Michele Coleman, Ph,D., LMFT,
Founder and CEO
Michele Coleman has worked in the field of foster care and adoption all her life, beginning with personal childhood experiences with informal foster care and formal adoption, early experiences which prepared her for work as a therapist in the field of attachment. As an adult, she has worked full-time as a business manager and has regularly volunteered with troubled youths who were living in group homes. As an adult, she adopted two sisters with emotional needs from the foster care system in Virginia, and then 14 years later she and her partner adopted a son with emotional needs from New Mexico.
At the age of 42, Coleman went back to school for her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her thesis was titled A Chance for Change: The Role of Trust in Foster Care, and involved in-depth research on ways to help children who have been removed from their home—on ways to help them learn to heal and grow and adapt to a new family. A graduate of Dr. Dan Siegel’s Interpersonal Neurobiology certification program, Ms. Coleman used this knowledge to develop the model of treatment used for healing attachment issues at the Center, Healing in Resonance. She currently is pursuing a PhD in Counselor Education at the University of New Mexico.
Terry Morris, LMHC
Terry Morris has been with the Attachment Healing Center for six years as both a therapist and as part of the management team. He has dedicated most of his career to working with children and their families. He was an award winning inner-city teacher in Chicago and Dallas for 16 years before attaining his counseling degree from the University of New Mexico three years ago. He believes that through love, positive interactions, and looking for the good in each other, the world can be a better place for us and our children. Morris earned his PhD in May of 2017 in teacher education at the University of New Mexico and is interested in helping new teachers form close, positive relationships with their students and families. He spends part of his time presenting workshops to teacher groups on the importance of teachers in the lives of children.
Jane McCoy came to the Attachment Healing Center in June 2011 with over 20 years of administrative experience in health and mental health administration. In 2011 Jane had recently relocated to the city of Albuquerque after retiring from Riverside County Department of Mental Health in southern California. Jane served the Department of Mental Health for thirteen years and retired as an Administrative Assistant for the Riverside County Mental Health Board. Through her career with the department, she developed many skills designed to serve those with mental health issues in the community. It is Jane’s passion to continue to develop skills that assist individuals, couples, children and their families in seeking the treatment they need and deserve in order to lead productive and meaningful lives.
Lily Sandberg was born and raised in Albuquerque and is currently wrapping up her degree at the University of New Mexico, majoring in Religious Studies and Sociology with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies. Lily is very connected to the Unity community and envisioning a world where all kids know their inherent goodness. As the youngest of the team at AHC, she is excited to be apart of this thriving and expanding team.
Carol Felley, LMHC
Carol Felley has long been drawn toward counseling, and completed her graduate work at Wayland University, earning the coveted Outstanding Graduate Student in Counseling Award along the way.
Finding that her own experiences with behaviorism, red tape agencies and non-heart based models didn’t feel true or fit with her own beliefs, Felley decided to follow her heart and ended up on the doorstep of the Attachment Healing Center.
Her special talents include creatively connecting with children and parents, and an ability to find the metaphor in the behavior to see what is underneath it while connecting to it.
Cleo Cerno, LMHC
Cleo Cerno received her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from New Mexico State University, with a minor in Counseling and Educational Psychology, in May of 2002. During graduate school, Cerno was awarded the Commission on Higher Education Competitive Graduate Fellowship and worked as a Graduate Assistant where she assisted in teaching, advised undergraduate students, and performed various types of research related work.
Cerno has always been very passionate about helping people. She feels her passion is fueled by the simple pleasure of knowing she made an impact on the lives of those she has the honor to serve. As a proud Native American woman, she feels her heritage has helped her fully embrace the true spiritual nature of the Attachment Healing Center model and looks forward to guiding parents and their children to build healthy, loving relationships for a long time to come.
Ocala Alworth, LMFT
Ocala Alworth received her master’s degree as a marriage and family therapist from New Mexico State University in May 2011. Alworth was a Crimson Scholar and on the Dean’s List during college. She became interested in this field of study in high school where she worked at a preschool. There she heard a young child ‘tell her story’ through play. This influenced Ocala to pursue a career in child therapy. Over the years, Alworth has worked as a Behavior Management Specialist (BMS) where she conducted home visits, worked in the schools, and worked closely with the families. This experience drew her closer to working with families in the home. She decided to join the Attachment Healing Center shortly after graduation and continues her rewarding work with families in the home. She feels blessed to be with the Attachment Healing Center and the families she works with. She loves being able to help parents and children heal and grow through loving relationships.
Cathy Crews, LMSW
Cathy attended New Mexico State University and received a degree in social work in 2009. She has been in the mental health profession since 1996. Cathy has worked in treatment foster care (tfc), residential treatment centers (rtc), case management and intensive in-home therapy with families as well as teaching in a residential setting. She was interested and received training in attachment work with children and families in 2004, and continued to implement those skills in her work. Cathy has worked with diverse populations who have brought her a plethora of professional and personal experiences that she now brings to her work at the Attachment Healing Center. Cathy has stated that her work at the Attachment Healing Center has been life changing.
Marisol Velasquez de West, LMSW
Marisol Velasquez de West graduated from New Mexico Highlands University in 2010 with a master’s degree in Social Work. Soon after, she began her career working with Children Youth and Families Department. Three years later she realized a deeper need to help others in their healing. Before her social work career, she worked as a nursing assistant helping the elderly living in nursing homes, followed by a career in massage therapy. All along striving to help others. Marisol’s volunteer experiences have been cooking and feeding the homeless, parish council member and Catholic school teacher for youth preparing for confirmation at St. Francis Xavier Catholic church, SWOP member dedicated to community activism for social justice, Kalpulli Izkalli (working along traditional healers) and supporting my neighborhood elementary school in events and support group for parents dealing with grief and loss. My desire to join AHC was prompted after hearing experiences and witnessing families who had been healed through building and strengthening their attachment bonds. The model at AHC I feel resonates with my belief to work with the whole family system as a means to support the whole person.
Ronald Estrada, LMHC
Ron studied counseling at the University of New Mexico. Ron was drawn to the profession because his New Mexican heritage seemed unaware of the gift in being understood and supported professionally with mental health services. Ron aspires to become a modest contributor to the lives of those who are willing to encounter the hurdles and challenges that don’t need to be approached alone. Ron chose the Attachment Healing Center because it takes a revolutionary approach to marginalized people, emphasizes connection before direction, and restoration as its orientation for treatment. Ron brings a desire to be authentic and genuine, and knows how difficult that can be.
Cody Hedrick, LMSW
I attended school for my master’s degree at New Mexico Highlands University. I am new to the field having recently graduated with my masters at age 26. I have always had a passion for helping people and in attempting to find a passion and way to help people I became interested in Psychology and the lack of help for the mind, especially those without chronic mental conditions. I realized that everyday people want and need help and there is nothing wrong with that so I pursued a career that would lead me to help those and other people. Before working for the Attachment and Healing center I worked for the Children, Youth, and Families Department. While this job was extremely rewarding I wanted to do more. After meeting some of the clinicians at the Attachment and Healing Center I knew this was the place that would allow me to help people the way I had been seeking and thus I applied to join their team. As for my unique style to Attachment and Healing I feel I have a special way of bring families together. Through the use of board games and other family activates I am able to create a different perspective and look at spending time together as a family that is both fun and healing.
Thomas Angell, LMSW
I was born and raised in Connecticut where I completed my high school education and began my college education. In 1974 I moved to New York City where I continued my undergraduate college education and soon after I began a career in the field of marketing and advertising. During this period I was a volunteer at numerous community organizations and social service agencies. After looking at my life and accomplishments I decided to change careers and become a professional in the field of social services.
In 2000 I decided to relocate to New Mexico where I completed graduate school and earned my MSW as a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society. I have spent the last 15 years as a therapist at two Core Service Agencies during which time I was a group home therapist and then an outpatient therapist. I have served on the board of directors of Camino de Vida and the Forensic Intervention Consortium of Dona Ana County. I am certified in SASSI, CAFAS and TF-CBT.
In 2014 I learned of the positive efforts of the Attachment Healing Center and the wonderful work being provided to families in need of the specialized care that was being offered. I retired in March 2015 and was fortunate to join the Attachment Healing Center in May 2015 as a part-time employee. My experience with the Attachment Healing Center has been very rewarding and I continue to grow as a person and learn new and different approaches to assist others in their process of healing.
Persis Mehta, LMHC
Persis went to school at New Mexico Highlands University in Rio Rancho. There she graduated with Honors in Professional Counseling. Persis has worked with children for her entire adult life. Before becoming a therapist, Persis was a Preschool/Prek teacher for the Albuquerque area for several years. Persis has always wanted to work with children and families in a therapeutic setting. She volunteered at Agora Crisis Center for 2 ½ years as a way of giving back to her community. While in her master’s program, Persis interned with AHC for 9 months before becoming a permanent member of the team. Through interning with AHC, she brought a very unique outlook to building rapport with children. She understood that each child is unique but that the one thing they have in common is to be heard, loved, and validated. Persis decided to join AHC after learning how important attachment is in our daily life. Persis brings a bubbly positive energy to AHC and we are happy to have her on board.
Proudly serving Bernalillo County, Sandoval County, Valencia County, the East Mountains, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. Our HeadStart program is offered in Valencia County, the cities of Grants, Gallup, and Socorro. We train and support the Jicarilla Apache Nation in Dulce.