Ruston Clinical Staff

Mary Kate Cortez



I am a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC). I have a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education from Louisiana Tech University and a Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Louisiana Tech University.

I have always had a desire for counseling as I watched the impact counseling had on my family growing up. Counseling allowed my family to be able to talk about our issues and not “sweep them under the rug.” It did not mean we were perfect, but it did mean we didn’t have to be afraid to talk about our struggles with one another. I stepped into teaching 3rd grade once I finished my undergraduate degree. My experience teaching only fueled my desire to help people with their struggles. I witnessed my students wrestle with problems at home and personally. I realized I had a passion for helping people with the root issues in their lives. I desire to help my clients find freedom and healing through counseling.

I have experience with children, adolescents, and adults. I have spent time counseling in home-based services with an under-served population who have experienced trauma. I work with individuals and groups using a trauma-informed perspective. I also use cognitive-behavior therapy and solution focused therapy to help clients get to their goals in counseling.

I seek to provide a safe, therapeutic environment for my clients which allows them to explore their past and current struggles. I believe God has created us to find healing and freedom, and I hope to help each of my clients in their journey to that freedom. I believe that the relationship between my client and myself is key in helping clients explore the root of their anxiety, depression, or any other problems they may experience.

Dr. David Wheeler

Ph.D    318.562.6903


As I began college, I only knew that I wanted to do something to help people. After a semester in psychology, I set out on a journey to learn about human beings, including the challenges we experience and how we can help ourselves and each other. I then obtained a master’s degree in family therapy and learned more about how we are part of systems of people that shape our behavior as well. I later obtained my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas A&M University and completed an internship in Louisville, KY. I have worked full-time for the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home for the past 27 years, including my current role as Clinical Vice President. I have also had a small counseling practice the past 5 years where I have enjoyed counseling clients of various ages. I seek to provide a well-rounded approach that encourages healthy functioning in spirit, soul, body, and relationships. I have done additional training in both cognitive-behavioral therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

I have 3 grown children from a marriage of 29 years that ended in my wife’s death in an auto accident 3 years ago. Going through my own processing, responses, and healing has taught me more about grief, anxiety, depression, and other issues. I don’t consider myself an expert, but rather as a fellow traveler through life’s challenges, questions, and adventures. Everyone’s experience is different, but we can learn from each other. I suppose my strongest qualities include a God-given love for people and the ability to help them feel heard and cared for.

I plan to remarry to a wonderful woman in October. I also have a very sweet 2 year old grandson. I look forward to working with my friend Clint Davis and his team to help bring the vision and passion to Ruston that he has demonstrated in his practice in Shreveport.

Tyler Shockey



I believe it takes a great deal of courage to speak to someone about the vulnerable pieces of our lives and I never take that for granted with my clients. As a counselor, my mission is to help others realize the strength and worth they already possess and teach them to use that to better their situation. Life is certainly not meant to be lived in isolation. That is why I take great pride in walking alongside my clients, whether dealing with the difficulties of life or celebrating their latest accomplishments.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, both from Louisiana Tech University. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor that has over 8 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and young adults in both the mental health and ministry fields. I believe that each person is created in the image of God and deserves respect and compassion, regardless of their personal beliefs. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for over 9 years and we have a beautiful 9-month-old little girl.

I work with teenagers, adults, and couples. My primary focus involves teenagers and young adults that deal with anger management issues, behavioral issues at home, work, and/or school, anxiety, depression, divorced, self-harm, suicidal ideations, and/or physical/emotional/sexual abuse. I also work with individuals and couples that have experienced infidelity, trust issues, grief, family stress, and relationship insecurities. In sessions I work cooperatively with clients (who are the experts of their own lives) to help them develop effective communication skills, challenge negative thoughts, and take ownership of achieving their goals. I tend to utilize a strengths-based and solution-focused approach during therapy. I also use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy quite often in challenging negative thoughts and understanding how those thoughts can lead to negative emotions and/or behaviors.