Zachary C. Bayer, PsyD grew up in Mary Esther, Florida. After graduating from Fort Walton Beach High School, he completed his bachelor's degree at Auburn University. Following graduation, he worked various jobs in the brain injury community, with adjudicated youth, and in outdoor seasonal adventures. He concluded this phase of life by traveling around the world, visiting 23 different countries in 18 months.
Dr. Bayer obtained his Masters degree in Psychology at San Diego State University. His thesis focused on early signs of memory impairment and potential Alzheimer's disease in the geriatric population. Dr. Bayer completed his doctoral degree at Pacific University near Portland, Oregon. His dissertation examined the role of coping and executive functioning in individuals with brain injury, as well as their ability to reintegrate successfully into their community. His predoctoral internship was completed at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital in New York City - an internationally recognized medical facility- where his training focused on inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation for individuals with neurological injury/illness. The final phase of Dr. Bayer's training was a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia- a nationally recognized brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation hospital.
Dr. Bayer’s decision to return to his hometown and establish a clinical practice was twofold. First, throughout his travels and training, he has long desired to again be close to family. Second, he recognized the significant need for specialized neuropsychological services in the area. Dr. Bayer is excited about practicing in Okaloosa County and becoming an integral part of the mental health and medical community.
Corissa L. Bayer, PhD, ABPP has been living in Mary Esther since January 2016. She grew up in Pennsylvania and obtained a Bachelor's degree in Human Development from Cornell University. After college, she worked at UCLA on a research team examining mood and anxiety disorders in young adults.
Dr. Bayer completed her Masters and Doctorate at the University of Florida, where she obtained specialized training in assessment and treatment of childhood disorders, such as behavior disorders, learning disorders, and ADHD. During her 5 years at UF, she trained under the supervision of Dr. Sheila Eyberg, the developer of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Early in her training, she decided to focus her training in the unique needs of military families, and thus completed her dissertation on resilience and coping in active duty combat-exposed personnel. She completed her predoctoral internship at Georgia Health Sciences University and Charlie Norwood VAMC in Augusta GA, where she combined her interests and developed a parenting skills for veterans with PTSD who wanted to strengthen their relationships with their children. She completed her postdoctoral residency at the UF Department of Psychiatry treating mood and anxiety disorders (such as OCD) in both adults and children.
Most recently, she was lead Behavioral Health Clinician at the Shepherd Center’s SHARE Military Initiative in Atlanta, providing assessment and treatment for service members and veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD. During that time, she was awarded Board Certification in Clinical Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) - a voluntary process of examination to demonstrate competency in an area of speciality.
Dr. Bayer enjoys time on the water, paddle boarding, and spending time with her husband and son. Her dog often visits the practice.
Caroline Locke, LCSW grew up in the Fort Walton Beach area and returned to Florida after her husband’s military career moved them to various places. Caroline completed her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work with a minor in Psychology at the culturally rich University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She later earned her Master’s degree in Social Work at Florida State University. She completed over two years of supervised post-graduate clinical experiences with individuals with mental illness and individuals with chronic and acute medical concerns. As a therapist, Caroline strives to empower individuals to meet their own goals by utilizing evidence-based practices. She works with her clients to develop healthier coping skills to manage their life stressors or situations. Her passion is to help clients gain a better quality of life.
Caroline has experience working with an aging population and their caregivers to address a wide range of concerns, including grief/loss, coping with chronic medical conditions, and changing family roles. Caroline also has personal experience with the military, as a wife of US Army veteran and as a supportive mother to her son serving in the Army. She understands the unique challenges faced by military family members and our veterans and continues to receive training to support her as a therapist working with military connected individuals.
Caroline especially loves spending time with her family and is now excited to be as a new grandmother! She enjoys the serenity of listening to ocean waves rolling along our shores while watching a picturesque sunset.
Dina Smith, MS has been working with our clinic since 2018 as a psychometrist, administering testing for psychological and neuropsychological evaluations.
Ashley Pratt is our Patient Care Coordinator - she schedules all appointments, verifies insurance benefits, greets our patients and generally keeps our office running! She was raised in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. After graduating from Choctawhatchee High School, her college years were spent studying child development at Northwest Florida State College. Prior to working with Bayer NeuroBehavioral Center, she provided assistance and counseling to individuals exploring difficult financial choices and housing needs. She has always been passionate about helping people and prides herself with always having a compassionate and friendly attitude. Ashley enjoys spending her time with family and friends and traveling.