Jake Wiskerchen
Founder and Clinical Director

Marriage and Family Therapist, National Certified Counselor

Across the counseling field Jake has helped people struggling with all types of issues and has been trained in a variety of methodologies and theories. Prior to founding Zephyr Wellness, he gained experience working for six different mental health agencies, three colleges, adult drug court, and a psychiatric inpatient hospital...


Lindsay Garrison
Founder and Operations Director

Marriage and Family Therapist

Lindsay Garrison was born and raised in northern Nevada and attended the University of Nevada, Reno. Throughout more than 10 years of mental health experience she has always enjoyed the process of facilitating change by helping individuals, families and couples break through the barriers that prevent them from achieving their highest potential.  She particularly enjoys working with children and has a son and daughter of her own, whom she loves very much...

Staff and Clinicians

Robert Westwood
Office Manager 
Reception/Intake - Sparks

Rob has literally dealt with people from all over the world. He was born and lived the first year-and-a-half of his life in Taiwan, after which he was moved to Oregon until he was three. He then lived in Illinois and California followed by a six year stint living in Germany. When he returned to the States, Rob and his family moved to Hawthorne, NV, where he graduated from high school. After high school, he did a four year stint in the Marine Corps which allowed him to deploy to the Far East, Australia, and Pacific Islands.

Upon exiting the Marines, Rob enrolled in the University of Nevada, Reno where he earned his degree in Political Science and History. He then returned to take Accounting and Finance classes, after which he worked in the gaming and hospitality industry. 

Rob joined the Zephyr Wellness team to assist with front desk and bookkeeping duties. He believes that having dealt with people with different backgrounds and outlooks allows him an insight into understanding people and their needs so that he can connect a client with the provider who will best suit their needs.

Lauren Penksa
Reception/Intake - Reno

Lauren was born and raised in Henderson, Nevada, before leaving for Reno to attend college at the University of Nevada. She is currently in her last semester of her undergraduate degree studying Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in psychology.  Her next step is applying and attending graduate school in order to pursue her dreams of helping children within family therapy and hopefully one day having her own counseling practice.

How I keep myself healthy: I enjoy traveling, listening to music, spending the day outdoors, and cheering on the New York Yankees.

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Stephanie Carducci
Reception/Intake - Reno & Sparks

Stephanie was born in Reno, Nevada in 1998 and is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Nevada focusing on physics and mathematics. She plans on getting her degree and continuing school or exploring new educational opportunities. She also enjoys creating, and would love to spend all day in a studio painting and listening to music. She believes in wholeheartedly following your own path to personal success.

How I stay healthy: Spending time with family, walking in nature, practicing guitar, and painting.

Steven Barcia - Reno
Clinical Supervisor

Marriage and Family Therapist
Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor
Approved Domestic Violence Treatment Provider

Steven was Born and raised in upstate New York and then traveled west to attend the University of, Nevada, Reno. He received a master’s degree in Counseling and educational psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy in 2011. During this time, he also earned an advanced certificate in addiction treatment services  Since then, he was worked with individuals, groups, couples and families in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Steven is also an approved domestic violence treatment provider.

 Steven Believes that the key to a successful therapeutic experience begins with an environment where one feels safe and accepted. He strives to create this through understanding each client’s unique experience and goals with consistent attention to non-judgement. Steven works from a solution focused philosophy and incorporates Cognitive behavioral strategies while maintaining a focus on emotional awareness. Steven also takes in a holistic perspective, providing attention to the many complicated factors that affect one’s well-being. Steven’s goal is to help clients develop skills, perspectives, and behaviors they can incorporate beyond the therapeutic experience and contribute to a lifetime of increased peace and wellness.

How I stay healthy: creating art, music, and participating in many outdoor activities.    

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Amanda Green - Sparks
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

Amanda was born and raised in Elko, Nevada and moved to Reno to attend the University of Nevada. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Addiction Treatment Services in 2011. She continued on to get her master’s degree in Counseling and Educational Psychology and graduated 2015. She also earned an advanced certificate in addiction treatment services and then worked as a school counselor in Reno so she definitely understands the stress children and families have placed on them by the school and everyday life. 

Amanda enjoys working with individuals of all ages, couples, families, and groups. Individuals are part of a system which creates who we are today. Therapy helps provide the tools that gain insight into those systems allowing for change. Each individual is an expert on him or herself and has the capacity to change. She creates a safe, accepting, and trusting therapy environment where she can explore issues affecting those in the room, working together to create insights on feelings, behaviors, and thoughts while focusing on mindfulness and the present moment.  

Amanda's focus is on children, age three to 10 in play and has knowledge in creating behavior plans to help parents out at home with their children. She has experience in treating domestic violence, anger, anxiety, relationship issues, parenting, adolescents, school related issues, children of divorce, and substance treatment. She helps provide the tools needed to make the changes in your life to help you start becoming the person you would like to be. 

How I stay healthy: Walking, mountain biking, reading, sewing, creating fun and interesting things, gardening, working with wood, hunting, fishing, camping, reading, spending time with my partner and family

 Dave Reid Graduate Practicum Student Intern

David Reid - Reno
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

Dave grew up in Reno, attended local schools, and graduated high school in 1975.  He attended Oregon State University and transferred to Multnomah University where he completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Biblical Education.  He married Kathy, a widowed mother of two, and then dove into church work and began seminary. 

Two additional children and a Masters of Divinity degree later, Dave and his family left for Europe for six years where he did pastoral care for missionaries and taught church leaders and laymen.  This confirmed his love for counseling struggling people in difficult situations.  Upon return Dave became a pastor in a large church in Reno where he did couples, family, and individual counseling and therapy for nearly 13 years. 

Desiring to improve his skills and be more effective,  he entered Northcentral University’s Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program.  He graduated and is currently a board-licensed intern helping struggling couples and families find the life of love and connection they need.

How I stay healthy: Working out, backpacking, building furniture and fine woodworking, music, literature and movies.

Trish McCoy - Reno
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

Trish was born and raised in northern California and moved to Reno in 2005 to attend the University of Nevada, Reno. She received a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 2009 and in 2017 she completed her Marriage and Family Therapy degree at Capella University.

Trish implements solution-focused theory in her counseling and realized that the integration of positivity coupled with client collaboration appealed to her. Trish is a firm believer that with some guidance every person has the inherent ability to identify and find their own solutions to current, continuing, and future challenges. She enjoys serving northern Nevada families.

How I stay healthy: Music, reading, exercise, gardening, and spending time with my family.

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Matt Burkhardt
Clinical Professional Counselor Intern

Matt was born and raised in Reno, Nevada.  He has lived in a few different places including Canada and Seattle, but will always call Reno home.  While living in Seattle Matt earned him master’s degree in counseling psychology from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, and it was during this time that he developed a love for exploring the narrative that shapes each of us.

Shortly after receiving his master’s degree Matt moved back to Reno and began to pursue a career in the mental health field.  Matt has gained experience working as both a case manager and day treatment counselor and says the greatest thing he learned from this experience is that people aren’t defined by where they are in life.  Matt’s goal as a therapist is to help people begin to pull back the layers of those stories and start to find healing. It is in the process of discovering that healing that Matt believes in creating a safe and trusting relationship between the client and the therapist.

Matt’s vast experience coupled with his willingness to work with any population, regardless of their background or story. is one of his best assets.

How I stay healthy: Doing life with my friends and family. Listening to music, good movies, reading, rock climbing, riding my bike, traveling the world and watching the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers.

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Angel Littlefield - Sparks/Safe Embrace
Clinical Mental Health Practicum Student
Capella University

Born and raised in Northern California, Angel moved to Reno in 2002.  She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix and is now pursuing her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling.  She began working in the mental health field doing psychosocial rehabilitation and basic skills training and then transitioned into psychiatric casework.

Her life changed when she lost her brother.  During this confusing and difficult time she found her way into her own therapy and education, through which she was able to build the strength she needed in herself and others to move forward.  She discovered that individuals have the necessary strength and resilience within themselves to achieve the life that they desire.  With collaboration and guidance to learn new ‘tools’ to handle each situation, a person is able to accomplish anything they set their mind to.  

She has experience with severe mental illness, anxiety, parenting, depression, couples, adolescents, the LBGTQ community, and of course, bereavement.  Angel’s goal is to create a space of acceptance, understanding, empowerment, and confidence in one’s own abilities.

How I stay healthy: Spending time with my children, dancing, reading, photography, mindfulness, traveling, and being in nature, especially anywhere with water.

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Gabby Nickel
Undergraduate Psychology Student


Gabby was born and raised in Reno, NV. She knew at a young age she wanted to stay in her hometown for college, so it was an easy decision to continue her education at the University of Nevada.  Now, she is an undergrad focusing on psychology and math, with an emphasis in behavior analysis. 

Her next step will be applying to graduate school for social work and hopefully obtaining her clinical social work license.

How I stay healthy: Playing soccer,  spending time with friends and family, longboarding, listening to music, and playing piano/guitar. 

Kathryn Weber-Karp - Reno
Marriage and Family Therapist
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Kathryn has lived in Reno since 1974, and received her bachelor's degree in Education as well as her Master's degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy & School Counseling from the University of Nevada Reno.

She has experience in drug and alcohol counseling, domestic violence counseling, and individual, group and family therapy, while her strength is in counseling children and their families from preschool through college.

Kathryn recently retired from the Washoe County School District after 30 years, spending the majority of her time counseling students and families. She enjoys helping families becoming healthy and functional, believing in the potential of each person in overcoming any adversity.

How I stay healthy; spending time in nature, staying physically active, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Julia Catlin - Sparks
Clinical Professional Counselor Intern

Julia comes to us from Wisconsin where she earned her graduate counseling degree from Viterbo University in La Crosse and her bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. 

Specializing in childhood, parental, and individual counseling with interests in trauma and attachment, Julia has extensive experience in substance abuse counseling and crisis response. She is also trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with a certification in the Circle of Security intervention model. 

Julia presently serves as Secretary for the Nevada Counseling Association and enjoys advocating for her clients and the mental health field as a whole. She spent extensive time in Costa Rica, where she became fluent in Spanish.


How I stay healthy: performing arts, dance, and music, and spending time with my husband, daughter, and rescue dog.

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Brigitte Price - Sparks/Lovelock
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

Brigitte was born on the East Coast and moved to Reno when she was one year old. After growing up here, she fell in love with the Northern Nevada community and decided to attend the University of Nevada, Reno where she received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology.  Brigitte quickly developed a passion for learning about human behavior. After working with multiple MFTs at a local residential treatment center for youth, she realized she wanted to focus on a career where she could help others.

Brigitte earned her Master's degree specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Nevada, Reno. She particularly loves working with couples and helping them implement skills that they can use to further deepen their relationship. She has experience working with individuals, couples and families of all demographics. She hopes to provide her clients with a safe space so they can gain new insights and implement positive changes to attain their therapeutic goals.

How I stay healthy: spending time with my friends and family, cooking new recipes, and frequently visiting the humane society

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Colton Ralphs - Sparks
Clinical Professional Counselor Intern

Colton was born and raised in Las Vegas before moving up North to Reno to attend school. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology and his graduate degree in counseling from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Colton integrates creative interventions with talk therapy to help individuals achieve their counseling goals. He comes from a client-centered approach, emphasizing the importance of a caring and trusting relationship between the therapist and the client. He believes that every individual has the keys and ability to change.

While his focus is on children and adolescents using art, music, and a variety of creative interventions to explore and work through issues, he also treats adults as well. Colton prides himself on creating a safe environment to evoke change.

How I stay healthy: Listening to and playing music, drawing, painting, playing with my dog, skiing, rock climbing, and watching the Philadelphia Eagles and Utah Jazz play.

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Diane Franzen - Sparks
Marriage and Family Therapist
Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Diane was born and raised in the Bay Area of California but has lived in Northern Nevada since 1980. She is married and has raised two sons who are pursuing successful careers of their own. She ran her own business as a Massage Therapist for 13 years in Carson City while returning to UNR to get her Masters Degree to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist as well as a licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.   

After treating substance abuse in the Nevada prison system, Diane ran the several programs at Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services (NNAMHS), assisting the most seriously mentally ill and their families.  Her diverse work history makes her uniquely qualified to address a wide-range of issues including substance abuse, mental health diagnoses, as well as seniors and their issues with aging or grief and loss, and marriage/family conflicts and stress.

Diane believes that the foundation to good therapy is the connection and trust developed between the therapist and the client.  Understanding the client’s world is paramount before promoting change. Diane uses psycho-educational training, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy to assist with the change process, as well as mindfulness training. Real change comes about when clients discover their own resilience, transfer skills they already have, and begin to trust their own process.

How I stay healthy:  Nutritional focus, exercise and mindfulness meditation; connecting with family and friends; hiking in nature; traveling locally and overseas with my husband; and listening to a variety of live music.  An avid book reader, I am actively involved with my church and my Christian faith is my greatest source of stability and comfort.



Heidi Rhoades - Reno
Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum Student
Northcentral University

Heidi was born and raised in California.  She moved to Las Vegas just out of high school, where she met her husband of 14 years. Together they have three awesome children and a house full of pets. The family moved to the Truckee Meadows in early 2017 and have fallen in love with area with plans to stay here for many years to come. 

After she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, Heidi began pursuing her graduate degree in marriage and family therapy with Northcentral University. Throughout her educational career, Heidi has been certified and worked as an early childhood educator where she found a passion in with working with children.  

Heidi believes that everyone is a unique individual worthy of respect and deserves to be treated with dignity. She brings these beliefs into clinical practice with her clients. 

How I stay healthy: Mindful meditation and spending time with my family

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Amanda Briley - Reno & Sparks/Safe Embrace
Clinical Mental Health Practicum Student
George Fox University

Amanda has undergraduate degrees in social & behavioral studies and criminal justice and is presently on her way to finishing her graduate degree in clinical mental health Amanda has extensive experience working with a variety of populations. She is an approved domestic violence program provider in the state of Oregon and additionally she has completed extensive training in addictions, trauma-informed services, attachment, and communication.

Amanda utilizes and integrates a variety of creative interventions, including, art, sand tray, & play therapies combined with traditional therapeutic techniques in an effort to best meet the client where they are at. Believing a safe and secure place is essential to the client/therapist relationship, she strives to create a comfortable, client-centered atmosphere. She enjoys working with all age groups and focuses on a collaborative approach with clients in their journey, recognizing that there is no “one size fits all” and that each human being has their own multi-faceted experiences and story.

How I stay healthy: My faith and our family’s faith, spending time with friends and family, traveling, walking, hanging out with my pets, spending time at the beach, and sleeping in when I can!