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Leslie Best

Mental Health Counseling, Rehabilitation and Creative Arts Therapist

Austin, TX


To utilize clinical counseling, leadership and nonprofit management skills to conduct mental health and wellness treatment in community-based organization.

Work Experience

Fundraising and Non-profit Management

Various Professional and Volunteer Organizations

June 1988 to Present

• Served in professional organizations and on volunteer Boards of Directors combined for 15 years. 
• Participated in and led long-term strategic planning including mission development. 
• Managed and had sole responsibility for monthly fundraising programs which generated approximately $50,000 per month; led Board fundraising efforts of immediate and organizational members. 
• Produced annual program and revenue budget; developed and implemented statistical analysis of monthly and yearly returns; implemented changes which successfully reduced costs and increased net income; specifically increased program monthly revenue by 38%, membership by 16% and average gift by 15 % through aggressive analysis and targeting. 
• Wrote, edited and produced monthly and quarterly fundraising letters calling members to action on critical lobbying and political campaigns.  
• Lobbied members of State Legislature and U.S. Congress on behalf of membership on critical legislation improving the access to physical and mental health services. 
• Conducted personal and phone solicitation and stewardship of donors. 
• Managed donor records, implemented new computer database program, and responded to all donor requests and concerns. 
• Managed vendor relations and production. 
• Assisted in major event coordination.

Mental Health and Rehabilitation Therapist

Patton State Hospital
Patton, CA

June 2000 to March 2009

• Provided clinical counseling and psychosocial mental health rehabilitation to forensic psychiatric population. 
• Worked with interdisciplinary treatment team to develop treatment goals, discharge plans, and therapeutic treatment interventions for caseload of 50+. 
• Implemented crisis intervention and de-escalation strategies with dangerous, impulsive and self-injurious individuals in high-stress environment. 
• Coordinated with providers to screen for possible referrals for psychiatry, psychology, neuro-psychology, social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech/language pathology and educational assessment. 
• Provided evidenced-based groups, with lesson plans and course curriculum emphasizing strength-based, outcomes-based, and recovery-focused strategies serving individuals from two programs totaling over 400 in combined population. 
• Provided didactic and process oriented groups and individual counseling with expertise in Dance/movement Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Treatment (DBT), Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and body-image awareness. 
• Led and developed group curriculum for Anger Management through Mindfulness, Social Skills Development, Dance/movement therapy for Neuro-cognitive deficits, Crisis Intervention, Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention, Body Awareness and Symptom Management, Grief and Loss, Violence Prevention, Informal Pet therapy and Creative Arts Therapy and Expression. 
• Participated in hospital-wide Violence Prevention, Diabetes, and Mental Health Recovery Training Committees. 
• Presented lectures Introduction to Dance/movement Therapy at annual PSH Forensic Conference, Social Work Service and Rehabilitation Service trainings. 
• Developed guidelines for Dance/movement Therapy Internship.

After School Program Provider

Redlands School District
Redlands, CA

January 2000 to June 2001

• Provided after school programming under statewide grant to reduce teen pregnancy and prevent violence and substance abuse among school children. 
• Conducted creative arts and movement interventions along with verbal processing to help elementary-age children and middle school girls cope with grief and loss, build increased self-esteem and positive body image, and develop skills to express anger appropriately and assert themselves effectively.

Dance/movement Therapist and Case Manager

Community Re-Entry Program
Springfield, MA

June 1998 to October 1999

• Conducted psychosocial counseling groups with outpatient psychiatric individuals in community day treatment center. 
• Worked with agency staff to develop and implement treatment foci of individuals. 
• Responsible for caseload management and documentation


MA in Dance/movement Therapy and Counseling

Antioch New England University

May 1998

Two-years of coursework in Women's Studies

George Washington University -
George, WA

January 1990

BA in Psychology

University of Redlands

September 1986 to May 1988


• Strong human relations skills with the ability to communicate compassion and tact in stressful environments. • Astute analytical and clinical judgment with the ability to apply creative problem solving to individual and systemic issues. • Demonstrated clinical experience with multiple populations ranging throughout the lifespan. • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to effectively develop and project message to diverse audiences. • Knowledge, understanding and practice of cultural competency to effectively reach minority and underserved populations. • Faculty to conceptualize global goals and ideas while working toward individual tasks. • Motivated, team player with negotiation and diplomacy skills. • Drive and focus to take initiative, work independently to meet deadlines, and follow-through with task completion. • Demonstration of fundraising cultivation and fiscal management. • Capacity to manage stress effectively in demanding environments. • Computer literacy, research skills and graphic design competency.


Outstanding Service Award, American Dance/movement Therapy Association, 2007

October 2007


Board-Certified Dance/movement Therapist, American Dance Therapy Association

July 2002 to June 2011

Indicates the advanced clinical title of the American Dance Therapy Association, designating completion of two years of clinical practice, supervision and theoretical approach defense.


American Dance/movement Therapy Association

June 1997 to Present

California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors

2005 to Present

Additional Information

Volunteer Experience 
• Volunteer with Child Life Specialist Dept., Dell Children’s Medical Center, June 2010-current  
• Member, California Coalition for Counseling Licensure (CCCL) Board of Directors […] 
• President, Southern California Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association (SCCADTA) Board of Directors […] 
• Member, University of Redlands Alumni Association Board of Directors […] 
• Member, Allocations Committee, United Way of the East Valley, […]