Meet our Team

We are a small team of dedicated professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion. We look forward to working with you.

Karen McDowell, Phd

Owner and Creative Director

Dr. McDowell (she/her) is a licensed clinical psychologist, educator, speaker, and writer. She has extensive experience providing culturally competent, identity-affirming, and justice-oriented psychological services.  Dr. McDowell has worked in a variety of settings, including collegiate, forensic, and psychiatric settings, and has received specialized training in the assessment and treatment of psychological issues for the Deaf, including academic and cognitive assessment, capacity evaluations, medical consultation, and therapy in ASL. Karen also oversees TGM Press, where she coordinates publishing, merchandise design and course development.

Dr. McDowell also has extensive experience working with Queer and Transgender communities, and can provide support and guidance for individuals and families who are exploring gender identity and sexual orientation. She works closely with medical systems and other service providers to help reduce and remove barriers to healthcare for gender non-conforming individuals, and is available to consult with schools, businesses, and other organizations hoping to improve access to services for the LGBTQ+ community.

Monique Champagne, M.A., LPC Associate

Director of Clinical Services

Monique (she/her) has been working in the Deaf community since 2002 in various roles (sign language interpreter, teacher, mentor, and mental health provider). She has earned her M.A. in Counseling Psychology and holds counseling licensure (LPC Associate, supervised by Beth Lewis, M.A., LPC-S) as well as state and national interpreting certifications (BEI-IV, NIC-Master). She has received training in EMDR techniques to address experiences of trauma in her clinical work. At The Gracious Mind, Monique manages outreach and training coordination.

Along with her professional experience, Monique was born into the Deaf community by two Deaf parents. She provides counseling services in both spoken English and American Sign Language (ASL).

Jacqueline Trinh

Practicum Therapist

Jacqueline (she/her/they/them) is an advanced doctoral trainee earning their Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University. Jacqueline dedicates their time to watching anime, playing Pokemon, and spoiling their dogs. Jacqueline has a passion for working with people who experience grief and loss in their lives, as these experiences highlight the value of connection with others and within one’s self. Jacqueline believes authentic, healing connections with one’s self and with others is the key to growth and change. They hope to journey with each client to help find connection, empowerment, and authenticity in their lives. 

Vy Cao-Nguyen

Practicum Therapist

Vy Cao-Nguyen (she/her) is an advanced doctoral trainee earning a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University. She strives to provide compassionate, trauma-informed mental health services to underserved minority populations. Vy has worked with young adults and adults at a variety of settings such as shelters, hospice, and a university counseling center. Vy believes that healing begins by fostering clarity and connection in relationships, and uses an emotion-focused and strengths-based approach to empower clients to grow. Never one to underestimate the power of art and nature, Vy enjoys incorporating creative elements into clients’ growth journeys. When she is not doing therapy, Vy may be found in the garden with her spouse and dogs or camping at the local craft store.

Katy Vah

Office Manager

Katy (she/her) is a mental health advocate, passionate organizer, and dedicated mother to her saucy and sweet 6-year-old daughter. Katy is committed to bringing kindness and compassion to her work with clients, and works hard to help them feel cared for every step of the way. She believes that every person deserves to have an advocate, and strives to make the administrative process comfortable and easy for all our clients.

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