Why Sprout?

We are so glad that you are here!  When working with children, it is our belief that all behavior has a purpose.  As therapists, it is our job to understand that behavior and what purpose it brings for your child.  


Through play, we seek to understand your child's world and therefore assist them in gaining the skills necessary to form a meaningful connection with those around them.  Meaningful connections enable us to understand behavioral difficulties and motivations while encouraging and guiding a child to find greater success in life. 

Together, we can help you and your family find meaningful tools and strategies to help you grow and thrive.  Life can be hard and we get that.  Let us help you and your child reach your full potential.  

Our Mission

At Sprout, our goal is simple. We want to be that helpful hand that supports you and your child so that your family can grow and thrive. Regardless of what brings you in, we are here to help!

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Our Team

Dr. Emily Gislason





Emily has over 10 years of experience in the mental health field providing outpatient, residential, home-based and group therapy services.  She has worked with children impacted by trauma, grief, foster care involvement, self-esteem challenges, anxiety, depression, sensory, and behavioral difficulties. Emily also involves her dog, Oakley, into the counseling process with kids.  She is also an adjunct instructor for SDSU's play therapy program.  Regardless of the challenge that brings you into the office, Emily believes that all clients have the ability to find success through support and encouragement. 

Katelyn Tilstra



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Katelyn enjoys using the power of play in order to best meet the needs of a child. She is passionate about helping children, adolescents, and their families discover strengths, build meaningful connections, and find success. Katelyn has experience working in inpatient and outpatient settings with children, adolescents, and their families. She has helped children and families with a range of difficulties including trauma, attachment, parenting, grief, ADHD, anxiety, depression, behavioral concerns, and self-esteem.  Katelyn looks forward to forming a relationship with you in order to assist your family in facing life's challenges.

Melissa Elrod-Miller
MS, LPC, LPC-MH Supervisee




Melissa has a passion for utilizing play based techniques to help children and adolescents reach their full potential.  She has worked in outpatient, home based, and the school setting for the past 10 years.  Melissa has experience supporting families through the IEP and 504 process.  She has written behavior plans to support children in the educational setting as well.  Melissa has a passion for creating a safe and supportive environment for children, families, and parents.  No matter how big or small the problem seems, Melissa is here to help you find the best solution for your family. Melissa is actively pursuing her RPT credential. 

Vanessa Hoogendoorn

MA, SWA, LPC, LPC-MH Supervisee


Vanessa has extensive history working with children ages 4 through early adulthood in residential and home based settings. Vanessa’s focus is children that struggle with behavior challenges, aggression, grief and loss, experience in foster care, adoption, anxiety, depression, ADHD, parenting challenges and trauma. Vanessa uses play based and art based techniques to meet children and families where they are at to create a safe space to process life’s challenges. Vanessa is an adoption competent therapist and trained in EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). Vanessa is passionate about meeting your child and family where they are at developmentally to create healthy and positive relationships that promote change.  


Someone new is coming soon!












As a Canine Good Citizen, Oakley enjoys spending time in sessions with children of all ages.  He has a sweet personality and cannot wait to meet you!