Meet Our Therapists

Bryant Howard

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, LMFT.

Owner and Founder of
Heart of the matter counseling

Bryant Howard is a Licensed marriage and family therapist here in the Sacramento area.

He is originally from the small town of Derby, Connecticut. Bryant has always had a natural gift of listening and supporting others in times of crisis. He was often who his friends and even acquaintances would go to for advice or support. Read More

Christina Owen

Adminstration / Billing

Hi! My name is Christina Owen, I am the administrative assistant here with Heart of the Matter Counseling! As one of the first people you will speak with I strive on making the onboarding process effortless and smooth for you. Read More

Rory James


Hello! My name is Rory James and I am an administrative assistant here at Heart of the Matter Counseling. I am here to assist you in any way I can as you begin the process with us. I can answer any questions you may have. Read More

Vivian Howard


Oh hey! My name is Vivian and I work in the billing department here at HOTMC. I’m married to Bryant Howard, which means I’ve had the privilege of not only watching this practice grow with talented therapists, but also it’s positive impact on the community all around Sacramento. Read More

Rachel Sapozink

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT

Welcome to Heart of the Matter Counseling! I know it can be difficult to talk to someone new about your personal issues, but I’m thankful that you are taking a step towards personal growth, and I’ll be here to guide you throughout your journey to a better you! But first things first: Read More

Monica Hefner

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCSW

Hi! My name is Monica. Thank you for your interest in me as your therapist. My goal is to partner with and empower my clients on their mental health journey. I see us all as people-in-progress, so rest assured that you are coming into a safe and judgment-free space. Read More

Thelma Zazueta

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT

Welcome to Heart of the Matter Counseling. My name is Thelma, and I am grateful that you took the opportunity to read my profile. Many things are happening in our world right now that can make us feel stressed, anxious, sad, or depressed. But you are not alone. Read More

Philana Boyd

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT

Hello! My name is Philana. I have professionally and personally come to an understanding that deciding to seek therapy can be an uncomfortable and unsettling decision. However, therapy can be a space for healing, personal growth, and self-empowerment. Read More

Francesca Arostegui

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, LMFT

Hello!  I am a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in supporting children of all ages, teens/young adults, parents and families in the areas of depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, parenting and major family changes (divorce, blended families etc.). I also have experience working with performers, artists and athletes.Read More

Melanie Pang

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCSW

Everyone is working on being the best version of themselves. Therapy can help you get to that goal. The idea of starting therapy can be intimidating and overwhelming, so I commend you for being here today. My goal is to support you and meet you where you are in your journey. 

My name is Melanie Pang and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I received my Masters of Social Work and Bachelors in Psychology. I speak English and Cantonese. Read More

Danielle Wood

Licensed Clinician Social Worker, LCSW

    I know we are all born as a promise to the world with a unique set of gifts and abilities, with a divine right to space on the planet by virtue of our birth, but life can get in the way of us knowing these truths. If you are looking for a therapist to help you on your healing journey, congratulations! Starting is the hard part! Read More

Veronica Villanueva

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, AMFT

Hello, my name is Veronica Villanueva! I was born and raised in Mexico before coming to the U.S. and pursuing my education. I completed my master’s degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling and currently am registered as an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist.Read More

Kyle Pettit

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, AMFT

Taking your first steps into the world of therapy can often be an unfamiliar and uncomfortable process. Coming to terms with the fact that we need some form of support can be an important chapter in our lives. I’m here to show you that this part of your life story doesn’t have to be taken alone. Read More

Linda Loessberg-Zahl

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, AMFT

Life can be rough – even very difficult. We all know that, but in the midst of those hard times we often don’t recognize our own strengths, skills, and wisdom. Read More

Angelica Correa

Associate Professional Clinical Counselor, APCC

 As an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor, my expertise lies in supporting individuals of color who are navigating trauma and significant life changes. By combining your insights about yourself with my professional skills, we collaboratively foster acceptance and transformation. My virtual sessions, infused with warmth and humor, emphasize the crucial mindbody connection while drawing upon evidence-based practices.

Jesse Keith

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, AMFT

Hi, I’m Jesse Keith.  My diverse background has developed my interest in helping people feel safe and grow. I’ve worked decades as a manager, as well as five years in the prison system. These experiences have made me aware of the difficulties and challenges life presents, especially on relationships. My interest now is working with people and helping them enjoy better lives. Read More

Emily Frugoli

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, AMFT

Hello! My name is Emily and I am an associate marriage and family therapist. I enjoy working with people of all different backgrounds including teens, adults, and families who are experiencing life stressors and need some support navigating them. I specialize in areas such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD. I also have basic training in EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). Read More

Darese Winston

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, AMFT

My name is Darese Winston and I have a passion for helping others live the life they desire. I have faced many challenges in my life and overcome them through life changing help and support. Life happens to everyone and can be difficult at times. As an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT)  I offer you life changing help and support. Read More

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