World Class

Finding Peace is comprised of world class professionals at the top of their field. We are proud to have them our team.

Brenda Lara-Smith, MA, LAC

Brenda received a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University and has been in the mental health field since 2014. She is currently a Licensed Associate Counselor working towards her independent license.

Throughout her journey in this field, Brenda has realized that utilizing a variety of therapeutic approaches is necessary to ensure an individual’s success in reaching their goals. When providing counseling, guidance, and education for the individuals she serves, Brenda believes it is essential to be empathetic, respectful, culturally aware, and to always acknowledge an individual’s preferences in their treatment.

She specializes in individuals of all ages struggling with depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and traumas. Brenda is family orientated and recognizes the importance of having a support system to rely on. Being a part of an individual’s healing and success is a privilege and has always brought her self-fulfillment.

  • MA
  • LAC

BreAnna Safsten, LMSW

BreAnna received her Master in Social Work degree from Our Lady of the Lake University with a concentration on direct practice with Hispanic children and families. Originally from Utah, she has been serving the Yuma community since 2016. She recognizes the courage it takes to make the decision to enter therapy and strives to build a trusting, safe relationship with her clients. BreAnna has a passion for helping adolescents and their families through a variety of presenting concerns including trauma, depression, self-harm, stress, anxiety, self-esteem, identity, LGBTQ+ issues, family conflict, and improving communication. She also enjoys helping individuals heal from experiences related to rejection, betrayal, neglect, abuse, loss, and abandonment.

BreAnna has training in trauma-based interventions such as Trauma-Focused CBT and Cognitive Processing Therapy. She is also a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist – Individual (CCTSI) with the Trauma Institute International. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker through the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners.

Aside from helping people, BreAnna enjoys walks in the desert at sunset with her husband and their dog, swimming, reading books, yoga, road trips, and cooking Thai recipes.

  • LMs

Brett Bohstedt, BHT

Brett is a Behavioral Health Technician who is in his last year of his Master of Social Work (MSW) degree through Arizona State University. Prior to this Brett received his bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff) in 2006. He spent 9 years as an educator in Yuma; working with elementary and middle school-aged children. During those years he advocated for mental health in his classrooms by teaching coping skills such as mindfulness. Brett started his career in Chicago, IL working as a case manager for the Seriously Mentally Ill population. It was during that three-year period that he developed his passion for helping people cope with the struggles of life.

Brett enjoys working with people at every stage of life and is especially enthusiastic about working with children and young adults. Brett believes in the power of forming healthy habits around exercise, sleep, and diet. He understands we all have complicated relationships with these areas and wants to work alongside you to reach the goals you want to achieve. In addition, Brett wants to help you have loving and fulfilling relationships; it is our ability to be vulnerable with others that can offer us deeper, more meaningful lives.

  • BHT

Cathyann Robinson, LMSW

Cathyann Robinson is a Licensed Masters Social Worker. She graduated from Troy University with her graduate degree in Social Work. She is a veteran and has worked in the military community in and out of the uniform for over 21 years. She’s familiar with the many challenges and changes that happen as military family’s transitions, grow, and develop and is here to help. She works with children, young adults, individuals, and families using an eclectic approach tailored to the unique needs of each new client. Cathy has over 7 years of experience in a variety of settings and with diverse clients, including both long-term and brief interventions.

  • Areas of expertise include:
  • Children and adolescents
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Pre-marriage counseling
  • Relationship challenges: couple and families
  • Life stresses and next step

Cathy believes in the strength of people and assisting them to identify those strengths in a gentle and respectful manner.

  • LMSW

Cecilia Toledo De Encinas, MA, LPC

Born in Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, Cecilia earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the Universidad Autonoma De Baja California (UABC) in Mexico in 2002. Moved by her genuine interest in the helping professions, she has participated in diverse conferences and training in the USA and also in Mexico. 

Her work experience includes helping individuals who are facing challenging situations in life and would like to heal their emotional pain and overcome behavioral issues.  Cecilia works with children, adolescents, and adults from multicultural backgrounds. She assists people who struggle with self-esteem issues, anger problems, anxiety, depression, trauma, substance abuse, family dysfunction, and relational issues.

Cecilia received her Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in 2009, obtaining recognition for Outstanding Academic Achievement. She is a member of the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Cecilia believes that everyone can be successful in life, but there are times when what makes a difference is having a helping hand.

  • MA
  • LPC

Elizabeth Langbauer, LCSW

Eva is a Licensed Associate Counselor and has worked in the social service field for the past 15 years in advocacy and program management for programs serving victims of domestic violence and other crimes, working with parents in recovery, and services to elderly or adults with limited abilities.  Eva also has over 5 years of experience in adult education, working in at the local community college and a local university in Yuma.  Most recently Eva serves as an Executive Director at a local non-profit responsible for the agency affairs, program development, and staff management.

Upon graduating with a Masters in Counseling from Northern Arizona University in August 2006, Eva has primarily worked with adults and children with trauma, domestic violence-related issues and with families inflicted with substance abuse issues.  Eva’s training consists of trauma-related concerns, domestic violence dynamics, sexual assault, crisis intervention, substance abuse, gambling addiction, mediation, aging-related concerns, and suicide assessment and intervention. Eva is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and is supervised by a local EMDR Approved Consultant. 

Eva is currently licensed by the State of Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners as a Licensed Associate Counselor, and is a National Certified Counselor approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors.  Eva is also a Certified Family Trauma Professional approved by the International Association of Trauma Professionals.

  • LCSW

Rae Packard, MS, BHT

Rae Packard is Yuma Counseling’s ADHD neurofeedback coach. Rae earned her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Capella University and an undergraduate degree in Social Work from Chapman University.

Rae has been a guidance counselor in Yuma for seven years. Prior to her residing in Yuma, she served for 16 years with the San Bernardino County public defender’s office as a Social Worker working with chronically mentally ill and homeless offenders.

Rae has a compassionate and supportive approach to helping individuals who want to rewire their cognitive processes without the need for long-term medication.

  • MS
  • BHT

Rich Smith, MS, LAMFT

Rich graduated from Auburn University with a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 1997.  From 1996 to 2000, he provided individual, group, and family therapy in an acute care/ crisis stabilization inpatient psychiatric facility.  

Over the course of the past 15 years, he has served as a provider and clinical supervisor on two military installations with oversight for those affected by combat, suicide, family abuse, neglect, accidents, and violent crime.  Rich’s clinical focus is trauma resolution.

He is the only certified provider for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in Yuma.  EMDR is a trauma therapy with endorsements from multiple mental health organizations including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and many, many others.

Because Rich is an Approved Consultant with the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA), he can provide all of the consultation necessary for EMDR certification.  In addition, Rich is a lead trainer for EMDR via the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Center and School located at Fort Sam in Houston, Tx.  In that capacity, he provides EMDR Basic Training to military clinicians on multiple installations annually.

Most recently, he was the co-author of The Effectiveness of Evidence-Based Treatments in Treatment of Active Military Personnel and Their Families, in the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research (Nov. 2015).

  • MS

Roberto Sanchez, BHT

Robert has earned one Master’s degree in Human Service Counseling with an emphasis on Military Resistance and a graduate certificate in Pastoral Counseling. He is currently enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Liberty University and is pursuing his License in Professional Counseling (LPC).

Becoming a Mental Health Provider happened because of his work in law enforcement and the military. With over 20 years as a police officer and nearly 20 years in Military Service, he has seen the dark side of human existence and wanted to make a difference. Every 22 minutes, a veteran takes his or her life. That is unacceptable to Robert, so he pursued education to make a difference.

His passion has always been to protect and help people, whether as a police officer, in the National Guard, or Behavioral Health. He is dedicated to protecting people from the dangers of this world and helping in times of need.

His approach is to work with individuals, but in doing so, as the person improves, so does their family situation, their workplace, and their closest relationships. Join me in making this world better by making you better.

  • BHT

Tina Snow, LMFT

Tina enjoys her work as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist because relationships matter so much. In her nine years at Yuma Counseling, she has helped individuals, couples, and families learn to create more loving and peaceful interactions with each other.

Life’s challenges are abundant these days! Tina provides a safe and non-judgmental space to help those trying to navigate issues with depression, anxiety, grief and loss, trauma, parenting challenges, family conflict, and other relationship-related concerns. She brings warmth, sensitivity, and respect to help facilitate understanding, healing, and change.

Tina has training in Emotionally Focused Therapy, shown by research to help 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery.

  • LMFT

Nancy SantaCruz

It’s no secret – At Yuma Counseling Services, we focus on helping people have more peace, joy, and love in their lives. In order to do that, we can’t do it alone.

Nancy is literally the backbone of Yuma Counseling. She manages all of the therapists’ schedules, answers the phones, coordinates with insurance companies, makes sure the electric bill is paid on time, and so much more. What is even more impressive is that she does it with a smile.

Nancy has been with Yuma Counseling nearly since the day we opened (over 10 years ago) and we have no idea what we would do without her. She is a rock-star.

Nancy can answer your insurance questions, help you figure out which therapist might be the best fit for you, give you a referral to another agency if we don’t take your insurance, and so much more.

  • Operations

Troy L. Love | Author, Psychotherapist, Educator

A two-time Amazon Best-Selling Author, with his third book, A Year of Self-Love published in 2019, Troy L. Love is on a quest to help individuals, couples, and organizations find greater peace, joy, happiness, and success.

Troy serves as the President and Clinical Director of Yuma Counseling Services and the founder of Finding Peace Consulting. He has over 20 years of experience in the mental health field. Troy received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh, PA in 2000 and much of his training has focused on addiction recovery. Troy has a Certification in Human Resource Studies from Cornell University. He recently completed certification as a Sexual Addiction Treatment Professional from Mid-Nazarene University. He is also Certified as a Rapid Transformational Therapy Practitioner.

Troy specializes in working with individual’s trauma-related concerns, couples struggling in their relationships, and individuals who numb their pain through compulsive or addictive behaviors. Troy also helps couples and individuals who are experiencing sexual issues that reduce the ability for physical intimacy. Troy has training in EMDR, a research-based treatment for trauma survivors, Brainspotting, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, and addiction recovery.

Troy is currently the Lead facilitator of the LifeStar Network, a nationally recognized Sexual Addiction program that he currently runs at Yuma Counseling Services.

Troy is an excellent presenter, facilitator, author, and teacher. His unique set of skills are available for both individuals seeking healing in their personal lives as well as for organizations who are seeking to improve outcomes. Troy has done workshops, lectures, and facilitated group discussions on sensitive issues to increase understanding of these issues and to facilitate change.

CLICK BELOW to learn more about Troy L. Love.

  • LMFT
  • Author
  • Psychotherapist
  • Educator