Rhonda McKinney, M.S., LMFT
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
I received my Master’s degree in community counseling from The College of William and Mary and my Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Brigham Young University. Before coming to CWU, I spent five years working at a university counseling center in Georgia and was licensed as a Psychologist there. I enjoy the interaction with students and the variety of clinical, outreach and consultation work that occurs in counseling centers. I love living in Ellensburg! Having grown up in the mountains, I have missed them and am glad to be back in a place that is so beautiful and has so many outdoor activities.
Chelsea Buffum, MS, LMHC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
I'm originally from Colorado but have spent all of my adult life in Washington and love it here. I received my undergraduate degree in Sociology from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA, and went on to get my M.S. in Mental Health Counseling right here at CWU. Besides working at the Student Medical and Counseling Clinic, I have worked as a counselor in a residential eating disorder program, and in a rehabilitative nursing home. I love to work with students on a wide variety of issues, and I am especially interested in eating disorder/body image concerns, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. In my spare time I enjoy traveling around Washington trying different foods and brews, running, weight lifting, and having great conversations with my friends and family.
Amal Abuzalaf Mull, Psy.D
Licensed Psychologist/Postdoctoral Resident
I am Arab-American and grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, I began my career as a high school teacher, then changed my mind and went back to my passion of understanding and working with people from a psychological perspective. I completed my doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Denver, and this will be my third year working as a counselor at the SMaCC. Since embarking on my journey of helping and connecting with people, my work with the college students at CWU has been the most rewarding for me. I am dedicated to working with clients on a wide variety of issues, and am especially interested in anxiety, spirituality, diversity, and relationships. Other passions of mine include hiking and playing music.
Paul Reppas, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Resident
I am originally a Washingtonian. I did my first two years of undergraduate training at CWU and then finished up at Taylor University in Indiana, where I received my B.A. in Psychology. Currently, I am working toward my Ph.D in Clinical Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary which is located in Pasadena California. I am excited to be back in the Cascades for this year of practice, as I missed the adventures they often provide (hiking, skiing, and tubing especially). I also enjoy reading, making music (solo guitar), engaging in philosophical musings, and being politically active. I approach counseling as a "guide who follows." I believe that you are the only expert of you, and therefore I see my job as simply pointing out mileposts, warning signs, and destinations. Therapy is a collaborative process of understanding and then deepening the narrative of your life.
Lauren K. Palazzolo, Psy.D.
Post Doctoral Resident
Hello! I am working on my Psy.D. degree in Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, MD. I was born and raised in the metro-Detroit area of Michigan, where I earned a B.A. in Psychology at University of Michigan and a M.A. in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology at the Center for Humanistic Studies. I have worked in a variety of settings including outpatient community mental health agencies, a university counseling center, and an inpatient psychiatric state hospital. I especially enjoy working with emerging and young adults who are facing mental health difficulties in the midst of transitioning to adulthood. I believe in using respect, honesty, humor, and gentle challenges to make mental health therapy a positive and authentic experience. In my spare time, I enjoy journaling, practicing yoga and meditation, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and attending alpaca festivals!
Sarah Eckstein, M.S., N.C.C.
I earned my B.A. in psychology from the University of Oregon and my M.S. in mental health counseling from Southern Oregon University. Though I am originally from Oregon, I have been living in Nashville for the last three years while working toward my Ph.D. in counseling psychology. Part of my motivation for moving to the south and attending Tennessee State University, which is a historically black university, is to continue learning how to serve diverse populations. I am an ally with the LGBTQ community and enjoy working with clients from all walks of life. I am passionate about working with college students, particularly students with ADHD. I have a background in counseling college students as well as performing psychodiagnostic and neuropsychologocal testing. Mindfulness is a core aspect of my counseling style and my self-care practice. In my free time I love hiking, dancing, and spending time with my friends and family.
Samuel Reyna, MS
Hi! I am a doctoral intern working on my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas. I was born and raised in Texas and obtained my B.A. in Psychology from Baylor University. I have trained in a community mental health clinic and a university counseling center, in addition to having work experience at a VISN COE. I have been trained as a generalist with an emphasis in brief approaches. I work with individuals, couples, and families. My areas of interest include: mood and anxiety disorders, sexuality, multicultural/diversity issues, relationship concerns, spirituality, life adjustment, and supervision and training. My preferred approaches to therapy include ACT, brief psychodynamic therapy, solution-focused therapy, vocational counseling, couples therapy, family therapy, and group therapy.
Kristen Besler, M.S.
Hello! I am currently working on my Psy. D. degree in Clinical Psychology at Pacific University in Hillsboro, OR. I was born and raised in Upstate New York at New Paltz. I moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2012 and completed my M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Pacific University in 2014. I have worked in a variety of settings, including community mental health and university counseling. I love working with college students on a variety of mental health issues, life transitions, self-discovery, and other concerns during this transformative time. I view therapy as a collaborative process where each clients unique set of values, goals, and beliefs guide the therapy process. I strive to create a supportive and safe environment and I value honesty, compassion, authenticity, and humor in my work with clients. I love to spend my free time at live music events, painting, being outside and in the mountains, and enjoying time with friends and family.