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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

 Amy Edwards, CMHC  - Treasurer

Amy comes to us from Massachusetts with a brief stop over in Colorado, just long enough to pick up an undergraduate degree and a life partner. She enjoys german shorthair pointers, good food, a brisk walking pace, and getting things done.
Amy’s professional life started in museum administration, but lucky for us, she is now a licensed clinical mental health counselor with a passion for community mental health (she worked for Jewish Family Service for over 10 years providing individual and group therapy and psychoeducational workshops), community outreach, teaching (she is now the Associate CMHC Program Director at University of Utah in the Department of Educational Psychology), and a solo private practice where she also provides individual therapy.
Amy serves as the WPP Treasurer, a position she stepped into in 2021.

 Amy Fehlberg, PhD - 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.

Brie Gonzalez - Programming Co-Chair 

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 - Member at Large

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.

Jessica Otis, LCSW - Programming Co-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.

 Kathrine Parnell, LCSW - Emeritus 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.  

Lyndy Barnard, LCSW - Secretary 

Founder & Owner of Mind & Strength Counseling | LCWS | Master of Social Work.  My motto "My Mind, My Strength" was born from the understanding that your mind is at the center of building lasting physical and mental strength. I’ve worked in mental health in a variety of settings for almost 15 years. My expertise includes anxiety, depression, trauma, shame, body image, eating disorders, self-esteem issues, and improving resilience. I help my clients through these issues by focusing on increased self-awareness and resiliency, building coping skills, and addressing thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that get in the way of how you want to live. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Utah (LCSW) and can only provide mental health therapy in Utah.

Risse Hancock, CMHC - Memberships                               

My name is Risse. I have been a therapist working with teenagers andtheirfamilies for 10 years, and started my private practice in July 2021. Prior to that, I spent several years as a substance abuse counselor working with individuals struggling with addiction. Through both of these career paths, I found apassion for helping people through any challenges they are facing. I specialize in trauma recovery, PTSD, addiction recovery and relapse prevention, depression, grief and loss, and anxiety. My focused interventions include CBT, DBT, and EMDR. My goal is to create a safe space for my clients that allows them to heal, while also holding people accountable for their choices and actions.

Sharon Walls, LMFT - Member at Large 

Sharon Walls is a licensed marriage family therapist who has been in private practice since 2004. She completed her masters in counseling graduate work at California State University Long Beach in 2001. Sharon has worked in a variety of outpatient and inpatient mental health settings including substance treatment, eating disorder residential treatment, high school and hospital communities. Sharon practices both in Wyoming and Utah and currently is an owner at Mountain Lotus Counseling in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has appreciated being a member of WPP since 2018 and its honored to work with the leadership team. She regards her three adult children as the mentors in her life. She enjoys running, pickleball and new adventures with her rescue dog Maddie.

Committee Chairs

Continuing Education: Amy Edwards, CMHC

Listserv: Amy Fehlberg, PhD

Membership: Risse Hancock

Programming: Jessica Otis 

Website: Amy Fehlberg, PhD