Samantha is a native of Hope, KS, just 45 minutes east of Salina. Between the ages of 5 and 18, she called the town home and was active both in her academic endeavors, as well as extracurricular activities including volleyball, basketball, track, and 4-H.
After graduating from Hope High School, she knew that she wanted to attend Kansas State University and started in August 2008. Although initially intending to major in Apparel Marketing, it took only one week of classes for her to realize that her true passion was in learning about the human experience and immediately switched her major to Psychology. She was active in two separate undergraduate labs – Personality Psychology, along with Cognitive and Perception – and was president of the Psi Chi Honor Society her senior year.
Once she graduated from Kansas State University in May 2012 with her BS in Psychology, she then started her journey at the University of Kansas in order to obtain her MS in Counseling Psychology. During her time at the University of Kansas, she was active in the Positive Psychology lab and began her practicum at First Step at Lake View, an all-female residential substance use treatment facility in Lawrence, KS.
Samantha received her MS in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas in 2014 and immediately started working on gaining direct clinical experience by working in Southeast Kansas at a Community Mental Health Center. From there, she returned to First Step at Lake View as an intake therapist. At this point is when she really began to develop her niche in the addiction area. Her husband’s job transfer then took her to Omaha, NE, where she obtained experience working with eating disordered individuals at both an inpatient and outpatient level of care.
Despite gaining a wealth of knowledge while in Nebraska, she knew that she ultimately wanted to be closer to her family near Hope, KS again. Now that she is back in the Salina area, Samantha has started working as a Behaviorist at Salina Family Healthcare Center, in addition to seeing individuals at Ascend Psychological Associates. Although she has worked with several different populations, she believes that she has the most experience working with older adolescents and adults, particularly those that are struggling with eating disorders, substance use, or mood disorders.