Lisa cuss brings a unique blend of knowledge and experience to the SAGE Center setting with her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Denver Seminary, Littleton, CO, and her Bachelor Degree and Licensure in Elementary Education with Emphasis in Gifted Education from Johnson University, Knoxville, TN.
During her twelve years of experience teaching in both public schools and homeschooling organizations, Lisa worked with parents and school counselors to provide both educational depth and emotional health for children within the school setting. She is naturally attuned to obstacles such as anxiety, fear of failure, sensory struggles, and attention disorders which can create barriers in academic, emotional, and behavioral health. Lisa spent one-year teaching children on the autism spectrum, and from that experience learned the vital tools of clear communication, immediate positive feedback, and creativity in fostering social-emotional growth. She also served for 4 years on a focused team in a public school working with parents and teachers in providing direction and alternative learning approaches for children, both in areas of giftedness and in areas of disability.
Lisa is passionate about the social-emotional health of children and adolescents within their educational and family systems and has experience working clinically with children, adolescents, and adults. Through her Clinical Counseling experience, she has co-facilitated Adolescent Behavioral Therapy Groups, and Social Skills Groups for Elementary children, as well as Individual Therapy. Lisa believes that growth and healing are experienced most in relationship with another; therefore, close communication and work with parents is vital in the therapeutic process. Her focused study of Synergetic Play Therapy helped her further understand the convergence of neurobiology with the energy and emotions behind HOW a child experiences life through play, relationship, and educational exploration. Lisa values connection, attunement, empathy, narrative, and mindfulness. She also values care of the nervous system and spends time modeling skills to help clients grow in their abilities to self-regulate. At the core, Lisa believes two fundamental beliefs of play therapy: 1) Children and adolescents are innately created to move toward health; 2) Although he or she may not be able to articulate it, a child knows what he or she needs.
Lisa remarks, “After one conversation with Director Renu Rose about the vision and DNA of SAGE Center for Gifted, I was excited and ready to be a part of a place that provides such intentional holistic care for students and their families. I was drawn by the heart, empowerment, collaboration, and creativity that is foundational to the process of growth and healing for families at SAGE.”
Outside of her Clinical and Educational Profession, Lisa enjoys time with her husband and three kids around the dinner table, on a hike, and in cheering her kids on at sporting events. She is fortunate to have traveled abroad with her family and states she continues to be impacted by the life experiences of family and friends around the world.
Dr.Kathleen Daly, M.D.,
Dr. Daly is a passionate believer in the value of early intervention, psychoeducation, and enhancing family support systems for adolescents and young adults who are at risk for or currently living with mental illness.
She has worked with community mental health providers in Colorado and Washington, treating a range of illnesses that include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Kathleen began her psychiatry career at the First Episode Clinic at the Maryland Psychiatric Center, focused on the treatment of schizophrenia and related disorders. This was where she first witnessed the powerful impact that early intervention and the inclusion of familial support in treatment can have on a patient’s trajectory and quality of life.
Too often, she has seen the negative impact that marginalizing parents has on their children’s psychiatric care plan. Kathleen understands that a parent is often the strongest advocate a patient has and may be the only reason the patient is not experiencing a deeper crisis. She sees parents as a resource that should not be overlooked, much less dismissed, and believes they can be integral to the recovery process.
Kathleen is currently training in Family Focused Therapy (FFT), a hybrid of two forms of psychotherapy. It is based on psychoeducation (a type of therapy focused on teaching patients and their families about the nature of their illness), as well as a variety of carefully selected family therapy techniques.
As a mother of a gifted child, Kathleen understands the challenges involved with parenting, including the need to constantly be an advocate when it comes to interacting with educational and medical professionals.
“I see so many parents struggle with questions and doubts about whether they’re doing the ‘right things’ to empower their children to live healthier, happier lives. This all comes from a place of love, so my ultimate goal is to provide the tools and guidance that can help translate that sense of caring into positive outcomes.
SAGE Center truly takes a comprehensive and holistic approach to the gifted child and values the inclusion of family in helping their child realize their greatest potential. This is perfectly in line with my therapeutic approach to teens and young adults at risk for depression, mood disorders, and psychotic illnesses. I am excited to be joining the amazing team Renu Rose has created at SAGE Center for Gifted.”
On behalf of SAGE Center for Gifted, we warmly welcome Kathleen and look forward to the gifts and expertise she brings to our organization.
Michelle is a licensed psychotherapist with 23 years of experience working with individuals, couples, adolescents and families.
Michelle obtained her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University in San Rafael, CA in 1994. There, she did her post-master’s internships at the University of San Francisco’s McCauley Institute working with children and adolescents. Her second internship included Marriage and Family training and counseling at The Family Institute in San Francisco.
Michelle’s specializations and expertise include helping individuals use mindfulness combined with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to understand and decrease depression and anxiety issues. She has a special affinity for connecting with adolescents and provides a safe space for them to explore their inner world of feelings.
Michelle is passionate about helping people understand their emotions, guiding them to discover healthy coping skills when feelings arise, encouraging them to communicate openly in their relationships.
SAGE Center welcomes Michelle's seasoned clinical experience and exceptional connective qualities. She will be a gift to our SAGE families providing support on the Louisville and Denver side of our ever-widening reach.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker,
Amy Pickett-Williams, LCSW has been providing psychotherapeutic services in Denver for over 16 years. She graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work in 1997, and earned the Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver in 1999.
She worked in both pediatric and adult medical settings, including hematology/oncology, medically complex children, emergency trauma and hospice. For 8 years, she worked at a school and community-based medical clinic providing psychotherapy to all ages – children, adolescents, women with pregnancy/post-partum challenges, couples and families. At this site, she served many children and adolescents with unique learning needs and enjoyed the integrated approach linking the child, family, school and clinic. She provided consultation for school and medical staff and supervised graduate level students. Before the birth of her third child (who is now three years old), she resumed working in private practice. A majority of her clients are referrals from pediatric offices and both private and public schools. Many of these children are gifted or twice exceptional children and adolescents.
Her specialty areas include work with gifted and twice exceptional children, depression/anxiety, ADD/ADHD, grief and loss, chronic and terminal illness, trauma, abuse, infertility, post-partum mood disorders, divorce/children of divorce, play therapy, art therapy and family and couples therapy. Her therapeutic modality varies among clients, but always comes from a strengths based/empowerment approach.
“I am thrilled to partner with SAGE Center for Gifted, an agency that looks holistically at a child and all the systems that may impact him/her. This model of empowerment fits exactly with what I believe in as a person and a provider.” – Amy Pickett-Williams, LCSW
Kim Johnson has been working with families in private practice for the past 10 years. She is a Registered Psychotherapist with extended training in trauma and attachment theory.
Kim is also trained as a Love & Logic Parenting Coach. This core of this approach helps parents understand that each child is unique; each child must be parented in such a way that recognizes his/her unique strengths and challenges. Parenting with Love and Logic motivates parents with self-confidence, ready to handle real world problems by crafting caring and respectful relationships in an authentic, connected way – rooted in trust and understanding.
Kim understands first-hand, the challenges parents face trying to find a holistic environment to nurture the gifted child. As a mother of two children with learning differences, she knows that patience, compassion, and empathy create an environment rich in love, understanding, and kindness. Kim practiced slowing down, to get into their world and she has seen her children blossom when provided the necessary support and guidance.
Skilled professionals help parents make wise decisions. Accurate assessment and diagnosis is essential to help these children thrive, for when empowered and nurtured, these children are the most loving, sensitive souls.
Kim is excited to join the team at the SAGE Center where honoring cognitive, emotional, social and creative intellects creates the space for children to bloom.
“I am delighted to join SAGE Center’s professional, caring team. SAGE has the heart to serve beautifully gifted children. The core of SAGE Center is one of love, acceptance and support.” – Kim Johnson