Our Team


Our team of trained Therapists and Mentors work with CCS clients in Richland, Sauk, Columbia, Vernon and Dane counties. Please complete a referral and we will work propose one of our Therapists or Mentors who we think would be the best fit.


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Therapists

Catherine Lewis, OTR/L [She/Her]

Catherine received her BA in Dance & Psychology, her MS in Occupational Therapy, and is a registered yoga teacher. As an occupational therapist, Catherine uses a variety of therapeutic modalities and techniques to help clients engage in their meaningful roles and activities. She is a strong proponent of purposeful activity, movement, and the outdoors to promote self-efficacy, self-value, and embodied wellness. [Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Emanuel Rivera, MS, LPC-IT

Emanuel specializes in empowering clients to discover and develop their own confidence, motivation, and purpose using evidence-based clinical skills. His experience living, working, and leading diverse groups in wilderness settings, combined with his passion for philosophy, art, and literature lends unique perspective to his practice. Emanuel has worked in Education (4k), Mobile Mental Health Crisis, and Wilderness Therapy. He is confident working with adults and children with ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Somatic Therapy, Addiction, and/or Trauma. Emanuel is able to provide Parent Support, individual psycho-education and skill development. In addition to hiking and other wilderness activities, Emanuel also enjoys philosophy and Dungeons & Dragons. [Individual Therapy, Individual Mentoring]

Fede Escobar-Merodio, APSW [He/Him]

Fede’s collaborative, client centered and strength-based approach is informed by theories and models such as: Motivational Interviewing, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Polyvagal Theory, Internal Family Systems and Adventure Therapy. Through outdoor activities, mindfulness and play, Fede works with clients to develop executive functioning skills, higher interoceptive awareness and emotional control. Fede lays emphasis on building a therapeutic relationship that is based on safety, trust and connection, laying the foundations for self-regulation. Fede can provide these services in English or Spanish. [Individual Therapy, Family Therapy, Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Nicole Olson, MS, OTR/L

Nicole began her career as an occupational therapy assistant before obtaining her MS in Occupational Therapy. Nicole finds joy in helping clients discover and participate in meaningful and motivating activities to achieve therapeutic goals. She values client-focused, shame-reduction and trauma-informed approaches to holistic wellness. Using therapeutic techniques and activity-based intervention, Nicole promotes emotional exploration, regulation, self-advocacy, and independence. She encourages movement, somatic strategies, and increased interoceptive awareness. Nicole loves the outdoors, animals, and curling up with a really good book. [Individual Therapy, Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Shannon Stolarick, MSW, LCSW [she/her]

Shannon Stolarick is enthusiastic about providing adventure-based therapy to individuals and families. Shannon has extensive involvement as a facilitator of group and individual growth in nontraditional outdoor settings like ropes courses and climbing towers. Shannon utilizes experiential learning techniques to help clients improve their self-concept, learn to trust themselves and others, and become effective communicators. She enjoys paddling, hiking, and cross-country skiing. [Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

KYLE EGERDAL, MS, LPC [he/him]

Kyle is a relationship-focused therapist who works primarily in interpersonal process and is also experienced in family systems work, couples therapy, CBT, and parent management training. He has pedaled bicycles more than a third of the way around the world and is intimately familiar with the empowerment and connection to others the outdoors can bring. Kyle has worked at a day treatment center for adolescents where he not only conducted group therapy but joined clients in adventurous, therapeutic activities such as art or escape rooms. He has also worked at a community mental health clinic serving people of all ages, genders, races, sexualities, and abilities, practicing his belief that all humans are worthy of love and unconditional positive regard no matter their histories or identities. [Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Sara Harris, MS, LCSW [She/Her]

Sara is excited to return home to the Driftless area after attaining her master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver (DU) Colorado. While concentrating her education in environmental justice, and animal assisted social work, Sara has a diverse professional background, ranging from at-risk children to older adults experiencing homelessness, mental health conditions, substance abuse, domestic violence, chronic illness, trauma, and much more. Previously, Sara has provided psychotherapy to adults and children using integrative modalities, such as CBT, DBT, ERP, and nature-based therapy. While using a strength based, trauma informed lens, she is ecstatic to be able to share her own outdoor passions, such as hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking and creating earth friendly arts and crafts with children and their families. [Individual Therapy, Family Therapy, Individual Mentoring]

Jade Hudson, LMFT, MS [She/Her]

Jade holds a masters in both Marriage and Family Therapy and Therapeutic Recreation. She has experience working with people who have disabilities, such as individuals with Autism and Down Syndrome, as well as clients who have a variety of gender, sexual and relational orientations. Through her experience and interests, Jade has developed a passion for using expressive arts and adventure-based therapies to support clients in their journeys to obtaining their highest quality of life. [Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Nicole Steldt, LCSW [She/Her]

Nicole has over 15 years of social work experience with children, teenagers, adults and the aging population. Nicole has practiced in a wide diversity of settings, which includes the nursing home, community mental health, VA, inpatient psychiatric hospital for adults and aging population, and integrated care in family medicine. Nicole is an advocate and passionate about helping children and adults gain self-esteem and confidence. Nicole provides individual therapy and uses a variety of treatment modalities to empower children and adults, helping them gain skills to meet their goals. The treatment modalities include trauma informed, strength based, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused, and grounding. [Individual Therapy, Parent Mentoring, Individual Mentoring]

DANIELLE PENARANDA, LCSW

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Danielle assists youth and adults struggling with chronic mental health illnesses and recovery from past trauma. Danielle guides her clients toward growth, understanding, and healing with a person-centered and trauma-informed approach. She is inspired by the knowledge that though we may not be able to control the world we were brought into or some of the circumstances we have encountered, we have the capacity for resilience, recovery, and positive change. She has a passion for meeting clients in their environment to help guide them to the future they envision. Danielle embraces Adventure-Based Therapy to empower, strengthen, and enhance the lives of her clients and their connection to the world around them.

Olivia Tryggestad, MSW, APSW [She/Her]

Olivia has her MSW in social work and is a licensed social worker with previous experience working with children and families, individuals with disabilities, and those who are aging. Olivia worked for Vernon County Human Services for five years and has experience working in team settings. Olivia is very passionate about trauma informed care, and utilizes a trauma informed, strength-based approach when working with individuals and families. Olivia enjoys partnering with youth and families to help them reach their goals. She likes spending time outdoors hiking, camping, and with animals. [Individual Therapy, Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Bazile Booth, LCSW [She/Her]

Bazile is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose practice draws from nearly 20 years of clinical social work experience. She is thrilled to be able to fulfill her dream of taking psychotherapy out of the office and into the world. Bazile began her career in Madison as an outpatient clinician, training in alcohol and drug (AODA) assessment and treatment, crisis stabilization and jail diversion treatment programs in addition to standard mental health treatment. She was privileged to serve as the clinical coordinator for the Dane County Drug Treatment Court Program for two years. Outside of the Madison area, Bazile has provided psychotherapy to children, teens, and adults for over ten years. Her passion for health and wellness continues to inform her practice. Specifically, Bazile is a UW certified Grief Support Specialist, and an avid mindfulness meditation practitioner. Off-duty, Bazile can be found cross-country skiing in the winter, gardening in the summer, and making nutritious meals year-round. [Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Parent Mentoring]

Chris Ruder, LMFT [he/him]

I started Trailhead (formerly Driftless Counseling) to pursue my passion for outdoor Adventure Therapy and In-Home Family Therapy after working in wilderness therapy for 6 years in Alaska and Wisconsin. As a family therapist, I help individuals and families to better connect with each other and also with their own selves. In individual sessions, I use a mix of talk and experiential activities including canoeing, carpentry, exercise, board games, and outdoor play. I’m skilled at working with therapy-resistant youth, and bridging the gaps between distant family members. I am trained in Marriage and Family Therapy and Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy. [Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Parent Mentoring] Email Chris

Janine Bussa, DAT, LPC, ATR-BC [she, her]

Dr. Janine Bussa is a licensed professional counselor and board-certified art therapist who has been delivering person-centered therapy and art therapy in community, outpatient and inpatient settings for over 15 years. Her areas of expertise include working with people experiencing chronic mental illness, substance abuse disorders, grief, and trauma. Before joining the Trailhead team, Janine worked at a state forensic psychiatric hospital treating adults and adjudicated youth. She believes that bringing loss and grief into focus through creative-based therapy can augment a person’s therapeutic experience and promote growth for the client. Janine also supports the next generation of art therapists by teaching at Edgewood College in the graduate art therapy program. In her spare time, she loves gardening, reading and coaching youth soccer. She’s also a volunteer foster for a local animal rescue organization. [Individual Therapy, Family Therapy, Parent Mentoring]

Greg Seehusen, LPC [He/Him]

Greg is experienced in facilitating adventure therapy through a trauma-informed lens, which incorporates elements of challenge, freedom, and enjoyment as integral parts of growth and learning. Greg has worked mainly with youth but enjoys working with individuals across the lifespan. Greg completed a master’s degree in counseling after a twenty-year engineering career, motivated by his personal experiences with grief and loss and his life of sobriety. Greg spends his free time hiking, backpacking, and enjoying anything outdoors. Greg’s work with clients has utilized outdoor skills, archery, woodworking and ceramics projects, sports, board games, juggling, and other experiential activities through which clients work toward their therapeutic goals. [Individual Therapy, Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Mark Sandberg, MSW, LCSW [he/him]

I am a relationship-focused therapist with a reverence for hearing others’ stories; utilizing skills and resources to help them achieve their goals. My favorite activities include time spent outdoors year-round, playing games, music and reading. I enjoy being a resource for parents struggling to understand and connect with their child. I am certified as a Positive Discipline Educator (parenting), CBT for Insomnia Clinician and I have specialized training or interests in ADHD, Mindful Self-Compassion, Motivational Interviewing, Interpersonal Neurobiology, and the mind-body connection. [Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Jeana LeJeune, MS, LPC, CSW CERTIFIED AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER CLINICAL SPECIALIST [SHE/HER]

Jeana has 15+years of experience working as a social worker/therapist serving high- risk juveniles, women and teens with high-risk pregnancies, adoption, grief and loss, infertility, and trauma. Jeana uses solution-focused therapy, CBT, play therapy, and evidence-based trauma informed practices. Jeana is person-centered and enjoys meeting clients where they are at, while helping them identify where they wish to go next. She enjoys serving individuals across the lifespan including children, teens, young adults, adults, family systems, and individuals on the Autism spectrum. [Individual Therapy, Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Tracey Benton, LCSW

Tracey Benton is a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years of social work experience with children, teens, and adults. Tracey has practiced in a variety of settings including emergency room, psychiatric in-patient hospital, residential treatment and private practice. However, she currently enjoys the versatility of supporting kids and families in their own environments; helping with various types of issues such as developmental trauma, anxiety, depression and relationship conflict. She especially enjoys work with girls and women. Her work is influenced by Bessel van Der Kolk, Trauma-Focused CBT, PCIT, and Play Therapy techniques. Tracey also uses Positive Parenting Solutions workbooks and videos to support her parenting education program.

Erin Miess, MSW, APSW

Erin Miess is an Advanced Practice Social Worker with over 17 years of experience working with children, youth, adults and families in different roles. Erin has worked in direct practice, supervisory positions and has helped implement system-level changes. She uses a trauma-informed and strength-based approach in her work. Erin has experience using a variety of individual treatment modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Solutions-Focused Therapy. She is also skilled at facilitating group therapy sessions and family team meetings. Erin is a strong advocate for strengthening families, allowing individuals to have a voice in planning and developing family support networks. Erin believes that engagement with people is the key to helping them heal from trauma and empowering them to make positive changes in their lives. Erin is working towards becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Mentors

Stephanie Dunn, COTA [She/Her]

Stephanie comes to Trailhead after working as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant at a state psychiatric hospital for over 15 years. Her calm presence and fun demeanor have been effective in engaging a wide range of clients, from children and adolescents to adult men involved in the forensic mental health system. Stephanie’s background in occupational therapy drives her client-centered approach of using meaningful activities to promote well-being in all areas of life. She loves to teach new skills, recognize personal strengths, and celebrate small victories with all clients. Stephanie believes in the benefits of positive psychology principles and engagement in one’s environment to improve life satisfaction and empower clients in their recovery. Some of her favorite interventions involve experiencing the beauty of nature, arts & crafts, mindfulness practices, and laughter. [Individual Mentoring]

Susana Vasconez-Ruder, BA

Susana brings an enthusiastic and compassionate approach when working with youth. She is creative and patient, which allows for connecting and being present with clients. Susana has a background in early childhood education and has worked in various non-traditional school settings as a therapeutic gardener for children with special needs, as a forest school teacher, summer camp leader and as an art specialist for adults with disabilities. [Individual Mentoring]

Joe Orso

Joe focuses on compassionate listening and natural wonder in his work at Trailhead. He brings an eclectic set of skills and experiences, including journalism, prisoner support, farmwork and carpentry. With a belief in the power of mutually-transformative relationships, Joe has a gentle approach, and encourages the cultivation of inner-motivation and meaning- making. He enjoys hiking, playing sports, chatting around a fire, doing carpentry and tapping maple trees, and believes that deep listening and sharing stories can be profoundly healing. [ISD/E]

Madison Hergenrader

Madison believes in the power of outdoor experiences and connection to nature as a path towards healing and personal growth. Madison received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in Leadership and Communication. For the last 8 years she has lived, worked and played in diverse landscapes across the country including the San Juan Islands of Washington and the high desert of Oregon. These landscapes have transformed her understanding of what it means to live in congruence with ourselves and our community. Madison brings a background of outdoor environmental education, food justice work, wilderness therapy, outdoor trip guiding and youth and adult recreation. She brings a calm and patient approach that allows clients to step into their growth zone. Now living in Wisconsin she enjoys riding her bike, sharing a meal with friends, yoga, kayaking, canoeing and skiing! [Individual Mentoring]

Jessie Ferraro

Jessie has experience working with children and families at a forest school in Wisconsin and also through a nutrition and agriculture program with Peace Corps Nepal. Jessie enjoys connecting with clients on an authentic level, and her calm and centered presence aids in creating a therapeutic space for clients to be themselves. Jessie uses a person centered approach when helping clients with emotional regulation, interpersonal and individual skill development. She utilizes creative interventions in sessions such as cooking over a fire, foraging, hiking, meditation, art and music (guitar or singing). Her intention at Trailhead is to help clients cultivate deep connections to themselves that empower them to embark on their healing journey with confidence. [Individual Mentoring]

Justys Grenier

Justys has a warm and gentle approach with youth. He is a patient listener and a steady presence. He enjoys spending time outside year-round, and shares this joy and appreciation for nature with his clients by doing activities such as hiking, fishing, canoeing, tracking, and biking. His background is in experiential education with behavioral at risk youth in a wilderness setting. Justys teaches tools for communication and self-advocacy, positive decision-making, and strengthening interpersonal relationships. He uses an outdoor activity based approach to support client’s growth by walking with them along the edges of their comfort zones. [Individual Mentoring]

Drew Shonka

Throughout life, working with people has been Drew’s passion. From coaching to crisis intervention, with teaching and service along the way. Activities that he enjoys include photography, making art, playing guitar, hiking, canoeing, skating, and skiing. Most favored are any activities that involve problem-solving and creativity. For the past three years, Drew has led groups of high school and college students in hurricane/disaster relief and poverty abatement in Puerto Rico, Texas, North Carolina, and Mississippi. [Individual Mentoring]

Cait Wilkinson, BS [She/Her]

Cait brings a calm and compassionate approach to every session she has with those she works with, which includes both adults and children. She has been working in various roles with people experiencing an array of diagnoses and symptoms since 2012. Her experience includes providing in-home, community-based and nature-based interventions. Cait believes that physical activity plays an important role in both mental and physical health. She loves to encourage clients to try new things, and fosters curiosity and independence. Her patient and calm approach allows clients to be themselves and feel supported. Cait has previously been an assistant youth hockey coach, and also taught Learn to Skate in her hometown. When she’s not working, kayaking, playing hockey, yoga and meditation are some of her favorite activities. [Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring, Service Facilitation]

Rebecca Lovaas, BA, MS [she/her]

Rebecca joins Trailhead after 7 years of teaching and mentoring students at a residential boarding school in Northern Wisconsin. Rebecca’s passion is helping young people develop confidence and character through immersive experiences in nature. Rebecca believes deeply that connection to local landscapes can inspire stronger human relationships and community building. Rebecca is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys sharing the benefits of mindfulness and whole-body health with young learners. Rebecca’s a deep listener who finds joy in helping people develop positive visions for their future. [Individual Mentoring]

Justin VerMeer [he/him]

Justin has ten years of experience in experiential education and service-learning. Justin is currently studying his master’s in Social Work, and his mentoring approach is informed by IFS and IPNB therapies. He is an enthusiastic listener and finds great joy in creating a safe space for clients to share, explore, and be heard. He works with clients in activity-based therapeutic mentoring outdoors, in all seasons. He believes that experiences moving through nature can foster deep connection and learning and leverages these experiences to help clients reach their goals. [Individual Mentoring]

Jess Krueger, BA [she/they]

Jess brings an earnest and compassionate approach to working with kids through adults. Jess encourages self awareness and connection through the use of time spent outdoors, games, crafts and art based activities. She is an affirming mentor who incorporates an understanding of both family dynamics and the societal factors that influence & affect people, and she has completed advanced mentoring training in art based interventions. Jess is diligent in using active listening and providing a consistent and calm presence. Jess also works as a doula and provides support to new and expectant mothers. Her favorite pastimes include gardening, hiking, cooking and coaching soccer. [Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Mike Bagesse [he/him]

Mike has spearheaded initiatives in environmental & projects-based learning programs as a public high school and elementary school teacher for the last 10 years. His passion for mentoring is rooted in a deep appreciation and understanding that the natural world and ecological process are fundamental to who we are as individuals. He believes we can discover and nurture our most authentic selves advocating for personal growth and participating in ethical care of the planet. His focus is on cultivating connection and inspiration through the relationships we are all capable of discovering and maintaining by learning from organic rhythms found within us and all around us. Mike is passionate about hiking, camping, kayaking, canoeing, playing guitar, native plants, organic food production, biking/cycling, running, swimming, gardening, meditation, and general holistic health strategies. He is an avid reader and is eager to share from his extensive library. [Individual Mentoring]

Bill Townsley, BS [he/him]

Bill has over 20 years of experience working with youth and families, and works as an organic farmer on the side. Bill connects well with kids and their parents–even when those families are struggling the most. Clients with Bill report feeling heard, respected, and seen as complete and whole people. [Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Brian Jones [he/him]

Brian has been an outdoor educator and guide for over 20 years. He also has worked in a mental health care pharmacy and has facilitated youth groups. He specializes in authentic listening, modeling healthy boundaries and meeting people where they are. Brian believes that spending time in nature provides connection and builds important life skills. Some of his favorite activities include fishing, hiking, canoeing and playing various sports. [Individual Mentoring]

Heather Hoene, BS [she/her]

Heather has a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology, over 5 years of experience in play-based Autism services, including ESDM and ABA Play-based approaches, and has several years of experience providing adventure-based mentoring. She is inspired by the modalities from the Whole-Brain Child, Beyond Behaviors and the works of Bessel van der Kolk. Heather is enthusiastic, compassionate and holds a strong belief in the benefits of exploring the outdoor world, to connect with oneself and others. She is keen on planting seeds in the importance of individuality, capability and understanding in how the brain and heart connect. [Individual Mentoring, Parent Mentoring]

Rice Spann, BA [he/him]

Rice has worked with youth in many different capacities over the past decades, including working as a licensed elementary teacher, high school teacher, archery instructor, soccer coach, and leader of a home-schooling cooperative. Rice is able to quickly convey unconditional positive regard when first meeting clients, and help bring out the best in them through doing activities they enjoy and feel proud of. Rice is able to connect with youth through community based and outdoor based activities. [Individual Mentoring]

Jason Thimmesch [he/him]

In addition to being an organic farmer, Jason has spent many years as a counselor, job coach, and environmental educator. Jason has worked with both adults and youth in a variety of settings, from serving teachers, family, and youth in Chicago’s underserved communities, to helping at-risk youth manifest a vision of growing and selling produce at the farmer’s market in Dubuque, Iowa. Jason is patient and encourages the balance of hard work, rest, humor, and emotional connection. [Individual Mentoring]

Service Facilitators

Ashley Kiehnau

Ashley is a CCS Service Facilitator in Richland County. She uses a client centered and community wrap-around approach to her work with clients and facilitation of CCS teams. Before joining Trailhead Ashley worked with human rights and refugee NGO’s in Fort McCoy, Kenya, and DC. Ashley is excited to bring her skills as a client advocate, listener, and supporter to her work as a Service Facilitator in CCS.