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In-person workshops offered in Pocatello, Idaho Falls and Meridian. Webinar options are also available. Continuing education credits are supported at 3, 6, 12 and 15 credit/hour increments.


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Presenter Biographies

Matt Ashton, Ph.D., BCB, Dr. Matt Ashton is a licensed psychologist at Idaho State University’s Counseling and Testing Services and currently serves as the center’s Biofeedback Coordinator. He is active in providing individual and group therapy, along with biofeedback training to ISU students, and supervision of graduate students in training. He has worked with adults in college settings in different parts of the US with particular interest in stress and relaxation, anxiety, health psychology, decision making, and spirituality. He incorporates Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), biofeedback, mindfulness, and self-compassion in counseling.

I was trained as a generalist in university counseling centers and have practiced as a licensed psychologist for the last 9 years in both Kentucky and Idaho. I have participated in training programs for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and presented trainings on this topic. I am Board Certified in Biofeedback (BCB) which includes significant study of anatomy and physiology, hands-on didactic training, and mentoring from a certified clinician. I currently supervise graduate students and consult with other professionals regarding biofeedback.

Hannah Brinser is a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Counseling program at Idaho State University. She received her M.A. in School Counseling from Gonzaga University in 2020 and her B.S. in Psychology from Western Washington University in 2018. She is a certified school counselor and nationally certified counselor (NC). Her research interests include leadership and advocacy in school counseling, cultivating trauma-informed schools, and training effective school counselors.

Leslie Contos, PhD, LCPC, NCC, CCMHC is a licensed clinical professional counselor in both Illinois and Idaho. She has worked within schools and community agencies providing counseling services and program coordination for youth and families. Her interests include the exploration of narrative expression and arts interventions in her work with youth and families in unserved and underserved communities. Leslie is active in the Idaho Association for Counselor Educators and Supervisors, and recently received the ACAC in Illinois Counselor Educator award for her work as an adjunct professor training and supervising counselors to work with youth and families.

Timothy J. Hakenewerth, Ph.D., LPC (MO), NCC, is a counselor educator and assistant professor at University of Illinois Springfield. Dr. Hakenewerth has joined Dr. Lane in conducting qualitative research on supervision and maintains a research agenda with supervisory focus. Dr. Hakenewerth spent three years in Idaho and has delivered several supervision trainings in both Southeast and Southwest Idaho. Dr. Hakenewerth has supervised counselors in agencies, training clinics, and academic settings.  His clinical experience includes work in three states, in college counseling centers, training clinics, family-oriented clinical agencies, and community mental health agencies.

Whitney Harris is an LCPC, and has been working as a counselor for the past 13 years. Whitney spent several years in private practice working with adults, children, adolescents and families before starting her career at Bright Tomorrows Child Advocacy Center. Whitney started with Bright Tomorrows in 2014 as a counselor and Forensic Interviewer. She is now the Clinical Director of Bright Tomorrows and continues to provide direct services to clients as a counselor and forensic interviewer. Whitney has developed expertise in the field of child sexual abuse, and is passionate about educating other professionals on this topic. Personally, Whitney is married and is the proud mother of 6 children in her blended family. Originally from Boise, she came to Pocatello for graduate school, and 16 years later, she loves this area and all it has to offer and calls Southeastern Idaho home. 

My name is Jennifer Hightower (she/her), and I joined the ISU Department of Counseling in 2021. I received my Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and my M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Georgia State University. My primary research interests include multicultural and social justice counseling, with a focus on working with members of the LGBTQ+ community, and suicidality. I currently serve as an editorial board member for Teaching and Supervision in Counseling, membership chair for RMACES and ICA, and a Counselor Education & Supervision Fellow.

Elizabeth A. Horn, PhD, LCPC is a Professor at Idaho State University where she is the Associate Chair and Clinical Mental Health Program Coordinator for the Department of Counseling. She has spent much of her career focused on teaching and researching issues of grief and loss. She has numerous publications and presentations at the state, regional, and national level regarding the nature of grief and loss and the need for clinicians to be properly trained to work with grieving clients. Most recently she has joined a task force to create the grief and loss competencies for the profession of counseling. She is a partner in Grief and Loss Consultations, LLC.

Tanika Johnson, EdD, MA, LPC-MHSP, LMHC, NCC, BC-TMH, CCTP, is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Mental Health Service Provider, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Board-Certified Telemental Health Provider, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Contributing Faculty Member, Continuing Education Presenter, and Education Consultant. Dr. Johnson specializes in addiction, trauma, sexual assault, human trafficking, domestic violence, crisis and behavioral health interventions, anxiety, mood disorders, perinatal disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anger and impulse control, and self-management coaching. She also has experience with education consulting and serving the special education community and the exceptional needs of children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities. As a practitioner and researcher, her expertise focuses on racial trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder and race-based traumatic stress, and social and emotional development and the psychological impact of children and adolescents. Dr. Johnson’s current initiatives include serving as a National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations fellow and Team Tennessee State Leadership Team Member and promoting social emotional competence in infants and young children, early intervention, family engagement, and inclusion.

Peter Mortola, Ph.D. is Professor of Counseling Psychology at Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of Windowframes: Learning the art of Gestalt play therapy the Oaklander way (Routledge/Gestaltpress, 2006), the culmination of 10 years of inquiry and research regarding Violet Oaklander’s methods of both child therapy and adult training. Windowframes has been translated into Spanish, Italian, German, Korean, and Romanian. He is also the co-author of BAM! Boys Advocacy and Mentoring: A leader’s guide to facilitating strength-based groups for boys (Routledge, 2008).

Kirsten Murray, Ph.D., LPC, is a professor at the University of Montana. Her passion is training counselors, and she is especially drawn to preparing clinicians to work with couples and families. Guided by the belief that strong core relationships are necessary for healing and health, she helps counselors develop skills that transform clients’ most intimate relationships. Informed by her grounded theory research and recent book, Strong Couples, she will emphasize the core tenets of how to help couples change.

Ngonidzashe Mpofu, Ph.D., M.Ed., CCMHC, CRC, NCC received her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her M.Ed. in the dual emphases of Clinical Rehabilitation and Clinical Mental Health in School and Communities from the Pennsylvania State University – University Park. She recently joined Idaho State University faculty as an Assistant Professor within the Department of Counseling and the Program Coordinator of Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling. Dr. Mpofu’s primary line of research focuses on workplace wellbeing, sustainable community health practices, and quality of life across the lifespan of diverse populations and in various settings around the globe. She is an author and co-author of several book chapters and articles in leading titles within the rehabilitation, mental and community health, and human resources fields, attending and presenting on these topics at local, regional, national, and international conferences. Dr. Mpofu is a professional workplace wellbeing consultant to organizations, creating and facilitating operation plans aimed at the recruitment and retention of regional and front-line managers, team leaders, and staff workers, centering on employee career skills development and training.

Matt Niece, PhD, LCPC is the Director of Counseling Services at Boise State University. He has over 10 years experience as a professional counselor. Dr. Niece has served the communities of Boise, Meridian, and Nampa through work at various counseling agencies. He has been adjunct faculty for Boise State University, College of Idaho, College of Western Idaho, and Idaho State University at the undergraduate and masters level. His clinical interests include working with clients who struggle with grief and loss, anxiety and depressive issues especially in regards to relationships and major life transitions, and group therapy. Professionally he is driven to advocate for all clients, the counseling profession, and the efficacy of integrated health services. He is a partner in Grief and Loss Consultations, LLC.

Marisa Rapp, Ph.D., is a Core Faculty member for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Capella University and an adjunct instructor at Gonzaga University. Marisa is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Idaho. Past clinical experience has included working with adolescents struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders at a residential treatment facility in southeast Idaho. She has experience facilitating trauma-informed counseling groups, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), family therapy, and individual counseling to a wide range of clientele. Currently, Marisa provides individual, couples, and group counseling in an outpatient setting in downtown Coeur d’Alene. In her personal time, Marisa enjoys backpacking and hiking the endless trails of North Idaho with her partner and their golden retriever, Cedar.

Cameron Staley, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist at Idaho State University’s Counseling and Testing Service and adjunct faculty for the psychology department. Cameron has presented his research on pornography at the International Academy of Sex Research (IASR) and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) along with peer-reviewed publications in the journals of Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Biological Psychology, Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, and Archives of Sexual Behavior. Cameron completed his psychology internship at Brigham Young University’s Counseling and Psychological Services where he first learned Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as an effective treatment for unwanted pornography viewing. In his TEDx talk, Changing the Narrative Around the Addiction Story, Cameron shares details from his research and counseling experience regarding helpful ways to talk about sexuality and how to effectively reduce unwanted pornography viewing through mindfulness. In an effort to make these principles more accessible, he developed an online self-directed program called Life After Pornography based on ACT concepts proven effective in research to reduce unwanted pornography viewing in adults.

Liz Stephenson, LCPC, CEDS, is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. She achieved certified status through the qualifying organization International Association Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP). The certification includes education about medical, nutrition and therapy treatment for eating disorders as well as 2500 supervised, practice hours with eating disorders. Liz had the opportunity for post-graduate work at an eating disorder treatment hospital, Center For Change, Utah in treating patients at higher levels of care. She is currently working on expanding her practice in East Idaho by opening an Eating Disorder Center. She is mentoring and training counselors in this field as the need for specialized treatment in the East Idaho area has grown significantly.

Kristin Stewart Yates PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and has worked at Idaho State University Counseling and Testing Service since 2013. She also an adjunct professor for the Department of Counseling and also Division of Health Sciences. Kristin earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Education and Supervision from Kent State University in 2014. She has been researching, presenting, learning, and practicing mindfulness in several different capacities for the past 12 years. Kristin has taught many of the different mindfulness courses for ISU and most recently, the Mindful Self-Compassion course (MSC) every semester for the past 5 years. In 2021, Kristin became a fully Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher and uses MSC principles and skills in her supervision and clinical practice. She developed a MSC therapy group that she runs every semester for students of ISU. Kristin is also a current group leader for the new “Self Compassion in Psychotherapy (SCIP)” program that teaches self-compassion skills to psychotherapists worldwide. Kristin has given many requested professional presentations to the ISU and Pocatello Community on Mindful Self Compassion practices including “Mindful Self Compassion and Shame,” “Self-Compassion in the Workplace” and “Mindful Self Compassion Practices.” 

Leslie Stewart, PH.D., LCPC, is a licensed clinical professional counselor and associate professor in Idaho State University's Department of Counseling. Her areas of expertise include animal assisted interventions in counseling and supervision, trauma-informed counselor preparation, Motivational Interviewing, and counselor training with experiential and expressive modalities. Before beginning her career in counseling and counselor education, Dr. Stewart facilitated therapeutic horsemanship as a Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH, Intl.) instructor. Since then, Dr. Stewart has incorporated animal assisted interventions (AAI) with dogs and rabbits in college counseling and juvenile detention settings. At Idaho State University, Dr. Stewart directs the Certificate Program in Animal Assisted Interventions in Counseling, offers AAIs in her clinical supervision, and incorporates AAIs in her teaching across the CACREP Core. Dr. Stewart is the primary author of the American Counseling Association Competencies for Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling while currently serving as the chair of Ethics and Standards for the Human-Animal Bond Advisory Board (HABAB), and a subject matter expert consultant of the American Psychological Association's Human Animal Interaction Division. Dr. Stewart shares her life with several species of animal family members including dogs, rabbits, mice, a cat, and a ball python. In her free time, Dr. Stewart volunteers at a local zoo that houses injured or unreleasable native wildlife species and enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, and wildlife viewing in the beautiful Rocky Mountain wilderness.

Minna Yoo, M.A., is a doctoral student in Idaho State University. She is originally from South Korea and received her M.A. in Educational Counseling from Seoul National University. Past clinical experience includes working with Korean students and international students in a university setting providing individual and group counseling. Her academic interests are supervision, groups, and multicultural counseling.

Daisy Zhou is a second-year doctoral student in the counselor education program at Idaho State University. She grew up in China and received her B.S. in psychology from Peking University. She spent four years at Stetson University, earning her M.S. in Marriage Family and Couple Counseling and a certificate in Play and Creativity in counseling. Daisy is passionate about multicultural counseling, using expressive-art techniques in counseling, and research training for counseling students.

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