Meet our Team

Valerie Mitchell, Founder & Therapist

Valerie Mitchell


Valerie has been working in Cheyenne, WY as a therapist with children, teens and families for the past 13 years.  Valerie is very passionate about working with children, teens and families, and has been for most of her adult life.  She is currently certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and is a Registered Play Therapist- Supervisor as well.     

Valerie believes that counseling is a journey that is special and unique to every individual.  One of the best outcomes of therapy that she has witnessed is when a client has a moment of clarity and is able to grow and overcome an obstacle.  It is truly powerful to witness when this occurs and a phenomenon that occurs at all ages.     

Valerie grew up in western Nebraska and attended college at the University of Wyoming and Chadron State College.  She is a mom and wife who enjoys nature, crafts, reading and music. 

Alyssa Bjorkquist, CCFCC Therapist

Alyssa Bjorkquist,

MSW, PCSW-#1043

Alyssa is a graduate of the University of Wyoming where she majored in social work with a focus in clinical. A clinical social worker like Alyssa is licensed to diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders. As a clinical social worker, Alyssa helps patients develop strategies to change behavior or cope with difficult situations and refer patients to other resources or services, such as support groups or other mental health professionals.

With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to her specialty, Alyssa is an expert in changing the lives of her patients for the better. Through her designated cause and expertise in the field, Alyssa is a prime example of a true leader in health care. As a leader and expert in her field, Alyssa is passionate about enhancing her clients’ quality of life. She embodies the values of communication, safety, and trust when dealing directly with her clients.

Alyssa works with all ages on many mental health issues. She especially enjoys working with girls ages 7 through 12. Her practice includes individual and family counseling.

Brianna Mahoney, CCFCC Therapist

Brianna Mahoney

MA, PPC-#1456

I am a mental health counselor with a passion for helping clients find peace and healing. I received my undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in sociology, and my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling, both from the University of Wyoming. I have experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in a variety of settings, including schools, clinics, public supports, and homes. I enjoy working with all ages, especially adolescents, and I am committed to meeting my clients where they are at to promote their growth and well-being. My approach is to provide a safe and supportive environment where clients can explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a non-judgmental space. I use a variety of approaches including Gestalt, Child Centered Play Therapy, Synergetic Play Therapy, and Person Centered. I am committed to providing quality care to my clients, and I look forward to working with you. In my free time, I enjoy reading, baking, and spending time outdoors.

Candi Kusler, CCFCC Therapist

Candi Kusler

MA PPC-1357

Candi has been in the Cheyenne Community since 2018. Candi earned her undergraduate degree in psychology at University of Northern Colorado and her master’s in counseling at Colorado Christian University. Candi Grew up in Kansas, has three adult kids and has been married for over 25 years. 

Candi enjoys working with all ages. Candi has training in Synergetic/ Child centered play therapy and uses a variety of techniques such as art and sand tray. Candi utilizes a variety of therapeutic approaches that meet the client’s needs, for example cognitive behavioral therapy, person-centered therapy and Christian counseling (if desired).

Candi believes in meeting clients where they are and working on the healing process. We are all creating our own healing story and empowering and equipping clients to create theirs is essential to healing. Candi believes healing is mind, body, and spirit. She looks forward to meeting and working with clients who are eager to work on and create their own stories of healing.

Gabby Alessi-Friedlander, CCFCC Therapist

Gabby Alessi-Friedlander


Hello there! It’s wonderful to “meet” you.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself.

I am deeply passionate about reproductive and parenting mental health and wellness. The reproductive and perinatal period is a vulnerable time for families, fraught with exposure to potentially traumatic experiences and impacted by trauma previously lived. Parents and their babies deserve nurturing and trauma responsive support. Healing and harmony are possible. As parents, no matter the difficulties life has given, we are not alone. Wherever you are in your parenting journey, we can collaborate together to meet the goals you seek to accomplish in therapy.

I also love working with teens, particularly teen girls, as well as individuals with substance use disorders. I truly enjoy working with these clients and believe that they feel comfortable with me and feel safe to be themselves around me, while still feeling challenged to grow. And we laugh! A well-timed bit of humor breaks up the intensity of painful emotions in therapy. I also find that these clients are especially insightful. They understand so much and tell profound truths. They work hard when given a bar to reach for. It is amazing to see how they strive if they know someone believes in what they can do.

A few more tidbits about me. I am an intern level clinician at Cheyenne Child and Family Counseling Center while I earn my Master’s degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from West Virginia University. I graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Anthropology. In my  free time, I enjoy spending time with my young family, including our forever pups, and exploring the outdoors. 

I would be honored to work with you or your child.

Irma Cantu, CCFCC Therapist

Irma Cantu


I am getting a master’s degree student in counseling at the University of Wyoming where I also earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology. I bring a client centered viewpoint to counseling and believe the job of a therapist is to help clients see themselves more clearly while providing a safe space for self-exploration and self-expression. When I’m not working, I enjoy reading and playing board games and video games.

Katie Nelson, CCFCC Therapist

Katie Nelson

MSW, LCSW-1565

I am a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in Cheyenne, Wyoming. My undergraduate degree is in Social Work, earned at the University of Wyoming. I earned my Master of Social Work at the University of Central Florida. To note, I provided the same types. of therapy/therapy modalities that a counselor does; having a social work degree is similar to a counseling degree and my degree had a counseling focus. I have been working with clients since 2020, and I joined Valerie Mitchell at CCFCC in 2021.

I passionately believe in the healing power of therapy. Everyone experiences challenges, and the severity of these challenges does not dictate a person’s level of need. I believe that therapy is for everyone. We could all use help to untangle life’s many difficulties.

My primary specialties include working with people experiencing depression, anxiety, self injurious behaviors/non suicidal self-injury. I also work with play therapy and sandtray therapy modalities; I recently completed 6 months of training in synergetic play therapy. My theoretical approaches include synergetic play therapy, CBT, TF-CBT, gestalt, and person centered. I utilize varying therapeutic approaches for what best fits the need of the client because I believe therapy only works if it is meeting the client’s unique needs and preferences. I work with children as young as three, elementary-aged children, teens, and adults. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

Robert Johnson, CCFCC Therapist

Robert Johnson

MA, LPC-#1618

Robert Johnson has provided mental health therapy services to clients at CCFCC since March 2020. Prior to joining the staff at CCFCC, he established his practice in Cheyenne beginning in 2004. Robert’s professional focus is on children, adolescents, and adults through individual counseling, family counseling, and group counseling.

Robert is a native of Cheyenne who graduated from Cheyenne Central High School. Hi professional education includes a Masters in Clinical Counseling and Applied Psychology from Bellevue University in Bellevue Nebraska, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix.

At CCFCC, he uses his ability to assess his clients in order to apply the appropriate diagnostic categories as he works with clients on issues relating to personal change or establishing counseling goals. His training and expertise allow him to select appropriate counseling theories, techniques, and interventions to help his clients. 

His message to you is:
I help individuals heal their wounds and transform their lives for the better. I can say with great confidence that you are not alone in your challenges, and you don’t have to carry your burden by yourself. 

His hobbies and interests include basketball, football fishing, reading, music, laughter, and spending time with family and friends. He is a fan of the Los Angeles Laker’s, and Minnesota Vikings.