Catherine S. Tilford, MA, NCC, LPC, CEDS: Founder & Director

  • Certified Eating Disorders Specialist, International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals
  • Licensed Professional Counselor, Department of Regulatory Agencies
  • Nationally Certified Counselor, National Board of Certified Counselors
  • Master’s in Counseling Psychology, University of Colorado Denver

Catherine’s Story

I am passionate about helping people heal their relationships with food, exercise, and their bodies which is why I became a counselor and founded Embrace Strength Counseling in 2011. I’ve always been curious about people’s stories and how we make meaning out of our experiences. I specialize in eating disorders and love working with athletes. I also really enjoy working with anxiety, fertility and postpartum concerns, and perfectionism/self-worth. I’m a Colorado native who loves the outdoors, reading, cooking, and spending time with my family. I have two incredible daughters and a goldendoodle named Willow.

Growing up, I loved school and sports. I was perfectionistic and high achieving in both arenas and felt like no matter how hard I tried, it was never good enough. Eventually, I felt like I wasn’t good enough which contributed to my own struggle with an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety for many years. My recovery journey began when I decided I couldn’t live that way anymore or have the things I wanted most in life if I continued down that path. I sought treatment; working hard and discovering an inner strength I didn’t realize I possessed. As a recovered professional, I strive to support others in finding their own recovery so they can get back to living their lives and doing what they enjoy.  

I earned my master’s degree in counseling from the University of Colorado Denver. I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Eating Disorders Specialist. My approach to counseling is strengths-based and integrates Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing. I work from a non-diet, weight inclusive, and food freedom lens. I serve on the board of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp), am the Immediate Past President of the Denver Metro Chapter of iaedp, and teach master’s level counseling courses at the University of Colorado Denver. In addition to counseling services, I provide clinical supervision and professional consultation services.

Lisa’s Story

Do you feel like you’re “just stuck” in a pattern of unsatisfying relationships with your body, your food or your relationships? I’m glad you’re here. Sometimes it’s downright hard being a human, and seeking support is a courageous action to take. As a therapist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist-Supervisor, it is my honor to provide support, space and witnessing to your process of self-empowerment. I provide individual therapy to those struggling with eating disorders or eating disorder behaviors, personality disorders, identity struggles and mid/post-divorce support. I believe we all have an inner badass, and sometimes we just need support in accessing this. In my free time, you’ll find me on my motorcycle enjoying all of Colorado’s roads, cooking, and playing with my dog Potatoes.

I’ve been a psychotherapist since 2004 and specifically working with eating disorders since 2010. I have worked at all levels of eating disorder care and understand the complexity of treating this painful disorder. Using an integrative approach of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Motivational Interviewing, I work with my clients to disengage from the traps of their disorders and build a satisfying life in accordance to their particular values. I also offer clinical, licensure and CEDS supervision to professionals. Being a guide on your path to mind/body wellness is my passion and I would be honored to join you in this process. 

Lisa Mareb, MSW, LCSW, CEDS-S: Contract Therapist

  • Certified Eating Disorders Specialist & Supervisor, International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Department of Regulartory Agencies
  • Master’s in Social Work, University of Denver

Reagan Rockholm, BS: Master’s Counseling Intern

  • Master’s Student in Counseling Psychology, University of Denver
  • Supervisor: Catherine S. Tilford, MA, NCC, LPC, CEDS

Reagan’s Story

Hi, my name is Reagan, I’m the newest member of the Embrace Strength Counseling team, joining as an intern. This fall, I am starting my second year at the University of Denver, where I am working to achieve my Masters’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. For my final year at DU, I sought out a site that works explicitly with disordered eating and other issues that often accompany such as anxiety, depression, self-worth, guilt, and the pressure of everyday life. I have always been interested in how our society, culture, and expectations impact mental health. These interests grew through my clinical work this past year, working with adolescents. Through this work, I saw how issues with a negative self-image and comparisons to others start early in life and can impact mental health long after. I am beyond excited to work at ESC and have the opportunity to learn from such excellent professionals in this field. I believe that treatment is a team effort and successful through trust and collaboration. I utilize ACT techniques that emphasize the importance of values guided living. Matching with ESC, I also believe in using the Health at Every Size philosophy to treat disordered eating.

In my free time, I enjoy exploring Colorado, visiting with friends and family, painting, and baking. Most of all, I have a passion for learning and expanding my world view. For this reason, I have goals to continue my education and attain my Ph. D. with a focus on Eating Disorders and examining how discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities affects the quality of care in medical settings. Additionally, I have a great interest in earning my CEDS credentials and continuing to work in integrated health settings.

Kaitlyn’s Story

My name is Kaitlyn Valdez, and my goal is to help you create a life in which you feel heard and validated. I have always been curious about anxiety and depression, but it was not until a few years ago that I discovered my passion for working with victims of trauma and chronic illness. Throughout my life I have had numerous health problems that have changed how I live my daily life. It was through my own experience that I began to realize how isolating, anxiety-provoking, and occasionally misunderstood illnesses are to many people. Chronic illnesses can be devastating no matter what your age, leading to medical trauma, anxiety, medically encouraged restrictive eating, and depression. My spare time is spent as a dog-mom to my two dogs, Maverick and Riley, learning new crafts, testing recipes, and listening to true crime podcasts. I am a fair-weather sports fan despite working as a football equipment manager throughout my college years.

I graduated with a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from New Mexico State University and am a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate in Colorado. Through a varied internship site, I had the opportunity to work with clients ranging in age from 5-years-old to 50-years-old before and amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. My goal is to learn as much as I can about each person and how we individually interact with the world around us. I work from a relational and strengths-based perspective, with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing integrated into my practice.

Kaitlyn Valdez, MA, LPCC: Therapist

  • Master’s in Counseling, New Mexico State University
  • Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate, Department of Regulartory Agencies
  • Supervisor: Catherine S. Tilford, MA, NCC, LPC, CEDS

Emily Forzley, RD: Contract Non-Diet Dietitian

  • Registered Dietitian, Commission Dietetic Registration
  • Bachelor’s in Dietetics, Central Michigan University

Emily’s Story

Hi! I’m Emily Forzley – a Registered Dietitian specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. Eating disorders are not just about the food – they are much more complex than that – but food is an important part of the equation when it comes to recovery. As a dietitian, I help clients navigate the intimidating world of food and nutrition without judgement and with a lot of compassion. Outside of being a dietitian, I am a full-time dog mom to my pup Libby. I’m also an avid skier and self-proclaimed chef (really, a foodie). I strive to live by example to show that food is meant to be enjoyed, and does not need to be feared. 

I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Central Michigan University. Afterward, I completed my Dietetic Internship through Keiser University in South Florida, with a focus on eating disorders. During my internship I spent months learning from clinicians at the Renfrew Center. Since becoming a Registered Dietitian in 2013, I have focused my career toward treating individuals with eating disorders and disordered eating. I have extensive experience treating clients at all levels of eating disorder care – from inpatient to outpatient. My approach to nutrition counseling is non-diet, weight inclusive, and with a strong belief that “all foods fit”. I am currently working to become a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian with iaedp (the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals).