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Psychiatric and Counseling Associates Join Centerstone Associates of Columbia

Nashville, Tenn. — Centerstone, Tennessee’s leading provider of behavioral health services, has announced the addition of three professionals in its Columbia facility in the Centerstone Associates private specialty group practice:

  • Dr. Ralph I. Barr is a board-certified psychiatrist.
  • Joe S. Duley is a licensed clinical social worker.
  • Merle W. Peery is a licensed clinical social worker.


Centerstone Associates, a division of Centerstone, contracts with businesses to provide a broad range of behavioral health services for employees and their families.

“Centerstone is pleased to welcome Dr. Barr, Joe Duley and Merle Peery, who have played important roles in Maury County’s behavioral health field for many years,” said Kristy O. Strain, practice manager for Centerstone Associates. “Their professionalism and experience provides businesses and their employees with the very best in counseling services. We are pleased they have joined our family on a full-time basis.”

Barr, Duley and Peery have practiced together as Psychiatric and Counseling Associates in Columbia since 1997. They will continue their partnership to counsel and provide educational services with Centerstone Associates, maintaining their client base and working with employees of businesses in Maury and surrounding counties.

Barr has been affiliated with the Columbia Area Mental Health Center as regional medical authority, staff psychiatrist and clinical director since 1980. He also had his own practice in Columbia for eight years and served as an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University and assistant director of the adult inpatient division for Vanderbilt Hospital. Barr has been on staff at the Maury Regional Hospital and the Psychiatric Hospital at Vanderbilt since 1980. He began his career as a psychiatrist at Reynolds Army Hospital in Fort Sill, OK. Barr received both his M.D. and B.A. degrees from Vanderbilt University. His honors include induction into Phi Beta Kappa and selection as president of the Maury County Medical Society and chairman of the department of psychiatry at Maury Regional Hospital. He is a member of the American and Tennessee psychiatric associations, the American and Tennessee medical associations and the Maury Country Medical Society.

Duley was clinic director for the Columbia Area Mental Health Center from 1991 to 1997, preceded by 12 years as clinic director for the Hickman County Family Counseling and Mental Health Center. He also served as a psychiatric social worker in the outpatient clinic of the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital. Duley worked for the St. Vincent’s Home for Battered and Neglected Children for three years, for the Capper Foundation for Crippled Children and in the Veterans Hospital, all in Topeka, KS. Duley served as a communication yeoman third class in the U.S. Navy for four years. He received his B.A. in social work from Washburn University in Topeka and his M.S.S.W. from the University of Tennessee.

Peery served the Columbia Area Mental Health Center from 1986 to 1997, and has also worked for the Connecticut Institute for the Blind; Church Homes, Inc. in Hartford, CT; the House of the Good Shepherd; the Hartford Board of Education’s Headstart Program; and the Children’s Center in Hamden, CT. She began her career at the Virginia Department of Human Services in the social service bureau. Peery earned her B.A. from Longwood College in Farmville, VA, and her M.S.W. at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work.

Centerstone Associates provides a range of counseling and educational services to address:

  • Marital and family problems
  • Divorce and separation
  • Substance abuse
  • Parenting and step-parenting education and training
  • Grief, anxiety and depression
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Child and adolescent ADD/ADHD
  • Domestic violence
  • Communication and interpersonal problems


Centerstone Associates also offers Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to area businesses that enable employees to return to their highest level of functioning both at work and at home. These customized services help to reduce healthcare costs and help employers learn to deal more effectively with day-to-day employee-related performance issues.