Approach

Background

I believe that my unique journey has equipped me to work effectively with a broad range of people and ages. After eight years in construction and twelve years as an educator, I attended The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and received my Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology in 2012. This degree was conferred on me after successful completion of my internship at Atlantic Street Center, a social service agency in the Rainier Valley that specializes in working with families of color in poverty.

After graduation, I continued to work at Atlantic Street Center for the next two years, working with children, adolescents, and their families, primarily in the school setting, addressing issues of trauma, depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Simultaneously, I had the privilege of working at The Seattle School facilitating small group and individual interpersonal development for graduate students in the Counseling Practicum program. Consequently, I am experienced working with children, adolescents, and adults.

In my work with children and adolescents, I also bring the experience of being trained by Seattle Pacific University as a mathematics/science teacher having served 12 years as a certified instructor of middle/high school students.

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Washington (Lic#LH60525325).

Approach

My approach to therapy is primarily within the relational psychotherapy model, although I am able to access an eclectic array of therapeutic tools from other theories that may be appropriate at times. I believe that the driving force in our life is towards relationship. Consequently the way we function in the world has grown out of our childhood attempts to remain connected with our parents or caregivers. While these strategies may have worked within that context, we often find that the same strategies carried through life become obstacles to healthy relating.

The nonjudgmental, caring context of relational therapy provides the context for these unhelpful strategies to be experienced, reflected on and grieved, and for new ways of being to emerge. The process is a collaboration between the two of us that involves interacting with feedback about what is being experienced emotionally in the ongoing therapeutic relationship. The work we do together is a tapestry of past, present, and future.

The intent is not that the therapist is the ultimate authority but another human being who is attempting to give you honest feedback and who honors you as the expert on your story. The goal is to assist you in accessing your resources and determination so that you might thrive.

Children & Adolescents

With children and adolescents some of the therapeutic principles are the same, but they must be adapted to the developmental level of the child. Talk therapy is effective with adults, but play is the language of the child. It is in play that the child works out their inner world. The amount of play and talk involved in the therapeutic session is along a spectrum that depends on the child/adolescent and their developmental level. Additionally, play, even with the adolescent, facilitates discussion by relieving anxiety.

My work is meant to be a partnership with the parents. Often this will involve consultations. At other times family therapy will be an important component. There may be other times when it is recommended to allow the confidentiality of the sessions for the child/adolescent to do its work before the parents can take a more active part in the process. Together we will work towards your child’s success and a family life that allows each member to flourish.