Hearts & Hands Counseling
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The Hearts & Hands Team


Amy Stoffel- Marriage & Family Therapist Trainee

Amy will graduate in February 2019 with her Master’s in Counseling/Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Phoenix. She chose therapy to help others by increasing self-awareness, healthy relationships, and personal growth. She is excited to work with a diverse population including adults, couples, families, and groups. Amy feels her role in the therapeutic relationship and process is to offer perspective and assistance in a safe, supportive, culturally sensitive, and non-judgmental space. Additionally, she strives to offer a collaborative, comforting, and empathetic experience, where you can feel free to be yourself, progress, and thrive.

In her free time, Amy enjoys running and training for half and full marathons as well as traveling and attending concerts with her daughter. She is also a proud mom of a U.S. Army Airborne soldier.


Harkirat Nelson-Marriage & Family Therapist Trainee

Harkirat pronounced (Harkeet) will graduate in the Fall with her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northcentral University, additionally she holds a Masters in Psychology from University of the Rockies and is a member of Delta Kappa International Marriage and Family Therapy Honors Society. Harkirat has experience working with victims of domestic violence abuse and court mandated programs for offenders, she is also fluent in Punjabi. Harkirat enjoys working with diverse populations, she is committed to providing a safe environment free of judgment and shame where she collaboratively works with individuals, couples, and families in reaching their goals and facilitating growth.


When Harkirat is not working she enjoys exercising, traveling, reading, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends.

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Heather Thompson-Marriage & Family Therapist Trainee 

Heather will graduate summer 2018 with her Master's degree in Psychology, with
an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Brandman University. Her
educational background also includes a Master’s degree from CSU, Sacramento in
2004 where she completed her thesis on society's impact on adolescent females.
Heather feels privileged to provide a safe environment for clients to share openly,
face challenges directly, and heal wholeheartedly. She holds a sacred space in her
heart for those navigating the fertility process and those suffering from pregnancy
loss or birth trauma. She is a certified facilitator of Prepare Enrich, a premarital
and married couples program designed to strengthen relationships.
Heather shares a life of curiosity, adventure, and laughs with her husband and
twin 9 year-olds!

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Jason Markel-Marriage & Family Therapist Trainee

Jason began working in the counseling field in 2001 while earning his undergraduate degree at Dominican University of California in Marin County. Currently, he is completing his Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Over the years he has used his deep passion in helping others in a variety of ways: as a counselor, life coach, massage therapist, and energy worker to name a few. He believes in working with people from a holistic perspective, body, mind and spirit. He has a deep desire to help others heal, grow and thrive. He uses a variety of perspectives, and approach life in a very open-minded manner.
Whether it’s couples or individual counseling, he is ready to work together as a team to get clients where they want to be!


Kelly Bazzani – Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee and Professional Clinical
Counselor Trainee

Kelly graduated in October 2017 from Brandman University with a Masters in
Psychology with dual emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counseling. While in her Masters degree program she worked in the field of addiction treatment with Jon Daily, LCSW, CADC II in his outpatient treatment program, Recovery Happens. She also worked in a private practice setting with couples and families. Kelly is certified with the Dialectical Behavioral Therapist National Certification Association.
While Kelly uses concepts and interventions from many different theories while providing therapy, her work with clients is grounded in the relationship between therapist and client and providing a safe space where clients feel their individual worth is recognized and valued. Kelly believes that providing empathy, validation,
reflective listening and unconditional positive regard are essential in building a strong therapeutic rapport.
Prior to embarking on her career as a therapist, Kelly was a critical care nurse for over ten years.
When not working, Kelly enjoys taking trips to the ocean, camping, working out and playing sports outdoors.


Larry Sherwood – Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee 

Larry has completed all of the coursework for a Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy
from California Southern University. The course work meets the State of California, Board of Behavioral
Sciences requirements for preparation for both licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT), as well as
licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCC). Once Larry completes 288 hours of practicum, he will
be granted his degree and be eligible to become an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist.
In 2015, he received a certificate in Transformational Life Coaching, meeting the requirements of
the International Coaching Federation for professional-level coaching. Larry has logged more than 100
hours of coaching. Wherever Larry has worked, he has garnered respect and trust from colleagues and
superiors for his openness and honesty.

Larry has a broad range of life experience. He worked in the air pollution control field for nearly 40
years, in both the government and private sectors, managing several technically and politically
challenging programs.Larry has been married for nearly 40 years and has two sons and eight grandchildren. He is very active, often bicycling more than 2500 miles in a year. He enjoys photography, watercolor painting, and “glamping´ in a small travel trailer. If you would like to meet with someone with a broad range of life experience, you may find meeting with Larry to be both rewarding and helpful.


Megan Summers - Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee

Megan will graduate with a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Capella University in September of 2019. She has several years of experience working with children and adolescents as an educator and youth volunteer but has a great desire to work with individuals, couples and families in all stages of life.  Megan is a firm believer in the therapeutic relationship and the importance of clients feeling safe, heard, and understood. She has a great interest in helping individual’s process trauma and develop strong concepts of self. Her approach involves a range of techniques from various theories to meet clients where they are and help them work towards personal goals.

In her spare time, Megan loves a good book, traveling, and spending time with her husband and children.


Shanya Pickard-Marriage & Family Therapist Trainee

Shanya will be graduating with her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy in February of 2019, from Northcentral University.  She has experience working with people of all ages, from various ethnic backgrounds and cultures, the LGBTQ community, individuals with alcohol and substance abuse issues, juvenile sex offenders, and at-risk teens.  She is excited to collaborate with individuals, couples, and families, to unveil what brought them to therapy and build a trusting relationship, while exploring various therapy techniques, tailored to meet each client’s needs.  Shanya has over 8 years of experience in the health care field and 5 years of government experience working as a Human Services Specialist and Social Worker for the Department of Human Assistance and the Child Welfare Department.  In her free time, Shanya enjoys spending time with her family, reading, DIY projects, traveling, and soaking her toes in the ocean.


Troy Shugars-Associate Professional Clinical Counselor #5954

Troy graduated in June of 2018 with a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix.  He is currently pursuing Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) certification.

He has experience working in a residential substance abuse treatment setting with mandated offenders and also providing behavior therapy services to children on the Autism Spectrum. He has gained experience working with a variety of clients including adults, adolescents, families, couples and groups while at Hearts and Hands Counseling, and looks forward to continuing this journey. He creates a therapeutic relationship with clients free from judgement and views the counseling process as an opportunity for clients to work towards their personal development in a safe environment. 

When not working, he enjoys playing folk music on banjo and guitar, going to concerts, camping, exercising and spending time with his wife and family
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Renee Gama - Marriage & Family Therapist Associate #102505

Renee earned her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. A Silicon Valley native, Renee moved to the Sacramento area in June of 2018 and has been enjoying familiarizing herself with this part of Northern CA and getting to know a great many friendly people. Renee has worked as an Employment Advisor for college students and as an Academic Counselor for middle school, high school, and college students. Within the mental health field, Renee has experience treating child, teen, and adult clients (in both school-based and agency settings). She is comfortable working with diverse populations from all over the world and facilitates a safe, respectful, and empathic therapeutic environment. What Renee values most about counseling work is collaborating with and supporting clients to achieve meaningful goals that promote learning, growth, strength, and elevation.   

Renee enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and friends. She loves visiting coastal destinations (specifically the Monterey Bay CA area) and historical museums. Renee has a great interest in Victorian architecture, learning languages, tap dancing, reading, music, and watching TV & movies.