Kelly Curnalia, LCSW

Executive Director/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.

Sara Wise, MT-BC

Music Therapist Supervisor

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.

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.

Caroline Brehm

Human Resource Specialist

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!

Kenzie Davison, BCBA

Behavioral Therapist Supervisor

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.

Rachel Haile

Administrative Assistant

Biography
Rachel loves working with children and is excited about joining the Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver team. She has taught as a phonics teacher at Kent Denver High School and has a love for psychology. She is currently pursuing her education at Colorado State University and has her sights set on becoming an Industrial Psychologist.

Kendal Perry, RBT

Behavioral Therapist

Biography
Kendal recently graduated with her Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis with a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Ball State University and is pursuing her BCBA. She has 20 years experience working with children and has worked with people with various disabilities for over 5 years. She worked on the neuropsychiatric unit at Children’s Hospital where she realized her calling and went back to school to study ABA. Kendal specializes in working with those on the Autism Spectrum but has experience with multiple diagnoses and she has supported clients in the community, in school, in a hospital setting as well as in their home. When she is not at work, Kendal enjoys camping, hiking and lifting weights.

Melissa Sauter, LCSW, CSST

Clinical Director/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.

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!

Kaylee Jeffrey, LCSW

Child and Family Therapist Supervisor

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.

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!

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.

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.

Allys Stewart

Massage Therapist

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.

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.

Sara Schmidt, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Biography
Sara earned bachelor’s degrees in both music therapy and harp performance from Colorado State University. Sara completed her music therapy internship with Lawrence Public Schools in Lawrence, Kansas where she worked with clients ages pre-K through 12th grade. Following her internship, Sara became a Board Certified Music Therapist and began pursuing a career working with children and young adults. Sara has experience working with a wide range of clients including, individuals who are medically fragile, individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, children with behavioral disorders and adults in an assisted living facility. Sara seeks to provide a positive and supportive learning environment to help clients achieve their individualized goals.

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.

Kate Shannon, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Biography
Kate is a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) who earned her Masters of Creative Arts Therapy from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. Kate also has earned two bachelor’s degrees in Music and Anthropology. She has worked with a wide range of individuals, but specializes in working with young children, teenagers, and young adults with disabilities. Kate has additional training in working with clients including individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorders, rare genetic syndromes, medical fragility, and other developmental disabilities. Through evidence-based decision making, Kate strives to address various needs through individualized interventions while improving or maintaining quality of life for each client.

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.

Caroline Valitutto, MTBC

Music Therapist

Biography
Caroline is a board certified music therapist and graduated with her major in music therapy with a vocal performance concentration and a minor in psychology from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. She completed her music therapy internship at the Tallahassee Memorial Behavioral Health Center where she worked with children, adolescents and adults with behavioral, emotional and mental health needs. Caroline has had the privilege of providing music therapy for a variety of populations and in different settings including: children in the school system, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and adults in memory care facilities. Caroline utilizes evidence based interventions through music to create a safe and fun therapeutic environment to help clients reach their goals.

Outside of music therapy, Caroline also is a registered yoga teacher RYT-200 and enjoys teaching and practicing yoga, hiking and doing anything outdoors, and writing songs. Caroline believes in the transformative and beneficial power of music therapy to help people work towards holistic health.

Jennifer Ferris, LCSW

Child and Family Therapist

Biography
Since obtaining her Master’s of Social Work from The University of Chicago in 2006, Jennifer has had the privilege of supporting children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings and multiple modalities. Jennifer works with clients through traditional psychotherapy, as well as, behavioral techniques including CBT and DBT, as appropriate, to support clients in meeting their desired outcome goals. Jennifer typically utilizes play therapy, individual therapy, couples therapy, and/or family therapy, to alleviate symptoms of a myriad of diseases, disorders, and phobias. While working with any client, Jennifer’s primary objective is to create a safe environment for her clients to process their journey, and to be the center of initiative in their own lives.

Jennifer moved back to Colorado from Illinois where she worked with children and families in both school-based and private practice settings. In her free time, Jennifer loves spending time with her three dogs being outdoors and exploring the beauty that Colorado has to offer.

Jennifer is committed to helping clients be the change they want to see in their lives. It is a challenge to see yourself differently; here you can.

Hannah Pitts, LCSW

Child and Family Therapist

Biography
Hannah Pitts is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who graduated with a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Kansas in 2014. She completed additional training in play therapy to become a registered play therapist in 2017. Hannah utilizes a variety of therapeutic techniques including trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, solution focused therapy and sand tray techniques. Hannah provides individual and family sessions. In her free time, Hannah enjoys hiking and skiing with family and friends or reading a good book.

Kristin Marrs, LCSW

Child and Family Therapist

Biography
Kristin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and completed her Masters of Social Work from Louisiana State University in 2011. Throughout her career, Kristin has worked with a variety of client populations, including; infants, children, adolescents, and adults; in multiple settings; home, school, and inpatient. Kristin specializes in helping clients work through a variety of issues, including; depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, social anxieties, and behavioral difficulties. Her approach in therapy focuses on strengthening the entire family system to help the family thrive in their environment. Kristin strives to create a comfortable and safe environment throughout therapy. She is trained in Youth PTSD CBT Therapy, Parent Child Interaction Therapy, Solution-Focused therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Kristin is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and enjoys the outdoors, running, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Amanda Abell, MSW Intern

Biography
Amanda is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work, with the ultimate goal of obtaining her LCSW to provide counseling. She is passionate about working with children, and their families, with chronic medical conditions. Since 2007, she has worked as a pediatric care manager for the Children With Life Limiting Illness Waiver and the HCBS-Children’s Waiver at Colorado Access. In her free time she enjoys swimming on a competitive swim team, spending time with her family, and cheering on her boys at sporting events. Amanda is looking forward to the education and experiences she will receive at The Child and Family Therapy Center of Denver.