Phillip Horner, LCSW, CGP
Phillip (he/him/his) works with individuals, children, and groups. Phillip approaches therapy with openness and curiosity, and help create change through insight and compassion. Through his training he has focused on attachments and relationships. With many different theories to help him, such as psychodynamic, DBT, and mindfulness, he aims to work with those who want to feel seen or who have had trouble connecting before.
Phillip focuses on building a strong relationship with his clients, using this connection as the foundation and strength for the therapy. In this space Phillip and the client can together repair attachments, work on past traumas, and discover intimacy without fear.
On top of seeing many clients individually and facilitating groups, Phillip also holds the role of clinical director for Whole Connection. In this role Phillip supervises interns and therapists, organizes trainings for all the Whole Connection staff, as well as for the local community. In addition, Phillip heads up our Group specialty and trains the team as well as Fellows about running group.
Laia Jorba, LPC
Clinical Supervisor/Trainer & Educator
Laia (she/her/hers) works with adults with complex trauma from a place of hope, curiosity and resiliency. She is a body-centered psychotherapist, using sensorimotor processes to facilitate trauma integration and increased functionality, while regaining intimacy with self and others. She compliments this foundation with psychodynamic and attachment-based lenses, while integrating approaches such as EMDR, mindfulness, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), creative processes, Authentic Movement, Internal Family Systems (IFS) and narrative therapy. She also works with body and cultural identity, adding a social and systemic approach to understand multicultural and transcultural challenges. She provides counseling in Catalan, Spanish and English and likes to work with people of all origins.
Laia has more than 15 years of experience as an educator, having taught nationally and internationally and is currently also a trainer at the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. She is passionate to learn from the newest research and share this knowledge from a place of mutual growth. From this stance, she is eager to support other therapists through teaching, supervising and mentoring.
Laia trabaja con adultos con traumas complejos con una actitud de esperanza, curiosidad y resiliencia. Su trabajo se centra en el cuerpo, utilizando la terapia sensoriomotriz para facilitar la integración del trauma y una mayor funcionalidad, al tiempo que la persona recupera la intimidad con uno mismo y con los demás. Laia complementa este trabajo con lentes psicodinámicas y teorías basadas en el apego, a la vez que integra enfoques como la EMDR, mindfulness o atención plena, la terapia de procesamiento cognitivo (CPT), procesos creativos, movimiento auténtico, sistemas familiares internos (IFS) y terapia narrativa. También trabaja con temas de identidad cultural, agregando un enfoque social y sistémico para entender los desafíos multiculturales y transculturales. Laia ofrece terapia en catalán, español e inglés y le gusta trabajar con personas de todos los orígenes.
Laia tiene más de 15 años de experiencia como educadora. Ha enseñado a nivel nacional e internacional y actualmente también es formadora en el Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institut. Le apasiona aprender de los avances en investigación psicológica y compartir este conocimiento desde un lugar de crecimiento mutuo. Desde este posicionamiento, a Laia le gusta apoyar a otros terapeutas a través de la enseñanza, la supervisión y la tutoría.
Trainers & Educators
Marcia Warren Edelman, LPCC
Trainer & Educator/Consultant
Marcia is a Somatic Body Psychotherapist with over 15 years of experience in international educational exchange and Native American policy and advocacy. She works with individuals and groups in areas of race, culture and identity, through a trauma-informed lens. In addition to her private practice, Marcia provides workshops on Embodied Code-Switching, a model she created that supports the expression of multicultural identities through somatic awareness.
As an educator on our team, Marcia offers a focus on cultural awareness, social justice, intercultural communication, and identity. Through training, office hours, and individual conversations Marcia provides a guided discovery process for each of the above topics. This allows our clinicians to build an awareness of how these topics show up personally and professionally as well as building an understanding of how to apply these learnings to client work.
Kat Austin, LMFT, LPC, LAC
Trainer & Educator/Supervisor
Kat (she, her, hers) brings 15 years of experience working with adolescents, young adults, couples, and families. Kat believes in the human’s innate ability to heal and create transformation in their lives. It is through the power of attachment relationships, be it with a partner, spouse, friend, or therapist, we are able to tap into this innate ability and grow to our self at best. Kat is a systemic, experiential, humanistic, attachment focused therapist. She is Certified in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) and has extensive training in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Therapy (AEDP).
Kat is partnering as an educator with Whole Connection. She is excited to offer a focus on EFT and systemic work to the team. Kat will be offering supervision, office hours, training, and support to therapists working systemically. Kat is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate.
Melissa Utz, MA, LPCC
Melissa is a counselor and qualified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher. She understands that it takes courage and curiosity to bring change into one’s life and honors the ups and downs inherent to each unique journey. Melissa completed her Master’s degree in counseling from Naropa University. She works to support clients as they build self-awareness, increase resilience, and release behaviors that no longer serve them on their path to a more engaged and satisfying life. Melissa cultivates an environment of creativity, warmth, humor, and non-judgment, allowing folks to explore and transform at their own pace. Find out more on her website.
Katie Klumb, MA, Registered Psychotherapist
Katie is a recent graduate of Naropa’s Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling Psychology program and a Registered Psychotherapist. Katie meets her clients with a compassionate, grounded presence and works to support them in their healing process. She believes it is every individual’s right to reclaim their personal power and utilizes her knowledge of mindfulness, somatic awareness, Gestalt Therapy and Attachment Theory to help her clients obtain their goals.
Katie has worked with teens, young adults, men, and women who have struggled with depression and anxiety, addiction, and other various life challenges. She seeks to understand each individual’s unique identity and how social issues impact each client’s life. Katie is non-judgmental and strives to support each individual’s healing process in a way that is best suited to their needs.
Katie also helps engage with the local community. She accesses and connects with other practitioners so that we, at Whole Connection, can make sure we work in a team approach to best help out clients.
Dustin Hiles, MA, Registered Psychotherapist
Dustin received his Master’s of Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Naropa University, specializing in body-based methods of psychotherapy. He has worked with children, adolescents, as well as middle-aged and older adults, as teacher, tutor, and consultant—amongst other roles. He works in an eclectic, integrity-oriented manner informed by his multifaceted professional and academic background to support and foster clients’ potential for inherent health and embodied vibrancy. Such experiences have led him to engage with issues of community well-being and sustainability, collective
memory, imagination, and the role of language in our lives.
Through his work, he continually explores how to realize increasingly inclusive therapeutic practices that invite personal- and social-level healing. As a Registered Psychotherapist (NLC), Dustin offers a wide range of collaborative methods for challenging old patterns and creating new opportunities. He appreciates the depths of our many life challenges as well as our arising hunger for change and growth. He seeks to affirm strength and wisdom alike in each of his clients. To do so, he draws from Integral Theory, existential traditions, attachment theory, trauma awareness, and nonverbal behavior, as well as an array of various life experiences to inform his work as a therapist. He reveres the transformational capacities of relationship, empathy, vulnerability, curiosity, imagination, story, metaphor, and affirmative humor. Dustin also identifies himself as a life-long student of paradox, creativity, spiritual traditions, and the dynamic wisdom of embodiment.
Brianna Valenzuela, MA, Registered Psychotherapist
Brianna received her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Naropa University with an emphasis in Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology. She is a Registered Psychotherapist in Colorado. Intuitively, Brianna knew her passion was to approach life with her heart forward, leading her to the world of counseling. She believes that a genuine, heartfelt presence holds power in the therapy room. She is dedicated to providing a safe, nonjudgmental, warm and compassionate space for individuals to explore their inherent wisdom and basic goodness. Brianna is committed to a strength-based, trauma- sensitive and collaborative therapeutic approach. She holds experience working with sexual trauma, children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and eating disorders. She is passionate about the resiliency of human spirit and the healing power of connection.
Stacy Shelts, MA, Registered Psychotherapist
Stacy works with adults 18+ dealing with a variety of mental health issues, including relationship difficulties, crisis, and grief & loss. Stacy offers a judgment-free place where clients can experiment, explore, and even play as they work through challenges and try out new ways of being in the world. With a background in dance, meditation, and fitness instruction, Stacy is passionate about helping people feel better, build confidence, and express creativity. As a Registered Psychotherapist and Clinical Mental Health Counselor specializing in Somatic Counseling and Dance/Movement Therapy, Stacy advocates for mental health and well-being for every body. Stacy has a person-centered, strengths-focused therapy style, incorporating felt-sense, body awareness, and movement with clients. Stacy spends her free time cooking, practicing yoga, and being active in her community.
Counseling & Social Work Fellows
Maura Huebl, MA, LPCC
Fellow & Clinical Therapist
Maura Huebl (she, her, hers) was born and currently lives in Northwest Denver. She has a BA in Photography, a Masters of Education in Secondary Language Arts Curriculum and Instruction, and a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado Denver. Maura taught language arts and social/emotional classes in Adams 12 and Denver Public alternative high schools for 10 years. While working with teens marginalized by the public education system, she observed that people become more empowered as they grow confident in their own identities. In light of this experience, Maura wanted to put her passion for holistic healing to work by helping individuals in their pursuit of creating a stronger Self. She is passionate about social justice and understanding how the intersections of ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, indigenous heritage, religion, socioeconomic status, age, and physical abilities can all contribute to a person’s social identity. In her free time you can find Maura connecting with loved ones, seeking ritual balance with nature, admiring street art, or relaxing with her nose in a beautiful work of fiction.
Gabriela Pineda (Gabby)
Intern Therapist - Couples & Family Specialist
Gabby is a registered psychotherapist in Colorado and student in the Master’s in Counseling program at the University of Colorado Denver. She is earning a concentration in the couples and family track and also enjoys working with individuals. Gabby approaches therapy through a systemic lens. She believes that the systems, communities, and cultures that we are a part of throughout our lives play a vital role in helping us develop our identities. She believes that emotional exploration on past experiences, how relationships influence our present day emotions, and our emotions in the therapy room are essential in the therapeutic process. She aims to bring the emotions attached to the past into the here and now in order to build mindfulness and emotional awareness in the present.
Gabby has a passion for helping individuals, couples, and families work towards becoming happier and living more fulfilled versions of themselves. She offers a safe and accepting space for people to bring their genuine selves to the therapy room. She has experience working with both adults and young adults on a number of issues including anxiety, depression, communication difficulties, life changes, self esteem issues, and assertiveness. When she is not continually working to expand her therapeutic knowledge, she is probably skiing or out in the mountains with her dogs, Betty White and Fridah.
Jack (he/him/his) is completing his Masters at Naropa University's Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Specializing in mindfulness-based approaches to therapy, he is passionate about helping people connect with authentic senses of self-empowerment and innate health while healing mind, body, and spirit. Jack has a background in supporting the LGBTQPIA+ community as a peer mentor and group facilitator at Queer Asterisk, as well as therapeutically supporting families and individuals. Jack is very excited to work with Whole Connection in its mission to bring compassion, dignity, and support to every human journey - liberating persons from learned trances of unworthiness and suffering. Jack loves poetry, dogs, mountain hikes, and meditation.
Sean is a third year graduate student in Naropa’s Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling program. Before coming to Naropa, he received his degree in psychology at the University of Victoria, Canada, and has experience with helping others in his past 6 years of working in social services. Sean has supported the well-being of others in areas such as mental health, homelessness, family issues, trauma, and addictions. Sean utilizes various transpersonal modalities, including Internal Family Systems, Gestalt, and Mindfulness practices. He sees counseling as a collaborative process that is client centered overall and believes that therapy offers a chance to facilitate self-knowledge and acceptance, personal resources, and emotional growth. In turn, this grants us with more autonomy to live in life-affirming ways. When not working or in school, you can find Sean fishing, hiking, playing guitar, meditating, or spending time with those close to him. Sean says he couldn’t be more excited to be joining the Whole Connection family!
Incoming Interns & Fellows
We’re excited to announce our incoming crew of Interns and Fellows. They will be joining us in the summer of 2019.
Incoming Intern Therapist
Nicoletta (she,her, hers) trained and worked in the UK as a Person-centered counselor specializing in Emotion Focused Therapy http://www.iseft.org/What-is-EFT for many years in a variety of settings. She is currently a third year student in the MA in Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Counseling at Naropa University. In her work, drawing from both her personal journey and from her professional trainings, she integrates Gestalt, Focusing, Archetypal work from different spiritual traditions and Mindfulness all held within the non-directive and relational stance of the humanistic tradition. She strives to meet the other in authenticity to create a therapeutic relational space that allows people to be and experiment with more of their authentic sense of self and more satisfying existential choices in their lives. She has been exploring gender and psychological theories thru the lens of Post-feminism and Post-modernism since her early twenties. She loves writing, reading, music, films and all other creative possibilities of expression.
Incoming Intern Therapist
Brittney Reney attends Smith College School for Social Work and will be joining the Whole Connection team this year for her second year field placement. Last year she worked at an urban charter school where she discovered a passion for doing individual and group therapy with children and adolescents. Brittney is looking forward to expanding her knowledge and experience this year while working with clients of all ages.
While Brittney focuses mainly on Attachment Theory and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in her practice, she is interested in continuing to explore various modalities and theoretical lenses. Her approach is centered around the therapeutic relationship and creating an environment that fosters trust. The most rewarding element of social work for Brittney is seeing each client’s resilience shine.
Incoming Intern Therapist
Leah (she/her/hers) works from a place of non-judgmental discernment. This means that she encourages individuals not to judge their actions and behaviors, but rather to openly notice the impact of behaviors, in order to help individuals move towards increased harmony in their lives. Leah’s background is in education, and she believes that both learning and personal growth happen within the context of supportive relationships. Her goal is to create therapeutic relationships which help individuals to create positive shifts in their lives. Leah is earning her Master’s in Social Work from Colorado State University. She appreciates the focus social workers have on social justice, and she examines how individuals, families and communities are impacted by wider societal issues. Leah is a certified Mindfulness teacher for youth. She defines mindfulness as noticing what is happening right now. Leah supports individuals to bring awareness to their experiences, so that they can break patterns which no longer serve them. She enjoys working with people of all ages, as well as with groups.
Ingrid Avison, MA
Incoming Group Fellow & Clinical therapist
Ingrid (she/her/hers) is motivated in her work as a therapist out of deep investment and belief in the transformative power of healing through relationship, community, and insight. She works with individuals, groups, and families using evidenced-based approaches that emphasize clients as the experts on their own lives. Ingrid believes that each person holds the ability to lead a fulfilling life and that everyone faces hardships that challenge their capacity to thrive. Ingrid individualizes her approach with her clients by collaboratively establishing goals and working with clients as they cultivate insight, heal past or ongoing trauma, improve relationships, cope with challenging or overwhelming emotions, establish a greater sense of control over their life, change unwanted behaviors, and receive a supportive and validating environment to explore their identity and story.
A graduate from the Smith College, School for Social Work, Ingrid grounds her approach in contemporary psychodynamic theory, with an emphasis on attachment-based, relational, and body-centered therapy. She has both training and experience in helping clients through depression, anxiety, attachment trauma, grief/loss, sexual trauma, emerging identity, gender transition, interpersonal and family conflict, and intimacy struggles. Ingrid is committed to working within an anti-oppressive frame, examining and acknowledging systems of power and oppression that influence client experiences. Ingrid welcomes and is committed to working with people of all gender, sexual, racial, ethnic, religious, and class identities.
I was looking for a way to make a difference in people’s lives and be a part of something meaningful when I became a part of Whole Connection. I have years of experience in office assisting and am so glad to be a part of the team. I enjoy working with everyone here and really admire everyone’s commitment to helping others. I am available to help everyone who needs assistance in the process of finding out if Whole Connection is the right fit for what you need.
Good Canine citizen in Training
Mila is the newest member of our Whole Connection Family. She joins her dad, Phillip, most days and is in training to be a good canine citizen and eventually a therapy dog. She is a sweetheart and is working hard to learn her commands. She loves her people and other dogs. She currently joins some clients during their sessions as she learns how to be a good therapy dog.
Obi Wan Kenobi
Wiggly Greeter & Giver of Snuggles
Obi joins his mom, Melissa, at the office several days a week. He is a chihuahua dachsund mix and is still in his puppy learning phase. He likes to play fetch, snuggle, and take walks. Hee already knows all of his basic commands but still needs a lot of practice. You are likely to see Obi wiggling with excitement in the waiting room as he greets his favorite people. Obi currently spends most sessions in his kennel as he learns good puppy boundaries but loves to greet clients (if they wish) at the end of their sessions.