Who We Are and How We Got Started

by Susan Lyons


Women in Private Practice (WPP) got started sometime in the mid 1980’s. Nobody seems to remember the exact details of how WPP got started, but it was initially a small, informal group of women therapists who were private practitioners. WPP provided educational meetings and networking. News of WPP spread through word of mouth. I learned of WPP from Ruth Manville, our longest WPP member. In the mid-80’s I was new to Utah, I had two very young children and I knew absolutely nothing about getting started in private practice. WPP gave me a community of other women therapists who became friends who could mentor me about how to get a practice started. WPP meant a lot to me and eventually I took over WPP leadership for a number of years. During my many years in WPP I have met so many people who joined WPP and also found connection to a community of women therapists who provided education, networking and support. 

WPP has changed over the years but our mission is the same as it was in the 1980’s. WPP membership has grown steadily.  We currently have about 250 active members. As we grew larger, it became clear that we needed a leadership team, not just one coordinator. As I anticipated retirement, I asked Joellyn Manville (Ruth Manville’s daughter) to be my co-coordinator. I was delighted when she accepted. A year later Joellyn became the full coordinator, when I retired. Since that time, we have created a WPP leadership committee, informally called the LC. WPP’s current coordinator is Amy Spratling.  

Board of Trustees

Amy Spratling, LCMHC - Coordinator of WPP

Amy Spratling, LCMHC, is the Coordinator of WPP.  She has been in private practice for about 5 years now and specializes in working in trauma with all ages.  She especially likes EMDR and DBT and loves being a part of the WPP leadership group.

Susan Lyons, LCSW - Coordinator Emeritus

Susan has been an active member of  WPP since 1987. She served as WPP coordinator for over 20 years. Susan had a private practice in Salt Lake City from 1987 until July of 2017, when she retired. Susan continues to be an active member and she is Coordinator Emeritus and focuses on listserv and membership issues.

Colleen Kuhn, Ph.D. - Treasurer

Dr. Kuhn has been a member of WPP and in private practice for ten years. Dr. Kuhn specializes in working with children, adolescents, and young adults with a strong emphasis on gender and sexually diverse individuals. They enjoys connection with the community and proudly serves as part of the leadership committee for WPP and the LGBTQ Affirmative Psychotherapists Guild of Utah.

Julie Peaslee, CMHC - Secretary

Julie has been a member of WPP  and in private practice since 2017, specializing in working with couples across all phases of relationship. She is honored to support the members of WPP and is energized by the people, community, and resources that are at the heart of the organization.

Josie Bohling, LMFT- Board Member

Josie Bohling has been a member of WPP since 2016, specializing in family therapy, teen mental health and trauma recovery. For her it is a great joy to be a part such a lively community devoted to supporting mental health care providers in networking to improve the the access for client thru out the Salt Lake Valley.

Jamie Brass, PsyD - Board Member

Jamie Brass joined WPP in 2018. She is a generalist and works primarily with adults in outpatient care. Jamie also serves as the chair of the Website committee and manages the WPP website. She is happy to support the WPP community as it grows. 

Sarah G Jolley, MA, CMHC, LMHC, CMHS - Board Member

Sarah currently serves as the chair of the Programming Committee and is a newbie to WPP and SLC (sort of), having just moved back to the area in June of 2019 after nearly 25 years living in the Pacific Northwest. Relocating and starting a new practice in SLC was daunting and the connections and networking via WPP have been such a gift! Sarah’s private practice serves a blend of children and adults, with specific focus on the LGBTQ community. 

Committee Chairs

Listserv: Joellyn Manville, LCSW

Membership: Susan Lyons, LCSW

Programming: Sarah Jolley, MA, CMHC, LMHC, CMHS

Website: Jamie Brass, PsyD

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