Free Resources Contributors

The Business of Practice


Jasmine Monfared


Jasmine Monfared holds a post-bacc certificate in Counseling and Psychology professions from UC Berkeley Extension. She volunteers as a crisis counselor on a local hotline that serves 15+ counties in Northern California. Jasmine graduated from UC Berkeley with a sociology major and a minor in journalism. As an undergraduate, she implemented mental health curriculum in a faculty-sponsored sociology course with an emphasis on accessibility and diversity.


Amanda Beltrani


Amanda Beltrani is a doctoral student at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is completing her training on the Forensic Psychology Track within the NYU Langone–Bellevue Clinical Psychology Internship. Her doctoral dissertation explores taxanomic differences among juveniles who have engaged in illegal sexual behavior. Moreover, her professional interests include forensic assessments, professional decision making, and cognitive biases.

Translating Research into Practice


Amber Lin


Amber Lin is a clinical psychology doctoral student at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her research interests include forensic assessment, competency to stand trial, and the refinement of instruments used to assess the psychological states of criminal defendants.


Leila N. Wallach


Leila N. Wallach is a clinical psychology doctoral student at Palo Alto University. Her research and clinical interests focus on alternatives to incarceration, culture and trauma-informed care, policy in the juvenile justice system, and risk assessment for community offender management.

The Thoughtful Counselor


Megan Speciale, PhD

Managing Editor & Podcast Contributor (Sex Series)

Dr. Megan Speciale is an Associate Professor of Counseling at Palo Alto University. Megan has worked as a professional counselor and advocate in a variety of community settings, focusing primarily on sexual health and wellness. Her research focuses on issues of equity and social justice, LGBTQIA+ issues, the intersection of sexuality and mental health, and liberatory education. Megan is the current Editor-in-Chief for The Thoughtful Counselor Podcast and served as a contributor since 2016, specializing in sexual health topics.


Jessica Melendez Tyler, PhD, LPC-S, BC-TMH, NCC

Podcast Contributor

Jessica Tyler, Ph.D., LPC-S, BC-TMH, NCC, is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Auburn University, the Program Coordinator and Practicum/ Internship Coordinator of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, and a private practitioner. Dr. Tyler’s expertise entails using CBT, ACT, EMDR, and yoga-informed therapy in working with trauma and women’s issues and training on suicide prevention.


Stacey Diane Arañez Litam (she/her/hers) Ph.D., LPCC-s, NCC, CCMHC

Podcast Contributor

Stacey Diane Arañez Litam is an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education at Cleveland State University. Dr. Litam is a researcher, educator, clinical counselor, and social justice advocate on topics related to human sexuality, sex trafficking, and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) concerns. She is an immigrant and identifies as a Chinese and Filipina American woman.


Dèsa Karye Daniel, M.A., LMHC, NCC

Podcast Contributor

Dèsa Karye Daniel is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Counselor Education Supervisor in New Mexico. Ms. Daniel’s research interest focuses on supervision relationships for racial/ethnic minorities, the lived experiences of racial/ethnic college students, and the experiences of Black/African American Women in academic spaces. Ms. Daniel continues to work with diverse clients at a community mental health clinic and a college counseling center where her work focuses on the Black student populations. Ms. Daniel advocates for inclusive spaces for racial/ethnic minority students within academia and within organizations for increasing graduate student resources. She received her dual master’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Higher Education Administration from New Mexico State University. She is a University of New Mexico Center for Social Policy Fellow and was recently named a 2021 New Mexico Office of African American Affairs Everyday Hero. Daniel is the recipient of the 2020 NBCC Minority Fellowship. As an NBCC Minority Fellow her most recent work will address the mental health needs and health disparities of Black/African American populations by increasing her opportunities to be involved in national organizations, receive professional development training, and the development of scholarly publications.


Raissa Miller, Ph.D., LPC

Podcast Contributor (Neuroscience Series)

Dr. Raissa Miller is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Counselor Education at Boise State University. Dr. Miller has over a decade of clinical experience working with individuals across the lifespan in community agency and private practice settings. Dr. Miller is an active researcher with particular interests in the integration of neuroscience and counseling, the evaluation of counseling training and interventions, and the application of rigorous qualitative methodologies in the counseling field. She was named Researcher of the Year by the American Mental Health Counseling Association in 2020. Dr. Miller is part of a multi-university team that developed the neuroscience-informed cognitive behavioral therapy (nCBT) treatment manual and presents widely on this approach, as well as other neuroscience-informed models in counseling. Additionally, she is the Associate Co-Editor of the neuroscience section of the Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Past-President of the Idaho Society for Individual Psychology, and chair of the Association for Counselor Education Special Committee for Counseling Advisory. Dr. Miller has published over 25 peer-reviewed journal articles and is the co-author of the book The Neuroeducation Toolbox: Practical Translations of Neuroscience in Counseling and Psychotherapy.


Mike Shook

Podcast Creator

Mike is husband to Becca and father to John, Matthew, and Everett. He has lived in China since 2007, where he worked for an NGO caring for children with medical needs before beginning a career in mental health counseling with English speaking cross-cultural workers and immigrants living in Beijing. Mike holds an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Palo Alto University, is a national certified counselor, and a licensed mental health counselor in Florida. He also serves as a leader and elder in his church, Oasis Christian Fellowship in Beijing. Mike loves Christian theology and spirituality, his family, reading, beer, good food, and the outdoors.


Aaron Smith, PhD, LMHC, NCC

Podcast Contributor

Aaron Smith is an eight-year Veteran of the United States Marine Corps infantry (attached to Delta Company 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marines from 05′-13′, out of Albuquerque, NM), and an Associate Professor of Counseling within the Psychology Department at Western Washington University (CACREP). He received dual BAs in Psychology and Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico (UNM). He is also a co-host of The Thoughtful Counselor Podcast (, producing a series on Veterans’ mental health and serves as the Director of the Warrior-Wellness Lab. From research studies to podcasts on Veterans’ mental health, the Warrior Wellness Lab serves as a humanistic mental health think-tank and research collaborative within the Psychology Department at Western Washington University with a two-part mission: Researching and identifying mental health needs among Veterans and developing and testing mental health interventions specifically tailored towards addressing these needs.

Dr. Smith also holds an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CACREP), as well as, a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision (CACREP), both from UNM. In New Mexico, he served in roles as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Clinical Supervisor. Dr. Smith is currently teaching in both the Counseling Graduate Program (CACREP) at WWU as a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), as well as, research methods/statistics within the undergraduate psychology program.


Michael Jones, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, BC-TMH

Podcast Contributor

Dr. Jones holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University and an MA in Clinical Pastoral Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary.  Dr. Jones is a licensed professional counselor in Arkansas, board-certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors, and a board-certified telemental health provider (BC-TMH). His research and clinical interests focus on biracial adults, African American men, ethics, and telemental health counseling. Dr. Jones is a member of the American Counseling Association and serves on the Ethics Committee. He has had multiple leadership roles in the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, Arkansas Counseling Association, and the Arkansas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.  Outside the classroom, Dr. Jones enjoys fishing, creating humorous videos for social media, and spending time with his family. His private practive website is