About 12 Oaks Counseling

My name is Barbara J. Stephens and I am a Licensed Independent Social Worker who has practiced for 30+ years.

I have combined rich personal life experiences with education in psychology and social work to provide meaningful and empathic care. In my practice, I believe that strong relationships are the foundation of good client care. Since life can be overwhelming at times, my role is to help clients identify their personal goals, to process and cope with their life experiences, and to support them in reaching those goals.

I established 12 Oaks Counseling of Hyde Park in Cincinnati in 2019, a private practice which offers counseling and psychotherapy for adults. Initially I worked in private practice in Knoxville, TN for 8 years in a group practice I founded in 2011–Twelve Oaks Counseling Group. Prior to this, I provided therapy for children and adolescents at The Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky. In addition, I worked as a medical social worker at several regional hospitals including East Tennessee Children’s Hospital where my focus was pediatric oncology.

I’m a current doctoral student in social work with a concentration in mental health, and anticipate becoming a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) in May 2025. My dissertation will focus on grief and loss. 

I was raised in the quaint Cincinnati suburb of Fort Thomas, KY. I currently reside in Cincinnati where I enjoy spending time with family, siting around the fire pit watching the deer, birds and squirrels, and working out in my home gym.

  • Current doctoral student, University of Kentucky College of Social Work; anticipate becoming a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) in May 2025 
  • Advanced Psychotherapy Program, Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute (2021)
  • Master of Social Work, Mental Health Track, University of Kentucky (2007)
  • Bachelor of Social Work with major In Psychology, Northern Kentucky University (1990)
Board Approved
  • Association of Social Work Board (1990)
Current State Licenses
  • Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Family and Marriage Therapist Board
  • Kentucky Board of Social Work
  • Tennessee Board of Social Workers
Training & Certifications
  • Gottman Couples Counseling, Advanced Level 3 training
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Advanced Level 3 training
  • Perinatal Mental Health Advanced Psychotherapy Training, Postpartum Support International
  • Sexuality and Couples Therapy, American Association for Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists
  • Certified in Prepare/Enrich Pre-marital Assessment
  • Ohio Counselor, Social Work, and Family and Marriage Therapist certified Supervisor
Professional Membership
  • National Association of Social Workers (Since 1990)
Professional Recognition
  • Outstanding Professional Advisor Award, Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (2017)