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Jasmine Monfared, Writer

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.

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Amber Lin, Writer

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.

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Leila N. Wallach, Writer

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.

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Amanda Beltrani, Writer

Amanda Beltrani is a doctoral student at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her professional interests include forensic assessments, professional decision making, and cognitive biases.

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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.

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Allison Kramer, Podcast Contributor (Ethics Series)

Allison Kramer, Ph.D., LPC, CAC II, is the Program Lead for Counseling Psychology at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colorado. She has been a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Addictions Counselor in Colorado since 2001. In addition to teaching, she also has a small mental health counseling private practice.

Kramer has presented original research on ethics and best practices in the counseling profession at numerous regional and national conferences including the American Counseling Association, the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling, and the Colorado Counseling Association. Furthermore, she has published articles in Community College Journal of Research and Practice, ACA’s VISTAS, and Counseling Today. She has authored book chapters in Explorations in Diversity: Examining Privilege and Oppression in a Multicultural Society and in the American Psychological Association Handbook of Ethics in Psychology.

Last but not least, she enjoys hiking, camping, and playing with her family in the great Colorado outdoors.

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Raissa Miller, Podcast Contributor (Neuroscience Series)

Dr. Raissa Miller is an Assistant Professor and Addiction Program Coordinator at Boise State University. Dr. Miller’s clinical experience has been working with individuals and couples ages 5-65 at community outpatient clinics. Specifically, she has worked with children and adolescents who experience sexual assault and has facilitated relapse prevention groups at a drug and alcohol treatment center. Most recently, her work has involved the implementation of neurofeedback training. Interestingly, Dr. Miller seeks to integrate and apply the latest findings from neuroscience in her counseling, teaching, and research. You can read some of her work related to neuroscience and the counseling profession in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling, the Journal of Humanistic Counseling, and Counseling Today.

When not at work, Dr. Miller prefers to spend her time outdoors exploring the beautiful state of Idaho with her husband and daughter. They love hiking, kayaking, skiing, and camping together as a family.

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Megan Speciale,  Manging Editor & Podcast Contributor (Sex Series)

Dr. Megan Speciale is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling Program at Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, CA. Megan has worked as a professional counselor and advocate in a variety of community settings, focusing primarily on sexuality health and wellness. Specifically, Speciale’s works with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQQIA) children, adolescents, adults, and their families. Consequently, her research includes feminist and queer perspectives of the counseling profession and counselor education, sexuality counseling and education, issues related to LGBTQQIA populations, and community-based and participatory action research. Megan is currently a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in New Mexico.

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Aaron Smith, Podcast Contributor

Dr. Aaron Smith is both an eight-year Veteran of the United States Marine Corps infantry (attached to Delta Company 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marines, out of Albuquerque, NM), as well as, an Assistant Professor of Counseling and Psychology within the Psychology Department at Western Washington University (CACREP). He is also the director of the Warrior-Wellness Lab, a Veterans mental health research collective composed of undergraduate and graduate students that assist with applied, programmatic counseling-research pertaining to Veterans, service people, and their families.

Dr. Smith received dual BAs in Psychology and Cultural Anthropology from the University of New Mexico (UNM). He 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 teaches in both the Counseling Graduate Program (CACREP) and the psychology undergraduate program (APA) at Western Washington University.