Board of Directors

Kelly Nesbit

Kelly Furr, LMFT

President, Midlothian, VA Term expires Dec. 2024. Kelly Furr (she/her/hers) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Arizona, North Carolina, Utah, Florida, and Virginia, and she owns her own teletherapy practice. Her area of clinical expertise is working with athletes and clients with a Mormon background on issues related to perfectionism. She received her master's degree in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2017. Kelly is pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling Education and Supervision at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has a BS from Brigham Young University in Special Education. Kelly is deeply interested in discussing and thinking about the intersection of mental health issues and all things Mormon.

Board of Directors

LaShawn C. Williams, EdD, LCSW

President-Elect, Orem, UT Term expires Dec. 2024. LaShawn Williams (she/her/hers), is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Relational Change Strategist focusing on the interactions between people and across differences where connection matters most. Her anti-oppression work centers on the effects of marginalization, isolation, and disconnection in personal and professional spaces. She specializes in interpersonal and organizational change from the margins to the center. Grounded in Relational Cultural Theory. Dr. Williams works with leaders at every organizational level to help them engage the taboo concepts of shame and humiliation and craft pathways toward mutual empathy and empowerment. She is an accessible consultant to local and national organizations committed to relational transformation. She engages with individuals, couples, groups & communities at Relational Spaces, housed in The Utah Center for Connection. LaShawn has been with the Mormon Mental Health Association from its beginning and has served as a Board Member at Large and Conference Committee Chair.

Kenny

Kenny Allred, LMFT

Treasurer, Chandler Heights, AZ Term expires Dec. 2024. Kenny Allred, (he/him/his) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Arizona. He received a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from The University of Southern Mississippi. Kenny has worked in various settings within the behavioral health field, including supporting children and families in an outpatient community-based clinic, an intensive in-home family therapy program, as a clinical supervisor, and as a university adjunct instructor. He currently has an online private practice serving clients throughout Arizona, focusing on faith shifts/transitions and other issues related to spirituality and well-being, relational health, and stress and trauma. Kenny has a keen interest in the intersections of spirituality and emotional, mental, and relational health and is passionate about the role of relationship as a vehicle for growth, bridge-building, and healing

Alyssa Palty

Alyssa Palty, LPC, MC

Board Member at Large, Phoenix, AZ Term expires Dec. 2024. Alyssa Palty, (she/her/hers), is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Masters in Counseling from Arizona State University. Alyssa has vast experience in multiple settings including community behavioral health clinics, working with DCS and families in the foster care system, outpatient adults, IOP, SOP, group work, and individuals. Alyssa founded and runs her own private practice addressing the needs of clients in Arizona and Colorado that focuses primarily on queer folks, faith transitions, and neurodivergent folks. Alyssa also started and runs a NeuroQueer consultation group collaborating with other professionals.

Board of Directors

Erika Nordfelt, MA, LCPC, CMHC

Board Member at Large, Rexburg, ID Term expires Dec. 2025. Erika Nordfelt (she/her/hers) graduated from Adams State University in 2009 with her MA in Counseling in 2009. In 2013, she started working at BYU-Idaho in the counseling center, working with individuals and couples. After 6 years on campus, she opened her private group practice. Her specialties have evolved from anxiety and depression work to include trauma, LGBTQ issues, healthy sexuality approaches for individuals and couples, and faith transitions. Erika greatly desires to ease clients' suffering on the LDS spectrum and is passionate about learning good therapy approaches and creating real change for clients. As a professional in Rexburg, she has felt very alone in her progressive and research-based approaches to therapy treatment. MMHA has a new pool of connections that allows her freedom, validation, and encouragement to be the therapist she wants to be. She wants to contribute to and help build this community so other therapists, who may feel alone like she did, have a place to be their best therapeutic selves.

Board of Directors

Jeff Lundgren, CMHC

Board Member at Large, Salt Lake City, UT Term expires Dec. 2025. Jeff Lundgren is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in private practice. After an extensive career in software development, Jeff transitioned into a completely new career, inspired by a desire for a more meaningful profession. He obtained a degree in Psychology and a Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Jeff holds certifications as an ASSECT Certified Sex Therapist, Nationally Certified Counselor, Psychedelic-assisted Therapy Provider, and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. His specialization includes sexuality, anxiety, depression, life adjustments, faith and spirituality, relationships, and men's issues. He has been a member of AASECT since 2020 and is a long-term member of the LGBTQ Affirmative Therapists Guild of Utah. Committed to the welfare of the Mormon community, Jeff has been a devoted member of the Mormon Mental Health Association, serving previously as its Elections Chair. Jeff's passions include exploring Utah's beautiful outdoors, playing the guitar, competitive autocross, reading, and delving into DIY projects. Above all, he treasures the moments he shares with his five children. Jeff is keen on furthering the organization's goals and mission.

Board of Directors

Ariel Wootan Merkling, LCSW

Board Member at Large, Provo, UT Term expires Dec. 2025. Ariel Wootan Merkling is an LCSW with nine years of experience in the areas of domestic violence, hospice, adolescent residential treatments, and eating disorder inpatient facilities. She currently specializes in working with trauma survivors in her private practice. Because of this work, she is passionate about cultural competency with Mormon populations across the spectrum of belief from fundamentalist to orthodox to nuanced and progressive, through to post-Mormon and ex-Mormon. She graduated from Colorado State University in 2014 and authored the master's thesis, "Dispelling Domestic Violence Myths Among Graduate Social Work Students." From this start, she has maintained an interest in education for professionals in the field and is passionate about the benefits of continuing education. Ariel was honored to present at the annual MMHA conference on trauma in the Mormon context. She intends to support the goals of MMHA in increasing educational opportunities for clinicians who work with Mormons across the spectrum of belief and focus on creating spaces for educational opportunities that are impactful, effective, evidence-based, and applicable for clinicians in clinical practice.

Board of Directors

Claire Breedlove, LCSW

Interim Board Member at Large, Monroe, LA Term expires Dec. 2024. Claire Breedlove (she/her/hers) is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice who sees clients via telehealth in California, Utah, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. She has a master's degree in social work from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Claire provides evidence-based treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder and related anxiety disorders. She has a special interest in providing culturally competent care for Latter-day Saints with scrupulosity or religious OCD. She is an active member of the International OCD Foundation and is passionate about making high-quality, evidence-based treatment accessible to individuals struggling with scrupulosity.

Board of Directors

Mike Fuller, MSW

Intern/ Student Board Representative, Nampa, ID Term expires Dec. 2025 Mike graduated January 2024 and is currently an associate therapist at Flourish Therapy Inc. based in Orem, Utah. He worked as a full-time seminary teacher of the LDS church for twenty years. Mike summarizes his reason for changing careers as a "journey from orthodoxy to compassion." He no longer subscribes to a belief system but has found that making values-based decisions has been more fulfilling. He received his B.A. in both Communication and Psychology in 2002 and his M.A. in Education in 2008 from Boise State University. Mike values compassion, kindness, and listening. He wants to help others process their beliefs and values in a non-judgmental way. He enjoys playing softball, eating chocolate, and playing pickleball with his wife of 23 years. They have two sons and are former foster parents.

Natasha

Natasha Helfer, LCMFT, CST, CSTS

Founder, Holladay, UT Natasha Helfer, (she/her/hers), is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist through AASECT, and a Certified Sex Therapist Supervisor. She has been providing therapy services since 2000 and is the founder and therapist at Symmetry Solutions. She has served as President of the KS chapter of AAMFT and on the board of the Open Stories Foundation. She has been a presenter on Mormon-themed topics such as sexuality, sexual health, cultural sensitivity and competence, and faith transition at several national professional conferences. She also hosts the Mormon Mental Health Podcast, writes the Mormon Therapist Blog, and runs Mormon Sex Info. Natasha received her BS in psychology from Brigham Young University and her MS in Marriage & Family Therapy from Friends University.