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!


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




Katelyn enjoys using the power of play in order to best meet the needs of a child. She is passionate about creating a safe space for children, adolescents, and their families to freely express themselves, discover strengths, learn skills, and find success. Katelyn has considerable experience providing mental health care in inpatient, home-based, and outpatient settings. She has helped children and families with a range of difficulties including trauma, grief/loss, anxiety, self-esteem, attachment, ADHD, depression, behavioral concerns, and parenting.  Katelyn looks forward to forming a relationship with you in order to assist your family in navigating life's challenges.

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





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, QMHP


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.  

Cruz Trujillo Rodriguez
MS, LPC, LPC-MH Supervisee, RPT™, QMHP, NCC

As a bilingual Registered Play Therapist, I strive to support children (3 to 12 years-old) and their families navigate life changes and challenges. I utilize Play Therapy to support, educate, and teach coping skills to the children and families I serve. I enjoy working with children and families who have experienced and/or have challenges with trauma (domestic and sexual violence), anxiety, depression, behavioral concerns (such as anger), adjustment challenges (changes in household, grief, foster care,etc.) Currently, I am completing my LPC-MH and completing a certificate in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health from Georgetown University. My goal is to provide support and skills to best equip you and your child to handle whatever challenges come your way!



Me esfuerzo por ayudar a los niños (de 3 a 12 años) y a sus familias a superar los cambios y desafíos de la vida. Como terapeuta de juego registrada, utilizó la terapia de juego para apoyar, educar y enseñar habilidades de afrontamiento a los niños y las familias a las que sirvo. Mis fortalezas incluyen trabajar con niños (de 3 a 12 años) y familias que han experimentado y/o tienen desafíos con trauma (violencia doméstica y sexual), ansiedad, depresión, problemas de comportamiento (enojo), desafíos de ajuste (cambios en el hogar, pérdida de familiares, etc.) y mas. Actualmente, estoy completando mi LPC-MH y obteniendo un certificado en salud mental infantil y de la primera infancia de la Universidad de Georgetown. ¡Mi objetivo es brindar apoyo y habilidades para equiparlo mejor a usted y a su hijo para manejar cualquier desafío que se le presente!












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!













Frankie is our newest Canine Good Citizen.  She loves to meet new friends and join in on play sessions.  Frankie has a fun, playful personality!