Governor Abbott Appoints Three To Texas State Board Of Examiners Of Marriage And Family Therapists
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Barbara “Barbie” Ezell and Nicole Richardson and reappointed Lisa Merchant, Ph.D. to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists for terms set to expire on February 1, 2029. The Board licenses and regulates marriage and family therapists in Texas.
Barbara "Barbie" Ezell of Portland recently retired as the director of Special Education, Dyslexia, and 504 for Gregory-Portland Independent School District. She is a member and former House of Delegates Representative for Region 2 of the Texas Council for Administrators of Special Education. Additionally, she is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Portland and is a Zeta Tau Alpha alumna. Ezell received a Bachelor of Science from Southwest Texas State University and a Master of Science from Corpus Christi State University, with certifications as a counselor and special education counselor. She also obtained additional certifications as an educational diagnostician and administrator from Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi.
Nicole Richardson of Westlake is a licensed marriage and family therapist supervisor and a licensed professional counselor supervisor in private practice. She is a member of the Texas Counseling Association, Austin Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, and the Junior League of Austin, and former volunteer supervisor at Capital Area Counseling. Richardson received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas State University and a Master of Arts in Counseling from St. Edwards University.
Lisa Merchant, Ph.D. of Clyde is the director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program and chair of the Department of Marriage and Family Studies at Abilene Christian University. She has served as chair of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists since October 2020. She is also a licensed marriage and family therapist and facilitates batterer intervention classes at the Ministry of Counseling and Enrichment. She is an approved supervisor with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists. Merchant received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Sam Houston State University, a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy from Abilene Christian University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University.