About Us

Our staff consists of a team of licensed psychologists, licensed professional counselors, certified rehabilitation counselors, certified school psychologists and highly trained and specialized diagnosticians, each possessing a wide range of specializations and experience. Each of our services is individually tailored to meet your specific needs.

Jonathan B. Gersh, Psy.D.

Clinical Director

Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Gersh is currently not accepting new therapy clients.

Dr. Gersh completed his doctorate degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in psychodynamic psychotherapy. He received his training in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he worked with a diverse clientele of varying family compositions and individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds. Dr. Gersh relocated back to his hometown, Atlanta, and has been practicing in the downtown area since 2007. Dr. Gersh works with adolescents, adults, and families with a focus on depression, anxiety, and various other psychological phenomenon that prevent individuals from maximizing their potential. Working on transitional issues with young adult and professionals are also strong areas of interest. He also offers consultation to families and children on complex behavioral issues, ADHD, adoption/foster placement issues, learning difficulties, and other various clinical issues. Dr. Gersh also provides a wide array of psychological and intellectual assessments to help his clients determine learning disabilities, personality functions, accurate diagnosis, and current level of functioning. Dr. Gersh has experience working with many community mental health agencies, including CORE/IFI providers, the Georgia Department of Labor, Disability Adjudication Services and Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and Department of Family and Children’s Services in various roles.

Valerie Besses, Psy.D.

Licensed Psychologist

Valerie Besses is licensed as a Psychologist in the state of Georgia. She earned a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Wright State University School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Besses has a background treating a range of problems including eating disorders, women’s issues, divorce, self-esteem, body image, anxiety disorders, depression, cultural issues, relationship and family problems, stress management and career/academic issues. In addition to psychotherapy, Dr. Besses is experienced in conducting a wide array of psychological evaluations.

Dr. Besses’ approach to psychotherapy is integrative, and includes cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal interventions. As part of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), clients learn to tolerate negative emotion, solve problems, manage stress and become more self-aware. CBT involves developing a better understanding the interaction between one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Dr. Besses has helped clients develop practical solutions to real-life issues. She makes an effort to customize treatment to fit her clients’ individual needs and strives to help individuals learn the skills to ultimately cope with any challenges on one’s own.

Betty McCurdy, Ph.D.

Licensed Psychologist

Dr. McCurdy has been a licensed psychologist in the state of Georgia since 1991. She received her Master’s degree from Auburn University and her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. She has extensive experience assisting people who are facing various life challenges. These can include struggles with loss such as surviving the deaths of love ones including unborn children, divorce, loss of friends (including animal friends); loss of job/career; loss of home; loss of arms, legs, vision, health; experience of transitions such as children moving away from home, parents moving in, job transfers; loss of dreams; and dealing with aging. She also is committed to providing care for the care-giver. Dr. McCurdy sees her role of therapist as providing a space and a context to facilitate individuals in exploring their feelings and re-calibrating their answers/plans, so that they can embrace life again. There are no right or wrong ways to get beyond loss/grief/pain/disappointment/feelings of failure. There are no right or wrong feelings; they are just your feelings, and they are worthy to be honored…and healed.

In addition, Dr. McCurdy is quite experienced in providing psychological evaluations utilizing a wide array of psychological tests and assessment procedures. She participated in the standardization process for several psychological instruments including the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Fourth Edition. She has led numerous seminars and conferences, was a featured guest on an Athens (GA) television program, has published a number of articles, and is currently working toward publishing several books. On a personal note, Dr. McCurdy is an avid animal-lover, has traveled extensively, and is a 27-year cancer survivor.

Jacqueline Wiafe, LPC, NCC

Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor

Jacqueline is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Georgia with a Master of Arts Degree (M.A) in Clinical Psychology. She has provided psychotherapy services to individuals in advocacy, community-based, early intervention, educational, and inpatient treatment programs. Additionally, she briefly worked as a research data associate at N.Y.U. School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, and the Phoenix House Foundation, a Substance Abuse Treatment program.

Drawing on her training in clinical theory and psychopathology, Jacqueline has counseled children, adolescents, and adults experiencing emotional and relational problems including; trauma, past abuse/neglect, depression, anxiety, life transitions and personal adjustment, and interpersonal difficulties. She also has an interest in working with culturally diverse client populations. Jacqueline is influenced by psychodynamic and person-centered approaches. With her younger clients, she prefers to use a child-centered play therapy approach, while family members assist as therapeutic consultants. In a warm and supportive environment, Jacqueline focuses on the needs of each individual with the goal of facilitating self-exploration, growth, and fostering inner resources that allow for a more fulfilling life.

Evan Thomas, Psy.D.

Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Thomas is a licensed psychologist in the state of Georgia with a doctorate in clinical psychology. He works with adults, children and families using a psychodynamic approach utilizing interventions including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems Theory and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Dr. Thomas also does comprehensive psychological evaluations and educational assessments.

Dr. Thomas' child and adolescent training was done at The Ann Martin Children's Center focusing on assessment, play therapy and family therapy. He also trained with the Berkeley Department of Health and Human Services mobile crisis team and The San Francisco Department of Health and Human Services ACT program.

Edliz "Edi" Wade, APC, NCC, DCC

Offers a reduced fee for service. This fee represents a 20% reduction in practice's full rate

Associate Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Distance Credential Counselor

Edi is a mental health counselor who received her Master's of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Wake Forest University. Her specialities include working with young adults and their loved ones through transition and/or anxiety, depression, variation in mood, and relationship challenges. She works with adolescents and their families to bring awareness to adjustment issues as well as helping them acquire vocabulary for open communication. She also works with couple's and adults who need support in transition, season of life, or communication difficulties.

Edi primarily uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in her approach with clients and centers her practice in humanistic empathy and non-judgment. She believes that any experience can be a learning experience and an opportunity for growth and healing. As a Distance Credential Counselor, Edi can see clients anywhere in the state of Georgia via telephone/video session using encrypted and confidential software.

When she's not in session, Edi writes to bring counseling practices to everyone and anyone on her blog site www.incremental.care

Jazz Ruff

Office Manager

Jazz is the backbone of Southern Psych. She's the warm face that greets clients whether for psychological testing or for therapeutic sessions. Jazz has a heart for getting others the care they need to move forward in their lives and is passionate about making sure those who reach out to our practice get their questions answered and next steps resolved.

When she's not scheduling clients and walking through what they can expect, you can find Jazz traveling or biking through Georgia's beautiful landscape.


501 Pulliam Street, Suite 407

Atlanta, GA 30312

Phone 404.474.7021

Fax 404.592.4698


1744 Roswell Road, Suite 200

Marietta, GA 30062

Phone 404.474.7021

Fax 678.909.0294


927 Commercial Street

Conyers, GA 30012

Phone 404.474.7021

Fax 404.592.4698