Tue, April 07

Village People: A life of service all in day's work for 'Dr. C'

Dr. “C” (Cynthia Dodge) was born in KC, Missouri, an only child to a stay-at-home mom and a dad who was in insurance. She had two sets of wonderful grandparents and describe her maternal grandparents as pillars of the community with a 60-year marriage, him a local builder with streets named after him.

Her father transferred to Florida, where she spent her formative years. Next was relocation to Southern California where she graduated high school, completed her undergrad at USC (age 20) and her masters at UCLA (age 23). In public school she enjoyed student government, community theater, and music, playing the piano and flute.

While at USC, Cynthia worked for the dean of the law school. After school, San Fernando Valley Child’s Guidance Clinic sent her to work in Van Nuys with juvenile offenders in their diversion program. With so many gang members present, group meetings had to include security guards. Private practice was next, which she has maintained on some level throughout her working career.

Dr. C was then hired as the executive director for the Maine Commission for Women, a quasi-governmental organization, reporting directly to the governor. In this role she built bridges and relationships. When the commission was disbanded, due to state funding cuts, she was offered an executive position with the largest mental health service in Maine doing clinical development programming. In this role she was able to improve services to clientele through internal changes, implementing new processes and procedures, and providing better training.

Although helping many people through those efforts for years, Cynthia wanted to connect with more individual clients. When NARBA hired her as their chief clinical officer in Flagstaff she came west, moving to the Village of Oak Creek.

The call of private practice and semi-retirement led her to leave NARBA and open offices in Sedona and the VOC, seeing clients three days a week. Dr. C desires “to create a welcoming, supportive environment for people to feel safe and secure to address whatever issues brought them to seek help, and then to respond to those people.” Her office in West Sedona is a converted art studio and she uses a lot of expressive arts in her therapy.

Cynthia loves hiking, yoga, travel, scuba diving, cooking and eating. The Caribbean is her favorite place to dive, preferring unusual dives off the beaten path like “wall dives” (diving down next to barrier reef walls) or shipwrecks, and has several artifacts she’s collected.

Dr. C has been a practicing therapist for over 30 years, as well as an educator, lecturer, national/international conference presenter, co-author of The Anger Addict and several play therapy techniques. You can reach her at 928-863-8431 or

Jim Cunningham, Jr. is a pastor, husband, father, lover of people, friend, neighbor, counselor, teacher, book collector, and jack-of-all-trades. Meet him here each month to become acquainted with yet another Village resident.

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