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About Us

Why put you or your child's life in a stranger's hands? Call us for a free consultation to see why or treatment center is the best multi-specialty practice in Maryland.

The Family Center of Central Maryland provides a complete array of services under one roof. We have been successfully treating individuals and families for more than 35 years. Our staff is composed of highly experienced doctors who are able to provide individualized and and successful treatment that allow families to function smoothly and each individual to grow, prosper, and excel.

We provide state-of-the-art treatment modalities including cognitive training, neurofeedback, biofeedback, and the most comprehensive personality and academic assessments in Maryland.

We are not bound by the treatment constraints of managed care - we have no artificial, insurance-driven limits on time devoted to patient care nor a one-size-fits-all treatment protocol. We are free to collaborate with parents, other family members, and schools to find effective and timely solutions.

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Gail K Walter, Ph.D.

Dr. Walter, a state-licensed psychologist, opened The Family Center 35 years ago to provide effective, compassionate, and personalized care for the complex psychological challenges facing families in our Central Maryland Community. Dr. Walter lives in Howard County and has a good understanding of the unique challenges in this community during these demanding times. Dr. Walter was awarded a graduate fellowship at the Institute of Child Study, UMCP, to concentrate on human development and family systems theory. After receiving her Ph.D., she completed a post-doctoral internship in clinical psychology. She currently supervises the clinical staff who specialize in the treatment of behavioral, emotional, developmental, and transitional problems of children, teens, adults, and families.


Nicky Lankerani, D.O.

Nicky Lankerani is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry. She completed her residency in general psychiatry at the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Health System and at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she served as chief resident. Her specialties include mood and anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, pervasive development disorders, and diagnosis and early interventions for pre-schoolers.


Christopher Williams, LCSW-C

Chris Williams is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW‐C) with over 20 years of clinical experience. Chris received his Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from Howard University. Chris has worked with a myriad of client populations in various public health settings. Chris’ practice focuses on working with clients dealing with grief/loss, chronic health issues, mood and anxiety disorders. Chris also has a wealth of experience working with adolescents and families. Chris has years of experience working with and providing therapy and counseling services to the African‐American community. As a former high level athlete and coach, Chris also has a specialty providing sports psychology/counseling to youth and adult athletes and working with teams to address how mental and emotional health issues impact performance and sport enjoyment. Chris has been in clinical practice at the Family Center since 2001, and has been a resident of Howard County since 1977.


Krystin Wessner, Psy.D.

Dr. Krystin Wessner is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of children (ages 3+), adolescents, and families/couples. She received her doctoral degree from Loyola University Maryland. Dr. Wessner performs individual, family, and group therapy. Throughout treatment she emphasizes the importance of collaboration, working with each client, and the family, to develop a unique treatment plan and appropriate, obtainable, goals. In addition, Dr. Wessner conducts psychological evaluations that assess for learning disabilities, ADHD, and other social-emotional disorders.

Dr. Wessner consults closely with teachers, school personnel, pediatricians, and other health care providers to offer the most comprehensive treatment and advocates for the client’s educational, social, and mental health needs. Her areas of interest and specialty include behavioral and emotional disorders (e.g., ADHD, anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorders), trauma, adjustment disorders, high functioning autistic spectrum disorders, and childhood grief and loss. In addition, she has worked with military families who are in the midst of transition and struggling with unique challenges and adjustments.


Brittney D. Stafford
M.A., C.A.S., NCSP

Brittney is a Registered Psychology Associate and Nationally Certified School Psychologist, who obtained her Master’s Degree in Psychology and Certificate of Advanced Study in School Psychology from Towson University. Brittney has been a practicing school psychologist in Maryland for the past 10 years. She also holds certification in early childhood education, and is a former kindergarten teacher. Brittney specializes in work with early childhood, elementary-age youth, and early adolescence. 


As a school psychologist, Brittney has practiced in multiple Maryland school systems. She conducts comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations, with particular interest in the neuropsychological foundations of learning disabilities, and behavioral and emotional disorders. Through evaluation, Brittney seeks to identify unique learning and behavioral needs, and engage families and practitioners in the development of comprehensive intervention plans and support systems. 


Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, psychoeducation, and play-based approaches, Brittney assists clients and families in identifying and addressing self-regulation needs. Brittney has extensive experience providing both individual and group counseling services to address needs related to anxiety, anger and stress management, social thinking skills, executive functioning, and the development of healthy coping strategies. Brittney engages her clients and families in targeted goal setting to facilitate integration of skills outside of the counseling setting, as well as age-appropriate self-evaluation of skill development to foster a growth mindset. 


Brittney is a strong believer in collaboration. In order for children to achieve optimal emotional, intellectual, physical, and social development, it is imperative that professionals and family members who support them work in collaborative efforts, with specific and common goals and intentions. Communication and highly-individualized approaches and treatment plans are key. Brittney is able to provide behavioral analysis and training to families to assist with in-home behavior management, and also seeks to support families in the understanding and navigation of Special Education processes and their child’s unique learning needs.


Kasey Veenstra

Kasey is a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor (LGPC). She obtained a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona and a Master's degree in School Counseling from Loyola University Maryland. With a strong foundation in school counseling, Kasey is deeply committed to supporting children, adolescents, and young adults on their journey to personal growth. She employs an integrated and personalized approach that combines cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, and play therapy techniques to foster emotional growth and resilience.


Drawing on her expertise in trauma-informed care and navigating educational systems, Kasey prioritizes the creation of safe and nurturing environments where young individuals can explore, thrive, and heal. Her practice focuses on addressing a range of challenges including learning and behavioral needs, anxiety, stress management, social skills development, and other common issues affecting children, adolescents, and young adults.

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