Practitioners You Can Trust

Westside Behavior Therapy was established in 2015 initially providing home-based services to just a few clients. After recognizing the increasing need for services in our community, we opened the doors to our center-based clinic in 2016. We continue to be committed to the highest standards of care.

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Kelsey Townsend, M. Ed., BCBA, LBA

Executive Director
Kelsey earned a Master of Education specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University in 2013 following undergraduate work at the University of Oregon. She has been practicing ABA since 2012. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) and a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) in the State of Oregon. She is a participating member of Oregon Association for Behavior Analysis (ORABA) where she serves on the Public Policy and Leadership Committees. She is also a participating member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA). Kelsey has acquired a wide range of experiences with evidenced-based interventions in a variety of settings including center, home, community, and school-based environments. Her primary area of expertise is providing early intervention, ABA-based services to children on the Autism Spectrum.​ Although the ABA needs of the community are great, she feels it is important to keep her practice private and locally owned in order to provide an extremely child-centered, individualized ABA experience.
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Melissa Pollard, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA

Clinical Team Supervisor
Growing up in Iowa, Melissa attended Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D. where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services. During college, she worked with at-risk adolescent girls, at a residential treatment facility. While working directly with residents on self-management and daily living skills, she discovered a love for helping people and working closely with them to discover their full potential. After graduating and moving to Oregon, she took some time off to start a family. Melissa joined the Westside team in the Fall of 2016. At that time, she chose to focus her career on ABA and further develop her skills by attending Arizona State University’s ABA Graduate Program. She graduated in the Spring of 2018 with a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction of Applied Behavior Analysis.
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Samantha Muir, M.Psy., BCBA, LBA

Clinical Team Supervisor
Samantha Muir earned a Master of Psychology at Capella University specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2022 after achieving a Bachelor’s of Science at Portland State University. Sam is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® as well as a Licensed Behavior Analyst and is passionate about creating behavioral changes that improve the quality of people’s lives. She started working in the field of ABA in 2018 with one client and from there built a career based on passion and enthusiasm for teaching life skills. Sam is familiar with working with a variety of age ranges as well as in-home, clinic, and community-based settings.
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Julia Linton, M.A., BCBA, LBA

Clinical Team Supervisor
Julia grew up in Chicago but moved the short distance over to Indiana to study Psychology at Ball State University. After graduating, she found herself in the world of ABA in 2019 and has been passionate about it ever since. She found her place at Westside after moving to Oregon in 2021 and has since applied her knowledge to her roles as a behavior therapist, trainer, and lead behavior therapist. She decided to take her knowledge to the next level and began graduate studies in 2022. In December 2023, Julia graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with an M.A. in Behavior Analysis Practice and shortly after, earned her BCBA certification. She is excited to continue to grow and learn in her new role with Westside!

Hannah Burford, B.A., RBAI

Lead Behavior Therapist
Hannah moved from The Dalles to Portland in 2017 in order to pursue her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Child, Youth, and Family Studies at Portland State University. During her studies, Hannah found a love for working with children and families and knew she wanted a career working in the community to help support personal growth and development. After graduating, Hannah discovered ABA and it was immediately a perfect fit! Hannah is currently enrolled in graduate school to obtain her Master's degree in pursuit of a BCBA certification. In her free time, Hannah enjoys spending time with her Fiance and pets, creating art, and playing video games.

Rachel Sandin, B.S., RBAI

Lead Behavior Therapist
Rachel has been working with children in one way or another for the last 10 years, starting as a swim instructor for preschool-age kids. She has also worked as an aide in middle school classrooms before transitioning to providing ABA services full time. Working in ABA has affirmed her passion for working with children as a way to provide support for the growth and development of the clients she serves. In the future, she hopes to return to graduate school to obtain her BCBA certification. In her free time, Rachel is an avid reader and enjoys outdoor adventures with friends.

Sean Bangs, B.A., RBAI

Lead Behavior Therapist
Sean has lived in several different places around the world on account of his father's military career, but Portland has always been home. He completed his undergraduate degree at Pacific University, earning a B.A. in History. Sean volunteered in several capacities helping children with special needs over his school career, including Special Olympics. Upon discovering ABA, Sean knew he had found a field in which he could give back to the community and help people every day. Currently, Sean is pursuing a graduate degree to become a BCBA. Sean enjoys playing video games, reading, and spending time with family in his free time.

Jodi Shiraishi, B.Ed., RBAI

Behavior Therapist
Born and raised on the island of Oahu, Jodi graduated from the University of Hawaii with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She was a fifth grade teacher for two years before discovering the field of ABA. In August 2022, she moved to Oregon with almost 2.5 years of experience as an RBT. Her career goal is to either become a BCBA or Speech Language Pathologist in the next 5 years. When not working with kids, Jodi enjoys reading books, watching Netflix, doing yoga and cooking.

Erika Alvarez, B.A., RBT, RBAI

Behavior Therapist
Erika was born and raised in Washington State and started her ABA career when she moved to Oregon in 2020. She also has a Bachelor's in Elementary Education. She became a Registered Behavior Technician® and enjoys supporting children with their goals for growth and development. In the future, she hopes to further her education in ABA to expand on the knowledge she has already learned in the field. In her free time, Erika enjoys spending time with her family, her dog, and watching movies.

Amalie Hodges, B.A., RBAI

Behavior Therapist
Amalie received her Bachelor of Arts from Willamette University, with a double major in Women’s and Gender Studies, and French and Francophone Studies. After graduating she was staying with family in her home state of Montana, but jumped on the chance to move back to Oregon as soon as possible. She loves the climate and landscape of the Pacific Northwest, and of course wanted to be as close as possible to Powell’s City of Books! When she’s not working, Amalie likes to hike, read, play video games and ttrpgs, and spend as much time around animals as possible.

Hannah Karp, B.S., RBAI

Behavior Therapist
Hannah received her bachelor of science from Linfield University in Biology with a dual focus in chemistry and math. She worked in pediatric oncology research before discovering the field of ABA. Previously Hannah also worked as a personal support worker and volunteered with Special Olympics where she confirmed her passion is working with children. Her transition into ABA not only made sense but was something she was excited about! Hannah hopes to attend medical school in the future to specialize in pediatric emergency medicine. In her free time, she loves to hike, run, and spend time with her dog Jemma.

McCall Bennion, B.S., RBAI

Behavior Therapist
McCall grew up in Idaho before moving to Oregon for school and loved it so much that she decided to stay after graduating from Linfield University with a B.A. in Psychology. McCall has worked with children in a variety of ways over the years, including tutoring and as a youth soccer coach. She is passionate about creating an environment of trust, kindness, and patience that helps foster growth and learning for those around her, as well as for herself. McCall is thrilled to be involved in the field of ABA, and in the future is hoping to go back to school to become a pediatric Physician Assistant. In her free time, she loves to be active and spend time with family and friends.

Gwendolyn "Melissa" Turcios-Cabrera, B.S., RBAI

Behavior Therapist
Melissa was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She is a dedicated professional who earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Western Oregon University in 2023. Her passion for working with children and fostering a nurturing learning environment has been a consistent driving force throughout her life. Commencing her career in 2021 as a Direct Support Professional, Melissa provided essential in-home care to children with autism and various developmental disabilities. It was during this time that she discovered ABA, recognizing it as the ideal avenue to further develop her skills and pursue her lifelong aspirations. Melissa is steadfast in her commitment to creating inclusive and supportive opportunities for children with developmental disabilities, ensuring they can experience life equally to their peers. Looking ahead, she envisions expanding her learning by pursuing a Master's Degree in Speech and Language Pathology, with a specialized focus on children with developmental disabilities. Outside her professional pursuits, Melissa actively contributes to her community as a Youth and Young Adult Leader at her church, emphasizing the importance of mentorship and guidance. She cherishes quality time with her family and finds solace in her hobbies of reading and prioritizing mental health. Melissa's dedication to empowering children and her continuous pursuit of knowledge make her a valuable contribution to her chosen field.

Faythe Tokonitz, B.S., RBAI

Behavior Therapist
Faythe, born and raised in Portland, graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Psychology in the Winter of 2024. Her passion for teaching children was ignited through years of involvement in theater, where she discovered a love for music and the supportive community it fostered. Witnessing the profound impact of community firsthand, she is thrilled to work in a field that shares the same values. In her free time she enjoys reading, gaming, singing, and cuddling with her cat.

Miriam Hernandez, RBAI

Behavior Therapist
Originally from New York City, Miriam recently made the big move to Oregon. She feels fortunate to have a large supportive family and community of friends who gave her early opportunities in childcare and child development. From an early age, Miriam held an interest in the field of early childhood education. Her specific interest in ABA began through several experiences in the field, and since then she’s dedicated to her professional growth by continuing towards a career path in speech pathology or child and adolescent psychology. In her free time, Miriam is an avid reader, and spends lots of time with her extended family and friends. And she’s looking forward to exploring her new home in the Pacific Northwest!

Micah Painter, B.S.

Behavior Therapist
Bio coming soon!

Micheala "Fable" Sorenson

Behavior Therapist
Bio coming soon!

Roxanne Reese, B.A.

Behavior Therapist
Bio coming soon!

Will Townsend, MBA

Strategic Business Manager