"...you have a place here"
I am a licensed Mental Health Counselor. I have a Master’s of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science (Systems Counseling) from Bastyr University (LIOS), a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Western Washington University, and a Paralegal Certification from the University of Washington. My therapeutic approach varies depending upon your needs. I most often utilize a Cognitive Behavioral, or Solution Focused approach, incorporating reframing to provide a new perspective. I borrow from many contemporary therapists such as Dr. Brené Brown, Dr. Dan Siegel, Drs. John and Julie Gottman. I have worked in a community mental health agency, the criminal justice system, private practice, and in schools. I am profoundly committed to the pursuit of social justice and recognize the intrinsic worth of all people.
I approach each person with dignity and respect through a systemic lens that includes you as an individual and you as a member of a larger group. I recognize that you come with your own unique story and embedded in that story are strengths and values that can enrich your life. I hope that together we can find ways to highlight your strengths and insights, so that your life becomes more meaningful and fulfilling. Together we will explore external forces and internal clues that influence the quality of your life. I will look at many factors in your life, including your family of origin, your current level of social support, what you do for fun, what brings you joy, and how your fuel your body. It all contributes to you. I encourage you to be an active participant in your journey as I walk beside you.
Originally I am from Alaska and can’t imagine living anywhere outside the Pacific Northwest. I am happiest on the water and have always lived near it. Some of my favorite things to do include writing, reading, boating, playing soccer, traveling, and finding great gluten-free restaurants. Another favorite thing to do is to dream about where in the world I will go next.
I believe that we all have the tools inside to make the changes in our life that we have been putting aside. I hope that in your journey with me, you feel inspired, encouraged, and engaged. Whether you find yourself in the clutches of shame or the darkness of depression or the constant battle of trying to calm your anxiety... you have a place here. I welcome you.
I like to focus on what is working in your life before we get to what could use some help. My approach is interactive and engaging and I often use humor when it is appropriate. Some of the ways we learned to survive as a child don’t translate into helping us cope in adulthood. I hope that you learn new ways to look at your life, by identifying your thoughts and emotions so that you can go from surviving to thriving. My focus includes letting go of fear and taking clues from your body so that you can live a life full of meaning and passion and work toward your dreams. I will walk beside you in this journey as we conquer fear, shame, and anxiety so that you can feel free from the chains that have held you back and feel more connected. Sometimes we just need someone to talk to. I am here.
I have been working with couples for the past 6 years and find it very rewarding. Whether you feel disconnected and just want to get back on track or you and your partner are highly conflictual and can’t remember the last time you had fun together…. I welcome you. Together we will work to find the patterns that you have developed that keep you stuck and look at new ways of approaching each other. I will guide you and give you the tools to make a difference in your relationship. I hope that both of you feel heard and respected by each other. I incorporate elements of The Gottman Method couples counseling. I will look at your patterns of connection and of disconnection and help you both see them from a different perspective. Together we will look at the way your emotions create examples of turning toward each other or turning away from each other. You find hope and new ways of relating to each other.
In graduate school I studied family systems and fell in love with it. Typically, when I do family therapy, I work with adults and adolescents. I can help you find joy and laughter again and feel a sense of connection. It takes courage to come to therapy and I understand that. I will work alongside you to look at self-defeating patterns while illuminating the strengths that you already possess. I will look at the patterns that are being repeated from previous generations and challenge thoughts that are destructive and push others away. Often people are hurt with deep wounds or scared from previous experiences and don’t realize that they are only trying to protect themselves, however, other family members receive it as pushing them away. Looking inward is something I will encourage as our internal feelings often drive our actions. There is a big difference between responding to a situation and reacting to it. You will learn the difference and see how that plays out with all of your interactions, within the family and outside the family. I will do an assessment to determine who best in the family to work with. We will come up with goals and together we will work toward them. You will learn new tools and realize how resilient you are and there is hope, even if you have not seen it for a while.