Who We Are and How We Got Started

by Susan Lyons


Women in Private Practice (WPP) got started sometime in the mid 1980’s. Nobody seems to remember the exact details of how WPP got started, but it was initially a small, informal group of women therapists who were private practitioners. WPP provided educational meetings and networking. News of WPP spread through word of mouth. I learned of WPP from Ruth Manville, our longest WPP member. In the mid-80’s I was new to Utah, I had two very young children and I knew absolutely nothing about getting started in private practice. WPP gave me a community of other women therapists who became friends who could mentor me about how to get a practice started. WPP meant a lot to me and eventually I took over WPP leadership for a number of years. During my many years in WPP I have met so many people who joined WPP and also found connection to a community of women therapists who provided education, networking and support. 

WPP has changed over the years but our mission is the same as it was in the 1980’s. WPP membership has grown steadily.  We currently have about 250 active members. As we grew larger, it became clear that we needed a leadership team, not just one coordinator. As I anticipated retirement, I asked Joellyn Manville (Ruth Manville’s daughter) to be my co-coordinator. I was delighted when she accepted. A year later Joellyn became the full coordinator, when I retired. Since that time, we have created a WPP leadership committee, informally called the LC. WPP’s current coordinator is Amy Spratling.  

Board of Trustees

Amy Spratling, LCMHC - Coordinator
Amy Spratling, LCMHC, is the Coordinator of WPP.  She has been in private practice for about 5 years now and specializes in working in trauma with all ages.  She especially likes EMDR and DBT and loves being a part of the WPP leadership group.

Kathrine Parnell, LCSW
Kathrine has been a member of WPP since 2019.  She opened her private practice in 2013 and has grown the practice to a thriving clinical group of practitioners.  Kathrine specializes in working with individuals and families managing the autism spectrum, adoption-related issues and couples therapy.  She is a clinical supervisor of new therapists and enjoys helping other therapists develop their careers and businesses.

Susan Lyons, LCSW - Coordinator Emeritus
has been an active member of  WPP since 1987. She served as WPP coordinator for over 20 years. Susan had a private practice in Salt Lake City from 1987 until July of 2017, when she retired. Susan continues to be an active member and she is Coordinator Emeritus and focuses on listserv and membership issues.

Colleen Kuhn, Ph.D. - Treasurer
Dr. Kuhn has been a member of WPP and in private practice for ten years. Dr. Kuhn specializes in working with children, adolescents, and young adults with a strong emphasis on gender and sexually diverse individuals. They enjoys connection with the community and proudly serves as part of the leadership committee for WPP and the LGBTQ Affirmative Psychotherapists Guild of Utah.

Jennifer Jones, SUDC, LCSW - Secretary
Jennifer has been a member of WPP since 2019 and in private practice since 2020. She has spent much of her career as a social worker in administrative clinical roles and recently decided to get back to her social work roots to exclusively practice mental health therapy. She specializes in LGBTQ+ special issues, and is a proud member of the LGBT Affirmative Therapists Guild of Utah. She also specializes in substance use, trauma, and personality disorders. 

Ashley Greenwell, PhD - Board Member
Ashley joined the WPP in 2016 and is an owner of Salt Lake Resilience Co and UCEBT. She believes that having a wolfpack of supportive therapists is key for our longevity and keeping our sense of humor. She is excited to contribute to WPP's Programming Committee.

Julie Peaslee, CMHC - Board Member
Julie has been a member of WPP  and in private practice since 2017, specializing in working with couples across all phases of relationship. She is honored to support the members of WPP and is energized by the people, community, and resources that are at the heart of the organization.

Committee Chairs

Continuing Education: Amy Edwards, CMHC

Listserv: Amy Fehlberg, PhD

Membership: Susan Lyons, LCSW

Programming: Ashley Greenwell, PhD

Website: Jamie Brass, PsyD

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