Staff Bios - Meet Our Team

Our Story

The individuals who choose to live and work at Gateways to Transformation, LLC have all chosen to grow and become the change that they see a need for in their own lives and in the world at large. We have all brought our unique views and combined them to create this place so others can come and have the opportunity to grow and learn on this beautiful 40 acre farm just outside of Crawford, CO.

We have worked hard to create a space that is unique, lovely and peaceful. We believe that many need a warm and welcoming space to learn and grow in, which is the basis of our organization. Come out and experience the tranquility of our beautiful healing farm country with an emphasis on growth, learning and sustainable living. We offer rich and varied opportunities for you to experience deep change both within yourself and in society as a whole. Come choose your next adventure!

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Alisha Adrian

Alisha Adrian

Executive Director

Owner of Rites of Passage LLC and The Phoenix Rising Programs Residential Extended Care Program and the Intensive Outpatient Programs for both co-ed adults and Teens.

I am a transpersonal counselor/psychotherapist, life coach, healer and artist. I have done extensive transpersonal (mind/body/spirit) work as well as trauma/PTSD work and I also have extensive experience as a dual-diagnosis counselor working with substance and eating disorder issues that stem from trauma. I have a masters in counseling psychology, a certification in transpersonal counseling, a certification in equine assisted psychotherapy and life coaching, LPC licensure in the state of Colorado and am a first level Reiki practitioner and certified in the healing modality Jin Shin TARA. I have spent many years working with shamanistic and energy healing modalities. I engage clients in all types of transpersonal work including art therapy, dream therapy, ceremony and self-growth.

All of the types of therapy and coaching that I engage in are experiential therapy modalities because I have found that when a person engages their body/mind and spirit together in a session, more is synthesized and integrated allowing breakthroughs to occur quickly and learning or relearning that they engage in allows clients to begin to use this new knowledge immediately as opposed to strictly cognitive based counseling, which can take weeks, months or years without any significant results being made.

My work is very diverse because I utilize all of my experience as well as everyone else on the staffs to find what works for each client who comes into our program to excel and focus upon what she needs to achieve her goals.

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Kim E. Briarwood, MA

Greetings. My name is Kim Briarwood. I am a case manager & therapist at Rites of Passage. I enjoy working at the center. We have so many therapy animals and being someone who loves all animals, it is a perfect environment to teach and to learn. Many of the programs I teach help clients with trauma, sexual orientation and identity issues. I graduated with honors from Upper Iowa University in 2011 with an undergrad in Human Services and Psychology. I finished my graduate degree with a Masters of Arts in Psychology from University of the Rockies in 2013. I enjoy being outdoors which is the classroom at Rites of Passage - the animals and nature are our teachers and guides. I look forward to meeting and working with you.

Sean Danaher, MA

Sean Danaher, MA

Hello! I moved to Colorado in 2018 for the Master’s in Social Work program at the University of Denver. Since then, my work as a therapist has focused on trauma in its many forms - anxiety, negative self-talk, codependency - as well as the ways in which we heal from these patterns. This year, I am working toward my certification as a yoga teacher on the side, as neuroscience is showing us more and more how important somatic work is to moving through trauma.

You may also find me leading nature hikes and cooking lessons, both of which I believe are immensely helpful for clients to find greater depth in their healing through creative problem-solving and self-reliance.

In my free time, I enjoy reading, playing music, and going on adventures with my dog.

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Denise Canchola, DNP, PMHCNS, BC

Dr. Canchola earned her undergraduate degree at Trinity University in San Antonio, her master's degree in psychiatric and mental health nursing at Yale University in New Haven and her doctor of nursing practice at the University of Miami. She is a nurse psychopharmacologist and a psychotherapist dedicated to the delivery of personalized and effective mental health services.

Areas of expertise

  • Telepsychiatry - solid skills at interaction with patients remotely
  •  Psychiatric Assessment - comprehensive assessments with dynamic formulations using the biopsychosocial model of DSM V diagnosis
  •  Behavioral Health Integration - skilled at stabilizing patients for return to the PCP or psychiatric prescriber for management, while remaining available for ongoing consultation.
  •  Substance use Disorders and comorbidities
  •  Borderline Personality Disorder
  •  Bipolar Disorder I and II
  •  Schizophrenia
  •  Major Depression - Treatment Resistant
  •  PTSD and Trauma informed care
  •  Chronic Pain with behavioral issues
  •  Anxiety driven frequent ER visits involving cardiac or respiratory complaints
Arlyn-Alderdice

Arlyn Alderdice

Expressive Arts, Office Admin, Gardener

I am a highly sensitive person with a wide variety of tools in my tool-belt because of needing to learn to navigate this wild and beautiful world. At Rites of Passage, in addition to office administration, you might find me offering the following Expressive Arts: rhythm & drumming, African marimba, 5 Rhythms dance practice, embodiment practices, pottery, writing, book-making, and process art. You might also find me offering these or other Practical Arts: gardening, herbalism practice, cooking, nature appreciation, walking as a practice, gentle stretching, and yoga.

I am the co-founder of The Embodying Rhythm School of Percussive Arts and The Embodying Rhythm Marimba Project. I am also a teacher, performer and administrator. I am a graduate of Matrix Leadership Institute's Facilitator Training and earned my B.A. in Expressive Arts through Prescott College. I have also completed extensive dance training with Melissa Michaels and Wild Life Productions (now Golden Bridge) in Boulder, CO. I have studied herbalism with Alicia Michaelson of Paonia, CO and gardened in the area with my family for most of my life. I am a mother and I find much resource and healing in nature through gardening, hiking, camping, and backpacking.

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Aaron Jerad

I teach permaculture design and hands-on gardening.  The broad intention of permaculture is to meet the needs of people in such a way that the needs of the earth and it's creatures is also met. The principles and methods of permaculture are based in careful observation of nature. We can use this method of design to create regenerative communities, farms, gardens and more. On a personal level, the principles are excellent day to day tools that help use see and feel more integrated into the world around us. My teacher liked to say "All the world's problems can be solved in the garden."

I have been a student of yoga and meditation for most of my life and offer hatha yoga classes several times a week. Using breath and simple movements Yoga is a body centered practice that strengthens the body and also calms the mind.