VTSC Trainers

Allen Boivin-Brown, MA

Allen Boivin-Brown, MA, has over 25 years experience as an educator, career counselor, presenter and trainer. In 1995 he earned the Vocational Counselor of the Year award by the Washington Vocational Education Association. Since 1990 Allen has been a member of the Dependable Strengths Project at the University of Washington and for the past 20 years a Master Trainer of the Dependable Strengths Articulation Process. He has facilitated Dependable Strength workshops for groups including the U.S. Forest Service, Boeing Company, corporate managers, at-risk high school students, Veterans, teachers, counselors, social service professionals and clients. In 2001 he led a team of Dependable Strengths professionals to South Africa to assist in alleviating massive unemployment after the end of apartheid.  Allen is committed to uncovering the excellence in individuals and empowering them through identifying and building on their unique strengths.  He is presently President of the Board of Directors of the Washington Occupational Information System (WOIS) and the Center for Dependable Strengths.

Andre Loranc

Andre Loranc began his career in the US Navy in 2009 and is currently a Master at Arms (E5) in the Naval Reserve.  He is the Training Lead for his Naval Unit; instructing multiple courses in General Military Training as well as rate specific training and coordinates the annual training evolution for the unit.

Andre began his Law Enforcement Career in 2012 with the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office before lateraling as a Deputy to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.  He has operational training and experience in Crisis Intervention as well as an operational SWAT member.   

Brett Parmenter, Ph.D.

Brett Parmenter received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas after completing her predoctoral internship at Yale School of Medicine. She then went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She is board-certified in Clinical Neuropsychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology/American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Washington and is currently a staff neuropsychologist at the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, American Lake Division.

Cal Crow, Ph.D.

Cal Crow is a veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served as a counterintelligence analyst. He is a co-founder and lead trainer at the Center for Learning Connections (CLC), a consulting, training and program development center located at Edmonds Community College. CLC manages the Veterans Training Support Center. In 2010, Cal helped launch the Center for Efficacy and Resiliency, and is particularly interested in bringing efficacy and resiliency research into organizations that assist veterans who have trauma-related experiences.

Cal has designed training, developed curriculum, and implemented programs for service providers in many parts of the world. He strongly believes that the growing body of knowledge in positive psychology can be used to assist veterans, and has incorporated this into his current work. Cal has a long-time interest in helping individuals plan meaningful careers. He co-authored the revision of the Washington State Job Hunter curriculum, and was one of three individuals selected to revise the National Career Development Guidelines, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education. He has been a counselor in private practice and taught in Seattle University’s graduate level counselor preparation program for nearly three decades.

Cal has presented and consulted in forty-six states and territories, the District of Columbia, Australia, Jamaica and Canada, on a variety of topics. He holds a Ph.D. from Arizona State University, and has received numerous awards for his work in education and workforce development.

Catherine Caska Wallace, Ph.D.

Catherine Caska Wallace received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Utah, where she focused her program of research on military couples and PTSD. Dr. Wallace then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Family and Couples Mental Health at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System - Seattle Division. She has conducted multiple investigations examining the psychological, relational, and cardiovascular consequences of PTSD and deployment stress on Veterans and their partners. Dr. Wallace has received specialized training in Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy and also clinically specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders and integrating family into mental health care. Dr. Wallace is currently a clinical psychologist at the Seattle VA, working within the Family Therapy Program and Mental Health Clinic.

Chalon L. Ervin, Psy.D.

Chalon L. Ervin, Psy.D., earned her B.A. from Spelman College and her M.A. in Clinical Psychology and Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through the Georgia School of Professional Psychology.  Dr. Ervin was trained as a generalist and has treated an assortment of disorders, but has a passion for trauma recovery.  Her therapeutic approach is to provide symptom relief and support to help clients successfully address personal life changes. Dr. Ervin has worked with Veterans at that Atlanta VAMC, Huntington West Virginia VAMC, and Puget Sound VAMC. She actively participates in activities involving mental health awareness and advocacy. Dr. Ervin currently works as a community provider and is avidly working to establish her private practice and hopes to enhance the quality of life for others, through a passionate commitment to the art of healing and self actualization.

Upcoming Workshops:

Dani Blythe Dutro, MC, NCC, LMHC

Dani Blythe Dutro graduated from Arizona State University in 2009 with a Master’s in Counseling, and has been treating veterans and their families since that time. She has experience and specialized training working with people suffering from combat trauma, readjustment, military sexual trauma, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress. She works with people ages 12 and up in individual, couples, family, and group therapy settings.

Before becoming a therapist, Dani was an educator and guidance counselor working with adolescents and young adults. She taught in a number of different settings including large corporations, public high school, universities, and community college. When not in the classroom or working directly with clients, Dani can be found training or volunteering with her Therapy Dog, Neko.

Diana L. Hunter, MA, LMHC

Diana Hunter graduated from Chapman University with a Master’s Degree in Psychology in 2008. She worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Way Vet Center as the Military Sexual Trauma Counselor and Readjustment Therapist until February 2013. Diana is currently serving Veterans in private practice as a contracted provider with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs PTSD Counseling Program. She served in the Air Force and Washington Air National Guard as an enlisted member, completed a tour to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom in 2007, and retired with 24 years of honorable service in 2010.

Eric Ström, JD, MA. LMHC

Eric Ström is an attorney and Licensed Mental Health Counselor. As an attorney, Eric provides legal counsel, consultation, and guidance to mental health professionals. Eric’s counselling practice is focused on providing counseling services to combat veterans as well as providing supervision and consultation to other clinicians. Eric currently serves on the American Mental Health Counselors Association Ethics Committee, is the ethics advisor for the Washington Mental Health Counselors Association, and is a co-founder of counselchat.com.

Eric spent eight years on active duty in the US Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and continues to serve in the Navy Reserve. Eric teaches a range of courses in counseling and professional ethics at a variety of graduate and undergraduate programs, including Prescott College and Seattle University.

Eric earned a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology from the Northwest School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University Seattle, graduated cum laude from Wayne State University School of Law in Detroit Michigan, attended the Hague Academy of International Law in the Hague Netherlands, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics from the University of Michigan, and is currently working towards his PhD is Counselor Education and Supervision at Oregon State University.

Gloria Burgess, Ph.D.

Gloria Burgess has a heart for veterans and those who serve them. She’s proud of her father-in-law Dale, a WWII vet who still actively serves his community as a Red Cross volunteer. For 20+ years, Gloria has led workshops for women and men who work with marginalized and traumatized populations. She enjoys teaching self-care, stress management, and personal sustainability, encouraging us to remember that taking good care of ourselves is essential to provide the best possible care to others. A sought-after speaker and trainer, she also presents keynotes and facilitates workshops in corporate, health care, civic, finance, education, and philanthropic settings to support frazzled, burned out leaders.

Gloria received her PhD and MBA from the University of Southern California. After that, she earned a specialized graduate degree in applied behavioral science, so she could better equip service men and women and others in service and helping professions. She’s currently consulting on and developing a special training program for veterans to properly equip them to transition back into family and community life, as well as to serve and lead well as civilians.

Josie Tracy, Ph.D.

Josie Tracy, Ph.D. received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Mississippi in 2008, with a research focus on nicotine addiction. In 2009 she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education (CESATE) at the Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Medical Center (PSVAMC), Seattle Division. Since this time, she has worked as a psychologist in VHA outpatient addictions treatment settings (Portland, OR; Vancouver, WA; Seattle, WA). In her current role as Supervisory Psychologist in the Addictions Treatment Center (ATC) at the PSVAMC, Seattle Division, she manages a large program of outpatient treatment services for veterans with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions (e.g. PTSD, depression). Her professional interests include harm reduction psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and mindfulness-based interventions.

Karla C. Hawley, MT-BC, M.Ed.

Karla C. O’Hagen-Hawley is a neurologic, nationally board certified music therapist and Director of music therapy services for the Snohomish County Music Project, a non-profit community based organization in Snohomish County Washington. Specializing in the treatment of: 1) trauma within youth, veterans and at-risk communities; 2) building community within assisted living and memory care facilities; and 3) neurologic disorders and injuries . Karla has provided numerous trainings on music therapy, including a TEDx Talk.

Upcoming Workshops:

Kate L. Stewart, MA

Kate Stewart is a counselor and sex therapist in private practice in Seattle. She specializes in working with sexual and relationship minorities and dating coaching. She has taught Flirting 101 and Everything You Need to Know about Sex for six years at the Experimental College of the University of Washington. Kate holds local trainings on working with the Sex Positive community.

Upcoming Workshops:

Keith Meyer, MS, LMHC

Keith Meyer has been a counselor for over 20 years, 15 of those years working with veterans and their families under a contract with Washington Department of Veterans Affairs as well as maintaining a Vet Center contract. He has provided training to a variety of groups and organizations regarding veteran issues and treatment, to include Universities, Veterans groups, and Social Service organizations. His approach to counseling with veterans has always focused on strong relationship with veterans and their families.

Kimberly Hardy, LMHC

Kimberly Hardy is the Project Director and a trainer for the Veterans Training Support Center at Edmonds Community College. She provides outreach and consultation to higher education and community based agencies in Washington State.

Kimberly has been in the military for over 10 years; first on active duty in the United States Navy and is a currently serving reservist. While on active duty, Kimberly served in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She began her post-military career in the field of human services, ultimately becoming a counselor specializing in trauma and veterans issues. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from Washington State University and a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Northwest University. Additionally, Kimberly has received advanced training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Kimberly provides trainings on veteran best practices, invisible wounds, military sexual trauma & suicide risk (or prevention). She can tailor trainings and presentations to your organization’s needs.

Kira Mountjoy-Pepka

Kira Mountjoy-Pepka is a management consultant specializing in system development and training and facilitation. She has more than 10 years experience performing comprehensive issue analysis and designing workforce development systems for the United States’ veteran and military communities, and for other underserved groups. She has a particular passion for projects that work to correct systemic oppression.

A United States Air Force veteran and Navy-trained private pilot, Kira worked for nearly a decade as a national advocate for veterans and active duty service members with Military Sexual Trauma (MST). She has worked one-on-one with U.S. senators as an issue coordinator for MST and assisted the $200 million DoD implementation of the Agenda for Change. She has appeared, among others, on The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, and participated in the Academy Award-nominated film The Invisible War.

Kori Blitstein

Kori Blitstein joined the VA Puget Sound Outpatient Clinic in 2009. Her clinical work has focused on providing veterans individual, group and couples therapy. As a practicum instructor in the social work internship program, she works with students from the University of Washington providing supervision to social work interns. In 2012 she was awarded an honor from the University of Washington for her commitment to social work education. She has served as a consultant and supervisor on a National Veterans’ Administration project providing high quality, evidence based couples therapy to veterans and their partners. Prior to this, Ms. Blitstein received a Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment Fellowship and worked at Harborview Medical Center in the Madison Clinic. Ms. Blitstein is a member of the Washington State Chapter of the Society for Social Work Leadership in Healthcare.

Lori Daniels, Ph.D., LCSW

Dr. Lori Daniels is currently an Associate Professor of Social Work for Hawaii Pacific University (HPU).  Her clinical practice treating traumatic stress among veterans spans over 20 years.  She earned her MSW from the University of Chicago (1987) and her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Hawaii – Manoa (2002).  An LCSW for both Oregon and Hawaii, her clinical background includes working for inpatient and outpatient VA hospital-based PTSD programs, as the Director of the Traumatic Stress Recovery Program for the Honolulu VA, being a VA/Hartford Geriatric Social Work Scholar, and working as the military sexual trauma psychotherapist for the Portland Vet Center for almost 7 years.
Dr. Daniels has provided workshops at international conferences, been a Consultant with the National Center for PTSD, and co-chaired for 6 years a PTSD community conference in Honolulu. Her publications include research articles: one in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work and the second in Traumatology.  She’s also contributed as clinical book chapters in The Handbook of Post-Traumatic Therapy, and Healing War Trauma: Using Creative Approaches.
Dr. Daniels has presented about nightmare therapy (Dreamwork) at several International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies Annual Meetings, as well as the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.

Mark Fischer, MS

Mark Fischer, M.S. was the manager and architect of the first-of-its-kind, nationally recognized Washington Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Conservation Corps and Vet Corps (AmeriCorps) program. Created in 2009, Vet Corps is a peer-to-peer mentoring program where veterans and spouses assist other veterans with resources and navigation of colleges and universities, Veterans Administration, veteran-related services, employment, and military bases. With over 30 year experience with veterans in a variety of settings, including 16 years as a licensed mental health PTSD counselor, he is currently a private trainer/consultant. Mark is currently working with transitioning soldiers and airmen through several federal and local grants, with a focus on career and individual adjustment to civilian culture and has offered trainings in a variety of agency and employment settings on topics that include: Veteran Cultural Issues, Peer-to-Peer Mentoring, Invisible Wounds, Attachment and Loss, Post-Traumatic Growth and Self-Care.

Mark R. Hoagland, MA, LMHC, CHT

Mark’s work experience includes working for over 8 years at the King County Crisis Clinic as Supervisor, Crisis Intervention Specialist, Trainer and Group Facilitator. He is current the team leader at the Everett Vet Center leading a team of therapists who work with Veterans who deal with war trauma and/or military sexual trauma. He earned BA degrees in both Psychology and International Economics from the University of Washington. After working in international trade for 10 years, he returned to school and earned his Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Seattle University. Mark’s experience as a therapist includes working with crisis management, trauma, PTSD, complicated grief, suicide, MST, veteran issues and couples counseling. For 7 years he was the facilitator of the King County Survivors of Suicide grief group working with people who have had a loved one complete suicide. Mark’s military service included tours in Japan and Korea in the U.S. Army.

Matthew Jakupcak, Ph.D.

Matthew Jakupcak is a clinical psychologist and researcher who has studied and treated psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress, and high-risk behaviors in military veterans, first-responders (i.e., firefighters, paramedics, police officers), and young male adults. Dr. Jakupcak has published more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters and presented at over 80 national and regional conferences and workshops on the topics of suicidal behaviors, interpersonal violence, and treatment interventions in trauma-exposed populations.

Nerissa del Rosario

Nerissa del Rosario retired in 2015 after 36 years of service in the military. She served in the US Army, Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard with over 16 years of active duty time. She is currently a faculty member at a Washington State technical college and certified Dependable Strengths Instructor.

Upcoming Workshops:

Peter Schmidt, Psy. D., LMHC

Dr. Peter Schmidt is Director of Behavioral Health for the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs. Peter has worked in the community and technical college system as a counselor, psychology instructor, director of counseling, and dean, and as a behavioral health subcontractor for the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs. Peter has provided numerous trainings on Veteran-related topics to include, for example, Military Culture, Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, Dependable Strengths, and Promising Best Practices in Education and Employment for a variety of organizations. As an Air Force Veteran who served on active duty as well as in the Washington National Guard Peter is proud to serve those who served and their family members.

Randy Nelson, LMHC

Randy Nelson, MA, LMHC likes words and people. Ten years ago, he fortuitously stumbled upon Narrative Therapy in the Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling program at Seattle University. He is an active member of the Seattle Narrative Group, a long-running Narrative Therapy consultation and training collective. For the last eight years he has worked as an adult counselor in the community mental health setting of Harborview Mental Health Services.  He has conducted trainings on Narrative Therapy for the Department of Psychiatry at Harborview Medical Center.  In the consulting room and in life, Randy endeavors to position himself at the clunky and elusive intersection of skepticism, lightheartedness, and solidarity.

Upcoming Workshops:

Samantha Powers, Ph.D.

Sam Powers is the Director of Student Veteran Life at the University of Washington. She provides oversight and management of hiring, development of new programs, and centralization of existing services and resources available to UW student veterans. She provides outreach and collaborates with internal and external constituents.

Sam is a combat veteran of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations where she served as an Aircraft Maintenance officer on the C-130 Gunship Spectres. Sam served in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom. She began her post-military career in the field of higher education working in Facilities/Physical Plant Operations as an administrative manager. She has additional experience in Continuing Education and Customized Training.

Most recently, Sam was the Director of the Washington State Veterans Training Support Center where she provided and delivered trainings to Washington State agencies on veteran-related topics in higher education, veteran best practices, and invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sam volunteers for a number of veterans organizations in Washington State as a member and officer, and is an adjunct professor at various higher education institutions across the state and nation. She holds a B.A. in Military History from Virginia Tech, an M.A. in International Relations from University of Oklahoma, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Old Dominion University.

Sara Smucker Barnwell, Ph.D.

Dr. Smucker Barnwell is a licensed clinical psychologist who provides evidence based psychotherapy, coaching, and consultation in the greater Seattle and Eastside areas.  Dr. Smucker Barnwell also delivers telehealth services to clients using a diversity of technologies, including videoconferencing, mobile applications, telephone and others.  She provides workshops and trainings on a variety of topics, including stress management, negotiation, and communication. 

Sara is a Clinical Professor at the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the former Director of Telehealth Training and Education for VA Puget Sound Health Care System.  She is the current Chair of the Washington State Psychological Foundation.  Dr. Smucker Barnwell served on the Joint APA/ASPPB/APAIT Telepsychology Taskforce, as well as other national committees regarding telehealth and technology in health care. 

Dr. Smucker Barnwell received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California.  She also holds degrees from Harvard University and Wellesley College. She completed her internship at the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, and later completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and Education at Seattle VA.  Dr. Smucker Barnwell has worked in the field of telemedicine as Associate Director of Evaluation at Free & Clear, Inc. and DatStat, Inc.  Her research and clinical interests center on the development and dissemination of empirically-based treatments in telehealth, technology assisted evidence-based PTSD care and substance abuse. 

Scott Michael, Ph.D.

Scott Michael received his clinical psychology doctorate from the University of Kansas. He obtained specialized PTSD training from the National Center for PTSD during internship at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System. He obtained further specialized PTSD training during his postdoctoral fellowship in the Mental Illness Research, Education & Clinical Center at the VA Puget Sound. Dr. Michael was trained to consult with and train VA clinicians in Prolonged Exposure by Drs. Edna Foa and Elizabeth Hembree at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Since that time, he has conducted trainings in Prolonged Exposure to VA clinicians and consults to them on how to effectively implement this psychotherapy.

Susana McCune, PsyD, FT

Susana McCune earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at Antioch University Seattle, Washington, USA. She completed a concentration in health psychology and holds a master’s degree in counseling with art therapy, also from Antioch University. Dr. McCune’s experience with hospice and end-of-life care inspired her to co-edit a textbook for care-giving professionals titled Advance Care Planning: Communicating About Matters of Life And Death.

Susana’s work includes applying philosophy and critical theory to psychological research and clinical practice to embrace integrated and holistic, person-centered approaches in healthcare. As an art therapist, Susana also integrates artistic and aesthetic exploration to deepen theoretical, clinical, and personal understanding; reveal countertransference; and to foster communication and compassion in the patient-clinician relationship to facilitate healing. Susana’s work includes applying philosophy and critical theory to psychological research and clinical practice to embrace integrated and holistic, person-centered approaches in healthcare. As an art therapist, Susana also integrates artistic and aesthetic exploration to deepen theoretical, clinical, and personal understanding; reveal countertransference; and to foster communication and compassion in the patient-clinician relationship to facilitate healing.