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Speaker and Open Forum

  • Sunburst Mental Health Center 725 W Alder, Suite 10 Missoula, MT 59802 (map)

Please join us for a speaker followed by an open forum for questions, supportive conversation, and idea sharing.


This week's speaker is Noelle Naiden, LCPC and School Psychologist.  Noelle's bio is below and you can check out her webpage at

I got in to development early, my mother was a pediatrician who worked on the polio vaccine.  

I worked in the schools as a school counselor and school psychologist for 25 years.  Before that I was briefly the director of and then a clinician for a child/adolescent day treatment and day hospital program.  I worked there intermittently, in the summers, for a couple of years after I went back to the public schools.  I've been licensed since 1991 in Montana and my primary interest has always been mental health, but specifically the physiology of health - what is it in our bodies and brains that promotes healthy interaction? The recent two years of training through the Profectum Foundation gave me a focus on the developmental, neurological and communication-based aspects of human development.  Specifically I was trained in the DIR model - Developmental - Individual Sensory Profile - Relationship based intervention - created by Dr. Stanley Greenspan, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Serena Weider, a clinical psychologist.  Greenspan and Weider developed this model by observing normal children over a 20 year period, and then figured out its application to children with other concerns.  It has been used extensively with children on the autism spectrum and there are other programs based on DIR that have been funded for government studies, like The Play Project.  Missoula was a study site for The Play Project, an intervention for parents of children who tested on the spectrum.  

I am also trained in the treatment of trauma and apply a developmental perspective to how I work with children and adults who have issues with PTSD. 

My 25 years as a School Psychologist gives me an intimate understanding of IDEA, school services and the process, content and implications of school based evaluations and services.   I worked on the reservation for the whole period I was employed in the schools - cross cultural perspectives on education, mental health, resilience and development are part of how I see things.  

Recently I was a consultant to a firm working with the Butte School District for the SOARS grant from OPI (12 million for three sites to change their mental health systems in 5 years).  I co-wrote the plan drafts that they are using to become a trauma-informed community.  Butte is working to recreate their mental health system from the ground up, from the police to the schools, to address the reality that Butte has an extensive trauma history that affects everyone who lives there.  Trauma-informed care, an approach that engages people with histories of trauma and acknowledges the role it plays in their lives, is critical for Montana.  The blueprint document was created to help the entire community move towards being a trauma informed community as a whole.  

But mostly...I have an itty bitty private practice and I like dogs and coffee a lot....

Earlier Event: October 25
Missoula ASD Club for Kids
Later Event: November 8
Missoula ASD Club for Kids