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Welcome to

The Growing Place

Counseling Center

“We seek to develop healthy communities by fostering the emotional, mental and spiritual health of individuals and families.”

Who are we? Meet our Directors.

Judith Thompson, LMFT

Judith Thompson, LMFT

Executive Director

I have been a "people lover" all of my life. Building relationships and helping people in their struggles is what motivates me.  My personal history is one of much heartache and loss, yet my attitude stays focused on living and loving the life God has given me.

Being the Founder and Director of The Growing Place (TGP) Counseling Center was a completion of a life-long dream. Over the almost 20 years of leading TGP, hundreds of people have experienced safety, hope, and healing.

I have also had the opportunity to lead, train, and encourage the next generation of professional faith-based therapists. I am proud and honored to be used by God in the healing profession of psychotherapy.

Nancy Calkins, LMFT

Nancy Calkins, LMFT

Assistant Executive Director

Nancy R. Calkins graduated from UC Chico with a BA and went on to get a Master's degree at Phillips Graduate Institute to complete her Graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

She has been in private practice for 30 years. She has developed her own style of therapy and written a book titled, "Healing For The Fractured Soul." 

Nancy loves to help people move from pain to power in their lives.  She especially enjoys working with couples.

Our Story

How We Got Here

Our story began in the pump house at Neighborhood Church 35 years ago. It was Leo Classen (Pastor/Missionary) who had the vision of creating a Christian Counseling Center to help hurting people. The facility later evolved to three 12×12 “huts” that were named “Tandem House Counseling.” Why Tandem? It is meant to convey the image of God and his follower on a tandem bike. God is saying, “I’ll steer, you just peddle.”

God kept bringing people to be healed and gifted people to participate in helping them. The staff was gathering more training and expertise. There were those gifted and licensed to do psychotherapy, some who were trained in life skills, and others who provided education classes. Now it was time for a new name. We became “The Growing Place.” We had formalized ourselves and had a specific mission which is: “We seek to develop healthy communities by fostering the emotional, mental, and spiritual growth of individuals and families.”

Some eleven years later, The Growing Place has its own location at 1074 East Avenue in Chico. It is a non-profit operation with an ever-growing staff of professional and qualified people providing therapeutic services. TGP is committed to offering life-changing services to Chico and the surrounding area as licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and associates.

The Growing Place Team

Judy Thompson

Marriage & Family Therapist, #41343

Executive Director / Clinical Supervisor

BIO INFORMATION:

I have been a “people lover” all of my life. Building relationships and helping people in their struggles is what motivates me. My personal history is one of much heartache and loss, yet my attitude stays focused on living and loving the life God has given me.

Being the Founder and Director of The Growing Place (TGP)Counseling Center was a completion of a life-long dream. Over the almost 20 years of leading TGP, hundreds of people have experienced safety, hope, and healing.

I have also had the opportunity to lead, train, and encourage the next generation of professional faith-based therapists. I am proud and honored to be used by God in the healing profession of psychotherapy.

Nancy Calkins

Marriage & Family Therapist, #24362

Assistant Executive Director

BIO INFORMATION:

Nancy R. Calkins graduated from UC Chico with a BA and went on to get a Master’s degree at Phillips Graduate Institute to complete her Graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

She has been in private practice for 30 years. She has developed her own style of therapy and written a book titled, “Healing For The Fractured Soul.”

Nancy loves to help people move from pain to power in their lives. She especially enjoys working with couples.

Joanne Nitchman

Marriage & Family Therapist, #111720

BIO INFORMATION:

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.

Katie Cook

Assoc. Marriage & Family Therapist, IMF#91717

BIO INFORMATION:

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.

Tommy Mattera

Assoc. Marriage & Family Therapist # 118412

BIO INFORMATION:

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.

Jenna Rhein

Assoc. Marriage & Family Therapist # 105669

BIO INFORMATION:

Jenna Rhein is an Assistant Marriage and Family Therapist with a Master of Arts Degree from Northcentral University.

Jenna’s therapeutic style is eclectic using a solution-focused perspective with a holistic approach that looks at how the mind, body, and spirit are interconnected.

Jenna is passionate about creating an open, warm, and empowering environment for her clients to be honest without judgment. Jenna believes in creating a partnership with her clients that is strength-based and client-centered.

Services include individual, couples, family, or group sessions across the lifespan. Jenna is also running a teen program called OASIS during the summer to discuss life skills, boundaries, healthy relationships, and coping skills.

Jenna believes that together, we can work on addressing the root problem to any past or current difficulty and build meaningful social connections today.

Holly Nielsen

Assoc. Marriage & Family Therapist, #1 24750
Assoc. Professional Clinical Counselor # 9408

BIO INFORMATION:

I employ a mindfulness-based eclectic approach to facilitate insight, awareness, and self-efficacy for my clients of all ages; from youths to older adults.

I have experience working with clients dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, trauma and PTSD, communication issues in couples and families, and substance use, among others.

Alison Hart

Marriage & Family Therapist Trainee

BIO INFORMATION:

Hello there! My name is Alison Hart. I am an MFT Trainee finishing my Master's program at Western Seminary. I have always had a calling to help others and after raising two children with my husband of over 20 years, I decided to pursue counseling to do so.

I have a desire to walk alongside individuals, couples, and families through a multitude of life's challenges and transitions. I believe in building a strong therapeutic relationship where the client feels safe and supported and I use a strength-based integrative approach to counseling to foster positive change. I have also recently completed my phase one training for Brainspotting.

When not counseling you will find me in the great outdoors with those I love.

Bert Thompson

Master Life Coach / Biblical Counselor

BIO INFORMATION:

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 / Biblical Counselor

BIO INFORMATION:

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.

Christi Calkins

Certified Bereavement Facilitator / Life Coach

BIO INFORMATION:

For the past 20+ years, Christie has helped people with Grief & Loss. She is now the Facilitator of our Grief and Loss groups that meet on Wednesdays and Thursdays. She has ministered help and healing to many people over the recent difficult times we have all experienced.

Christi also has extensive experience in Social Services and Church Ministry. She specializes in senior care, grief, and loss.

"My goal is to assist in clarifying the Next Steps in your journey by providing support and encouragement."

Favorite Life Verse: "Be still and know that I am God." - Psalms 46:10

The Growing Place Team

Groups Currently Ongoing

Wednesdays - Forming, Thursdays - Open!

Individual Therapy

Couples Therapy

Family Therapy

What The Growing Place Offers

Trauma Recovery
  • Transformational Prayer
  • EMDR and Brain Spotting
Various Groups
  • Grief and Trauma Recovery – Adults
  • Oasis for Teens – Teens Only
  • Pure Desire – Men’s Group
Therapy
  • Children
  • Individuals
  • Couples
  • Families
Special Education
  • Parenting through Love & Logic
  • Boundaries Class
  • Nurtured Heart Training
Life Coaching
  • Life Plan Development
  • Spiritual Growth & Healing
  • Leadership Coaching

Phone

(530) 588-0448

Phone (Tap to call)

(530) 588-0448

Location

1074 East Ave., Suite A-4
Chico, CA 95926

Email

info@tgplace.org

Office Hours

M – F: 9am – 5pm
S – S: Closed

Send Us A Message

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