V. matheus

therapeutic & educational consulting

Vania Matheus, MA, MS is founder of V. Matheus – Therapeutic & Educational Consulting . In her fourteen year practice as a consultant, Vania has helped hundreds of families allocate appropriate treatment options for teens and young adults struggling with mental and behavioral health issues. Vania is an expert in researching, designing and implementing interventions. Her knowledge of therapeutic programs and resources is extensive.

Her expertise with teens, young adults, and their families comes from experience working in a variety of therapeutic settings, including: Clinical Therapist for the Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program and Dual Diagnosis Partial Hospitalization Program at Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center; Child and Adolescent Clinical Social Worker at St. Helena Hospital; and Family Therapist at Caritas Counseling. Vania holds an M.A. in School Counseling from La Sierra University and an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University. Having developed a resiliency and strength-based approach to transitioning students home, post-treatment, Vania holds expertise and experience in helping families navigate the challenges young people and their families face when a young person returns home after treatment.

Most recently, Vania was honored by one of her alma maters’ – La Sierra University, with the ‘Rising Star Award’, acknowledging her contributions to the difficult challenges involved in evaluating teens, young adults and their families and developing plans to address developmental, emotional and scholastic growth. Vania’s warm, creative and mindful approach is informed by her regular training and participation in Improvisational Theatre and studying, practicing and teaching Vinyasa Yoga and mindfulness concepts.

vania matheus

founder / ceo

 Vania has helped hundreds of families allocate appropriate treatment options for teens and young adults struggling with mental and behavioral health issues. Vania is an expert in researching, designing and implementing interventions. Her knowledge of therapeutic programs and resources is extensive.

Her expertise with teens, young adults, and their families comes from experience working in a variety of therapeutic settings, including: Clinical Therapist for the Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program and Dual Diagnosis Partial Hospitalization Program at Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center; Child and Adolescent Clinical Social Worker at St. Helena Hospital; and Family Therapist at Caritas Counseling. Vania holds an M.A. in School Counseling from La Sierra University and an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University. Having developed a resiliency and strength-based approach to transitioning students home, post-treatment, Vania holds expertise and experience in helping families navigate the challenges young people and their families face when a young person returns home after treatment.

Most recently, Vania was honored by one of her alma maters’ – La Sierra University, with the ‘Rising Star Award’, acknowledging her contributions to the difficult challenges involved in evaluating teens, young adults and their families and developing plans to address developmental, emotional and scholastic growth. Vania’s warm, creative and mindful approach is informed by her regular training and participation in Improvisational Theatre and studying, practicing and teaching Vinyasa Yoga and mindfulness concepts.

Vania Matheus, MA, MS is founder of V. Matheus – Therapeutic & Educational Consulting . In her fourteen year practice as a consultant,

misty nissen

variety of settings for nearly 10 years and is passionate about ensuring that teens and young adults receive the necessary resources and supports for them to be successful. Misty has a degree in elementary education from Buena Vista University and masters degrees in both Organizational and Educational leadership. 

After graduating from BVU, Misty spent 3 years in an elementary school setting and 3 years working with students from preschool age through 8th grade. Misty also volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) working to advocate for foster children in her state and was the Iowa Commissioner for the Educational Opportunity for Military Children Interstate Compact Committee before moving to Texas. As a former teacher, Misty believes that all children are capable of learning and want to be successful. Misty is passionate about researching and sharing the resources that will serve your child and your family best. 

director of case management and research

Misty Nissen, M.A., M.Ed., is an associate consultant with V. Matheus Therapeutic and Educational Consulting. Misty has worked with youth in a 

Misty Nissen, M.A., M.Ed., is an associate consultant with V. Matheus Therapeutic and Educational Consulting. Misty has worked with youth in a variety of settings for  nearly 10 years and is passionate about ensuring that teens and young adults receive the necessary resources and supports for them to be successful. Misty has a degree in elementary education from Buena Vista University and masters degrees in both Organizational and Educational leadership. 

After graduating from BVU, Misty spent 3 years in an elementary school setting and 3 years working with students from preschool age through 8th grade. Misty also volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) working to advocate for foster children in her state and was the Iowa Commissioner for the Educational Opportunity for Military Children Interstate Compact Committee before moving to Texas. As a former teacher, Misty believes that all children are capable of learning and want to be successful. Misty is passionate about researching and sharing the resources that will serve your child and your family best. 

Karen Szpaller is a Broadway Stage Manager who is excited to provide her organizational talents to V. Matheus Consulting for a temporary pandemic pivot. Her 20+ years of experience in organizing people and projects has proven itself to be invaluable. Karen is also a trusted mentor for teenagers, and is known for her exceedingly cheerful yet calm presence in their lives. Karen will be handling the schedule and communicating with clients, programs, and collateral professionals. We’re excited to add Karen’s skills to the V. Matheus team.

karen szpaller

communications coordinator

Karen Szpaller is a Broadway
Stage Manager who is excited
 to provide her organizational
 talents to V. Matheus


Consulting for a temporary pandemic pivot. Her 20+ years of experience in organizing people and projects has proven itself to be invaluable. Karen is also a trusted mentor for teenagers, and is known for her exceedingly cheerful yet calm presence in their lives. Karen will be handling the schedule and communicating with clients, programs, and collateral professionals. We’re excited to add Karen’s skills to the V. Matheus team.

Each program we work with is researched in-depth. Almost all programs, with the exception of those occasionally needed for more rare situations, have been on the V. Matheus radar for many years. Vania knows the founding body of the schools, their model, therapists, records, staff, and more. Utilizing programs that are research-based is essential. We only recommend programs that value personal growth, emotional regulation, and life skill development--without an institutionalized or pathology-focused feel. Our providers are warm, nurturing, professional care providers and environments that focus on whole person, integrative care. 

though no vetting process is perfect, we only recommend programs that have been thoroughly vetted Because your child's emotional and physical safety is always our primary concern

our Vetting process

step 1: investigate

Visiting a program and interviewing students, staff, and parents is a critical component to our vetting process. Each program that we recommend has been visited multiple times and had several interviews conducted with students and staff alike. When at the programs, we take a look at the grounds (Are they clean and well managed? Is staff friendly? What amenities do they have?), we speak to the staff (Why do they work there? What is the turnover like? What are the goals/expectations for the young people in the program?), we interview students 1:1 to get their take on the program, staff, and therapies, and we speak with parents who have previously had their child attend the program to get their perspective.

though no vetting process is perfect, we only recommend programs that have been throughly vetted Because your child's emotional and physical safety is always our primary concern

our Vetting process

step 2: interview

Then, we continuously share information with (and collect information from) other professionals in our industry. There is a group of consultants that meet weekly by zoom to discuss the experiences they are having with different programs, evaluate what is programs are doing well on, and to share what they notice as staff transitions in and out of programs. This has been particularly helpful as Coronavirus has limited the amount of travel and touring consultants have been able to do. Aside from other consultants, we also continue to collect information from staff at the programs, parent references, and students. 

though no vetting process is perfect, we only recommend programs that have been throughly vetted Because your child's emotional and physical safety is always our primary concern

our Vetting process

step 3: information exchange

-We believe in hope. We visualize the best possible outcome for your child’s future, then create a solid plan to get there. We are a strength-based, comprehensive service that has the ability to guide you through every step of the process and road to your child’s recovery, so you are not alone, and you have answers. We look for ways to benefit the entire family and help you create lasting, salient change that supports your young person.
-We believe by providing tools for change from the beginning—preparation, education, as well as support, insight and resources. Families will make the lasting changes necessary to help their student transition successfully back into their home and community. We begin with the end in mind.
-We individualize our approach – there are no boilerplate, cookie cutter approaches. Every situation is different, and every child is unique.
Because we won’t compromise our quality of care, we only take clients who are a good fit for our services, and we limit the number of clients we serve at any one time.
-We believe personally connecting with our clients helps us gain an in-depth understanding of their situation. We often meet with clients in their homes or where they are most comfortable.

why we should work together

V. Matheus – Therapeutic & Educational Consulting seeks out warm, nurturing, professional care providers and environments that focus on whole person, integrative care. We search for and only recommend people and programs that value personal growth, emotional regulation, and life skill development – without an institutionalized or pathology-focused feel. We are a strength-based approach.

a completely free 30 minute call to determine if vania is the right fit for your family's needs and to answer any other questions you may have.

Have a complimentary 30 minute call with Vania

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