Once upon a time, I used this page to offer a list of credentials, clinical experience, and education. I thought I needed to follow the formal therapist script to prove I could help you. In truth, I believe we make a real connection when we lead with creativity and authenticity, rather than hiding behind formalities.
This page is here to help you decide if Pathfinders Counseling will be a good fit for you, not just list my professional accomplishments (although they are included at the end if you’re interested).
Who we work with at Pathfinders Counseling
We’re passionate about working with individuals, children, couples, and families who are trying to find their way through anxiety, codependency, and trauma. Through conversation, play, and art, we find a way for you to feel safe enough to explore your old wounds and everything you struggle with today.
It didn’t take a graduate program to realize who I’m meant to help. I know because I’ve been where you are now.
I understand first-hand what it’s like to constantly put others’ needs before my own and live without secure boundaries. The sleepless nights and the anxiety that come with parenting, especially when your child is struggling – I know them all too well. And, I know how unresolved trauma can hijack your life, sap your joy and energy, and make you feel crazy.
I have bravely slayed the dragons of my past and re-claimed myself in the process. You have the same kind of courage and resilience within you too.
It’s my mission to support you, your child, your family on your own journey. Pathfinders Counseling is designed to give you the space and the tools you need to face your fear and struggles so you can heal and find hope.
Therapy is about uncovering your inner truths
In therapy, you’ll be asked to dig deep and tell truths you may have had a hard time admitting to yourself. Let me start by sharing a truth that I can finally admit to myself: I am a lifelong self-help junkie.
I used to think I could read my way through life’s challenges (otherwise referred to as intellectualizing). Guess what I eventually figured out? You can’t rise above past trauma and daily struggles until you put down the books and allow yourself to get messy.
You have to feel your feelings (especially the really messy ones) in order to begin to resolve them and feel better.
That means the first steps toward peace and happiness often involve facing everything you turn to avoid and numb your feelings – drinking, eating, keeping busy, watching TV, losing yourself in social media, sleeping, worrying, acting out… A key part of our work together will be dedicated to helping you identify and escape the avoidance cycles that keep you stuck.
We’re here to help you discover your own path to well-being
Right now, I’m not taking on any new clients, so I have welcomed Melissa Graziano into the Pathfinders family. Melissa is a skilled practitioner with a background and training in child and family therapy. I provide Melissa with ongoing clinical supervision, which means she discusses all cases with me and I provide her with guidance and support.
I know that Melissa is a good fit for the Pathfinders community because she brings true compassion, mindfulness, and curiosity to her work. Just as I am, Melissa is dedicated to walking beside you as you feel the hardest feelings, meet the deepest struggles, and find your way to peace and fulfillment.
Here’s that list of my credentials/experience:
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Colorado, a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT-S), a National Certified Counselor (NCC), and a Certified EMDR Therapist.
I returned to graduate school when my own children were teenagers and graduated with masters degrees in clinical and school counseling from the University of Northern Colorado in 2012.
My counseling experience includes individual and group work with adults, children, and families in a mental health agency, elementary and middle school counseling, in-home family therapy for families with children at risk for out-of-home placement, and private practice including intensives (4-8 hour healing sessions) and momma retreats.
I currently volunteer for SAVA (Sexual Abuse Victims Advocacy), Restorative Justice, and Northern Colorado TRN/HAP (EMDR Trauma Recovery Network, Humanitarian Assistance Program) as a way to give back to my community. I also serve on the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Taskforce for Voices Carry (Child Advocacy Center) and provide Darkness to Light, Stewards of Children® sexual abuse prevention trainings throughout Northern Colorado.
I belong to the following professional organizations: ACA (American Counseling Association), APT (Association for Play Therapy), CAPT (Colorado Association for Play Therapy), CSTA(Colorado Sandplay Therapy Association), EMDRIA (EMDR International Association), and TDI (Therapy Dogs International).
And the personal experience that also prepares me to do this work: :
Born and raised in England and Norway, I’ve chosen to live in Colorado most of my adult life. I have been married for 30+ years (with all the ups and downs that go along with marriage and child rearing). In my late 40s, having zero athletic experience, I began competing in triathlons and recently completed my first Ironman event, Maine70.3 in under 6 hours (sometimes I surprise myself!) Being outdoors, spending time with my animals, practicing yoga, dancing, and creating art are the passions that sustain me so I can support you.
Schedule online now so you can start living the life you deserve!