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Meet Our Therapists
Karla Sextro | LIMHP, LADC
Director of Mental Health Services
Karla joined Child Savings Institute in March, 2019 as a licensed independent mental health practitioner and licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Karla brings with her a wide variety of training and experience as well as passion for her work. Karla earned a master’s degree in clinical counseling from Bellevue University. She completed her graduate internship at Munroe Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center social work department.
Karla has experience treating a full range of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders including children and youth on the autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, Karla specializes in working with at-risk teens, having worked at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Geneva before joining CHI St. Francis Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center as a drug and alcohol counselor. Karla enjoys working with a wide range of ages and a variety of presenting concerns such as behavior issues, tantrums, noncompliance, depression, anxiety, self-harm and addiction.
Office Manager of Mental Health Services
Laura Pritchard serves as the office manager for Mental Health Services at Child Saving Institute. She has been with CSI since February, 2020. Laura’s experience in the mental health care system spans over 14 years and she has served in a variety of hands-on positions.
Before joining CSI, Laura worked at Nebraska Medicine’s outpatient psychiatry clinic for nearly five years assisting patients, families, physicians and staff to create the best possible outcome for those served. Laura had also worked at CHI – Lasting Hope Recovery Center for over seven years, where she served patients since its opening day.
Laura has experience in helping children and adults with varying mental health concerns. She looks forward to building Child Saving Institute’s Mental Health Services program and assisting children and families in times of need.
Lucious Booker | PLMHP
Lucious joined Child Saving Institute in March, 2020 as a provisionally licensed therapist. He earned his master's of clinical counseling at Bellevue University and a bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Previously, Lucious worked in the field of family and juvenile services for five years as an in-home family preservation therapist where he provided services to children and youth involved with the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the Office of Juvenile Probation.
He is passionate about working with adolescent and at-risk youth in the community and has been involved in many community-driven programs that give at-risk youth the opportunity to showcase their talents and interests to help shape their overall development and provide outlets in which they can express themselves.
Chris Carlson | MM, LMHP
Chris joined CSI’s therapy team in 2011 as a therapist. She provides individual and family therapy to children and adolescents. Chris has a bachelor’s degree from College of St. Mary and a master’s degree from Creighton University in Omaha. She has been an educator serving in both elementary and secondary grade levels.
For more than 30 years, Chris has worked as a therapist in a variety of settings. She was a therapist and subsequently became the program director for the Catholic Charities Domestic Violence Shelter, and later became the administrator of all domestic violence services at Catholic Charities. She is well acquainted with the field of trauma including emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Chris managed a private practice in Omaha for several years. She has worked independently and as a member of a team, and has extensive supervisory experience in several of these positions throughout her career.
Chris has achieved several additional certifications in the therapeutic field. She is a certified Adlerian Psychotherapist; she is trained and has worked intensely with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills. While employed with the YWCA, she taught DBT Skills in both domestic violence and homeless shelters throughout Omaha. Additionally, she has trained staff members of several local organizations on implementing DBT Skills. Chris is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and has used this therapeutic approach with both adolescents and adults suffering from severe trauma.
Chris enjoys the challenges and rewards of working with individuals and families who are currently struggling; she believes strongly in the power of healing that lies within all human beings. She sees her work as that of one who “unbinds and sets free” others to create meaningful lives for themselves.
Adriana Fegenbush | LIMHP, LMHC
Adriana joined the CSI therapy team in June, 2017. She is bilingual, providing therapy services in Spanish and English. In her role as a therapist, Adriana provides individual and family therapy to children, adolescents and their families. Adriana graduated from Bellevue University with her master’s degree in clinical counseling. She is currently a licensed independent mental health practitioner (LMHP) in the state of Nebraska and a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Iowa.
Adriana has 10 years of experience working with underserved populations, doing in-home services, behavioral health intervention services and therapy for individuals and families. She is trained in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Play Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).
Taylar Mason | PLMHP, PLCSW
Taylar joined Child Saving Institute in April, 2020 as a provisionally licensed clinical social worker. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Taylar has a passion to work with children of all ages, families and their communities. She spent the last year working for NOVA Treatment Community as a therapist in the Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility. During her time at NOVA Treatment Community, Taylar worked primarily with dually diagnosed adolescents and their families. Taylar has received training for both Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavior Therapist (CBT).
Prior to becoming a provisionally licensed clinical social worker, Taylar worked at Friendship Home of Lincoln, a domestic violence emergency shelter and transitional housing, over a span of six years. She has also been involved in research at the Center for Children and Families at Florida Internal University in Miami, FL, where she worked primarily with adolescents diagnosed with Neurodevelopment Disorders and Disruptive, Impulse-Control and Conduct Disorders.
Mackenzie Parks | PLMHP, PCMSW
Mackenzie joined CSI in 2020. She is a provisionally licensed clinical social worker, who spent the past five years working for Nebraska Children’s Home Society (NCHS) as a self-sufficiency specialist and mental health therapist. During her time at NCHS, Mackenzie gained training in TF-CBT, DBT, Sand Tray Therapy and other mind/body techniques. Mackenzie earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
From her education and professional work, Mackenzie believes all humans are truly resilient and desire authentic connections. She uses a strengths-based perspective when working with individuals and families of all ages, including children in the foster care system, parenting young adults and grandparents raising their grandchildren. She says her favorite part about being a therapist is having the opportunity to witness small changes that make a great difference in everyday life and that she is humbled to walk along side people during their healing journey.
Andrew Powell | MSW, LICSW
Andrew joined CSI in May, 2018 as a full-time therapist, providing individual and family therapy to children, adolescents and their families. He also works closely with the children in CSI’s Emergency Shelter.
Andrew earned his master’s of social work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Andrew is a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW). He has completed training in Sand Tray Therapy (a Play Therapy technique), Trauma- Focused Cognitive Behavioral (TF-CBT), Solution-Focused Therapy and other trauma-informed therapy techniques.
Andrew also works as an on-call therapist for CHI Immanuel — primarily in the inpatient units where he also completed his graduate practicum. Before joining CSI, Andrew worked as a family permanency specialist for PromiseShip, a resident counselor at a long-term residential facility for children and as a care provider for children with developmental and mental health challenges.
Andrew values creating constructive relationships with individuals and their families. His favorite part of serving as a therapist is being able to walk with, assist and empower individuals and families to achieve their goals. Andrew has a strong passion for continued growth to better help those he serves. He firmly believes, to quote the Dalai Lama, “that love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive”.
Vanessa Summers | MSW, PLMHP
Vanessa came aboard CSI’s therapy team in March 2016. Vanessa provides therapy services to children, adolescents and their families.
Vanessa graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a master’s degree in social work. She is currently a provisionally licensed mental health practitioner (PLMHP) in the state of Nebraska and has received training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Circle of Security – Parenting (COS-P). Vanessa originally hails from North Dakota and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and classical studies from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.
Before starting at CSI, Vanessa worked at Ready in 5 where she served refugee children and their families to help prepare them for kindergarten. She also worked as an intern at UNO and provided therapy services to college students.
Vanessa works with children of all ages and their families. She is passionate about creating an inclusive environment and meeting her clients with empathy. She enjoys building rapport and working with a diverse group of clients. Vanessa is committed to helping her clients navigate their therapeutic process and helping them to find their unique set of skills needed to meet their goals.
Kayla Thompson | PLMHP, PCMSW
Kayla joined CSI in 2016 as a practicum student. After completing her practicum and graduating from Creighton University with a bachelor’s degree in social work, Kayla began working as a Family Support Specialist at CSI. While in this role, Kayla served families in the School & Family Enrichment (SAFE) Program and Teen & Young Parent Program (TYPP). Kayla enjoyed providing home visiting services and having the opportunity to work with a diverse range of families.
After working with the SAFE program and TYPP for several years, Kayla earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Kayla is now a provisionally licensed mental health practitioner.
In addition to working with children and families, Kayla has experience working in an alternative school setting, as well as working with survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence and substance use. Kayla enjoys using techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solution-Focused Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy. Kayla is passionate about building upon a client’s strengths, strives to create an environment that is welcoming and safe for everyone, and enjoys learning new ways to assist clients in their healing.