Child and Family Therapists

Kelly Curnalia, LCSW

Owner/Child and Family Therapist

Biography
Kelly is a licensed clinical social worker (“LCSW”) and owner of the Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver. As a child and family therapist for many years, Kelly has had the opportunity to provide therapeutic support for many families. Kelly's primary specialty is supporting and coaching children, adolescents and families through barriers that affect their overall happiness and quality of life.  For these therapeutic interventions, Kelly utilizes a combination of interventions including individual and family therapy.  Kelly has done significant work in the areas of child grief and loss, trauma, anger and anxiety, and at-risk behaviors, including truancy, drug and alcohol abuse, gang violence, and family discord. In all her work, Kelly's therapeutic approach is to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment to help her patients feel comfortable in starting their journey to a better quality of life. Kelly's primary goal is to empower her patients by providing them with the tools and resources necessary to have sustainable long term change, so they are not reliant on therapeutic intervention long term.

Melissa Maurer, LCSW, CSST

Clinical Director, North Office/Child and Family Therapist

Biography
Melissa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Systemic Sandplay Therapist. Melissa completed her Masters of Social Work in 2010 from the University of Denver with a certificate in Interpersonal trauma. Her undergraduate studies were focused on Psychology and health education. Melissa has provided significant years of support focusing on children and adults that are journeying thru complex illness, ensuring that families have the safe space to process thru their emotions and feel empowered and honored in a holistic sense. Melissa specializes her therapeutic support working thru grief, loss, trauma, working alongside high risk teens, children in the foster care system and families walking thru the adoption process. Melissa utilizes a variety of therapeutic techniques some of which include cognitive behavioral therapy, sand play therapy and child and family sessions. Outside of providing therapeutic services to children and families, Melissa spends her time as a youth group leader in high school ministry, serving orphans and vulnerable families in missions with street children and families that have survived war and traumatic events thru out the world and spending time with family and friends in the mountains.

Stephanie Griffin, LPC

Child and Family Therapist

Biography
Stephanie Griffin is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), specializing in working with children and their families. Stephanie is originally from Texas, where she attended Texas Women’s University graduating with her Master's degree in Counseling and Development, while specializing in play therapy.  After completing her Master's program, Stephanie continued her education with significant course work at the University of North Texas' counseling Ph.D program, while continuing to specialize in family and play therapy. Stephanie’s work has ranged from children as young as two years-old up through adulthood, as well as post-partum counseling with caregivers and newborns. Stephanie is trained in parent-child relationship therapy, play therapy, sand tray therapy, expressive arts therapy, and activity therapy. Stephanie tends to use an existential-humanistic approach in her sessions. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys outdoor activities including traveling, camping, backpacking, hiking and kayaking, as well as spending quality time with her family and friends.

Liz Beers, LPC

Child and Family Therapist

Biography
Liz is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She completed her Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health counseling at the University of Memphis in 2012. Liz has worked primarily with adolescents and their families, and also has experience working with adults for individual therapy. She completed certification in EMDR, a trauma-specific therapy, in 2014 and has since then honed her skills to support individuals who have experienced significant trauma. Liz also utilizes various cognitive-behavioral therapies, such as narrative therapy and DBT, to help individuals process their past experiences and improve their day-to-day quality of life. She also has experience working with mood disorders, anxiety, attachment disorders, and family dynamics. Liz believes in empowering clients to lead functional, well-balanced lives.

Talia Horowitz, LCSW

Child and Family Therapist

Biography
Talia Salzberg Horowitz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and certified yoga instructor. She completed her Master's Degree at Simmons College in Boston, MA in 2013 and has since focused her work primarily with multi-stressed families and children with complex needs in a variety of settings, including home-based and residential programs. In work with children and families who have experienced trauma, Talia utilizes training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and attachment-based therapy. Talia's passion lies in integrating mindfulness and yoga techniques into individual, group, and family therapy, tapping into the profound therapeutic effects of the mind-body connection in enhancing health and wellbeing -- especially for kids and teenagers. Since completing her yoga teacher training in Boston in January 2016, Talia has led multiple yoga/mindfulness workshops for teenage girls, taught yoga to stressed-out staff at her previous job, and taught free trauma-informed yoga classes to women living in homeless shelters. Talia is honored to serve clients from a place of non-judgment and warmth, with particular focus on emotional awareness and connection.

Kellie Hearndon, LPC, NCC

Child and Family Therapist

Biography
Kellie is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), certified as an Autism Specialist, and recgonized as a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Kellie has worked with children and families for six years in her capacity as a counselor; however, Kellie has worked with children for over 10 years in a multitude of settings. Kellie obtained both her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies and Masters of Arts in School Counseling from Southeast Missouri State University. She had the pleasure of earning her Certification as an Autism Specialist from the Univeristy of Missouri at St. Louis. Kellie’s professional focus has been working with families who have children that have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kellie is very passionate to work with this population due to the time its takes to build a relationship with an individual who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Kaylee Jeffrey, LCSW

Child and Family Therapist

Biography
Kaylee is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified School Social Worker who has worked with children in various capacities for over 15 years.  She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, where she completed her Master's of Social Work in 2012 with specialized focus on Clinical Mental Health.  Her undergraduate work was completed at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she earned a Bachelor's in Social Work with a focus on Youth Development. Although Kaylee has done individual work with adults, the majority of her work has focused on children and their families, primarily in school, residential and community settings.  She has extensive experience working with children who have experienced trauma and understands the importance of developing a trusting relationship with not only the child, but the family as a whole.  Kaylee has a very calm, caring and nurturing approach which allows her clients to feel at ease.  She provides a safe, comforting and non-judgmental environment and believes that through trust and communication, clients can feel empowered to envision the possibilities for change. Kaylee has a strong passion for social justice and is a culturally sensitive and culturally aware therapist.  She understands that therapy is not one-size-fits-all and works hard to tailor her approach to meet each client's individual strengths and challenges.  Kaylee specializes in helping clients work through issues of depression, anxiety, trauma, social skills, grief and loss, bullying, school adjustment, and life transitions.  She is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Parent Child Interaction Therapy. Kaylee is originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming, and enjoys cooking, reading, writing, and spending time with family, friends and her dog, Betty White.

Behavioral Therapists

Kenzie Davison, BCBA

Behavioral Therapist

Biography
Kenzie is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and pursuing certification as a Synergetic Play Therapist. She has worked with individuals with special needs for over twenty years - starting with volunteering in high school. Kenzie supports clients by developing pivotal behaviors: regulation, coordination, and communication to form the foundation for learning. She designs skill acquisition programming for clients in home, school, and community settings.  She values a collaborative approach - partnering with parents, caregivers, and other service providers - to assess socially significant behavior and implement evidence-based practices. She incorporates children's strengths & interests while addressing areas of growth through researched-based naturalistic play. Kenzie specializes in working with children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), significant communication delays, multiple diagnoses, and challenging behaviors. She is fluent in American Sign Language and still practicing her Spanish.

Music Therapists

Sara Wise, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Biography
Sara is a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) with training in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT). She studied at Colorado State University where she received her Bachelors of Music in Music Therapy along with a vocal performance certificate. Sara's primary specialties are children and adolescents with physical and developmental disabilities, trauma, mental health barriers, and chronic/terminal illnesses. Sara utilizes evidence-based music interventions to help achieve functional goals individualized to each client.

Hailey Colebank, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Biography
Hailey is a Board Certified Music Therapist, who received her Bachelors in Music Therapy from Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!). As a music therapist, she is dedicated to helping individuals reach their goals through various music interventions. She has experience working with adults and children in a multitude of settings such as hospitals, hospice, mental health, schools, and long-term care.  Hailey also has experience working with children in a grief support group setting. Music therapy sessions with Hailey provide a safe and therapeutic atmosphere while still encouraging a fun and motivating experience. Through the sessions, clients are encouraged to grow and discover things about themselves while working towards a therapeutic goal.

Lexie Tilson, MT-BC, NMT

Music Therapist

Biography
Lexie graduated from Colorado State University in 2011, earning her Master’s degree in Music Therapy. While at CSU, Lexie attended the Neurologic Music Therapy Training Institute, earning the title of Neurologic Music Therapist (NMT). After completing her college coursework, she fulfilled her music therapy internship at the Colorado Mental Health Institute, and served for the Colorado State Music Therapy Task Force. Following her internship, Lexie officially became a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) in 2012, and began following her dreams as a clinician. Lexie has worked with a wide range of individuals including but not limited to persons on the autism spectrum, children with developmental disabilities, older adults with dementia, survivors of trauma and abuse, and mental health consumers. She is extremely thankful to have this amazing, gratifying career, and loves sharing her passion for helping others live happier, healthier lives!

Kate Funk, MM, MT-BC, NMT

Music Therapist

Biography
Kate Funk graduated from Colorado Christian University in May of 2012 with Bachelor’s degrees in Vocal Music Performance and in Psychology.  After graduation, she was accepted into Colorado State University’s prestigious music therapy program, where she finished a Master’s degree with additional training in Neurologic Music Therapy techniques under the tutelage of Dr. Michael Thaut, renowned researcher and music therapist, in December of 2015.

Since pursuing higher education, Kate has had the privilege to work with diverse clientele, including older adults, older adults with psychiatric and medical diagnoses, school-aged children with developmental disabilities and/or delays, and in early intervention with children with developmental disabilities. During her internship, she had the opportunity to work in early intervention with typically developing children and children with developmental disabilities or delays. She became board certified in April of 2015.

Shelby Riley, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Biography
Shelby is a graduate of The University of Kansas with a Bachelors of Music Education in Music Therapy. She interned at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and became a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) after completing her internship. Shelby has experience working in hospitals, behavioral health units, schools and in home. She has worked with a variety of clients including: individuals with traumatic brain injuries, special needs, palliative care and hospice patients. Shelby aims to provide an encouraging, therapeutic and creative space to help her clients work towards their individualized goals through a variety of musical applications.

Chris Wojdak, MT-BC, NMT

Music Therapist

Biography
Chris is a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) with training in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT). He studied at Nazareth College of Rochester in New York State where he received his Master's in Creative Arts Therapy/Music Therapy. Chris also has a Bachelor's in Music from SUNY Purchase where he studied music theory, psychology and audio engineering. His primary specialties are children and adolescents with mental illness, trauma, physical and developmental disabilities including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD and Down Syndrome, and chronic/terminal illnesses. Chris utilizes a neurologic, sensory-based and developmentally sensitive approach to music therapy that focuses on addressing functional goals and helping each client reach their full potential.

Megan Sterzinger, MT-BC, NMT

Music Therapist

Biography
Megan is a Board Certified Music Therapist with training in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT). Megan received her music therapy graduate education at Colorado State University. She has a Bachelor of Art’s in Music from Carthage College in Kenosha, WI, where she studied vocal performance. Megan has experience working with children and adults in a variety of settings including schools, nursing homes, hospital, respite care, and in home. Megan uses evidence-based music interventions to create a positive therapeutic environment for each client.

Abi Carlton, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Biography
Abi completed her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy degree at Colorado State University, and became a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) in 2015. Abi will be pursuing her Master of Music Therapy degree at Augsburg College beginning in Fall of 2017; she also has a BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and is completing the Child Life Certificate through the UCSB Extension. She has worked with a wide variety of individuals to provide music therapy services in settings including: hospice care, schools, nursing homes, and trauma groups. Abi aims to create a fun and engaging environment through music therapy, utilizing sensory, neurologically-informed and evidence-based techniques to help each client meet their individual goals.

Shelley McCluskey, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Biography
Shelley is a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) who earned her degree from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Shelley has had the privilege to work with individuals with disabilities and chronic medical conditions in both educational and professional settings over the past 5 years. She completed her music therapy internship at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she provided services across the inpatient rehabilitation, hematology/oncology, and intensive care units. Shelley creates a success-oriented environment by utilizing evidence- based interventions to assist her clients and their families in reaching their individualized goals.

Massage Therapists

JoAnne Shook, LMT, CPMT, CIMT

Massage Therapist

Biography
JoAnne Shook has been a  Licensed and Board Certified Massage Therapist for more than five years.  Additionally, she earned certifications as an Infant Massage Teacher and Pediatric Massage Therapist with specialized training in autism spectrum disorders, oncology, cerebral palsy and other life limiting diagnosis from Tina Allen of Liddle Kidz, the gold standard in pediatric touch therapy.   JoAnne completed four levels of Healing Touch Program under the direction of Cynthia Hutchison, Program Director, and continues her journey to become a Certified Practitioner.  When not working with pediatric clients, she dedicates her time to adult oncology patients and folks processing thru the challenge of grief.  Grief can mean the loss of a loved one or pet, a major lifestyle shift or  a lifelong dream.   JoAnne now lives her passion, providing massage intervention for children with medical challenges and life limiting diagnosis. She understands some of the obstacles a child and  family may face during a medical scenario as her own child moved on with his journey in 2011.  This life experience provides JoAnne a unique level of compassion for all clients. Welcome to Holland.

Andrea Mason, LMT, CPMT

Massage Therapist

Biography
Andrea is thrilled to be a part of this very special team as a Massage Therapist. She loves being around children. She taught ballet for 5 years and is loves babysitting for her baby nephew every week. Andrea recieved her Bachelors of fine arts in Ballet from the University of Missouri- Kansas City and her certification in Massage Therapy from the Omaha School of Massage and Healthcare. Andrea is also a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist.  She loves the healing and nurturing energy here at The Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver and feels blessed to be a part of it.

Julie Franklin, LMT, CPMT

Massage Therapist

Biography
Julie Franklin is a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist (CPMT) and has been with The Child Family Therapy Center of Denver since September 2015. Julie's first experiences with young children began when she was sixteen years old when she worked in early childhood programs with children ages birth through 12 years.  She spent nearly 15 years in the field in various different roles, but Julie's passion for working with others called her to go back to school.  Julie graduated from The Colorado School of Healing arts in December 2013 with an Associates degree and completed additional courses with the Little Kidz Foundation to earn her pediatric certification.  The ability to combine massage therapy with early childhood education has been an incredible experience that Julie enjoys every day. In her spare time, Julie enjoys spending time with her son and watching him play sports, going to movies and spending time with friends and family.

Janaeh Lefferdink, LMT, CPMT

Massage Therapist

 
Biography
Janaeh Lefferdink is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist who is on a mission to serve and uplift our precious families by focusing on children with unique medical needs. Massage therapy is invaluable in helping to alleviate aches and pain while creating a quiet place for your child to find rest and release traumatic experiences associated with activities of daily living. She is honored to work alongside these profound little humans. Janaeh specializes in CranioSacral Therapy (CST), a light touch technique that monitors the health of the nervous system by palpating the CranioSacral rhythm, and then releasing restrictions in the body. CST may improve neurological function, processing, and integration of sensory information. Children have been shown to exhibit increased function in the development of new skills and they become noticeably calmer. Janaeh imagines a world where a child’s potential is nourished and allowed to expand to even greater heights. Janaeh and her husband, Amin, recently rescued an Italian Greyhound and Chihuahua mix, naming him Mowgli after one of their favorite characters in The Jungle Book. They both enjoy hiking in beautiful Colorado and adventuring abroad in Costa Rica, Janaeh doing headstands along the way. Pura Vida!

Support Staff

Caroline Brehm

Human Resource Coordinator

Biography
Caroline loves working with children and helping them accomplish their goals. Since 2009, she has been teaching ballet and creative movement to children throughout Canada and the US. In addition to dance, Caroline attended the University of Windsor in Canada where she received her Master’s degree in Environmental Science on a full scholarship. She is very excited to join the Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver as an Office Assistant!

Connie Flieder

Administrative Assistant

Biography
Connie is delighted to be a part of The Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver. She has devoted most of her life to supporting and advocating for children with multiple medical and daily life challenges. She is passionate about being present in the present and enjoying the little moments and events in each day, regardless of the other pressing difficulties and hurdles in life. She is the proud mother of eight children and has been blessed to care for many others. Connie attended the University of Colorado where she pursued Neurosciences and Psychology degrees. She became interested in specialty therapies, such as Neuro-Developmental Treatment for children with brain injuries and other developmental barriers. She was fortunate to find many mentors and have many clinicians share their expertise and training with her, as she worked to improve the possibilities of the children she loves. She is excited about being a part of this team and looks forward to experiencing the joy and wonder in life through the eyes of the unique children that come share their journeys here at The Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver.
 

Patrick Curnalia, JD, LL.M.

General Counsel

Biography
Patrick is a licensed attorney and general counsel for the Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver. Prior to law school, Patrick worked in a community mental health setting with individuals with developmental disabilities to help them develop life skills and, in many cases, assist them into transitioning into more independent living arrangements. Patrick enjoyed working with these individuals and seeing them progress from group homes to independent living in many cases. Working with these clients gave Patrick a glimpse into the lives and struggles of families with family members with developmental disabilities. In all of Patrick's work with The Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver, he tries to identify ways to help the agency meet the special needs of the agency's clients.