Desiree grew up in New York City, where she developed a passion for dance and the fine arts. She decided to head west to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University Desiree was always moving and teaching others how to connect with their body. She opened one of the first yoga studios in the Phoenix Metro Area. Through teaching yoga, Desiree grew more aware of the mind-body connection and how connecting with the breath and releasing tension from the body released emotions. Desiree wanted to learn more about the “yoga” union of the mind, body, and spirit and decided to pursue her Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling at the Arizona School of Professional Psychology. She went on to obtain a Mind-Body Practitioner Certification from the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and a graduate certification in Health Psychology from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Desiree has been working in in-patient treatment, helping clients heal from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, chronic pain and co-morbidity through a holistic approach. Her philosophy is that one must be healthy in mind, body and spirit in order to live up to her full potential. Desiree leads by example and brings a grounding energy to her clients. She specializes in addiction, trauma, and chronic pain.
Starr grew up near Los Angeles, California, then moved to Sedona, Arizona in her late teens to pursue her educational goals. She earned a BS degree from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Zoology/Chemistry which led her to a career in the Animal Behavior and Training field for 30 years.
She enjoyed training animals for movies, service animals for people with disabilities, and consulting for rescues and sanctuaries. She found her passion for helping others while working in the sport of equestrian vaulting (gymnastics and dance on the back of a moving horse), and volunteering with helping young people with physical and mental difficulties in Malibu, CA.
She obtained her BS in Psychology from NAU and her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Prescott College specializing in trauma-focused therapy with a concentration in experiential and animal-assisted mental health.
As a licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Starr uses an integrative holistic approach in therapy focusing on the client’s whole person while treating the client as an integral member of the treatment team. Starr’s specialties include working with those struggling with trauma, mental health issues, addiction tendencies, and life skill difficulties. Her goals are to motivate clients, have fun in therapy, and develop a client’s willingness and passion for healthy life-change.
She is owned by several animals including dogs, a pig, horses, and a parrot. She has a wonderful teenage daughter who inspires and teaches Starr daily.
Morgan is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Arizona. She attended North Carolina State University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Relocating to Arizona in 2013 she attended graduate school at Arizona State University and obtained a Master of Counseling in 2015.
Morgan considers the East Coast her home. She was born in Charlotte, NC and raised in Harrisburg, PA with several pitstops in between. Working in the fashion industry sparked Morgan’s desire to work with adolescent young women. Her experience as a model provided a different perspective on self-esteem and trauma which shaped a natural progression to clinical therapy.
She is especially dedicated to helping young women build self-esteem utilizing trauma focused modalities and somatic approaches. Improving authentic connection and communication is a primary goal in Morgan’s approach to treatment.
Morgan has experience working with families and adolescents both in home and community based mental health. Morgan served as an Intensive Outpatient Therapist at Banner Health and Rosewood Center for Eating Disorders. She was excited to join the Spring Ridge team due to the philosophy aligning so closely with her personal beliefs on treating the whole person – mind, body, and spirit.
Morgan is a lover of Disneyland, crafting, and football. She is an avid traveler and enjoys new experiences.
Melissa grew up in upstate New York and attended Siena College, obtaining a bachelors of science in social work. Her career in counseling began with inner city adolescents in residential settings. Melissa moved to Arizona to obtain her masters degree in social work with a concentration in children, youth and families.
After, she began working with families dealing with substance abuse and mental health challenges. During her time with these families, Melissa honed her skills of navigating multigenerational challenges through a family systems perspective.
Melissa utilizes many trauma informed modalities in her practice including trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, Trauma Release Exercise, Post Induction Therapy and Motivational Interviewing . Her years of experience in the residential setting has allowed her to deepen her understanding of attachment related struggles.
As a life- long learner, she is continuously researching and engaging in professional development to best fit the needs of her clients. She is currently a Licensed Master of Social work and is actively working towards independent licensure.
Veronica began working with battered women as a volunteer over 22 years ago, which prompted her interest in psychology. She began her education at Sonoma State University, where she received a BA in psychology.
At the same time, Veronica cut her teeth in the streets of some of the roughest towns in the San Francisco bay area counseling at risk adolescents, and managing programs at a non-profit clinic for youth in the criminal justice, and foster care systems. Veronica loves working with teens because they embody the process of transformation from caterpillar to butterfly.
Wanting to practice a holistic approach to counseling, Veronica pursued a MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from J.F.K University where she developed skills in Gestalt, Jungian, psychodynamic, and attachment theories. SRA is the perfect fit because her background aligns with the philosophy and mission of our community.
Belle is so inspired to work at Spring Ridge Academy with a team of experts who share her same passion for helping young women and their families heal. With 12 years of experience working as a licensed therapist in residential treatment she continues to be grateful for the life changing transformation this level of treatment and expertise provides.
Belle was born in England and moved to Greenwich, Connecticut when she was six. She moved west at 18 to begin Prescott College where she attained an undergraduate degree in Experiential Learning. She earned her Master of Counseling degree from the University of Phoenix and has been licensed in Arizona since 2008.
Belle is currently Licensed at the independent level (LPC) in Arizona since. She has spent most of her career working in therapeutic boarding schools though also has experience in adult drug and alcohol residential treatment and adult psychiatric units.
Belle specializes in treating trauma and is a student of Peter Levine’s 3 year Somatic Experiencing trauma training. Belle is certified in Pia Melodies Post Induction Therapy, Brene Browns Daring Way and Rising Strong programs. She also has training in EMDR, positive parenting, grief and loss, cbt, dbt and was a pioneer to the field of equine therapy.
Belle has lived in Northern Arizona for 20 years and is thrilled to have joined the Spring Ridge Academy team in June 2016.
Cindy grew up in Minnesota and moved to AZ where she completed her Master’s in Counseling Psychology at Prescott College. Cindy was always the kind of person who people trusted and opened up with. It made sense that she would pursue counseling psychology as her career.
Cindy has been working therapeutically with children and families since 1991. Her career started in social services where she became a supervisor. Always being drawn to the healing of the natural world Cindy moved in to wilderness therapy in 2001, working therapeutically with a diverse population of adolescents and their families.
Cindy has spent years developing advanced techniques in counseling psychology. After many fulfilling years as a wilderness therapist, Cindy moved back to AZ in April 2013 to work at Spring Ridge Academy.
She chose to come to work at SRA because of their extensive family therapy component as well as their stellar clinical team and cutting edge therapeutic approaches to addressing trauma and mental health issues.