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Melissa DeLong, LCSW, PIP

Owner, Clinical Director


Melissa is honored to direct Alabama’s premiere private practice exclusively dedicated to providing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and other evidence-based therapies to Birmingham and its surrounding areas. Although originally from Birmingham, Ms. DeLong spent the better part of her life so far in New York, first as a professional ballet dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. Following her career in the arts, she attended Columbia University, graduating summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a degree in psychology. Melissa completed her graduate studies in social work via NYU, receiving supervision in psychodynamic psychotherapy. Since graduation, she has been committed to combining her background in psychodynamic practices of psychotherapy with other evidence-based treatments. In particular, Melissa received formal training from the Beck Institute in Philadelphia in the practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for adults with depression and anxiety. She was intensively trained in DBT through Marsha Linehan’s Behavioral Tech and has been closely supervised in the application of DBT in her practice from NYU professor and DBT/AEDP therapist, Yuval Moses, LCSW. In addition to the above, Melissa is an Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) Level 2 therapist and receives supervision in the application of  AEDP for attachment-related trauma to assist TWC clients in Stage 2 of DBT treatment (trauma processing). While working as a psychotherapist at Grayson and Associates, she successfully designed and implemented a comprehensive DBT program. According to data collected from program participants there, significant improvements in emotional and behavioral outcomes were consistently found among clients, utilizing DERS (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale), a validated research tool measuring emotion regulation. At The Wise Center, Melissa and her expertly-trained staff provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment for issues relating to emotion dysregulation and maintain strict adherence to Linehan’s model of DBT. Melissa's current clinical practice involves providing individual therapy to adolescents and adults and supervising TWC's staff of DBT clinicians. 


Natalie Harrison, PhD
DBT group facilitator, Clinical Psychology supervisor

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Natalie A. Harrison, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC Canada. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Alabama in 2018 with a child and adolescent forensic psychology specialization. She completed a clinical internship in Health Service Psychology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN, including practicums at Shelby County Juvenile Court, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. She completed postdoctoral training at Harbor UCLA Medical Center (HUMC), in Torrance, CA in 2019 with a focus on trauma and risk assessment/safety planning for suicidal behavior. She was a founding member of the Integrative Inclusion Diversity Equity Accountability division with a mission to build a safe and equitable environment for diverse clientele, students, and clinicians at HUMC. Following postdoctoral training, she worked at the Safe Harbor Trauma Recovery Center at HUMC providing trauma-informed training, assessment, consultation, and psychotherapy to survivors of crime and their families. Dr. Harrison uses evidence-based practice to provide her clients with efficient and effective treatment. She has received board certification in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. This breadth of experience affords Dr. Harrison a rare ability to work with clients across the lifespan to assist with a variety of issues including trauma, anxiety, and emotion dysregulation. 

DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™


Jaalah received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Samford University, receiving first her B.S. in Human Development and Family Science and then a masters degree in social work (MSW).  She completed a year-long internship of clinical practice under the supervision of Melissa Delong at The Wise Center of DBT. During her internship, she developed a passion for DBT and the work taking place at The Wise Center. Jaalah completed DBT Skills Training via Behavioral Tech in 2020 and later completed Behavioral Tech's Foundational Training in DBT and its clinical application for clients and their families in 2021. She particularly enjoys working with adolescents and young adults. Jaalah desires to make each client feel safe, accepted, and supported, exploring together how to meet each unique need.

Jaalah Olver, LICSW
Clinical Supervisor, Adolescent and Adult DBT Therapist, Group Facilitator

Zelda obtained her Master of Social Work from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Previously, Zelda attended the University of Mobile where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Sociology. She is a member of both Alpha Chi and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies and was awarded The Annie Boyd Parker Weaver Excellence Award from the University of Mobile in 2021. Before joining the Wise Center, Zelda completed her Clinical-Year Field Placement at the CHIPS Center at Children’s of Alabama Hospital where she worked with children and adolescents in play therapy and abuse prevention education. Zelda completed her Foundational-Year Filed Placement at Samford University CARE Team where she worked with college students to set goals and create plans for growth. She completed DBT training in child and adolescent DBT treatment from Francheska Perepletchikova, PhD and completed foundational training in DBT via Marsha Linehan's Behavioral Tech. Zelda is also trained in LGBTQIA+ affirming mental health care. Zelda feels particularly passionate about serving child and adolescent clients, working to provide a safe space within the therapeutic environment where clients can feel secure and supported. She strives to bring warmth, hope, and a sense of liveliness into her therapeutic work with all

Zelda Driskell, LMSW
DBT  group facilitator, DBT primary therapist


Zahria is a graduate of The University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and The University of Montevallo with a Master’s of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is a member of Chi Sigma Iota, the International Honor Society of Counseling. Zahria served as a full-time, Primary Counselor at Bradford Health Services, utilizing evidence-based therapies, such as DBT, CBT and Motivational Interviewing with both individuals and groups. Currently, she is furthering her education in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) through Marsha Linehan's Behavioral Tech Foundational DBT Training, under the supervision of The Wise Center's Clinical Director, Melissa DeLong, LICSW. Zahria supports all age groups ranging from children to adults. As a counselor, she believes in facilitating a collaborative approach, unconditional positive regard, self-esteem building, and creating a safe environment for all of her clients. Zahria works with a large range of concerns, which includes but is not limited to, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, relationship issues, work issues, daily life issues, work-life balance, and grief/trauma. 

Zahria Richard, ALC
ChildAdolescent and Adult DBT Therapist


Haylie is a third-year Ph.D. student in the clinical psychology and law concentration at the University of Alabama. Before moving to Alabama for graduate school, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theater from the University of Michigan. Haylie has clinical experience in suicide prevention, substance use, pain, and criminal legal system involvement from her time doing research at the Ann Arbor Veterans Administration and the University of Michigan, where she worked as a clinical studies project manager for six years. Most recently, she has been working doing competency restoration, cognitive remediation, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Taylor Hardin Forensic Medical Center. Haylie enjoys working with adults of all ages and aims to provide a safe and comfortable place where she can work collaboratively with clients on difficult topics. 

Haylie Stewart,
Clinical Psychology Student Extern

Arin is a candidate for a masters in family therapy from the University of Alabama. While earning a bachelor's of science in psychology and social welfare, they worked as a case manager at a non-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. In that role, they conducted DBT/CBT psychoeducational groups and attempted to connect clients in poverty to viable mental health services. As an undergraduate, they served at the Tuscaloosa SAFE center to advocate for people who have experienced sexual assault. Currently, they are a clinical intern at the Capstone Family Therapy Clinic. They work with individuals, couples, families, and children using evidence-based approaches. They take a practical approach to client care and are passionate about helping queer adolescents build lives worth living while navigating hostile environments.

Arin Mara
Marriage and Family Therapy Student Intern


The Wise Center is grateful for the thoughtful guidance and consultation from Yuval Moses, DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy) expert. Yuval has years of experience supporting mental health practices in New York City in establishing and maintaining DBT programs, through teaching best practices in DBT and helping clinics increase their adherence to Linehan's traditional model of DBT. Yuval was intensively trained through Behavioral Tech in DBT, and has also completed level 3 training in AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy) for the treatment of attachment-related trauma. He is also a faculty member and professor at NYU for their masters in social work students.

Yuval Moses, LCSWR, AEDP Certified
DBT and AEDP Consultant, Group Supervisor

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Simone grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and obtained her Honors Degree (4 years) in Social Work at Stellenbosch University. Before relocating to Birmingham, Alabama, she worked as a Foster Care Social Worker for three years at a Non Profit Organization. Simone is a committed and vital part of The Wise Center team, supporting our clients in connecting them with necessary outside resources, referrals, and/or to their primary or group therapist. Simone has a passion for helping people and delights in the opportunity to best assist TWC clients in getting their needs met as efficiently as possible, with the utmost dignity and respect.

Simone Huysamen
Office Manager / Receptionist

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