About Us

Small Steps Child Counseling – Albuquerque

Courtney Lewis, MA LPCC RPT-S IMH-E™-III

Small Steps Owner, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, Infant Mental Health Specialist

Courtney Lewis specializes in the treatment of children. Courtney provides administrative and clinical direction, as well as, clinical supervision at Small Steps.  She treats clients through play therapy, infant mental health home visiting, Circle of Security Parenting Classes and Theraplay family treatment.  Much of her treatment has focused on traumatized children and poorly attached children. Courtney has earned credentials through the Association for Play Therapy as a Registered Play Therapist and is Endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Specialist.

Her goal is to help strengthen the mental health of children and families who live in New Mexico and the world.  Taking steps in this direction, Courtney has partnered a non-profit and is providing parenting education, infant mental health education and child mental health assessment and support to an orphanage and preschool in Haiti.

Courtney developed the Stepping Out Program to support the development of well trained child therapists in New Mexico.  The program was created to give therapists an opportunity to launch out on their own with the support of Small Steps administrative services and staff.  This allows therapists a smooth transition to fulfill their own dreams and also increases the number of child therapists capable of meeting the ever-growing mental health needs of children and their families in New Mexico.

Nicole Holcomb, MSW LCSW RYT IMH-E™-III

Small Steps Clinical Director, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Yoga Teacher and Infant Mental Health Specialist

Nicole Holcomb graduated from Highlands University with a degree in Social Work in 2012.

Nicole has always known that she wanted to work with children in some capacity. She utilizes experiential play therapy to help young children and their families heal from trauma and develop stronger, loving connections to move forward from their pasts.

Nicole has specialized training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and participates in the Infant Mental Health program.

Rebecca Marianetti, MSW LCSW RYT IMH-E™-III

Baby Steps Clinical Director, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Yoga Teacher and Infant Mental Health Specialist

Rebecca Marianetti has been a Clinical Social Worker for over ten years, working with individuals and families to create positive change in times of immediate and ongoing crisis. She has worked extensively in hospitals in Arizona and New Mexico, helping individuals and families of children deal with chronic illnesses and traumatic events.

In her private practice, Rebecca has worked with adolescents and adults dealing with anxiety, depression, grief, domestic violence, parent-child conflict, and trauma. In contrast to her work in hospitals, where she provides therapy in times of acute crisis, Rebecca has been able to help her clients’ progress through well-established treatment plans.

Rebecca believes strongly in every family’s ability to grow and heal from stressful events. In order for this healing to happen within a family system, however, each person’s well being must be supported so healthy family functioning can develop. Rebecca is now an endorsed Level III Infant Mental Health Specialist and has enjoyed applying this philosophy to relationship-based work with young children and their caregivers.

As a mindfulness-based psychotherapist, Rebecca has also been studying the practice of mindfulness for more than ten years. While she utilizes a number of different therapeutic models in her practice, Rebecca believes that helping people develop an awareness of the present moment will help them cultivate self-compassion, which is a strong foundation for well-being.

A Registered Yoga Teacher, Rebecca is also highly aware of the mind-body connection and incorporates this knowledge into the assessment and treatment plan.

Leandra Lomosad Anderson, MS LPCC IMH-E™-III

Small Steps Supervisor, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Infant Mental Health Specialist

Leandra Lomosad received her Master’s degree in counseling at Tarleton State University.  Leandra’s work and passion here at Small Steps involves counseling children and their families using modalities of play therapy, Theraplay principles, sand tray expression, art, family work, group work, and elements of dance and movement as a form of expression and engagement in the counseling sessions.

Leandra has always worked or volunteered with youth and families throughout her teen years and into college and graduate school. She has found her strengths as a counselor are best brought out by working with this population. She hopes to use my continued training and growing experience to serve children, help them heal and grow, and create a better life for the generations that follow within each family.

Jodi Rodgers, MA LPCC ATR

IMH-E™-III

Small Steps Supervisor, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Art Therapist and Infant Mental Health Specialist

Jodi Rodgers, is an independently-licensed mental health professional specializing in early childhood trauma, loss and disrupted attachment. Jodi skillfully integrates art therapy, play therapy and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy into Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health. Since 2001, Jodi has worked clinically with underserved children, adolescents and adults in hospital, clinic, corrections, shelter, community, home and school settings.

Cross-trained in a variety of Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health interventions, including Circle of Security, Child-Parent Psychotherapy and Child-Centered Play Therapy, Jodi’s attuned clinical approach currently focuses on restoring resilience and self-regulation to adult and adolescent caregivers and their children ages 0-6. As a reflective clinical supervisor, Jodi has led several highly trained clinical teams in treating dually-diagnosed adult and adolescent parents in relationship to their young children. A significant portion of these cases are court-involved and/or Child Protective Services-referred, including NM First Judicial District Infant Team cases for children in state protective custody.

In addition to her behavioral health experience, Jodi has been a free-lance writer and editor for nearly 30 years, with works published in the New York Times, Miami Herald, South Florida Business Journal, and South Florida magazine. Her marketing experience includes director positions for a non-profit arts promotion firm and a national parenting magazine. She holds a B.S. in Print Journalism (magna cum laude) from Boston University and a dual M.A. in Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM.

Joy Browne, Ph.D IMH-E™ (IV-C)

Professional Doctor of Philosophy, Psychologist, Infant Mental Health Specialist

Stephanie Albury, MA LPCC IMH-E™-III

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Infant Mental Health Specialist

Stephanie graduated from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM, where she earned her Master’s of Counseling.  She is a licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LPCC), and is endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Specialist through the New Mexico Association for Infant Mental Health.  Stephanie is bilingual and has worked with infants, toddlers, young children and their families for over ten years in a variety of roles; including Early Head Start Home Visitor, Early Intervention Service Coordinator and Developmental Specialist, and as a clinical mental health counselor.  She has completed extensive training in Infant Mental Health, which includes; clinical assessment, intervention and treatment for infants, young children and their caregivers, with a specific focus on the impact of traumatic events on infant and young children’s development, and on their relationships with caregivers.

Stephanie is trained in the Circle of Security and in Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP).  As a clinical mental health counselor she has worked with families whose infants and toddlers have been diagnosed with developmental delays and/or disabilities, as well as with children birth to three and their biological and foster caregivers who are involved with child protective services.  In her clinical work with caregivers and their young children, Stephanie integrates a developmental lens, Infant Mental Health theory, trauma informed practices, and diversity informed tenets to provide individualized and attuned treatment to meet the unique needs of each dyad and family she supports.  

Cheryl Benedetto, MA LPCC RPT-S

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor

Cheryl Benedetto received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in human services from the University of New Mexico and her Master of Arts in counseling from Webster University.

She is a national board certified counselor, a registered play therapist, and is currently pursuing certification in sandtray therapy.

Cheryl has been a school counselor, a substance abuse counselor and specialized in working with domestic violence offenders, victims and their children.  Cheryl worked for nearly twelve years for Presbyterian Behavioral Health at the Child and Adolescent outpatient clinic and then as a Pediatric Integrated Therapist with one of their medical groups.  She has over fourteen years of experience.

She offers a variety of evidence-based therapy services such as:  cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness based cognitive therapy, play therapy, sandtray therapy and art modalities.  She stays informed by the latest research in neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology, integrating this through psycho education.

She works with children, adolescents, young adults and their families; addressing issues regarding adjustment disorders, anger, anxiety disorders, ADHD, depression and mood disorders, divorce, family issues, grief, PTSD, social skills, trauma/ abuse and parenting skills training.

Mindy Cardenas, MA LPCC LPAT ATR-BC

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Licensed Professional Art Therapist

Mindy Cardenas believes in the power of creativity, self-expression, and art-making for health and well-being. After beginning life as a fine arts major, she decided to train as an art therapist, and has been practicing art therapy and psychotherapy since 2001. She earned her Master’s degree in art therapy from Vermont College, and continued her training in traditional verbal counseling at Webster University. She is Licensed through the New Mexico Counseling and Licensure Board as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Licensed Professional Art Therapist. She is a nationally board certified art therapist.

Mindy received supplemental trainings in multiple modalities including medical play therapy, grief, trauma, neurocognitive approaches to psychotherapy, developmental issues in psychotherapy, mindfulness practices,  focusing techniques, positive psychology, end of life issues, and other creative modalities. She specializes in the treatment of trauma, including trauma resulting from chronic health issues and hospitalizations, grief and loss, long term abuse, life-threatening experiences, and more. Mindy is looking to begin training in Somatic processing sometime in the near future.

Mindy has been fortunate enough to work in a variety of settings that have enabled her to gain a well-rounded understanding of the therapeutic process. Most recently, she was in private practice in Madison, WI, where she practiced art therapy, served as a professional board member at Gilda’s Club, and provided trainings for practitioners and agencies about trauma, developmental issues, and art therapy. Mindy also supervised counseling and art therapy students, provided classes centered around self-exploration, and taught art classes in the summer for children. Mindy has experience working with adults and children with developmental disabilities, has worked in the juvenile justice system, was a Child Life Specialist at Children’s Hospital of New Mexico, taught middle school art, worked with community based programs for adults with chronic mental illness, and provided business consultation with a focus on creativity and interpersonal relationships. Mindy maintains a personal art practice.

 Shunnae Love, MA LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Shunnae Love is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications and minor in Special Education. She earned her Masters degree from Webster University in Counseling & General Psychology in 2013 and earned her LMHC.  She has numerous years volunteering at UNM Children’s Hospital assisting both children and parents.  She believes children are the world’s most precious gift and enjoys embracing their humor. Her priorities are multi-cultural awareness and specializes in play therapy and group therapy. 

Marissa Hedrick, MSW LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Marissa Hedrick graduated from New Mexico Highlands University in 2008 with a Master’s degree in Social Work.  She worked as a school counselor in northern New Mexico for six years where she provided individual and group counseling to students with various cultural backgrounds and developmental levels.

Marissa views herself as a navigator in the lives of children and families she works with.  She assists in directing them through difficult times by implementing play therapy techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, and breath work.

Dylan O. Drusedum, MA LPCC ATR-BC

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Board Certified Art Therapist

Dylan O. Drusedum is a clinical counselor specializing in art therapy and work with children and families.  She received her Master’s degree in Art Therapy & Counseling from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA in 2015.

Prior to joining the Small Steps team, Dylan worked with children and families in a residential treatment setting and received extensive training in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), a neurodevelopmentally-based and trauma-informed approach to mental health. She is currently continuing this training to be able to utilize the unique brain mapping tools used in this model to effectively help families create a map of where treatment needs to begin, based on where their child is developmentally, physically, socially and emotionally. Dylan is also currently in the process of working towards her Infant Mental Health endorsement to specialize in working together with caregivers and their children 0-5 years old.

Dylan’s approach to working with children and families is trauma-informed, neurodevelopmentally driven, attachment-based, and relational in nature. From a family systems perspective, she knows that change does not happen in isolation, and thus works to support and encourage growth for the whole family when possible. As an art therapist, Dylan strongly believes in the healing qualities of art making.  Using art and play, she helps children and families to find healthy ways to regulate their emotions, interrupt and shift unhealthy dynamics, discover strengths and find joy, and build healthy relationships to reach their full potential.

Allyson Randall, MA LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Allyson Randall graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Family Studies in 2012.  Allyson recently graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with a dual degree in School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She has a passion for working with all individuals, but especially children and adolescents. When working with older individuals she utilizes the tenants of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and believes that sometimes we need to work on how we think about our worlds to change how we feel and behave. When it comes to working with children, Allyson understands that play is the best way to communicate. Allyson wishes to expand her knowledge and skills in the area of play therapy through trainings, continuing education, and hands on experience. Allyson’s biggest belief that guides her practice is that every individual, at one point or another, could use a helping hand to achieve mental wellness. She wants to provide that help by creating a supportive, safe, and understanding environment for her clients.

Talia Montoya, MSW LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Talia Montoya obtained her bachelors degree in social work from New Mexico Highlands in 2014. Talia initially started at Small Steps as a play therapy intern while working towards obtaining her masters degree. Talia was offered a position with our team upon graduating from New Mexico Highlands in 2017 with her Masters Degree in social work.

As a clinician, Talia firmly believes individuals and families hold the capacity to heal when given adequate tools and support. Talia enjoys incorporating mindfulness modalities when working with her clients. She believes through consciousness of breath and body people can start to navigate and heal from trauma they have experienced.

Lauren Martell, MA LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Lauren Martell received her Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Criminology at the University of New Mexico in 2013. She went on to earn her Masters in Counseling with an emphasis in Children’s Mental Health at Southwestern College in 2017. Lauren has always been passionate about working with children and families having volunteered at Big Brothers Big Sister’s of Central New Mexico and working as a Behavior Management Specialist with at-risk families.

As a clinician, Lauren believes in a person-centered approach that focuses on the client and their world as the center for therapeutic change. Lauren believes that play is the most natural way for children to express their experiences and feelings. When working with families, Lauren utilizes an attachment-based, trauma informed approach to help repair ruptures and develop or rebuild an emotional secure relationship.

Lauren wishes to expand her knowledge and skills in the area of play therapy and sand tray therapy through trainings and continuing education with the goal of becoming a registered play therapist. Lauren’s ultimate goal is to help her clients achieve mental wellness by providing a safe, supportive and creative environment.

Caleb Dansky, M.ed LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Caleb Dansky has worked with various populations within social work and educational settings. His foundational skills in differentiation and multi-modal interventions were initially formulated while earning his Master’s in Education at Pace University and teaching middle-schoolers diagnosed with moderate to serve developmental disabilities and emotional disturbances. After teaching, he honed his career focus towards clinical practice.

Over the next few years, Caleb worked with adolescents and young adults at an inpatient horticultural therapy clinic where he became versed in rites of passage, non-violent crisis intervention, and multiple therapeutic mediums: play therapy, art therapy, and meditation. Motivated by this experience, he pursued a Master’s Degree in Social Work at Columbia University. Caleb was introduced to trauma-informed practice which now grounds his individual, group, and family therapy sessions. He strives to engage with a social justice and culturally competent basis which leads aspects of Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Psycho-dynamic interventions throughout the therapeutic process.

Karla Trevizo, MA LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Karla Trevizo graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science Psychology and in 2017 with a Masters in Counseling. She is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and is bilingual. Karla has started training with the Sand Tray Training Institute of New Mexico. She also wishes to be a Registered Play Therapist and an Infant Mental Health Specialist.  Karla has experience working with children and adolescents with varied diagnosis. Karla strongly believes in how essential play is for communication with children. She wishes to provide a safe and supportive environment for clients and their families.

Ella Brown, MSW LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

A native New Mexican, Ella Brown got her Bachelors in University Studies at the University of New Mexico and her Masters in Social Work at New Mexico Highlands University. Her previous work centered on improving the lives of children in New Mexico through advocacy within the legal system. She has experience working with children in foster care, children with special education needs, and kinship families.

Ella values a holistic approach to evaluation and intervention with children and families. Her goal is to assist families grow skillful relationships that will provide lasting, loving, connected, and stable futures, while honoring the distinct cultures and traditions that define our clients’ lives. She believes strongly in the power of resiliency and the potential each person has to overcome trauma and live healthy, happy lives.

Beth Lee-Herbert, MA LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Beth Lee-Herbert, is inspired in her work by the resiliency that young children have in their capacity to heal, and how deeply important relational connections are to healthy development. She graduated from Pacifica Graduate Institute with a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in the depth traditions pioneered by Carl Jung and others.

In working with clients she utilizes child-centered play therapy, infant mental health principles, and is currently training in Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP).  She also utilizes mindfulness in her work with children as well as their caregivers, given her background as a meditation teacher.

Desiree Ortiz, MSW LMSW

Licensed Master Social Worker

Desiree Ortiz, is a Licensed Master Social Worker. Desiree earned her Master’s degree from New Mexico Highlands University in May 2017. She started her career in social work in child welfare. Desiree gained much of her experience during her work with Children Youth and Families Department as a Permanency Worker. Desiree has experience working with children of all ages and families in the trauma based population that include abuse and neglect. Desiree has experience in different theoretical frameworks including using a trauma based theoretical approach. She became a social worker to help individuals in need and wanting to make a difference. Desiree is looking forward to providing clinical social work here at Small Steps.

Meghan Mascarenas, MA LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Meghan Mascarenas is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in individual, child, and family therapy. Among her areas of expertise are trauma, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, relationship issues, and eating disorders. Meghan also has extensive experience working with substance
abuse issues and helping clients who are court mandated to therapy following release from incarceration.

Meghan’s focus in therapy is to provide a welcoming and safe space for her clients, regardless of what brings them to therapy, to be themselves, voice concerns, and work through their issues throughout the therapeutic process.

As a therapist, she believes helping is an honor and therapy is a collaborative effort to assist each client build on their existing strengths to live their best life.

Jessie Lane, MS LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Jessie Lane has over 14 years of experience working with people of all ages from diverse cultural backgrounds, helping them to increase the presence of health and wellness in their lives. Prior to becoming a therapist, Jessie worked in health and wellness promotion, public health, and as a health educator. Jessie received her Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Prescott College in 2018, where her focus of study was somatic psychology, trauma resolution, and social justice work. Her experience and passion lie in working with children, adolescents, and their families to heal, learn, grow, change, and thrive.

Jessie’s work as a therapist is collaborative and focuses on relationships as critical to healing and growth. This includes the therapeutic relationship (between therapist and clients), in addition to our relationships with ourselves, others, and the environments we inhabit. Her work with children and families focuses on the importance of learning to care for our individual selves through increasing self-awareness and self-regulation skills; and, learning to care for others through building and maintaining healthy and supportive social, family, and community connections.

Jessie’s practice is client-centered, viewing each child and family member as their own individual being with unique life experiences from which to offer perspectives. Some of the training she has received includes body-centered therapeutic techniques, such as breath-work, mindfulness, and self-awareness practices, in addition to narrative, play, expressive arts, and cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques. Her work also focuses on facilitating the growth of self-esteem, self-direction, and empowerment in clients through the exploratory use of creativity, imagination, and expression in sessions.

Jessie’s work is multicultural and LGBTQ+ inclusive.

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

Kim Stout

Office Manager

Kim Stout has over 15 years administrative experience with 10 of those years spent in management. Kim has studied business management and is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). Kim is a seasoned office manager and has supported the growth of Small Steps since 2013 contributing her vast knowledge regrading human resources, insurance company and billing protocols, HIPAA compliance, and daily operation strategies. Kim joined Small Steps because she believes in the valuable work and helping children and families find healing. Kim is a seeker and consistently looking for opportunities to grow in her skill set and knowledge. When she is not at work you will find her spending time with her loved ones.

Julie Orona

Intake Client Coordinator

Julie Orona has been with Small Steps since 2015 and will be your first point of contact when contacting our agency, as well as the first face you see when walking through our doors. Julie will kindly and efficiently guide you through our services and help match your family with the best support possible. Julie has been a mentor for the Albuquerque Boys and Girls Club since 2016 where she invests in our local youth and builds relationships within the community. Julie is also a student of the Center for Action and Contemplation where she pursues studies in spirituality, meditation and humanitarian issues. Julie takes great pride in her work and helping families find the support they need. Call her today!

Katie Riley

Billing Specialist

Katie Riley our billing specialist, has been working for Small Steps since January of 2015. She obtained her certificate in billing and coding in 2014 and stays up to date with the ever changing codes and protocols for medical billing. Katie’s time is mostly spent behind the scenes processing claims and aging and advocating for our clients when denials come our way. It takes a special person to be a liaison for our agency and our clients when dealing with insurance companies. Katie does this with great efficiency and follow through. She is on the phone with provider reps on a daily basis making sure everyone including our clients and office administration receive correct information working to avoid miscommunication and important details aren’t missed. Katie is also a point of contact for clients who have more complex coverages needing further clarification and understanding of what their insurance provider does and does not cover. Katie works remotely in Jemez Springs NM where she was born and raised.

Lorrie DeLoach

Financial Manager

Lorrie DeLoach joined Small Steps in 2018. Lorrie has been a vital part of Small Steps success. Lorrie’s knowledge and undertanding of money matters has enabled Small Steps to continue thriving and being a valued resource in our community.

Ariana Ricken

Insurance Verification

Ariana Ricken is the newest member of the admin team, is ready to dive in and assist in getting clients the exact information they need regarding their benefits. We want to make sure everything is up to date so our clinicians can see their patients without any hiccups behind the scenes or with the verification process.

Ariana is very organized and detail-oriented so she’s able to keep track of the many appointments we have from day to day. She hopes to alleviate the load from some of her co-workers by staying ahead and on top of weekly tasks, as well as assisting our billing department with patient details.

Ariana graduated with a major in Music and minored in Psychology. She enjoyed studying the connection of music with healing and how it can be used in many forms of therapy, especially with children. After university she lived abroad in Taiwan for 3 years studying mandarin and teaching English & music classes to students of all ages. She’s a native of Albuquerque and is very involved in the community. She’s a strong believer in wholistic health and is especially gifted in activating that vision within a team dynamic. Traveling to experience new cultures & try new foods, creating music, and spending time with friends & family around the table are definitely in her top favorites of things to do!

Patsy Stout

Administrative Assistant

Patsy Stout has been with Small Steps since June 2018. Patsy worked in the medical field for the better part of her career until she retired in 2008. Patsy provides our adminitrative team support as needed. Patsy finds joy in providing support and being a part of the Small Steps family.

To schedule an appointment or inquire about our services please contact us by phone at (505) 933-4639, or by email at julie@smallstepschildcounseling.net

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