Debra Wallace MS, LMFT Vita

Good Day.  I’m Debra Wallace, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT, Illinois USA) and a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).   Since 2001, I have been providing education, couple, individual, and family therapy, and now online at Therapy Portal.  My tailored approach cultivates healthy, safe relationships, resiliency, and holistic care while empowering clients to reach their goals. I love working with parents, couples, tween/teens, children, and families. I prioritize building positive rapport and a safe environment to process a range of sensitive topics and difficult emotions. My specialties include stress and conflict management, trauma, attachment, grief, anxiety, depression, committed partnerships, and parent/child relationships. I have innovatively synthesized evidence-based research into experiential interventions that maximize human potential and heal trans-generational trauma.

My career has provided extensive experience working with children and families in clinical, educational, and recreational settings with unique needs from diverse backgrounds. I like to collaborate with the many case-related systems such as family members, caseworkers, residential treatment providers, individual therapists, doctors, judges, schools, and foster-care providers.  I have contributed my expertise to many different settings and formats such as books, websites, hospitals, schools, conferences, legal hearings, committees, agencies, and local media. I except the insurance of Illinois residents who have Optum Behavioral Health, Tricare, Humana Military, Blue Cross Blue Shield, AETNA, and CIGNA.

Professional Experience

2023-Present Telemental Health Provider, Therapy Notes, IL. USA

2017-Present Telemental Health Provider, WeCounsel merged to Officite, IL. USA

2015-2017 Telemental Health Provider,, IL. USA

2015-2017 Group Facilitator, Mothers Helpers, Waiheke Island & Nationwide (Online), NZ

2012-Present Private Practitioner, Positive Reframe Island Lake, IL. & Waiheke Island NZ

2013-2015 Marriage and Family Therapist & Children’s Group Facilitator, Therapy Tree, Lake Villa IL. USA

2005-2008 On-site and In-home Intensive Family Therapist, Larimer County Department of Human Services, CO. USA

2003-2008 Private Practitioner, Blue Sage, Fort Collins, CO.

2002-2003 Intern-Psychotherapist & Diabetes Group Facilitator, Family Medical Center, Fort Collins, CO. USA

2002-2005 Psychotherapist & Youth Group Facilitator, Lamda Community Center, Fort Collins, CO. USA

2001-2003 Psychotherapist, Center for Couples and Family Therapy, Fort Collins, CO. USA


2003 Colorado State University, Master of Science (Human Development and Family Studies with Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy)

2000 Clemson University, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology with minor in Elementary Education), Summa Cum Laude

1997 College of DuPage, Associate in Arts

Certificates & Training

2023 Trauma & Altered States of Consciousness with Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD 2.25 CE

2023 Incorporating Play Therapy into Evidence-Based Treatment with Jennifer Lefebre, PsyD, RPT-S 2.0CE

2023 Use of Play and Activity to Support Trauma-informed Treatment with Steven Gross, MSW 1.5 CE

2023 Making Connections: The Neuropsychology of Sandplay Therapy in the Treatment of Trauma with Lorraine Freedle, LCSW, PhD, ABPdN, ABSNP, CST-T 3.5 CE

2023 Trauma Processing with Children with Michele Henderson, LICSW 1.5 CE

2023 No Bad Parts: Healing Trauma and Restoring Wholeness with Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D. & Nancy Burgoyne, Ph.D 1.0 CE

2023 The Use of Internal Family Systems Model in Trauma Treatment with Frank Anderson, MD 2.0 CE

2023 Internal Family Systems with Richard C. Schwartz, PhD 2.5 CE

2022 Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy: A Model for Accelerated Change with Deborah Korn, PsyD 2.5 CE

2022 Trauma, PTSD and the Mind-Body Relationship with Matthew Sanford 3.0 CE

2022 Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Theory and Practice with Pat Ogden, PhD 2.0 CE

2022 SMART: Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment with Elizabeth Warner, EdM, PsyD & Alexandra Cook, PhD 1.5 CE

2022 We Do Not Work Alone: Implementing and Sustaining Trauma­-informed Systems with Patricia D. Wilcox, LCSW 1.5 CE

2022 Trauma Through the Lens of Polyvagal Theory with Stephen Porges, PhD & Bessel van der Kolk, MD 1.5 CE

2022 Adult Treatment Through the Lens of Components-Based Psychotherapy (CBP) with Elizabeth Hopper, Ph.D. 3.5 CE

2022 ARC & Supporting Regulation in Childhood with Margaret Blaustein, PhD 2.5 CE

2022 Introduction to ARC: The Attachment, Regulation, and Competency Model with Margaret Blaustein, PhD 3.0 CE

2022 The Scope of Trauma Treatment: From Acute Interventions to Restoration of Self-Experience with Bessel van der Kolk, MD 2.0 CE

2022 The Roles Intersectionality & Cultural Humility Play When Working with Diverse Client Populations with Gary Bailey, MSW, ACSW 2.0 CE

2022 Adult Attachment Relationships with Jana Pressley, Psy.D. 3.0 CE

2022 Childhood Trauma: Impact and Longterm Consequences with Bessel van der Kolk, MD 2.5 CE

2022 Trauma Assessment of Children and Adults with Alexandra Cook, Ph.D. 2.5 CE

2022 The Nature of Trauma: Developmental Neurobiology, Neuroimaging Research and Effective Intervention with Bessel van der Kolk, MD 2.5 CE

2022 The Complexity of Adaptation to Trauma with Jana Pressley, Psy.D. 2.5 CE

2022 Understanding Trauma: Foundations with Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. 2.0 CE

2022 Safe & Sound Protocol Training Certificate with Steven Porges, Ph.D. – Unyte-iLs 5.0 CE

2022 Transcending Trauma with Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) with Richard Schwartz Ph.D. 1.5 CE

2021 The Relational Brain: The Neurobiology of Relational Life Therapy & How it Works to Rewire Your Brain, by Terry Real & Juliane Taylor Shore 6.0 CE

2021 How Neurofeedback & Neurotherapies Can Heal Trauma & Addictions by Deirdre Stewart, LPC, SEP, BCN 1.0 CE

2021 Helping Make the Unbearable Tolerable: Trauma & the Treatment of Addictions by Bessel van der Kolk, MD 1.0 CE

2021 Telehealth: How to Legally Practice Over State Lines by Marlene Maheu Ph.D., Telebehavioral Health Institute 1.0 CE

2020 Immobility, Helplessness and Loss of Self-regulation in the time of COVID-19 by Peter Levine, Ph.D., and Bessel van der Kolk, MD 1.5 CE

2020 Certificate Course in Emotionally Focused Therapy Attachment-based interventions for couples in crisis by Sue Johnson Ph.D. 12 CE

2020 Introduction to Telebehavioral Health/Telemental Health Theory & Practice by Marlene Maheu Ph.D., Telebehavioral Health Institute 6 CE

2019 Illinois Mandated Reporter Training by DCFS 2 CE

2019 How to Legally Practice Over State Lines with Telebehavioral and Telemental Health by Marlene Maheu Ph.D. 1 CE

2018 Telemedicine: Is This the Next Real Innovation in Health Care Delivery? by Reed V. Tuckson M.D. 1 CE

2018 Neuroscience of Addiction: A New Way to Think About Recovery with Daniel Hochman, M.D. 1 CE

2018 Mindfulness, Healing, and Transformation: The Pain and the Promise of Befriending the Full Catastrophe with Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. 1 CE

2017 Shame Shields: The Armor We Use to Protect Ourselves and Why It Doesn’t Serve Us with Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW 1 CE

2017 The Body Keeps the Score with Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. 1 CE

2016 Healing After an Affair with Julie Gottman, Ph.D. and John M Gottman, Ph.D. 1 CE

2016 Infidelity with Julie Gottman, Ph.D. and John M Gottman, Ph.D. 1.25 CE

2016 Storytelling, Life’s Deeper Meaning and Dream-Within-Conflict Strategies to use with Couples with Julie Gottman, Ph.D. and John M Gottman, Ph.D. 1 CE

2016 Benefits of Integration, Insight on Flooding and Dealing with Resistance with Couples in Therapy with Julie Gottman, Ph.D. and John M Gottman, Ph.D. 1 CE

2016 Strengthening Relationships through Resurfacing Trauma and PTSD with Julie Gottman, Ph.D., and John M. Gottman, Ph.D. 1 CE

2016 Making Relationships Work with Julie Gottman, Ph.D. and John M. Gottman, Ph.D. 1.5 CE

2016 Working Together for Vulnerable Kids with Child. Youth and Family(CYF) and Child Matters New Zealand 1 day training

2015 Clinical Implications and Applications of The Adult Attachment Interview with Dan Siegel MD 1.5CE 

2015 EMDR three Day Intensive Training with Linda Curran, BSPC, LPC, CAC-D, CCDP 29 CE

2014 Play Therapy Techniques: Working with Challenging Behaviors with Sandra Clavelli Psy. D. 2 CE

2013 Minding the Teenage Brain: Adolescence as a Period of Opportunity and Vulnerability for Mental  Health with Dan Siegel, MD 2CE

2013 Play Therapy 101 with Mary Alice Wentling, MSEd, NCC, LCPC, Illinois, USA, 3 CE

2012 Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #166000901, Illinois, USA

2008 Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #846, Colorado, USA

2008 Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics Case-based Live Meeting Training with Bruce Perry MD, Ph.D., 13.5 CE

2008 Establishing Safety and Wellbeing for Children exposed to Domestic Violence with Shellie Taggert and Fernando Mederos EdD, 6 CE

2007 Beyond Consequences Live with Heather Forbes LCSW and Eric Guy LSW, 10 CE

2007 Emotional Regulatory & Neuro sequential Healing Clinical Intensive with Juli Alvarado, MA, LPC, NCC, 16 CE

2006 Love and Logic Parent Training with Jim Fay, 2 CE

2005-2006 Foothills Childbirth Education Instructor/Doula Training

2002 The Challenges of Couples Counselling with William Doherty Ph.D., 6 CE

2001 – 2003 Graduate and Teacher Assistant for Department of Human Studies, Colorado State University

Professional Memberships

Clinical Member of American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

Speaking engagements:

Wallace, D. (2023, February) Interview on Trauma for Mother’s Helpers

Wallace, D. (2022, October) Interview on Parenting, trauma and how to heal your own trauma so you don’t hand it down to your kids for  Women’s Fire Podcast 

Wallace, D. (2018, April) Promoting Healthy Sexual Development of Children. Two-hour presentation and workshp open to parents of Steiner school at Fossil Bay Kindergarten, Waiheke Island, NZ.

Wallace, D (2015, May ) WaiTalk on What Light Means to Me, 11-min speech for a fundraising event to the public at Cable Bay Winery, Waiheke Island

Wallace, D (2014, February) Anger Management. One-hour presentation presented to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority at

Northwestern Illinois University, Harris Hall, Evanston, IL., USA.

Wallace, D (2013, September) Care for the Caregivers: Importance of Stress Management. One-half hour

workshop presented to Caregivers at The Therapy Tree in Lake Villa, IL. USA

Wallace, D & Luce, S (2013, April) Cultivating Secure Attachment in Pre-School. One-hour presentation to Head

Start Teachers at Waukegan Baptist Bible Church in Waukegan, IL. USA

Wallace, D (2013, May) Positive Reframe: Women and Self-care. Half-hour presentation to Wauconda Women in

Business members at Wauconda’s Chamber of Commerce, Wauconda, IL. USA

Wallace, D (2012, November-2013 February). Cultivating Resiliency between Caregivers and Children

Introduction. One-hour presentation open to the community monthly at Private Practice office, Island

Lake, IL. USA

Wallace, D (2012, April-May) Cultivating Resiliency between Caregivers and Children Six week Support Workshop

Series. Six, two- hour workshops open to the community weekly various locations Waiheke Island, NZ

where the following topics of neuroscience and relationship enrichment covered:

Week One – The Brain and Stress

Week Two – Vital Needs and Self Care

Week Three – Response-able, Oxytocin rich and Trust-based parenting

Week Four – “How to talk to kids so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk…”

Week Five – Mindfulness of our senses, thoughts, behaviors, and feelings

Week Six – Open topic based on needs and scenarios

Wallace, D. (2012, March) Cultivating Resiliency between Caregivers and Children Introduction. One-hour

presentation open to community at Fossil Bay Kindergarten, Waiheke Island, NZ.

Wallace, D. (2011, august ) Submission of Support of Community Centre proposal on Waiheke Island. 10-minute

presentation to Local Board at Waiheke Service Centre, Waiheke Island, NZ.

Wallace, D. (2005) GLBT Youth: Risk of Suicide & Support for CSU Students in Human Development Class and

for Connections Mental Health Professionals, Colorado USA


Today’s Choices Tomorrow’s Parents National Home Birth Association Conference,  New Plymouth, New Zealand

Colorado Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference, Colorado, USA

Biennial Conference of the Society for Research in Child Development, New Mexico, USA

Areas of Expertise

  • Therapeutic, multi-systemic, client-centered, crisis intervention, and trauma-informed care
  • Diagnoses/Presenting problems: Child abuse, Domestic Violence and Relationship Conflict; Mood, Post Traumatic Stress, Sexual, Eating, Personality, Substance-related, Developmental Disorders as well as dual diagnosis and chronic/acute medical health problems
  • Integrating cutting-edge research-based treatment modalities including Nuerosequential, Brief- Strategic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Experiential, Dialectical Behavior, Family Systems, Feminist, Narrative, Solution-Focused, Structural, Emotion-Focused, Contextual, and Play Therapy


Wallace, D. (2011). Lessons from my Son. In HawaH (Ed.), Poetry of Yoga: A Contemporary Anthology Volume One (Pp 94). New York: One Common Unity.

Wallace, D. (2010). Learning by Example [WWW page]. URL

Wallace, D & Lyness, K. (2004).  Resources on Same-Sex Couples for Therapists and Clients.  Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy: Innovations in Clinical and Educational Interventions  3 (2-3), 147-155.

Wallace, D. (2003). The effect of partner differences regarding dyadic adjustment and emotion work on couple therapy outcome. Unpublished masters’ thesis, Colorado State University, Colorado, USA.


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