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OUR TEAM

Administration
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Denise Leonard, MS, LPC
Executive Director
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Denise holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling.  She did her internship at the Olalla Center, and upon graduation obtained a position as a mental health counselor at the Lincoln County Health and Human Services office.  After two years she decided to return to Olalla.  Now with 8 years experience and after serving as Clinical Director and Pegasus Program Manager, Denise is now Executive Director. 

 

Denise believes that everyone has the power to make positive changes within themselves.  She employs an eclectic therapeutic approach with an emphasis on supporting clients as they discover tools and develop skills to accomplish their goals.  Denise enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters, horses, and all their animals.  She has enjoyed living on the Oregon Coast since 2003.

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Diana "Dee" Russo Teem
Development Director
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Dee brings 25+ years of leadership and public administration experience from nonprofit, higher education, and public sectors to her role at Olalla Center.  Passionate about supporting vulnerable and marginalized people, Dee serves on the boards of the Oregon Relief Nursery Association and Child Development Network; and the IHN-CCO Health Equity Committee and Lincoln County Community Advisory Council; Linn-Benton Health Equity Alliance; Oregon Health Authority Community Partner Collaborative; OHA COVID-19 Response Task Force; Lincoln County Latino Community – Building Back Better; Inter Agency Planning Team and Lincoln County Crisis Outreach Planning Team.
 
Earlier in her career, Dee worked in youth services at Hale Kipa, Hawaii, residential treatment at St. Joseph’s Children’s Home, Wyoming, and Developmental Disability Services at Venture, Inc., New York.  She worked in executive leadership for Community Services Consortium (CSC), Big Brothers Big Sisters and Goshen County Economic Development, where she oversaw functions such as resource development, communications, program development, project management and marketing. 
 
Dee is a former 2 term Oregon State Commissioner with Oregon Volunteers.  Received notoriety for the fastest growing mentor program in the nation in 2002.  Studied psychology, liberal arts and business at New York State University–Rockland, earned a BA in Political Science from University of Hawaii-Manoa, and completed graduate studies in Public Administration at the University of Wyoming-Laramie. 

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Katherine Barnhart
Administrative Specialist
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Kattie has been with Olalla since 2021, serving as an Office Assistant before becoming Olalla's current Administrative Specialist. Prior to working with Olalla, Kattie worked with adults and children with disabilities for 5 years in addition to working with seniors in a care facility for 8 years. She is a single mom of three with a love for the outdoors, Kattie's hobbies including spending time with her horses, painting and reading.

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Kaylee Leonard
Office Assistant
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Before joining Olalla Center, I worked as a Press and Insertion Assistant at the Newport News Times. In 2022, I graduated from Newport High School and will be attending Oregon Coast Community College in the fall on the Oregon Coast Scholars scholarship with the eventual goal of becoming an Architectural Engineer. I am thrilled to be working at such a community-based organization. 

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Korayma Llumiquinga Lapham
Communications Specialist
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Korayma serves as the Communications Specialist for the Olalla Center.  They were inspired by the work their father was doing in the Lincoln County community through the Olalla Center and decided it was time to get to work too.

Korayma spent many of their years growing up in Lincoln County, right between the salty Pacific Ocean spray and the dense rain forests of the Coast Range.  They come from a bilingual (Spanish and English) and multicultural household where there was always good music and delicious food.  They graduated from Newport High School in 2019 with an Honors Diploma, a valedictorian medal, and a Seal of Biliteracy.

Korayma is currently a sophomore at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota where they are majoring in Spanish and Music with a minor in Theater.  When Korayma isn’t working or in class, they’re usually singing in the shower, drinking piping hot tea or hanging out with their friends.

Arcoíris Cultural
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Alex Llumiquinga
Arcoíris Cultural Program Manager
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My name is Alex Llumiquinga.  I was born in the country of Ecuador.  As a teenager I left Ecuador, to travel around countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Australia performing traditional Andean music.  I moved to the US in the year 2001.  For many years I worked as a full time musician to support my growing family.  A few years ago, I was given the opportunity to work for the LCSD as a bilingual tutor with K-2 students.  Currently I work part-time for the Migrant Education Program and the Olalla Center as an OHP Outreach Coordinator.  My job provides me the opportunity to have a direct connection to the Latinx and Migrant populations in Lincoln County.  I am committed to helping the community and being there when they need me.  My goal is to make a difference in people's lives and empower them so they can be the change in the future. 

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Mauricia Cardona
Community Health Worker
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My name is Mauricia Cardona Matías.  I am from Todos Santos, Guatemala.  My first language is Mam.  I graduated from Newport High School in 2021.  I speak Spanish and now I am learning English as my third language.  I like to help people who speak Mam because it is not easy for them to communicate and understand how the system works in this country.  I hope in the future, through Arcoíris Cultural and Olalla Center, to be able to support my community to progress and to form a part of this community.

Community Health Program
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Alex Guevara, CHW
Community Health Manager, Community Health Worker (CHW), Certified Medical Interpreter
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My name is Alex Guevara and I was born in Ecuador.  When I was young, I was given the opportunity to travel to the United States and I learned about cultural sensitivity.  I am bilingual, I am fluent in Spanish and English.  In 2016, I was given the opportunity to assist our community in medical and dental insurance enrollment.  This opportunity taught me that the need of our families was greater than only health insurance.  Each family lives with other needs, lack of knowledge on how to access services, and barriers to access these resources.  This gave me a purpose and motivation to learn about community resources and services available to help families and connect them with agencies, programs and resources to meet their needs.

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Alex Llumiquinga
Community Health Worker (CHW)
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My name is Alex Llumiquinga.  I was born in the country of Ecuador.  As a teenager I left Ecuador, to travel around countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Australia performing traditional Andean music.  I moved to the US in the year 2001. For many years I worked as a full time musician to support my growing family.  A few years ago, I was given the opportunity to work for the LCSD as a bilingual tutor with K-2 students.  Currently I work part-time for the Migrant Education Program and the Olalla Center as an OHP Outreach Coordinator.  My job provides me the opportunity to have a direct connection to the Latinx and Migrant populations in Lincoln County.  I am committed to helping the community and being there when they need me.  My goal is to make a difference in people's lives and empower them so they can be the change in the future. 

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Mauricia Cardona
Community Health Worker
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My name is Mauricia Cardona Matías. I am from Todos Santos, Guatemala. My first language is Mam.  I graduated from Newport High School in 2021.  I speak Spanish and now I am learning English as my third language. I like to help people who speak Mam because it is not easy for them to communicate and understand how the system works in this country.  I hope in the future, through Arcoíris Cultural and Olalla Center, to be able to support my community to progress and to form a part of this community.

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Jessica Denio, MS, QMHP
Day Treatment Program Manager, Therapist
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Day Treatment

I grew up in Scholls Oregon, a small town in Hillsboro, Oregon.  I attended Western Oregon University and received my Bachelor's in Psychology.  I earned my Master's of Clinical Psychology from Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona.  I received 3 years of course work in theoretical modalities, psychopathology, multicultural matters, psychometric testing, and ethics.  I had 3 individual yearlong placements including an adolescent inpatient placement, outpatient child facility, and a geriatric neuropsychology testing facility.  I worked for 3 and a half years as a child and family therapist for Trillium Family Services at the Children’s Farm Home.  I currently work as the weekend center supervisor for the same facility.

 

I believe that every behavior serves a purpose and in order to understand challenging behaviors, we must look at their function.  What benefit has that behavior served in the past and how can we create adaptive behaviors that fill that same function.  I draw my therapeutic practices from an eclectic variety of modalities.  I utilize techniques from Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Collaborative Problem Solving, and Attachment Theory.

 

Midwestern University for Masters of Clinical Psychology 

Western Oregon University for undergrad BA in Psychology

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Sandy Kittel
Day Treatment Administrative Coordinator
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Sandy joined the Olalla Center Team in November 2020 as Olalla Center's Office Manager.  She knew from the start that she wanted to cross train to become a Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA), and work with children.  July 2021 Sandy had the opportunity to join the Day Treatment team in a new role, as the Day Treatment Administrative Coordinator and take her love of organization and match it to her love of working with children.  Sandy is now looking forward to the training and day to day work to become a QMHA!

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Reilly Rice, BS, QMHA, MA-Intern
Intake Coordinator, Skills Trainer, MSW Intern 
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I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies, concentrating in Prevention and Intervention Sciences from Colorado State University in 2016.  After graduating, I served with AmeriCorps' Colorado Reading Corps program for one year before moving to the Oregon Coast, where I worked as a Mental Health Specialist at Samaritan Health Services for a year.  I started working as a Skills Trainer and Relief Nursery Program Coordinator for the Olalla Center in 2019, and have worn several hats in the Outpatient program since then.  I am currently pursuing my Master of Social Work degree through Portland State University and completing my Generalist Field Placement with Olalla. In the summer of 2021 I relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, and am grateful to continue to work and intern with Olalla remotely. 

 

Colorado State University - Bachelor's of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences

 

Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon - QMHA

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Kirsten Ríos 
QMHP Intern, D/MT Intern
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Kirsten Rios gained her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Arizona State University and is currently a Dance/Movement Therapy intern.  She is studying at Pratt Institute’s Creative Arts Therapy Low-Residency Program.  She moved to the Oregon Coast in 2016, where she worked as the Family Support Coordinator at Neighbors for Kids for four years, which is where she first learned about the work that the Olalla Center.  She was intrigued by the incredible and dedicated work that the Olalla Center does for many of the children and families within the community and feels honored to be interning with such a prestigious facility.

Outpatient Services
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Maygen Blessman, MSW, LCSW
Clinical Supervisor, Child and Family Therapist
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I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 7 years of experience working with children and families for Olalla Center.  I have worked with children ages 3-17, adults of all ages, as well as natural, foster, and adoptive parents.  I have helped many people manage and overcome symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger, resentment, physical, emotional and sexual trauma, behavior/parenting challenges, and more.  I have a Master's degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston University and am licensed in the State of Oregon.  My clinical approach is eclectic, which allows me to design personalized treatment based on the individual strengths of each of my clients.  People are individuals so I believe their counseling should be as well.  Some of my favorite techniques utilize narrative therapy and mindfulness practices but that is not appealing to everyone.  I believe my job is to help identify what works for you to reach your personal goals and help walk the path toward healing with you.  

Boston University- Master's degree in Clinical Social Work

Oregon Board of Licensed Clinical Social Workers- LCSW

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Dr. Jaimie Page, PhD, LCSW, RYT, QMHP
Outpatient Services Coordinator, Mental Health Therapist
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I grew up in San Diego California in both rural and beach communities.  I love the outdoors, travel, and creativity.  I have practiced in California, Hawaii, New York, and Texas.  

 

As a teenager, I developed a strong passion for serving others, and have now been practicing social work for over 30 years.  I earned my undergraduate social work degree at San Diego State University (1989); my Master's degree in social work at the University of Hawaii (1991) with an emphasis on community mental health; and my Ph.D. in social welfare at Stony Brook University in New York (2004), with an emphasis on anti-oppressive social welfare policy and social services.  I am a registered trauma-informed yoga teacher and a certified Trauma Care & Counseling practitioner through the University of Buffalo's School of Social Work.

 

I have worked in a variety of roles in the social work field and am currently working as a therapist at Olalla. My interests are working with adolescents and adults with mental health and/or addiction issues.  I integrate REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), Somatic Experiencing (R), and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) techniques into my practice as well as yoga, creativity, mindfulness, and meditation.  My approach to working with others is based on respect, partnership, a focus on client strengths and attention to developing internal and external resources helpful in creating a meaningful and more peaceful life.

 

San Diego State University- Undergraduate degree in Social Work

University of Hawaii- Master's degree in Social Work

Stony Brook University in New York- Doctorate in Social Welfare

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Reilly Rice, BS, QMHA, MA-Intern
Intake Coordinator, Skills Trainer, MSW Intern 
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I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies, concentrating in Prevention and Intervention Sciences from Colorado State University in 2016.  After graduating, I served with AmeriCorps' Colorado Reading Corps program for one year before moving to the Oregon Coast, where I worked as a Mental Health Specialist at Samaritan Health Services for a year.  I started working as a Skills Trainer and Relief Nursery Program Coordinator for the Olalla Center in 2019, and have worn several hats in the Outpatient program since then.  I am currently pursuing my Master of Social Work degree through Portland State University and completing my Generalist Field Placement with Olalla. In the summer of 2021 I relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, and am grateful to continue to work and intern with Olalla remotely. 

 

Colorado State University - Bachelor's of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences

 

Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon - QMHA

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Sophia Stewart, MS, QMHP
Outpatient Counselor
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I graduated from the University of Idaho with my Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology in 2013.  I have worked with a variety of populations in the mental health field, including felony probation and parole internship during my undergraduate education, in-home behavioral support and skills training for youth with developmental disabilities, and working as a skills trainer and crisis support for adults with severe mental illness.  My experiences led me to work towards my counseling degree through Walden University.  I am currently working with Olalla Center as an outpatient therapist providing individual counseling for adults and teens, primarily via tele-mental health.    

   
My approach to therapy is person-centered and integrates many theories because I see that each person is coming to therapy with their own unique strengths, challenges, and experiences.  In my spare time, I love to be in nature: hiking, backpacking, and finding peaceful spaces to read. I also spend time enjoying creative hobbies, spending time with animals, and enjoying time with family.

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Miranda Busch, QMHA
Skills Trainer
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I graduated from Western Oregon University in 2020 with my BA in Health and Communications and now I'm currently attending Portland State to obtain my Masters in Speech-Language Pathology.  I am also fluent in ASL and I have spent my whole career being an advocate for people who struggle to do so on their own.  My passion is working with those with disabilities or those who don't access to many resources.  I feel as though I can relate to my clients because I have to adapt to my environment on a daily basis to self-regulate and when someone is having a hard time doing that they can feel overwhelmed.  Being that guide to help re-regulate the disregular is my goal.

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Denise Leonard, MS, LPC
Pegasus Program Director
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Pegasus Program

Denise holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling.  She did her internship at the Olalla Center, and upon graduation obtained a position as a mental health counselor at the Lincoln County Health and Human Services office.  After two years she decided to return to Olalla.  Now with 8 years experience and after serving as Clinical Director and Pegasus Program Manager, Denise is now Executive Director. 

 

Denise believes that everyone has the power to make positive changes within themselves.  She employs an eclectic therapeutic approach with an emphasis on supporting clients as they discover tools and develop skills to accomplish their goals.  Denise enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters, horses, and all their animals. She has enjoyed living on the Oregon Coast since 2003.

Project Bravery
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Rev. Gavin Shumate, MD
Project Bravery Program Manager
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I have wanted to be a doctor since I was very young.  When I graduated from medical school in 2003, I devoted myself to women’s health. I completed my residency in OB/GYN in New Orleans in 2007.  After practicing medicine for 4 years in Seattle, the opportunity arose to move to the Oregon Coast and continue providing excellence in women’s health care.  Answering a call in 2015, this time to ordained ministry, I graduated from Church Divinity School of the Pacific with a Master’s in Theological Studies in 2017, and was ordained an Episcopal Priest in June of that year.

 

My call, whether medical or clerical, has always been to service, to love my fellow human beings, and to respect the dignity of every human being.  As physician owner of Integrity Women’s Health & Wellness in Newport, and as priest-in-charge at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Toledo, I am living into that call.  I know that as an Olalla Board Member I can continue to make a difference in my community, as an extension of my service as physician and priest.

 

On a personal note, I am a husband, son, brother, and uncle, and father to four great kids and two amazing dogs.  I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family, exploring new adventures in cooking, and curling up with a good book (or two, or three). 

Integrity Women’s Health & Wellness, LLC

Priest-in-charge, St. John’s Episcopal Church

Olalla Center Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Member

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Relief Nursery
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Robb Davis
Project Bravery Program Coordinator
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Robb has lived on the Oregon Coast for nearly six years, but the Northwest has always been home to him.  He earned his master’s degree and teaching certificate in 2006, then decided to teach overseas for a decade or so.  He taught English lit in Central America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.  During that time, he worked with students from ages ten to nineteen, all with unique intersectionalities.  In 2015, he returned to the U.S.  He loves working with young adults but wasn’t sure he wanted to continue teaching.  Then the pandemic happened.  Between then and now, Robb pursued a couple of his other passions: espresso and books!  Then, through volunteer work with the first Newport Pride celebration in September 2022, he was made aware of Project Bravery.  Robb is looking forward to Newport Pride ‘23, and he is really looking forward to working with Olalla Center, Project Bravery, and especially LGBTQIA2S+ young adults throughout Lincoln County!

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Amy Shumate
Relief Nursery Program Manager
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Amy completed her master’s degree in Elementary Education at Western Oregon University in 2017.  After teaching in the public school setting in California and Oregon for over 20 years, she decided to expand her career by becoming the owner and director of ABC Educational Center in
Newport.  She believes that a positive start to a child’s schooling years gives them the best possible opportunity at continued success throughout their education. 

 

Fervently dedicated to helping and serving the working families and the children of this community, her new position with the Olalla Center will help her continue to bring these services to the families in our area. 

 

While not teaching, Amy loves to spend time with her family.  She has two grown daughters and twin boys.  She and her husband have made their home in Newport and are dedicated to helping our community in any way possible

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Brandon Keating
Classroom Assistant
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Benjamin Williams, MS, LPC
Walden Project Program Manager, Clinical Director
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I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  I started at Olalla over 12 years ago when it was only a day treatment center in a large home in Toledo.  I started the outpatient program and worked to strengthen relationships with the Lincoln County schools.  I then began the Walden Project outdoor therapy program in 2016.  This program represents the more holistic way I view health.  This program adapted the 8-Shields Model for Mentoring into a mental health model.  Samaritan funded the start of the program as "an innovative approach to healthcare delivery" and have since rated it in their top 3 of programs they ever funded.  The program focuses on connecting youth and families to nature, while also building positive relationships in their lives and a sense of community here on the coast.  We are trying to blend much of this work into our other programs.  Working with the kids and families in the community who are in poverty, and slip through the cracks of the traditional healthcare system is what we do.  Their smiles and success are all the reward we need.

 

Oregon State University- Bachelor's of Science in Psychology

Walden University- Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 

Board of Licensed Counselors and Therapists- LPC

Walden Project
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Todd Embree, MS, LPC, NCC, CCMHC
Clinical Supervisor, Therapist
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I believe that the client’s own resources and the relationship between counselor and client are the biggest factors in creating therapeutic change.  I use Feedback Informed Treatment which involves routinely and formally asking for feedback from clients regarding the therapeutic relationship and whether progress is being made; and using the resulting information to inform and tailor what we do next.  This includes: working to enhance client resources that account for successful outcomes, using whatever approach best achieves successful outcomes, and using client goals and preferences to guide choice of therapeutic approach.  I also use Nature Based Therapy and the 8 Shields Model: 2 innovative methods that take place experientially in nature, and considers nature as a partner in the therapeutic process.  Their basic assumption is that nature has healing and recuperative resources that support healthy human development, and encountering these forces in an intentional way can promote mental health and well being. 

 

I hold a Masters of Science Degree in Counseling with an emphasis on Community Counseling and specialized coursework in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Wyoming.

 

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (C2041) with the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists.  I am also a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) with the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Before working at the Olalla Center, I worked in Eugene as a hospital security officer in the emergency room.  Using my de-escalation skills and good mood, I was able to provide a safe and secure environment to help people of all ages get through what at that moment could be the worst day of their lives.

Working with Olalla staff is wonderful and I am grateful for the things that we as a team do for the community.

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Ta'Mara Sheeley, MA, QHMP, NCC 
Clinical Mental Health Counselor
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Ta’Mara graduated from Western Oregon University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology in 2012.  From 2012 to July 2021, she worked as a courtroom clerk for the Benton County Circuit Court.  Ta'Mara earned her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in May of 2022 from Adams State University.  She was drawn to how passionate the Olalla Center staff is about working with children and the community and wanted to be a part of an organization dedicated to helping others.  When not learning or working at Olalla Center, Ta’Mara enjoys waterfall hikes, backpacking, kayaking the Willamette River, camping, and playing card and board games.  She also enjoys time with her dog.

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