Clinical Staff

We have six full-time therapists at Chrysalis, all of whom are master’s level and above. We’re also partnered with a child and adolescent psychiatrist who is on-site monthly and available in between for face-to-face visits.

Kendra Meiklejohn MS, LCSW

Position: Clinical Director
LCSW, EMDR Trained Therapist Kendra was born and grown in the mountains of Montana. She is passionate about exploring the world around her, loving her community and family, and challenging predictable notions. She has a vast amount of experience mentoring young women, utilizing the natural world to enhance awareness and agency. Kendra spent much her time since 2005 working in wilderness therapy, with 1500+ field days as a guide. Kendra earned a Dual Masters degree in Social Work and Kinesiology from the University of New Hampshire, and a Bachelors of Science in Behavioral Health from Southwestern College. While utilizing CBT, DBT, mindfulness and other therapeutic modalities, she strives to provide a trauma informed approach to therapy as well as relying on the healing power of wildness, kinesthetic/adventure therapy, and a strong therapeutic alliance. Kendra finds eternal optimism to be a cornerstone to leaning into the tough and arduous work necessary for a well lived life.

Kendra Meiklejohn MS, LCSW

Clinical Director

Emily Thelen, MA

Position: Transition House Therapist

LCPC, CTRS, EMDR Trained

Emily Thelen is the therapist for Milestones, our transition house. She received her Masters at Naropa University in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis in Wilderness Therapy. Emily has worked in the therapeutic wilderness and transitional care industry since 2006 with adolescent men, women, families, and young adults. She graduated from her home state’s University of Wisconsin-La Crosse as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and has held a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification since 2006.

While she has EMDR and SMART Recovery training, she also leans on the use of positive psychology, ACT, nature, ritual, and ceremony in the healing and transformation process. Her kind and yet firm approach is what makes her an effective disruptor in the healing process.

Emily is passionate about seeing and bringing forward the bright light that exists in all of us, in spite of and because of our past stories and struggles. It is a pure joy for Emily to mentor and model health and healing with these courageous young women who are choosing to develop, explore, and deepen their own sense of selves.

The healing power of nature continues to run deep in Emily’s life while living and working in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Emily enjoys quality over quantity, gentle boldness, bikepacking, snowboarding, and small gestures that make the world a better place.

Emily Thelen, MA

Transition House Therapist

Alex Mufson, LCSW

Position: Assistant Clinical Director

MSW, SWLC
Alex received her Masters in Social Work from Boston University and her undergraduate degree in Feminist Studies from University of California.  She has also acted as a certified advocate for domestic violence survivors for well over a decade.  In all of her clinical work and in her relationships, Alex is constantly asking how things can be done differently.  She is known for pushing both her clients and herself to be curious, and look for insight, inspiration and change in unlikely places.  Students often describe Alex as tough and caring all at once, appreciating her direct and transparent approach to relationship to support them in feeling safe in their clinical work. Alex’s career has been focused on the human and animal relationship, with attention to how our relationships with nonhuman animals can inform us deeply about ourselves.  She brings this unique lens to Chrysalis and has developed an Animal Centered Therapy program.  This program challenges the status quo of animal therapy and asks students and their families to see themselves from the dog or horse’s perspective, rather than simply using an animal for comfort or experience. Alex is always surrounded by a cloud of cattle dogs, who keep her challenged and entertained at all times!  When not at work she enjoys eating plants, lifting weights and spending time with her horses.

Alex Mufson, LCSW

Assistant Clinical Director

Anne Higgins, LCSW

Position: Assistant Clinical Director

Anne is licensed social worker with years of experience in the clinical treatment of adolescents and their families. She spent four years working with transitional youth in a crisis shelter setting, three years working in wilderness therapy, and one year in inpatient psychiatric care before joining our team in 2018. She is a passionate outdoors woman with years of backcountry guiding before her work in wilderness therapy and believes in the transformative experiences the natural world provides. She approaches therapy with a multidisciplinary lens, exploring mental health and wellness in the intersection of environment, psychology, physiology, and neurology.  Currently, she is certified in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and is certified in HeartMath, a modality that explores the psychophysiology of stress, emotions, and the interactions between the heart and brain. 

Anne Higgins, LCSW

Assistant Clinical Director

Brie Valletto, M.Ed, LCPC

Position: therapist

Brie is passionate about utilizing a client-centered approach in order to build a strong therapeutic alliance with clients, as well as giving clients a voice in setting goals and growth for themselves. Brie received her Masters Degree in Education from Temple University, in Philadelphia, PA. Brie came to Chrysalis from Oregon, where she gained experience working with adolescents at the state hospital level of care, and in the juvenile corrections system- implementing an eclectic approach by blending modalities of CBT, DBT, and CPS. Brie also enjoys bringing in Gestalt and Existential strategies with clients who enjoy more philosophical and deep-thinking therapeutic experiences. Brie enjoys partaking in a wide range of hobbies, from getting outdoor thrills by kayaking, mountain biking, or hiking, or keeping it low-key at home watching movies, crocheting, and spending time at home with her cats.

Brie Valletto, M.Ed, LCPC

therapist

Briar Wren, LCPC-C

Position: Therapist

Briar began her journey with the therapeutic process early in life. This positive experience presented itself as a passion, and led her to double major in Psychology and Studio Art at Santa Clara University. It was here she discovered the therapeutic power of art, and she continued her education to receive her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy from Southwestern College in New Mexico. Her clinical work with adolescents, couples, groups and families has been influenced by her travels, her love of the outdoors, connection to animals and art. This work has given her a strong sense of compassion and has assisted her in multiple therapeutic settings. Briar’s spark for life shines when working with adolescents; and she aims to help them find, take ownership, and embody the positivity and resilience she sees embedded within them.

Briar Wren, LCPC-C

Therapist

Bridjett Miller

Position: Director of Nursing

Bridjett likes to think she was raised by Montana. Growing up in a small town in the northwest corner with mountains, lakes, and rivers nearby shaped Bridjett’s inner landscape and taught her the healing power of nature. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Montana State University in 2016 and went on to work as a Labor and Delivery nurse for 3 years, finding her passion for Women’s Health. She worked with diverse patient populations in New Mexico and Alaska and developed an enthusiasm for health education while working in the hospital setting. She came back home to Montana in 2020. Bridjett believes that health is multi-faceted, that emotional illness can manifest as physical, and that a healthy inner landscape is one of the most important building blocks of lifelong physical health.

Bridjett Miller

Director of Nursing

Marissa Albat, LCSW

Position: Therapist, LCSW
Marissa Albat is a Licensed Clinical Social worker certified in child and adolescent trauma. She earned her Masters of Social Work from the University of Wyoming where she also attained a bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She has worked with youth and their families for the ten years. Prior to Chrysalis Marissa worked in Juneau, Alaska providing clinical supervision, consultation and specializing in dyadic treatments with youth and their primary caregivers. Marissa is creative and  innovative aspiring to create an environment of safety and acceptance leaning on ACT, CBT and somatic awareness.
Marissa was born and raised in Wyoming with a love for the wind River mountains and sense of adventure. She has two miniature schnauzers, enjoys the outdoors, adventure and being with her dogs. In her spare time she likes to paint and be outside.

Marissa Albat, LCSW

Therapist, LCSW

Elle Barta, M.S.

Ellen is passionate about creating a safe, warm, and accepting space for her clients, believing that all people deserve to be understood holistically. She is aware of the social backgrounds and contexts of her clients, learning about how each client brings different experiences and expectations with them into counseling. Ellen is dedicated to honoring clients’ cultural norms and values that influence how they see the world using her curiosity, easy-going nature, and genuine empathy. Her work assists clients in addressing self-esteem, processing trauma, understanding needs and boundary setting, recognizing feelings, discussing healthy relationship development, and learning effective ways to communicate with others to achieve personal growth.

Ellen earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Gender Studies from Carroll College and her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Montana State University. In her free time, you can find Ellen outside regardless of rain, snow, or wind. She loves romping in the woods via trail running, backpacking, and mountain biking. When she is not outside, Ellen loves to cook, experiment with baking breads, take care of her houseplants, and map out adventures.

Elle Barta, M.S.