Talkeetna: (907) 733-2273 ~ Willow: (907) 495-4100 ~ Wasilla: (907) 376-2273

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licensed counselor

 

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  • We accept Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance
  • Sliding fee scale available
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We are proud to have been voted Best of the Valley in 2021, tying for First Place in the Mental Health Facility category.

Frontiersman 2021 Best of the Valley Winner logo

 

Download an overview of Behavioral Health services at Sunshine Community Health Center:

Behavioral Health trifold brochure preview

 

 

Welcome to Behavioral Health services at Sunshine Community Health Center (SCHC). We look forward to the opportunity to assist you in reaching your personal goals. We specialize in a variety of services such as individual, couples, family, and group therapy.

At SCHC we believe in providing a team approach to giving you the best care possible. Our Behavioral Health team also provides integrated care with our Primary Care Providers to provide you with holistic, patient-centered care.

To begin your journey towards a happier, healthier life call and make an appointment today. Use the appointment web form on this page or call Helen Michaelson or Tanya Olson at:

  • Talkeetna – 907-733-9292
  • Willow – 495-4100
  • Wasilla – 376-2273, Option 1, Extension EXT. 2660

 

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Behavioral Health Providers

 

Crystal Edwards, LCSW - Behavioral Health Director
Crystal received her BS in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from the University of Maryland in 2007. She completed her BSW in 2014 and MSW in 2015 from Kansas State University.

Crystal enjoys talking to people and helping them be the best versions of themselves. She worked as a therapist at the Alfred D Hughes Unit maximum security prison, working with acute/chronic mental illness and personality disorders using crisis management techniques and evidence-based practices. She participated in building a Mental Health Diversion Program to lessen security housing restrictions for inmates in administrative segregation.

Crystal moved to Alaska in 2019 and transitioned to working with adolescents, families, and adults. She also worked with children in a School-Based Program. She was commissioned in the Army Alaska National Guard in April 2020 as a Social Worker while transitioning to the VA. With the VA, she worked as a Behavioral Health Interdisciplinary Program Therapist in improving symptoms of PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Substance Abuse, and Addiction. Before Crystal joined the Sunshine team, she worked for the Alaska National Guard as a Psychological Health Coordinator, providing case management, crisis intervention, and assisting with access to care.

Crystal prefers using trauma-informed approaches and evidenced-based treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. She enjoys baking, gardening, hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, and volunteering.

Crystal Edwards, LCSW

Patrick Albert, LCSW
Patrick received his BA Sociology from Western Illinois University in 1973 and his MSW from Aurora University in 1998. Patrick’s experience is in serving patients of all ages who are cognitively impaired, have new or chronic mental illness, substance addiction, relationship problems and involvement in the state child welfare system. He had specialized training in Trauma Incident Reduction therapy, divorce mediation and bullying prevention in the schools. He also established a faith-based school for special needs students in another state and enjoy working with parents who are struggling with their responsibilities.
 
Patrick is married with two adult daughters, who are disabled and living with them. They all share a passion for their Pomeranians, as well as for exploring and photographing Alaska's wildlife and landscape. Patrick also enjoys building his music skills on banjo, guitar, mandolin and dobro.

Patrick Albert LCSW

 

Marly Torres, LCSW

Marly graduated from Hope College with a BA Major in Psychology and Sociology and a Minor in History. She received her M.S.W from Western Michigan University. 

Marly is from Michigan and recently moved to Alaska with her beagle to enjoy the outdoors, beauty and adventure that Alaska has to offer. She enjoys working with kids, teens, and their families to help create positive change in their lives.

Marly Torres LCSW

 

 

 

Tanya Korta, LPC

Originally from Minnesota, Tanya has lived in rural Alaska for 28 years. She worked as an elementary school teacher for 11 years before transitioning to health care and earning a master’s degree in community counseling from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2014.

Tanya has worked with people of all ages and has experience helping with a range of issues including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and trauma. She has recently received training in using play therapy techniques for all ages and believes that play is the work of children and an important aspect of healthy adult living as well. Tanya uses a person-centered, strength-based approach to her work with clients. Tanya lives in Talkeetna with her husband, Jon. They have three grown children. She enjoys outdoor adventures, wood heat, crowded dinner tables, and small-town living.

Tanya Korta LPC

 

Kirsten Strolle, LCSW

Kirsten is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker committed to helping people who have experienced trauma reconnect with themselves. Her work focuses on processing trauma, increasing self-compassion, and working together with patients to find ways of supporting them in living their best life. She is trained in a variety of therapeutic modalities including ACT, brain spotting, CBT, DBT, EMDR, mindfulness, narrative therapy, and more.

Kirsten graduated with an MSW in 2020 from the University of New England and a BA in political science in 2007 with a minor in sociology from Grand Valley University. Her career has focused on working for non-profits and helping people who have experienced trauma. Kirsten has lived in Alaska since 2007 and enjoys hiking, foraging for berries and mushrooms, and living in the woods.

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Kirsten Strolle, Behavioral Health Clinician

 

Courtney BeeBe, LCSW

Courtney graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2019 with her Master’s of Science in Social Work. She also acquired a graduate certificate in the Treatment of Trauma in 2019. For two years, Courtney worked with adults in a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program and is familiar with patients who struggle with substance abuse. She is also comfortable providing crisis interventions to patients and enjoys working with those in crisis. More recently, Courtney has been working with adolescents and families within the Mat-Su School District. She enjoys the fast-paced environment of working within the schools as well as a more clinical role at the Wasilla clinic location. Courtney also enjoys running groups with patients and has led groups for Anger Management, Substance Abuse, Domestic Violence (survivors), and Life Skills for Adolescents. The approach Courtney takes with clients is they are the expert in their lives and change comes from within. Some of the therapeutic modalities she uses are Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Trauma Narrative, and Person-Centered Therapy.

Courtney BeeBe LMSW

 

Claire Sportsman, MSW
Claire received her BA (Hons) of Social Policy and Sociology in 2010 from the University of Wolverhampton and her MSW in 2012 from Durham University.

Claire has experience working within domestic violence shelters in the UK, working with children in a variety of settings, including child protective services, foster care, and youth organizations. She has also worked in education with middle and high school students as part of a program to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for college.

Claire is originally from England and came to Alaska recently after spending 7 years in Utah. She enjoys spending time with family and their puppies as well as Harry Potter, Star Wars, and video games. Working with children is Claire's passion and she is excited to work with Sunshine Clinic.

Claire Sportsman, MSW

 

Curtis Harvie, DNP, ANP Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Curtis Harvie holds dual board certifications from the American Nurses Credentialling Centers as a family nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. He was born and raised in rural Vermont. His love for the outdoors brought him to Alaska in 2008. He resides in Willow, AK and has been with Sunshine Community Health Center since 2017. He enjoys fishing, hunting, camping, backpacking, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and woodworking. He has worked in critical care, medevac, primary care pediatrics, family practice, and urgent care. He is fellowship trained in Integrative Medicine, which utilizes alternative and lifestyle medicine in conjunction with conventional medicine. Curtis provides primary care/family medicine and psychiatric specialty care for all ages. He is currently accepting new patients for psychiatric care.

Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Norwich University, 2008
  • Master of Science/Family Nurse Practitioner, Indiana State University, 2013
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice, Indiana State University, 2015
  • Integrative Medicine Fellowship, University of Arizona, Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, 2019
  • Post Graduate Certificate, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2022

Special Interests

  • Addiction Medicine
  • Treatment of Hepatitis C
  • Complimentary, Alternative, and Lifestyle Medicine
Portrait of Curtis Harvey, FNP

 

 

Behavioral Health Services

 

Integrated Care
Integrated care is a holistic, team approach to meeting the needs of the mind and the body. At Sunshine Community Health Center we address medical, behavioral, and substance abuse within the primary care setting. Integrated Care helps patients with multiple healthcare issues to have better healthcare outcomes, have a better experience, and to save money.
Individual / Family / Couples
Therapy sessions revolve around your present or long standing needs. The Behavioral Health Specialists will help you to build upon your existing strengths while also exploring new tools for you to use. Individual, family, or couples counseling is available and our Behavioral Health Specialists work with people of all ages. We look forward to helping you live a happier life.
Domestic Violence Support
Sunshine Community Health Center can help people who have experienced domestic violence by addressing the emotional, logistical, and physical barriers to healing. Our Behavioral Health Specialists are equipped to provide a variety of therapeutic options to treat trauma, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as well as other emotional concerns. Financial help for those who experience violence may be available through the Families in Crisis Fund, which is funded by the Talkeetna Bachelor Society. In addition, the Behavioral Health team can provide assistance with accessing transportation, shelter, and other emergency needs. The Behavioral Health Team will also work with people to create a safety plan based on their current needs. If you are concerned that your relationship is unhealthy, please do not hesitate to contact the Sunshine Clinic and ask for the Behavioral Health Assistant.

Domestic Violence

Learn:

  • About the cycle of abuse
  • What are warning signs of domestic violence
  • What support services are available

Addiction Recovery Treatment
This program is for all patients who have are struggling with their use/abuse of alcohol or other drugs. Although a patient may combine some form of medication assisted treatment (MAT) with their Behavioral Health treatment, this treatment program is separate from our OBOT program. Treatment options are based on the needs of the patient and may include individual, group, or family counseling. Our Behavioral Health Specialists are able to assist patients who are referred by the court or by the Office of Children’s Service (OCS). Patients who are interested in attending the Addiction Recovery Group must speak with a Behavioral Health provider prior to the first group.

Living With Substance Abuse

Learn:

  • What is Substance Abuse
  • How to Recognize it
  • What are the Impacts on Families
  • Treatment Options

Office Based Opioid Treatment

The Office Based Opiate Treatment (OBOT) program that combines the use of the medication, Suboxone®, an FDA approved medication for treatment of people with opiate dependence, with outpatient Behavioral Health treatment. This program helps people struggling with opiate addiction transition from a life of drug dependence to a life of recovery. Suboxone® contains two types of medication, buprenorphine and Naloxone®, which complement each other in detoxification and maintenance therapy. Maintenance therapy can continue as long as deemed medically necessary by the physician. Behavioral Health treatment consists of an assessment followed by group and individual counseling as agreed upon by the treatment team. The OBOT program at SCHC requires a commitment to abstinence from all substances, including nicotine, once a person is in the program. Support will be given to people who need assistance in stopping the use of substances other than opiates. In Phase I of the program, all group sessions are held at the Talkeetna clinic.

Are you or someone you know struggling with opiate addiction?  Medication Assisted Treatment using Suboxone is one option to consider.  If you are interested in learning more about this type of treatment, you can contact our Behavioral Health Assistant at 733-9202.

If you’d like more information, this article describes the research on the effectiveness of MAT.

 

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.  The amount of time the complete treatment will take depends upon the history of the client. Complete treatment of the targets involves a three pronged protocol (past, present, and future), and are needed to alleviate the symptoms and address the complete clinical picture. The goal of EMDR therapy is to process completely the experiences that are causing problems, and to include new ones that are needed for full health. “Processing” does not mean talking about it. “Processing” means setting up a learning state that will allow experiences that are causing problems to be “digested” and stored appropriately in your brain. That means that what is useful to you from an experience will be learned, and stored with appropriate emotions in your brain, and be able to guide you in positive ways in the future. The inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be discarded.

Additional Resources

 

TitleDescriptionVersionDownload
Acute Stress

Learn:

  • What it is
  • What are common symptoms
  • What can you do to help 
DownloadPreview
Anger Management

Learn:

  • What it is and early warning systems
  • Defusing strategies
  • Ways to change thinking patterns
  • When you need professional help 
DownloadPreview
Coronavirus-Anxiety-Workbook DownloadPreview
Cutting and Self Harm

Learn:

  • What it is and the types of self harm
  • Symptoms of depression and suicide
  • When you need professional help
  • Types of treatment 
DownloadPreview
Depression

 Learn:

  • What it is and the different types
  • What are common symptoms
  • When you need professional help
  • Types of treatment 
DownloadPreview
Domestic Violence

Learn:

  • About the cycle of abuse
  • What are warning signs of domestic violence
  • What support services are available
DownloadPreview
Grief

Learn:

  • The different types of losses
  • What are the 7 stages
  • Ways to cope with grief
  • When you need professional help 
DownloadPreview
Living With Substance Abuse

Learn:

  • What is Substance Abuse
  • How to Recognize it
  • What are the Impacts on Families
  • Treatment Options
DownloadPreview
coping with stress during coronavirus DownloadPreview