Mind Spa was founded out of a passion for helping people through the tough periods of life. Life is messy. There just isn’t any avoiding that, no matter how hard we try. How we handle and get through the messy seasons of life can make all the difference. There are a lot of counselors to choose from in Cheyenne and the surrounding areas. We don’t take lightly the honor of being able to work with each person, couple, and family that I get to work with and who share their lives with me in one way or another.
Our clinic is blessed to have a team of amazing, dedicated mental health professionals who genuinely have a passion and calling for helping those who are in need. Because of the diversity and breadth of experience among our clinicians, we are able to competently work with almost anyone with any issue. This means that choosing to get your mental health care at Mind Spa ensures that you will have the opportunity to get paired with the counselor that is the best fit with you.
Dr. Sheri Fluellen, Ph.D. - Licensed Psychologist
She is a licensed psychologist in Wyoming and Colorado. She earned a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Sioux Falls Seminary in South Dakota and a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Oklahoma State University. She’s been providing counseling services for about 10 years and her experiences are pretty broad. Here are some of the types of places she’s worked: domestic violence center and shelter, half-way house for individuals who just got out of prison, community mental health center, college student counseling center, hospital, and military mental health clinic. She spent about four years as an active duty psychologist in the Air Force, which is what originally brought her to Cheyenne, WY. In addition to working with Mind Spa, she also provide psychological testing and counseling services to home bound military veterans through the VA Hospital and is an Adjunct Clinical Faculty Member at the University of Wyoming Family Medical Residency Program in Cheyenne.
Lindsay Simineo, M.A. - Licensed Professional Counselor
Lindsay earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Denver Seminary. She has enjoyed the opportunity of working with youth in a multitude of settings over the past 6 years. She’s engaged with youth at detention centers, in youth ministries, in schools, in group settings, in case management roles, and on a mentoring level. Lindsay define herself as being very young at heart and feel at home working with children and teens as they face the obstacles that are put before them. Some of the many issues she has helped youth with are: depression, anxiety, substance use, trauma, abuse, identity formation, general coping skills, and relationship skills. She firmly believes that every child and adolescent has the right to discover who they are and to be empowered to reach their full potential. When challenges get in the way of that growth and success, she is a crucial resource to help them push through and succeed. She also sees that the family can be the key to that success and at times works to facilitate healing and growth in the family as a whole.
Doug Blocksma, M.A. - Licensed Professional Counselor
Doug received his Master’s of Clinical Mental Health degree from Denver Seminary and has worked in the mental health field in a number of different places. He has provided counseling in a community clinic, worked in day treatment for at-risk youth, provided social work services in Larimer and Weld (CO) counties as well as worked with youth and families in the foster care system. He was originally introduced to Cheyenne as an engineering officer at F.E. Warren AFB years ago and additionally worked in the professional consulting world. As someone who began in the engineering world with the Air Force and eventually found his way to the world of counseling, Doug embody practical usefulness as much as emotional and spiritual wellness in therapy. His work is primarily with youth who are struggling to find their way in life and do not always feel like they have a voice that is being heard. He enjoys working with men of any age that are not always excited to engage in therapy to assist them in connecting their actions, thoughts and feelings. His counseling style involves creating a safe place for any kind of expression along with concrete goal-setting and action-planning to give clients a handhold to work with.
Sarah Tilley, M.A. - Licensed Professional Counselor
Sarah is a Licensed Professional Counselor in both Wyoming and Virginia and a National Board Certified Counselor. She graduated from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia with a Masters of Arts in Counseling. Navigating life is not meant to be a solo journey. Sarah believes that the counseling relationship is most effective when the counselor and client work together to explore and develop unique solutions. She does not believe in one-size-fits-all therapy and therefore she is very intentional in addressing clients’ specific needs through ongoing collaboration throughout the therapeutic process. Sarah work very hard to create and preserve a safe, confidential, and respectful environment for each of her clients.
Julie Kostrey, M.A. - Provisional Professional Counselor
I earned my Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology, in Chicago. I completed my clinical internship at a community health center in the west Chicago suburbs working with adults, adolescents, and children. At the clinic, I conducted parenting classes using Dr. Jane Nelsen's Positive Discipline method, and facilitated a women's group. Prior to that, I received clinical training in NYC within inpatient, outpatient, and creative rehabilitation program settings working primarily with indigent populations with chronic and severe mental health concerns.
I am open to different modes of therapy that can enhance authenticity, meaning, vitality, and wellness, and strive to be consistently honest, direct, and genuine with my clients. I have found being mindful and noticing "in the moment" to be useful. I am also keen on learning about clients' life experience as I believe that we human beings are so much more than simply what we think, do, or feel.
I have found that some clients benefit from incorporating expressive aspects into therapy such as journaling or art making, which I find inspiring. I also find it useful to explore client spirituality/religion, which I believe can help guide the therapy process. I am also a big fan of group work and have found most clients value participation. I have several years of experience working with immigrant, bilingual, and multicultural issues.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, prayer/meditation, being creative, listening to music, and physical exercise. I like to explore new areas and landscapes, and learn about different cultures. Community involvement such as volunteerism is important to me. In facing challenges in my own life, I am continually inspired by what theologian Paul Tillich calls "the courage of confidence" - acceptance, grace, and faith - in spite of.
Sara Bryan, M.A. - Licensed Professional Counselor
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in Washington, Colorado and Wyoming. I graduated Cum Laude from CSU with a BS in Psychology in 2001 and received my Master in Arts degree from UNC in Clinical Counseling in 2007. During my time at CSU, I took a semester off and traveled to Brazil in order to pursue my heart of caring for children living on the streets. This ignited in me an awareness about, and love for those, who were faced with life’s harsh realities at such a young age. After graduating from CSU, I lived in Romania for five months to work with babies in the orphanage system. During that time I learned firsthand about the real impact of early childhood experiences, our inherent need for consistent love and attention and about the sad realities for those who do not have someone to attach to in those early years. Although my impact felt small, I held, rocked, kissed, danced with and sang to babies every day for five months in hopes that the love I felt would sink into their minds and hearts.
My formal education and life experiences, such as my time in Brazil and Romania, have shaped who I am as a person and counselor. The volunteer experiences I had brought my formal education to life in that I learned by seeing and holding and loving those with attachment disorders, those who were despairing and those impacted by early childhood abuse and trauma. I looked into the eyes of the hopeless, and those who were unloved, and realized my deep desire to find ways to bring hope and healing to those who are in despair and suffering. As a result, my clients tend to be those who have been impacted by early childhood trauma, neglect or abuse. I also enjoy working with those who are struggling with relational issues or those who are wrestling with depression or anxiety. Of course, I have a particular heart for those whose attachment style is impacting their ability to love themselves or others well.
Professionally, I have worked as a clinician in a mental health center in Ft Collins as well as a low-income clinic in Seattle. I also founded an eldercare company while living in Seattle, Washington that I ran for five years and eventually decided to move on from to pursue my love of counseling more fully.
My primary theoretical orientation is called Narrative Therapy; which is a way to see people through the lens of the story they have been living. I am often looking for themes that have been a part of one’s story since the beginning. We come to therapy at a moment in our lives, usually as a result of some pain or loss or sadness. But that moment can only be understood in light of who we have been and how we have loved and been loved up to that moment. A big theme of my approach is to call people to begin to make the changes towards the life they want to live now versus later. Often we postpone large life choices because we view our time as endless, which can lead to remaining stuck or stagnant for years or decades.
On a personal note, my husband, son and I reside in Fort Collins, Colorado where I grew up. My time these days, when not counseling, is spent in the world of figuring out and entering into the world of the small child I am a mother to. We often go on family hikes, bike rides and spend a lot of time playing at the park. Being a mother is a form of education in itself. Daily I watch a human develop new skills and am called to the wonder of trees, leaves, rocks and dirt as my son explores his world with delight.
To summarize why I do what I do, a quote from Henri Nouwen seems to best give words to it, “We need to be angels for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow but also a cup of joy will we be able to drink it.”
Mark Russell, M.A. - Provisional Professional Counselor
Mark is a Provisional Professional Counselor in the state of Wyoming. He earned his Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Denver Seminary. The population that he had worked with the most has been early to middle adulthood males with an emphasis on identity, sexuality, and personal growth. While this has been a strong focus, he is very comfortable and happy to engage with adolescents, all adults, and couples. He works with both individual and group settings and finds both approaches to be uniquely beneficial to the needs of his clients. Mark cares a lot about helping people discover that they are more than they may have believed. Through better understanding of personal responsibility, development of strengths, spiritual growth, and emotional maturity, Mark believes that people can learn that they have what they need to care for themselves even when the world says otherwise.
Brandon Dixon, MSW - Provisional Clinical Social Worker
I moved to wide, wonderful Wyoming in the 90’s from the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Met my wife in Laramie and we married in 1998. We have one son together and he has a brother 13 years older who is an aspiring musician.
I earned Bachelor degrees in Philosophy and English from Oneonta State College in New York and my Master’s in Social Work from the University of Wyoming. My professional counseling experience includes working at Youth Alternatives in Cheyenne as a Family Counselor, and working in the Laramie County School District as both a Behavior Intervention Specialist at the elementary school level and a Certified School Social Worker with elementary, junior, and senior high students.
My many years in Wyoming have taught me “good fences (not walls) make good neighbors.” Fences are really just another way of talking about boundaries. We often desire to test boundaries in our pursuit to “know” things in life. This desire to test boundaries goes way back to the beginning of our existence, and from time to time we need to come together and mend these fences. There are many ways to find the truth, yet, once found, what is good and right is not always easy to live out. There is no doubt that life calls for strength and courage. As a counselor I encourage others to discover, develop, and use their strengths and gifts (especially in the midst of “weakness”) in order to find and live out what is good and right. I believe the counseling experience and the perspective it brings creates a rich and wonderful understanding of ourselves and our relationships. All the makings for a meaningful life. I consider the opportunity to help you in your journey a privilege.
A little about myself: I enjoy getting fresh air, spending time with family and friends, making new friends, philosophizing, and not philosophizing.
David S. Briggs, Ed.S., NCSP - Certified Specialist in School Psychology
I am a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and certified provider working under the supervision of Sheri Fluellen, Ph.D., in the state of Wyoming. I earned my Educational Specialist Degree in school psychology from the University of Northern Colorado in 2010. I have worked full time in the school setting for the last five years, and I have worked part time in various clinical settings for the last three and a half years. The populations that I work with on a regular basis are young children from the ages of five to late teens. My work focuses on the diagnosis (testing and assessment) and treatment (group or individual) of various disorders, including: depression, anxiety, developmental disorders (ex.- ADHD and autism), and social skills deficits. I am particularly interested in resiliency and how to develop these characteristics in children and adolescents.
For more insight into who I am, I grew up in Rexburg, Idaho, which is a sleepy little farm/college town in South Eastern Idaho. I attended one year of college at Idaho State University (ISU) after high school, before taking the opportunity when I was 19, to perform service-based missionary work in various parts of Brazil for two years. Upon my return, I transferred from Idaho State University to Brigham Young University-Idaho, where I met my wife and graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with minors in neuroscience and Portuguese. My wife and I now have three wonderful children, and I am rusty, but still fluent, in the Portuguese language. I enjoy watching movies and college football (particularly Boise State Football), playing golf and basketball, listening to music, and spending time fixing things and being with my family. Otherwise, I am passionate about my work and helping others understand and live up to their potential.
Candise Leininger, M.S. - Licensed Professional Counselor
I am a Nationally Board Certified Counselor licensed in Wyoming. I received my Master’s degree in Counselor Education from the University of Wyoming in 2005. I have worked in various positions in the mental health field since 1981. I am a trained EMDR level II Clinician and work efficiently and effectively with clients to reprocess and release trauma memories. On the other end of the spectrum, I am a Certified Global Career Development Facilitator and enjoy working with clients who are transitioning in their careers. I am also trained in Traumatic Event Management and Psychological First Aid for catastrophic events. I am a certified suicide prevention trainer and provide both ASIST and QPR trainings in the community.
I have worked with a wide variety of clients and issues including: service members and their families, domestic violence survivors, medical providers, teachers, adolescents, adults, sleep disturbance, disordered eating, depression and anxiety, low self-esteem, substance/alcohol abuse, brain injury, family members of patients with dementia, and people struggling with trauma memories or suicidality. It is an honor to walk alongside my clients in their life’s journey and support them as they find a healthier path. I feel it is essential to be a competent and ethical counselor, but even more importantly, someone my clients can trust to work through some of their toughest issues.
My husband of 33 years and I are originally from Pennsylvania. We have lived in Wyoming for 23 years and raised our 2 daughters in Casper, WY. We relocated to Cheyenne a few years ago and I feel blessed to have my family close by and to live in this wonderful state.
Alyssa de le Torre, M.A. – Provisional Professional Counselor
I am a Provisional Professional Counselor in the state of Wyoming. I received my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling of from the University of Northern Colorado. I worked in a variety of mental health settings in Northern Colorado with a diverse client population, enabling me to use my Spanish fluency. I worked with at-risk youth at a residential treatment facility, provided case management services to youth and families at a non-profit and provided individual and group counseling at a domestic violence shelter.
For me, counseling should look differently for each person as we are all unique; each of us has our own experiences, struggles or problems (no matter how big or small) causing us to seek help outside of ourselves. I believe counseling should be a collaborative process: I will work to create a safe space to feel protected with the freedom to explore feelings and fears. In this safe environment gaining self-awareness and comfort taking risks for growth is possible.
I have lived in Fort Collins, Colorado for nearly my entire life (I like to consider myself a native). During my free time, I love hiking, salsa dancing, walking my dog and spending time with my family. We love eating Mexican food and being together. I have a huge heart for social justice and am passionate about abolishing human-trafficking in our country and abroad.
Ch. Jim Patterson, M.A., M.Div. - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Jim is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Wyoming. His masters’ degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and in Divinity come from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He’s provided individual, marriage, family, and group therapy/counseling in a variety of contexts, including working in the rural and isolated areas of Kansas and Alaska to the big cities of San Diego and San Antonio. Out of his 20+ years as a clinician, 12 of them have been spent working extensively with the military and their family as a chaplain and war veteran. His experiences have included domestic and foreign hospitals and their trauma rooms, community clinics, private practices, and religious institutions. Issues that he has expertise in are post-deployment readjustment and healing, depression, divorce, PTSD, sexual trauma recovery, marital counseling, family therapy, life-cycle adjustment, and a variety of other individual issues.