Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS), and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT)
I firmly believe that as humans, we are each putting forth our best effort day to day with the knowledge we have, the various impacts of our environments and personal histories, and the current resources at our disposal. Our best varies substantially as our environment, relationships, circumstances, resources, supports, sense of safety, and understanding of ourselves, others, and the world vary, greatly impacting our ability to respond and make decisions in any given moment. Having a place to slow down and gain better awareness and clarity about our challenges and our experience in the context of our lives and relationships can be quite beneficial, even transformational.
I believe we all naturally gravitate towards healing and growth, and therapy can be an immensely useful instrument in this process - but also doesn’t have to be the last resort when it feels as though everything has gone wrong and we find ourselves at a complete loss for what to do, desperate for relief. Though this is when many seek treatment, therapy can look a variety of ways. It can be akin to seeing the doctor for a regular check up to ensure we are living a healthy, adaptive lifestyle and functioning at our best. It can be a session here and there to broaden our perspective or expand our coping skills. Or perhaps a brief period of support and therapeutic presence while navigating a difficult time in our lives… Therapy can be these and any number of other possibilities, dependent upon the client and how they want to approach and utilize therapy.
However you may wish to approach it, I am honored to develop a meaningful therapeutic relationship with you, guiding you through the process by providing support, useful information, assisting you in cultivating inner wisdom and intuition, and empowering you to face and engage in the difficult and life changing work that therapy can provide.
Rachel first became interested in psychology (and later mental health counseling) after witnessing the effects of trauma in her foster siblings as an adolescent. Feeling compelled to understand their behaviors and ways of relating to others and the world around them, she pursued a bachelor's degree in psychology which quickly grew into a passion for connecting with others, seeking to understand and support them as they transcend their pain in order to reach a place of healing and growth.
Rachel began working in mental health in 2004 at Crossroads Safehouse with survivors of interpersonal violence, then went on to spend over a decade working on the acute, inpatient, residential and intensive outpatient units of Mountain Crest, a psychiatric hospital and behavioral health clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado. Along the way she completed a master's degree in counseling, including a year long internship at the Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy Center, and performed crisis and mental health assessments in the emergency department at Poudre Valley Hospital. Since then Rachel has served as Coordinator of a Chemical Dependency Intensive Outpatient Program, spent time as an Academic Year Counselor at the Colorado State University Counseling Center, and moved into private practice with Polaris Partners Counseling and Consulting as well as on her own. Through these and other clinical roles, she has been instrumental in program development, has gained a wealth of experience working with adults, adolescents, couples, groups and families in a variety of settings, addressing a multitude of therapeutic issues, and has worked with some of Colorado's most severely traumatized at-risk youth. She is passionate about providing trauma-informed care, sharing her knowledge with others, and forming meaningful relationships with everyone she meets.
Education and Training
Rachel received her Bachelor's of Science (B.S.) in Psychology from Colorado State University in 2005 and her Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado in 2015. She became a Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS) in the State of Colorado in 2018 and a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) in 2023. She began Somatic Experiencing training in 2023 and regularly seeks out additional education and training in her field and areas of specialty, attends professional development activities as often as she can, and maintains memberships in professional counseling organizations in order to stay up to date on research findings and changes in the counseling profession as well as to further refine her skills as a counselor. Rachel has additional education and training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal Processing and Attachment Theory, the Hakomi Method, Somatic Experiencing, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), as well as Circlework and other group and individual therapy approaches.
Rachel's approach to counseling has evolved over the years and as she's gained more experience, knowledge and understanding about what works, why, and how in the therapy realm. Her approach is rooted in mindfulness, the mind-body connection, neurobiology, somatic experiencing, polyvagal theory, attachment theory, and holistic health. Her interventions include evidence-based treatment approaches (such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) as well as cutting-edge and non-traditional methods, depending on the client's needs and preferences. Rachel takes a collaborative approach to her work, affirming the client's identities and centering their lived experience(s) with an understanding of intersectionality, using trauma-informed, strengths-based and anti-oppressive or liberatory practices. She views her role as that of a teacher, supportive witness and resource for clients so that they may connect with their own inner strengths and wisdom, process the effects of painful experiences and legacies, and forge beneficial and lasting change. Treatment planning and use of session time is individualized so that the client is empowered throughout the therapeutic process.
Trauma is perhaps
— Peter Levine, PhD
National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC)
American Counseling Association (ACA)
Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC, a Division of ACA)
Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ, a Division of ACA)
Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE, a Division of ACA)
Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW, a Division of ACA)
American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA)