BIPOC Therapists in Boston Area Via Telehealth and in-person in Western MA
Meet Our Team
Colorful Resilience is a Queer-Afro-Latina-owned for-profit startup company providing outpatient mental health services -primarily, but not exclusively- to BIPOC, LGBTQ+, First Generation, and/or immigrant folks in Western MA (in person) and virtually anywhere in MA.
Our Current Colorful Resilience Team Members Identify As:
PART OF THE LGBT COMMUNITY
EITHER AN IMMIGRANT OR FIRST GENERATION
Mayrena Guerrero, LMHC
Mayrena is an immigrant originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She moved to the USA in 2005 to pursue her master’s degree. Mayrena has a BS in Clinical Psychology from Universidad Católica Santo Domingo and a MS in Mental Health Counseling from Fitchburg State University. Mayrena worked for many years in outpatient community mental health before starting her private practice in 2015. Mayrena founded Colorful Resilience LLC in February 2022 in order to help meet the outpatient mental health needs of the various communities she has been providing services to throughout her career. Mayrena identifies as Queer. She lives with her child in Western Massachusetts. Mayrena speaks openly of all her intersectionalities in order to normalize conversations about them.
“All of my different identities paint a picture of who I am. I am proud of every single one of them”, she says.
Fun fact about Mayrena: “English is my second language and to this day I can read an email multiple times and still manage to send it out with a few spelling mistakes. It’s embarrassing, but I’ve learned to live with it. I call myself The Typo Queen!”
Kerrie Wert, BA
Kerrie is a Western Massachusetts native, having grown up in Chicopee, Massachusetts. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History that she received from Elms College in 2009. Kerrie identifies as bisexual, and lives with her husband, stepson, and her dog. Kerrie is passionate about diversity and inclusion, helping create the first D&I resource group for her branch of the company at her previous employer. In these groups, she worked to help keep conversations open, honest, and aimed towards teaching the understanding of how systemic inequalities affect the overall success of the company.
Fun fact about Kerrie: “I am a singer in a local band, and love to connect with my musical/creative side. The people I perform with are my best friends and it brings me so much joy to share our art with the world and bring joy to the people we’re performing for!”
Samma grew up Chicopee, MA and has an Associate of Liberal Arts degree. She will be finishing her Bachelors of Science in Business Management in October of 2023. She lives with her husband, two sons, and her dog. Samma enjoys live streaming music in her free time, playing piano and singing. In high school Samma led the first diversity group and seeks to create welcoming, open, and understanding environments in all spaces. Samma was also part of the planning committee for pride events at her previous employer, which included parade organization and participation.
Fun facts about Samma: She lived in Ireland for a semester of college and she has dichromatic (two different color) eyes.
Holly McMahon, LMHC
Holly (she/her) was born and raised in Connecticut and moved to Massachusetts in 2015 to begin her career. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Central Connecticut State University. She earned her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University and is now a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Holly identifies as queer and she specializes in working with people within the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) community. She has seven years of experience working with people who are questioning their identities, navigating a gender transition process, and those who seek a safe space to be their authentic selves and work on challenges that impact their mental health. Holly does not work exclusively with the LGBTQ+ community and brings multicultural competence to working with clients of all identities.
Fun fact about Holly: She has a dog named Sadie who is an Australian Cattle dog mix and is learning to garden!
Elizabeth Aguirre Shurman, LICSW
Elizabeth (Liz) identifies as a queer, anti-racist, human of Mexican descent. Elizabeth is deeply invested in the radical liberatory power of healing intergenerational trauma. She believes that unjust, oppressive, harmful systems have left scars on us all. When we choose to invest in our own therapy/healing work, the benefits can be passed on like an heirloom. Elizabeth knows that everyone has the right to be themself, work with what they have available to them, and ask for help integrating their inner world with their outer world.
Elizabeth appreciates working with a variety of people, a variety of gender expressions, a variety of life stages, primarily adolescents and adults. She says, “Growing up in the midwest suburbs of Detroit, I didn’t have a strong sense of belonging. I felt like an outsider a lot of the time. When I was first introduced to therapy as an adolescent, that safe, secure relationship helped me explore parts of myself and expanded my meaning of belonging. Everyone wants to belong!”.
Elizabeth completed a masters degree in social work at New York University in 2007, practiced social work in urban hospitals and schools for many years while living in Brooklyn, until deciding to explore a different quality of life in Western MA. As a resident of Western MA since 2015, Elizabeth loves living here.
Fun facts: Elizabeth enjoys art, music, yoga and nature in her free time. As a parent of two young children, she also enjoys rest and coffee.
Janet Namono, M.Ed, LICSW
Namono is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker practicing with children, adolescents and families in Massachusetts. She received her education from Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. Namono was born and raised in Entebbe, Uganda and spent her earlier work-life as a Copy Editor at a major daily newspaper in Kampala before moving to the United States.
“As an immigrant from other lands and cultures, I live in intersectional realities every day and thus compassionately hold space for the different identities with whom I intersect. The work I do with children and families really enhances that innate love for people and service for the diverse communities amongst us.”
Vaughn Flinchbeil, LICSW
Originally born in the Philippines, Vaughn grew up in upstate New York and spent much of their adulthood in Salt Lake City, Utah. They moved to Western Mass in 2019 in order to pursue rural life with their cats Florence and Clementine. Vaughn is neurodivergent, queer, and non-binary. They received their bachelor’s in International Studies from the University of Utah and a Masters in Social Work from Smith College. Additionally, they are certified as a yoga instructor (RYT-200) through the Yoga Alliance as well as being in mentorship with meditation teacher Devon Hase.
Vaughn began their career working with individuals struggling with substance use disorders. They also worked in crisis, hospital, and community mental health settings before beginning private practice in 2020. These days, they specialize in offering therapy to the LGBTQ community in addition to folks practicing non-monogamy and the kink community. They also have extensive experience treating complex trauma, including religious trauma. In addition, Vaughn enjoys supporting clients with regard to ADHD and autism. They work with individual adults, older teens, couples, and groups. As a therapist, Vaughn seeks to create a space where the entirety of the individual can safely unfold and be witnessed. In their spare time, Vaughn studies Hindi, Urdu, and French.
Ariana Berglind, LICSW
Ariana (she/they) is a neurodivergent, queer social worker who has worked in the field of mental health for over ten years and has focused her work on communities that are historically marginalized, as well as those who have faced a number of socio-economic barriers within society. She received her bachelor’s degree in Human Services at Fitchburg State University and went on to earn their Master’s degree in Social Work at Salem State University. As a social worker, Ariana believes that the systems in society have created long-term harm to everyone who is part of society and that, through radical work, these systems can be undone, both on an individual, internal level, and within society. To do this within their practice, they take on a trauma-informed, feminist, anti-oppressive lens while also holding the understanding of the mental health system and the oppressive harm it has brought onto folks – both historically and today. As a result, she is mindful of her practice being a collaborative effort, with the client being empowered to enact and learn to live in our world in a way that they feel supported and cared for.
Ariana’s clientele focuses on folks who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and those who practice non-monogamy, along with folks with have chronic illnesses or who are disabled (physically or cognitively), those who have experienced religious trauma, and individuals who struggle with anxiety and trauma, with their clientele being aged 13 and older.
Fun fact about Ariana: In her life so far, she has had a pet fish, a gecko, a dog, and two rats. She hopes to one day own a farm that she can grow food on and have a host of farm animals, including cows, chickens, and goats, while also being able to offer therapy and a place for queer folks to come, feel safe, and commune with nature.
Stephanie Presson-Lapre, LICSW
Stephanie was born and raised on the Connecticut shoreline and in 2013 made Western MA home. Stephanie graduated from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT in 2010 with a BA in Sociology, and went on to obtain her MSW from Fordham University in NYC in 2012.
Over the course of her career, Stephanie has held clinical roles across the continuum of care. She has worked as a crisis clinician, inpatient social worker, outpatient clinical supervisor, as well as assistant program director of an eating disorder program. While wearing different hats, she has worked with folks on an individual basis, couples, running groups, as well as family therapy.
In her work, Stephanie strives to provide a welcoming, supportive and collaborative space to all. She takes pride in providing an LGBTQIA+ affirming, anti-racist, ethical non-monogamy-affirming space. She takes a relational approach, aiming to meet clients where they are, and tailor the therapeutic relationship to meet their hopes, needs and goals in treatment. Stephanie feels passionate about providing a trauma informed, client centered space.
Fun fact about Stephanie: When she isn’t working, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, or taking care of her plants. She also enjoys exploring with her dog Penny, who at times likes to make a cameo during virtual sessions!
Nicole Baker, LMHC
Nicole was born and raised in Springfield and lives there with her wife and their son. She concentrated in Multicultural Urban Theater Education at Hampshire College and earned a MA in counseling psychology at Westfield State. She enjoys working with teens and adults, especially those who are queer, trans, and/or neurodivergent, and personally identifies as “neuroqueer.” She also loves working with creative people and likes making and enjoying art in her spare time.
Nicole’s therapy style is person-centered and strengths-based, trying to understand what people want out of life and then helping them figure out how their strengths can be used to help them reach their goals. She strives to practice cultural humility and empathetic curiosity. If you work with Nicole, you’ll see that she tries to ask thought provoking questions, actively listens, and encourages you to reflect on insights you may have and make decisions based on what you discover. She also helps connect people with local and online resources and can offer tricks and tips for overcoming executive functioning differences that sometimes make living in this society harder than it should be. She especially loves the wraparound ideology of “Do with, do for, cheer on.”
Fun fact about Nicole: She has been to about 40 states, including Alaska, in part due to her previous life as a touring company stage manager based in New York.
Naarah Macklin, ATR, LMHC
Naarah (pronounced Nay-aRe-uh) has been living in the Western Mass area since 2016 and was born and raised in Boston, MA. Naarah has a BFA in Illustration from UMass Dartmouth, and a MS in Mental Health Counseling with a Concentration in Art Therapy from Springfield College. Naarah is also a registered Art Therapist and along with utilizing counseling techniques, she will often work with clients to incorporate art therapy techniques in a session, assisting the individuals to better manage their symptoms of anxiety, depression, and healing trauma they may be experiencing. The art therapy techniques can consist of the use of clay, markers, crayon, mixed media, and paints among many other artistic mediums. Naarah also has experience conducting art therapy groups.
Naarah has much variety in her work experience and has worked as a Montessori preschool teacher, a clinician to latency aged children in a residential setting, a Resident Director for many years on college campuses, has provided outreach clinical services, as well as worked as a Counselor in a university setting. She has a passion for education surrounding diversity and has incorporated diversity work within her practice. Naarah has done this by facilitating diversity conversations and workshops for the BIPOC population as well as has travelled and presented at several art therapy conferences and diversity events regarding the topic of hair and microagressions.
“I have great experience assisting individuals with life transitions, anxiety, depression, trauma, ADHD symptoms, relationships, and self-exploration/self-esteem struggles. I enjoy helping and assisting the minority population/people of color manage the struggles that are being faced today.”
Fun Fact about Naarah: She enjoys art and has travelled to Sicily in her Undergraduate career with a study abroad program and took painting courses. Naarah also has two sibling cats named Sir Lancelot and Queen Victoria.
Susana Puertas Manso, LMHC
Susana was born and raised in Spain, where she graduated in psychology with a dual specialization in Industrial and Clinical Psychology. After Susana finished her degree, she decided to go abroad and live in different cultures for a few years. Afterwards she returned home to Spain and moved to Madrid where she completed two Master’s degrees: One in human resources management and another in Organizational Psychology. Susana worked as part of a European Union team on a project that aimed to improve working conditions and reduce the rate of labor accidents.
Susana moved to the US in 2007 and since 2010 she has lived in the North Shore area with her husband, her two daughters and her dog. She did another Master’s degree in Counseling at Salem State University, and since that time Susana has been working in a Community Health Center with refugees and immigrants dealing with a wide range of issues often rooted in poverty and discrimination. Susana has a lot of experience treating trauma, anxiety and mood disorders. She sees therapy as a process of connection, healing and personal growth and thrives working with a diverse population and being part of a diverse team. Susana enjoyed providing services both in Spanish and in English.
Fun fact: “I adore traveling, and I would love to travel to as many countries in the world as possible. Whenever I can, I pack my bag and I travel somewhere. When I’m not traveling, I enjoy reading a good book, watching a movie or spending time in nature with my family and friends, and, of course, my dog.”