Our staff of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping children heal from abuse in the Grand Traverse region.
Sue is the executive director of the northern Michigan Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center. With a BA in psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara and an MA in art therapy from the University of Illinois, Sue’s professional career includes clinical work with children and teens at the University of Chicago, graduate-level instruction with students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and certification as a Montessori teacher and yoga instructor. She is currently a teacher in training with Google’s Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute as well as a Michigan ACE Initiative trainer.
Under Sue’s leadership, the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center has expanded from serving children and families in one (1) county to six (6) in the Grand Traverse region, has earned national accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance for standards consistent with best practices among child advocacy centers, and has expanding prevention programming with initiatives such as “Team Zero”. Email Sue.
Amelia Siders, Ph.D., LP
Amelia Siders, Ph.D., LP, serves as the Clinical Director for TBCAC and has been working in the mental health field since 1994. She received a BA in psychology from the University of Michigan and completed her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego. A licensed psychologist, Dr. Amelia specializes in assessment, treatment, and advocacy for children, adolescents, and adults with emotional, behavioral, trauma, and substance use disorders. She has been trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and EDMR, as well as several other trauma-informed interventions including Trauma Incident Reduction. In addition to overseeing counseling and therapeutic services at TBCAC, Dr. Amelia serves as an expert in child abuse prevention and intervention and provides testimony in court cases related to areas such as child abuse disclosure rates, false allegations, statistics, trauma symptoms and even grooming and offender behaviors. Additionally, she offers consultation for prosecutorial teams on psychological assessments conducted on both clients and alleged offenders that may be used in court. She and her team of onsite therapists also help prepare both families and children for the trial process by offering support and education about ways to feel more confident and less anxious when providing testimony. Dr. Amelia became passionate about working with children and families who have been affected by abuse when completing her internship at the Center for Child Protection in San Diego, California. Dr. Amelia lives in Traverse City with her canine companion and beloved TBCAC volunteer, Jeeves. Email Amelia.
Team Zero Director
Deb directs TBCAC’s Team Zero campaign to prevent child abuse. Together with national, state, and local partners, she heads up the creation of a powerful model to protect children in Northern Michigan and beyond. Deb is a specialist in start-up management, arts communication, and community networking. She came to TBCAC after 13 years with the Traverse City Film Festival, where she built from scratch a nationally-recognized film festival and two award-winning, community-driven independent movie theaters, the State Theatre and the Bijou by the Bay. Deb’s community leadership includes service as Chair of the Traverse City Arts Commission and Rotary’s Good Works Committee, and board service for Manistee’s Vogue Theatre and the Utopia Foundation. She holds an A.B. degree from Princeton University. Email Deb.
Carly joined the TBCAC staff in December 2014. She grew up in the Traverse City area and received a BA in Sociology and Psychology from Central Michigan University. Her professional career has taken her to Florida and then back to her Michigan roots. Carly is trained in four different forensic interview protocols endorsed by the National Children’s Alliance (NCA), the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC), the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM), and the Ten Step Forensic Interview Protocol. Carly has conducted over 1,100 forensic interviews throughout her career and has been affiliated with Children’s Advocacy Centers since 2012. Working with children has always been a passion of Carly’s. Outside of work Carly enjoys spending time with her family, especially her husband, son and black lab named Moose. Email Carly.
Lisa joined the TBCAC in February 2016. She is a graduate of Central Michigan University where she received a BA in psychology and communication disorders. Originally from the Bay City area, Lisa moved to Traverse City in 1997. She and her husband have two boys that keep them very busy with sports and extracurricular activities. Email Lisa.
Teresa grew up in Cadillac, MI. She received a BA in family studies from Spring Arbor University as well as an Associate’s Degree in child development from Northwestern Michigan College. Teresa worked as a Head Start Lead Teacher for 12 years before joining DHHS as a child protection investigator, serving Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Wexford and Missaukee Counties for six years. During this time, Teresa was co-located at the TBCAC as a member of the multidisciplinary team. Teresa is also a certified facilitator of the Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children prevention curriculum offered through Team Zero. She is dedicated to bringing the rate of child sexual abuse in our region to zero! Teresa and her husband have hosted three National Youth Exchange students in their home while raising two children of their own. Email Teresa.
Deanna Couture, MA, LPC-S, NCC, RPT
Deanna graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Elementary Education. She pursued graduate work while raising her family, earning an MBA from Texas A & M at Corpus Christi, MA in School Administration from Central Michigan University, and MA in Counseling from Spring Arbor University. Deanna was an elementary teacher and principal for 24 years and worked in a college setting. She has counseled children and adolescents since 2009 in her private practice and in a school setting. She earned her Registered Play Therapist (RPT) credential and uses Play Therapy to address cognitive, behavioral, and emotional challenges in her clients. Deanna enjoys life in Traverse City with her husband, Al. They have three adult sons who live in Michigan. Email Deanna.