Approach To Counseling
My approach focuses on awareness, in fostering a curious, compassionate, non-judgmental view as a foundation for growth. I use Cognitive Behavioral, mindfulness, narrative and emotional focusing strategies to increase awareness, find strength in life experiences, discover innate gifts and rely on your authentic self as your most reliable guide. I am compassionate yet practical. This is your journey and while I strive to empower you to create your own unique future, I also understand the need for direction during difficult times and provide clear feedback, information and reflection when needed.
Individual Therapy (Adults): Many of my individual adult clients are men and women going through divorce/separation for support in managing the changes and emotional stressors to promote wellness and a future focus. I also work with clients experiencing anxiety and/or depression that interferes with their close relationships, daily tasks or individual life goals. People also seek my support in exploring their way of being in romantic or family relationships to increase their capacity for intimacy, trust, authenticity or to create healthy boundaries.
Individual Therapy (Children):
I love working with children and my specialty is addressing behavioral and emotional issues that challenge independent goals and successful relationships. For individual therapy I ask that children are 10 years or older. I offer a safe, confidential place children to learn about their development, gain emotional awareness skills, to discuss their unique experiences and create positive goals for the future. I work from a family systems approach and ask that parents participate in sessions independently for parent coaching and/or with their children in family sessions as needed and appropriate*. Please note that If children are in the divorce process or in a two-home family, I require both parents permission and if applicable a copy of the parenting plan. *Children over 13 have confidentiality in therapy and require a signed Release of Information form to release non-safety related information to parents or other parties.
Divorce Child Specialist & Co-parent Coaching:
As a Child Specialist, I can work as a special consultant or work as a member of your Collaborative Divorce Team. I can consult with one or both parents who are considering separation, actively divorcing or even post divorce on how to meet their children's needs. I can offer developmental and specific needs/reactions of children whose family is anywhere along the process of divorce to post-divorce two-home family adjustment.
If desired by both parents, I can meet with children in a comforable in-home or office session in order to better understand their unique experience. With children's permission, I bring their voice back to parents, supporting parents in utilizing the information to make sound, relevant decisions at a most important time. My goal is to offer neutral support for children's healthy relationships with both parents and family relationships as a whole.
While I adhere to the principles of Collaborative work, I can work with parents in all types of dissolusion processes (litigative, collaborative, cooperative, undecided), however my overarching goal is to decrease anxiety and conflict. To that end I maintain a policy of protecting the information given by children or parents and prohibit it's use in litigation and only to be used in ways both parents agree is helpful (such as coordinating with other professionals or providers) . While I offer suggestions and insights on child-centered issues, I respect parents role in making decisions together that serve to create their own unique families future.
Education and Practice:
MS, Western Washington University
Certificate, Community College Faculty Preparation, Western Washington University
MA Argosy University
Washington State Registered Counselor since 1994
Washington State Licensed Counselor since 2006
I am a Washington State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and have experience in the treatment of eating disorders, anxiety, depression, couple and family therapy, and child and adolescent mental health. I have been honored to have had the experince of providing counseling services for the past 20+ years in a wide variety of settings including individual, family, couples and groups in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
I am trained in Collaborative Divorce and mediation. I utilize whenever possible the collaborative model in working with individuals and children in the divorce process. Collaborative Divorce focuses upon supporting growth, healing and a positive future vision for all the individuals involved and strives to minimize the negative stigma and repercussions that divorce has traditionally fostered. For information about Collaborative Divorce please visit the King County Collaborative Law Group Website http://www.kingcountycollab.org.
I am also a certified Child Mental Health Specialist and have specific training and experience working with child and adolescent mental health including emotional, behavioral, educational and parenting issues.
In addition to my counseling experience, I have a certificate in Community College instruction and have enjoyed teaching college courses in introductory and developmental psychology.
Presentations and Trainings:
Cascadia Collaborative Practice, Seattle, October 2013; "The Child Specialist"
Bainbridge Island Collaborative Practice, January 2013; "The Child Specialist: Successful Integration in Collaborative Teams"
King County Bar Association, Seattle, April 2013; "Children's Reactions to Divorce"
International Association of Collaborative Professionals, San Antonio Texas, October 2013 "The Child Specialist: Successful Integration in Collaborative Teams"
American Professional Associationof Family Mediators, San Diego California, October 2014 "Utilizing the Child Specialist and Divorce Coach in Mediation"