Our Team

Relational, genuine, and effective. Let us support you as you take that important next step!

Rachelle Mechenbier, MA, LPCC, SEP

Professional counseling when you need practical, compassionate therapy.

I am a counselor who believes in the healing power of the therapeutic relationship and the need to use the growing body of research into the neurobiology of attachment and trauma to help all clients. My experience as a clinician includes work with clients who are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or C-PTSD, depression, grief and loss, and relationship & attachment difficulties.  

As a trauma specialist, I’ve worked with many clients who were living with uncomfortable, repetitive, and often debilitating consequences of traumatic experiences. I aim to provide counseling that offers a respectful, personalized (often humorous), and practical process for my clients, within a warm and supportive therapeutic relationship. I have been offering trainings and peer consults to support other therapists in New Mexico to deepen their trauma treatment skills and integrate new developments in the field.  


  • Master’s degree in Counseling from UNM
  • Undergraduate Austin College in Sherman, Texas.
  • 6 years training to complete the in-depth, experiential coursework to become licensed as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner.

Nicky Stringfellow, MA, LCSW

I believe in meeting a person where they are, and beginning an organic, relational, authentic process to support them from there. In my second level of Sensorimotor Training, I’m actively working to help clients process somatic symptoms that may not respond to traditional talk therapies. Please reach out if you’ve been struggling with life stressors, transitions, depression, trauma, anxiety, low motivation, or difficulty in relationships.

Like my colleagues at the Paper Clay Therapy Institute, I combine my ability to be present and genuine with clients with the latest developments in Somatic Psychology, DBT, and Neuroscience. Using this integration is a valuable way to create space for the needs of clients and be able to help them build awareness to make changes.

I like the creative process that happens when two people come together and allow space for introspection, reflection and dialogue. I’m excited by the possibilities and new ways of seeing things that can occur as a result of people working together authentically and organically.


  • Graduated New York University in 2016 in Social Work
  • Certificate: William Alanson White Institute / Intensive Interpersonal Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program: 2019
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute / Sensorimotor Level I Training: 2020

Kim Perrier, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC

Often we are trying to change or wanting to change and we don’t know how to get there. We don’t know how to trust that we can take astep to move forward.  Having a supportive person outside of your environment to help gently explore this process is helpful. I am a patient, passionate, creative therapist. I love being able to develop a partnership with the people I work with in addressing and resolving issues that are important and relevant to them.  I work well with people who are ready to work on what’s happening in their lives, even if they don’t know what the next step is.

Trauma and invalidation can reinforce the idea that change isn’t possible or we should just ignore this part of us to keep surviving. Therapy is a process where we can find support and learn to discover a different path to change. It may take a longer commitment to really explore what’s happening and what has the person stuck.

Using skills I’ve developed over years working with clients, I’m able to help using the relationship we create as we integrate elements of mindfulness, art therapy, DBT, Brainspotting, and/or somatic work. Please reach out if you are interested in beginning this process with me. 


  • MA: Southwestern College: Art Therapy/Counseling 2006
  • Brainspotting 1 & 2, 2008
  • DBT Comprehensive Training

Megan Othling, CSW

I’m a Community Support Worker who provides Comprehensive Community Support Services at Paper Clay. Our current focus is on working with moms with one-on-one support during the perinatal period. Whether you are preparing for birth, postpartum, or navigating life with young children, I am available to help clients on Medicaid with their goals in this innovative program. 

I’m passionate about working with pregnant and postpartum moms and new parents to find their needs and support their goals.I’ve lived in and around Albuquerque for my whole life, and graduated from UNM with a degree in creative writing. Recently I was a part of the inaugural group of doulas in the UNM Volunteer Birth Companion Program which worked with the Milagros program. My work was to meet with moms to find the ways they needed support in the healthcare setting, and then to walk with them through that process. 

I’ve always been drawn to collaborative support roles, whether as an English or ballet teacher, a doula and childbirth educator, or a community support worker. I love bearing witness to people as they identify their own strengths and needs, and we work together on a path forward. 

I am the parent of 4 children, and have personally navigated the mental health system and neurodivergence within myself and my family in recent years. I know how overwhelming the journey can be. Please reach out with any questions. 


(505) 302-0086


2008 – BA in Creative Writing, University of New Mexico

2018-2020 UNM Collaborative Birth Companion Program

Michelle Nickerson, MA, LCSW

I work with clients to create a safe place to process what is happening in your life, build a therapeutic relationship, and look at the whole self: spiritual, physical and emotional. Feeling safe enough to look at what’s not working in your life right now, and having a therapist with the wide range of skills to help you shift in the areas you want to, can make all the difference. We can all often not feel assertive and or able to be connected in relationships, and I can help you connect to yourself and your intuition to shift patterns that aren’t serving you.

Using an approach building awareness, mindfulness skills, and a healthy therapeutic relationship, I work with clients to focus on their goals and to connect with their ability to become responsive in healthy ways, rather than reactive. It’s vulnerable to reach out for help. As a kind and helpful person, I always begin where the client is.

Being curious with compassion, I help you find the next step to getting your needs met in healthier ways. Our process is guided by the values of being curious and using compassion on this journey. As part of the Paper Clay Therapy Institute group, I welcome your call today.


  • Master’s in Social Work from Boston University- 2005
  • Bachelors in Sociology-Human Service from University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth- 2002

Katie Croft, LMHC

I believe that the path to mental health, physical health, and joy is found through the authentic expression of the self. Through creative art experiences and writing directives we can cultivate and nurture your authentic voice while finding deeper meaning, clarity, and wellness in your life. As an art therapist, I utilize a combination of art materials, writing techniques, and body movements tuned to your specific needs and goals to help you realize your greatest potential andheal from your past trauma. I believe that these acts of creation allow us to access solutions that we had not yet considered possible. In my practice I utilize somatic interventions, which means I work with you to identify where emotion and trauma may be stuck in your body, and together we explore those sensations with curiosity and grace. This may mean that we make small movements with pencil or pen or build and destroy with clay. You may be ready to dance or draw big sweeping gestures. No matter where you are we can find a comfortable starting point so that you can make the changes you want to see in your life.

If you are looking for creative solutions in your life, contact me and learn more about my practice and what we can accomplish together. I strive to hold a safe and accepting space for folks from all walks of life and of all identities.

MA in Creative Arts Therapy: Pratt Institute – Brooklyn, NY, 2023

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)

Gina Otero - Administrative Coordinator

Gina Otero is our kind and fearless coordinator.  Gina has over 14 years of experience helping organize and coordinate in the healthcare industry. As a parent of two children and an Albuquerque native, Gina brings her friendly energy and knowledge to all she does. You can expect to hear from her to help you get set-up within the portal or reach out to her for insurance questions.

Patricia M Lake MS, LPCC (she, her, hers)

 Backed by extensive experience providing psychotherapy, with use of evidence based therapies, and practices integrating mind, body and spirit, I work with adults who seek positive change in their lives.

I provide therapy services for issues including: depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship concerns, life transitions, perinatal issues, grief and loss. LGBTQ+ friendly.

An effective therapy relationship offers a unique space to feel enough safety, support and comfort to allow us to explore the uncomfortable.

Effective therapy support allows us to take time for self, inviting in an awareness of feelings and body knowledge, owning history and places of being stuck.

Effective therapy helps us identify new behaviors, new paths while we learn to create and maintain our own protection and support, with our chosen people, family and community.

Psychotherapy is for the purpose of healing and positive change….because change is possible, healing is real….showing up in our lives as growth in skills, behavior change, insight, integration.


  • MS in Guidance and Counseling, with Alcohol Studies concentration, from University of Wisconsin-Stout, 1983
  • Professional Clinical Mental Health Counselor, NM License LPCC (CCMH3297)

Approaches utilized can include:

  • EMDR
  • Guided Imagery
  • Mindfulness
  • CBT
  • DBT

Somatic Experiencing- Moving Towards Safety 

SE helps the body complete responses that keep the body on alert and unable to relax. After surviving a trauma, the body continually activates a huge amount of energy to try to be safe. The brain can’t tell that the event is over, so it continues to try to keep up the alerts. You may feel unable to relax and unable to tell that things are probably going to be ok.

SE Therapy works by gently helping the brain come to the present moment and allow the survival response to discharge a little at a time. The counselor and client work together to help the client build tolerance and space for difficult sensations and suppressed emotions.

The client slowly moves through the process of being locked in anxiety towards a sense of safety and peace.

For more information, please visit the Somatic Experiencing website: https://traumahealing.org/somatic-experiencing/index.html

Join Our Team!

Are you looking for a high paying position at a friendly, thriving group practice? Join us! We are seeking an independently-licensed counselor or social worker to join our high-quality, relational, neuroscience-based practice. We promote a work culture where all clinicians feel supported in their work; we know if therapists have what they need to thrive, they provide highly effective therapy.

We believe the basis of useful therapy is a good working relationship. We work to build that strong, genuine foundation so clients know they have a safe space to work. Our advanced training in interventions like Structural Dissociation, EMDR, Mindfulness, and Somatic Experiencing allow us to increase clients’ understanding of their symptoms and support them step-by-step to heal and build new capacities.

We are seeking individuals who identify as:

  • Highly motivated
  • Independent
  • Growth oriented
  • Flexible

Preference is given for therapists interested in treating complex trauma and expanding their ability to treat using somatic and structural dissociation models. Rachelle will provide clinical support in using complex models for effective trauma treatment as needed. Please consider applying if you are trained in a research-based modality like EMDR, DBT, M-CBT, ACT, somatic psychotherapies, etc.

This is an independent contractor position for a counselor or social worker; you are able to make your own schedule. We are looking for clinicians who are interested in serving a caseload of about 25 + weekly. Compensation is $45-$55 per clinical hour. We take care of marketing, insurance credentialing, billing, electronic health records, and provide high-speed internet at the office.

“Therapy is often an adventure we need to take–but we don’t know where to start. It can be tough to feel like any actual change is possible. Helping people start in that place and develop new capacity and understanding of themselves so they can actually feel better—that’s my favorite thing.”


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