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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, Ph.D., is a forensic and clinical psychologist. She obtained a master’s degree in forensic psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She then earned a doctoral degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in forensic psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She completed an APA-accredited internship on the forensic psychology track at New York University-Bellevue Hospital. Dr. Beltrani has published over 15 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on competency to stand trial, clinical assessment and decision making, serious mental illness, and barriers to implementing evidence-based practices. Currently, she is a staff psychologist at Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center in New York City. She works on a secure ward, conducting forensic psychological evaluations for the Courts as well as treatment and intervention programs for patients with various psychological and legal issues. In addition, Dr. Beltrani works part-time for CONCEPT Continuing & Professional Studies, providing new or aspiring mental health professionals with information about various aspects of practice to elevate their career and professional fulfillment.

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


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.


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.


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.


Margaret Lamar

Podcast Contributor

Dr. Margaret Lamar is a board-certified, licensed professional counselor with a background in university and clinical mental health counseling. Her research is in the areas of maternal mental health, parental mental health, alcohol, and substance use during COVID-19, and research education in counselor education. She has several publications in this area and has been interviewed by various outlets, such as Counseling Today and The Thoughtful Counselor. Dr. Lamar is the current past-president of the Western Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.


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


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.


Mickey White

Podcast Contributor

Dr. Mickey White (he/him) is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at East Tennessee State University. His work centers the experiences of transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive individuals, with a special emphasis on self-disclosure and mental health access in Appalachia. He is a past Emerging Leader for the Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) and the Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE). He joined The Thoughtful Counselor team in 2023. 


Stacy Speedlin

Podcast Contributor

Dr. Stacy Speedlin Gonzalez is a Licensed Professional Counselor- Supervisor (LPC-S) and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) in the state of Texas. She is board certified as a Nationally Credentialed Counselor (NCC). Her professional values are exemplified in her precision and deep commitment to her research, evaluation, and clinical work. She exemplifies the core value of equity and inclusive practices through her teaching, research, and scholarly activities. Clinically, she works with persons from all walks of life; most recently, she sees a lot of healthcare professionals and first responders. She is known for working with various peer-assistance programs and licensure boards; she helps her clients navigate these systems and remain on the road to recovery. 

Dr. Speedlin Gonzalez also values servant leadership at the local, regional, and national levels. Presently, she is the Professional Trustee of Membership for the Society of Affectional, Intersexual, and Gender Expansion (SAIGE) Association. She also serves on the Advisory Council for the National Board of Credentialing Counselors (NBCC) Minority Fellowship Program for Addiction Counselors. Additionally, she is a member of the Texas Council of Family Violence (TCFV) Public Policy Committee. Her research interests include LGBTQ+ issues in counseling, substance use disorders, mental health disparities, and women’s issues. 

Dr. Speedlin Gonzalez is the owner and Executive Director of Salient Clinical Services – a company created to provide optimal clinical, evaluative, and consulting services. She is also a nationally recognized speaker; having given multiple talks and workshops on the topics of mentorship, relationships, LGBTQ+ Ally-Development, and Cultural Responsiveness. Additionally, she has published several peer-reviewed manuscripts on addiction, trauma, mentorship, and grief.