Meet Your Therapists


Markela Ballard, LPC-MHSP, ACS

Markela, the owner of On A Journey Counseling Center, was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She attended Tennessee State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 2005 and Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology in 2008. She obtained her license with the state of Tennessee in 2015. As a licensed professional counselor she's had experience working with adolescents/teenagers, young adults, and families


Markela has worked in the mental health field for over 15 years.  She has experience working for a community mental health agency as a Child/Adolescent, and Family Case Manager, an Intake Clinician, Residential Counselor in Diversion Services, and a School-based Therapist.


Markela has a specialized set of skills, with training in the use of evidence based modalities that enable her to utilize an integrative approach to therapy. With this skill set it allows her to walk beside each individual on their journey to change.

Markela have extensive experience in treating behavioral and emotional issues including but not limit to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), depression, mood disorders, self-esteem, impulse control, anxiety, problem solving, communication, organization, coping skills, parent education, decision making, boundary setting, conflict resolution, stress management, and anger management.





Samuel Alexis, MPH
Clinical Therapist Intern

Samuel Alexis was born in Brooklyn, NY from Haitian American parents who taught me the importance of hard work and dedication. He earned a Master's Degree in Public Health with a Concentration in Integrative Health at the University of West Chester and use that degree to serve the United States Air Force as a Public Health Officer. Samuel grew up and worked with individuals from all different walks of life which has  helped him to treat people equally while appreciating that we are all unique and have different life experiences, stories and stressors which require personalized support. 


In order to provide more effective and evidence based support Samuel is obtaining his Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling to better serve the needs of the community. Samuel has provided counseling to many different communities including individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, families with individuals on the autism spectrum, people working through substance abuse issues among others. 


Samuel enjoys spending time with family and friends including his newborn son and exploring Nashville.