Pro-Bono Counseling

Pro-Bono Counseling Program

The TownLake YMCA Pro-Bono Counseling Program is dedicated to helping individuals, couples and families find their way through mental health, family, and social issues. Our services began in September of 2009 and several hundred individuals, couples and parents have taken advantage of our counseling program. We offer two free sessions per Y member, and then paid sessions are available on an income-based sliding fee scale.

As COVID-19 affects our in-person interactions, the YMCA’s pro bono counselors will offer tele-health appointments.

Pro-Bono Recovery Coaching

The TownLake YMCA also offers Pro-Bono Recovery Coaching for members in recovery from addiction and substance abuse. Two free sessions (one introductory consultation and one coaching session) are provided by Charles McGarty of Active Recovery Coaching, and then paid sessions are available on an income-based sliding fee scale.

Our office is located upstairs at the TownLake YMCA at the back of the Pilates room. Parents are encouraged to use the child care services offered by the Y if needed during their appointment time. Please click the counselor names below to book an appointment.

*Pro-Bono Counseling sessions are for YMCA of Austin members only.

My practice is based on the person-centered model of the late psychotherapist Carl Rogers, who espoused the Humanstic philosophy of empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard for the client. I meet clients where they are and join them in their self-exploration and in embracing personal responsibility. I also do some life-coaching for appropriate clients.

Elizabeth O’Brien - Individual Counseling

(Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor) 512-680-7379 Sees individuals only.

Kristina Yarbrough is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (LMFT) in Austin. She has over a decade of experience providing counseling services to individuals, families, children and communities, in the United States and in Mexico. Kristina is collaborative and solution-focused. Please contact Kristina for individual, family, and/or child therapy, or for more information on Family and Community Workshops. Kristina is fluent Spanish, and is happy to provide counseling services to Spanish-speakers.

“I have worked with families, children, adolescents and adults for 20 years in the Austin area. You can count on my sincere, committed and patient support with whatever you are facing. I prioritize creating a space of emotional safety, where you feel heard, accepted and acknowledged. I bring cultural awareness, collaboration & a solution-focused perspective to our conversations. I welcome all people: LBGTQ+, immigrants, quien habla español, neurodiverse; all religions, nationalities, cultures and bodies”


Kristina Yarbrough, LMFT

(Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) 512-618-0008 English and Spanish-Speaking; sees individuals, couples, families.

Jody Rich is a Licensed Professional Counselor Intern (supervised by Elizabeth O’Brien, LPC-S). She works with individuals and couples. Her areas of interest include:

  • navigating life stage transitions (big change happened—what do I do now?)
  • relationship breakup or divorce recovery (never let a good crisis go to waste)
  • re-partnering after breakup recovery (I don’t want to make the same mistakes again)
  • betrayal bonding (why do I choose relationships with abusers?)
  • alienation and disconnection (I can see what my friends are doing 24/7 on social media, why do I feel more alone than ever?)
  • navigating relationships with narcissists or other high conflict people (partners, parents, bosses)
  • grief and loss (comes in many forms)
  • “sandwich generation” issues (those caring for relatives in generations above and below)
  • attachment issues that can arise in relationships (I love them so much, why am I so unhappy?)
  • recovery for family members of alcoholics/addicts (whatever I’ve tried, it hasn’t worked)
  • depression, anxiety, and compulsive behaviors.

Psychotherapy is a second career for Jody, after many years as a successful small business owner. Her Masters in Counseling degree from St. Edward’s University combines her unique personal qualifications and life experience for use in service of the healing process. Using evidence-based techniques from a range of therapeutic approaches, she walks with her clients on their journey towards well-being. She respects the natural buoyancy of the psychological immune system and works with clients to identify and amplify their core strengths to create a “new normal” of emotional freedom and peace. Learn more at

Jody Rich, LPC-I

(Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern) 512-999-0373 Sees individuals, couples.

Charlie is a YMCA member and certified personal trainer, recovery coach, and yoga instructor. His certifications include fitness nutrition and y12sr (yoga 12 step recovery). Charlie has worked in treatment centers creating wellness programs and, through his own recovery journey, has found purpose in working with others.

Charlie McGarty

(Recovery Coaching from Addiction or Substance Abuse) (631) 599-9953