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Meet the Team

Not all care is equal.  Our professionals are uniquely skilled in helping others to overcome life's challenges and embrace its opportunities.


Calling SurgePoints counseling is the first step to living the life you desire.  It's time.  We can help.

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Richard Ruff, LPC
Managing Director

8-5 and some evening availability | waiting list

Available at both Glendale and Sun City West locations

Richard is Managing Director of SurgePoints, a premier counseling and leadership development group.  Prior to SurgePoints he led his own highly successful counseling practice for nearly a decade.  He has helped high profile individuals and couples (including CEO's, government officials, academics, athletes, and entertainers) and thousands from many other walks of life to overcome challenges, manage stress, anxiety, and depression, conquer addiction, strengthen relationships and create the lives they desire through leadership and interpersonal skills development.  Deeply passionate about the value of effective counseling and leadership development to change lives for good, Richard continues to actively work with clients. 


Richard is also a popular facilitator of high-level group sessions, workshops and trainings to individuals, families, and organizations.

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Debra Blum, MAPC, LAC, NCC

8-5 and some evening availability | accepting new clients

Debra Blum attended Arizona State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Behavioral Science and was awarded a certificate in Women and Gender Studies. She received her Masters in Professional Counseling from Ottawa University.
She is a licensed professional in the state of Arizona. Debra completed internships at Banner Behavioral Health and Jewish Family and Children’s Services. She has worked with a spectrum of issues and has a unique ability to help clients quickly hone in on root issues. She specializes in a variety of techniques including DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), Motivational Interviewing, and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).
Debra believes that authenticity requires vulnerability to look within, and be courageous about how we show up. Debra is passionate about creating a safe space in which to cultivate that vulnerability. 

She is married and loves to play with her three rescue dogs and spending time with her children and grandchildren.


Stephanie Larsen Mickelsen, LMSW

8-5 and some evening availability | limited availability

Stephanie holds a Master of Social Work and has an associate license with the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. She specializes in working with adolescents, children ages 6+, and their families. Stephanie is passionate about providing quality care through culturally competent and evidence-based interventions. She uses a systems framework and aids clients in exploring their strengths and challenges to enhance interpersonal and intrapersonal functioning. Stephanie admires the commitment and determination she sees in her clients. She enjoys watching clients become empowered and finds therapy rewarding.

Stephanie has training in CBT, DBT, Trauma-Focused CBT, spirituality, Motivational Interviewing, mindfulness, group therapy, and family therapy. She has experience working with children and adolescents that are twice-exceptional (2E), have disabilities, or have experienced trauma.

Stephanie graduated with a BS in psychology from BYU. She received her MSW from ASU and was awarded scholarships for her academic excellence and community service. She has diverse experience with children and adolescents as a mom and through church, volunteer, and professional positions. Stephanie has received recognition from her community and local nonprofits for her volunteer work. She has been a guest speaker at colleges and seminars advocating for children. She was formerly employed by the state of Arizona as a disability advisor, advocate, and policymaker.

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Sandra Thompson, LPC

Call for availability | accepting new clients

Sandra Thompson is a Licensed Professional Counselor with the AZ Board of Behavior Health Services.  She has worked for 16 years in the AZ public mental health system, working with children, teens, families and adults with serious mental illness.  She has provided individual, family and group therapy.  Sandra has experience working with co-occurring disorders of mental illness with substance abuse.  She has extensive experience in Integrated Health Care, working closely with psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioners and primary care providers.  


Sandra is particularly skilled in providing services for people struggling with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.  Sandra has worked with veterans and their families before and during deployment, and upon return to reunification/re-establishment in the home and community, and after medical discharge and retirement from military service.  Sandra also served a full time mission as a Mental Health Advisor for the LDS missionaries in Chile.  Sandra uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  She received dual Master's degrees from Az State University in School Counseling and Community Counseling. She has 2 adult chilren and 4 grandchildren. 


Jake Pehrson, LAC

8-5 and some evening availability | accepting new clients

Jake holds a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is licensed as an associate counselor in the state of Arizona. He is also a National Certified Counselor. He is excited to be a part of the Surge Points team. Jake has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University and has been working in the behavioral health field since 2017. He has worked as a behavioral health coach for children and adolescents living with trauma and has knowledge of trauma-informed care and techniques. He is passionate about helping those with trauma as he is a survivor of childhood trauma himself. Because of this, he has a unique perspective and ability to empathize with those who have experienced childhood trauma and help them through processing it and moving forward. While he is passionate about trauma work, Jake is eager to work with a variety of individuals and couples with varying issues. He believes that individuals are the experts of their lives and wants to make counseling a collaborative process. Jake often takes person-centered, solution-focused, and cognitive behavioral approaches to therapy. Because he believes that mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health are all connected and impact each other, he views individuals through a holistic lens. He believes everyone deserves to feel heard, understood, and accepted and strives to do this by providing a non-judgmental space for individuals to freely share their story. Jake works to ignite the flames of hope and happiness in those he works with in order to facilitate lasting, positive change.      


Jake served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in Japan and worked as a teacher/mentor for young missionaries at the Missionary Training Center for three years. He is married and has two young daughters. He enjoys karaoke, kickboxing, and sushi.


Marc Chase, MFT, LAC

8-5 and some evening availability | accepting new clients

Marc attended ASU and received a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and is currently a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist with the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. 


Marc excels and enjoys working with adolescents and teens by connecting with them about their hobbies and passions. He is experienced in couples and family therapy, including The Gottman Method, Emotional Focused Therapy, and Family Structural Therapy and he loves creating impactful moments in session and seeing his client’s eyes open with understanding and empathy for each other. When working with individuals Marc will utilize different approaches depending on the person but he gravitates to Narrative Therapy which focuses on the stories we tell about ourselves and how they shape our sense of identity and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which trains us to change the way we think in order to change the way we feel. Marc also works to help men overcome pornography addiction and other moral incongruities. 

Before finding his true calling as a therapist Marc was a successful financial advisor working primarily with active duty military and veterans. When Marc isn’t working he loves spending time with his wife and two children and can often be found in the kitchen trying to perfect a new recipe. For self care Marc spends time playing video games with friends, watching kung-fu movies, and reading sci-fi and fantasy novels.  

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. —Albert Einstein



Porsche Johnson, LAC

8-5 and some evening availability | wait list

Porsche Johnson is a Licensed Associate Counselor in the State of Arizona.  She earned her Master of Science Degree in Professional Counseling from Grand Canyon University and completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Arizona State University. ​

Porsche has experience working with clients with issues related to addiction, anxiety, anger, depression, behavioral issues and relationship conflict.  This experience extends to population of clients and settings, including: individual, group and family therapy sessions.  Porsche utilizes a multifarious approach to therapy, specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.  

Porsche’s passion is helping others experience holistic healing - allowing clients to enjoy balanced lives of mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being.    Porsche enjoys spending time with her family, her husband of 12 years and two wonderful children. 

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Edie Twitchell, LISAC

8-8 and some evening availability | accepting new clients

Edie is an independently licensed substance abuse counselor in the state of Arizona. Edie has 15 years of experience working with various populations, cultures, and settings. From working with teenage girls in a residential setting, seniors in their homes, woman in Perryville Prison with DUI charges and drug issues, court-ordered clients with substance abuse, domestic violence or anger issues, couples or family issues, SMI clients and currently is working with suicidal clients and individuals wanting to detox from drugs in a behavioral health hospital setting.


Edie is skilled in providing an empathetic counseling environment in individual, couples, family or group settings in English, Spanish or American Sign Language and has used different therapeutic approaches, such as CBT, DBT, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Existential, Gestalt and Art Therapy in order to help clients gain insight and joy into this journey called life.


Edie believes there is a purpose for life and that we need to find meaning in order to achieve our potential. Edie will help you find your own truth and help you use your personal freedom in order to shape the path you are on and make positive changes. Edie served a Spanish speaking mission for the LDS church, has a deaf brother, has lots of kids and enjoys dogs and exercise. 


Brianne Zamora, LPC

8-5 and some evening availability | accepting new clients

Brianne Zamora is a highly respected, licensed counselor through the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health who specializes in working with adults, adolescents and couples both in group settings and individual sessions. She is trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy and believes that building strong connections with others is fundamental in creating a healthy and happy life. Brianne has received advanced training in meditation and mindfulness, which she incorporates into practice providing a holistic approach in helping clients heal mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. She is passionate about helping others discover their talents in order to create a fulfilling life. One of her favorite quotes by Oscar Wilde reads, "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."

Brianne received her Master's in Counseling from Northern Arizona University and is a member of the American Counseling Association. She is experienced in working with those struggling with depression, anxiety, relational stress and other life issues that cause distress and hold people back from reaching their fullest potential. Brianne uses methods that are non-judgmental and kind in order to create a safe and empathetic environment with her clients. 

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Emily Cox, LPC

Starting in August

Emily is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and earned her masters degree from BYU in 2004. She has worked in a variety of settings including child welfare, family preservation, and outpatient therapy clinics doing both individual, marital and group therapy. After taking a few years off to focus on her family, she is returning to work doing what she loves: helping others discover truth about themselves and the change in their story that they desire. She believes that everything makes sense when you know the whole story. And sometimes it takes a professional to help one understand their story in a different light. She prefers a variety of therapeutic modalities including CBT, mindfulness, Emotion Focused Therapy and The Gottman Method for marital couples. She has training specifically in trauma, anxiety, and depression ands her has worked extensively with woman and couples. She has also helped many couples going through a divorce to uncouple and coparent to the best of their abilities. 

When she is not working or being a mother to her four children, she enjoys hiking, tennis, traveling, and creating connection with as many humans as she can. She is a serious popcorn connoisseur and currently enjoys working with the youth in her church congregation.

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