CHERYL PABERZS, M.S., MFTC
Pronounced “PUB-airz" Pronouns: she/her/hers
I have a Master’s of Science in Couples and Family Therapy from the University of Oregon in Eugene and have been practicing therapy with individuals, couples, families, and groups since 2014. I have experience in practice settings including community mental health, schools, emergency crisis response, and private practice.
My current passion project involves running social skill-building/therapy groups utilizing the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons** (5th edition)! Visit our groups page to learn more. If groups aren't your thing but you still want to use D&D as therapy, I can run a one-on-one therapeutic campaign for you. I believe that games and other fandoms can be a huge part of someone's identity and you deserve a therapist who understands (not judges) why that is important to you. [**Dungeons & Dragons and its related content are IP of Wizards of the Coast; we are not endorsed nor sponsored by WotC.]
My clients would describe my style as authentic, compassionate, curious, and directive. For growth to occur, I believe people require a balance of safety and agitation. As I get to know my clients, I learn their individual strengths and growth areas in order to determine the appropriate pace to suit their needs. It is my goal to create a therapeutic environment that allows you to be yourself while learning how to practice new skills, rediscover lost ones, and connect to something deeper within yourself and with others.
I am trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) at externship level; this means I am on the road to certification and consult regularly with an official ICEEFT-approved supervisor. EFT is an evidence-based model of relationship therapy that focuses on adult attachment and bonding, leading to long-lasting results in couples therapy. EFT can also work wonders with individuals! Depending on your goals for therapy, I also integrate from the models of solution-focused brief therapy, narrative therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and Gottman therapy.
In my work with clients, I have most enjoyed working with people looking to enhance their communication skills and sense of connection/intimacy. Many people have witnessed their parents' marriages fail and want so much to avoid those same mistakes - but without good role models, it's common to not know 'how' to make that happen and fear inevitably failing. I'm a strong believer in being proactive and setting your relationship up for success. I also love helping fellow nerds/geeks learn to find their own emotions, appreciate their partner's emotions, and effectively communicate and connect.
Examples of concerns/goals for which I have helped clients find success include: relationship communication enhancement, sex therapy* (including treatment for enhanced intimacy and some sexual dysfunctions), dating issues, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, life transitions, increasing mindfulness, pre-marital/pre-childbirth, living with chronic conditions, recovery from trauma, and improving self-esteem. I am comfortable working with teens, young adults, and adults. [* Sex therapy sessions never involve nudity or sexual behavior/contact between clients or client and therapist. I do not operate as a sexual surrogate. It is unethical for therapists to have sexual or social relationships with their clients.]
3ish years ago, I moved to Colorado from Oregon and I grew up in Michigan. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my partner of 13 years and our dogs, hiking, camping, snowshoeing, playing D&D or board games, drawing, painting, attending live music shows, and watching nerdy movies and hockey (go Red Wings!).
I reserve a portion of my caseload for members of the Open Path Psychotherapy Collective. If money is a barrier to you receiving the mental health care you need, check out https://openpathcollective.org
Cheryl has been interviewed about using D&D as therapy, check it out: