counseling and psychiatric services for adolescents and young adults
Doorways LLC.

1825 E. Northern Ave. 

Suite 200

Phoenix, AZ 85020




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We specialize in treating
adolescents and 
young adults
for depression,
bipolar, anxiety and

 mood disorders,

eating disorders, 
trauma and abuse,
 substance abuse,

self harm,

suicide prevention,


Meet Our Team

  Vanessa De La Cruz, LCSW

Venessa received her Masters in Social Work in 2007 from Arizona State University. For the last six years she has worked extensively with children and families in the behavioral health and foster care systems. Venessa has clinical experience working with adolescents and children who have experienced abuse and trauma, depression, anxiety, adoption and behavioral issues.

Where are you from? 


I am native to Arizona, born in Tucson and raised in Mesa since I was 6 years old. I continue to live in the east valley. 



 Tell us about your family.


My parents have been married for 37 years and I have a younger sister and older brother. My brother is several years older than me and my sister, so I grew up being the "oldest" child in the home. My sister and I are extremely close as adults and I consider her one of my best friends.


I live with my husband of nearly 13 years, our 2 year old daughter, and our 2 pugs. 

  What's your favorite quote or saying? 

My sister once told me "disappointed hopes are stepping stones to unrealized dreams." This is my favorite quote because it has seen me through some tough times. It is also something that I believe to be true. We never know what lies ahead of us in our future, especially when we have experienced something heartbreaking. It is often much more than we ever could have hoped for to begin with.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my family and friends, reading a good book, and attempting some DIY crafts. 

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I would love to meet with Mother Teresa. The opportunity to meet with her and talk to her even just for a few minutes would be amazing.


"Happiness is inward, and not outward; & so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are."


 - Henry Van Dyke


"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts." 


- Charles Dickens


"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." 

- Aesop


"Once you choose hope, anything's possible." 


- Christopher Reeve


"Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones." 


- Phillip Brooks



Most of us well know that 19 members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot crew died on June 30th while fighting the Yarnell Hill fire.  This devastating loss has undoubtedly had a severe impact on family and friends of those who perished as well as the whole community.


Here are some tips for dealing with grief:

  1. Seek out support: Grief can be overwhelming and confusing to process through alone.
  2. Give yourself permission to grieve.  It's part of the healing process.
  3. Give yourself time to grieve.  Grief takes time.
  4. Find joy, one little thing at a time.

If you have friends and family who are grieving, the best thing you can do is to keep in contact with them.  Having a caring person to talk to, or to do things with, can help people get through the grieving process.


If you would like more information about how to help adolescents and young adults who are dealing with grief, please contact me. We can provide workshops, articles, and additional resources. 


Jan Hamilton, PMHNP-BC

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Doorways, LLC



What's New at Doorways?

NEWEST Intensive Outpatient Program Track for Adolescents:
OCD/ Anxiety Disorder


Who: Boys and Girls, ages 12-17.  This 

track is open enrollment (you may join at any time).  


What: Small group format good for 

adolescents who are struggling with OCD, extreme social phobia.


When: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, July 8 - August 15 

(6 weeks), 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.  After the initial 6 weeks,  we will be continuing the track, moving the program to afternoons/evenings.  Please call the office for details.


Led By: Sam Lample, LPC, Josh Harper, MEd, MS, 

and Megan Schwallie, MA, BHT 


Where: Doorways Arizona, 1825 E. Northern Ave, Suite 200

Phoenix, Arizona 85020


How: Email Trina or call Doorways, (602) 997-2880

Intensive Outpatient Programs


Young Adult Trauma IOP is for ages 

17-25.  This track is 3 days per week, a total of 10 hours per week. Open enrollment, join any time.


Adolescent Eating Disorders IOP is for ages 13-18. It is 3 days per week, a total of 13 hours per week. Open enrollment, join any time.


If you know anyone who may benefit from either of these specialty programs, please don't hesitate to give us a call at 602.997.2880

Grief: Coping with Reminders After a Loss

Grief doesn't magically end at a certain point after a loved one's death. Reminders often bring back the pain of loss. Here's help coping - and healing.


By: Mayo Clinic



When a loved one dies, you might be faced with grief over your loss again and again - sometimes even years later. Feelings of grief might return on the anniversary of your loved one's death, birthday or other special days throughout the year.


These feelings, sometimes called an anniversary reaction, aren't necessarily a setback in the grieving process. They're a reflection that your loved one's life was important to you.


To continue on the path toward healing, know what to expect - and how to cope with reminders of your loss.


Reminders can be anywhere

Certain reminders of your loved one might be inevitable, especially on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and other special days that follow your loved one's death.


Reminders aren't just tied to the calendar, though. They can be tied to sights, sounds and smells - and they can ambush you. You might suddenly be flooded with emotions when you drive by the restaurant your partner loved or when you hear your child's favorite song. Even memorial celebrations for others can trigger the pain of your own loss.


What to expect when grief returns

Anniversary reactions can last for days at a time or - in more extreme cases - much longer. During an anniversary reaction you might experience:

  • Sadness
  • Loneliness
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Pain

Anniversary reactions can also evoke powerful memories of the feelings and events surrounding your loved one's death. For example, you might remember in great detail where you were and what you were doing when your loved one died.


Tips to cope with reawakened grief


Even years after a loss, you might continue to feel sadness when you're confronted with reminders of your loved one's death. As you continue healing, take steps to cope with reminders of your loss. 

  • Be prepared. Anniversary reactions are normal. Knowing that you're likely to experience anniversary reactions can help you understand them and even turn them into opportunities for healing.
  • Plan a distraction. Schedule a gathering or a visit with friends or loved ones during times when you're likely to feel alone or be reminded of your loved one's death.
  • Reminisce about your relationship. Focus on the good things about your relationship with your loved one and the time you had together, rather than the loss. Write a letter to your loved one or a note about some of your good memories. You can add to this note anytime.
  • Start a new tradition. Make a donation to a charitable organization in your loved one's name on birthdays or holidays, or plant a tree in honor of your loved one.
  • Connect with others. Draw friends and loved ones close to you, including people who were special to your loved one. Find someone who'll encourage you to talk about your loss. Stay connected to your usual support systems, such as spiritual leaders and social groups. Consider joining a bereavement support group.
  • Allow yourself to feel a range of emotions. It's OK to be sad and feel a sense of loss, but also allow yourself to experience joy and happiness. As you celebrate special times, you might find yourself both laughing and crying.
When grief becomes overly intense

There's no time limit for grief, and anniversary reactions can leave you reeling. Still, the intensity of grief tends to lessen with time.


If your grief gets worse over time instead of better or interferes with your ability to function in daily life, consult a grief counselor or other mental health provider. Unresolved or complicated grief can lead to depression and other mental health problems. With professional help, however, you can re-establish a sense of control and direction in your life - and return to the path toward healing.

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