About Our Behavioral Health Team

Meet Our Founder

Shannon Sawyer LPC-Supervisor & Clinical Director

Shannon Sawyer is the Clinical Director and Owner of Sawyer Behavioral Health. Initially a military spouse and stay-at-home mom, Mrs. Sawyer obtained a Master’s Degree with High Distinction in Professional Counseling from Liberty University in 2010. She later gained experience as a Licensed Professional Counselor at a local behavioral health hospital, working in both inpatient and outpatient settings as well as for a longstanding counseling center in the El Paso community. Mrs. Sawyer opened a private practice in 2015 that has seen exponential growth with the addition of seven fully licensed counselors and several LPC-Associates and student interns.

Mrs. Sawyer believes the most effective way of navigating the intricacies of emotions, behaviors, and self-concept is to take a strengths and values-based approach to therapy while remembering that an individual’s source of power and wisdom lies within themselves. When working with clients, Mrs. Sawyer incorporates the understanding of one’s emotions, behaviors, and biology relating to their well-being, daily functioning, and self-concept.

Meet Our Team

Jessica Ontiveros-Snow LPC

I offer a CBT, Motivational Intervention, and DBT approach with you as my lead. I believe we all have the ability to heal and thrive when we are provided with unconditional positive regard. I have experience with children, adolescents, and adults and enjoy incorporating art into therapy and encouraging exercise and nature to balance mood. 

The ability to self-heal is within you, and I am here to offer a space for you to share and explore. Adjusting to transitions can be difficult, yet your goals and needs are for you to decide as I facilitate and help you explore healthy coping strategies. Let’s work together and allow me to guide you to overcome your past, build tolerance to your current distress, and form positive and healthy coping skills for your future.

Marilyn Corbin-Burdick MEd., LPC

We often find ourselves seeking to understand where we are coming from and what we hope to become. It can take a lot of courage to step into one’s inner world and begin to examine it with authenticity. When we are ready to face our unknown and known fears, challenges, and pain, it can become a difficult undertaking, and sometimes we feel stuck. Having a space to sit with support, safety, and compassion can help encourage movement towards becoming our genuine selves. As a licensed professional counselor, I approach each individual with the understanding that all people come with wisdom and with the ability to build the changes they seek.

I utilize therapeutic art and body movement interventions as well as traditional talk therapies throughout the collaborative therapeutic process. I am Level I EMDR trained and gravitate towards humanistic therapy approaches (i.e., Person-Centered Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Existential Therapy, Gestalt Therapy) I strive to work with clients to find what is helpful for their unique needs. 

Issues I work with: Anxiety, Trauma and PTSD, Eating Disorders, LGBTQ+, Addiction, Bipolar Disorder, Emotional Abuse, Family Conflict, Life Transitions, Boundaries, Relationship Issues, Sexual Abuse, Neurodivergency, Disability, Stress, Depression, 

“There are no new ideas, just new ways of giving those ideas we cherish breath and power in our own living.” – Audre Lorde

Marisabel Azcarate LPC, LPCC

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas and a Licensed Professional Clinical Mental Health Counselor in the state of New Mexico. I obtained my Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from Webster University in 2007. My work experience includes working with the following population: corrections, immigration, psychiatric hospitals, children, adolescents, and adults. I work with clients experiencing a wide range of concerns, including low self-esteem, ADHD, OCD, depression, anxiety, divorce, relational issues, anger, attachment issues, significant life stress, grief, trauma, and abuse. My approach is client-centered and trauma-informed. I focus on the therapeutic relationship between myself and the client in order to increase trust that will open the doors for healing. My training consists of sand tray therapy, play therapy, expressive arts, EMDR, CBT, crisis intervention, and anger management.

Isabel Chavarria, LPC

Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor, Mental Health Therapist with a demonstrated history of working in the mental health care industry. Skilled in Customer Service, TF-CBT, Psychotherapy, Mental Health Counseling, PCIT and EMDR.  Experience in all ages, main population; adults. Trauma Informed Care. Treats Anxiety, PTSD, Behavioral and Mood disorders. Bilingual and Multicultural competence.

Robyn Nixon, LPC

My name is Robyn Nixon. My desire is to provide my clients with a safe, empathetic, and reassuring environment where they can express themselves freely without fear of judgment. I work with clients from adolescence (middle school and high school) all the way through adulthood (of all ages). I believe in a holistic approach to counseling, where the client is encouraged to identify and build on their strengths and values, which leads to a more fulfilling life. I use a wide range of therapeutic approaches to help my clients learn strategies and coping skills to manage their challenges and make positive changes in their lives. I also offer Christian/Biblically-based counseling for those who are seeking more of a spiritual approach to their therapy

Elizabeth Lugo-Munoz, M.Ed., LPC-S

Having the courage to seek therapy and book your first appointment is the first step to making a difference for yourself. That process itself can be stressful. I am here to offer you a non-judgmental and compassionate space where you can feel safe to share your story.

Life is full of challenges and stressors, but when we approach life from our strengths, the path is easier to navigate. One of my goals in therapy is not only to help people overcome their hardships but guide them to a better life in spite of it. Guiding you to find balance based on your priorities and values is one of the things I stress in sessions to help you to achieve your goals and overcome challenges.

The approach I use in therapy is based on your individual needs. Once we assess your immediate need and we set expectations and goals for therapy, we start with the chosen approach to facilitate your process and progress. I use evidence-based approaches, and I am not limited to a single option for therapy since I prioritize matching the one that is more beneficial for each client. We are all unique. I have 15 years of clinical experience with adults, children, adolescents, and families. I am a Certified Counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors, and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors.

I was born and raised in Mexico. I moved to El Paso when I was 27 years old, as a result, I am a bilingual Therapist speaking both Spanish and English. I am licensed in both countries, earning my first Professional License as a Psychologist in Mexico with an outstanding performance in the National Professional Test of Clinical Psychology in 2008. I have 4 years of clinical experience in that country, which allows me to have a binational perspective to treat diverse populations at the border region.

Veronica Barajas, MA, LPC

Veronica Barajas, MA, LPC, has been part of Sawyer Behavioral Health since 2016. She completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology/Neuroscience at Baylor University. In 2006, Veronica continued her graduate studies at New Mexico State University. Ms. Barajas has worked both clinically and in research. She has worked with specialized populations including, but not limited to, those facing chronic pain/illness and children and adults on the spectrum. Veronica Barajas uses expressive modalities and pragmatic problem-solving to help clients connect more deeply to mind, body, and spirit. Areas of particular interest include anxiety disorders, mood dysregulation, grief, adjustment, and general wellness.

Veronica Martinez, LPC

My name is Veronica Martinez, and I have been practicing as a Licensed Professional Counselor in this community for 9 years.  I was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and worked as a high school teacher for 12 years before answering my true calling to the counseling profession. I have practiced in community mental health settings, substance use recovery programs, and most recently, with military service members and their dependents. I have experience working with those struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, substance use disorders, marital discord, and family issues.

Although I primarily meet with my clients virtually, I strive to develop a genuine human connection and to provide a warm and empathetic space for you to heal from past hurts. My approach is integrative. I draw from various therapeutic modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and EMDR, to facilitate personal growth and improve resilience. I will assist you in making sense of your experiences to live a more fulfilling life and build healthy relationships. I look forward to meeting you and starting on your journey!

Stephanie Murray, LPC-Associate

(Being supervised by Shannon Sawyer, LPC-S)

Stephanie Murray (She/Her) is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Associate who has a Master of Science in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University.

She has experience providing counseling services to a variety of individuals, particularly adolescents and young adults. She also works with clients who identify as LGBTQ+. She strives to create a safe and non-judgmental space where her clients can freely express their thoughts and emotions. Her focus lies in utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to assist clients dealing with anxiety, depression, and ADHD

Valorie Velasquez Gates, Student Intern

(Being supervised by Shannon Sawyer, LPC-S)

My name is Valorie Velasquez Gates. I am a student intern at Grand Canyon University. I am currently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. My desire is to provide a safe, non-judgmental space where clients of all ages can feel secure and confident to share life’s challenges. Together we will determine your strengths and values and use them as a foundation for healing. Life can bring struggles, but as we determine your goals and needs, there are healthy strategies and coping skills to be found that will allow you to overcome those fears and pain. Based on your individual needs, we will apply the approach that works best for you. I also offer Christian/Biblical Counseling for those who desire a more spiritual approach to counseling.