Empowering Encounters at Hagan Health is dedicated to providing all clients with a safe space where they will find compassion, kindness, and encouragement. After each session, clients should feel empowered to make positive changes in their lives. Our clinicians are trained to appreciate and celebrate diversity as well as the resilience of the human spirit. It is our mission to make every client feel that they are heard, acknowledged, and valued.
LMFT, LCSW, Director of Psychotherapy
Part of life is the struggle. It is during the most trying times of our lives that we learn the most about ourselves. While it is natural to go through periods of hardship, that does not mean you have to do it alone. I see it as my role to be a helping hand and resource for those who are going through a difficult time. That is why I am so thankful to be able to come to work every day to help others.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I attended Western Kentucky University where I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies. I then attended the University of Louisville where I earned my Master of Science in Social Work with a specialization in Couple and Family Therapy.
My areas of interest include women’s mental health, anxiety, and trauma work. While I utilize many different strategies and methods in therapy, the emphasis of my practice is on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Our emotions, thoughts, and actions all interact and influence each other. Changes in the way we think can influence the way we feel and behave. Additionally, I utilize EMDR to help clients process and heal from trauma. I am also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. I see myself as a coach for my clients who have the ability to make positive changes in their lives but perhaps need to be pointed in the right direction.
Vern Rickert, LCSW, LMFT, received his BA in Psychology from Bellarmine University in 1971, MSSW from the Kent School of Social Work; the University of Louisville in 1973, and a Post-Graduate certificate in Structural Family Therapy from the Department of Psychiatry; the University of Cincinnati in 1982. Mr. Rickert has previously served as the Director of Programs for Family & Children’s Counseling Centers. Mr. Rickert has over forty years of experience with non-profit organizations, clinical practice of marriage and family therapy, and supervision and training of professionals.
Vern is a co-founder of the Family Therapy Program at the University of Louisville where he is widely known for his expertise in teaching, training, and supervision of Family Therapy and formerly served as an Adjunct Clinical Professor. In addition to his considerable experience in providing family therapy to families who have experienced abuse and neglect, Mr. Rickert served as a consultant to the Cabinet’s implementation of Family Sensitive Residential Treatment where he provided training and supervision to Residential Treatment Specialists who themselves served as consultants to residential treatment centers throughout the state.
Mr. Rickert has also provided training to several Family Service Teams under a Child Abuse and Neglect Grant to assess and treat Drug and Alcohol issues – a critical barrier to family restoration.
Carrying the weight of the past or feeling a blanket of anxiousness and dread for the future can be a heavy burden to bear. Reaching for help is a strength that we all possess but might not have been able to locate in the past. It can also be a difficult first step on the journey to healing. I hope to help others embrace the process of healing through therapeutic means, because everyone has the strength to heal and grow in their individualized life journeys. The process of therapy is not always easy but using a client-centered approach to therapy can create room for clients to embrace change in their own time.
For families, couples and individuals struggling with mental health issues, relationship struggles, and other related hardships, therapy can provide an outlet for help. As every client carries individualized life journey experiences, I use a variety of therapeutic interventions in order to achieve clients’ goals. I carry a special interest in working with children, adolescents, and individuals that have experienced traumatic experiences.
I received a Bachelors in Psychology and a minor in Family Sciences from the University of Kentucky. I then graduated from the University of Louisville with a Master of Science in Social Work, and a specialization in Couples and Family Therapy. Currently, I work as a Certified Social Worker, and a Marriage and Family Therapy Associate. In order to supply effective therapy, I align closely with the therapeutic interventions of Narrative, Emotion-Focused, Cognitive-Behavioral, Dialectical Behavioral, Trauma-Informed, and art/play therapy. I am also a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. I manifest the belief that each individual carries the capability to write and engage in their ideal narrative of life. For this reason, I see myself as a teacher, listener, and coach, to help others engage in positive change.
I graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Psychology in 2007 and the University of New
England in 2015 with a Master’s in Social Work degree and have been practicing clinical social work for
the past 7 years.
I am a Trauma and IFS-informed therapist but I draw from a myriad of theoretical models (CBT, DBT,
ACT, etc.) to fit each individual’s needs. I specialize in working with adolescents and adults with chronic
depression, anxiety, and overwhelming emotions. I enjoy working with personality disorders, especially
Borderline Personality Disorder, although I do not get hung up on labels and appreciate the complexities
of our individual psychology and life experiences. I strive to be culturally competent and provide
gender-affirming care as I believe we all deserve empathy and compassion and the chance to live our
Marriage and Family Therapist Associate
M.Div, M.A., Couples and Family Therapy Intern
Life is a journey to understand ourselves and our relationships with others in kinder, more
loving ways. This process can be challenging, and you don’t have to go through it alone. I am
here to hold your hand as you move through the more difficult parts of life. My goal is to
provide support and kindness to my clients while also helping them navigate the difficult
emotions that come with life.
I am a graduate student at the University of Louisville pursuing a Master’s of Science in Couples
and Family Therapy. I am a second career student, so I come to the table with a lot of lived
experience. I recently moved to Louisville from Los Angeles, where I worked as a
Communications Specialist for the local Children’s Hospital. I was in that field for about 10 years
before deciding to change careers to the therapy setting, where I can help people in a different
way. I strongly believe that connection to others is what brings fulfillment and joy to life and I
feel privileged to help deepen these connections with my clients. I also have a Master’s Degree
of Divinity from Wake Forest University and a Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies from
My areas of interest are women’s mental health, religious trauma, and depression and anxiety.
I use many different therapeutic methods, emphasizing on self-love and encouragement. I
believe that therapy should be conversational, free of judgement, and goal oriented. I like to
approach clients, whether they be couples or individuals, with curiosity and compassion. I am
excited to work with you on your journey towards a more dynamic and fulfilling life!
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