Meet the Team

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

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, Theraplay, 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.


Annie is Denver CAC’s eating disorder specialist. She aspires to support children, teens, and their families by providing compassionate and inclusive care. She aims to provide stability and understanding to clients, especially during the challenging seasons of adolescence and the early formative years. Annie believes in the power of self-knowledge and emotional intelligence to achieve personal growth and acceptance.

Since graduating from Regis University with a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Annie has continued to build her clinical experience with children, teens, young adults, and families in both outpatient and inpatient levels of care. She has engaged with these populations in group and individual settings and enjoys getting to experience change and growth alongside her clients. Annie has been trained in Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), Family Based Treatment (FBT), eating disorders, anxiety disorders, executive functioning, ASD, ADD and ADHD.

Annie works to incorporate therapeutic interventions rooted in cognitive behavioral, acceptance and commitment, and dialectical behavioral therapies. She utilizes a gentle balance of humor and empathy to provide a safe, welcoming therapeutic environment. Within this environment, she promotes personal fulfillment and change by challenging clients to be curious and introspective about their thoughts, beliefs, and emotions.

In her free time, Annie enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, skiing, and reading. She is originally from the Midwest and is an avid football and hockey fan. The following quote molds the foundation of both Annie’s personal and professional identities: “Progress is impossible without change; and those who are not willing to change their minds cannot change anything at all.”

Adrienne LPCC, 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 Candidate and recently received her certificate in Reaching Children Through Experiential Play Therapy by Byron Norton at Family Psychological Services P.C. She is currently working towards becoming a Registered Play Therapist and becoming certified in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She is also National Counselor Certified through the National Board of Certified Counselors.

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. 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, 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

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. Currently, Lisa is working toward earning her Registered Play Therapist (RPT) Credential and has earned many of the hours engaged in play therapy with 3-5 year old’s in a Denver preschool. Lisa is thrilled to be joining Child and Adolescent Counseling of Denver to continue play therapy with the little ones!

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.