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meet our team

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
-Margaret Mead

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Mona Martinez
PhD, CPC // Owner & Clinical Director

Background

Dr. Mona Martinez is the founder and owner of The Counseling Exchange. Her goal was to create an agency focused on supporting therapists to reduce therapist burnout, in order to promote quality client services. She obtained PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Nevada, Reno and has her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She previously worked in the Master's program at UNR as the Director of the Downing Counseling Clinic, Field Site Supervisor, and taught counseling classes to Master's students. Mona is also a board-approved clinical supervisor.
 

Views on Counseling

I believe that counseling is a process of self-growth and understanding that can be beneficial for anyone. Life can sometimes be confusing and difficult, I seek to provide support and understanding to clients during these times. I aim to provide counseling interventions that work best for each unique client. I  have extensive experience in working with teens and understand that this is a unique phase of life that takes a lot of support. I also work with identity development issues, both LGBTQ+ and racial. I work diligently to provide a safe, comfortable, respectful counseling setting where clients focus on goals important to them.

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Lindsay Funston
MA // Administrative Supervisor
Health & Wellness Consultant

Background

Lindsay Funston has her Bachelor's degree in Interpersonal Communication from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Counseling, within the Clinical Mental Health track, at the University of Nevada, Reno. Lindsay previously lived in Australia for 8 years before moving back to Reno to further her education. She also has a background in managing administrative responsibilities within the hospitality industry.

Lindsay's long-term goal includes combining counseling with physical fitness to help individuals address both physical and mental health; she is certified as a yoga instructor and personal trainer. In addition to administrative support, Lindsay also serves as a team consultant on health and wellness for both staff and clients. She regularly meets with agency clients to assist them with psychoeducation around health and wellness questions or concerns. She is also an invaluable part of the team that supports agency staff with burnout prevention and guidance in self-care, in both their work and personal lives. Lindsay also regularly organizes yoga classes and physical health outings for agency staff. 

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Cyndi Woodburn
MA // MFT-Intern
Mental Health Therapist

Background

Cyndi Woodburn was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno, where she received her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and her M.A. in Marriage and Family Counseling. She has worked extensively with adolescents in rural Nevada communities experiencing anxiety, depression, and navigating trauma. She is passionate about working with teens, as she believes it is a pivotal time for identity development. Cyndi enjoys utilizing the creative arts in her work with individuals and families. She consistently engages in education and training to further her knowledge of counseling interventions and provide quality counseling for clients.

Views on Counseling
At times, life can be challenging and can cause us to feel stuck or lost. I believe that the counseling relationship between therapist and client allows for a partnership to help you navigate challenges you may be facing. There is power and support in finding someone to walk with you through the weeds, especially when done in a safe environment that is built on trust and understanding. I believe that everyone is equipped with the skills and tools they need to be the best version of themselves; through the use of connection and collaboration, individuals are able to reignite those skills to facilitate the change they desire.

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Natalie Best
MA // CPC-Intern
Mental Health Therapist

Background

Natalie Best has lived, studied, and worked in Reno for over 15 years. Natalie obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and most recently completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health from the University of Nevada, Reno. While working her way through school, she held various jobs including Crisis Support Services of Nevada for two years, Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada for one year, and most recently, a one-year internship with clients at the Downing Counseling Clinic on the University of Nevada’s campus. Natalie counseled a diverse group of clients at the Downing Clinic, which included individuals with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, grief and loss, cultural concerns, relational issues, and familial conflict. Natalie is interested in working with LGBTQ+ individuals and couples, anxiety, adults with a phase of life/life transition issues, and relationship trauma.

Views on Counseling

All people need and deserve support, especially when life throws curveballs. As a therapist, I believe it is important to listen to clients and work hard to understand the worldview of each unique individual to help them work towards their goals. I work collaboratively with clients and encourage them to reflect on their goals and discuss ways in which we can facilitate success together. I am trained in various counseling approaches and I strive to tailor them to each client. I also have extensive experience working with trauma and crisis intervention. Additionally, I have a background in and enjoy counseling diverse clients; it is important to me to provide a safe and respectful space, free of judgment for all clients.

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Julie Hsu
MA // MFT-Intern
Mental Health Therapist (fluent in German)

Background

Julie Hsu earned her Master’s degree in Counseling from Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, California, with a dual emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy and Clinical Mental Health. Julie has extensive experience working with adolescents and survivors of trauma and has completed two years of additional training in adolescent therapy at the Adolescent Counseling Services’ Institute of Psychotherapy. Julie is also a Certified Sexual Assault Counselor and has worked in a hospital setting with clients suffering from psychotic disorders.

 

Julie was born and raised in Germany, has lived in three countries, and enjoys working with clients from diverse backgrounds on issues of anxiety, depression, trauma, acculturation, life transitions, and self-identity. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, doing outdoor activities, cooking, and traveling.

Views on Counseling

I practice from a client-centered approach and believe in tailoring my counseling approach and interventions to best fit my client’s needs and unique personality. It is my goal to create an environment of acceptance, trust, and understanding in which my clients feel safe and heard.  There is no “one size fits all” approach to therapy; I strive for a collaborative process to increase self-awareness, decrease symptoms, and increase personal strengths to promote a more meaningful life experience. While I practice from a person-centered approach, I am trained in and utilize interventions from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Trauma-Informed Care, Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing to support clients in working towards their goals.

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Grettel Beltran (Martinez)
MA // MFT-Intern 
Mental Health Therapist (fluent in Spanish)

Background

Grettel Beltran (Martinez) studied Human Development and Family Studies, which kickstarted her interest in family dynamics. She continued and then completed a Master’s in Marriage and Family Counseling from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has worked with both English and Spanish-speaking clients and is passionate about working with individuals who experience suicidal ideation, relationship trauma, emotion dysregulation, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. She is specializing in working with Spanish-speaking communities, military families, and individuals seeking to heal and improve their overall mental health to create a healthy lifestyle. Grettel also actively seeks workshops, training, and continuing education credits to progressively build her knowledge base and expand her specialty areas.

Views on Counseling

I believe that in order to move through an issue, we must first seek to understand how we got there, to begin with. Using a collaborative approach, I walk alongside my clients using the belief that they are experts of their own lived experiences. I believe healing happens when we look within—focusing on the emotions we avoid—and exploring how they have shaped our experiences. Through emotion identification and regulation, clients benefit from a deeper understanding of themselves by facing and overcoming those uncomfortable, and sometimes scary, feelings. Working from an emotion-focused framework helps gain insight and create change through self-awareness. I believe we can all make it through the toughest of times if we allow ourselves to take the first step and be human. I believe that every client is a unique individual with an important story to share and that everyone deserves to be heard.  I also enjoy meeting new people and making interpersonal relationships; each client deserves a therapeutic relationship based on trust, respect, and safety in order to explore their complex traumas and mental health concerns.

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Katy Sutton
MA // CPC-Intern 
Mental Health Therapist

Background

Katy Sutton earned her bachelor’s in Psychology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina and her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. Her clinical experience over the past three years has ranged from working with teens to older adults on issues including eating and feeding disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders including body dysmorphia, anxiety disorders including phobias, depressive disorders, and personality disorders. Katy strives to promote healing through empowerment and advocating for self-worth. She has a passion for working with the LGBTQIA+ community and those struggling with societal pressures to conform to gender role expectations. She believes in creating a relaxed and natural therapeutic relationship full of compassion and humor. Katy describes herself as a body neutrality activist and a mindful movement enthusiast. 

Views on Counseling

I believe that one of the most powerful things we can do is truly learn to understand ourselves, accept ourselves, practice compassion for ourselves, and move forward in life allowing ourselves to be as authentic as possible. I seek to provide a safe, empathetic, and natural counseling environment for each client to truly explore themselves and every facet of their experience. This includes exploring sources of pain and hurt, as well as celebrating sources of hope and joy. I strive for every client to feel empowered to make cognitive and behavioral changes and begin their healing journey. My clinical techniques are grounded in cognitive-behavioral modalities (CBT) and incorporate elements from the feminist theoretical approach. In addition, I have been trained in and may offer interventions including Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

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Vivian McCown, BA
Student Intern, Walden University 
Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Background

Vivian has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Southern New Hampshire University. She is currently in her last year of obtaining her master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Her training thus far includes counseling theories, research, group counseling, couples and family counseling, psychopharmacology, and addictions counseling courses, along with in-person counseling residencies. Her interests include working with people who suffer from depression, anxiety, body image issues, grief, trauma, and identity issues.

Views on Counseling

My goal in counseling clients is to support and walk alongside my clients as they heal, change, grow and become someone they love unconditionally.

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Boony Gorsakul, BA
Student Intern, University of Nevada-Reno
Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Background

Boony has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is currently a Clinical Mental Health student intern in his last year of his master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. His prior experience includes working with individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, and relational struggles.

Views on Counseling

My dream is to make the world a brighter place by providing mental health services to those in need in a variety of settings. I hope to help my clients achieve an overall sense of wellness throughout their lives.