Meet Us

The Louisville Family Center was founded in March of 2017 with the intention of creating a space for families and individuals to connect more deeply with themselves and each other.  We enjoy being a part of downtown Louisville, as it allows us to connect with the community in various ways. 

Christy Lochary and Michele Beach are the founders of the Louisville Family Center.  We began working together in 2008 as teachers, which was the start of a collaboration and friendship that has supported us through many important stages in our lives.  See below for more information about each therapist, and also be sure to check out our Community Partners page for additional on-site and community practitioners.

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CHRISTY LOCHARY

I have been working with families and children since 2008.  I began my career as a teacher at The Patchwork school, in Louisville Colorado.  During this time, I found that I had a passion for connecting with families and sharing the joys and challenges they faced.  I also began to understand that play can be a powerful expression of a child's inner experience.  My time as a teacher motivated me to complete a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Regis University in 2015.

I am now a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Synergetic Play Therapist, Level 1 Certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapist, and the Clinical Supervisor for the staff at the Louisville Family Center. Additionally, I am a Certified Social Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) Facilitator, and I co-facilitate support groups for caregivers of Gifted and 2e (twice exceptional) children.

I love working with children with a variety of backgrounds including giftedness, ADHD, transition sensitivities, tantrums and anxiety. I hold a strong value in continuing my education, particularly concerning issues that affect children and their families. I employ research-based, relationship-centered play therapy modalities, and I consider myself a neurodiversity affirming therapist.

I believe therapy is most impactful when children feel free to be themselves and show up exactly as they are. When children feel safe they are able to connect with the challenges they face and explore new ways of being. In this process, I work with families to find ways that work best for them to connect with their children and the challenges at hand.

In addition to being a therapist I am also a wife and mother.  I enjoy spending time with my little family and understand first hand the joys and struggles families encounter in life.  Becoming a parent has stretched me in ways no amount of training or education could prepare me for.  I found that while I had a lot of first hand experience being with children, I did not have first hand experience actually being a mother!  It is a role I had to grow into, and will continue to evolve for the rest of my life.  As I take this journey into parenthood I find myself getting more and more curious about what is coming up for me in relationship to my child and my husband.  And that curiosity often takes me in directions I was not planning on going.  I am so grateful for them in my life! 

 

CLIENT LOVE

MICHELE BEACH

When I became a mother, many years ago, I had no idea I was beginning a  journey to the center of myself.  I had always excelled in school, graduating in 2000 from Stanford University with a Bachelors in Computer Science.  I had no doubt I could study all of the books, remember some tips from my babysitting days and ace parenting with flying colors.  And yet I found myself at times sitting there on the floor crying right alongside my two-year-old, not able to understand what I was doing “wrong.”  I found myself blaming him and shaming myself.

Shortly thereafter I went back to school, because I wanted to learn more about children and emotions.  I got my Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from CU Denver in 2007.  The following August, I co-founded The Patchwork School, which began as a small preschool in my basement with just ten children.  We moved the school to Louisville where we quickly found we had many parents seeking something similar for their young children and themselves, a learning environment that also makes space for feelings.  Supporting parents, staff and students these past fourteen years, I have been fortunate to work with hundreds of families here in Louisville.  I have also researched Social/Emotional well-being on my own and through workshops and conferences in New York, Portland, Finland, Puerto Rico, Vancouver, and here in Colorado.

At the Louisville Family Center, I have been practicing since 2017, and am currently a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate (LPCC), with a Master's Degree in Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling from Naropa University.  My approach to therapy includes conflict transformation through Non-Violent Communication, mindfulness and present-focused techniques, motivational interviewing to promote solutions, body awareness, inner parts work, family systems dynamics, and most of all is client-centered. My intention is to meet you exactly where you are at in each and every session.  My areas of interest and experience lie particularly with counseling adults, couples and families who are struggling with anxiety, depression, overwhelm, trauma, career and other transitions or grief.  I also have experience with children with special needs, gifted children and adopted children, as well as working with families and couples dealing with conflict and divorce

As for myself, my oldest son is now sixteen years old, I have two additional children, and I no longer believe there is a "right" way to parent.  However I do know that with support it is possible to reconnect to the joy of parenting and the precious experience of being a family.  When not in the office, I particularly enjoy gardening, taking the kids swimming or camping, cooking, reading and hanging out with our little black cat.

CLIENT LOVE

JULIA MESSING

What makes us the unique individuals we are? What does it mean to be alive? As a kid, I often found myself wrapped up in this kind of wondering. I spent many quiet hours contemplating meaning and nourishing my curiosity about people & the natural world.

After completing my Bachelor’s in Psychology, I began working in the finance sector in Boston. After some time, I found a desire to experience a more fulfilling life, so I journeyed abroad to gain culturally diverse experience and connect with students as a teacher. These years introduced me to experiential teachings in mindfulness and body awareness, which allowed me to slow down enough to listen to myself, an ability I hadn’t tapped into since I was young.

Coming back to the US, I found the lovely Patchwork School and then attended Naropa University, where I completed my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, specializing in Mindfulness-based and Transpersonal Psychotherapy. While health looks different for each person, I believe having a caring and supportive therapist to assist is often a key ingredient. In my practice I bring non-judgement, compassion and humor to every session. As a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate at the Louisville Family Center, I support individuals and couples looking to understand themselves more deeply and live with vibrancy. I specifically enjoy helping people work through addictions, transitions, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, I am a Hakomi level 1 practitioner (a mindfulness-centered somatic psychotherapy), and working towards licensure as an addiction counselor. Outside of therapy, my time is spent creating art, cooking lovely meals with friends, and spending time with my partner and cats.

CLIENT LOVE

SARAH HRAHA

As a counselor and mom, what I know is that at our core, we all yearn to be known, to be seen, and to be understood. Having the freedom and space to authentically be ourselves, with our flaws is important for kids so that as they mature into the world, they are able to leave the nest with less fear and struggle. Parents who create safe, nurturing homes for their kids raise kids with the resilience to overcome life’s challenges. Is it easy? Not always, but it does begin at home and with you.

When I work with families (sometimes just the kids, sometimes as a family. sometimes just the parents) I model in session a safe, warm, nurturing, and fun space for children to be themselves. From that place, they can safely discover who they are. I love helping kids learn about their feelings, their thoughts, and moods, to develop empathy and conflict resolution skills, which leads to a greater understanding of themselves and others. In my sessions I use what’s called an “eclectic approach”, meaning I take the best of what works from different philosophies and put them together to meet the specific needs of the child/family. Often, this includes play therapy, family systems, strengths-based therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness. I received my Master’s and Doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from the Adler University in Chicago with a focus on child, adolescent, and family therapy. Personally, I understand the ups and downs of parenthood having raised 3 children with my husband. With 4 grandkids as well, parenting has been a part of my life for more than 40 years.

MARLEE RUDMAN

Hello! I’m Marlee and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I feel so excited to be a part of the community. I first moved to Colorado in 2012, to study at Naropa University, where I received my Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. I was drawn to Naropa’s integration of the mind, body, and spirit, especially the holistic approach to Early Childhood Education. After graduating, I spent the following years teaching at Waldorf inspired preschools. During this time, I witnessed the power of play and expressive arts. I also strengthened my ability to create a nurturing space for children to be themselves. I found joy in creating strong relationships with the children and parents in my classroom.

I decided to go back to school to transform the way I could be of support to families. I am now working towards my Masters degree at Naropa University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis on Mindfulness Based and Transpersonal Psychotherapy. As a counselor, I work from a humanistic and strengths based perspective. I create a safe and compassionate place for children to express themselves, to explore their emotions and to make sense of their world. I am completing my practicum at the Patchwork School and will continue onto my internship at the Louisville Family Center. Some of my other passions include cooking, crocheting, and exploring the mountains and open spaces of beautiful Colorado with my partner. 

LILLIE WACASTER

All my life, I’ve been drawn to creativity, with passion for all kinds of art, crafts, and writing. When I was a teenager, I became interested in the idea of becoming a therapist as I cared deeply about others and the idea that we can make a difference in the world one person at a time. When I first heard about art therapy as a senior in high school, I knew right away that it was the perfect career for me. I have pursued that goal ever since, studying art and psychology in my undergraduate degree at Harding University. After graduating college in 2018, I decided to take some time off before pursuing my graduate degree and spent two years as a Montessori preschool teacher. My work with children has taught me so much about patience, kindness, and working with emotions.

In 2020 I decided it was time to move on with my goals of becoming an art therapist. In the same way that I knew art therapy was the perfect career for me, I knew that Naropa University was the perfect school, and I am grateful to be there receiving my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in Transpersonal Art Therapy. The relationship between art, mental health, mindfulness, and each of our connections to humanity and spirituality, is an obvious and inherent one to me, and I love being at a school where that is taught. Through doing practicum at Louisville Family Center and Patchwork School, I fell in love with the synergetic play therapy model and have integrated it’s concepts into my work with art and mindfulness. I offer client-centered talk, play, art, and mindful therapy services with a particular interest in working with middle through high school students.

SARA WITKOWSKI

Hi! I am Sara (she/her) and I am thrilled to be a part of the Louisville Family Center community. Before moving to Colorado, I completed my Bachelor’s degree at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA where I studied Modern Dance Performance. Eventually, I traveled abroad to study yoga where I learned to practice finding deeper connection in the mind, body, and spirit. Having spent nearly a decade working in childcare and with families, I found myself drawn to the way children relate and move through the world. This interest in human development paired with a passion for movement propelled my search for where to go next, professionally.

I am currently working towards my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a focus on Somatic and Body Psychotherapy at Naropa University. As a counselor, I work from a client-centered and strengths-based perspective. I believe that by creating and maintaining a nurturing, supportive, and non-judgmental space, individuals can explore and express themselves in a way that feels aligned with their internal experience. I have recently completed my Practicum at The Patchwork School and I look forward to pursuing my internship at the Louisville Family Center. Some other interests of mine include: practicing yoga, dancing, and exploring nearby trails with my dog, Ramona!

ALEX ZOBEL

I am grateful to be a part of the Louisville Family Center team. I bring enthusiasm and care to my work as a therapist. I am currently completing my Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of the Cumberlands. I have an eclectic approach in my therapy practice, incorporating Synergetic Play Therapy, Gestalt therapy, somatic awareness and a Jungian lens among other modalities that I am learning and exploring.

I enjoy working with people of all ages and backgrounds. I greatly value creating a space where clients can be their authentic selves and to support them as they grow and integrate. My focus in therapy is based on how effectively I can attune to the client and support their process of regulation and development.

I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I have had the joy of living in many different parts of the country. After completing my Bachelor’s degree in Journalism at Texas Christian University, I explored writing and studied music for many years. I have a background in music composition, journalism, creative arts, psychology and psychotherapy. I enjoy traveling, cooking, reading, time in nature and spending time with my family.