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Who we are and how we got started

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 Kathrine Parnell.  

Board of trustees

 Kathrine Parnell, LCSW - Coordinator 

Kathrine has been a member of WPP since 2019. She opened her private practice in 2013 and has grown the practice to a thriving clinical group of practitioners. Kathrine specializes in working with individuals and families managing the autism spectrum, adoption-related issues and couples therapy. She is a clinical supervisor of new therapists and enjoys helping other therapists develop their careers and businesses.  

 Amy Fehlberg, PhD - Deputy Coordinator

Amy Fehlberg is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who has been in private practice since 2009.  She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan and her graduate work at DePaul University in Chicago.  Amy has worked in a variety of community mental health and school settings and has directed both a residential and private school during the course of her career.  Amy is a long time member of WPP and coordinates the moderators of the listserve. She is grateful for the support of the WPP community and feels honored to work with the exceptional women who comprise the leadership of WPP. When not at work, Amy spends her time with family and friends.  She enjoys reading, cooking, gardening and is always up for an opportunity to be in the water.

 Amy Edwards, CMHC  - Treasurer

Jessica Otis, LCSW - Board Member - Programming Chair

Jessica has been a member of WPP since 2021 and also took the leap into private practice in 2021.  She has spent most of her career owning a case management agency where she worked with the aging population.  While that was rewarding work, she is passionate about therapy and is excited to be involved with this supportive group of clinicians!  She specializes in working with adults who struggle with anxiety and who need help transitioning through difficult phases of their lives.

Brie Gonzalez

Brie became a WPP board member in Fall 2022. She holdsher M.Ed in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Utah. Prior to that, she worked in the adolescent mental health industry as a wilderness guide, mentor, and admissions counselor. Brie currently works in a small group private practice where she specializes in working with adolescents and adults who experience anxiety, trauma/PTSD, and concerns around self-identity development with a special focus on BIPOC identities.

Dorann C. Mitchell, LCSW

Dorann has had the opportunity to live and practice both internationally and in multiple states within the U.S. and is currently licensed in the states of Utah and Arizona, specializing in trauma treatment through Psychodynamic, DBT and EMDR therapy. She has had a varied career serving as an Assistant Professor and Director of Professional and Community Education in the College of Social Work at the University of Utah, Director of Primary Children’s Center for Counseling, served on the State of Utah’s Substance Use and Mental Health Advisory Council and has maintained a private practice for many years. Since 2016 she has been actively involved with the WPP and embraces the concept of, “when one does well, we all do well”, which also describes the supportive philosophy and nature of the WPP.

Committee Chairs

Continuing Education: Amy Edwards, CMHC

Listserv: Amy Fehlberg, PhD

Membership: Amy Fehlberg, PhD & Kathrine Parnell, LCSW

Programming: Jessica Otis, PhD

Website: Amy Fehlberg, PhD