Colby Backman is a clinical mental health counselor, an American Sign-Language interpreter, a volunteer firefighter, a husband, and a father.
Colby began working early in life at the age of 10 being responsible for a newspaper route. He started his first of several businesses at the age of 16 where he learned to get back up after being knocked down. After learning American Sign Language (ASL) from Deaf companions while serving as a missionary in Chicago, Illinois and Phoenix, Arizona, Colby pursued a career as an ASL interpreter where he excelled in just about every interpreting venue available to professional interpreters. He holds two national interpreting certifications, and even though he has interpreted for some famous people, his favorite interpreting venue was in one-on-one, face-to-face settings with local Deaf community members.
In addition to interpreting, Colby served in the Colorado and Arizona Army National Guard, and served the citizens of Douglas and Arapahoe County Colorado as a Colorado State Trooper where he frequently received a “thank you” from people he arrested for treating them like “human beings”. Unfortunately, Colby also learned about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on a personal level after witnessing the aftermath of a triple fatal crash that involved two little girls, one who died before he arrived on scene, then later that day experiencing the “joy” of witnessing the birth of his first child – as the two experiences became enmeshed, PTSD set in.
After another 15 months and several more fatal crashes, and a couple high speed chases, Colby chose to leave the patrol and return to interpreting full-time. It was then that he began his college education and his journey to find his “calling” in life. While searching for his “calling,” a mentor asked him what is something that comes naturally to him. Colby recalled how people always felt comfortable, and sometimes felt a need, to open up to him about their life’s difficulties – mainly their traumatic life events – and that is when he felt the path light up for him and he has never looked back.
Colby Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Park University in Parkville Missouri with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice then went on to receive his Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adams State University in southern Colorado. Colby is a multicultural counselor focused on learning more about PTSD and trauma in general. Because much of the trauma that others had opened up to him about was of a sexual nature, Colby also chose to focus on sexuality counseling.
During Colby’s internship, he was faced with a daunting task of counseling children who had entered the foster care system, and some who had been adopted out offoster care along with their parents in Southwest Utah. Although he was unsure of going this direction, he dove in head first and devoured every learning opportunity and training to ensure he was providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date evidence-based treatment methods for these families.
Colby was mentored by some of the best attachment-trained counselors in Utah, and he even paid for his own EMDR training when he learned about the amazing success it had on those diagnosed with PTSD and other trauma-based disorders. During this training he was finally able to overcome his own battle with PTSD. Colby was also trained in art therapy methods, and one of his favorite, sand play (which is not just for the kids).
After two years working alongside some amazing clinicians, Colby chose to make a change and joined us here at Your Family Expert as our Attachment and Trauma Specialist where he works with all ages from newborns (and their mothers), children with PTSD, RAD, Depression, Anxiety, ODD, and dual-diagnosis situations including autistic children who have also been traumatized. Often the parents come asking for help with their child and find they get help for the whole family.
Because of his training and experience as an ASL interpreter, as well as additional training and certification in reading micro expressions, Colby is able to read people in a way that they likely have never experienced which is vital in treating trauma where people sometimes don’t know what they are feeling. Because of his training and experience, Colby is a highly sought after trauma counselor who gets results.
Colby and his wife, Lynette, were married in 2000. They have six very unique children who, due to genes, each have their fair share of challenges ranging from symptoms of anxiety and depression to color-blindness and high functioning autism. Each of them is hilarious and fun and happy nearly all the time – when they are getting their way. As for the other times, it is a challenge to help them find their voice – the voice that does not cause hearing damage. Colby and Lynette do not claim to be perfect parents, but they know they are the perfect parents for the six they have. In addition to running the house and homeschooling the four younger children, Lynette is a talented florist where she has a true eye for beauty.
In the little free time he has, Colby enjoys spending time eating dinner with his family and cracking jokes that usually are not funny, although his goal at the dinner table is to tell a hilarious joke at the precise moment one of his children has a mouth full of milk, and has offered money for any display of milk spray that follows. His children can be seen cautiously eating their meal – watching their dad ever closely so as to not be caught off guard. Colby enjoys composing music on the piano and singing, and he is a volunteer certified Wildland and Structural FireFighter I & II with the Brookside Fire Department.