Dr. Nicole Brisson, Ph.D., LCMHC, FAAIDD
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Owner & Director
Dr. Nicole Brisson is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and has worked in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1992. She received her Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Psychology and a specialization in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities from Union Institute and University in 2009. She holds a master's degree in Community Mental Health with a specialization in Clinical Services to Children with Severe Emotional Disturbances and their Families. Her bachelor's degree is in Human Development and Family Studies.
Dr. Brisson is the owner and director of Sage Haven Associates, Inc. She developed a graduate-level curriculum on child welfare and parental disability and taught at the University of Vermont. Dr. Brisson has been recognized as a national expert in conducting competency-based parenting assessments for parents with intellectual disabilities by the United States Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services. She has conducted training, presented at conferences, and has testified in courts throughout the United States. Her work has been referenced in the National Council on Disabilities’ report, “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities” and in Exceptional Parenting Magazine.
Dr. Brisson was awarded the Carrie Ann Lucas Disability Rights Legal Advocate Award for her vision, dedication, advocacy, and leadership work in systems change and advancement of best practices in the legal system for parents with disabilities. She is a Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Vice President of The Association for Successful Parenting (TASP), an international organization committed to enhancing the lives of families when parents have learning difficulties.
Dr. Susan Yuan, Ph.D., FAAIDD
Doctor of Psychology
SAGE Family Assessment Specialist & Consultant
Dr. Susan Yuan has a doctorate degree in Psychology and combines academic experience teaching at four major universities with life experience in disability. She received her doctorate from the University of Vermont, where she served as Associate Director of the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion. Her specialization in psychology is in support for families experiencing disability, and she designed and conducted training in Family Support in 36 states and territories. She received funding for her work through seven federal grants, including a project to provide Peer Navigation for families where the parents have disabilities which was recognized nationally as a “promising practice.”
Dr. Yuan has been trained in a behavioral approach to parenting assessment by Dr. Maurice Feldman of Canada, but she is rooted in models of family coping and adjustment based on supports and perceptions, particularly perception of control and self-efficacy. She has been conducting parenting skills assessments since 2004 for parents with disabilities and has testified for courts in multiple states. She is a Fellow of the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and received the Alexander J. Tymchuk Award for Excellence in Leadership from The Association for Successful Parenting.
Dr. Julie Clockston, LCSW, Ced
Doctor of Social Work
SAGE Family Assessment Specialist
Dr. Julie Clockston is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has worked in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1996. She received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) with a concentration in Developmental Disabilities from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2014 and her Masters of Science in Social Work (MSW) with a concentration in Children Youth and Families Clinical Track in 2015. Dr. Clockston earned her Post-Masters Certificate in College Teaching and online instructional design in 2016 and her Doctorate of Social Work degree in Social Work from Capella University in 2019.
Dr. Clockston is the owner and lead therapist of Julie Clockston Counseling LLC, Redwood Coaching and Consulting LLC and Co-Founder of SOAR Colorado, an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals living with developmental/intellectual disabilities. She has been recognized as the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Colorado’s Inaugural Early Career Social Worker 2018. Her work has been referenced in the Voyage Denver Magazine.
Dr. Clockston is an off-site social work field instructor for BSW and MSW level learners at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Denver and Arizona State University. She is a full-time professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver in social work academia. Dr. Clockston is a professional consultant and provides clinical supervision for MSWs seeking LCSW licensure. She has conducted training, spoken at conferences, and was a Colorado State Licensed Therapeutic Foster Parent. Dr. Clockston’s mission is family preservation.
She conducted undergraduate and graduate-level research in the area of individuals with disabilities. BSW XYZ Organization: Improving Community Readiness Among The Developmentally Disabled, 2014. PUBLICATION Jackson Clockston, J. M. (2019). Perceptions of human service professionals and parents with intellectual disabilities: Action research (Order No. 22585013). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2300629945).
Dr. Clockston is president and serves on the Board of Directors of The Association for Successful Parenting (TASP), an international organization committed to enhancing the lives of families when parents have learning difficulties. And is President for NASW Colorado 19-22. She is thrilled to be a part of the Sage Haven Associates team as a SAGE Family Assessor.
Kathy Brown, MA, QDDP
SAGE Family Assessment Specialist
Kathleen Brown received her master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2013 from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. She obtained her BA from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont which included majors in both Sociology and Psychology. Ms. Brown has worked in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities for over fifteen years.
A highlight of Ms. Brown's career was her 7-year tenure as the Director of Developmental Services for a top mental health provider in the State of Vermont. Her oversight included the daily operations, planning and implementation of clinical services and supportive community-based services. Under her guidance, the division provided services for over 300 individuals and parents with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injuries, and mental health diagnoses.
Ms. Brown's rehabilitation training includes extensive field training, which provides the development of professional counseling skills working across physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities in a variety of settings; i.e. medical facilities, clinics, rehabilitation centers, private practices, community organizations, and government agencies. The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Curriculum includes a blend of theory, assessment, evaluation, research and practicum experiences.
Marie Bennett, MA, MS, MFT
Marriage and Family Therapist
SAGE Family Assessment Specialist
Marie has a master's degree (M.A.) in Special Education from William Paterson University and a master's degree (M.S.) in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from Central Connecticut State University. She presently holds a MFT Associate License and is working towards her LMFT. Marie's goal is to open a private practice focusing on individual, family, and couple's therapy with individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. She recently worked as a therapist at the Child Guidance Center in Meriden, Connecticut.
Her experience and skills include teaching children with disabilities in a public-school setting, behavior specialist, case management, supervisory and management in state government in NJ and CT. Her last professional experience was as Assistant Regional Director for Individual and Family Support for the CT Department of Developmental Services. During her tenure, she played a pivotal role in the development of statewide parent advocacy and support groups for parents with disabilities.
Her focus throughout her lengthy career is that individuals who have a disability are integral members of their family and community, leading self-determined lives through the development of their strengths, capacities, and their life hopes and dreams.