Crystal Kirschman, MA, LCPC, NCC
Owner | Program Director
Wow. This is hard.
This is the place where I have to tell you all about myself, attempt to “wow” you with all of my knowledge and skills, and convince you that I am the perfect therapist for you to invest in. Here’s the trouble: I am NOT perfect. Realistically, I could carefully craft the “perfect” introduction laced with all of the distant, yet warm sentiments that would paint an overall positive view of myself and my profession. But here’s the deal – I’m real. I would not be living my life in accordance to my values of honesty and integrity if I did not do exactly what I am doing here right now, which is showing my true and authentic self. Scary? Yes. But the one thing you will quickly learn about me as a therapist is that I will never ask you to do something that I would not be willing to do myself. So here I am.
I absolutely LOVE what I do. If you ask me what my dream job is, this is it. The courage and bravery (some other values near and dear to my heart) that I witness on a daily basis is beyond inspiring. I live in awe of the warriors that face their battle wounds with such fury and passion while in the midst and middle of a very real and raw struggle. You are my heroes.
I will be completely invested in you and your recovery. I cannot do the work for you nor can I change you, however, I WILL be down in the trenches with you. You have the fight of your life ahead of you and an evident unfortunate truth is that it gets harder before it gets easier. If it feels difficult, you are exactly where you need to be – you are doing the work. I said I cannot change you, but the truth is that even if I could I would not want this for you. What I want is the emergence and enhancement of your true inner self, the true inner self that the eating disorder has been working so fervently to mask and hide. This is you. During this process, I will walk with you, in front of you, or behind you as needed. You are never alone.
There really isn’t anything that I have yet to see or hear so lay it on me, I promise. You may be surprised by the look of understanding and compassion sans “shock” as you discuss your eating disorder and your most disparaging moments. Don’t worry, I got this; we got this. There will be moments where I will probably work harder than you (every therapist in the world is gasping…). Why? Because I believe in you; you deserve someone who believes in you. Here I am.
I have extensive work experience in various rehabilitation settings treating children, adolescents, and adults with mental health issues and developmental disabilities. Prior to the inception of Emily Wish, LLC, I worked in a psychiatric inpatient/residential and partial hospitalization program for eating disorders where I developed my specialty in the treatment of this population. I then went on to work in an intensive outpatient program for eating disorders where I ran the adolescent and adult groups, as well as treated patients individually in outpatient programming. I bring with me a wealth of knowledge on higher levels of care, crisis intervention, and the treatment of patients with concurrent diagnoses. I am intimately familiar with the exhausting struggle eating disorder patients and their loved ones face on a daily basis, and the tremendous courage they must harness to do so.
I completed my undergraduate training at the University of New Mexico (Psychology) and earned my Masters degree in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education from the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). I completed internships at the Counseling Center at UCD and the Eating Recovery Center in Denver. I pride myself on multicultural competency and am sensitive and compassionate to the diverse needs of each individual. My goal as a therapist is to help patients move towards what they value in life, as they accept and create new meaning out of the difficult emotions and experiences that are inherent to daily life. It is my belief that this process generates new insights as well as trust in one’s self and one’s experience. It is these factors, along with the genuine relationship that is created over the course of treatment, that provide the seeds for change.
how did I end up here?
Ask. I have a story. It may not have a happy ending, but my hope is that it will motivate and inspire you to reach out for full and lasting recovery. People DO recover.
Shauna Nagaoka-Symonds MA, LCPC
Shauna Nagaoka-Symonds is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who earned her Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Shauna has completed clinical internships with local therapists in private practice and has worked with Emily Wish’s Intensive Outpatient Program since its inception. While interning with Emily Wish, LLC she developed an interest and strong passion for working with individuals suffering with eating disorders and has since dedicated her clinical work to the treatment and recovery of those suffering.
Utilizing an integrative approach, she empowers individuals to move towards living a purposeful and meaningful life in accordance with their values. Shauna enjoys fishing, camping, spending time with family, and playing pool competitively.
Tonya Maye MSW, SWLC
Tonya Maye is a Social Worker Licensure Candidate who earned her Master’s Degree at Walla Walla University. She is currently obtaining clinical hours towards a Licensed Clinical Social Worker license under the guidance and knowledge of Crystal Kirschman, LCPC. She completed her internship at Kicking Horse Job Corps Center where she worked with the at-risk youth population providing individual and group counseling services. Also within her internship she worked as an advocate for domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking victims at Safe Harbor.
Throughout her experiences she has found a special passion working with individuals and their families who struggle with eating disorders. When not working, Tonya enjoys cross stitching, reading, listening to music, watching movies, and hanging out with friends and family.
Michelle Atton MSW, SWLC
Michelle Atton is a Social Work Licensure Candidate who earned her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Texas at El Paso where she was in the advanced standing program and was awarded the Mark W. Lusk Social Justice Scholarship in Social Work. Michelle completed her internship at the El Paso County Public Defender’s Office working alongside social workers and attorneys to serve the incarcerated population who suffered from mental health issues through advocacy, mitigation, and assessment. She has worked with various populations such as children at risk, families, the elderly, and immigrants. Michelle is currently obtaining clinical hours towards a Licensed Clinical Social Worker license under the guidance and knowledge of Crystal Kirschman, LCPC.
With her skills and knowledge gained in El Paso she wishes to serve the community here at Emily Wish, LLC with compassion and respect. During her spare time, Michelle enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with her husband and her cat.
Dani Sindelar RD, LN, CDE
Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist
Dani is a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist, and Certified Diabetes Educator. Dani has always had a passion for working with individuals suffering with eating disorders. She believes in the healing power of food and is on a quest to help all people repair the relationship they have with food and with their bodies.
Dani graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition Science. She completed her training through the Montana Dietetic Internship with a self-select focus working with individuals struggling with eating disorders at Roger’s Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin.
Once a Registered Dietitian, Dani worked in Denver, CO at Eating Recovery Center, which provided a world of experience and knowledge development to better serve individuals struggling with eating disorders. Even though she loved her job and her passion for working with the eating disorder population grew, her love of Montana never faded and she was called back to the big sky state. Dani now lives in Red Lodge, Montana, tucked away in the mountains. Her advocacy and care for those struggling with eating disorders never waning. When not helping others fight the big fight and helping repair their relationship between food and their bodies, Dani is skiing, camping, adventuring, and lounging around reading a good book.
Counselor in Training/Student Intern
Kelli Smith is completing her required internship hours (under the supervision of Crystal Kirschman, LCPC) in order to obtain a Master’s of Science in Counseling from University of Providence in May 2019. She graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish in 2007. Kelli has a special interest in working with individuals who suffer from eating disorders, body image dissatisfaction and low self-worth. Through her training and experience at Emily Wish she has developed a passion for providing a safe space for those who are facing immense challenges to receive help, hope, and treatment. She feels extremely fortunate to be at Emily Wish.
Jennifer Brown is the Administrative Assistant at Emily Wish, LLC. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources Management from Park University. She plays an integral role in the overall function of the clinical and billing services. She finds her work supporting the clinical team and patients of Emily Wish to be rewarding and meaningful. Jennifer is originally from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She is an Air Force wife and mom to three sweet boys. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and dear friends.
We are here to listen.
Want to speak to the clinician? Have more eating disorder questions? Send an email and we’ll be in touch!