Counseling Center of Cherry Creek
Meet Our Team
Cara Allan, MA, LMFT, ATR-BC
Individual & Couples Therapist | Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
** seeing clients: Tuesday-Saturdays **
Call (720) 457-3342 ext. 3
Cara is one of four daughters who were raised by a single mother. Coming from a large single parent home gave her first-hand experience about the nuances of divorce and the struggles of blended families. It also taught her the value of having healthy family relationships and lead her to become a marriage and family therapist.
In her 20s, Cara had the rich learning that comes from being in a highly conflictual relationship of her own for over 10 years. This relationship gave her the opportunity and first-hand experience of feeling grave disconnection with frequent arguments.
Cara knows that is can feel impossible to disentangle from an unhealthy relationship and make choices that are healthier for both people. She knows that it is not as easy as it may seem to ‘just leave’...and she gets that making these tough decisions takes time and discernment.
Deciding to stay in a relationship that has caused pain or making the tough choice to leave are decisions that are not simple to make. Cara understands this.
After getting clear about her own path, Cara embarked on her own path of healing. In this process, she was able to rework many of her own unconscious patterns and develop a healthier relationship template resulting in a healthy and rewarding relationship with her, now, husband of over 8 years. This doesn't mean that it is all roses and sunshine! But it is a mutually satisfying relationship with someone who is also willing to grow and work together.
Cara gets kids! She has over 10 years of experience working as a family therapist with children of all ages, from toddler to teen, while helping parents navigate the challenges and complexity of parenthood and blended families. She values and recognizes the critical importance of the parent/child bond and skillfully assists you in integrating and balancing your role as parent with your primary relationship.
She works with many couples who need support in navigating shared parenting, blended families, and who have decided to divorce but want to learn how to do it in a way that supports their children.
Cara believes that relationships are at the core of our development and healing. Her goal in therapy is to help you live a full and satisfying life by developing skills and increasing self-awareness in your relationships.
One of the reasons that Cara is a relationship therapist is to reduce unnecessary pain and suffering in relationships. She does this by increasing her client’s ability to communicate effectively, tolerate and navigate differences, and empathize with each other’s experiences and perceptions.
Cara will help you identify (and use) the tools you need to reach your relationship goals.
Cara Allan, LMFT, ATR-BC is a licensed marriage and family therapist and registered, board certified art therapist. Cara has provided counseling to diverse adults, couples, children and families for over 10 years. Cara uses a number of approaches including the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Cara is a Level 1 certified practitioner of the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) which beautifully blends attachment, developmental neuroscience, and arousal regulation to work effectively with couples...even in some of the most complex situations!
Additionally, Cara is trained in Discernment Counseling for couples who are on the brink of divorce and need help to gain clarity and confidence before making a decision about their options.
As a couples counselor Cara focuses on the relationship, with a blameless approach to identifying what behaviors are contributing to the dissatisfaction in the relationship and what adjustments or new skills need to be implemented.
She keeps the sessions light and engaging, while also filling them with opportunities for increased self awareness, ways to learn more about your partner’s “owner’s manual”, and practice more effective communication methods.
In her free time Cara enjoys all types of arts and crafts. She also enjoys being physically active through hiking, skiing and yoga. Cara is happily married to a charming Brit that shares her interest in art, nature and world travel.
- M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, 2006
- B.A. in Liberal Studies, Minor Sociology, San Marcos, CA, 2004
- Colorado Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #932
- Registered and Board Certified Art Therapist ATCB# 12-220
- PACT Level 2 Therapist
- Member American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, National and Colorado Division
Member American Art Therapy Association, National and Colorado Division
Are you ready to get started with Cara? She is available Tuesday through Saturdays. You can book online now or call our Client Ambassador at 720.457.3342 for assistance!
Brenda Smith, LPC
Individual & Couples Therapist | Licensed Professional Counselor
** seeing clients: Tuesdays and Fridays **
Call (720) 457-3342 ext 2
Relationships don't always go the way that we planned.
Sometimes we feel like we married the "wrong person". Brenda totally understands this (really, she does, you can ask her sometime).
Having experienced her own ups and downs of co-parenting, mothering a teenage boy, and being a single parent, as well as the pain of divorce has given Brenda front row seats to how things don't always go as planned. The struggle of "hanging in there" (sometimes for what felt like too long) and then making some tough decisions to move on give her great compassion and understanding for the complexities of relationships.
Her real life experience as well as specialized training to her work with couples and individuals.
For over 15 years Brenda has been an active student of body-centered healing and spiritual practices. Meet with Brenda one time and you will feel her calm, centering peace which can help you relax into a new path of personal growth and relationship healing.
Brenda brings a wealth of experience to her work with both individuals and couples and is particularly gifted at working with people who are experiencing:
- Family/couples in conflict
Some of the tools she uses are:
- The Developmental Relationship Model
- Somatic Experiencing
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- New Brain Science findings
- Inner Child / Parts therapy
- Body-Centered Inquiry
- Attachment Healing
- Gestalt techniques
Brenda tailors her approach to fit the needs of each couple and individual client and provides a safe and supportive relationship for you to explore your vulnerabilities, inner world, relationship patterns, and life challenges so you can experience the healing power of true acceptance and high regard for your own journey.
She understands that the struggles in relationships are a chance for both partners to evolve into a better version of themselves. The more you are able to show up, the more you grow. And, the more you grow the more able you are to love.
With compassionate curiosity, Brenda helps you explore your relationship patterns and develop a clear understanding about how to make the changes necessary to get from where you are to where you want to be.
Call Brenda today and see how she can help you get the life and relationships that you desire.
If you are interested in trainings and education, here you go!
- Developmental Relationship Model Training: The Couples Institute
- Somatic Experiencing Training: Somatic Experiencing Institute. Intermediate Certification
- Memory, Trauma, and Transference Certificate: Love and Trauma Center.
- Trauma Containment and Resolution, fifty hours, Certificate
- Dynamic Attachment Re-patterning Experience Training: level one and two
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Externship,
- EMDR level one certificate
- M.A. Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education, Couples and Family. University of Colorado at Denver, 2004.
- B.A. Psychology, Human Services Minor, Metropolitan State College of Denver, 1999.
Ready to get started with Brenda? She is available Monday through Thursday from 1pm to 8pm. You can book online now or call our Client Ambassador at 720.457.3342 ext 0 for assistance!
Anna Gries, MA, LPC
Individual & Couples Therapist | Licensed Professional Counselor
** seeing clients seeing clients Monday & Thursday evenings **
Call (720) 457-3342 ext 5
An East Coast transplant, Anna (like so many in Colorado) enjoys being outside. She and her husband of 4 years, their infant daughter, and geriatric French bulldog, Roxy, can be found walking, running, taking in a yoga class, or enjoying any of the fine cafes in Denver.
Anna is a goal-oriented therapist focusing on the objectives that the individual or couple bring into the therapy session. She often says that her job is to help her clients learn to get back in the driver's seat of their lives. With couples, the work is often to learn how to be better “co-pilots” on that journey. Her style is direct although she definitely brings spontaneity, creativity, and humor in the room!
When you first come in to meet with Anna, she will want to know about you, your cultural and family values and belief systems. Your unique experience matters to Anna and the ways that your experiences influence your perceptions and actions in relationships. Most people who come to couples counseling want help with communication. Anna will help you how you communicate verbally but she will also explore your non-verbal communication patterns...this will help you fine-tune how you show up in the world and with your partner.
As a strengths-based therapist, Anna will help you see the possibilities in your life and in your partner, rather than only the limitations.
When Anna was 3 years old, her parents went through a divorce -- and then remarried each other 12 years later! Not your usual family origin story! This is, in part, what drew Anna to working with couples and in relationships. Seeing the patterns of divorce, the impact that it has on the family members, and then the work that it takes -- the artistry really -- to create a relationship that works. These are the parts of relationship that are so fascinating and engaging for Anna.
Anna particularly enjoys working with couples and individuals who:
- are struggling with communication and connection
- are new parents learning how to co-parent with one another despite differing views
- are in same-sex relationships wanting an affirming place to work on their connection
- have experienced a lot of transition and hardship in their lives and need new more effective coping skills
- are in blended relationships
- are struggling with in-laws
Anna's personal motto: “Live, Laugh, Love” & “Work hard, play hard.”
And here are the credentials:
- MA in International Disaster Psychology, University of Denver, CO, 2010
- BA in Psychology, Minor in Disaster Studies, State University of New York at New Paltz, NY, 2008
- Colorado Licensed Professional Counselor #0011172
Anna is eager and ready to help you! Busy during the week? No problem! Anna is available Saturdays for appointments so call today 720.457.3342 and our Client Ambassador will get you scheduled. Or book online 24/7!
Jennifer Glick, MA, MSC, LMFT, CST
Licensed Therapist Marriage and Family Therapist | AASECT Certified Sex Therapist
Owner, Counseling Center of Cherry Creek
**See clients Mondays - Thursdays**
Call (720) 457-3342 ext 1
Jenny has worked with families, children, and teens for over 15 years and brings years of real-life experience as well as numerous degrees and certifications to work for you. She is a mother of a teenage boy who keeps her humble and constantly “in the field,” learning how to be present, conscious, and mindful in real-life, ever-changing (read: hormone-filled) relationships.
Jenny has been married for over 17 years, and it certainly has not been easy. Eight months after getting married, her husband was in a near-fatal car accident, leaving him in a wheelchair for months. Soon a baby came (surprise!), and then her son was diagnosed with a chronic illness. People who she loved died along the way, jobs changed, homes were bought and sold, and new adventures seemed the rule of the day. None of this is particularly exceptional.
Everyone has their story in life. What Jenny learned, not just from sitting in university classrooms but from being in it, is that relationships are one of the most important things that we have in this life. Learning how to be in relationship with yourself and with others is what makes the hard times bearable and the good times extraordinary.
These experiences led Jenny to making relationships the focus of her work with her clients.
Jenny provides contemporary therapeutic and consultation services. This is not your average therapy experience. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and dive in to some transformation and growth and move your relationship from blah to BAM!
Clients who work with Jenny are often struggling in their relationships with:
- healing after an affair
- struggling with a gap in desire
For most couples, sex is a BIG issue. In session, Jenny will broach those topics that most couples (and individuals) rarely talk about with other people -- Is sex satisfying? If you or your partner don't want to have sex, why not? What turns you on? What turns you off? What is your intimate or erotic language like with your partner? Rather than avoiding sex and intimacy, blaming and shaming around sex, Jenny's approach is to invite, educate, and support individuals & couples to find their playful, healthy, exciting language of intimacy!
An avid meditator, outdoor enthusiast, weightlifter, and health junkie, Jenny stays on the cutting edge of relationship science to bring her clients the best tools and research to optimize their relationships today…with themselves and with others.
Ready to see how Jenny might be able to support you in getting to your “something more”? Call today at (720) 457-3342 and our Client Ambassador with help you get scheduled.
And...if you are interested in education, certifications & memberships, here you go:
- Bachelor of Arts, Sociology: Southern Oregon State College
- Master of Arts, Women's Studies: University of Arizona
- Master of Science in Counseling, Marriage, Family & Child Therapy: University of Phoenix
- AASECT Certified Sex Therapist
- EMDR Level 2 credentialed therapist
- Pranic Healing Level 1
- Colorado Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #917
- Member American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, Colorado Division
- Member American Associate of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists