Marissa Halstead

Therapeutic Orientation & Techniques

Brainspotting Trauma Treatment

Person-Centered Therapy

Emotion Focused Therapy

Narrative Therapy

Psychodynamic Therapy

Existential Therapy

Areas of Specialty

Trauma & Abuse Recovery
Sexual Abuse Recovery
Grief & Bereavement
Developing Self-Compassion
Church Hurt & Spirituality
Identity Development & Self Concept

Professional Background

Colorado Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate LPCC.0019193

Illinois LPC 178.018087,Supervising Clinician: Alexandra Hoerr, LCPC 180.010561

MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Denver Seminary, Denver, CO

BA in Psychology, Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, CO

Locations: Virtual Illinois & Colorado, In-Office Denver, CO

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

You might feel an immense amount of shame or expend a lot of energy trying to forget your pain or hide from your past. You might compare your struggles and think to yourself, “Things aren’t that bad, I’m not in a worst case scenario, right?” You may be experiencing feelings of deep guilt and anxiety in the way you’re living, but you don’t know where to start in the search for help. That isolation is agonizing and no one should have to live feeling like they are all alone or stuck in the circumstances they’re in. Additionally, the impact of trauma is real and has undeniable effects, one of which is feeling all alone in it. Healing is possible! 

For better or for worse, you’ve coped as best as you can, but now we get to move toward the person you hope to be in our time together. We will find the “why” behind your pain and symptoms so that you can live a more fulfilling life. In therapy we will work to process, heal, and ultimately grow through insights from our mutual collaboration. Healing happens in the context of a relationship, so we are truly in this together! Sometimes that’s moments of seriousness, but sometimes that also moments of joy, celebration, or laughter. We value what humor and also what pain has to offer on this journey.

Someone once told me, “Therapy is undoing the aloneness and suffering someone feels.” I believe that while we are shaped by our earliest experiences, every person has the ability to change, including you. I am a lighthearted person, but I can hold the balance of rejoicing as well as the space for mourning. I’m also not a judgmental person, and whatever we need to look at I will respond to with compassion. I can resonate with the difficulty and immense bravery it takes to shine light on the darkest parts of ourselves. I will never abandon you in your pain. I am climbing with you out of the shadows and into the light together. I am this way and believe these things, in part, because I have crawled into the deep corners of my own life and came out the other side. I witnessed how my story took a different shape with the help of my therapist. In short, I know every person deserves healing and the opportunity to change.

I can relate to where you are right now and I encourage you to take the leap of faith. You don’t have to have it all together! In my experience, I don’t think anyone has it fully together. As you consider your next step, just know I would love to partner with you to explore parts of your story and put in the work towards healing. You are worth the time and effort! Don’t hesitate to reach out today. I am here to support you and would love to meet with you! 

“Marissa helped me navigate through some tough family trauma. I learned I had so many unhealthy coping skills that I had no idea about until seeing her. She is clear and to the point, all the while being gentle and supportive. Marissa is also very funny, which she incorporates into counseling when it is needed.” - AR

“Marissa created a safe place for me to process and mourn my past sexual trauma. Those memories are some of the darkest moments for me, but she handled them with great care. She saw me in my pain and came alongside me to help me heal. There is redemption for those who have experienced sexual abuse and I am a living example of that.” - PT

“I had learned my whole life that I needed to stuff down my emotions to survive. To my surprise, someone can’t do that and be sane after 30+ years of doing that. Marissa taught me what it meant to develop self-compassion, boundaries, and build a healthy sense of self. I am grateful for her wisdom and presence in my life.” -MM

Articles by Marissa

Coming soon! Check out these from Optimum Joy’s staff:

Confronting Anxiety

Confronting Anxiety

Written by therapist Roslyn JordanThese days there are plenty of opportunities and situations to be keyed up over, both personally and globally. As the impact of the pandemic continues to take a weary toll on us all, new opportunities to be anxious arise each day....

The Importance of Chosen Family

The Importance of Chosen Family

Written by therapist Ruth NathanielOne of the most formative components of our lives is the family we are born into, also known as the family of origin. While we could spend considerable time discussing the impact of the family of origin (as we tend to do in therapy),...

Thoughts and Choices

Thoughts and Choices

Written by therapist Zach SeifertThoughts can be extremely hard to control at times - not to mention the choices we make when those thoughts overtake our emotional capacity to remain consciously engaged in the present, or when making decisions. Often, we strive to...