“The treatment parents who foster with IACD have been through similar struggles themselves. They are deeply empathetic and committed to other families who search for help.”
Our Administrative Staff
Forrest Lien, MSW, Executive Director and Attachment Disorder Therapist & Trainer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Forrest leads the Institute out of his passion to unite families. With a family of his own, he strongly believes in the strength of parent-child bonds. He found his professional passion at the Casey Family program in Tucson, Arizona. As the Treatment Foster Care Coordinator, he realized that traditional therapy didn’t work for most of his foster families. They needed something different. And Forrest decided to find it. He studied all available research, conducted his own, and worked closely with respected specialists in the field of attachment disorder. In his mission to provide help to foster families, he became an expert himself. After 12 years at the Casey Family program, the Institute asked Forrest for his expertise. That’s when he moved to Colorado, became our Executive Director, and developed our unique treatment model.
Forrest has trained thousands about attachment disorder, foster care, and adoption. He’s consulted with 20/20, HBO, and The Today Show for documentaries on abused children. Forrest has also presented over 300 workshops internationally on attachment disorder and behaviorally disordered children.
Today, Forrest continues his quest to provide the highest quality of care and treatment for families and kids. Because of his dedication, extensive knowledge, and passion for his work, he is revered as a respected expert in the field of attachment disorder. But it’s his love of people, devotion to family, and contagious hopefulness that truly deems him an expert. His heart shines through his eyes each time a family is reunited.
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Nichole Noonan, Communications Manager
“It is my great honor to work with the amazing people who create the Institute and to educate and advocate on behalf of kids and families. Struggling families everywhere need the Institute – I truly believe there’s no other program like our modest organization in the world. It’s my dream to help all of these struggling families find the help they need and so very much deserve after years of heartache.” -Nichole
For 15 years, Nichole has worked with non-profit organizations and associations to create awareness for the causes that truly touch the lives of others. With a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s degree in education, she enjoys the opportunity to weave her education and experiences into a career that advocates and educates on behalf of families and children. Raising three young children of her own, she sees her work with the Institute as an important part of her role as a mother as the Institute promotes healthy families and lives and a more peaceful world for future generations.
Claire Szafraniec, Medical Records and Intake Manager
“Our team inspires me. They’re truly here to make a difference for families and children. The staff is a mix of amazing people—just like the families we serve.” -Claire
A multi-talented woman, Claire can master nearly anything. She’s managed many operations—from owning a sewing and alterations business to managing a chiropractic office. Claire joined the Institute in 1994 and is the backbone of our organization. She makes everything run as smoothly as it does in our program. As a mom and grandma, the families and children who come to us for help motivate her. She comes to work each day with a smile, ready to work hard—as always.
Our Clinical Contract Staff
Annjeanette Bernstein, LCSW, MFT
“The goal of my work is to help my clients heal whatever is hurt, build upon existing strengths to solve problems, and to deepen connections within relationships.” -AJ
AJ has worked with children, adolescents, and families for nearly 10 years. As the newest member to our clinical team, she brings a unique perspective through her past work as an in-home therapist through the Department of Human Services. Due to her frustrations and constraints working within the system in that role, AJ has a deep compassion to make a difference in the lives of families who have adopted, children returning home from out of home placement to their biological parents, kinship and foster care providers, and families whose children were at risk for out-of-home placement. Read more about her story here.
AJ has worked in a variety of settings to include residential treatment facilities, child protection services, hospital emergency services, and intensive in-home family therapy. While her specialty is adolescents and families, she enjoys working with any individual, family or couple. Her work with clients is collaborative and can focus on any number of things clients currently face. She does so in her private practice in addition to her work with the Institute for Attachment and Child Development. AJ is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker through the Association of Social Work Boards and State of Colorado. She received her Master’s of Social Work degree from Colorado State University in 2009. She also completed a post graduate Couples and Family Therapy certification program through Denver Family Institute.
Dr. Cathy Collins – Psychiatrist
Dr. Collins has a private practice in Littleton and serves as our contract psychiatrist. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Purdue University and graduated from medical school at the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Science. Since 2001, Dr. Collins has practiced in various settings within Colorado. She has experience in community mental health centers, inpatient child and adolescent psychiatry, college student mental health, psychiatric emergency department, and residential treatment centers for children and adolescents.
Margaret E. Meinecke, MSW, CAC III, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
“After over 20 years, I’m still amazed by our clients’ strength and resilience. I’m honored and proud of how they so bravely share their difficult stories and personal challenges with me. It’s a privilege to walk alongside them as they seek health and peace in their lives.” -Margaret
Margaret believes that all people want and deserve to feel safe, competent, understood, and accepted in their relationships with others. She feels that everyone needs to feel important to the people they love. For over 20 years, she’s helped people who struggle to do so.
She’s one of our contract therapists and is in private practice. She works with the children, adolescents and adults who struggle to build and maintain healthy relationships in our program. Margaret offers therapy as a road map toward personal awareness and accountability, authenticity and genuine emotional health. Over her years of experience as a therapist, she has published multiple articles on maternal depression, addictions, adoption and parent-child relationships, as well as other mental health issues.
Margaret consults with several local community mental health centers on issues of parenting and therapeutic interventions for adults and children with attachment issues. She leads workshops for Denver’s Adoption Exchange and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) who work with displaced and traumatized children. She provides supervision for educational counselors at Denver Kids, Inc., a program for at risk youth within the Denver Public School System and parenting workshops for the Douglas County School District.
Shelli L. Myles – Neurotherapist
“I’m honored to work with the team at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development. Everyone here truly makes a difference in the world and has a passion to positively transform lives.”
Shelli attended Colorado Christian University where she studied human resource management and completed her degree with a Bachelor’s in Science and a minor in psychology. She continued her education at Colorado Christian University where she earned her Masters of Arts in Counseling and has completed comprehensive training in neurofeedback. Shelli worked for over four years at Porter Hospital as a mental health counselor on the psychiatric unit. Today, she administers neurofeedback at Allied Neurofeedback Services as well as at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development. She has seven children, three of whom she adopted from Ukraine. Shelli has assisted in over 30 adoptions for families in the Denver area. With an eclectic background and passion to help others, Shelli provides professional support through incorporating a variety of therapies and holistic healing techniques, with an emphasis on neurofeedback. Through personal and professional experiences, she is committed to helping people reach their full potential. To learn more about Shelli’s inspirational personal story and neurofeedback at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development specifically, please click here.
Beverly Baker White, M.A., Licensed Professional Counselor, Equine Assisted Psychotherapist
“Compassion for the human experience and the belief that individuals can have a better way of life is the core of my service as a clinician at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development.” -Beverly
For nearly 30 years, Beverly has helped children and their families—including foster and adoptive families—heal from attachment problems and trauma and loss. She is one of our contract therapists, the Executive Director of Littleton Family Counseling, and has practiced as a licensed Colorado School Counselor in elementary and secondary schools. She’s also a certified Instructor of “Becoming a Love and Logic Parent” and is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The treatment community looks to Beverly for expertise in her work with and knowledge of treatments for children and families. She has served on standards and policy committees of both non-profit and public education institutions. Beverly provides workshops and presentations, and supports allied mental health services, both public and private.
Beverly works alongside parents, foster parents, and grandparents as they parent a child with attachment issues. She has also published multiple articles on the subject. Beverly believes in families and respects their resiliency during treatment. She believes in a mindful, compassionate, and integrative approach as her clients find a better way of life.
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