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.
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, 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 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.
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.
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.
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.