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2016 Conference Bios

Presenter Biographies

Nicole Amesbury, MS, LMHC is the head of clinical development and a therapist in practice at Talkspace, an innovative start-up and a leader in the delivery of mental health services. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology and master’s degree in science in counseling psychology from Nova Southeastern University. While working in a variety of treatment settings, she was confronted with the barriers to treatment that so many people face. She made a decision to take a risk and join the start-up world to make therapy more accessible. Along the way, she has earned extensive experience working with developers applying human-centered computing to create best practices for user experience design in psychotherapy.

Tina Anctil, PhD, CRC, LPC, focuses her research and scholarship on career development for persons with disabilities. Tina is the Department Chair of Counselor Education at Portland State University and teaches in the Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Program. She maintains a small private practice where she provides mental health and career counseling to people with disabilities or chronic illness.

Yshai Boussi, LPC, is a therapist in private practice specializing in adolescents and families. Yshai’s background and work with adolescents extends over 15 years. His experience includes mentoring at risk youth, working in residential treatment facilities and facilitating experiential workshops for various youth programs. As a trained family therapist since 2003, Yshai has worked in outpatient settings in community mental health and private practice. In addition to individual and family therapy, Yshai currently leads groups and workshops for adolescents and parents. He also writes a blog for parents with adolescents that can be found on his website,

Nybelle Caruso received her Bachelors in Psychology from Portland State University. She graduated from EASA, 2015. She is currently working as a member of the Washington County Crisis Team as a Peer Support Specialist at Lifeworks NW.

Paul Cooney, JD, is a healthcare attorney who has been in practice for 24 years. Mr. Cooney is a partner at Cooney, Cooney and Madigan, LLC where he specializes in healthcare litigation and represents a wide variety of healthcare professionals in all aspects of their practice.  Mr. Cooney is General Counsel for the Oregon Psychological Association and the Oregon Counseling Association. He represents mental health professionals in malpractice cases, licensing and discipline and general business matters. He is licensed to practice in both Oregon and Washington and is a frequent speaker on legal issues and risk management.

Neil Falk, MD has been involved with the community mental health system in Multnomah County since 1994.  In that time, he has worked with outpatient clinics, ACT teams, residential treatment centers, sub-acute care facilities, urgent care centers, mobile outreach teams, and administration.  He has been the Associate Medical Director at Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare since 2003, and been fortunate enough to work with the Multnomah County EASA team since 2009.   He has mentored numerous PMHNP students, PA’s, and psychiatric residents from OHSU and other professional training programs for over 20 years.  In all of his treatment settings, Neil encourages clients to be active partners in their treatment and recovery.

Kris Fant, LMHC, LPC, is a lead therapist at Progressive Rehabilitation Associates. While her primary therapeutic outlook is psychodynamic and attachment oriented, she utilizes techniques from motivational interviewing and acceptance and commitment therapy to enhance coping skills and facilitate behavior change for clients with persistent pain or who have experienced traumatic brain injury. In 2015 she attended Pain Week, and continues to attend Pain Society Dinners for cutting edge research in Pain Science.

Katie Hayden-Lewis, PhD, MA, LPC, serves as the rural services director for the Early Assessment and Support Alliance (EASA) at the Center for Excellence, Portland State University. She has worked in the EASA community network since 2008. Katie’s interests in early psychosis research and clinical practice focus on identity, culture, and stigma; and how those issues translate into the everyday lives of young people, their families, and communities. She has a particular interest in health care issues and the lived experiences of young people who live in rural settings. She is also invested in promoting healthcare providers personal sense of well-being. Katie has been a practicing psychotherapist since 2003.

Rick Johnson, PhD, is a professor in the counselor education department at Portland State University (PSU). His scholarly agenda includes the effects of childhood experiences on psychological development and spiritually-oriented therapy. His is the author of several books: “Reclaiming Your Real Self” (2009) and “Spirituality in Counseling and Psychotherapy” (2013). As a licensed psychologist and clinical member of the AAMFT, Dr. Johnson maintains an active private practice, focusing on individual and couple therapy as well as clinical supervision and consultation.

Reggie Lee is a peer support specialist at EASA in Clackamas County and at Zenith House. Reggie experienced a psychotic break in March 2012 and found healing and recovery through meditative inquiry. Finding the mental health system lacking, Reggie completed the peer support training in August 2013 in order to help people understand that they are not alone in their experience, find alternative effective healing modalities, and share in the reality of recovery.

Julie Lerwick, PhD, LPC, NCC, RPT, holds a doctorate in counseling from Oregon State University and is a nationally certified (NCC) licensed professional counselor (LPC) and registered play therapist (RPT). Her research, conducted at Oregon Health & Science University Department of Neurological Surgery, was in pre-operative anxiety reduction using a play therapy intervention. She is clinical director and assistant professor of clinical mental health counseling at Northwest University and serves as president of the Oregon Association for Play Therapy.

Blake Locher, MS, CRC, LPC Intern, is a rehabilitation counselor and mental health clinician with a master’s degree from Portland State University. In his practice in downtown Portland, Blake provides mental health counseling and career counseling for teens and adults. He specializes in identity development, self-determination, career exploration and adjustment to trauma, particularly against the backdrop of adjusting to the medical and psychosocial aspects of a disability or chronic illness.

John McCarthy, PhD, NCC, is a professor in the department of counseling at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and directs the University’s Center for Creativity and Change. He has presented on creativity both in the U.S. and internationally, most recently at the Singapore Association of Counselling Consortium. His e-book on the use of driving metaphors in counseling, “Driving Forward in Reverse,” came out earlier this year.

Halley Read, OTR/L, QMHP, graduated with her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Midwestern University in Dec. 2013. She worked as the occupational therapist for the Community Support Services division of Yamhill County Adult Behavioral Health on the Early Assessment Support Alliance team and other psychiatric rehab teams from 2013 to 2015. She is now the EASA supervisor and overseeing other programs as well. Areas of ongoing, professional interest for her are promoting the profession of OT, specifically its role in mental health services along with overall community health and mental wellness.

Leticia M. Sainz, LPC, has been doing clinical work for almost 15 years. Her current role, as the Program Manager of Crisis Services for Multnomah County, is exciting as she believes that crisis and prevention work has the opportunity to positively impact the most vulnerable members of our community. Previously, she was with the Multnomah County EASA team for almost 7 years – first as the screener, then the team lead, and finally the supervisor. Her work with the self titled EASA ninjas was a fulfilling clinical endeavor as she was able to assist young people and their families with challenges related to psychosis as well as reducing stigma associated with the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Leticia is dedicated to improving diversity and equity in the field of mental health in order to best serve our communities.

Megan G. Sage, LCSW, has been doing clinical work for over 15 years and with the Multnomah County EASA team for almost 8 years as a bilingual Mental Health Consultant. Megan is currently a screener with EASA and she also provides ongoing therapy and case management services for young people in the program. She has a strong passion for working with young people and their families in reducing stigma and supporting young people in achieving their goals. Megan is very passionate about working with young people on their journey of recovery after their first episode of psychosis.

Linnea Stenhouse, MSW, is a clinician for EASA in Clackamas County. Linnea completed her MSW from the University of Washington in 2013. Linnea has worked in juvenile justice diversion, supported housing, child welfare, and community mental health. She values person-centered programing and has integrated healthy eating, yoga, art, and nature into her work. Linnea loves working for EASA and hopes to for the foreseeable future. The intelligent, insightful, and creative young people are a daily inspiration.

Josh Sizemore, PMHNP, RN, MN, has four years experience as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Polk County Youth & Family Services, his primary focus being youth, EASA, adult dual diagnosis and outliers. Prior to that he worked for nine years as a registered nurse and licensed practical nurse in mental health agencies and the U.S. Army. He began his nursing career with the U.S. Army as a combat medic/EMT, LPN, and head trauma 1 instructor.

Dominique Sotelo, PhD, LMFT, ACS, started his career in the helping profession in 1999 with employment at the Oregon Youth Authority. While maintaining a 17-year stretch of employment with OYA he earned a master’s degree (MFT) and a doctorate in counselor education and supervision. His research interest is focused on supervision and specifically supervision with paraprofessional counselors. Dominique has been active with a private practice in 2006, and currently is focused on providing clinical supervision to both pre- and post-master’s graduates.

Ron Unger, LCSW, is a therapist and educator specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for psychosis. He has given numerous seminars about CBT for psychosis, and about the relationships between trauma and psychosis and implications for treatment. His presentations emphasize practical and humanistic ways of working with difficulties that can too easily be perceived as being “beyond understanding.” Ron also blogs at

Sue Wimmer, OTR/L, QMHP, is an occupational therapist who has been working with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of mental health settings for more than 35 years. She learned early on how sensory processing can effect children’s behavior and techniques to help them to learn to regulate themselves. Over the years, she also learned that it impacts adolescents and adults also, and it may have never been seen as a reason for their behaviors or diagnoses. She has worked with all ages to help them learn what they can do to self regulate and function better.

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