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Stela Risto, LMSW

Undergraduate Education:

Bachelor of Psychology, Brigham Young University-Idaho

Graduate Education:

Master of Social Work, Northwest Nazarene University

Professional Licenses:

Licensed Master of Social Worker

Clinical Training/Certifications

Completed Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) training, Completed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) training, Completed Level I Gottman Method for Couples.

Counseling Services:

Individual, Family, and Group Counseling


Albanian, French, Italian

About Stela:

Stela Risto received her undergraduate degree in psychology, from Brigham Young University-Idaho. While in her undergraduate program, she went above her requirement and completed two internships to expand her experience. First, she interned at the Madison Junior High School in Rexburg, Idaho. While there, Stela was responsible to teach life skills classes to students and present on new online programs that would assist students to find tools that would help them achieve their future goals. The second internship completed was with The Juvenile Correction Center in St. Anthony, Idaho. While there, Stela was responsible for teaching life skills classes to juveniles, identifying community resources for them and their families, and preparing documents for court hearings.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Psychology, Stela started working for High Country Behavioral Health, formerly known as Mental Wellness Centers. During that time, Stela provided targeted case management in which she coordinated various services that would meet the client’s physical and behavioral needs through advocacy and facilitation with providers and community resources. In addition, Stela provided Community-Based Rehabilitation Services as a CBRS, in which she provided life skills training to her clients, aimed at symptom management. Stela also provided several crisis interventions where she has successfully identified the problem, ensured the client’s safety, and supported the clients emotionally and informationally. In addition, Stela gained experience in leading adolescent groups focused on teaching life skills, in an effort to help them manage their symptoms.

In 2018, Stela began her graduate degree of Master’s of Social Work from Northwest Nazarene University and graduated in December 2020. During her graduate program, Stela completed two internships, one with The Behavioral Health Center (BHC), an inpatient psychiatric hospital in Idaho Falls that serves individuals who are struggling with a variety of mental illnesses. While there, Stela had the opportunity to gain experience in an individualized manner, since the inpatient services were provided in four different programs, based on age and symptom severity. Stela learned and understood the importance of meeting the individual needs of the patients and not generalize because of diagnosis. The second internship was completed with High Country Behavioral Health, where Stela provided Pro-bono counseling for individuals struggling with ADHD, PTSD, OCD, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Stela has used motivational interviewing (MI), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), somatic practices like Polyvagal Theory, and mindfulness exercises. Stela is looking forward to continuing to serve her clients through these therapeutic theories.

Stela is now works full time at High Country Behavioral Health in Idaho Falls. She is certified in Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) and is continuing her training in evidenced based treatment modalities to offer the best treatment to a variety of cases. She is trained in Level I Gottman Method for Couples’ therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for alleviating distress from traumatic memories. Stela believes it is crucial to provide her clients with a safe and non-judgmental space as they process events, become aware of their emotional state, and gain the tools to express those emotions safely and efficiently. Stela loves working in this field and being there for her clients as they emotionally heal.

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