Merritt is a Kansas City native but calls Brooklyn NY “her true home”. Merritt Benz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the owner of the Bedford Therapy Group. She is a Certified Daring Way Facilitator. The Daring Way™ is a highly experiential methodology based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown and focuses on shame resilience skills and developing daily practices that transform the way we live, love, parent, and lead.
Before private practice, Merritt was the Program Director and helped open Gilda’s Club Kansas City where she provided individual and group counseling to people living with cancer and their family members and friends. Before moving to Kansas City, she participated in a post-graduate fellowship at the Child Study Center at Yale University School of Medicine where she provided both individual and family counseling in a community based setting. In New York she was the worked with various high risk teen population groups as Program Director for the Juvenile Justice Initiative, a new clinical evidenced-based treatment program (called Multi-Systemic Therapy) that provides intensive in home family therapy for adjudicated teens and their families, as an alternative to incarceration. Although her work brings her great satisfaction and joy, Merritt’s ideal day is being knee deep in a spring fed trout stream casting flies, hoping for a fish to rise, and celebrating with a cold beer on the river afterwards.
Caylen Sunderman grew up on a farm in Iowa, and became a Kansas Citian in 2006. Caylen is a Marriage and Family Therapist with The Bedford Therapy Group and is an Adjunct Professor with the Friends University graduate program in therapy. In practice, Caylen specializes in couples therapy and individual therapy. Special areas of focus are cancer, fertility struggles, grief and loss, post-traumatic stress, childhood trauma, adult trauma, anxiety, depression, common relationship struggles (conflict, communication), infidelity, pre-marital counseling, and career counseling. Caylen has completed the intensive externship for Emotionally-Focused Therapy, a leading and empirically supported therapeutic model for relationships. She has also completed Level I training with the John Gottman Institute, who is a prominent researcher of relationships and a theoretical giant in the field of therapy.
As an Adjunct Professor, she currently teaches clinical foundations of therapy to graduate students in the MFT program. Caylen is a public speaker and has presented throughout the metro, most commonly about cancer and the emotional and relational impact of cancer. She also appeared on KCPT and sat on a panel of physicians and professionals to discuss cancer care in Kansas City. Prior to private practice, Caylen was a Program Clinician at Gilda’s Club Kansas City, where she facilitated cancer support groups, facilitated caregiver support groups, provided grief support to the bereaved, ran programs both large and small, provided individual/family/couples counseling around the devastating diagnosis of cancer, and helped individuals manage crises.
Caylen worked in health care as an emergency medical technician for eight years before graduate school, and has worked in an emergency room, in-patient mental health, and a doctor’s office. A couple other fun facts: Caylen was a certified personal trainer, EMT, and barista during her undergraduate years; and grew up breaking and training thoroughbred horses and showing cattle!
Heidi was raised in the Kansas City area and loves calling it her home. Heidi Coulter is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and a therapist at the Bedford Therapy Group, a private counseling practice that focuses individuals & Couples, Kids & Teens. Heidi has been working with children and families for over 10 years and is very passionate about her work. Before private practice, Heidi was a clinician at Gilda’s Club Kansas City where she worked with individuals, children and families who have been impacted by cancer. She also worked with parents and children at the Child Abuse Prevention Association and Children’s Mercy Hospital. When Heidi has the day off, you can find her enjoying life in Lee’s Summit with her two little boys and husband.
Megan Mulheron, M.S., PLMFT
Megan is an LMFT in Kansas and a PLMFT in Missouri. Megan grew up in the Kansas City area, and enjoys everything the city has to offer. Megan graduated from Friends University with her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. During her time at Friends she completed her clinical work at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, LifeQuest Church, Solace House, and Synergy Services. During this time she met with individuals, couples, and families, and she facilitated Relationship Building Groups, Addiction Processing Groups, and Grief Support Groups. Megan currently holds a Prepare Enrich Certification for working with Premarital Couples. Before receiving her Master’s Degree Megan worked as an Education Coordinator at a local non-profit maternity home for pregnant teens, a Case Manager working with Chronically Homeless adults, and as support staff for a local non-profit organization that provides housing for families facing childhood illness. Outside of private practice Megan also works at Midwest Institute for Addiction as a Therapist. Megan is passionate about meeting people where they’re at. As a Marriage and Family Therapist Megan is trained in Systemic Therapy and works to consider how each member of a family functions within the family system, as well as the impact of the family system on each member. Megan enjoys using Attachment Family Therapy, Structural Family Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution-Focused Therapy. When Megan is away from the office she enjoys spending time with her Husband and English Bulldog.
Kathie is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Kansas and S-MFT in the state of Missouri. She loves to travel the world and experience new cultures and different beliefs but Kansas City is home. Kathie has over 10 years of experience working with grief and loss in the mental health field. She worked extensively with adoption and infertility at a local adoption agency in which her passion for attachment and connection began to grow immensely. Prior to that, she gained experience working with children and families at the Boys and Girls club and working for the state to reunify family systems.
Upon pursuing private practice, she found passion in bringing a level of authenticity, acceptance, and kindness to a world that does not always value those things. Kathie now specializes in couples therapy and individual therapy. Special areas of focus are adoption, fertility struggles, grief and loss, shame, self-compassion, identity, anxiety, depression, relationship distress, infidelity, pre-marital counseling, discernment and divorce. Kathie is thrilled to be joining Bedford! When she is not with clients, she can be found on her yoga mat, in her art studio or adventuring and loving on her two German Shepherds!
Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ashley Barrett became a KC transplant in 2012. After marrying her husband, she began the Masters of Science in Family Therapy at Friends University and is currently a S-MFT in the state of Missouri. While at Friends University, Ashley completed her clinical internship at Heartland Community Church where she worked with couples, individuals and families facing numerous difficulties.
Her undergraduate degree is a Bachelors of Science in Youth and Social Ministry which equipped her to advocate for underserved populations in her community. Before receiving her Master’s Degree, Ashley used the skills developed through her undergraduate program to develop volunteers and volunteer teams at a Minneapolis non-profit organization. Ashley’s passion is to walk alongside her clients as they experience the freedom of uncovering their true self. She holds a Prepare|Enrich certification that facilitates her work with premarital couples. When working with clients, Ashley takes into consideration the impact of her work on the client and their relationships. Her ultimate hope is that her clients will feel known and supported through their process of growth and change.
When Ashley is out of the office, you can bet she’s running around a playground with her husband and toddler or enjoying a latte at one of the numerous local coffee shops. As part of her personal self-care, Ashley knits a lot…and in public.
Michael was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and found his way to Kansas originally for his undergrad program in Family Studies. After finishing his undergrad, he stayed in Manhattan, Kansas for a few years working as a case manager with children and their families at a community based mental health center. Michael is now a S-MFT in the state of Missouri and graduated from Friends University.
Early on in high school, he discovered a passion for helping people to become the best version of themselves possible. After his undergraduate and his job as a case manager, this eventually led him to the Masters of Family Therapy program at Friends University in Kansas City. Through his internship at Friends, he worked with couples, individuals, families, and kids. During that time, he began to discover a love of working with couples and families in all stages of life.
Michael is trained with and uses Narrative Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Internal Family Systems, and Solution Focused Therapy. He also has, on top of his education, significant training in Play Therapy for kids, as well as Sand Tray Therapy to use with kids, adults, and even couples.
When he’s not working, Michael loves to spend time with his wife and two young girls. He also loves reading fantasy and science fiction books, listening to podcasts, and playing guitar. If he had weeks of free time and no responsibilities, he would spend it camping and hiking through the wilderness and all across the world!
Teressa has lived in the Kansas City area for 20 years, and considers it home. She is a S-MFT in Missouri and graduated from Friends University. She works from a systemic perspective; that is, whether the area of work and growth brought into her therapy office are from those of a couple, family, or individual, she believes there are so many factors contributing to it other than just the person in the chair. In fact, she believes the person is not the problem, but the problem and often the well-intentioned attempts to fix the problem are the problem. Teressa believes in approaching her clients with a spirit of compassionate curiosity, free from judgment and with her eyes and ears open and paying close attention for the clues of strength each client inevitably has within them. She completed her clinical work at Friends University at the Olathe Public Schools, in private practice at Great Oaks Therapy Center, and in the Outreach Therapy Program at Safehome. She enjoys working with couples, parents and teens, and individuals.
In Teressa’s free time, she loves a good adventure, whether that means traveling somewhere new and exciting in this great big world, or going on a night drive with a cup of sweet tea – no defined route – with someone who can share the silence just as easily as good conversation. She’s the happiest, however, when she’s at home with her son and a good book, curled up on her couch with a super soft blanket or sitting on the deck with her feet up on the railing, enjoying the shade of a towering tree a few feet away.