Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker (she/her)
Since taking my first psychology class in high school, I knew that this was the field in which I was meant to work. When the Columbine High School tragedy occurred so close to home, I became dedicated to working with youth and families who had experienced trauma, and this connected strongly with my other areas of passion: adoption and bullying. I was adopted from India as an infant, and understand firsthand what is like to struggle with issues of race, identity, societal expectations, and family relationships – and after adopting my son from Ethiopia, my awareness of the multi-faceted and complex world of adoption grew.
I have worked in the mental health field since 2002, and I am currently a licensed psychologist in Colorado, with the ability to practice in multiple other states through PSYPACT approval. I believe that every individual who visits my office has a unique story to share, and deserves to have their story heard in a safe, compassionate, and supportive space. I strongly believe in the importance of valuing each client’s lived experiences, especially those who identify with marginalized identities and are seeking professional support from a provider with a passion for social justice. I carefully and thoughtfully chose the name of my practice, “Beyond Words,” because I believe that our therapeutic relationship is built on a foundation of trust and collaboration that goes beyond language to a place of genuine understanding.
I currently sit on the steering committee for the Society of Adoption Professionals of Color in Adoption (SAPCA), the Adult Adoptee Advisory Board for Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families (HCAF), and am a contributor to I AM ADOPTEE. I have professional training in individual, family, and group counseling, specialized trauma therapy (EMDR I & II: Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), play therapy, TBRI techniques, Theraplay techniques, parent education, and psychological assessment. I received my Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology (Psy.D.) from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado; Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology (M.A.) from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky; and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (B.S.) from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.