Susannah and Yosune are excited for this journey together, wanting to reach and help as many people that are willing and wanting to put in the effort for themselves. They are hopeful they will create a band of strength for this community and establish an environment that is warm, welcoming, and comfortable to any and all who walk in their doors.
Susannah West – LCPC, QP
Since 2016, Susannah has been working to make a difference in the lives of others in the community, having the personal and professional goal and intent to assist her clients to find their inner strength to work through current struggles, then create a new sense of self love, worth and value in their own self. As a licensed clinical professional counselor, Susannah specializes in working with clients who struggle with depression, anxiety, behavioral issues, and addiction. She encourages her clients to strengthen their resiliency and find a purpose in all life’s experiences. She utilizes the therapeutic orientation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Person-Centered, and Motivational Interviewing, which is used in both individual and family sessions, as well as group therapies.
Susannah graduated with her undergraduate degree from Idaho State University in 2011, with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She took her first job doing psychosocial rehabilitation work with adults and children in the community. One year later Susannah knew there was more she wanted to do and made the decision to seek out her graduate degree from Capella University, graduating with honors and obtaining her degree in counseling in 2016. Shortly after, Susannah passed her Idaho State Licensing exam and became a Licensed Professional Counselor, taking employment at a local alternative school and counseling agency. In both of these avenues Susannah was able to gain experience with helping individuals with their struggle in mental health and co-occurring disorders. After 5 years of practice, Susannah took the next step in gaining her clinical license and entered into her own private practice work, starting her own practice of Bright Beginnings Counseling, located in Burley, with her professional partner and friend, Yosune Fitzhugh, opening their doors as of April 19, 2021, and continuing to be grateful for all the support of her family, friends and community members.
Yosune Fitzhugh – BS, QSUDP
Yosune counsel’s individuals seeking support and guidance in their recovery efforts and daily life. She has a sincere and strong desire to help people in overcoming the challenges, struggles, and limitations of substance abuse. As a qualified substance use disorder professional in training, she strives to empower others and guide them to find their purpose in life. She was inspired to enter the field after witnessing the lives of her friends and family being heavily impacted by the use of substances, knowing this is where she could and wanted to make a difference.
Yosune completed her undergraduate degree beginning at Boise State and finishing it at Utah Valley University, graduating on the honors roll in 2019 with her Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience with an emphasis in psychology. She went on to continue her education at Capella University, currently being enrolled in her graduate program for clinical mental health, remaining on high honors, and set to graduate with her Masters in December of 2022. With obtaining this degree, Yosune would like to focus on co-occurring disorders, serving both the substance use and mental health population.
While focusing on her education, maintaining this tier of licensure Yosune was eager to develop and take part in opening a local community agency alongside Susannah. Bright Beginnings was created with the vision of instilling unity, connection, hope, and continuous support and guidance. Bright Beginnings welcomes and encourages any and all individuals who seeks out assistance in improving their overall quality of life. They look forward to serving their local community.
Kelsey Ashby – LCSW
Kelsey Ashby, LCSW, has been working and studying in the social work field since 2014. She graduated from the University of Utah with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and an emphasis in Forensics. Kelsey is certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and specializes in using CBT, Mindfulness and an eclectic treatment style to meet the individual needs of her clients. Kelsey believes in a client centered approach to help clients feel heard and meet their goals to improve their quality of life. As a licensed clinical provider, Kelsey works with those struggling with Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Anger Control Issues, ADHD, Attachment Disorders, Suicidal Thoughts, Self Harm, and Communication Struggles.
Risa Mortensen – LPC
Risa Mortensen, LPC, attended Idaho State University and Graduated in Psychology. She then attend Capella University and graduated in Mental Health Counseling. Risa has worked with those impacted by severe mental health diagnosis and has spent the last 10 years incorporating in-depth work on trauma. Risa is a Trauma Informed clinician committed to helping individuals manage and resolve the impacts trauma and abuse have on individuals. Her work focuses on abuse including emotional, mental, physicals, sexual and those who have experiences Domestic Violence, using Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) Mindfulness, and Trauma Focused Behavioral Therapy for Sexualized Children. Risa takes a client centered approach to helping clients reach their goals.