Meet the Team


Mary Ellen Hudson(Benz) LPC, RPT-S, Founder

Mary Ellen is passionate about helping kids and teens gain freedom and empowerment through the therapeutic process.  She enjoys working with her co-therapist pup Annie, who is known to be the favorite of the therapist duo. 

Mary Ellen  first began working with children and teens in 2006 at Lost Valley Ranch. After years of working with youth, she decided to end her time as a Teen Program Director to pursue her master’s degree in counseling. In 2013, she received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health from Denver Seminary, a CACREP accredited school. Mary Ellen also served on the Colorado Association for Play Therapy board from 2012-2015.

Mary Ellen previously worked as a family therapist and trauma specialist at The University of Colorado. In her time at the University, she received her certification as an Advanced Trauma Practitioner through The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. She currently offers sensory based trauma  curriculum for survivors of trauma and stressful life events.

Mary Ellen is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, and Certified Trauma Practitioner.  Her passion and focus is helping children and teens. Her treatment specialties include: trauma, anxiety, depression, relationship problems, grief, abuse and neglect, self-esteem, school problems, and behavioral issues.

While Mary Ellen believes in integrating several methods and theories of counseling and catering to the clients’ needs, including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, animal assisted therapy, sensory based trauma interventions, EMDR(eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) Theraplay (an attachment based model of therapy), and both directive and non-directive play therapy

Mary Ellen is a Christian and will gladly integrate faith into counseling upon request, however she also respects the client’s decision not to integrate faith.


Mira uses empathy, patience and authenticity to create a space for her clients to share their inner worlds in a way that feels true to them, through play, art, dance, and/or talking. Mira works with all ages, serving children, teens, and adults, and also serves as a family therapy. Mira provides a calm grounding presence for her clients and welcomes all emotions and experiences into the room. Mira builds deep meaningful connections with her clients as well as their parents/guardians.

Mira is a University of Colorado Denver graduate who earned her Master’s degree in Counseling with a concentration in Couple and Family Therapy. Mira is a licensed professional counselor candidate and a marriage and family therapy candidate. Mira trained for 12 months at The Mariposa Center for Infant, Child, and Family Enrichment where she strengthened her skills in trauma informed creative arts based therapy. During her training, Mira ran a social emotional Dungeons & Dragons group for tweens. Mira is currently working towards her Registered Play Therapist certification. She believes that children have rich inner experiences that are expressed and communicated differently than adults. Mira recently received her level one training in Theraplay. Theraplay is an attachment based model of therapy that helps build a healthy bond between child and caregiver. 

The foundation of Mira’s therapeutic practice comes from an attachment based model. Mira views her client’s and their parents’/guardians’ early childhood relationships and experiences as pieces of the therapeutic puzzle. Mira works from a non-directive play therapy model with children. Mira welcomes people of any gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, size, sexual orientation, ability level, neurotype, religion, family structure, and culture.

Mira has experience working with attachment trauma, adoption, multi-racial family dynamics, racial identities, self-esteem, perfectionism, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, death and dying, parent coaching, children, adolescents, families, life transitions, peer relationships, self-harming, suicidal ideation, women’s issues, aging, and burn-out.

Jazmin LCSW 

  Jazmin’s love for helping children and their families led her to pursing a Master’s degree in Social Work, from The University of Denver, with a concentration in Family Systems. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP). She has received extensive training in attachment including courses from the Theraplay Institute and Circle of Security International. Jazmin is always striving to learn and grow as a clinician, and is currently studying to become a Registered Play Therapist through Capella University. 

 Jazmin has experience working with children, young adults, and families. She has served youth and their families in a variety of therapeutic environments, including recreational, school, and community resource settings. Her specialties include; early childhood, social and emotional development, behavioral challenges, Neurodivergence, special education, LGBTQ+, restorative practices, attachment, and trauma. Jazmin considers it a privilege to work with children and support caregivers in building protective factors for themselves and their little ones.

 Jazmin believes in meeting families where they are at and assist children and their caregivers in developing secure attachments through play therapy and Theraplay techniques. Jazmin hopes to empower the families she works with to find their strengths to overcome challenges they may face.

Jazmin uses a holistic, strengths-based treatment model and approaches the therapeutic process through a trauma-informed, attachment-based lens. She utilizes Play Therapy, AutPlay, CBT and other methods when working with her clients. She find great value in being culturally-responsive and supporting neurodiversity in a clinical setting. Jazmin also understands the vulnerability of therapy and aims to foster a safe space through compassion and acceptance so that her clients can feel welcome to can come as they are. 


  Outside of work Jazmin has fun taking dance classes, spending quality time with friends, and exploring new food places around town. She also, like most of us here in Colorado, loves hanging in the backyard with her dogs Boston and Daisy.

Adrienne LPC, RPT, NCC

Adrienne has always loved working with children and teens. Prior to receiving her degree in counseling, Adrienne was a pre-school teacher and a theater director, as well as a high-school group leader for 6 years leading up to this position.

Adrienne has had clinical experience working with children, teens and adults with a range of struggles including depression, anxiety, ADHD, ASD, grief/loss, emotion regulation struggles, adoption, PTSD, sexuality, and life transitions. She has a desire to help clients through life’s expected and unexpected struggles by meeting them where they are at through a secure relationship. This relationship is foundational to Adrienne’s work. It serves as a home base from which she and her client can safely explore any struggles or hurts.

Adrienne earned her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Denver Seminary after receiving her Bachelor’s in Psychology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, and has a certificate in Reaching Children Through Experiential Play Therapy by Byron Norton at Family Psychological Services P.C. Adrienne is a Certified Trauma Professional and is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Theraplay. Theraplay is an attachment based model of therapy that helps build a healthy bond between child and caregiver. She is also National Counselor Certified through the National Board of Certified Counselors. Adrienne is a Christian and is happy to include faith and spirituality into the therapeutic process upon clients request.

The modalities of treatment Adrienne prefers include: cognitive behavioral therapy, experiential play therapy, acceptance and commitment, internal family systems, somatic work, mindfulness and attachment work. Adrienne is a Colorado native and loves spending time with her husband and their three pets: two dogs and a cat! In her free time she enjoys cozying up with a good book, doing yoga, and cooking or baking yummy food.


Rachel LPC, NCC, SSP

Rachel’s passion to support young people and their families is what led her to pursue her Master’s Degree in Counseling. Rachel believes you are the expert of your own experience, and wants to support you in creating and achieving therapeutic goals. Her desire to help others began when she witnessed vast inequities in the education system, and wanted to be an advocate for people during times of transition, change, and stress. Rachel’s three years of experience as a high school counselor lends a unique lens when supporting adolescents and young adults in a clinical setting. She has supported over 400 students through their high school experience and has a better understanding of the struggles and pressures teens are facing in today’s world.

Rachel is a University of Colorado Denver graduate with a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. She earned a dual licensure in School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. While conducting her practicum at CU Denver’s counseling center, she had clients of all ages and backgrounds. As a school counselor, Rachel supports high school students with academic, social, emotional, and post-secondary needs. She has led groups for adolescents experiencing anxiety to help them understand the roots of anxiety and teach skills to combat anxious thoughts. In addition to counseling in high schools, Rachel has been working with clients in a virtual clinical setting since 2019. Rachel understands that teenagers may feel misunderstood by the constraints our society demands of them. She is passionate about supporting their journey through young adulthood and helping them discover their authentic selves.

Rachel has training in the areas of Depression, Anxiety, Adolescent and Child therapy, ADHD, Executive Functioning, and Trauma including Level one EMDR training. Rachel has utilized a range of therapeutic approaches in her work with clients, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Narrative Therapy, EMDR, Mindfulness, and Orienting. In addition to being a listening ear, she hopes to support her clients in identifying and accomplishing therapeutic goals, improving mental wellbeing, and finding balance in their lives.

Lisa PhD, LPC, RPT


Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University Fullerton in 2007 with a degree in child and adolescent development. She went on to earn her Master’s in Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado (UNCO) in 2010 and subsequently earned her doctorate degree in Counselor Education and Supervision also from UNCO in 2014.

Lisa is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado Denver and teaches in the Mental Health Counseling program training people to become mental health counselors. At CU Denver, she teaches counseling techniques, counseling children and adolescents, and supervises practicum and internship students.

Lisa’s clinical experience includes working with kids and adolescents at a community mental health agency, with kids and women at a domestic violence shelter, and within in-patient psychiatric hospitals working with adolescents through geriatric ages. Lisa is Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and prior to working at Child and Adolescent Counseling of Denver she earned many of her RPT hours engaged in play therapy with 3-5 year old’s in a Denver preschool.

Working with children is one of her favorite age groups because kids are both playful and intuitive. She believes kids are doing the best they can with the skills they have considering the life events they’ve experienced. She takes a child-centered and humanistic approach with children to allow them the space to work through their fears and traumas. She favors working with children because she believes that the impact therapy can have on children can be much more meaningful in childhood rather than letting painful childhood experiences go unprocessed for years.

Chantae  Master’s Level Intern

Chantae is passionate about supporting youth and their families through life’s journey. She loves using experiential education as a platform to support youth in finding their passion and using that as a driving force to empower growth and change. 

Chantae has been working with youth for over 15 years, beginning at a boys group home in San Luis Obispo, California. She has worked for 8 years in a residential treatment setting with at-risk adolescents as a Counselor and Program Supervisor. She then became the Program Director for a start-up juvenile justice program in Denver. 

During her years working in residential treatment, Chantae founded a nonprofit organization working with at-risk youth in a community-based setting offering youth/adolescent coaching, education support & advocacy, and counseling with youth who have some level of involvement in the juvenile justice system and/or concerns with school, and struggle with trauma they are currently experiencing or have experienced in their past. 

Chantae obtained her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from University of Colorado-Denver and is currently working toward her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling to become a licensed professional counselor. 

Chantae believes in order to effectively support an individual is as unique as the individual themselves. She works to integrate several theories of counseling to meet the needs of the client she works with, however finds her grounding in the humanistic and holistic approach of Gestalt theory.

Liya (pronounced Leah)  Master’s Level Intern

Liya, who is pursuing dual degrees in clinical mental health counseling and school counseling at Colorado Christian University, is a beacon of compassion and knowledge on a transforming journey. Through a unique combination of modern modalities and sincere dedication, Liya is taking on the therapy field. Her work is rooted in a sincere passion for working with children and adolescents.

As soon as Liya set foot on the Colorado Christian University campus, it was clear that she was fully dedicated to supporting the emotional health of young minds. She chose to pursue two areas of expertise because she was driven by the firm belief that everyone should have the chance to thrive. This gives her the ability to offer comprehensive support in both clinical and educational settings.

Liya embraces an array of therapeutic approaches in her pursuit of perfection, reflecting her dynamic approach to therapy. She helps her young clients comprehend the strong connection that exists between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by drawing inspiration from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Her enthusiasm for Theraplay, on the other hand, displays a dedication to using interactive play’s healing power to foster attachment and emotional development.

Liya distinguishes herself even further by skillfully combining both directive and non-directive play therapy approaches. Each of these variations highlights her commitment to modifying therapeutic strategies to meet the particular needs and personalities of each child. Liya cultivates a sense of safety and empowerment that serves as the cornerstone of her profession, whether gently directing the tale or letting the child’s imagination lead the way.

Liya’s dedication to guiding young people through the perplexing world of emotions is constant as she pursues her goals at Colorado Christian University. She is well-positioned to redefine the future of child and adolescent counseling, one little heart at a time, because she possesses a versatile arsenal of modalities and an unwavering desire to have a positive influence.