DR. SCHAEFER is a licensed Psychologist who has been living and practicing in Las Cruces since 1990.  She received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.  She had been the Director of Counseling & Student Development at New Mexico State University from 2009 until May 1, 2017 when she retired.  Prior to becoming Director, she was the Training Director at the NMSU Counseling Center for 17 years.  She is currently in private practice with her colleague and collaborator, Dr. Corey Vas and provides individual, couples and group therapy services.  Her areas of professional interest and research include training and supervision; working with adult survivors of childhood abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, neglect); adult trauma survivors--including combat veterans; working with LGBTQ clients, individuals struggling with depression or grief and loss issues; offenders of abuse toward humans or animals, survivors who witnessed animal abuse, the healing aspects of human-animal interactions and the provision of animal assisted therapy as an adjunct to psychotherapy.  She has presented on multiple occasions about the link between animal abuse and human violence as well as the integration of animal assisted interventions in therapy.  Dr. Schaefer has been an ally of the LGBTQ community for a number of years and has supported the efforts of PFLAG organization in Las Cruces.    


DR. VAS is a licensed Psychologist who has been living and counseling in Las Cruces since 1999.  He earned both his Masters and PhD degrees from Iowa State University and completed his predoctoral Internship at the Tucson VA Medical Center.  He has spent the last 18 years working as a Staff Psychologist and then Associate Director for Clinical Services at the New Mexico State University Counseling Center, until just this spring when he chose to leave that position in pursuit of forming his own private practice with his colleague and mentor, Dr. Karen Schaefer.  Additionally, since 2003, Dr. Vas has been the Clinical Director of Family Therapy for Tresco's Children's Services in Las Cruces, providing counseling and family therapy services as well as reflective supervision for all of the Children's Services disciplines.  His clinical interests include working with LGBTQ+ individuals, working with Veterans and their families, treating Anxiety and Depressive Disorders, applying Mindfulness techniques and various other methods for managing stress, early childhood intervention, group therapy and counselor training & supervision.  Dr. Vas has long been an active advocate for the LGBTQ+ community including serving on the Board of Directors for PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians And Gays) until 2015.  


DR. HITTER earned her Master’s in Counseling from San Diego State University in 2007 and her Ph.D in Counseling Psychology from New Mexico State in 2012. She completed her doctoral internship with Iowa State University’s Student Counseling Service and worked as a staff psychologist for Idaho State University’s Student Counseling Service. Dr. Hitter has been an assistant professor with NMSU’s Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology since 2013. Her research includes a focus on counselor training and supervision, sexual trauma, and sexuality. Her clinical interests include working with LGBTQ+ individuals, sexual trauma survivors, and grief and loss. She uses an interpersonal approach in her clinical work, focusing on the relationship with the client as well as systemic factors that influence client concerns. She incorporates approaches such as mindfulness, stress management, and narrative therapy to help clients work toward their goals. 

About Us

How to find us

Click on any of the providers listed for an option to e-mail them directly.

BONITA PLAZA: 2801 Missouri Ave., Suite 36, Las Cruces, NM 88011, US

Dr. Vas (575) 496-2616 Dr. Schaefer (575) 571-9257 Dr. Hitter (575) 635-2002


By appointment only