Tamara Ancona has a Master of Arts in Psychology with a Clinical Counseling Specialty and holds her certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Georgia. Her area of specialty prior to establishing her educational consulting practice has included counseling individuals and families in the acute care (Peachford and Brawner Psychiatric Hospitals), corporate (AT&T, Lucent Technologies, GA Perimeter College, and General Motors) and private practice settings (Emory University Counseling Affiliate). She also has vast experience facilitating therapeutic, educational and experiential groups with both the adult and teen populations.
Since 1998, her focus as an educational consultant has been to provide families within the Southern Region and across the United States with distinct educational options or therapeutic alternatives for their struggling teen or young adult children. Tamara spends over 25% of her time visiting and evaluating schools and programs across the United States and hence understands their unique offerings and suitability essential to addressing the individual needs of each of her clients. She brings skill and expertise to serving those with specialized needs.
She is the founder of TAG FAMILY Connect™, a family assessment process, co-designed with nationally known parent specialist, Dr. Brooke Judkins-Farrell which focuses on understanding the unique relational structure within a family, its parental and intergenerational dynamics and the necessary clinical alignment for its well being. Industry professionals continue to recognize her precedent for facilitating excellent family care. Prior to this, Tamara’s innovative and supportive approach to working with her families helped to establish the first local parent support group here in Atlanta (Fall, 2006) and one of the first of its kind Nationwide. This set precedence for other colleagues to follow suite and offer an even greater layer of service to the community at large. This foresight and responsiveness to the needs of her clients reflect the caliber of her professional expertise and steadfast commitment to helping her families.
Her speaking engagements across the Southeast and Nationwide have included:
She is an active member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), the American Counseling Association (ACA), Learning Disabilities Association of Georgia (LDAG) and the Licensed Professional Counselors Association-Georgia Chapter (LPCA). She sits on the Advisory Board of Saving Teens in Crisis, a not-for-profit organization designed specifically for assisting trouble teens and their families (www.savingteens.org). Her professional affiliations are with the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP), Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), Small Boarding School Association (SBSA), the Independent Schools and Programs Alliance (ISPA) and numerous Parent Teacher Associations throughout Georgia (PTA).
After graduating from Princeton University with a B.A. in English and American studies, Sara Eden worked as a research assistant doing depression research at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Her exposure to the field of mental health led her to move from New York City to Austin to attend the University of Texas where she pursued a master’s degree in social work. She earned a Robert Lee Sutherland Scholarship in Mental Health and Social Policy and was a member of Phi Alpha Honor Society (a national honor society for social work students).
As a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), Sara has acted as a therapist at a child and adolescent counseling center, a grief counselor for children and teens, and most recently, as Director of Upper School counseling at Pace Academy, an independent private school in Atlanta. During her 13-year tenure in this role, she created a counseling department across all divisions and gained experience supporting adolescents through mental health challenges including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, and gender and sexuality. Her time as a school counselor also fostered an interest in supporting families navigate the mental health system when their children needed support beyond what the school setting could offer. This included referrals to outside professionals, and appropriate local mental health resources. Sara also focused on helping the student and family re-acclimate to school after a mental health leave of absence.
Sara is on the Adolescent Advisory Council for a nationally known residential treatment facility in Atlanta. She has led parent education seminars and student presentations on topics such as grief and loss, transition to college, healthy relationships and substance use, social media and digital citizenship. She is a Myers Briggs Certified Practitioner, a Darkness to Light facilitator, and a former high school psychology teacher. Sara looks forward to integrating her skill set and working with and supporting TAG families throughout their journeys.