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.


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. When she's not at work, she spends her time with family including her husband and three children.

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. When she isn’t working, Melissa can usually be found in the stands at a ball game or spending time with her husband and her three children.

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. When not working Sam can be found spending time with her family, reading with her dogs, or planning her next outdoor adventure.

Julia Linton, B.A., RBAI

Lead Behavior Therapist
Julia moved from Indiana in March 2021, but originally grew up in Chicago, Illinois. She received her undergraduate degree from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a focus on art and ABA. Westside Behavior Therapy is Julia's third ABA clinic and she is thrilled to bring her 3 years of experience to all her new learners. She hopes to put her ABA training to good use and return to graduate school to earn her BCBA certification in the future. In her spare time you can catch Julia hanging out with her husband and dog, cooking, and exploring her new home state of Oregon.

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! She then became a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) and is licensed through Oregon as an RBAI. In the future, she hopes to return to graduate school in order to obtain her masters in Social Work or to become a BCBA. In her free time, Hannah enjoys spending time with her Fiance and pets, creating art, and playing video games.

Rachel Sandin, B.S., RBT, RBAI

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.

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.

Sean Bangs, B.A., RBAI

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. In the future, he plans to pursue a graduate degree to become a BCBA. Sean enjoys playing video games, reading, and spending time with family in his free time.

Sadie Cook, B.A., RBAI

Behavior Therapist
Sadie grew up in Southern California and completed her first two years of college there, at Mt. SAC. Then, in 2021 she moved to Portland to complete her schooling at Portland State University. She graduated Spring of 2023 with a BA in Psychology and an emphasis on American Sign Language. Sadie has always had a passion for helping others, and wanted to find a rewarding career that could impact the lives of others. Westside was a perfect fit. In the future, Sadie plans to return to graduate school to pursue a master's degree in trauma therapy. In her free time, she trains for ultra marathons and enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest.

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 started working at Westside in July of 2023. She 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
Bio coming soon!

Will Townsend, MBA

Strategic Business Manager