Desert Counseling & Recovery Services, PLLC

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Kara Ahearn LCSW

Kara Ahearn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 14 years’ experience working with young children, adolescents, and adults. She received her master’s degree in social work from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL.  Kara has experience working with a wide range of populations including substance abuse, anger management, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, relationship problems, trauma, abuse/neglect, adjustment, and behavioral concerns.   She has worked with children and families for over 12 years in Florida and has been working with children and families in Yuma for about 2 years. 

Kara has experience in outpatient and residential treatment settings.  She has received a great deal of training working with adolescents with disruptive behavior problems to increase emotion regulation, self-control, problem-solving skills, positive communication, and social competency.  She completed a Fellowship at Georgetown University in Washington DC on juvenile justice diversion programming.  Kara has delivered evidenced based group programming and conducted research on her outcomes.  

​​​M. Isabel Valtierra M.A., LPC NCC
Isabel is a bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor with over 15 years of experience working in behavioral, mental and social services.  Isabel worked providing group services to a non- profit organization that assisted field workers of South Yuma County with chronic illness.  Isabel has experience in providing individual, group and family therapy services to address a variety of issues, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, anger management, child behavioral problems, and parenting and relationship problems.  Isabel obtained a Master’s of Arts degree in Community Counseling through Northern Arizona University in 2012. Isabel also has experience working in corrections as a Psychology Associate, providing brief therapy services to low and high risk male patients as well as severely mentally ill individuals.    

Jesus Vazquez M.A., LPC

Jesus is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 11 years of experience and has a Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling obtained through Northern Arizona University in 2012. As of September of 2016 he became independently licensed through the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners and in November of 2016 he became qualified to provide clinical supervision to associate level clinicians wishing to seek independent licensure.  He is also bilingual and is able to provide therapy services in English and Spanish.

His experience began with working with toddlers as a pre-school instructor from 2006 to 2009. From 2009 to 2012 he worked at a local non-profit group home for children ages 3 to 18, providing services that ranged from providing the daily care of children housed at the group home to individual, family and group therapy. Therapy services were provided in out-patient and in-patient settings. He has experience working with behavioral issues, depression, anxiety, family reunification and other issues related to loss and trauma.

Neal McMann Ed.D., LPC
​Neal is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 25 years’ experience conducting individual, couples and family therapy. He earned his Master of Arts degree in Agency Counseling from the University of Northern Iowa and his Doctoral degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Texas A&M University. His clinical
experience includes work as a Family Therapist in an inpatient adolescent psychiatric hospital, out-patient Director of Clinical Services for a community mental health agency and Clinical Counselor and Social Services Coordinator with the Marine Corps and the United States Army. His experience also includes
many years of counseling services with Native Americans. 

Neal’s clinical specialty and expertise include individual, couples and family therapy with emphasis on post traumatic stress therapy, structural and strategic family therapy, grief and loss work, stress management, depression, anger management, addiction, abuse issues, veterans issue and marital counseling. 

Brenda H. Gomez M.A., LPC

Brenda is a bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor.  She earned her Masters in Community Counseling from Northern Arizona University.  Brenda has over 10 years of experience providing clinically-sound therapeutic services to a variety of populations not limited to but including individuals suffering with substance use struggles, sexual and/or physical abuse, anxiety, depression, current or past traumas, behavioral concerns, adjustment, changes of life, self-compassion and relationship concerns. Brenda began her career in child and family therapy, and specialized in adoption and foster parenting.  Brenda works with children, adolescents, young adults, and parents to identify and alleviate root causes associated with social, emotional, behavioral, and psychological challenges in various stages of development. Brenda has experience and training in addressing a wide range of family concerns including attachment/bond, childhood emotional problems, childhood behavioral problems, separation and divorce, school avoidance/phobia, conduct disorders, parenting techniques, infertility and foster parent support.  

Evelyn C. Trone M.S.W., LCSW R.N.

       Evelyn is a Licensed Certified Social Worker with over 20 yrs experience in mental health care, health care, medical social work and mental health counseling. She received her Masters in Social Work from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. She completed her nursing education from the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York, NY

   Evelyn has a broad base of experience  in both inpatient, out patient and Veterans Administration community outpatient clinic settings. She has worked with a wide variety of populations  including depression, anxiety, trauma, addictions, grief and loss, couples therapy, post traumatic stress disorders, anger management, pain management, and serious mental illness . 

About Us

Maria A. McKivergan M.S., LPC NCC

Maria is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 8 years experience working with children and adult populations. She received a Masters in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Maria has experience working with populations ranging from those with severe mental illness to addictions, mood and thought disorders, trauma, depression, grief and loss, post traumatic stress, anger, developmental disabilities, and anxiety disorders. She provides treatment for individuals in both English and Spanish speaking capacities. Maria has been treating families and individuals in Yuma for over 6 years.

Maria has experience working in inpatient psychiatric hospitals as well as outpatient treatment centers. Her professional experiences include research and fellowships with Boston Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Cambridge Hospital in Cambridge MA, University of Massachusetts and collaborations with Harvard and Tufts University. 

She has been published several times in peer reviewed journals with regards to psychological research .  Maria also has over 4 years of teaching experience in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Phoenix, Southern Arizona Campus.