Ansley Bender, M.A.

Ansley Bender, M.A.
Doctoral Extern

Thank you for your interest in beginning therapy and taking a look at my page. One of the most important parts of therapy is feeling comfortable, understood, and safe with your therapist, and I hope learning more about my background and experience can help you determine if I would be a good fit for you.

Throughout my clinical training, I have worked with people experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, personality disorders, eating disorders, phobias, and other mental health concerns. I have also provided treatment for clients struggling with relationship concerns, general stress, concerns related to gender identity, and difficulties managing intense emotions. For all clients, and particularly for those who have experienced trauma or stressful life events, I believe in creating a space that feels safe to process and work towards acceptance, peace, and healing.

I find that clients often enter therapy highly critical of their own efforts and abilities. I take great pride in empowering my clients to view themselves and their world with a little more kindness and compassion. My therapeutic style reflects warmth, understanding, and nonjudgmental curiosity as we get to know one another. We will work together to identify how therapy can best help you address your current difficulties and achieve your treatment goals. My approach is guided by evidence-based practices, including cognitive processing therapy (CPT) for trauma, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), emotion focused therapy (EFT), and exposure and response prevention (ERP).

We are often not taught how to work through painful past experiences, effectively manage our thoughts and emotions, or improve the patterns that get in the way of meaningful connection. I take great joy in providing an accepting and comfortable space to help my clients gain insight and skills in these areas. Across treatment approaches, I consider client input and feedback to be essential to our work together. I strive to tailor therapy to meet the needs, goals, and values of each individual client. Therapy is an opportunity for us to not only address current difficulties, but also to build upon existing sources of strength and resilience. By the end of our work together, I hope to help improve your overall sense of wellbeing so that that you can move beyond surviving to thriving.


I am providing services as a doctoral extern under the supervision of Dr. Kelsi Clayson. I am currently a 5th year doctoral candidate studying clinical psychology at the University of South Florida (USF). I received my Master of Arts (M.A.) degree from USF and my Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from the University of Kansas. Over the course of my clinical training, I have completed practicum experiences at the Bay Pines VA Hospital, Rogers Behavioral Health Center, and the USF Psychological Services Center. I am a member of the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders, American Association of Suicidology, and Psi Chi (National Honor Society in Psychology). In addition to my clinical work, I am actively involved in research and have published my work in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national conferences.

Payment for Services

I accept payment by cash, check, and credit. I offer affordably priced services and maintain a small caseload that allows me to provide my clients with the individualized attention and care they deserve.

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