About Us

Sechel Ventures Partners LLC owns and operates CounselingSchools.com, which publishes guides to education and state licensure in counseling careers, as well as interviews with professionals in the mental health community and other resources. The mission of Sechel is to provide authoritative, well-researched content that helps prospective students find degree programs, certification information, and first-hand accounts of the daily lives of healthcare workers—especially in growing careers.

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Experts Interviewed on CounselingSchools.com

Allison Paolini, PhD

Allison Paolini, PhD

Dr. Allison Paolini is school counseling program director and assistant professor of school counseling at Arkansas State University. She received her MS in school counseling from Long Island University – Brentwood, and her PhD in counselor education from the University of South Florida. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), and is a Certified School Counselor in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.

Prior to working in academia, Dr. Paolini worked as an elementary school counselor at a Title I school in Tampa, Florida. Her main areas of research interest include social emotional learning and its impact on reducing gun violence, the impact of social emotional learning on college and career readiness, social emotional learning and its impact on amplifying academic performance and student wellness, and best practices for mitigating bullying and substance abuse amongst students.

Amanda Rumsey, PhD

Amanda Rumsey, PhD

Dr. Amanda Rumsey is an associate professor of counselor education at Clemson University, where she has been training counselors for seven years. Her previous counseling experience includes ten years in residential programs and 14 years of K-12 school counseling experience.

Dr. Rumsey’s school counseling included working in rural, suburban, and urban schools. Her research centers around trauma, addressing the needs of underserved students, and training school counselors. She has several peer-reviewed publications, including articles in Professional School Counseling, Counselor Education and Supervision, and the Journal for Child and Adolescent Counseling. She also has contributed to eight book chapters in counseling texts. She has presented more than 50 times at national, regional, and state counseling conferences and has been a member of ACA for more than 20 years.

Ann Shillingford-Butler, PhD

Ann Shillingford-Butler, PhD

Dr. M. Ann Shillingford-Butler is an associate professor of counselor education at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where she also serves as coordinator of the counselor education PhD program. She received her master of education in guidance and counseling from Bowie State University, and her PhD in counselor education from UCF.

Prior to joining academia, Dr. Shillingford-Butler accrued several years of professional experience as a school counselor in Maryland and Florida. Her current interests focus on exploring ways of deconstructing the educational, social, and health disparities among marginalized communities. She also serves as coordinator for the UCF National Holmes Scholar program (NHS), a mentoring program that supports students from underrepresented groups in higher education. Her co-edited book, The Journey Unraveled: College and Career Readiness of African American Students, was published in 2015.

Anne Tomlanovich, MSC

Anne Tomlanovich, MSC

Anne Tomlanovich is the director of student life at Odyssey School where she brings a wealth of experience and a deep-rooted passion for fostering a supportive learning environment. With a background in sociology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in school counseling, she has dedicated herself to creating a sense of safety and community within educational settings. Her belief in the fundamental importance of love and belonging as the bedrock of learning is reflected in her approach to supporting students, staff, and families. Before her role at Odyssey School, she worked as a middle school counselor in Oregon for many years.

Tomlanovich’s expertise lies in centering student strengths and guiding them through challenges by helping them access their inner resources. She is adept at nurturing emotional regulation, peer relationships, and academic independence, recognizing that students thrive when they feel a sense of safety and belonging in their educational journey. As an advocate and ally for her students, their families, and colleagues, she is committed to promoting holistic well-being and personalized growth to her students and families.

Annette Vaccaro, EdD

Annette Vaccaro, EdD

Dr. Annette Vaccaro is an associate professor and the program coordinator for the graduate counseling degree with art therapy specialization program at Caldwell University.

Dr. Vaccaro has been in private practice for more than 30 years, having an office in Livingston, New Jersey. She is on faculty at Caldwell University, ACAP, and BGSP/ICPS, specializing in supervising psychoanalysts, counselors, art therapists, and social workers. She also develops grants to provide community-based programs to assist in treatment and healthcare provision to the most vulnerable populations in New Jersey, including the aged, children and families and medically compromised. She is a consultant and lecturer for colleges, universities, non-profit organizations, and schools and presents regularly at conferences around the state and nationally.

Dr. Vaccaro is a member of the American Art Therapy Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the Society of Modern Psychoanalysts, the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, the American Counseling Association, and the New Jersey Counseling Association. She is a Certified Social Work Supervisor, Approved Clinical Supervisor, and a Credentialed Art Therapy Supervisor. She is a New Jersey State Certified Psychoanalyst, Licensed Professional Art Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. In addition, she holds a professional counselor license in Pennsylvania.

Ashlei Petion, PhD

Ashlei Petion, PhD

Dr. Ashlei Petion is an assistant professor in the Nova Southeastern University Department of Counseling. She earned her PhD in counselor education and practice from Georgia State University and her MA in counselor education from the University of Central Florida, specializing in clinical mental health counseling. She is a board-certified licensed professional counselor and MFT.

Dr. Petion has many years of experience in the mental health profession, ranging from the National Suicide Hotline and crisis centers to community- and school-based mental healthcare. Primarily, her clinical expertise involves working with teens, young adults, and their families to promote healthy familial relationships that contribute to healthy, strong communities. Her research focuses on generational trauma and healing in Black communities, primarily within qualitative and mixed methodology frameworks.

Dr. Petion is a two-time NBCC Minority Fellow, a former CSI Intern, and an ACA graduate student representative to the Governing Council, and currently serves as the assistant editor of CSI’s Exemplar as well as AMCD’s vice president of women’s concerns.

Ashley D. Murphy, MFT

Ashley D. Murphy, MFT

Ashley D. Murphy (Ms./She/Hers), a committed and empathetic marriage & family therapist associate with AMFT, CSE, and CBD credentials, has provided expert care for over three years.

With a solid educational foundation in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University and enhanced by certifications from the Dr. Rachael Institute and Best Doula Training, Ms. Murphy operates her practice Murphy’s Law & Co. in Greater Los Angeles. Her sex and relationship therapy practice is BIPOC and LGBTQ+ friendly, specializing in body image, confidence, women’s issues, depression, and trauma. Ms. Murphy employs a wide array of therapeutic techniques such as emotionally-focused therapy, the Gottman method, and trauma-focused therapy. Ms. Murphy also holds space as a postpartum doula for birthing parents and birthing partners, navigating through life after childbirth and beyond.

Barb Daubenspeck, PhD

Barb Daubenspeck, PhD

Dr. Barb Daubenspeck, LIMHP, LPC, NCC earned a master of arts in clinical mental health counseling degree from Regent University. She also earned a master of science and PhD in psychology from the University of Wyoming.

In addition to her work as a licensed mental health therapist, Dr. Daubenspeck serves as professor and program director for the master of science in clinical mental health counseling program at Bellevue University. She was recently awarded “Nebraska Counselor of the Year” by the Nebraska Counseling Association.

Beverly Smith, PhD

Beverly Smith, PhD

Dr. Beverly Smith is the President and Interim CEO/ED of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). She has professional counseling experience in various settings including private practice, public education, corrections, community counseling, and higher education.

Dr. Smith is the owner and principal therapist of BSmith Consulting Group, LLC, and a PhD mentor at Capella University. She is a proud two-time graduate of Tuskegee University (BS-Biology, MEd-Counseling & Higher Education) and has earned counseling degrees from Troy University (EdS) as well as Amridge University (PhD). Additionally, Dr. Smith has a certificate in Administration and Leadership from Kennesaw State University.

Briana Severine MS, LPC

Briana Severine MS, LPC

Briana Severine began her career working in inpatient psychiatric facilities in southern California and continued to pursue her passion for psychosocial rehabilitation in Colorado through private practice. She also served as director of marketing and admissions at a trauma-integrated intensive outpatient program. She was ultimately drawn back to clinical work, which prompted her to found Sanare to bring psychosocial rehabilitation services to the Colorado community.

Severine earned her bachelor’s in psychology from California State University, Long Beach and her master’s in developmental psychopathology from the University of Reading, England.

Brianne Kirkpatrick Williams, MS

Brianne Kirkpatrick Williams, MS

Brianne Kirkpatrick Williams, MS is a licensed and certified genetic counselor, writer, and consultant with expertise in consumer DNA testing and genetic identity. A personal experience discovering unknown genetic relatives led her to create Watershed DNA, an online resource and consultancy offering guidance and support to those seeking biological family or making unexpected discoveries due to DNA.

Williams has written and co-authored multiple journal publications and books and has spoken widely on biological family searches and surprise discoveries since 2015. She speaks frequently with the media as an ancestry and DTC expert for the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

Candice Hargons, PhD

Candice Hargons, PhD

Dr. Candice Hargons is an associate professor of counseling psychology at the University of Kentucky and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her academic work entails the study of sex, social justice, and leadership, while her clinical practice focuses on healing racial trauma and sex therapy.

As the director of the RISE^2 Research Team and the Center for Healing Racial Trauma, Dr. Hargons approaches all of her work with a love ethic, defined by bell hooks as “the right for everyone to live fully and well.”

Dr. Hargons’ most recent scholarly work, addressing how Black students at a predominantly white college in the southeast define racial trauma, was published in Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology in 2021. Her numerous honors and awards include the Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship on Race and Ethnicity Award (2018) from the Society of Counseling Psychology Section on Ethnic & Racial Diversity.

Chris Sautter

Chris Sautter

Chris Sautter is a community engagement, nonprofit and social impact professional with a long history with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado (BBBSC). Sautter began as a BBBSC community-based volunteer in 2000 and mentored three “Little Brothers” over a 17-year period. He took on a professional role with BBBSC as program manager of the Big Literacy Corps AmeriCorps Program in 2000 and then moved on to serve as manager of recruitment and community outreach from 2006 to 2010. He assumed a leadership position as vice president of programs in March of 2020.

A strong advocate for volunteer and community service, Sautter is on the board of civil rights and social action organization Community Shares of Colorado and is a member of the selection committee for the Merkle Scholarship Program for The Denver Foundation. He completed two terms of service with AmeriCorps (1999-2001): one in his home state of Nebraska and the other in Colorado where he has lived ever since.

Cristina Leal

Cristina Leal

Cristina Leal is a tenure track professor of child development at Mission College. She teaches courses in child and adolescent development, psychology, education and family studies from a cultural perspective. She has been teaching undergraduates to approach learning and teaching using a cultural lens for the past 14 years.

She is currently a PhD candidate in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at Stanford University as well as a counseling psychology graduate student, working towards licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) with an emphasis on Latinx families. She earned her MA at Stanford University.

As an immigrant and former migrant student and English language learner, she is particularly interested in studying ethnic/racial identity and the protective effects of dual cultural socialization within family systems. She is currently conducting research on the effects of microaggressions and racism on the mental and physical health of emerging adults.

Damir S. Tarzan PhD

Damir S. Tarzan PhD

Dr. Damir S. Utrzan, LMFT serves as the chief compliance and strategic development officer at Horowitz Health, where he plays a key role in ensuring compliance with industry regulations and spearheading strategic initiatives geared toward treating co-occurring disorders. With a rich background that includes managing mental health and psychiatry services across six Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation sites, Dr. Utrzan has a proven track record in enhancing provider-patient outcomes and overhauling psychiatry service lines through meticulous market and best practices research. His experience extends to overseeing an intensive residential treatment facility under the Minnesota Department of Human Services, where he managed budgets, ensured financial adherence, and analyzed legislative impacts on service delivery.

Beyond his primary roles, Dr. Utrzan contributes to the Human Services Performance Management Council and serves as an unaffiliated research scientist on the Institutional Review Board at the University of Minnesota, ensuring research compliance with federal standards. He is licensed as a marriage and family therapist in both Minnesota and Wisconsin and recognized as a board-approved clinical supervisor in Minnesota, showcasing his extensive expertise and commitment to the field.

Damon Ashworth, DPsych

Damon Ashworth, DPsych

Dr. Damon Ashworth is a clinical psychologist with over eight years of experience based in Melbourne, Australia. He completed a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Monash University and a bachelor of behavioural sciences and a bachelor of psychological science with honours at La Trobe University. His doctoral research was a randomized clinical trial that significantly reduced insomnia and depression severity in participants using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for insomnia.

Dr. Ashworth practices mostly from a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy framework, but also utilizes Existential, Psychodynamic, Interpersonal, Humanistic, and Positive Psychology principles where clients will benefit from such approaches.

David Longmire, LMHC

David Longmire, LMHC

David Longmire came out and moved to New York City in his 20s, just after the Stonewall riots of 1969, which launched a new era of resistance and revolution within the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S. He was a longtime member of the Gay Activists Alliance and of Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats. He has been a member of Identity House since the 1970s.

Longmire holds an MA in special education from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from Yale University’s school of music. He has been in private practice since 1996, treating members of the LGBTQ+ community, providing couple’s counseling, therapy for artists and creatives, life purpose coaching, and therapy for trauma healing and resolution.

Dee C. Ray, PhD

Dee C. Ray, PhD

Dr. Dee Ray is the director of the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas College of Education. She is also a Distinguished Teaching Professor and Elaine Millikan Mathes Professor in Early Childhood Education. While she primarily supervises doctoral research, she also teaches courses such as intro to play therapy, applying quantitative research concepts in play therapy, and research in counseling. She holds a master’s in education in human development counseling from Vanderbilt and completed her doctorate in counselor education at the University of North Texas.

Dr. Ray’s current research is focused on the quantitative analysis of play therapy, with a particular emphasis on the school setting. In addition to her duties at the University of North Texas, she is also an active member of the Association for Play Therapy. She is a National Board For Certified Counselors (NBCC) National Certified Counselor (NCC), Licenced Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S), and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor (RPT-S). She is also a prolific author with over 100 publications to her name.

Donna Oriowo, PhD

Donna Oriowo, PhD

Dr. Donna Oriowo is the owner of and lead therapist at AnnodRight, LLC, a woman-focused sex therapy and education practice operating out of Capitol Heights, Maryland. She provides sex therapy focused on how colorism and texturism show up in the relationships and sex lives of black women.

Dr. Oriowo began her formalized training in mental health by earning a BS in psychology at the nation’s premier HBCU, Morgan State University, in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2012, Dr. Oriowo earned a dual master’s in clinical social work and human sexuality education at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, and went on to earn her PhD in human sexuality at Widener in 2016.

As an AASECT-certified sex therapist, Dr. Oriowo is committed to making AASECT a better place for people of color. Dr. Oriowo currently serves as the chair of the Communications Committee and chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for AASECT. In addition to her work in sex therapy, Dr. Oriowo is an author, educator, and keynote speaker, with speaking credits that include the National Sex Ed Conference.

Edil Torres Rivera, PhD

Edil Torres Rivera, PhD

Dr. Edil Torres Rivera is a professor of counseling and coordinator of the Latinx cluster at Wichita State University. His primary research focuses on complexity and how Indigenous healing techniques are a necessary ingredient when working with ethnic minority populations in the United States.

Dr. Torres Rivera earned his master’s in counseling psychology with a concentration in mental health counseling from Boston University, and his PhD in educational psychology with a concentration in multicultural counseling from the University of Connecticut.

His work has appeared in the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, Journal of Counseling and Development, Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling, and many more. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Interamerican Journal of Psychology and the Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology. Dr. Torres Rivera is also president-elect of the American Counseling Association (ACA).

Emily Messina, PhD

Emily Messina, PhD

Dr. Emily Messina is an associate professor and program director of the rehabilitation and recreational therapy program in the Department of Counseling, Recreation, and School Psychology at Florida International University.

Dr. Messina received her BS and MS in recreation studies, with an emphasis on therapeutic recreation, from the University of Florida. She has been a certified therapeutic recreation specialist since 2004. She completed her doctoral degree in public health (with an emphasis in social behavioral health science) at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Messina’s research focuses on the benefits of recreation and leisure for marginalized populations, particularly those within the criminal justice system, behavioral health settings, and those experiencing housing insecurity.

Eric Sparks, EdD

Eric Sparks, EdD

Dr. Eric Sparks is Deputy Executive Director for the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). He earned his master’s of education (MEd) in school counseling from North Carolina State University, and his doctorate of education (EdD) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Sparks previously served as a high school counselor and as Director of School Counseling for the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina.

Farrah Greene-Palmer, PhD

Farrah Greene-Palmer, PhD

Dr. Farrah Greene-Palmer is the graduate program director and associate professor for the counseling psychology program at Alaska Pacific University. She brings a wealth of clinical and academic experience to the counseling psychology program. She has served as an instructor at diverse higher education institutions, including the University of Virginia, Piedmont Virginia Community College, Western Washington University, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She was an assistant professor in the Behavioral Sciences Department at the Medical University of the Americas. Most recently, she has worked in public health for the state of Alaska. She is a specialist in suicide prevention and has done extensive scholarship and educational outreach in this area.

Dr. Greene-Palmer earned a BA from Johns Hopkins and a master’s and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the suicide behavior lab at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Fredrick Dombrowski, PhD, LMHC

Fredrick Dombrowski, PhD, LMHC

Dr. Frederick Dombrowski is the president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). He earned his master’s in mental health counseling from Medaille College and his PhD in counselor education and supervision from Capella University. Dr. Dombrowski is also an associate professor at the University of Bridgeport.

Dr. Dombrowski specializes in transgender clinical mental health counseling and has directed several clinics for LGBTQIA+ populations. He also served as an educator for various clinical mental health counseling programs and substance use programs. Dr. Dombrowski won the Connecticut Counseling Association’s Human Services Award in 2020.

Gabriel Lomas, PhD

Gabriel Lomas, PhD

Dr. Gabriel Lomas received his BA from the University of Texas at San Antonio, majoring in history with a minor in special education. He earned his MA from Gallaudet University in the combined school and clinical counseling program. Then, he earned his PhD from Sam Houston State University, focusing on counseling and school psychology.

Before taking the position of director of the counseling program at Gallaudet University, Dr. Lomas was a full professor of counseling at Western Connecticut State University. He also works in private practice, primarily in a consulting capacity. One of his specialties is working with deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the criminal justice system. He is a certified online teaching instructor.

Genelle Sawyer, PhD

Genelle Sawyer, PhD

Dr. Genelle Sawyer is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at The Citadel. She is also the director of The Citadel’s master of arts in clinical counseling program. She joined the faculty of The Citadel in 2009 after completing a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her research and teaching interests include child maltreatment, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the development and dissemination of evidence-based treatments.

Dr. Sawyer teaches courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels within the Department of Psychology and is a licensed clinical psychologist. She has a bachelor of arts from the University of Rochester (magna cum laude), an MA in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a PhD in clinical psychology, also from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Grace Huntley

Grace Huntley

Grace Huntley is a transracial, transnational adoptee, therapist, and private practice owner. She provides telehealth counseling services in NY, CA, WA, and FL to BIPOC individuals in their twenties and thirties who identify as overachievers, people-pleasers, conflict avoiders, and anxious attachers.

Huntley has a professional background in higher education, communications, and nonprofits. She enjoys checking out up-and-coming restaurants, reading or re-reading YA novels, or binge-watching shows in her free time.

Jacquelyn C.A. Meshelemiah, PhD

Jacquelyn C.A. Meshelemiah, PhD

Dr. Jacquelyn C.A. Meshelemiah is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW), as well as an associate professor and three-time alum of The Ohio State University. She earned her BSSW, MSW, and PhD from the College of Social Work. She has been an assistant professor and an associate professor in social work, teaching courses at the BSSW, MSW, and PhD levels She also serves as the Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at the university.

In 2013, she taught an interactive Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Human Trafficking for a global audience of 30,200 students from 187 nations. She is also the former Chair of the Board of Rahab’s Hideaway, a safe-haven for at-risk and/or survivors of human trafficking.

James McGinn, PhD

James McGinn, PhD

Dr. James McGinn is an assistant professor and program coordinator at Eastern Kentucky University. He earned a master of arts degree in school counseling from Fairfield University in 2011 and a PhD degree in counselor education and supervision from the University of Holy Cross in 2020.

He has worked as both a clinical and a school counselor. His areas of clinical expertise include anxiety and depression, loss and grief, crisis and trauma, family conflict, separation and divorce, academic concerns and school counseling, and LGBTQ+-affirmative counseling and related issues. His areas of research interest include school counseling practice, clinical competencies and practices for best working with the LGBTQ+ population, and both academic and professional mentoring relationships.

Jennifer K. Holtz, PhD

Jennifer K. Holtz, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Holtz received her PhD in adult, occupational, and continuing education from Kansas State University. She also has a master of arts in gerontology with a clinical emphasis from Wichita State University.

Since 2016, Dr Holtz has been the director of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock’s School of Counseling, Human Performance, & Rehabilitation. She is an award-winning professor who received the Graduation and Retention Advocate Award from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Women of Spirit and Action Award from DePaul University, She has published numerous refereed articles over her career along with refereed books and book chapters, and refereed scholarly presentations and technical reports.

Jenny D’Olympia, PsyD

Jenny D’Olympia, PsyD

Dr. Jenny D’Olympia is an experienced clinician in the field of psychology, specializing in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. She is an assistant professor and associate chair in the Counseling and Behavioral Health Department and the director of the Military Veteran Psychology and Train Vets to Treat Vets Programs at William James College. She is also an Air Force veteran with nine years of service and three tours of duty.

With a background in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based interventions, she is dedicated to helping individuals navigate through their mental health challenges. She has contributed to the field through her work as a faculty member at William James College, where she shares her expertise with future mental health professionals. He is committed to evidence-based practices and passionate about promoting mental wellness.

Joe Campbell, EdD

Joe Campbell, EdD

Dr. Joe Campbell is a licensed professional counselor, a national board certified counselor, and a national board certified telemental health provider. He is currently the counseling education coordinator at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He attended Concordia University in Illinois, where he received his master of arts degree in school counseling along with a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Marquette University in Wisconsin.

In his role as education coordinator for the counseling department, Dr. Campbell trains and orients new faculty and adjuncts to department procedures and processes and helps develop course content to meet the needs of accreditation and state board requirements. He spends a lot of time guiding students through the national credential and licensure application process, helps students develop interview skills, and mentors and advises students on managing anxiety and stress during their clinical training experience.

Previously at Henderson State University, Dr. Campbell was the department chair and associate director of the online teaching academy and the health, education, and social sustainability program coordinator. Dr. Campbell was also core faculty for counselor education and supervision at Capella University in Minnesota, in addition to his role as a doctoral mentor for counselor education and supervision. From 1919 to 2021, Dr. Campbell was Henderson State University’s practicum and internship coordinator. He also worked in various roles at Argosy University in Illinois, primarily as director of training for master’s and doctoral students and as an assistant professor.

Joel Miller, MS Ed

Joel Miller, MS Ed

Joel Miller is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), where he leads over 7,200 clinical mental health counselors (CMHCs) on the mission to enhance the mental health counseling profession through advocacy, professional development, education and licensing. He is the publisher of AMHCA’s Journal of Mental Health Counseling (JMHC) and its Advocate newsletter, and also serves as a member of the AMHCA Foundation Board of Directors.

Miller has held previous positions at the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). He has published over 50 articles and reports on behavioral health and healthcare delivery and financing, new delivery models aimed at integrating mental health and physical health, healthcare reform strategies, Medicare and Medicaid policy, health workforce issues, and information technology implementation.

Jonathan B. Singer, PhD, LCSW

Jonathan B. Singer, PhD, LCSW

Dr. Jonathan B. Singer is a clinical social worker, researcher, and associate professor of social work at Loyola University Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s from Earlham College, his master’s from the University of Texas at Austin, and his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Singer has dedicated his 25-year career to working with families in crisis. He has 75+ publications, including the co-authored book Suicide in Schools. He is the founder and host of the award-winning podcast series, “The Social Work Podcast.”

Dr. Singer’s research on suicide and cyberbullying has been featured in Time Magazine, NPR, and other national print and radio outlets. He is a frequent guest expert in local news about youth suicide and cyberbullying. He has three children and the most amazing wife ever.

Josh Briley, PhD

Josh Briley, PhD

Dr. Josh Briley is a licensed psychologist. He earned his doctorate in 2003 from the University of North Texas and worked in direct patient care until 2019.

In addition to operating a private practice, Dr. Briley spent many years working with veterans through the US Bureau of Veteran Affairs and inmates through the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Dr. Briley is now the clinical education director for Electromedical Products International (EPI), a company that manufactures and distributes alpha-stim devices to treat anxiety, insomnia, depression, and pain. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Stress (AIS) and a member of the organization’s Daily Life and Workplace Stress Board.

Karrie Swan, PhD

Karrie Swan, PhD

Dr. Karrie Swan is a licensed mental health counselor (WA), licensed professional counselor (MO), a child-centered play therapy trainer/supervisor, a child-parent relationship therapy trainer/supervisor, and a certified K-12 school counselor.

Dr. Swan specializes in expressive modalities, including play therapy, expressive arts, transpersonal counseling, and dream work; approaches that are congruent with an Indigenous worldview as she is an enrolled tribal member. She is an experienced rural-based counselor with specific experiences in working with Native American children, teens, adults, and families on a western state reservation.

Dr. Swan received her BS in politics, philosophy, and economics from Eastern Oregon University. She earned her MEd in counseling with a school counseling emphasis from the University of North Texas. She then went on to earn a PhD in counseling with an emphasis in clinical mental health counseling and play therapy from the University of North Texas. She has been the counseling program director at Missouri State University since spring 2022. Her published work ranges from play therapy for children on the autism spectrum to dream work with children, and child-centered play therapy.

Kelle Sparta

Kelle Sparta

Kelle Sparta is a transformational shaman who trains spiritual coaches to create high-ticket businesses that support their lives and change the world. She has spent 26 years coaching spirit-based entrepreneurs and marketing her own coaching programs.

Sparta is the host of the Spirit Sherpa Podcast, which has over 300,000 downloads in 147 countries worldwide, and the author of The Over-Achiever’s Guide To Nailing Your Spiritual Growth In Record Time.

Kelley McNichols, PhD

Kelley McNichols, PhD

Dr. Kelley McNichols is the assistant program director for the master of arts in counseling programs at Waynesburg University, an assistant professor of counseling, and the grant advisor. She serves as assistant director of the graduate counseling programs and as core faculty in the program following an extensive work history in the field of community behavioral health, which includes working with individuals across the lifespan in various settings and levels of care. Much of her work has focused on addictions and justice-involved individuals advocating for fair and just treatment of marginalized populations.

Dr. McNichols is passionate about addiction counseling and emphasizing trauma-informed care. She is committed to advancing counselor education and supervision. Her research interests include advocacy for justice-involved individuals focusing on addiction, co-occurring conditions, and trauma-informed care initiatives. She received her BA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her MSEd and PhD degrees from Duquesne University.

Kirk Honda, PsyD

Kirk Honda, PsyD

Dr. Kirk Honda, a marriage and family therapist based in Seattle, has 25 years of experience working with couples, families and individuals on issues like personality disorders, trauma recovery, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, domestic violence, among other issues. He is also the host of the “Psychology in Seattle” podcast and a professor within the School of Applied Psychology at Antioch University.

Burnout is something that Dr. Honda helps his supervisees and students tackle on a regular basis, but with the limitations of social distancing, certain remedies Dr. Honda would recommend for de-stressing are no longer on the table.

Kirsten LaMantia, PhD

Kirsten LaMantia, PhD

Dr. Kirsten LaMantia is an associate professor, counseling clinic director, and mental health counseling program coordinator for Southeast Missouri State University. She is also the chapter faculty advisor for Chi Sigma Iota.

Dr. LaMantia has published extensively, including research on white privilege, campus diversity, and ally development through feminist pedagogy focusing on intersectionality. Courses she teaches include group counseling, social and cultural counseling, counseling skills, counseling practicum, counseling orientation and ethics, counseling theories, developmental theories, and internship-mental health.

She earned her PhD degree in counselor education and counseling from Idaho State University, an MA in community counseling from Saint Xavier University, and a BFA in acting from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Krista Chronister, PhD

Krista Chronister, PhD

Dr. Krista Chronister is a professor and researcher at the University of Oregon in the College of Education. She earned her doctorate at the University of Oregon in counseling psychology and is a state of Oregon licensed psychologist. Her research primarily centers on how partner violence in both adults and adolescents influences future career development and the economic impacts that it carries.

Since 2005, Dr. Chronister has published seven papers about her research in domestic violence. In 2013, she published research on a new method of intervention called ACCESS, which is a community-centric approach. ACCESS is now utilized nationally, both in English and Spanish.

Kristyn Roth

Kristyn Roth

Kristyn Roth is the chief marketing officer at the Autism Society of America, the largest grassroots autism organization in the United States. The Autism Society of America annually serves more than 600,000 individuals and families affected by autism. She joined the Autism Society staff after serving on the national Board of Directors for two years as the organization’s youngest board member, where she also chaired the Marketing Committee.

Roth also co-founded Make Waves Family Foundation, a nonprofit that supports adults with autism by funding initiatives focused on neuro-diverse employment, replicable housing models, and social engagement programs to allow autistic individuals to achieve a happy, quality lifestyle.

Roth is a Boston College Eagle and alumnus of the Carrol School of Management. Born and raised on the South Shore of Massachusetts, she made her way to California for year-round beach days, where she lives with her husband, Alex, and her golden retriever, Mahi.

Larry Wright, PhD

Larry Wright, PhD

Dr. Larry Wright is a leading expert in suicide prevention who has dedicated his career to helping others lead full and healthy lives. He is the center director for Forefront Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington School of Social Work.

Previously, as the CEO of MENTOR/the National Mentoring Partnership, Dr. Wright worked with states to close America’s mentoring gap while also serving on various boards, including those for Washington State University’s College Success Foundation. He earned his PhD in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his master’s of arts in mass communication, and his bachelor’s of arts in English from Washington State University.

Lauren Chatalian, MSW, LCSW

Lauren Chatalian, MSW, LCSW

Lauren Chatalian is CancerCare’s Women and Children’s Program Manager. As an oncology social worker at CancerCare, Chatalian provides supportive services to individuals and families impacted by a cancer diagnosis, and coordinates programmatic activities and outreach related to the Women’s Cancers Program and CancerCare for Kids.

Chatalian also participates in local and national presentations, workshops, and advocacy boards. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers (APOSW).

Lindsey M. Nichols, PhD

Lindsey M. Nichols, PhD

Dr. Lindsey Nichols is an associate professor of counseling and the master’s program coordinator for the University of Wyoming’s Laramie campus.

Dr. Nichols received her PhD in counselor education and supervision from the Pennsylvania State University, her MEd in school counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MA in secondary education from the University of Connecticut, and a BS in history from the University of Connecticut. She researches various topics related to cultural approaches to wellness, primarily focused on rural school mental health, including school counseling and educator engagement. She is committed to community-based participatory research, particularly in collaborating with American Indian nations and reservation communities.

Lori Erby, PhD

Lori Erby, PhD

Dr. Lori Erby is the director of the Johns Hopkins/National Institutes of Health genetic counseling training program. She also maintains a position at the National Human Genome Research Institute while fostering collaborative relationships with colleagues at Johns Hopkins and contributing to the training program’s educational initiatives. Her research revolves around communication dynamics in the genetics/genomics field, aiming to identify optimal communication strategies tailored to different individuals’ needs, timing, and delivery methods, specifically emphasizing how communication variations in genetic counseling influence client outcomes.

Dr. Erby’s work also delves into customizing communication approaches for populations with limited literacy levels. It includes significant contributions to a comprehensive study on routine genetic counseling communication alongside Debra Roter. She holds a master’s of science and a PhD, both from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Marianne Miller, PhD

Marianne Miller, PhD

Dr. Marianne Miller is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) specializing in treating eating disorders. With more than 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist, she has dedicated her career to helping individuals struggling with eating disorders reclaim their lives and develop healthy relationships with food.

Based in San Diego, Dr. Miller offers in-person and online therapy sessions, supporting adults and teens in Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, and Miramar. She is renowned for her compassionate approach and commitment to providing personalized, evidence-based treatments.

Dr. Miller’s expertise extends beyond traditional therapy settings. She is an active educator on binge eating, regularly offering her insights and knowledge to wider audiences. This passion for education led her to launch virtual binge eating recovery programs, where she discusses various aspects of eating disorders and shares coping strategies for recovering. Her work continues to impact countless lives, guiding individuals toward recovery and fostering a healthier relationship with food.

Michael Roberts, OTD

Michael Roberts, OTD

Dr. Michael Roberts is the program director of Regis College’s Occupational Therapy Master’s Degree Program and the host of the I Love OT Podcast. He graduated from the occupational therapy program at Tufts University in 1994. Since then, he’s worked in short-term rehab, long-term acute care hospitals, inpatient rehab, hospitals, and home care.

Over the years, he has also taught at the University of New England, Lasell College, and held the position of academic fieldwork coordinator at his alma mater from 2008 to 2015. He left that role to start the OT program at Regis College and has been the founding director ever since.

Dr. Roberts’ current research is focused on outcomes in fieldwork performance and the practice of academic fieldwork coordination. His past research was focused on the use of next-generation gaming consoles (Nintendo Wii) for health and wellness purposes.

Michelle Fritsch, LMSW-ACP

Michelle Fritsch, LMSW-ACP

Michelle Fritsch is the project coordinator at Texas Children’s Cancer & Hematology Centers. Currently, she assists families and staff to identify educational resources and information about supportive resources in pediatric hematology and oncology. She is actively involved in several quality-improvement initiatives and leads the Family Advisory Support Team for the Centers.

Fritsch is the President-Elect of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers (APOSW). She developed a guidebook of local, national, and online resources that are available to patients and families who are facing a cancer or blood disorder diagnosis.

Mylea Charvat, PhD

Mylea Charvat, PhD

Dr. Mylea Charvat is the CEO and founder of Savonix, a digital cognitive assessment company. She completed her PhD fellowship training in clinical psychology and neuroscience at Stanford University School of Medicine, a clinical internship at Napa State Hospital, a doctorate in clinical health psychology from Palo Alto University, and a BGS in psychology from the University of Kansas.

Dr. Charvat has authored peer-reviewed publications on mental health and neuroimaging; written for Psychology Today, TechCrunch, and The Huffington Post; and been a lecturer at Stanford University, the University of San Francisco, and San Francisco State University.

Nathalie Mizelle, PhD

Nathalie Mizelle, PhD

Dr. Nathalie Mizelle is an associate professor and director of the rehabilitation counseling program at the University of the District of Columbia. She has a PhD in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a MS in rehabilitation counseling and vocational evaluation from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. She also earned a BA in psychology from the North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Mizelle has 25 years of experience working as a therapist and clinical supervisor in the mental health field with adolescent and adult populations with physical, mental, and academic disabilities. She has 16 years of experience teaching in graduate and undergraduate counseling (CACREP/CORE) programs. She has an active research agenda and has published articles, book chapters, and in two edited books.

In addition to scholarship, Dr. Mizelle has presented at academic conferences both nationally and internationally. Her areas of expertise are race, equity, diversity, faculty development, and student success. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, music, and watching Netflix.

Nikki Pagano, LCSW

Nikki Pagano, LCSW

Nikki Pagano is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) at BASE Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a mental health private practice based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Pagano previously worked at the Columbia Center for Eating Disorders at New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) as the Director of Adolescent Eating Disorder Services. During her time there, she helped co-author preparED, a free, online eating disorders education program for the next generation of clinicians.

Pagano gained her master of science in social work at Columbia University School of Social Work in New York and her bachelor of arts in economics from Davidson College in North Carolina.

Olivia Carter, MA

Olivia Carter, MA

Olivia Carter is a school counselor at Jefferson Elementary School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. She was named the 2021 School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) for her ability to create lasting change within the profession through leadership, collaboration, and advocacy.

As a member of her school’s leadership team, Carter used behavior data to encourage implementing a more trauma-informed approach. She taught teachers about trauma and trauma responses, sparking interest among staff members for further training in anti-biased and antiracist teaching, restorative practices, and self-regulation. She also created Trauma-Informed Tuesdays, a newsletter focused on teacher wellness and best practices related to building resilience.

Carter received her master’s degree in school counseling and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southeast Missouri State University. She is a member of ASCA, the Missouri School Counselor Association, the Missouri State Teachers Association, and is a member and president-elect of the Southeast Missouri School Counselor Association.

Richard Sheridan, PhD

Richard Sheridan, PhD

Dr. Richard Sheridan is the chair of the psychology department at William Carey University, where he has been since 2014. Throughout his career, Dr. Sheridan has provided therapeutic services to diverse populations in various clinical contexts across Nevada, Louisiana, and Mississippi. His doctoral studies focused on Milan Systemic therapy, the MRI group, and the theories of classic marriage and family researchers.

He holds a PhD in marriage and family therapy from the University of Louisiana Monroe, a master of arts in marriage and family counseling from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a bachelor of arts in biblical studies and psychology from William Carey College. Additionally, Dr. Sheridan is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPC-S) in the State of Mississippi.

Ronald Riggio, PhD

Ronald Riggio, PhD

Dr. Ronald Riggio is a professor of leadership and organizational psychology and former director of the Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College. He’s a regular contributor to Psychology Today and has written over 150 books, book chapters, and research articles in the fields of leadership, assessment centers, and organizational and social psychology.

His most recent book, published in 2020, is Daily Leadership Development: 365 Steps to Becoming a Better Leader. It features best practices in leadership grounded in research and offers self-assessments to develop leadership skills.

Sarah Budd, PsyD

Sarah Budd, PsyD

Dr. Sarah Budd is an organizational psychologist specializing in helping teams and organizations increase their effectiveness. She is an executive and leadership coach (ICF PCC), certified in CliftonStrengths, Hogan Assessments, Kantor Structural Dynamics, and Whole Person Coaching.

Dr. Budd holds a master’s in organizational psychology and a PsyD in leadership psychology. Her background is in management operations. She is a coach, facilitator, and principal for Gambit Coaching & Consulting and adjunct faculty for William James College. She has created and led numerous workshops from one hour to three days, emphasizing a collaborative, customized, action-oriented approach. She serves on the board of Oregon’s Organization Development Network. In the evenings and weekends, she enjoys spending time with her husband, four children, two chickens, and one dog.

Sheri Bauman, PhD

Sheri Bauman, PhD

Dr. Sheri Bauman is a professor of counseling at the University of Arizona. She earned her PhD in counseling psychology from New Mexico State University.

Before starting a career in higher education, Dr. Bauman was a teacher and school counselor for more than 30 years. Her research centers on bullying, cyberbullying, and peer victimization. She is a well-regarded expert in this field with over 65 publications and seven books. She is a frequent presenter on this subject and attends conferences and workshops nationwide. She is also on the board of trustees of DitchtheLabel.org, an anti-bullying charity, and serves as their research consultant.

Stephanie Larsen, LCPC

Stephanie Larsen, LCPC

Stephanie Larsen is a seasoned psychotherapist, sex therapist, couples therapist, yoga instructor, and workplace coach. Her mission is to break down difficult-to-understand relational and psychological dynamics to lead people through transformative change in themselves, their relationships, and their workplace culture.

Larsen is interested in facilitating transformative change by helping clients understand themselves and the patterning they carry into personal and professional relationships. She started out working and training at Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospitalization Program. She created and ran a wellness program for the doctors and nurses at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. She has advanced sexual training and supervision through the University of Michigan and currently owns and runs a private practice in Racine, WI.

Susan B. Sorenson, PhD

Susan B. Sorenson, PhD

Dr. Susan B. Sorenson is a professor of social policy, a professor of health & societies, and a senior fellow in public health at the University of Pennsylvania. She also served as faculty director of the Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse, an interdisciplinary center that involves nine of Penn’s twelve schools. Dr. Sorenson has published widely in the epidemiology and prevention of violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, child abuse, battering, and firearms. She helped establish violence against women as a public health issue and furthered the study of firearms as a consumer product. A primary focus of her work is the social context in which violence occurs, specifically, the norms that shape whether and how violence is tolerated.
Teri Wilder, LMHC

Teri Wilder, LMHC

Teri Wilder is a licensed mental health counselor (LHMC) who has 13 years of experience in major mental illness, as well as addiction counseling, coping skills, and stress. Teri has worked with teens and adults who are dealing with many concerns that vary from family dynamics, work-related concerns, eating disorders, personality disorders, and ADHD.

She holds two master’s degrees in mental health and counseling and is currently pursuing her PhD in counseling education and supervision at Capella University.

Thomas Field, PhD

Thomas Field, PhD

Dr. Thomas Field is an associate professor in the College of Education at Oregon State University. He has taught graduate counseling students since 2011 and previously worked as a faculty member at Boston University School of Medicine.

Dr. Field’s research focuses on integrating neuroscience into counseling practice, and professional and social justice advocacy. During his academic career, he has published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles. He has also authored two books on the topic of neuroscience integration. He has received grant funding from agencies that include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). His research and teaching has been recognized nationally. In 2019, he received the Counselor Educator of the Year award from the American Mental Health Counselors Association. He is also a current standards revision committee member of the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the recognized specialized accreditation body for counseling.

In addition to faculty responsibilities, he has actively helped clients with mental health concerns since 2006. He has counseled over 1,000 clients and currently maintains a small private practice where he sees adolescents and adults. He is board-certified as a counselor and clinical supervisor by the National Board of Certified Counselors and affiliates.

Meet the Team

Jocelyn Blore

Jocelyn Blore

Writer, Editor, Chief Content Strategist

Jocelyn Blore is the chief content officer of Sechel Ventures and the co-author of the Women Breaking Barriers series. She graduated summa cum laude from UC Berkeley and traveled the world for five years. She has degrees in psychology and sociology, and worked as an addiction specialist for two years in San Francisco. She’s interested in how culture shapes individuals and systems within societies—one of the many themes she writes about in her blog, Blore’s Razor (Instagram: @bloresrazor). She has served as managing editor for several healthcare websites since 2015.

Seth Restaino

Seth Restaino

Co-Founder, Sechel Ventures

Seth Restaino co-founded a web design and development company in 1996, the predecessor to Sechel Ventures, and sold it in 2004. He devoted the next several years of his professional career to educational web publishing and software consulting. In 2013, he co-founded Sechel Ventures, where he wears many hats, including production and engineering. He continues to work across several healthcare and education sites.

Barry Franklin

Barry Franklin

Co-Founder, Sechel Ventures

Before co-founding Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, Barry Franklin was a VP at a Silicon Valley software company. He is an investor and advisor for DataSimply and Impellia. Barry believes that education and lifelong learning are paramount. Barry met his wife at Carnegie Mellon University and they have two beautiful daughters. He also volunteers for various committees at his kids’ high school.

Alex Stitt, LMHC

Alex Stitt, LMHC

Writer & Contributing Expert

Alex Stitt is a nonbinary author, queer theorist, and licensed mental health counselor living in Hawaii. As a proud Queer Counselor, they work to educate professionals in the mental health field interested in working with LGBTQ+ populations. Their textbook, ACT for Gender Identity: The Comprehensive Guide, demonstrates how to apply Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to gender self-actualization.

Ali Hickerson

Ali Hickerson

Writer

Ali Hickerson is a strategist, multimedia journalist, and writer based in Brooklyn, New York City. She has worked extensively in non-profit and health communications in Melbourne, Australia, and New York City. She has also worked in video production and the tech industry, most recently at Waze.

Andrea Vale

Andrea Vale

Writer

Andrea Vale is a writer and filmmaker, focusing on biodiversity and conservation. She has reported for National Geographic, USA Today, Oceana, The Oxford Scientist, The Oxford Climate Review, and many other publications. She’s covered wetlands along the India-Pakistan border, community-based salmon conservation in the U.S, and seabirds in the Pacific, among other topics.

Previously, she worked as a Human Story Specialist at the National Geographic Society, and producer on the Oxford University Anthroposea Expedition. She has a BA in English and creative writing from the University of Notre Dame and an MS in biodiversity, conservation, and management from the University of Oxford.

Becca Brewer, MEd

Becca Brewer, MEd

Writer

Becca Brewer is building a better future on a thriving earth by healing herself into wholeness, divesting from separation, and walking the path of the loving heart. Previously to her journey as an adventurer for a just, meaningful, and regenerative world, Becca was a formally trained sexuality educator with a master of education.

Bernd Geels

Bernd Geels

Writer

Bernd Geels is a Berlin, Germany-based freelance writer and artist. He holds an undergraduate degree in atmospheric science and two graduate degrees. He completed his most recent graduate degree in international environmental studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 2011. He is interested in healthcare, climate change, marine conservation, indigenous science and refugee issues. You can reach him directly at [email protected].

Bree Nicolello

Bree Nicolello

Writer

Bree Nicolello is an urban planner and freelance writer based in Seattle, WA. She has worked on land use and housing policy issues throughout the Pacific Northwest. She previously led Run Oregon Run, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Oregonians run for office and apply to boards and commissions. When not writing, she is lovingly tending to her cast iron

Catherine Mosley

Catherine Mosley

Writer

Catherine Chapman Mosley is a writer living in central Virginia. She’s written extensively on healthcare topics for various outlets and also works full-time in communications, marketing and community engagement. She is the proud parent of a son who is focused on a healthcare career and often seeks his editing help.

Cevia Yellin

Cevia Yellin

Writer

Cevia Yellin is a freelance writer based in Eugene, Oregon. She studied English and French literature as an undergraduate. After serving two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer, she earned her master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Cevia’s travels and experiences working with students of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds have contributed to her interest in the forces that shape identity. She grew up on the edge of Philadelphia, where her mom still lives in her childhood home.

Dom DiFurio

Dom DiFurio

Writer & Contributing Expert

Dom DiFurio is a writer covering money, the economy, business trends, real estate, mental health trends, and more.

He’s published reporting in The Washington Post, USA Today, and ESPN Magazine as well as local and regional newsrooms across the country. He has been recognized by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, and Columbia University.

Farheen Gani

Farheen Gani

Writer

Farheen Gani has researched degree programs and salaries in counseling since 2020. She has written about topics such as genetic counselor salaries and family and human development bachelor’s degrees. She writes about healthcare, technology, education, and marketing. Her work has appeared on websites such as Tech in Asia and Foundr, as well as top SaaS blogs such as Zapier and InVision. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter (@FarheenGani).

Jill Jaracz

Jill Jaracz

Jill Jaracz is a Cleveland-based writer who has covered a number of topics including bridal, financial services, and local news. She’s also the co-host and executive producer of Keep the Flame Alive, a podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics. Jaracz covered the Beijing 2022 Olympics and Paralympics from the closed loop in China, where she saw some amazing sports moments, geeked out about curling ice, and ate bao every day for six weeks.

Johannes Stitz

Johannes Stitz

Writer

Johannes Stitz is a freelance writer and researcher based in the Southwest. He’s written about various topics in engineering careers. Before turning to freelance writing, he spent nearly a decade in the arts as a booker and event manager.

Kenneth Parker

Kenneth Parker

Writer

Kenneth Parker is a feature writer, poet, and musician living in the Pacific Northwest. His writing on healthcare, remote work, education, and technology has been published widely. His poetry, short fiction, and album reviews have appeared in Scifaikuest, Nanoism, and No Clean Singing. His background includes time spent as an associate editor, proofreader, private grammar instructor, freelance content editor, medical claims agent, and SEO consultant. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon, where he studied literature and worked as a composition tutor.

Kimmy Gustafson

Kimmy Gustafson

Writer

At CounselingSchools.com, Kimmy Gustafson’s expertly crafted articles delve into the world of counseling and mental health, providing valuable insights and guidance to readers since 2020. In addition to feature pieces and interviews, she keeps the state licensing tables current. Kimmy has been a freelance writer for more than a decade, writing hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics such as startups, nonprofits, healthcare, kiteboarding, the outdoors, and higher education. She is passionate about seeing the world and has traveled to over 27 countries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. When not working, she can be found outdoors, parenting, kiteboarding, or cooking.

Laura Freberg, PhD

Laura Freberg, PhD

Writer & Contributing Expert

Laura Freberg serves as professor of psychology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she teaches introductory psychology and behavioral neuroscience.

Dr. Freberg is the author or co-author of several textbooks, including Discovering Psychology: The Science of Mind, Discovering Behavioral Neuroscience, Applied Behavioral Neuroscience, and Research Methods in Psychological Science. She served as President of the Western Psychological Association (WPA) in 2018-2019.

Lisa Hutchison, LMHC

Lisa Hutchison, LMHC

Writer & Contributing Expert

Lisa Hutchison, LMHC, is a licensed mental health counselor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She works for professionals who want to treat and prevent compassion fatigue. With over 20 years of psychotherapy experience, she helps her clients assert themselves, set boundaries, and increase their coping skills. Her specialty is decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression while increasing realistic methods of self-care for those who help others. Ms. Hutchison’s psychological advice has been featured in Reader’s Digest and the Huffington Post. Her articles have been published in numerous magazines, including Grief Digest and Today’s Caregiver.

Lisa is the bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and a faculty member writer for NetCE. Her latest continuing education unit publication is “Setting Ethical Limits for Caring and Competent Professionals.” She has taught creative writing in colleges and presented on boundaries for the compassionate helper; the use of expressive art to heal grief, anxiety, and depression; inspirational and motivational topics; and creative writing techniques.

Matt Zbrog

Matt Zbrog

Writer

Matt Zbrog is a writer and researcher from Southern California. Since 2020, he’s written extensively about how counselors and other behavioral health professionals are working to address the nation’s mental health and substance use crises, with a particular focus on community-driven and interdisciplinary approaches. His articles have included detailed interviews with leaders and subject matter experts from the American Counseling Association (ACA), the American Mental Health Counselor Association (AMHCA), the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Melissa DeCapua, DNP

Melissa DeCapua, DNP

Writer

Dr. Melissa DeCapua is a nurse practitioner working at Microsoft on organizational behavior and culture change. She began her career in psychiatry and fine arts, and these skills fuel her passion for user experience (UX): building programs, conducting qualitative research, and designing services. By night, she continues to advocate for nurses through lobbying efforts, blogging, and volunteering. For more about Melissa, check out her website and follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter (@melissadecapua).

Nathan Stevens

Nathan Stevens

Writer

Nathan Stevens is a reporter, musician, and native Texan living in Austin. He received his degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and has worked in broadcast for over a decade. His website, the2010s.net, is a collection and retrospective of the best music of the 21st century.

Nina Chamlou

Nina Chamlou

Writer

Nina Chamlou is a freelance writer from Portland, OR. She writes about healthcare, psychology, economic trends, business, technology, digitization, supply chains, education, aviation, and travel. You can find her floating around the Pacific Northwest in diners and coffee shops, or traveling abroad, studying the locale from behind her MacBook. Visit her personal website at NinaChamlou.com.

Rachel Drummond, MEd

Rachel Drummond, MEd

Writer

Rachel Drummond has used her expertise in education and mindfulness to guide aspiring counselors since 2020. Her work emphasizes the importance of integrating reflective mindfulness into counseling techniques, helping readers understand how mental and physical well-being can enhance their professional practice and personal development in counseling.

Rachel is a writer, educator, and coach from Oregon. She has a master’s degree in education (MEd) and has over 15 years of experience teaching English, public speaking, and mindfulness to international audiences in the United States, Japan, and Spain. She writes about the mind-body benefits of contemplative movement practices like yoga on her blog, inviting people to prioritize their unique version of well-being and empowering everyone to live healthier and more balanced lives.

Rebecca Atkins, MEd, NBCT

Rebecca Atkins, MEd, NBCT

Writer & Contributing Expert

Rebecca Atkins serves as the central office leader for school counseling in a large southern school district. She served as a school counselor for 12 years and is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences.

Along with Alicia Oglesby, she authored the book Interrupting Racism: Equity and Social Justice in School Counseling in 2018. She shares her ideas on her blog CounselorUp.

Vanessa Salvia

Vanessa Salvia

Writer

Vanessa Salvia is an Oregon-based freelance writer and editor with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. As fun as rigorous studies in math and science were, Vanessa took an independent path and developed a prolific career covering lifestyle and healthcare topics for magazines and newspapers, important industries such as concrete construction and building waterproofing, and even hard science. You can get in touch at Sage Media and Marketing.

Wade Zhou, MS

Wade Zhou, MS

Writer

Wade Zhou is an experienced senior data journalist who covers education, economic trends, healthcare, and more.

He previously wrote for The Economist and received his BA from the University of Miami and his MS from Johns Hopkins University.