear, nose, and throat specialty practice. She loves reading, the natural world, learning about other cultures, and time with her friends.

Katelin Double, Psy.D.

Katelin Double, Psy.D.

Psychologist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. Double earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary and completed her undergraduate studies at the State University of New York at Cortland.  She comes to the Pisgah Institute after having completing a post-doctoral fellowship where she focused on the provision of psychotherapy and assessment services. Dr. Double completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, North Carolina.  She has experience working with homeless people, child-trafficking victims, and other individuals impacted by trauma, including military-sexual and combat-related trauma and campus sexual violence, with people who suffer from phobias and addiction, and with individuals who have severe and persistent mental illness. Having worked in integrated- healthcare settings, she is able to explore with patients the impact of medical conditions on mental health.  She brings a wealth of knowledge on the integration of psychology and theology and can attend to patients’ mental-health-related spiritual concerns.  Dr. Double also provides neuropsychological, academic, personality, and career assessments.

Leif Johnson, M.S.N., P.M.H.N.P.

Leif Johnson, M.S.N., P.M.H.N.P.

Nurse Practitioner - Accepting new patients for medication management

Mr. Johnson has been a psychiatric nurse practitioner for 15 years and in that time has worked with kids, teens, adults, and the elderly, in settings as varied as nursing homes, the VA hospital, and child residential-treatment units. He is particularly enthusiastic about working with people who, regardless of their age or diagnoses, enter treatment with an eagerness for change. Mr. Johnson’s own life story has included many distinct chapters, living in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Seattle, Santa Fe, Boston (where he attended graduate school), and Asheville. Prior to entering medicine, Mr. Johnson spent his 20s and early 30s as a freelance illustrator and animator, winning awards and working for clients such as Microsoft and The New York Times. Now relatively settled in his life, Mr. Johnson shares his Swannanoa home with his family, which includes one son, two large hound dogs, and a rotating cast of neighborhood bears.

Paige Frankfurt, Ph.D.

Paige Frankfurt, Ph.D.

Psychologist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. Frankfurt is a clinical psychologist who began her practice in the Veterans Health Administration. She works exclusively with individuals ages 18 to 75 as well as with caregivers to those living with chronic illnesses.  Dr. Frankfurt focuses on evidence-based individual psychotherapy for those living with a variety of mental-health concerns including mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety, panic, and phobias), post-traumatic stress disorder (including sexual trauma of military personnel and civilians), and other trauma-related psychological injuries.  She has a particular interest in grief, women’s issues, post-partum-related matters, and relationship issues, and she also provides behavioral-health services to assist with insomnia, smoking cessation, hypertension, and weight loss.  She understands that there is no “one size fits all” approach to treatment, and she uses an eclectic approach, mainly humanistic and cognitive-behavioral. She was trained at the University of Memphis in Tennessee, in clinical psychology with a focus on behavioral health. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and dogs, and being outside.

Kari Taylor-Evans, Ph.D.

Kari Taylor-Evans, Ph.D.

Psychologist - Not accepting new patients

Dr. Taylor-Evans has over 20 years of experience in the mental-health field.  She is a holistic practitioner who integrates mind–body–spirit interventions to stimulate organic healing with adults.  She completed her doctoral training at the State University of New York at Albany in counseling psychology.  She has worked in multiple settings including the Veterans Administration, private medical centers, and college counseling centers.  She specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a wide variety of traumas, as well as mood and personality disorders. She is trained in Somatic Experiencing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Emotional Intelligence, Soul Embodiment, and other trauma-treatment interventions.  She is currently co-facilitating DBT skills-training groups at The Pisgah Institute.  She loves waterfalls, crystals, bubbling brooks, chocolate, hiking, kundalini yoga, collaging, and engaging in ceremonies that promote her own development and growth.

Kelly R. Hermann, M.B.A.

Kelly R. Hermann, M.B.A.

Practice Manager

Kelly R. Hermann, M.B.A., is the practice manager for The Pisgah Institute for Psychotherapy and Education, P.A., in Asheville, N.C.  She works alongside the shareholders using her leadership and entrepreneurial skills to promote a business model that supports longevity and patient-centric care for the practice. Mrs. Hermann is responsible for business operations, public relations, human resources, and patient satisfaction. Her expertise, perspective, and patience allow her to help guide the largest behavioral health practice in Western North Carolina through the ever-changing landscape of modern healthcare. Mrs. Hermann holds a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on healthcare administration from Western Carolina University and is a member of the Medical Group Management Association and the Western North Carolina Medical Managers Association. She enjoys helping others realize their potential and spending her free time with her family and enjoys science fiction and fantasy pop culture.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Remote Therapy Session

Remote sessions are not the same thing as what happens when we meet in person. They are also not the same as a typical phone conversation or SKYPE or FaceTime calls you have with friends and family. Listed below are some guidelines for how to…

Telehealth Information

We are currently conducting all appointments remotely by telehealth (or phone if telehealth is not available) as a means of providing services to our patients.  Please review the information below and contact the office, if you have not…

Regarding COVID-19 Concerns & Telehealth Options

In an attempt to avoid the spread of COVID-19, The Pisgah Institute asks that extra measures are taken to reduce the risk of exposure.   Patients experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath…

Announcement of Price Increase

This is to advise all current patients that there will be an approximate 5% increase in all of our self pay rates effective January 1, 2020.   Patients that are filing their visits to their insurance will be unaffected by this…

Now Offering Career Assessments

We are excited to be offering career assessments with an added personality component! Career assessments with a personality component can facilitate greater insight into one’s personality, interests, and personal style preferences as related to…

Living Wage Certification Logo

Proud to be Living Wage Certified Employers

Just Economics of Western North Carolina (JE) is a regional, membership organization based in Asheville, NC. Their Mission is to educate, advocate, and organize for a just and sustainable economy that works for all in Western North Carolina. Click Here to learn more