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.
Diana "Dee" Russo Teem
Todd Embree, MS, LPC, NCC, CCMHC
Clinical Supervisor/Walden Project
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.
Benjamin Williams, MS, LPC
Clinical Director/Walden Project
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor. I am trained in DBT, Collaborative Problem Solving, and the 8-Shields Model. I graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. I completed my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Walden University. I spent twenty years in restaurants and exploring the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. I have studied many aspects of health and have a more holistic view of health than the typical therapist. I started the Walden Project in 2016 in an attempt to do a more complete kind of therapy for kids and families by bringing it to the outdoors and incorporating food with family gatherings. There is so much more to work with outside than in stale, dusty offices, and the results have been remarkable. We have transformed the 8-Shields Nature Connection model for mentoring into a very effective mental health model. In doing so, Samaritan Health Services named it one of the three best programs they ever funded. I am committed to helping underserved youth and families connect to nature and the community. I think connecting with good, positive people, and making connections to the community, is as beneficial as anything a therapist can provide in sessions. In my free time, I like to surf, backpack, sail, cook, play guitar and explore new places.
I have been at Olalla Center for over 10 years. As Clinical Director, I mentor supervisors in developing our various programs, while making sure the programs have what they need to be effective in their role of collectively improving the health of our communities
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
Denise Leonard, MA, QMHP
Outpatient Director/Pegasus Program
Denise holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. She did her internship at the Olalla Center, and then 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 back to Olalla, and is currently the Program Director for the Outpatient team as well as the Pegasus Program. Denise believes that everyone has the power to make positive changes within themselves. She employs an eclectic approach with an emphasis on supporting clients in coming up tools and skills to accomplish their goals. She is also certified in EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association). Denise enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters, horses, and other various animals. She has been living on the Oregon Coast since 2003.
Outreach Program Coordinator
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.
Reilly Rice, QMHA
Relief Nursery Coordinator
I have lived in Texas, Arizona, Colorado, and Alaska before moving to Newport, Oregon in 2017. I love the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and absolutely love living here on the coast. I attended Colorado State University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies, concentrating in Prevention and Intervention Sciences. I served with AmeriCorps' Colorado Reading Corps program for one year before moving to Oregon, where I initially worked as a Mental Health Specialist in the healthcare field. I started working as a skills trainer and Relief Nursery Program Coordinator for the Olalla Center in 2019. I am currently pursuing my Master of Social Work degree through Portland State University and will start coursework there in the Fall of 2020. I believe in a strengths-based, child-led, and child-centered approach. I believe that all children have the capability to be kind, loving, and confident, and see my role as helping them to develop the skills to support that. I am passionate about helping children learn about mindfulness, the natural world, and early literacy skills.
Colorado State University- Bachelor's of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences
Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon- QMHA
Jessica Denio, MS, QMHP
Day Treatment Child and Family Therapist
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
Amy Connor, QMHA
Day Treatment Coordinator
I grew up in Eugene Oregon and graduated college from the University of Montana with my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. After college I spent time working at Glacier National Park, and then moved to the mountains in Colorado. I love the outdoors and find that being surrounded by nature is where I am happiest. I moved back to Oregon to be closer to my family, and still get my nature fix in the beautiful central coast range. As Day Treatment Coordinator, I oversee all daily activities and quality of care that we provide to the children. I collaborate with parents, guardians, schools, doctors, therapists and outside agencies to help each child get all of the support that they can. I help the treatment team to ensure the delivery of effective therapeutic practices, and foster an environment that ensures the children are progressing with their treatment goals and developing skills they need to be successful when they transition back to school.
Beck Johnson, MS
Bravery Center Director
I graduated from Eastern Washington University with two Bachelor’s degrees, one in Psychology and one in Studio Art. I stayed at Eastern to obtain my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, where I focused on studying Compassion Focused Therapy and researching issues related to shame, compassion, mindfulness, and the LGBTQIA2S+ community. I moved to the beautiful central Oregon Coast after graduation, and started work at the Olalla Center as a therapist. In 2019, seeing the lack of resources and supports available for queer folx in our rural community, I switched career tracks and started Bravery Center, an Olalla-based program for queer folx here on the central coast and throughout our region. Bravery seeks to empower, advocate for, and inspire bravery within our LGBTQIA2S+ community through addressing health inequities, providing safe space, social connection, opportunities for youth leadership, and help accessing affirming resources. It is my hope that, as a trans/non-binary person of relative priviledge, I can use my voice to help others, particularly queer people of color, to be seen, heard, accepted, valued and supported in our community.
Dakota McKnight Todd, QMHA
Dakota started at Olalla Center in January 2017 in the Day Treatment program. She transitioned to the office in April 2018. As Olalla Center's Office Manager, Dakota oversees many of the day-to-day office tasks, bookkeeping, and billing.
Dakota is qualified as a QMHA, is currently studying to become a Certified Professional Biller, and has an Associate's of General Studies degree.
Missy Alberti-Araujo, QMHA
Hello! My name is Missy Alberti-Araujo, although most kiddos call me “Ms Missy.” I attended Chapman University where I received a B.A. Social Science/Psychology. Having many years experience in crisis intervention.trained in Peer Mediation and I also have many years of teaching experience. Also, I have owned my own preschool called “The Whole Child Center.” I’ve also taught at a blended age, project-based alternative school. Most recently, before joining the Olalla team, I was the Art Teacher and ESOL Specialist in Waldport. I am an artist and I love to create art! I especially love using art and games as vehicles for teaching needed skills and building therapeutic relationships.
Kimberly Bittick, MA, QMHP
Child and Family Therapist
My career as a therapist started late in my life. After raising my 5 children I returned to school and earned my bachelor in Psychology. I continued my education and earned my Masters in 2017. Olalla hired me in 2016 while I was finishing my masters. The beautiful Oregon coast has been my home for 25 years. My family has many wonderful memories here. Raising a family in this area can be hard and rewarding. I look forward to working with those who seek aid in understanding life's challenges.
Maygen Blessman, MSW, LCSW
Child and Family Therapist
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
McKenna Keys, MA, QMHP
Child and Family Therapist
I was raised in the Oklahoma Panhandle, then attended Oklahoma State University where I developed an interest in psychology and child development. During my time at Oklahoma State University, I worked as a research assistant studying the connection between nutrition and infant cognitive development, as well as positive emotional contagion. After serving as a volunteer facilitating children's grief support groups, I decided to pursue a career in counseling. I lived in Colorado's San Juan mountains and worked as a ski instructor, a behavioral specialist at an elementary school, and a counseling intern in the elementary and high school settings while completing my degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adams State University. I moved to Yachats, Oregon in 2018 and became a part of the Olalla family as a counseling intern, then transitioned into the outpatient program as a Child & Family therapist after graduating in 2019.
I believe a strong therapeutic relationship is essential for creating an atmosphere of growth, support, and change. Central to my approach in therapy is the belief that there are many paths to the same destination. While I believe in integrating several methods and theories of counseling, I gravitate towards a person-centered and humanistic approach, dialectical behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, and both non-directive and directive play therapy.
My passions outside of work include spending time with my dog, skiing, gardening, playing the ukulele, painting, knitting, seeking out wildflowers, and hiking.
Oklahoma State University - BA in Psychology | Minor in Philosophy
Adams State University - MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Dr. Jaimie Page, PhD, RYT, QMHP
Mental Health Therapist
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
Danielle Walsh, MA, LPC, NCC
Bravery Center Mental Health Therapist
Danielle Walsh is a queer, social justice-oriented therapist who uses she/her pronouns. She has over ten years of experience providing effective, evidence-based psychotherapy services. She holds a master's degree in counseling from Marymount University and is a graduate of the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program.
Danielle has a wide range of clinical interests, but is most passionate about providing culturally-informed mental health services to the LGBTQ+ community. Danielle works with clients as they navigate coming out, trans- and homo- phobia, medical transition, and gender dysphoria. She has specialized training and experience working with trauma survivors, grief and loss, sexuality, spiritual and religious issues,
As a therapist, Danielle works from a client-centered framework. She believes that healing and growth can occur when a therapist builds a safe, trusting, supportive relationship with clients. She believes that clients have the capacity to grow into their best selves when empowered, heard, and met with compassion.
Danielle seeks out opportunities to advocate for her community outside of therapy sessions. She aspires to work with others to dismantle the unjust and oppressive systems that disportionately impact her clients' lives.
Ireen Lapham, MEd
I have enjoyed Lincoln County, Oregon for much of my life and consider the forest, ocean, rivers and all creatures who live here, my friends. I was a pretty shy kid growing up with really chatty sisters. I realized as I got older and explored the world on my own (Eastern Oregon, Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador) that I was not so bad at relating to others and that I enjoyed interacting with the many different kinds of people that I encountered. I was fortunate to do foreign exchange programs both in high school and college, and my trip to Ecuador meant meeting my husband of 20 years, Alex. We have four kids and they have constantly pushed me to be more and better. In between kids, I went to school at PSU and got my Master’s in Education which put me on the path of teaching science and Spanish. I have since taught at traditional and alternative high schools, middle schools and even a parent/child bilingual preschool class. I continue to do my best to weave together the threads of my experiences and stay alert to ways I can serve our diverse community. I am honored to be a part of this team.
Alex Guevara, CHW
Trabajadora Comunitaria de Salud/Community Health Worker
Mi nombre es Alex Guevara y nací en Ecuador. Fui criada en Ecuador y los Estados Unidos y aprendí de la sensibilidad cultural. He vivido en Oregón 11 años. Soy bilingüe y hablo Español e Inglés. Hace cuatro años tuve la oportunidad de empezar a asistir a nuestra comunidad Latina/Hispana e Americana a inscribirse en un seguro médico y dental. Esta oportunidad me enseñó que la necesidad de muchas familias Hispanas y Americanas es más grande que solo el seguro médico. Cada familia vive con otras necesidades, sin saber cómo acceder a servicios, y barreras para acceder a estos recursos. Sus necesidades me dieron propósito y me motivaron a aprender sobre otros recursos y servicios disponibles para nuestras familias en necesidad y conectarlos con otras agencias, programas y recursos para cubrir sus necesidades.
My name is Alex Guevara and I was born in Ecuador. I was raised in Ecuador and the United States and I learned about cultural sensitivity. I have lived in Oregon for 11 years. I am bilingual, I speak Spanish and English. Four years ago, I was given the opportunity to assist our Latino/Hispanic and American community in medical and dental insurance enrollment. This opportunity taught me that the need of our Hispanic and American 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.