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QUALIFICATIONS and certifications

  • BA, Psychology, University of Colorado
  • MA, Counseling, Denver Seminary
  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • EMDR 
  • Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator
  • Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy
  • Somatic Therapy

I’m in this work to help you recognize and connect with the parts of yourself that are wise and strong, to help you heal your wounded places, face your fears, speak your truth, and courageously show up in your life and relationships. 

I’ve been doing this work for thirty years. I worked with survivors of crime and tragedy as a Victim Advocate for the Boulder County Sherriff’s Office and as the Director of Victim Services for the Boulder Police Depart for 7 years. I’ve developed and provided management and soul care training for the City of Boulder and various other organizations. I facilitated a Homicide Grief Group for Hospice of Boulder County, and worked with survivors of torture and war crimes with Rocky Mountain Survivor Center. I’ve been in private practice for over ten years. 

When I’m not working, it gives me great joy to hang out with my husband, my two grown daughters, and to explore with my dog, Hazel. I love to make art, to read and write fiction, and when small humans make me laugh really hard. 


"A few years ago I was hopelessly stuck — uncertain of how I’d overcome the rest of my week, let alone the rest of my life. Valerie helped me navigate these challenges and find a healthier way forward. I couldn’t be more grateful for the influence that Valerie has had on my life.” - Craig

“It is truly hard to put into words what Valerie means to me and the impact she has had on my life. Valerie meets you where you are at and is with you through the process.  Valerie creates a space where you feel safe being vulnerable and open to what your life experiences can teach you about yourself and others.  She has supported and guided me through two very challenging life transitions.   This past year has been one of the most painful and hardest years of my life.  I have also experienced more joy, connection, and gratitude than I could have ever imagined possible.  I cannot thank Valerie enough for joining me on my journey.”  - M.S. 

“I was sitting in my room totally lost.  I had made the biggest mistake of my life and had no idea what to do.  I have never had professional therapy before.  I have gone the church route and that really never seemed to work for me.  I was feeling such a mix of emotions: anger, guilt, frustration, loss, helplessness. I decided it was time for me to take ownership and to understand why I do the things I do.  I started dialing the phone, but hung up... still not QUITE ready to take full ownership.  After some more pep talking to myself I finally dialed the phone.  Little did I know that this would be the start to understanding, really for the first time in my life, why I am who I am and how that impacts others important to me.  I am not going to lie and say it was an easy process, because it wasn't.  Valerie helped us to understand how we are affected individually and in turn how that impacts the relationship.  She also taught us about healthy boundaries and how to set them not only in our marriage, but in all of the relationships we have.  My wife and I still have our good days and not so good days, but I have never felt closer to her.  Thank you, Valerie.”  – JF

"One of my favorite things about Valerie is that I almost always walk away from our sessions with something concrete--either a new tool or something practical to think through--which is really rare in therapy. When I first came to see Valerie I was in a deep depression, suffering from complex PTSD, and struggling to keep on living. Valerie's knowledge of trauma and its effects on the body was instrumental in helping me to understand what was going on in my nervous system and what I could do to help my body calm down and feel safe again. She is the safest person I know because she loves me enough to hold the bounds of our relationship professionally yet celebrates healthy attachment. I am becoming even more fully alive because of our continued work together. PTSD is always going to be part of my life, but it doesn't own my life anymore because of my work with Valerie... and I am forever grateful for that." – JKD

“The journey of healing and experiencing a joyful and grateful life is a road with many twists and turns, times of true movement, growth and forward trajectory, times of stalling out, being stuck and sometimes experiencing no feeling at all and shutting down. All are necessary and part of the road to peace. 

When I hit a wall in my life where I was no longer feeling much of anything and no longer able to experience the joy of love, life, and the freedom I knew I wanted, I embarked on a journey with Valerie, eight years ago, that has forever changed my outlook of what it looks like to know and trust myself, God within me, and to know and trust others and relate to them in a healthy way. 

Meeting with Valerie on a regular basis took me on a beautiful path of awareness of what is around me to bring me calm and peace and the reality of who I am and the beauty of the imperfection and humanity. She helped me begin to look and take comfort in the place of being who I am and where I am in this moment and to appreciate that soulfulness in myself and watch for it and connect with it in others. The tools and methods Valerie uses of getting in sync with my emotions, what they mean and how they have impacted me from the time I was born, along with the ability to start to shift some of those untrue or distorted messages and stories through EMDR and the practice of saying and believing the true messages, have been transformative. 

It is not an easy journey and it calls for courage and perseverance and it includes much joy and pain and grieving and hope along the way. The good news is that it is possible even to those who have closed themselves off and numbed the pain for many years, and Valerie has a true gift and talent in helping me and others find that possibility in our lives!” – April