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. We are also excited to welcome an additional therapist, Jason Swick, who we have also both worked with previously, and who brings a nature-based approach to his work with children and adolescents.
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.
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 I 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.
I am now a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing play therapy and animal assisted therapy. I work with children, parents, individuals and adolescents. For me it's important to create an authentic environment where people can show up exactly as they are. And I enjoy guiding clients to go deeply within themselves so they may find answers to their most vulnerable questions.
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!
When I became a mother, fifteen 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 ten 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 am practicing as an Unlicensed Psychotherapist, working towards licensure as I am in the last year of completing my Master's Degree in Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling. I particularly enjoy and have experience counseling parents who have children with special needs, adopted children, or families working through trauma. Through all of my studies and practice, I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as “perfect” parenting. I have also seen that having some accompaniment can help to ease the struggles and bring a presence that allows the joy to shine through.
Influenced by my work with children from a young age, I pursued my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Fort Lewis College. Post graduation I sought a position within the field of mental health in order to expand upon my desire to support the youth populations wellbeing. I acquired a job as a mentor at Dragonfly Transitions, an adolescent residential mental health facility, where I obtained my first work experience within the field.
From there I found an opportunity to combine my education with my passions as I became a teacher at The Patchwork School in Louisville. It was here, through witnessing the expression of play and conflict amongst children that I felt inspired to obtain my graduate degree from Naropa University. I now hold a MA degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Concentration in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology: Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy.
As an Unlicensed Psychotherapist, working towards licensure at the Louisville Family Center, I work with children, adolescents, and their families. Through the use of the outdoor settings I aspire to provide space for individuals to connect to their innate relationship with themselves and the natural world. I enjoy guiding these experiences and working with the individual to locate avenues to further express and acknowledge ones self.
In my personal life I am expecting my first child in the fall with my partner in adventure and life. As I adopt new roles and responsibilities I will undoubtedly resource my past work experiences and access my larger community for the support that I will need. I am grateful for this challenging opportunity to learn, grow, and develop my understanding of myself and my family.
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.