About Us

Experience the difference

Meet A Cognitive Connection

At A Cognitive Connection, our passionate team is dedicated to helping the members of the community with all aspects of cognitive and behavioral brain function. We’ve invested in our education to be able to provide you with an unmatched level of expertise, and help improve your quality of life. With us by your side throughout your self-development journey, you’ll gain not only a support system, but also a helpful team of experts.

Our Mission & Values

A Cognitive Connection is a safe place for people to receive care from an understanding, supportive team. We operate under four values, regardless of what program you’re in, to make sure that all of our clients receive the same level of prestigious care.


Our team promises to consistently provide moral and transparent care for our clients. We believe having integrity is an essential part of truly helping and supporting the people of the community.


Through all of our programs, we’ll always be honest with our clients about the goals of our services and their treatment plans. We also promote openness to help strengthen the bond between client and provider.


Having self-discipline allows the members of our team to continually invest in our clients, regardless of adversities in the way. We’ll always practice patience and understanding with you.


Many people hesitate finding help because they’re afraid of judgement. With A Cognitive Connection, we empathize with our clients and will always treat them with the respect they deserve.

Meet the Team


Carol VanNess

Looking back, Carol sees how she was always meant to found A Cognitive Connection. Being inspired by her son, who has ADHD, she began to take parenting classes to better learn how to serve him. She immediately became fascinated with how the brain works and wanted to learn more about child psychology. She now has a Masters in Special Education and is in the process of receiving her PhD in Developmental Psychology.

Carol created A Cognitive Connection because she believes that learning individualized ways to help those with disabilities is a crucial part to ensuring that those individuals live a fulfilling and rewarding life. The entire team is passionate about helping the people of Colorado, and goes above and beyond to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.


Desarae Walker

After receiving her Masters from the University of Colorado, Desarae was introduced to cognitive brain training. She was so enamored with the program, that she decided to pursue a career in the field. Taking on a holistic approach with her clients, Desarae integrates the NeuroOptimal brain training system into her practice. This allows her to directly communicate with a patient’s central nervous system and help restore balance to the body.

She has been working with clients of all ages for over a decade helping them improve multiple areas of their lives. From emotional issues to learning struggles, Desarae is here to offer you support and tools to help you create long-lasting life improvements. She’s passionate about her clients and will always go above and beyond for their success.


Janis Bickers

After serving in the United States Army for five years as an officer, Janis worked for an insurance company for nearly 10 years. When she was introduced to cognitive brain training in 2005, she knew she had found her calling. She saw how an individualized brain training program could transform an individual’s life to help them create a more successful, fulfilling future.

Janis continually invests in her education to be able to better serve her clients. She’s able to provide services both in your home and in the office that aim to help improve motor function, cognition and social engagement skills. By addressing these areas, Janis can significantly improve your or your loved one’s quality of life.


Rhonda Williams

Prior to becoming a part of the A Cognitive Connection team in 2018, Rhonda cared for individuals with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, post-operative patients and those in hospice care. Over the years, she’s helped with a wide array of duties, whether that be with transportation or exploring community activities.

As a behavioral and cognitive counselor, Rhonda is able to thoroughly assess the unique needs of each person she sees and create a holistic treatment plan for them. Whether you are seeking help for yourself or for a loved one, Rhonda is available and eager to help you accomplish your goals.


Consuelo Earl

During her time earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Colorado, Consuelo worked in the cognitive psychology research lab. Throughout her work, she was exposed to fascinating areas of study including clinical psychology, geropsychology, depression management, and suicide prevention. Her love of psychology and helping her community has continued to grow since her time at UCCS.

Consuelo is passionate about mental health and has dedicated her resources to learning more about how she can help improve people’s mental well-being. She combines her passion for herbal medicine and knowledge of nutrition to improve her clients’ cerebral functioning and intellectual acuity. Consuelo holds a Master of Arts Degree in Christian Ministry with an emphasis in Pastoral Counseling from New Hope Christian College where she worked in the counseling center and taught undergraduate psychology courses. We appreciate her also being a conversant Spanish speaker to help serve a wider range of our community.

a photo of Sheri Waddell from A Cognitive Connection

Sheri Waddell

Growing up with her grandmother who ran a foster home for kids with disabilities, Sheri has always known she wanted to help people. First as an LPN in the US Army Reserves, then as a preschool teacher. Since then, Sheri has earned her Bachelor's degree in Mental Health from the Metropolitan State University in Denver and her Masters in Psychology from the University of the Rockies also in Denver. She has experience in working in family therapy, with at-risk youth and with adults who have intellectual disabilities. Sheri loves crafts, animals, photography, and nature. She is a mother to a blended mix of 4 children total and a grandmother of 12. 


Lang Netzler

Lang Netzler graduated with distinction from CU Colorado Springs, and earned a Bachelors in Biotechnology/Biochemistry. For her undergraduate thesis, she studied epigenetics by modifying gene activity of yeast cells. She continued her education at the Advanced Therapy Institute of Touch, and became certified in Integrative Meridian Therapy and Somatic Trauma Release Therapy.

She believes in working with the body as a whole organism, rather than compartmentalizing it into separate systems. Advanced from working with yeast cells to now with the human body, she is helping her clients to resolve aches and pains and to release shock and stress related disorders. She has helped clients with headaches, neck and shoulder pain, back pain, hip injuries, ankle issues, stress and anxiety, depression, self-confidence, immune system deficiencies, etc.

She offers in-person sessions and telehealth sessions. She is compassionate and trauma-informed. She offers: Meridian Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy, Reflexology, Pelvic Balancing, Light Therapy, and Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy. As a result, her clients’ health are balanced physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.


Noah Holzwarth

Noah joined the ACC team towards the end of 2021. They have many years of experience with the IDD population and worked with TRE before coming to us coordinating services and advocating for adults with disabilities. Noah has also worked with CASA, Goodwill Industries, Special Kids Special Families, and The Children’s Ark.

Noah earned a BA in Psychology in 2007 from Adams State University and an MS in Psychology from the University of Phoenix in 2011. In 2014/15, they studied ABA therapy at Arizona State University. Certifications include CPI, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, Dialectical Behavioral therapy, training in sign language, MANE, sex offender specific training, and serving as a court-appointed special advocate.

In Noah’s spare time, they facilitate support groups for disabled LGBT persons, non-disabled LGBT youth, and break time projects through TRE for parents of children with developmental disabilities. Noah is very passionate about what they do and builds trusting relationships with their clients very quickly. We are so happy to have them on our team and excited about how they are supporting the individuals we serve!

picture of Deirdre

Deirdre Kirk

After starting a career in the childhood education system and teaching abroad, Deirdre befriended a master practitioner of alternative health and found her passion in this field of serving others. She since has been trained in Chinese and Japanese body healing modalities and continues to broaden her spectrum with nervous system healing practices. Deirdre is dedicated to continually learning deeper aspects of healing, connecting different systems together, and bringing a wholeness centered approach to meet clients individuated needs.

Practices she currently offers include structural, meridian and lymphatic focused therapy, reflexology, myofascial release, light and sound therapy, somatic progressive movement, and somatic trauma release. These modalities are useful in alleviating pain, assisting in balancing hormones, helping with cognition and behavioral patterns, providing healing to the central nervous system and addressing other acute and chronic conditions.

Amy Johnson-Kemner

Amy Johnson-Kemner recently joined the ACC team to support the Boulder, North Denver region of Colorado. She began her career as a healer by learning White Light Reiki Energy Healing. She is a Reiki Master, a certified Life Coach, and a Mind, Body, Energy Therapist.

Mind, Body, Energy therapy is somatic healing. Somatic healing helps the client get into the body and identify where the trauma is. Trauma is energy that is stored in the body. In Mind, Body, Energy we transform that energy to heal from trauma, emotional pain, and life challenges. Transforming trauma and emotional pain will bring higher consciousness, wisdom, and a sense of freedom.

Amy earned a BA from University of Colorado in Art and she is currently working on her Master’s degree in Mental Health and Integrative Wellness from Grand Canyon University. 

Come Join Our Team

Looking to join a group of amazing people? Look no further! Fill out our application below to be considered for future opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you!

Become A Part Of Our Family

A Cognitive Connection was founded on the belief that individuals can live a fulfilling and rewarding life, regardless of their physical and mental capabilities. If you’re struggling with the aftermath of a brain injury or you’re searching for a center who can help your child with their social skills, A Cognitive Connection is the place for you! Over the years, we’ve invested in our education to be able to bring top-tier programs to the Colorado Springs community. If you’re ready to take the next step and learn more about how we can help you, contact us today!

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