Meet the Staff

Clinical Staff

Andrew Armstrong, PhD, Licensed Psychologist

Doctorate, Clinical/Counseling/School Psychology, Utah State University, 2012

Professional interests:

Group counseling, mindfulness, grief, anxiety, OCD, men’s issues, suicide prevention, LGBTQ issues.

Approach to counseling:

I specialize in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) which focuses on exploring what matters most to the individual and finding ways to have more of it in life.  I want to help students build a bigger repertoire of coping behaviors, which often includes working on mindfulness – both in session and in everyday practice.  More than anything, I try to make counseling a supportive space where students can be themselves and feel heard.

Involvement in the training program:

I teach a few intern seminars, co-lead groups with trainees, and provide primary supervision for two predoctoral interns per year.  As a supervisor I want to provide a balance of support and challenge, with more emphasis on support.  Drawing from the integrated developmental model of supervision, I try to help interns build both their skills and their confidence.  I value authenticity and I enjoy exploring interpersonal process in supervision and in counseling.

Personal interests:

Music, movies, swimming, eating.

“Imagination is a divine force. If you don’t block it, it will come out and surprise you.”  -  Elliott Smith

 

Phil Burns, MS, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Master's, Mental Health Counseling, Western Washington University, 2010

Professional interests:

Mindfulness based therapy, anxiety, depression, men’s issues, body-mind connection, group counseling. 

Approach to counseling:

I focus on the relationship, listening deeply and gaining a clear understanding of the problem.  I frequently utilize mindfulness strategies to helps students see their experience clearly, and then take a collaborative approach to problems solving and building coping strategies.   I see students as the “experts” on themselves and utilize counseling strategies to enhance the natural healing instincts that they possess.  I often encourage group counseling options as a an especially effective way to address common problems that college students experience. 

Involvement in the training program:

Co-lead groups with trainees.  I have provided cohort supervision in the past.  I enjoy consulting with colleagues and trainees.

Personal interests:

Mountain biking, sailing, ultimate Frisbee, music, connecting to friends and family. 

“One of the deepest longings of the human soul is to be seen.”  -  John O’Donahue

 

Nikki Cassidy, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist

Doctorate, Clinical Psychology, Adler School of Professional Psychology, 2013

Professional interests:

Body image issues and eating disorders, trauma, self-compassion, mindfulness, depression, anxiety, multicultural counseling, LGBTQ issues.

Approach to counseling:

I try to create a safe and non-judgmental space in counseling.  In this space where students feel seen, heard, and valued, I get a sense of what students think will be helpful and integrate their ideas into counseling.  I also help students explore their emotions and how they make sense of them, and we work together to find different, often more self-compassionate, ways of coping.

Involvement in the training program:

I anticipate teaching a few intern seminars, co-leading groups, and providing primary supervision.  I draw primarily from the discrimination model of supervision and tailor supervision according to interns’ developmental needs and strengths.  I try to build upon interns existing competencies and increase skills and confidence through a balance of challenge and support.   As a supervisor, I value genuineness and openness and exploring interpersonal and multicultural processes in supervision and counseling.

Personal interests:

Reading, outdoor and physical activities, cooking, playing with my pet cat.

“Worthiness does not have prerequisites.” -  Brene Brown

 

Eric Denson, PhD, Licensed Psychologist/Assistant Director & Training Director

Doctorate, Clinical Psychology, University of Washington, 1992

Professional Interests:

Clinical training and supervision, personality disorders, the intersection of career-mental health concerns.

Approach to counseling:

In my experience, life problems often arise when there is disconnection between what is important to us and our behavior.  In my work, helping clients reconnect values and behavior is critical.  I also work with clients to develop a different relationship with their problems and to look at the function of their symptoms.  I also believe it is crucial to help clients control what they can, and to focus on their effort, rather than on outcomes. 

Involvement in the training program:

As the Training Director, I’m very involved in all aspects of our internship, including developing the curriculum, recruiting and selecting interns, teaching some seminars (often on personality disorders), and serving as a primary clinical supervisor to 2-4 interns each year.  As a supervisor, I see my role as fostering self-confidence in interns, helping them to trust their abilities, find their own styles as emerging clinicians, and exploring things that get in way of all of that.  I believe in supervising the “whole person.”

Personal Interests:

I love sports, music, photography, and really good food.  And combining as many of those things as possible.

“Ain’t no sense worryin’ about things you ain’t got control over, ‘cause if you ain’t got control over ‘em, ain’t no sense worryin’.  And ain’t no sense worryin’ about things you got control over, ‘cause if you got control over ‘em, ain’t no sense worryin’.  -  John Milton “Mickey” Rivers

 

Mimi Freshley, MSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Case Manager

Master in Social Work, University of Kentucky, 1989

Professional Interests:

Client advocacy, crisis intervention and stabilization, linking individuals to community resources, mental health and disability awareness.

Approach to Case Management:

My role at the Counseling Center is to provide clients with off campus referrals, particularly to psychologists and mental health counselors in the community. I assist clients in finding therapists who accept their insurance and whose therapeutic specialties best match the clients’ needs.  When needed, I provide clients with information about other community resources. (In addition to working with the counselors at the Counseling Center I also work with the doctors at the Student Health Center providing referrals for patients.)

Personal interests:

Music, hiking, traveling, gardening, cooking.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."  -  Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Shari Robinson, PhD, Licensed Psychologist/Director

Doctorate, Clinical Psychology, West Virginia University, 2004

Professional interests:

Counseling issues related to diversity and multiculturalism, spirituality and religious with African-Americans, First-Generation college students, Student Veterans, and mentoring people of color.  I see myself as a social justice change agent working toward equity, inclusion and diversity in all of my professional and personal settings.

Approach to counseling:

Within a relational framework I integrate various theoretical orientations based on the client’s needs and lived experiences.

Involvement in the training program:

I can provide clinical supervision to doctoral interns and early career professionals who are working toward licensure.  I teach intern seminars, can co-lead groups with trainees, and am available for clinical consultation.  As a clinical supervisor, it is important to build a level playing field with the trainee that feels collegial, authentic, and supportive.

Personal interests:

Going to the movies (favorite movies are Marvel/DC super heroes).  I consider myself to be a servant leader, and have led mission teams to Haiti and Dominican Republic for the last decade.

“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”  -  Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Anne Marie Theiler, MS, Licensed Mental Health Counselor/Assistant Director of Clinical Operations

Master's, Counseling Psychology, Western Washington University, 1988

Professional interests:

Cognitive behavioral therapy within a therapeutic context that values emotional experience and relationship.  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Approach to counseling:

Begin with awareness and self-understanding, identify strengths as well as goals for change, and start to take small steps in the right direction, following the values which are important to you.  My most frequent counseling quote is “every strength is also a weakness, and every weakness is also a strength”.

Involvement in the training program:

As the person coordinating our clinical services, my role is to provide orientation and consultation to interns and trainees in regards to policies, procedures, and our day-to-day operations.  I have had the privilege of supervising a number of our master’s level trainees over the years and I take a strengths-based approach to supervision, examining both counseling process and counseling interventions with an emphasis on developing skills to evaluate for yourself what is and isn’t working for your clients.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. . . it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”  -  Vivian Greene

“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde

 

Richard (Chris) Turner, MS, Staff Counselor

Master's Counselor Education in Clinical Mental Health, Mississippi State University, 2014

Professional interests:

LGBTQ concerns, anxiety and stress, the human-animal bond, identity development, depression, student veterans.

Approach to counseling:

I feel counseling can only take place in a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental space.  People often find they already have the tools and resources to improve their situation, but feel “stuck” or “lost".  I believe in assisting students to identify what is important to them, their values, and their beliefs, and collaboratively working to identify helpful and positive thought patterns and behaviors, as well as utilizing effective techniques to begin the healing process.  Above all, the student needs to feel as though they are heard, understood, and appreciated for their own personal worldview.

Involvement in the training program:

My involvement in the training program will consist of co-facilitating group therapy and providing consultation for interns.

Personal interests:

I love to travel, learn new languages, cook, and take road trips on my motorcycle.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”  -  Winston Churchill

 

Enid L. Wood, MS, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Master's in Behavioral Counseling, Johns Hopkins University, 1983

Professional Interests: 

Mindfulness-based self compassion, depression and anxiety management, and building resilience.

Approach to counseling: 

I believe each person is inherently resilient and has a wonderful mix of strengths and challenges.  I see my role as helping the person I am working with tap into their resilience and natural strengths to meet the challenges they are facing in this setting.  Just like we all differ in physical health preferred strategies, we differ in preferred strategies to support mental wellness.  I honor each individual’s preferred style, whatever mix of cognitive, feeling-based, behavioral and mindfulness strategies they find supportive. I love hearing people’s stories and exploring together what will work best.

Personal Interests: 

Nature, hiking, Sci Fi books, good movies, time with my small family including parrots Bear and Hannah, and of course, friends.

“It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.” -  Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder, 1965

 

Doctoral Interns 2016-2017

Carly Byington, MA

  • PsyD in progress, Clinical Psychology, Pacific University
  • MA, Clinical Psychology, Pacific University, 2015

Professional Interests: 

Relationships issues, intercultural communication, LGBTQ issues, women’s issues, eating disorders, suicide prevention, leadership development and organizational culture.

Approach to Counseling:

I am trained in Gestalt therapy and enjoy the process-oriented approach to therapy. I place high value on working with clients collaboratively and respect each person’s individuality and unique circumstances. My primary goal is to provide compassion, hope and understanding while helping students’ learn new skills and explore new perspectives.

Personal interests:

Spending time with dog, hiking, fishing, crabbing, cooking.

 

Hayley Dawson, MA

  • PsyD in progress, Clinical Psychology, JFK University
  • MA, Clinical Psychology, JFK University 2015

Professional interests:

Couples counseling, disability issues and advocacy, suicide prevention, LGBTQI issues, cultural diversity issues.

Approach to counseling:

I am client centered in that I help guide the student to identify and connect with their inherent strengths and to utilize these strengths to navigate the obstacles they have struggled to maneuver around on their own.  I utilize a psychodynamic approach and Emotional Focused Therapy which is based on Attachment Theory.  Ultimately, I want to support the student in realizing their strengths and putting them into practice.

Personal interests:

Dancing, reading, music, animals and hiking.

 "The wisest man knows he knows nothing at all.”  -  unknown

 

 Stephanie Elmore, MA, MS

  • PsyD in progress, Clinical Psychology, University of Akron - Arizona School of Professional Psychology
  • MA, Clinical Psychology, University of Akron - Arizona School of Professional Psychology, 2015
  • MS, Educational Psychology, Argosy School of Phoenix, 2009

Professional interests:

Sports psychology, performance enhancement, LGBTQ issues, suicide prevention, crisis management, depression, anxiety.

Approach to counseling:

I follow a Multimodal Therapy (MMT) framework and view client issues as a combination of several individual factors.  I like to join with my clients to decrease their suffering and increase their emotional growth and coping skills.  Therapy requires a safe space that allows for one to be vulnerable, and through using empathy and validation.  I work to create an environment where clients can feel accepted and supported.

Personal interests:

Sports, video games, board/card games, camping, animals.

 

Amaris Espinosa, MA

  • PsyD in progress, Clinical Psychology, Antioch University-Seattle
  • MA, Psychology and Art Therapy, Antioch University-Seattle, 2015

Professional interests:

Art therapy, mindfulness, cultivating conditions for happiness and resiliency, somatic issues, group counseling, trauma, grief & loss, multicultural & identity issues, anxiety, women’s issues, eating disorders, and first generation issues.

Approach to counseling:

I use a client-centered approach to therapy, emphasizing the client’s desired outcomes.  I use a wide range of therapeutic modalities to assist in meeting the client’s goals. I specialize in mindfulness based art therapy (MBAT) and other mindfulness-based interventions, eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR), and narrative therapy.  My style emphasizes creativity to explore the mind and body connection in order to facilitate more integrated and meaningful relationships with self and with others.

Personal interests:

Gratitude, art, tai chi, mediation, laughing, cultivating joy, wildness & the wilderness, music, playing, listening, exploring the art of being, dancing, interdependence, podcasts, philosophy and spirituality, travel, the infinite variety of human expression, love and kindness, to be a good ancestor.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  -  Mary Oliver

Men's Resiliency Specialist

Ian Vincent, BA

Bachelor's, Humanities, Western Washington University, 2014

Professional interests:

Men’s issues, gender identity, suicide prevention and violence prevention.

Approach to educating:

I educate students, staff and faculty on men’s issues and upstream suicide prevention methods.  My focus is on why men are less likely to seek resources and more likely to engage in unhealthy forms of coping.  I enjoy helping students look for positive mentors and building positive relationships across campus.  My goal is to help students find a space where they feel heard and comfortable expressing themselves.  I coordinate campus events and trainings to educate students, staff and faculty on upstream suicide prevention and gender identity.  I provide students with support to strengthen their confidence to approach their peers facing mental health challenges.

Personal interests:

Hiking, fishing, windsurfing, and sailing.

Suicide Prevention Coordinator

KaSandra (Kas) Church, MA

Master's, Teaching, Muskingum University, 2008

Professional Interests:

Suicide prevention, mental health awareness, trauma-informed practices, resilience, and community mobilization.

Involvement education and training:

I am responsible for coordinating and supporting suicide prevention initiatives on campus.  In this role I will oversee BRAVE (Building Resilience And Voicing Empathy), Western’s suicide prevention program. I will also be working with the Suicide Advisory Committee to develop a comprehensive suicide prevention plan, one that adheres to the JED Campus Framework. The plan will incorporate a variety of suicide prevention strategies such as skill-building for students, gatekeeper trainings, means restriction and policy change. My hope is that suicide prevention will be seen as a campus-wide issue; one in which we all have a role.

Personal Interests:

Yoga, hiking, gardening, reading, traveling, and water sports.

“What lies before us and what lies behind us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”  -  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Administrative Staff

Sherri Nelson, Assistant to Director

Personal Interests:

Golf, walking/hiking, dancing, spending time with friends and family.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

 

Jane Wareing, Patient Services Coordinator

Personal Interests:

Reading, gardening, fitness walking and knitting.

"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”  -  Albert Einstein