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About Me: Why I became a Grief Therapist

                    I have a lengthy story of grief in my life... my first memory is of a death loss when I was two years old, my first significant death loss was when I was five years old.  I learned how to cope with grief as I grew up, not always in healthy ways, and I struggled with my own mortality, lack of self-esteem, depression and anxiety. But I pursued my love of theatre and performing and received my undergraduate degree in theatre with an emphasis in acting. After graduating I worked various jobs, getting experience in a variety of areas including retail management and childcare. In 2009 I was offered an opportunity to move to Florida to help provide support to my grandmother who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. My father's family described her as a little forgetful and said she just needed help around the house.  Thinking I was in for mostly a beach vacation, I packed my bags and ventured down. However when I got to her house, I was met by a very different situation.  My grandmother didn't recognize me.

                   I suddenly found myself in the role of a caregiver that I hadn't anticipated.  I had to pivot my thinking and focus my energy on supporting her and ensuring her safety. I did my best to manage, and felt challenged every day.  It was a very eye-opening experience.  Eventually I found comfort in feeling like a new relationship with her was able to begin. I learned more about her and how she operated in her dementia.

                    When I returned to Colorado, I knew I couldn't just go back to what I was doing before.  So I began working in the non-profit sector, specifically in the geriatric community to support adults with Alzheimer's or other dementias.  I went back to school and received a post-graduate certificate in gerontology.  Over time I discovered that a "through-line" in the work I typically found myself doing had to do with mental health.  And I felt so passionate about it! I loved talking about it, learning about it, collaborating on it, advocating for it. I started to think about how I would use this passion going forward.  The "final straw" to push me to getting my Master's in Mental Health Counseling was when a childhood friend died by suicide.  It's been over ten years since his death, and I honor my grief for Brad in the work that I do - he was an amazing person and am so grateful to have known him.  

                    I went back to school and engaged in my own therapy again, and I found myself excelling, and even pursuing more training and opportunities in the field. I have had the opportunity to work in several mental health settings including in geriatric care, early childhood development and childhood grief support, community mental health case management services, domestic violence survivor therapy services, hospice care bereavement services, at a grief center facilitating grief support groups, and now running ACG Counseling Services and participating within a group counseling practice.  I have personal, professional, and academic experiences to be in support of others, which is meaningful to me.  I love what I do.

                    When I am not in client appointments, I enjoy time with my husband, our son, and our dog, Monty.  I love creativity and find time to draw and paint.  I volunteer with an animal shelter.  I love spending time in the mountains and dancing to good music.  Most importantly, I practice what I preach: I meet myself where I'm at.  Somedays it looks very ambitious and other days it looks like binging Netflix. I hope to support others with healthy, helpful self-care - whatever that may look like for you individually.

Allison C Gary and Grandma Clara in Florida

About ACG Counseling Services

                    ACG Counseling Services is about providing high quality grief support to meet individuals where they are at in their life, and in their grief.  Whether your loss occurred recently or years ago, sometimes life is hard and to have support from an ally who is unbiased to your situation but also will understand your grief personally and professionally can make a difference in your healing.  I strive to be a supportive guide on your grief journey, to help you process your experiences and help you discover what types of coping are best for your needs.  

My goal is to meet you where you are at.

                    The process of grief therapy starts with getting to know one another, and providing you with the safe space to process your grief experiences, emotions, and the realities of all that you are going through.  We will talk candidly and collaboratively; I keep therapy as fluid and conversational as possible.  I have been known to use both empathy and gentle understanding as well as sarcasm and humor when appropriate.  The work is aimed at helping with the integration of your grief and loss into your life moving forward.  We will discuss coping strategies, boundary setting, "facts and figures" about grief and how it relates to you and what you're going through. 

                    Key values for my private practice include respect for others and honoring that everyone has the right to their own unique grief experiences.  I believe that every individual deserves the opportunity to grieve in a supportive and understanding environment.  It is also my belief that within each individual is the natural ability and capacity to heal, though the duration and intensity of grief are unique for each individual.

Grief Counseling Office Space for ACG Counseling Services

The physical office space when we meet in-person...

And this is about what it looks like when we meet virtually!

Greyscale Landscape

My Experience, Supervision, Training and Qualifications


Master of the Arts - Mental Health Counseling - Regis University 

Post-Graduate Certificate - Child & Adolescent Counseling - Regis University

Post-Graduate Certificate - Depth Psychotherapy - Regis University

Post-Graduate Certificate - Gerontology - University of Northern Colorado

Bachelor of the Arts - Theatre, acting - University of Northern Colorado


HeartLight Center - a nonprofit organization that provides grief support groups. I act as their Program Director.

Grief Networking Alliance (GNA) - a networking group for grief care providers, I sit on the steering committee.

Training and Qualifications:

2022 - Colorado Counseling Association LPC Supervisor Training

2021 - EMDR of the Rockies Training

2021 - Dr. Wolfelt Training through HeartLight Center

2021 - PESI Grief Summit

2020 - PESI Innovations in Psychotherapy

2020 - What's Your Grief trainings - Ambiguous Grief, Supporting Shattered Worlds, Supporting Grieving Children

2019-present - I provide trainings to clinical professionals and graduate-level interns on working with grieving clients.

2018-Present - I have attended various trainings with HeartLight Center for Grief, Suicide Prevention, Grief Group Facilitation and more.

2019-2020 - Received specialized training from Crisis Center for working with survivors of domestic violence.

2017-2019 - Trained and supervised by Karrie Filios at Agape Hospice as a Bereavement Counselor for supporting bereaved individuals with grief including anticipatory grief, complex grief, disenfranchised grief, for providing individual grief care and facilitating grief support groups.

2017 - Trained at the Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies for use of equine assisted therapy and specifically the Gestalt approach.

2016-2018 - Worked with Judi's House, a nonprofit organization dedicated to grieving children and their families, received numerous trainings for supporting staff, volunteers and clients.

2016 - Trained in Ireland with the "Counselor's View of Ireland" program.

2016 - Completed the ASIST Suicide Prevention Training.

2015-2016 - Worked in community mental health supporting individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.

2015 - Completed a training that was facilitated by Wings Foundation titled "Restoring the Shattered Self: The Treatment of Complex Trauma".

2013 - Completed "Memories in the Making" art program training through the Alzheimer's Association.

2010-2013 - Worked in dementia care, received direct trainings for caretaking and supporting individuals affected by memory loss and their families.


Liliana Baylon - clinical supervisor, founder of Healing Relationships Counseling Services

Stephanie Fitzsimmons - clinical supervisor, Crisis Center

Karrie Filios - internship Bereavement Services Manager, Agape Hospice, site supervisor

Dr. Fidel-Rice - internship at Regis University, faculty supervisor

Dr. Munoz - practicum at Regis University Center for Counseling and Family Therapy, site supervisor

Allison C Gary counseling experiences

If you would like references to contact, I am happy to connect you with my past supervisors who can also speak to my skills and abilities.  I want you to feel comfortable with your choices for your mental and emotional care.

If you have any questions for me specific to my credentials, qualifications or training, please feel free to contact me directly at 720-619-1058 or 

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