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About Mary Ellen

I began my first position as a licensed psychologist in Wyoming in 1994 at St. Joseph's Children's Home.  From there I moved into part-time solo private practice in Cheyenne, while raising my family.  There was a significant need for more mental health providers in Laramie County for Medicaid clients, so my practice grew rapidly in 2004 when psychologists were able to become independent Medicaid providers.  In 2006 master level mental health professionals were able to serve Medicaid clients under the supervision of a psychologist, and Equality Connections PC was initiated, to increase the pool of mental health providers for Medicaid clients and their families.

From 2011 until 2015 I served as Associate Director for Catholic Charities of Wyoming, following which Sternitzke Consulting LLC was opened.  Sternitzke Consulting LLC offers a variety of children's mental health and social work services through our programs at Bright Kids Learning Center full-time child care and Bright Kids Learning Center therapeutic preschool.  Reading Rescue is our summer and after-school reading clinic for elementary and junior high students whose reading level is impacted by developmental delays, anxiety, ADHD, homework refusal, impatience and/or inappropriate behavior.  Our programs focus on the development of executive functioning skills in children and teens, because these skills form the foundation for success over one's lifetime.

Since December 2017, the ChildTrauma Academy acknowledges that I have completed NMT training certification through the Phase I level.  Sternitzke Consulting LLC also offers Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics metric compilations and consultations for clinical treatment teams across Wyoming.

I serve on the Board of Directors for My Front Door (formerly the Wyoming Family Home Ownership Program), a program in which we partner for 7 years with Wyoming working families to establish them as home owners. 


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Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)

Continuing education credits are required to maintain your mental health license (LCSW, LPC, and LMFT). Consider using your mandated CEUs to specialize in the populations you want to serve. This approach will speed you along your path of specialization and allows you to complete your renewal requirements. In Wyoming, clinicians currently need 45 continuing education hours for every two years this typically renews on their birthday. There are many ways to earn the credits you need without breaking the bank.

Local trainings offered by companies such as PESIOnline training many offer unlimited CEUs for a fixed priceWebinarsNational conferences Travel to trainings offered in other cities (tax deduction for private practices)

Offering Telehealth Services

Many private practitioners offer telehealth services to their clients.  There are many benefits to offering this service including flexibility of scheduling, availability of therapist and client and portability. There are few things to remember when offering telehealth services:

Be sure that the insurance policy will pay for telehealth sessions (as needed)Be sure that the carrier you chose for telehealth is encrypted and will offer a BAA (good options include VSee, and Zoom)Speak in a private area to assist with confidentialtyHave clients sign a specific telehealth release

Networking with Other Professionals

Networking with professionals in your community helps you to stay connected to potential referral sources as well as become an active member of the professional community. Getting out and talking to others as you become the face of your business will assist in confidence building for referral sources. Remember when networking to be social, friendly and approachable as you are constantly representing your company. There are several ways to begin networking with others immediately while others take time to develop. Allow community partners to begin associating the name of your business with trust, positivity and advocacy.  Various opportunities to network include
Volunteering for Causes- Special Olympics, Homeless ShelterJoining Kiwanis, Rotary or the Red Carpet Committee via the Chamber of CommerceSponsor a youth T-ball team or bowling teamAttend lunch workshops offered by other community membersHost an Open House at your business and invite other professionals in the areaOffer lunch m…