I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Washington with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. My practice focuses on providing individual and family therapy to children (ages 5-12) and adults. I have worked with children and families for more than 20 years in a wide variety of settings, including community mental health clinics, in schools (both public and private), in infant/toddler/preschool centers, an inpatient psychiatric hospital, and residential facilities. In addition, I have experience collaborating with wraparound teams that work with special populations, including students with learning disabilities or challenges, children on the autis spectrum, and those labeled with emotional and/or disruptive behavioral issues. My passion is working with children and families and seeing both parents and youth re-awaken with hope again.
My approach and style in therapy with children and families can best be described by PACE—Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy (which are in part based on mindfulness practices). I am informed and driven by my strong belief that relationships can be repaired, and that there are alternative ways of being in order to view your life and family in new ways. Depending on your needs, I use a variety of evidenced-based practices, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Play Therapy, Mindfulness-Based therapies, and Solution-Focused Therapy. These are always tailored to individual and/or family needs after our initial discussions, and are re-evaluated along the way.
I really enjoy the work I do with parents. My personal experience as a dad has helped me to relate in a way in which I never could before. I have learned how to really just listen to each particular family member's struggles. I understand that being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs in life, something that can be both joyous and despairing, often in the same moment. I have learned that becoming a parent will force you to go through enormous, and sometimes, unexpected changes as a person, and that as your child is growing and evolving, so will you and your family, in ways that may be unexpected and very difficult at times. I will support my clients through these changes and challenges of relating to one another as they each grow older, together and sometimes apart.
I also strongly believe in listening and being with the children that I work with. Some things that kids come to me with include feelings and experiences related to being: labeled, different, stressed, angry, worried, anxious, struggling with school issues, dealing with peers. A primary aspect of my counseling style is to help re-establish a sense of hope, safety, trust, and security as well as a sense of being re-connected with family, peers, and community.
Past clients and families have described me as “compassionate”, “someone who listens without judgment,” “extremely patient,” “thoughtful,” “calm,” “a good teacher” and “accepting.”