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Stepping Stones

 Behavioral Health Services

 Competence      Integrity      Compassion

202 Brooks St Suite 300 Missoula, Montana 59801 USA

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Our Staff

Clinical Team

Shari Rigg is a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) and the Founder and Executive Director for Stepping Stones Behavioral Health Services. Shari specializes in individual, couples, and family therapy related to substance use disorders and gambling disorders. She has 23 years of experience as an addiction counselor, and is a graduate of the University of Great Falls. Shari has presented to general and professional audiences on the topics of identifying a problem with substance use, getting help for someone who has a problem with substance use, and how to support someone in recovery. Shari also works with employers to address the issue of impaired employees.

Shari’s therapeutic approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help patients effectively address personal life challenges to address problems with substance use and maintain a lifestyle of low-risk substance use or abstinence. With compassion and understanding, she works with everyone to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth and goals they are committed to accomplishing. For patients wanting to strengthen their relationship with a Higher Power, she addresses concerns about faith, forgiveness, restoration, love, hope, and inner peace.

License & Certifications: State of Montana, Licensed Addiction Counselor, #BBH-LAC-LIC-959

Additional Training: Pathological Gambling, 2016

Professional Activities and Memberships: Current NW Regional VP for NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, and a member of the Missoula Rotary Club


Darren Ashby is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC), and the Clinical Manager at Stepping Stones. Darren graduated from the University of Montana in May 2017 with a Master of Social Work and has been a Licensed Addiction Counselor since May 2018. Darren has experience working with individuals involved with the criminal justice system and Child & Family Services. Darren has also worked extensively with the homeless population and citizens returning from incarceration. In his free time, Darren enjoys riding his motorcycle, building computers, and likes to tinker with technology.

License & Certifications: State of MT, Licensed Addiction Counselor, #BBH-LAC-LIC-30184
                                                    State of MT, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, #BBH-LCSW-LIC-53909

Additional Training: Pathological Gambling, 2018

Professional Activities and Memberships: National Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC); National Association of Social Workers (NASW).


Aaron Anciaux is a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) at Stepping Stones  and has been working in addiction counseling since 2019. He specializes in working with individuals experiencing a substance use disorder and works closely with those involved with Child Family Services and the Criminal Justice System. Aaron earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2000 from Carroll College and received his Addiction Counseling Certificate from the Missoula College in 2019. He graduated in May 2021 Master of Social Work at the University of Montana. In his spare time, Aaron likes to enjoy the outdoors with his wife and children.

Licenses & Certifications:
State of Montana,  Licensed Addiction Counselor, #BBH-LAC-TMP-38847
State of Montana, Social Work Licensee Candidate, #BBH-SWLC-LIC-49272

Professional Activities and Memberships: National Association of Addiction Counselors (NAADAC)


Janel Kane is a Licensed Addiction Counselor at Stepping Stones Counseling. She specializes in working with individuals experiencing a substance abuse disorder and works closely with those that have suffered trauma, people going through Family Treatment Court, and Child Protective Services. Janel received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix in 2012 and completed her Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix in 2014. In her spare time Janel enjoys camping, hiking, running, Geocaching, reading, and exploring ghost towns.

Licenses & Certifications:
Licensed Addiction Counselor, #BBH-LAC-LIC-43741
Licensed Foster Parent with the Department of Family Services

Additional Training: MAADAC Certificate of Training: Science of Addiction


Laurie Simonson is currently an Addiction Counseling Licensee Candidate (ACLC). She completed her Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling in the summer of 2020 and has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology.  She is enthusiastic about working with men and women with substance use disorders and helping them on the way to recovery.  Laurie enjoys singing and writing. She is passionate about continuing to learn throughout her life.  She enjoys spending time with her extended family whenever possible.

Licensing & Certifications: #BBH-ACLC-LIC-44314

Additional Training: Pathological Gambling, 2020 Harm Reduction for the Clinical Setting, 2020

Professional Activities and Memberships:  NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals


Shannon Carlson is currently an Addiction Counseling Licensee Candidate (ACLC). 

Licensing & Certifications: #BBH-ACLC-LIC-

Professional Activities and Memberships:  NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals


Ethan Thomas is an ACLC with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UM and is currently in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Montana. He is a parent of 2 kids and enjoys reading, drawing, fishing, cooking, gardening, and is a houseplant enthusiast. Ethan’s philosophy on recovery is a person centered, harm reduction framework that works towards supporting his patient's goals for building resilience and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He is a member of NAADAC for addiction professionals and NASW subject to the NASW code of ethics. Ethan also co-facilitates the LGBTQ+ Rainbow Recovery Support Group.

Licensing & Certifications:  #BBH-ACLC-LIC-55000

Professional Activities and Memberships:  NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals


Peer Support Team

Douglas Bunnell is a Peer Support Specialist at Stepping Stones. Doug graduated from UM in Social Work and Addiction Studies in May 2022. Doug believes in the value of shared lived experience and the therapeutic value of collaboration. Doug's career goals are to obtain his LAC status, and is very excited about his current peer support role here at Stepping Stones. He is in long-term recovery and enjoys working with co-occurring disorders. In his free time, Doug enjoys spending time with his kids, fishing for large mouth bass at Nine Pipes Reservoir, hikes to the "M", and working out.

Licenses & Certifications: 
State of MT Certified Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialist, #BBH-BHPS-CRT-49417

Professional Activities and Memberships: Montana Peer Network


Kelly Gifford is our Administrative Assistant, Peer Support Specialist, and (unofficial) Tech Support. They have been working in administrative fields since 2014, and they enjoy working with patients and can help newcomers get connected to the right therapist. They can also help with filing, faxing, answering questions, and general administrative work. They attended the University of Montana for four years, pursuing a degree in Geology. In their spare time, they enjoy reading, cuddling with their cat, Angel, and giving lengthy lectures about their rock collection to anyone who asks. 

Licenses & Certifications: 
State of MT Certified Behavioral Health Peer Support Specialist, #BBH-BHPS-CRT-55462

Professional Activities and Memberships: Montana Peer Network


Administrative Team

Rhonda Huguet is our Finance Administrator here at Stepping Stones. She has over 20 years of experience with office administration, and studied business at the University of Montana. She can help with any financial questions regarding statements and insurance. Her other roles include payroll, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. Rhonda received her QuickBooks Bookkeeping Certification in 2017. She was born and raised in Montana and has lived in Missoula most of her life. In her spare time, Rhonda enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

Licenses & Certifications: QuickBooks Bookkeeping Certification

Additional Training: Substance Abuse Management Information System; Montana Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors Fall Conference 2019