What is broken in relationships
Is healed in relationships
We do relationships

~ Judy Thompson ~
Executive Director,
The Growing Place

Judy Thompson

Marriage & Family Therapist, #41343

Executive Director / Clinical Supervisor


I have spent most of my life investing in people. Even as a little girl, God gave me a love for people. My greatest desire is to see people become all that they are created to be. I am a former business owner and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)/Executive Director and Founder of The Growing Place (TGP). Along with a robust private practice, I oversee all of the activities of TGP. It is my responsibility and joy to select and lead the most caring and equipped group of professionals, who bring insight, wisdom, and hope for the heartaches, concerns, and problems of others.

My journey to become a therapist began when I was 50 years old, as a result of the death of our youngest son, Jason. In August of 1988, Jason (age 17), was killed in an accident here in Chico. I was devastated and lost. Life had no meaning.

I share this because I know you need encouragement and hope. My story may be just the encouragement you need. Jason was not my only loss or heartache, and yet through it all, I believe life is worth living. In spite of the trauma, grief, and loss, we can heal and become more than we were before. Many people helped me along my path and I pray for that gift for you as well.

Nancy Calkins

Marriage & Family Therapist, #24362

Assistant Executive Director


Nancy R. Calkins graduated from UC Chico with a BA and went on to get a Master’s degree at UC Dominguez Hills in Early Childhood Development. She then attended Phillips Graduate Institute to complete her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

She has been in private practice for 30 years and is an approved Supervisor of MFT Interns and Licensed Therapist from the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

She is now only seeing Camp Fire survivors and current clients.

Joanne Nitchman

Marriage & Family Therapist, #111720


Hi. I’m Joanne Nitchman, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I have a heart for people. I have had my share of trials in life and I believe in the value of counseling. God called me into counseling to help others through life’s hurts and struggles.

Through the use of my strengths of empathy and understanding, I believe I can help people change the negative thoughts they have by helping them focus on truth.

I enjoy working with individuals, couples, and families to help them have the best relationship possible. I have found that the attachment we form as infants has an impact on our relationships into adulthood.

Are you having trouble in your relationships? Sometimes all it takes is someone to listen, to care, to walk beside you in order to overcome those challenges.

Jamie Hall

Marriage & Family Therapist, #106294


Jamie Hall is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC). She completed her Master of Arts in Professional Psychology with Azusa Pacific University and her Bachelor of Science in Clinical Psychology with Liberty University. Jamie has a Certificate of Ministry from Christian International Ministry Training College and has rich experience working in an Inner Healing Ministry. She has several additional certifications for counseling through the American Association of Christian Counselors. She was married in 2007 and enjoys art, music, and nature.

Jamie is sensitive to the many components that contribute to both personal blocks and growth. She views life as a journey with peaks and valleys, dark places and light places, and the inevitable changes of seasons. If she can walk with you on your journey, if even for a short time, to process difficulties in the present, pain from the past, or desires for the future.

Kaelyn Bootman

Marriage & Family Therapist, #111992


Kaelyn Bootman holds a Master of Science Degree in Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University, Chico. The last few years, she has invested in the lives of adolescents who are living in broken homes, as well as adults trapped in addiction. Prior to working as a counselor, Kaelyn worked as a nanny and a tutor and loves working with children and youth. She is a Certified Life Coach and completed Discipleship Training School (DTS) through Youth With a Mission, where she helped at-risk youth overseas.

Kaelyn has counseling experience working with couples, individuals, youth and children and has worked with those dealing with mental and physical health concerns, drug and alcohol abuse, and a vast array of relational issues and tensions.

She is passionate about creating a safe place for clients to explore past and present, and to help clients find hope and healing in knowing that they are not alone.

Katie Cook

Assoc. Marriage & Family Therapist, IMF#91717


Katie holds a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Hope International University. Prior to working as a counselor, Katie was in the international non-profit field, traveling and living around the world, granting her a deep perspective and diverse worldview. During her time in Nepal working with girls rescued out of sex-trafficking, the Lord called Katie to pursue her masters in counseling.

Katie’s desire as a therapist is to partner with clients, helping them find healing and restoring hope in their life. Katie combines her educational training, experience, and skills, with compassion and a warm, non-judgmental presence.

Katie is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and is trained in EMDR, a powerful and effective therapy that helps process trauma. If you’ve ever found yourself “stuck” on past events, not able to release the bitterness inside, EMDR might be for you.

Keli Schoon

Assoc. Marriage & Family Therapist, IMF#101964


Keli holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology Degree from Simpson University. After 21 years of living overseas, she decided to move back to her home town of Chico. Living overseas Keli spent over 20 years working with adolescents transitioning between cultures. She also spent significant time working with victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia, as well as supporting the staff of NGO’s working and living there full time. Since moving back to America, Keli has worked with children, adolescents, and adults who want to process recent events in their lives, or have deeper trauma issues they want to work through. “Life is a series of transitions, even if you are not moving between countries, you are moving between life stages and situations.”

She is passionate about helping clients find a way to move through and past the pain in their life by finding hope and healing. She works on creating a safe place for clients to explore their core negative beliefs and strengthen their healthy ones.

Tommy Mattera

Marriage & Family Therapist Trainee


Hey! My name is Tommy Mattera and I am currently finishing graduate school at California State University in Chico, after which I will be an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. I get excited when people grow into the person they were meant to be. I love being a part of that process and offer genuine care, authenticity, and the wisdom I've cultivated during my own journey. I will root for you and always be in your corner.

During my downtime, you can find me mountain biking, weightlifting, or cozied up reading a good book ... it just depends on the day.

Laura Goff

Marriage & Family Therapist Trainee


Laura Goff graduated from Belhaven University in Jackson, MS with a B.A. in Dance and a minor in Psychology. Laura is currently a candidate for a M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with a specialization in Dance/Movement Therapy, at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.

Laura is passionate about bringing her love for dance and for people together within the therapeutic relationship. Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) seeks to allow the body to participate in the healing process that takes place in therapy, by using the body’s movements to facilitate healing in the mind.

Laura’s motivation for pursuing this work is based on her relationship with Jesus. She seeks to follow His model by meeting people where they are and pointing them toward something better.

Laura began her work in 2012 while in Nepal working in a safe home for survivors of the sex-trafficking industry. It is her hope to return to the work she started in Nepal, using movement to bring healing to the minds and bodies of survivors.

Jenna Rhein

Marriage & Family Therapist Trainee


Jenna Rhein is a Marriage and Family Therapy Master of Arts Student at Northcentral University in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Jenna’s therapeutic style is eclectic and uses a blend of cognitive behavioral therapy, sex and relationship therapy that is solution-focused, with a holistic approach that looks deep within the mind, body, and spirit and how they are all interconnected.

Jenna is passionate about creating an open, warm, and empowering environment with every single one of her clients. She wants to assist in finding peace of mind and positive therapy for all. Jenna believes in creating a partnership with her clients that is strength-based and centered around the client.

Services include individual, couples, family and group therapy across the lifespan. Together, we can work on addressing the root problem to any past or current difficulty and build meaningful social connections today.

Casey Gibbs

Professional Clinical Counselor Trainee


Casey has been involved in health care and taking care of others both professionally and voluntarily for over 29 years. He is a former flight paramedic, police officer, firefighter and a Camp Fire survivor. He grew up in the military and was born in Managua, Nicaragua where his father was a United States Air Force advisor to the Nicaraguan air force. Casey understands how life can take detours, sometimes sudden and tragic. Whether it’s complex trauma, grief or a difficult season with new challenges, Casey is passionate about using his life experiences and education to help you navigate these difficult times.

Casey is currently a graduate student in licensed professional clinical counseling at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona and is completing the clinical portion of his education at The Growing Place where he intends to continue on as an intern when he graduates in 2020. He left the field of emergency medicine in 2009 and went on to earn an associates in computer science from Rogue Community College in Grants Pass, Oregon and a bachelors in business administration from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon.

James Brown

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor #6435


As a Gulf War era U.S. Army Veteran, I personally experienced the effects of trauma, and now understand how a few seconds can forever change the course of a person’s life.

As a result, I became a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and a National Board-Certified Counselor (NCC). Working exclusively in the behavioral health field since 2011, I help individuals experiencing PTSD or other forms of trauma. I also focus on those suffering from substance disorders, grief and loss, mood disorders, anger issues, cognitive distortions, personality disorders, and other concerns.

My therapeutic orientation is always person-centered, solution-focused and strength-based. Clients will find themselves in a safe, non-judgmental space. My strength is the ability to foster trust in interpersonal relationships. We will develop a plan to enable the client to become their authentic self, outside of their problem. I believe that each person’s happiness and fulfillment is within their reach.

Bert Thompson

Master Life Coach


Bert is a no-nonsense kind of guy. His experience as E-9 (Sargent Major), Child Development Butte College Instructor, Biblical Counselor, Certified Master Life Coach, and over three decades in ministry has equipped Bert to serve a broad population of clients at The Growing Place. Although Bert specializes in Leadership Coaching and Executive & Organizational Coaching with adults, he extends the same motivation for personal growth to teens.

Bert’s desire is to help each person he serves discover their God-given role in life – becoming mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy, and dedicating their gifts back to the Lord, family, church, and the community. Bert is intrigued with the unique qualities of each person and has the ability to recognize and cultivate the potential in others. He notices even small signs of improvement, delighting in each step forward.

Bert believes that as individuals grow, everyone benefits: “Healthy people make healthy families; healthy families make healthy churches; healthy churches make healthy communities; healthy communities make healthy people.

Connie Nicolaus

Master Life Coach


For the past 20 years Connie has had a heart to serve and minister to individuals on their life’s journeys. She enjoys encouraging, coaching and counseling others as they experience the events of their lives. Connie is very passionate about people being able to find hope in some of life’s most difficult places.

Her training began at Tandem House Counseling Center in 1992 with a course in Biblical Lay Counseling. Her first clients were women from a drug treatment transition house which inspired her to seek additional training.

Connie graduated from Butte Community College in 2005 with an Associate of Science in Drug and Alcohol Studies. She was the Director of Sabbath House, a homeless shelter for women and children, from 2006 – 2010. Her experiences there continued to develop her skills for counseling and ministering to women.

Along her own journey Connie discovered how much she likes working with parents. She received training in Colorado as a Facilitator for Becoming a Love & Logic Parent and has had fun teaching and training parents over the years.

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1074 East Avenue, Suite A4, Chico, CA 95926

(530) 588-0448