Serenity in Motion

Experienced Mental Health Specialists at Your Service


About Us

Serenity in Motion provides quality mental health counseling to individuals, couples, and families in Butte and Missoula Montana and their surrounding areas. We also specialize in therapy for children with special needs, and their families. Contact us to learn more.

Tristen Valentino, LCPC

Clinical Director, Clinical Therapist

Open, honest, and caring, Tristen brings his passion for healing and growth to every session. Tristen believes that the challenges we face in our lives are obstacles to be overcome, and can provide opportunities for growth. He strives to empower his clients with the skills and tools necessary for them to reach their highest potential, and achieve their most ambitious goals.

A graduate of the University of Montana, Tristen earned his Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. He is also currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Integrated Arts and Education at the University of Montana, where he integrates arts and education into his therapeutic practices.

Tristen believes that much of the distress and dysfunction we experience in our lives stem from suppressed and/or ineffectively expressed emotions. He works to build strong, safe relationships with his clients so that they can explore their emotions, develop insight and awareness into their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and help clients learn how to express their thoughts, feelings, and needs effectively.

Tristen has experience working with mood disorders (such as anxiety and depression), trauma, eating disorders, psychotic disorders, personality disorders, sexual disorders, and addictions. He has worked with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. He has also worked with members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and with individuals transitioning, as well as those who have already transitioned. He has had the opportunity to work with law enforcement and other first responders, such as fire fighters and EMT/Paramedics. He had the honor of serving in the United States Marine Corps and has worked with active duty military personnel and veterans.

Tristen also has experience and a passion for working with children, adolescents, and adults with special needs, along with their families.

Tristen practices from an Emotionally Focused Therapy perspective, believing that emotions are at the center of one’s life. He also believes that attachment plays a vital role in how one experiences reality, particularly as it applies to relationships with the self, others, and the world at large. He invites his clients to explore their emotions, develop awareness and acceptance of those emotions, and develop the ability to express their emotions by taking a strengths-based and solution-focused approach. He utilizes a mixture of talk therapy, art therapy, and movement therapy into his practice. 

In his leisure time, Tristen enjoys reading, writing, practicing martial arts, and hiking with his wife and two German Shepherds.

Nick Lumpkin, PCLC

Clinical Therapist

Nick helps his clients create positive change in their lives, and assists them on their journey of self-actualization. Nick’s therapeutic focus is to lead his individual clients on the path that will help them become what they strive to be in life, through compassion, encouragement, and various therapeutic modalities. He believes that by creating strong therapeutic relationships with clients, they can work toward positive change and happier, healthier lives.

Nick graduated from the University of Montana where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and later his Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling. Nick has rendered mental health services in Missoula and surrounding communities for nearly eight years. In addition to rendering services for the community in private practice, he was a clinical therapist at Montana State Prison, where he not only provides therapy for individuals with various needs and conditions, but he also conducts assessments and screenings. Nick has also had the honor of serving in the United States Marine Corps for eight years.

Nick believes that there are many known and unknown barriers in our lives that prevent us from reaching our full potential. With this belief, Nick works with his clients to develop new positive strategies to help them overcome these barriers and begin working toward change and their desired outcomes. Nick strives to build a strong working relationship with his clients in order to continuously move toward becoming the version of themselves they wish to become.

Nick has worked with individuals with psychotic, mood, and personality disorders. He has also worked with individuals who deal with addiction, as well as those who have suffered from trauma. He has experience working with clients with various backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.

Nick’s therapeutic orientation posits that most of an individual’s strife stems from dissonance and incongruences within their lives. By developing a strong therapeutic bond, Nick and his clients can begin to tackle these barriers, and help create positive change that will ultimately improve their lives. He accepts his clients as they are, unconditionally.

When Nick is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, fly fishing the majestic lakes, rivers, and streams of Montana, as well as playing soccer, and dabbling in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Lisa Pesanti, LCPC, LAC

Clinical Therapist, Licensed Addictions Counselor

As a dually licensed clinical therapist, Lisa has a passion for helping adults who suffer from co-occurring disorders that include substance use and mental health. She believes that substance use is a symptom of pain stemming from other sources. She strives to help clients recover and begin a new life by guiding them to discover the onset of their pain.

As a graduate of Grand Canyon University, Lisa received a Master of Science in Professional Counseling, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Ashford University. She also studied and completed two levels of training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and is specialized in treating the effects of trauma. Lisa is also certified in Batterer Intervention, allowing her to help men with violent charges and anger issues. Lisa believes in meeting the client where they are with a caring, non-judgmental approach to help motivate them to new heights. She carries additional education in gambling addiction and process addictions.

Lisa has worked with a variety of men and women with backgrounds varying from mild, situational concerns to those who have suffered deeply with grief, trauma, attachment disorders, and more. She believes that recognition of original pain or childhood trauma helps heal dysfunctional thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in current life. She has worked with both male and female adults in environments such as intensive inpatient treatment and prison. She has a special passion for working with individuals and families of those who suffer with substance use disorders.

She believes deeply in the effectiveness of EMDR, CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), Equine Therapy, and highly experiential learning/therapy. By recruiting all of the client's senses, the experience can be much more powerful than traditional talk therapy.

She deeply loves the State of Montana and is actively involved with her family, fishing, camping, riding horses, and floating the rivers.   

Candace Carle, LCSW

Clinical Therapist

A Butte, Montana native, Candace is deeply invested in the Butte Community.  She is passionate about teaching people to live their best lives through meeting them where they are at, and knowing that individuals are only able to do the best they can with the tools and abilities they have.  She is trained in Cognitive Behavior Therapy through the Beck Institute and operates from person-in-environment, strength-based, and person-centered approaches to therapy.  She takes pride in evaluating behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that drive choices and dictate how day-to-day interactions are perceived.

Candace works with her clients to create alternative expectations to help improve their thoughts and perceptions.  By taking a behaviorist approach she draws upon her experiences working with youth and adults in correctional settings using behavior modification techniques, crisis intervention, and encouraging positive self-care.

Candace attended Walla Walla University and earned her master's degree in social work in 2015 where her focus was on mental illness, crisis intervention, and addictions counseling.  Her undergraduate degree was earned in 2011 where she graduated with honors with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in applied behavioral analysis.  She takes a great amount of pride in her education and will often say, "A day learning something new is a day not wasted."  Candace has worked with youth in the past as a Guardian Ad Litem, and has experience with youth inpatient treatment, and adolescent corrections.  She also has experience working with adults as a mental health therapist in the correctional setting, and is currently working with adults with addiction and co-occurring disorders in an inpatient setting.

During Candace's spare time she enjoys working around her house, exercising, and contributing to the community through volunteer work.  Candace is passionate about learning something new every day, and researching new clinical interventions and theories.

Holly Priscu, JD, PCLC

Clinical Therapist

With authenticity, integrity, and compassion, Holly is a true advocate for her clients while providing them with a safe space for therapeutic self-exploration and healing. Holly truly believes that happiness is the journey and not the destination in life. By helping individuals find meaning and purpose in their lives, she empowers her clients to overcome a variety of challenges and obstacles in life.

Holly’s passion for serving the underserved originally led her down a different career path. After graduation in 2010 from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, she went on to obtain her law degree from California Western School of Law in sunny San Diego, CA with specialization in criminal defense. A native of Bozeman, Montana, Holly missed seasons and chose to move back to Montana where she worked as an attorney. Holly realized that briefs and motions were not getting her clients the type of help they needed—mental health help. She left the law and obtained her MS in Counseling from Montana State University in 2019.

Holly specializes in working with individuals and families who are caught up in the criminal justice system. She recognizes that mental health services during incarceration and reentry are limited, yet are often a crucial component to individual success. Holly worked in the Gallatin County Detention Center where she led creative experiential groups, including a co-occurring disorders group and a group focused on social, emotional, and thinking skills. Her favorite group modalities include art therapy, mindfulness and meditation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy activities. Holly currently works as a clinical therapist at the Montana State Prison where she does crisis intervention, long-term individual therapy, group work, and intakes/assessments.

Holly has experience working with mood disorders, personality disorders, schizophrenia/psychosis, substance use, grief, and PTSD/trauma, among others. She also believes that therapy can benefit anyone, not just those with diagnosable mental illness. Holly has experience working with teens, adults, couples, members of the LGBTQIQA community, and clients with different ethnicities and backgrounds.

Holly practices from a person-centered approach in which she believes every person has value and worth, and each has the power within them to create a meaningful life. Her background is also in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), which is based on the idea that happiness comes from living a life based on one’s values, while not being overwhelmed or constrained by our thoughts and emotions. She also focuses on helping her clients create relationships with themselves so they can be comfortable with who they are and recognize their true value and worth.

Holly believes in the importance of self-care, and in her spare time she enjoys yoga, fly-fishing, reading, and spending time with her puppy Dobby. She is also a NAUI certified Master Diver and enjoys traveling the world and SCUBA diving.

More about Holly Priscu:

Bozeman Daily Chronicle Interview

Magen Hauser, PCLC

Clinical Therapist

Magen supports her clients by helping them find the strengths within them. She is a firm believer that each person has everything they need to reach their full potential, and her role as a therapist is to help her clients discover these strengths and utilize them to overcome challenges and lead fulfilling lives. Magen is dedicated to tailoring treatment to her clients’ uniqueness.

Magen is new to Montana and is deeply excited to serve the community of Butte. Originally from Chicago, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Valparaiso University in a minor in Music. She went on to earn her master’s in International Disaster Psychology at the University of Denver, where she received intensive training in trauma interventions and multicultural mental health. She has served the diverse needs of children, adolescents, and adults in correctional settings, hospitals, trauma clinics, refugee resettlement agencies, and other community settings. Magen also spent a summer in Africa training counselors and working with children and war trauma survivors. In these settings she has provided individual, group, and family therapy, assessments, consultations, and programming. She has a wealth of experience in creative arts therapies such as music, art, drama, dance, and yoga therapies and enjoys integrating these into her client care. She believes that humans are creative beings and that creative expression can be especially therapeutic for people who may not respond well to traditional talk therapy.

Magen integrates Humanistic, Existential, and Psychodynamic theories into her clinical approach. She believes that gaining insight into one’s life story and how it relates to current obstacles can facilitate healing, and that no matter what a person is struggling with, they can create meaning and peace in their lives. She also utilizes Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness practices to help clients stay present, aware, and balanced.

Outside of work, Magen spends much of her time socializing with friends, exploring Montana, and playing flute in the Butte symphony. She likes to go on adventures with her partner and two adorable dogs, hike and snowshoe, travel, and enjoys fun topics like Typology and Astrology.

Tristyn Howard

Office Manager

Born in Butte, MT, and a graduate from Whitehall High School, Tristyn joins Serenity in Motion as the Office Manager. Tristyn has had the pleasure of living in Arizona for four years, with year-round warmth and sunshine, and although she enjoyed the fact that sunshine does not have to be shoveled, her heart and home are in Montana. Tristyn is happy to be back in Butte, where she has her family, friends, and the great outdoors.

Tristyn’s work experience includes customer service and administrative support positions. Additionally, Tristyn is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from Arizona State University and is passionate about holistic health and wellness. Tristyn enjoys helping others and is pursuing her degree so that in the future she can use her experience and knowledge of the health sciences to assist people on their journey of positive change in the form of diet and exercise. Tristyn believes that overall wellness of the mind and body is the key to achieving a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and she lives by example of her beliefs. Tristyn’s fitness experience includes terrain runs, CrossFit, and lifting.

Tristyn also has experience being around individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her father served in special forces in the Army during the Vietnam War, and her fiancé served eight years in the Army with two tours in Afghanistan. Through her father and fiancé’s experiences, Tristyn has built an understanding of the struggles that individuals with PTSD face on a daily basis, which has helped lead her down the path of holistic health.

In her spare time, Tristyn enjoys exercising, hiking, horseback riding, being outdoors, and spending time with her family.

Desiree Valentino, M.Ed., M.A.

Behavior Modification and Intervention Specialist

Desiree is a behavior modification and intervention specialist, special education teacher, inclusion specialist, and parent/student advocate. She brings 9 years of teaching experience to the practice, and a passion for working with children and families of all needs and abilities. She has been a special education teacher, art teacher, reading teacher (elementary school), math teacher (elementary school), and grade 1 Braille instructor (working toward Braille certification and endorsement).

Desiree is a steadfast advocate for the success of children with special needs in the classroom and community. She believes in and has facilitated equal access for all children, in both the school setting and community—meaning all children, no matter the level of their abilities or the severity of their needs, be given access to the general education classroom with their non-disabled peers, and be given the opportunity to be involved in and accepted by their community. Desiree believes that all children have the right to experience the joys and wonders of the general education classroom, free from judgment, bias, and skepticism. She knows that all children can learn and succeed—they just need the adults and professionals in their lives to believe in them, and help them pave their way toward success. She has taught students with a diverse set of abilities and needs, including but not limited to: autism, blindness and other visual impairments, chromosomal disorders, deaf-blindness, deafness and other hearing impairments, emotional disturbances, intellectual disabilities, life threatening illnesses, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments, seizure disorders, severe medical conditions, specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, and traumatic brain injuries.

Desiree looks past the disability to see the child. She understands and operates from the position that students with disabilities are children first, and has oriented her interventions and teaching styles to help students exceed expectations and develop skills and abilities to gain success, happiness, and independence in their lives. Through collaboration with families, schools, and communities, Desiree has developed individualized education programs, created inclusive special education programs, trained other special education teachers and support staff, collaborated with specialists and medical professionals, trained community members on how to be more inclusive, and provided community services to children and families in Montana.

Desiree believes in inclusive education, no matter how severe the needs of the child, and has fostered and witnessed success with children with severe disabilities in the general education classroom and community. She has seen the transformative power of when adults begin to believe in children and what they can achieve—children succeed, socialize, develop independence, and live richer and happier lives.

Strategies Desiree has utilized to help students and children achieve academic, behavioral, and social success include, but are not limited to:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Positive Behavior Supports and Interventions
  • Fine Arts Integration
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  • Solution-Focused Practices
  • Adapted Technology
  • First/Then Language
  • Visual Aids and Supports
  • Incentivized Learning Strategies
  • Shared Experiences Facilitation
  • Social Narratives
  • Power Cards
  • Video Modeling

Collaborations have also included:

  • Montana School for the Deaf and Blind
  • Montana Deafblind Project
  • The Lolo Horse Arena and Faith Therapeutic Riding Services
  • Speech Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Medical Professionals
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Churches within the community

In her spare time, Desiree loves being with her husband and two dogs, getting together with friends and family, being outdoors, meeting new people, reading, walking, cooking, and painting.

More about Desiree Valentino:

Professional Paper 

SPARK! for the Arts featured article

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