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All of our Journey Guides (group facilitators) hold either a Doctorate or Master’s degree in a counseling field and are licensed or license-eligible therapists (PsyD, LMHC, LPCC, LMFT, or LCSW), but they are NOT providing therapy through Hero Journey Club
Learn more about the scope of our services in our FAQ
Ph.D - Clinical Psychology - Columbia University
Ed.M - Neuroscience and Learning - Harvard University
Derrick is a clinical psychologist and has been in the digital mental health space for 15 years in clinical leadership roles at companies like Talkspace and Noom. At Hero Journey Club, Derrick is responsible for ensuring the highest quality of mental health support in our program and leads the care team. His research and experience has focused on clinically validating new modalities of care, with an emphasis on engaging underserved populations in care and building tools that address provider shortfall and access barriers.
His work has been published in Nature, the National Academy of Sciences, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and Oxford University Press, and featured by Forbes.com, APA Monitor, Huffington Post, LA Times, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, and at TEDx. His research is supported by R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health.
MA Clinical CounselingRead Bio
MA Clinical Counseling
What is your educational background?
I hold a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University, a BA of English from Alice Lloyd College (a small private work-study based college in Appalachia) and a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation from Western Kentucky University. I just completed my internship at Counseling With Soul, a private practice in Oregon. I have many favorite projects over my academic career, including acting in a Shakespearean traveling theatre troope and my recent MA project centering around Counselor Education in Neurodivergence.
Tell us a bit about yourself - your therapeutic specialties and focus areas, your favorite part of the work you do, etc.
I have a very eclectic therapeutic style, with a strong foundation in person-centered therapy, but I include some DBT, CBT, IFS, Brainspotting, Strengths-based and Play Therapy into my work. I believe you know yourself best and I want to support you with unconditional positive regard. I primarily like to work with teenagers; the crossroads of independence and finding yourself is an amazing space to explore and empower this emotionally aware population. I also love the humor they bring into therapy! I am also extremely passionate about working in a Neurodivergent affirming, non-pathologizing mindset and it's my favorite part of this work. I want to create a safe space for you to laugh and umask as yourself.
What are some of your favorite hobbies, pastimes, games, etc? Both in your personal life, and when you're hosting a session as a Journey Guide!
I spend a lot of my free time playing copious amounts of video games and spoiling my pets. I have a Shiba Inu named Chihiro (from Spirited Away) and a grumpy senior cat named Mogget (from the YA Abhorsen Series by Garth Nix). I dive headfirst into RPGs and admittedly play puzzle games on my phone in socially awkward situations. I am not very good at FPS or jump-scare games, but I love watching streamers that can play these games well! Some of my favorite video games include Super Mario Galaxy, Final Fantasy XIV, Animal Crossing, Persona 5, Clannad, all the Legend of Zelda Games, any Pokemon game, and the Tales series. I belong to many fandoms (Doctor Who, Supernatural, various animes, etc) and I am *always* open to hear about your interests, too!
What’s one form of self-care you practice?
I believe self-care is about more than bath bombs and comfort. It certainly is comfort, but it also means setting healthy boundaries to protect your free time and energy.
Do you have any advice for someone who struggles to get out of bed?
Hey, it's okay that you don't want to get out of bed. Some days we just can't. But there are other days where if we just put one foot out, then another, and take a step, that we can begin to face a day that has the potential to be amazing. You are never alone and please know there is a whole community here at Hero Journey Club that wants to support you in taking those steps.
In your opinion, what is the best part of working with Hero Journey Club?
There are so many reasons I love Hero Journey Club. I could write a whole book! Our community is genuinely accepting and kind; they're dedicated to healing but also to assisting others. I am so honored to get to know so many of our members, their special interests and lives, through our Discord channels. We have a staff that not only cares about healing but about gaming, too! How amazing is it that I get to be part of this community, this staff, AND I get to combine my passions of therapy and gaming?!
MSW Clinical Social WorkRead Bio
MSW Clinical Social Work
My name is Trent (or Dakka) he/him/his. I am a licensed therapist and clinical social worker with an MSW from Fordham University and my BS in psychology from Northern Michigan University.
My clinical history is sort of all over the place. I started in a group home setting for kids 6-18 with violent behavioral disorders, and have floated around to settings involving adolescent substance use, developing social skills and independent living skills for neurodivergent teens and adults, and psychoeducation.
I am passionate about empowerment and fighting against mental health stigma, as well as working with trauma survivors.
My interests include drawing and music, as well as tabletop gaming in any form (DnD, Pathfinder, Starfinder, Warhammer 40k, etc.) I spend way too much time playing video games and I have a soft spot for MMORPGs like Destiny 2 and World of Warcraft (Lok'tar Ogar).
MS Clinical CounselingRead Bio
MS Clinical Counseling
My name is Ashley (she/her). I have a Bachelors in Psychology & Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I’m a licensed counselor & have worked in crisis intervention for 7+ years and have determined that to be my niche so to say.
Fun facts about me: I love to travel and plan a trip about every two months (give or take) and do one out of the country trip a year. I’ll be doing a solo trip to Bali in May for my bday and super excited.
In terms of games: I really enjoy story based games. Avid Overwatch, dream light, and Minecraft player. Currently replaying the walking dead w/the amazing Clementine bc I loved the character development. I also have a few streamers I watch on twitch and that’s where I spend majority of my online presence. Excited to be here with you and all support each other in mental health!
MA Art TherapyRead Bio
MA Art Therapy
Professional Interests: I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Art Therapist. I've worked in hospitals with kiddos on the mental health and medical side; in elder care; at mental health hospitals in every unit but I spent most of the time on the crisis stabilization unit; but most recently I worked as a Child and Family therapist and a School Based therapist for Elementary school students. As a therapist with OCD and a tic disorder I have an affinity for working with people who have the same experience; but I also enjoy working with folks who have mood disorders, psychoses, existential struggles, and grief/bereavement. Honestly, I haven't found a population that I don't enjoy working with yet.
Personal Interests: My gaming interests are all across the board but I think the first game I ever totally nerded out over was Armored Core. That said I love the Soulsborne franchise and yes I've beaten Elden Ring already. Strategy and Survival games are also favorites of mine. I'm an OG Minecraft player and spent too many hours on it while it was in open alpha.
MSW Mental Health & Substance AbuseRead Bio
MSW Mental Health & Substance Abuse
Hiya! My name is Anna aka Sanctum (she/they). I have an MSW with areas of emphasis in mental health and substance use. I've worked in private practice as well as a substance use rehab facility. I would say my therapy style is pulling from every therapy style, though I do have a soft spot for some of the less common therapy types like narrative therapy. I use motivational interviewing in almost everything I do, and really want people to know that they hold all the power they need to see positive changes and effects in their lives. My philosophy not only in session, but also for life is you can always learn something. Even a bad experience can highlight something that you didn't know before, and highlighting that leads to growth! I take that into every session, not only for those I'm in session with, but for myself as well. I am always learning. I pride myself in the research and work I have done with the LGBTQIA+ community and will always have a spot in my heart for the group. I have completed foundations coursework specifically revolving around supportive care for transgender folx. I've been playing video games for as long as my brother was willing to have me sit next to him with an unplugged controller. I'd say I have a wide variety of games that I play, from the game cube harvest moon, to dead by daylight, I'm willing to try and learn anything... even if I'm bad at it.
MA Clinical Mental Health CounselingRead Bio
MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Steph (they/them) has worked for 10+ years in a variety of different mental health settings case managing & counseling children, adolescents, and adults! They specialize in work assoc. with LGBTQIA+ population (coming out, sexual/gender identity), neurodivergence, managing depression/anxiety, grief, & addressing maladaptive coping mechanisms.
Steph started in the art world, almost completing a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts before realizing that art can be created anywhere, but there are people that need help everywhere. Remembering the difficulties navigating life in their earlier years (dealing with identity, sexuality, etc.), Steph aimed to become the sort of person they needed when they were younger! Steph pursued their Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and their Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a special interest in Play Therapy!
Steph has a passion for working with members of the LGBTQIA+ community in an effort to build upon their own lived experience and encourage others to live their truth and become “unapologetically themselves”! Steph uses a multitheoretical approach, incorporating interventions from a variety of theories to best fit the needs of each individual (Person-Centered, Adlerian, Narrative, & ACT techniques among others) to encourage the growth potential in each beautiful human. They believe that everyone has their own story to tell, with chapters to be explored, to be closed, and chapters yet to be written and may need help finding the words.
Steph has always been an avid fan of video games and enjoys RPG, fantasy, TPS, & action-adventure games. Steph is an energetic, humorous “goofball” that has learned to enjoy all that life has to offer, & has put their heart & soul into bringing more goodness in the world. In their off time, they enjoy sketching/painting, listening to music, watching silly reality TV, spending time with their wife & fur babies, & finding the fun in life.
MS Marriage and Family TherapyRead Bio
MS Marriage and Family Therapy
Hi, my name is Ivonne but you can call me Luna! I am from Caracas, Venezuela and have lived in the U.S. since 2019. I am a Marriage and Family Therapy Candidate and Addictions Counselor Candidate in the state of Colorado, currently working toward licensure. I received my Master of Science in Psychology from Carlos Albizu University in 2022 and have been in the clinical psychology field since 2018. I have experience with Gestalt, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, and Psychodynamic approaches to therapy. I have thorough training in crisis intervention, gender affirming care, trauma informed care and believe that developing self-knowledge and insight are key for making change.
Growing up, gaming was one of my coping mechanisms. I was a big fan of Neopets and spent a lot of time playing Mario Kart and Donkey Kong on my Nintendo 64. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, going to escape rooms, making candles, and spending time with my cat Gucci. I am very passionate about empowering individuals who want to build a better future for themselves, making mental health accessible, and destigmatizing diversity and mental illness. I am honored to support you on your journey and will be rooting for you every step of the way!
MA Marriage and Family TherapyRead Bio
MA Marriage and Family Therapy
What's up everyone! My name is Damon, and I'm stoked to be joining the HJC team! I just wrapped up a Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy in January, and was drawn to HJC because I believe that engagement with any therapeutic process (even subclinical!) is key to finding any symptomatic relief. I'm excited for the opportunity to help build a community that can reach such a broad range of people and begin to fill in that vacuous gap between traditional therapy, and receiving no mental health support at all! I'm coming from a private Psychotherapy institution where I specialized in supporting kids, teens and young adults with everything from executive functioning to social pragmatics to emotional regulation. I'm passionate about helping people reconcile their thoughts, emotions and behaviors so they can live a peaceful life full of meaning, whatever that might be for them 🙂
On a personal level, I love surfing and playing all sorts of sports (rugby, golf, basketball, boxing, jiu jitsu, football). I'm at my happiest when I'm outside getting in some physical activity in that famous SoCal sun! My favorite videogames include Call of Duty, Rocket League, God of War and the classics, like Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart! I'm always grateful for the opportunity to travel to other countries (particularly Spanish speaking ones, as I'm working to become fluent as a personal side project 😉).
MA Marriage and Family TherapyRead Bio
MA Marriage and Family Therapy
Emily grew up playing video games and wanting to be a veterinarian, until she realized that people needed way more help than animals. She bartended her way through her Undergraduate in Psychology, then her Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy as she found the unique, broader perspective of the Systemic model fit her worldview best. Emily employs a combination of therapeutic modalities, using primarily Narrative techniques to explore each individuals story. She hopes to help each person explore and rewrite perspectives, experiences and outcomes that have brought them harm. She utilizes a strength-based and person-centered approach, believing that each person knows themselves and their challenges best, and just needs a bit of a new perspective and a little help along the way. Pulling from broad experiences and broader taste in anime, games and music she enjoys working metaphor and pop culture references into her therapeutic interventions. She holds a deep passion for helping each individual find the skills that work for them instead of suggesting that they buy another planner.
Emily hopes to guide you in your quest to find your most true self, overcome your personal demons, and conquer your greatest fears. Even if that means just sitting in the murk for a while first. When she's not working, Emily enjoys the idea of hiking and the outdoors, spending time with her too many pets, reading, gaming and making things. She likes high fantasy, cozy sims, resource management, building, monster hunting and questing.
MA CounselingRead Bio
Hello everyone! My name is Jennifer or Jen. I have obtained a Master's Degree in Counseling and in the study process for the National Counselor Exam. I have always had an interest in Mental Health due to my fascination with the human mind. I enjoy incorporating new theories and methods in my sessions due to being open minded on what works best for treatment. I believe if someone wants to improve their mental health they have already started their road to recovery and just need assistance on their journey. I have experience working with all ages, genders, and disorders. I am a firm advocate for utilizing affirmations, Power of No, self-care, creating a safe place and a judgement free zone. My gameplay ranges from Runescape to Kingdom Hearts Series (my favorite). I am an avid anime watcher and manga reader, where I sometimes get lost in the different worlds and character development. My anime watchlist is ever growing due to the huge increase of anime series in recent years. Studio Ghibli movies will always have my heart, but I love classics such as Yu Yu Hakusho, Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, Monster, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. I enjoy reading different genres on Webtoons and I still love going on Fanfiction just for nostalgia. Favorite Quote: "They say that the best blaze burns brightest when circumstances are at their worst." (Howl's Moving Castle)
MA Clinical PsychologyRead Bio
MA Clinical Psychology
Hey everyone, I’m Alison! (She/Her). I’m from Spain💃, where I obtained my BS in Psychology and my MA in Clinical Psychology. My experience has been all over the place since I started my career, ranging from private practices to inpatient units, working with all age groups. I would say that what stuck with me the most was working with teenagers and young adults on gender violence and leading campaigns across Europe to combat mental health stigma. I mainly use third-generation therapies (ACT, DBT, Mindfulness, BA, FAP…) but I’m always learning something new and open to deepening my knowledge. My next goal is to further my knowledge in existential therapy. Inside my sessions, feeling safe, seen, and accepted, are of extreme importance to me. I love holding space for the people I help and walking every step of the journey with them, whether it rains or storms, because no matter how cold it gets, they’ll always find this little shelter with Spanish warmth. And that being said… YES! I’m a big sensitive person. I am passionate about the outdoors, mainly MOUNTAINS, so beware of opening this topic! Backpacking and photography are my biggest hobbies. I also have a big creative side, I play piano and ukulele, I draw, I write, and I love to dance! (Right now contemporary). When I’m indoors I love playing Mario Kart, racing games, Call of Duty, GTA, Tekken, and anything that doesn’t involve too much thinking! I’m excited to contribute to this amazing community, continue to debunk the idea that we are "broken" individuals, and keep helping people navigate themselves and find their direction in life.
Marriage & Family TherapistRead Bio
Marriage & Family Therapist
Kahila is a Marriage and Family Therapist and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant with training and experience in cognitive psychology and behavioral change. She is bilingual and bicultural.
She comes from a diverse background in the nonprofit sector. Her background consists of working with adolescents and adults ranging across gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, generations, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, veteran status, experience, age, socioeconomic background, cross-cultural competency, and perspective.
Kahila’s clinical background is in treating adults and adolescents, utilizing a wide range of modalities including but not limited to positive psychology, and holistic techniques to provide every client with an individualized experience.
As a part of her ongoing commitment to supporting the community through life’s challenges, Kahila has volunteered her time and skills to the cancer community. In partnering with a childhood cancer non-profit in San Diego, she is able to create a mental health program to support family members as they navigate through the diagnosis of cancer. She has implemented workshops, symposiums, and one-on-one sessions, as well as hosted a podcast for cancer patients, caregivers, and other family members.
She loves the outdoors, especially the ocean. When she needs a moment of peace and tranquility you can find her sitting in front of the ocean, meditating and soaking up the sunshine.
MS Clinical CounselingRead Bio
MS Clinical Counseling
Hey all, here's a little bit about myself- education-wise I received a BA in Music Performance and a BA in English Literature from Loyola University in New Orleans, then I received an MS in Clinical Counseling from University of Massachusetts, Boston. I have a background in education and worked as an English teacher at the high school level for four years before transitioning to counseling. In counseling I practice an active and interpersonal approach to therapy, incorporating mindfulness, popular culture, art, music, video games, role playing games, technology, and more to modify my treatment on an individualized basis to best meet the needs of my clients. Understanding that there is no "one size fits all" treatment, I practice a tailored mix of different modalities including but not limited to: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Narrative Therapy Geek Therapy EMDR Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Hobby-wise, I enjoy spending time with my family- I enjoy being a little active (parks, kayaking, ect.) but I do love playing chill video games like Zelda, Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley. I love watching super intense games like God of War and the Dark Souls games, and Elden Ring, but I would never play them on my own. I read a TON and I love watching anime.
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