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MEET OUR TEAM

The Center for Family Development is committed to providing outstanding mental health care that is compassionate, private, and tailored to meet your needs. Scroll down to learn more about our therapists and staff. 


 

Directors

Margaret Jill Madsen-Kelly, MS, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor & Certified School Psychologist

Clinical Director

Jill is the founder and clinical director of the Center For Family Development. As a licensed mental health counselor and certified school psychologist, Jill has seen clients in private practice for more than 30 years. In addition to directing the Center for Family Development, her emphasis with individuals and families in her counseling practice is to help clients improve self-awareness and enhance relationships with others. Jill’s professional history includes specialties working with individuals, couples, a diverse range of children’s services and family therapy.

Perry District
Aaron Denham, Ph.D.

Managing Director

Aaron began his career as a mental health counselor for children and families in Eastern Washington, gaining experience in community mental health, crisis services, and partial hospitalization programs. He also has experience in outdoor therapy and the use of wilderness for leadership development and personal growth. Before joining CFFD, Aaron was an assistant professor of anthropology at Northern Arizona University, an associate professor at Macquarie University, and the academic coordinator of the Global Health Program at UC San Diego. Recently, he was a lead researcher at Meta and the XPRIZE Foundation. He has over 20 years of ethnographic research, cross cultural mental health, and global health expertise. Aaron was an American Psychoanalytic Association fellow and won the Boyer Prize for Contributions to Psychoanalytic Anthropology. Aaron directs the operations of CFFD and our community engagement and impact programs.

Perry District

Office Staff

Jadyn Grant

Practice Coordinator 

Perry District


Counseling Staff

Ashlie Ball, MS, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor & Certified School Psychologist

Ashlie has been practicing as a private practice clinician since 2005. Her professional experience includes work with children, adolescents and adults in individual, family and group sessions. Further, she has great experience and knowledge navigating a variety of academic settings, which includes collaborating and working with educators to help students accomplish goals according to their ability level. In order for counseling to be effective, she believes the therapist and the patient must actively work together to develop therapeutic goals and frequently assess progress, both in and out of session. Ashlie’s approach to therapy is eclectic in nature in order to best meet the needs of each individual.

Perry District
 
McKenzie Davis, MSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate

McKenzie graduated from Washington State University with her Bachelor's in Psychology and earned her Masters of Social Work degree at Arizona State University. McKenzie has experience working with children, adolescent and adults. Most recently she has worked in the Portland Public Schools. She has extensive experience with children who have autism and those that need support in school settings. McKenzie believes that individuals should have an active role in their treatment, and she is here to provide guidance and support through this process. She wants all her clients to feel secure and supported throughout the process.

Perry District
 

Alice Heise, MSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate

Alice received her Bachelor's in Fine Art from Comish College of the Arts and her Master's degree in Social Work (Advanced Generalist) from Arizona State University. Alice takes a holistic approach and seeks to create a meaningful, trusting partnership that builds upon the client's strengths and resources. She provides a safe, nonjudgmental, supportive space and encourages positive thinking, self-kindness, and deep reflection. She uses a variety of therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness and Meditation skills, and Motivational Interviewing. She works with the client to manage and cope with emotional distress, anger management, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, trauma, post-partum symptoms, parenting relationships, terminal illness, and life changes. Alice is a wife, mother, avid hiker, artist and gardener, and dotes on a rescued Chihuahua named Russell.

North Division
 

Tara Marcella, MSW, LICSW

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

Tara received her Bachelor's and Master’s degree in Social Work from Eastern Washington University. Tara has experience providing mental health counseling in a medical setting with individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, PTSD, along with medical illnesses. She has experience working with at risk youth who are struggling with addiction in an outpatient and inpatient setting. Tara has experience working with kids, youth, and adults and has been practicing in the mental health field since 2017. Tara utilizes a client centered and strengths-based approach with her clients. She believes that individuals should have an active role in their treatment, and she is here to provide guidance and support through this process. Tara’s treatment modalities are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Problem-Solving Theory.

Remote
 

Curtis Powell, MS

Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate

Curtis completed his Bachelor's Degree from Whitworth and his Master's in Counseling from Creighton University. After graduate school, Curtis worked as a school counselor in the Dominican Republic before transitioning back to Spokane. Curtis practices play therapy. His approach cultivates emotional skills, secure relationships, and a positive sense of self. Outside the office, you can find Curtis exploring Spokane with his family, on his mountain bike, or playing games with his buddies.

Perry District
 

Sierra Ramos, MSW, LICSW

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker

Sierra has been working with children, adolescents, and adults for four years. She works from a person- centered, strengths-based perspective supporting the individual where they are. She realizes that each person has a unique background, strengths and challenges that they bring, and she pulls from a variety of modalities including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing to name a few to meet those varying needs. She specializes in working with adolescents and adults experiencing depression, anxiety, relationship conflict, and life adjustments. Sierra works with the client to help them reach their goals and becoming the best version of themselves. Sierra sees therapy as a true vehicle for self- exploration, discovery, change and to build upon client’s personal strengths.

North Division
 
John StifterMA, LMHC, LMFT

Licensed Mental Health Counselor & Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

John earned his Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy at Whitworth University. After receiving his undergraduate degree in 2006 from Montana State University, John was a journalist for 15 years. He uses his sincere, inquisitive interest of the human experience in the therapy setting to treat adolescents, adults, couples, and families living with shame, depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, addiction, and life transitions and questions. Trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples and the Circle of Security Core Sensitivities and Parenting for individuals and families, John believes that every person has inherent attachment wounds and behaves accordingly to protect those uncomfortable vulnerabilities. By addressing underlying emotions, he feels privileged to hear clients’ life stories while sitting with them in their pain to begin the process of healing. As the Sufi poet Rumi once wrote, “The cure for pain is in the pain.” John is a husband and father, as well as an avid skier, who finds peace in nature alongside his playful family and dog.

Perry District
 

Brianna “Breezy" Tottenhoff, MA, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Brianna, better known as Breezy, received her Bachelor's degree from Washington State University and Master's degree from Whitworth University. Breezy is humbled and honored to share each client's story and walk alongside them through their journey. Initially a skeptic of therapy herself, Breezy approaches her work with a compassionate desire to meet every client where they are and hopes to ease the uncertainty of seeking mental health treatment. Whether you are coming to therapy on your own, with your spouse/partner, or with family, she strives to make the experience comfortable while you face a sometimes painful healing process together. Breezy is trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and the Gottman Method.

North Division
 
Nilmini Wilkens, MS, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Nilmini has been practicing as a private practice clinician since 2011. Nilmini brings a systemic approach to her practice in therapy with a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. With a history of experience in school and private practice settings, she has experience working with individuals, couples and families. Further, Nilmini has experience facilitating and co-facilitating groups for ADHD, Social Skills, and Self-Esteem. She believes in meeting clients where they are, utilizing various techniques and modalities to assist them in meeting their goals all while continuing to assess progress and make adjustments to accomplish goals for treatment.

Perry District

Counseling Staff - Independent Contractors

Pamela Barnes, MS, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (Unable to accept new clients. Her wait list is closed)

Pamela has been in private practice for approximately fifteen years and has worked as a therapist in outpatient mental health settings for approximately thirty years. She has devoted a significant amount of professional training time to the issues of attachment, bonding and caregiving. In addition to her clinical practice, she has taught at Eastern Washington University’s Department of Psychology.

Perry District

Cori Deitz, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Cori received her Bachelor’s Degree from Maryville University and both her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Education with an Emphasis in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Missouri -St. Louis. Cori joined the Center for Family Development in December 2020 after moving to the area with her family. Cori utilizes many different methods in her counseling approach; she believes in collaboratively working with her clients to develop goals and measure progress. Cori wants her clients to feel secure and supported throughout the process.

Remote
Sommer Kraft-Purvis, MS, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Sommer attended Eastern Washington University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology in 2000 and a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Psychology in 2003. Native to the Spokane area, she has worked in the mental health field since 2002. Her primary focus is helping women navigate the challenges and triumphs of conception, pregnancy, birth, postpartum recovery, motherhood and relationship transitions. However, she warmly welcomes individuals and couples working through a broad range of personal issues including depression, anxiety, grief, relationship obstacles, traumatic experiences and difficult transitions. She is a member of many organizations including the American Counseling Association, Perinatal Support Washington, and Postpartum Support International. Learn more about Sommer at: sommerkraftpurvisms.com

Perry District
Nicole Markealli, MS, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Nicole received her Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Washington University, her Master’s Degree from Gonzaga University and joined the Center for Family Development in March, 2019. Nicole utilizes many different methods in her counseling approach; she believes in collaboratively working with her clients to develop goals and measure progress. She is here to provide guidance and support in order for her clients to reach their goals, specializing in child and family work as well as couples counseling. Nicole’s experience includes working with children, adolescents and adults in private practice and in a school setting.

Perry District
 

Jan McCormick, MC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor 

Jan has worked in mental health for 26 years in several settings, including universities, elementary and alternative middle schools; a trauma clinic for children in St. Louis; domestic violence and outpatient addiction centers; set up parenting courses in schools, and has worked with adults, adolescents and children in individual, couple and group sessions. Empowering clients through psychological education, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and advocacy for their needs and goals through the most effective counseling modality is sought. She specializes in life and relational problem-solving; anxiety, PTSD and trauma, addictions and codependency recovery. She seeks to help individuals overcome barriers to find more personal freedom.

Perry District
 
Elizabeth Oaksmith, M.Ed., LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Liz (she/her) has a Master’s degree from the University of Washington and has been practicing as a licensed mental health counselor for over twenty years. She has a wide variety of experience including working in an Emergency Room, in inpatient psychiatric units, in a residential addiction treatment center, and at the University of Washington. Liz provides a safe and non-judgmental space to help clients compassionately explore their struggles and learn coping skills and tools to better understand and manage their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. She utilizes a variety of therapies and techniques including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness and Meditation, Motivational Interviewing, Humor, and ADHD management. Liz also provides specialized treatment in addiction recovery.

Remote
 
Wyatt O’Dell, MA, LMHC, LMFTA

Licensed Mental Health Counselor & Licenced Marriage and Family Therapy Associate

Wyatt received his degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Whitworth University and has experience working with individuals, families, couples and children. He uses a systemic approach to therapy and has completed levels one and two clinical training of Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Wyatt has knowledge of many different psychological theories and does not subscribe to a one size fits all method for assisting clients in achieving their goals. He works with his clients to assess their needs and applies the best approach on a case-by-case basis. Wyatt has experience facilitating and co-facilitating group therapy in the areas of: Social skills, training, coping with anxiety, addiction and anger.

North Division
 

Melinda Ovnicek, MS

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Zachery Stratton, MA, LMHCA

Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate

Zachery received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Western Washington University and, after a years-long stint working in the film industry in Hollywood, received his master’s degree in Applied Child and Adolescent Psychology from the  University of Washington. Trained in several evidence-based practices, including CBT, DBT, ACT, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Behavioral Activation (BA), Positive Psychotherapy (PP), and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Zachery specializes in working with adolescents and adults experiencing the  symptoms of OCD, anxiety, depression, trauma, shame, and insomnia. Zachery has a compassionate, collaborative style, tailoring his eclectic therapeutic approach to his clients' individual needs and goals. He is also an unapologetic optimist who believes effective therapy is all about balancing life’s inevitable pain and joy in a way that the pain doesn’t strip away the joy, and the joy doesn’t try to pretend like the pain doesn’t exist! As a fellow traveler, Zachery is honored to join and guide others on the path toward healing.

Perry District

Jonathan Weber, Psy.D.

Licensed Psychologist

Jon’s personal desire and professional calling is about establishing genuine connections with people. He is most enthusiastic about encouraging and empowering individuals to experience life to the fullest! Jon’s work focuses on assisting individuals to grow and develop in the various dimensions of their lives. He enjoys working with adolescents and adults in all seasons of life in the specific areas of human thriving, holistic development, meaningful relationships, identity formation, sexual identity, spiritual crisis, addiction recovery, and dealing with personal struggles of all kinds (e.g., anxiety, depression, relational conflict, and self-esteem).

Remote

Ph.D. Affiliate

Trish Kraft, Ph.D. 

Trish is available for consultation and supervision of all our therapists.
 

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