Who We Are and How We Got Started

by Susan Lyons


Women in Private Practice (WPP) got started sometime in the mid 1980’s. Nobody seems to remember the exact details of how WPP got started, but it was initially a small, informal group of women therapists who were private practitioners. WPP provided educational meetings and networking. News of WPP spread through word of mouth. I learned of WPP from Ruth Manville, our longest WPP member. In the mid-80’s I was new to Utah, I had two very young children and I knew absolutely nothing about getting started in private practice. WPP gave me a community of other women therapists who became friends who could mentor me about how to get a practice started. WPP meant a lot to me and eventually I took over WPP leadership for a number of years. During my many years in WPP I have met so many people who joined WPP and also found connection to a community of women therapists who provided education, networking and support. 

WPP has changed over the years but our mission is the same as it was in the 1980’s. WPP membership has grown steadily.  We currently have about 250 active members. As we grew larger, it became clear that we needed a leadership team, not just one coordinator. As I anticipated retirement, I asked Joellyn Manville (Ruth Manville’s daughter) to be my co-coordinator. I was delighted when she accepted. A year later Joellyn became the full coordinator, when I retired. Since that time, we have created a WPP leadership committee, informally called the LC. WPP’s current coordinator is Amy Spratling.  

Leadership Committee

Susan Lyons, LCSW - Listserv and Membership

Susan has been an active member of  WPP since 1987. She served as WPP coordinator for over 20 years. Susan had a private practice in Salt Lake City from 1987 until July of 2017, when she retired. Susan continues to be an active member and she is part of WPP leadership, focusing on listserv and membership issues.

Colleen Kuhn, Ph.D. - Treasurer

Dr. Kuhn has been a member of WPP and in private practice for ten years. Dr. Kuhn specializes in working with children, adolescents, and young adults with a strong emphasis on gender and sexually diverse individuals. She enjoys connection with the community and proudly serves as part of the leadership committee for WPP and the LGBTQ Affirmative Psychotherapists Guild of Utah.

Joellyn Manville, LCSW - Listserv and Membership

Joellyn has been in private practice and a member of WPP since 2012. Joellyn has been a co-coordinator of WPP since 2017. She specializes in Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Relationships and Substance Abuse. She loves WPP for the chance to connect with other therapists in private practice and the valuable information that is shared. 

Amy Spratling, LCMHC - Coordinator of WPP

Amy Spratling, LCMHC, is a co-coordinator of WPP.  She has been in private practice for about 5 years now and specializes in working in trauma with all ages.  She especially likes EMDR and DBT and loves being a part of the WPP leadership group. 

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