I believe in strength-based and recovery-based practices, which view the client as innately whole and healthy. From this perspective, my job is to help you to see your strengths, remember times of happiness or health, identify supports, and empower you to get back to a place of equilibrium. This is true regardless of whether my client is an individual, couple, or family.
As a feminist therapist, I promote social justice and observe ways that cultural pressures and societal imbalance create an imbalance within relationships, families and individuals. I do not strive to be neutral in the face of racism, sexism, and the many other 'isms' that exist. Instead, I am curious about patterns and parallels in relationships and systems and the ways in which internalized oppression may be misinterpreted as psychopathology, furthering its negative impact and perpetuation.
As an able-bodied, white, middle-class, married, cis-het woman, I am aware of my many dimensions of privilege. As a therapist, I hold additional power within the therapeutic relationship, which means it is crucial that I notice what I bring into the room and hold myself accountable. I sit in curious humility with my clients, sharing my story occasionally, as it pertains to theirs, in order to highlight our shared humanity. I wonder out loud about possible origins of the stories we tell ourselves, but I do not assume that I know what health or healthy living looks like to them. If and when there are differences in values or worldviews, it is my job as therapist to bridge any gaps that this might create in my understanding and ability to help my clients.
My therapeutic practice has three main foundations: psychodynamic therapy, family systems, and feminist theory (described above).
Through a psychodynamic lens, I view the relationship between the client and therapist as representative of other relationships the client has experienced and is experiencing outside of therapy. The client’s responses to the therapist (feelings, thoughts, behaviors) may echo the client’s responses to other relational experiences, past or present. As a result, we can explore those feelings, thoughts, and behaviors for unhelpful patterns. The therapeutic relationship is a safe one in which to try new behaviors or responses. We can then transfer that experiential learning to relationships outside of therapy to create new relational patterns.
Family systems theory views the family unit is an interdependent, dynamic system wherein stress or discord in any one area of the system can move about or spread within the system. Family therapy takes previous generations and patterns into account, while also focusing on the presenting issue as of primary importance. Much of what I do with families is to increase understanding through interpretation of other family member's motivations and needs. I coach partners, parents, or children (including adult children) to more empathetically listen to their loved one's needs and respond in a way that increases connection and decreases defensiveness. I also work with both partners on ways to express themselves in a more vulnerable and accountable way.
Additionally, when working with youth, it is critical that parents also be involved in therapy. They are often the people within the system who are most wanting change. As such, their ability to enact change, either independently or by responding optimally to their child's new behaviors, cannot be overstated.
My work is culturally relevant, solution-focused, and draws upon the most recent evidence-based practices. Most frequently, I use materials and concepts from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and the works of neurologist Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., among others. I also have training in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicide (CAMS), and Reflective Supervision.
I have five years of full-time experience as a clinical supervisor for mental health therapists working in a children's crisis program. My clinical supervision style worked well within and was informed by this experience. I am able to relatively quickly identify the strengths of therapists I supervise, and anticipate areas of potential burn-out or burden. I also have a pragmatic lens for the clinical work and may offer suggestions for ways to get unstuck or areas of need which may not yet have been addressed.
As a clinical supervisor, my primary focus is the personhood of the therapist. I provide a place where you can set down some of the weight of the work, remember your unique gifts, and head back into the world, and the work, feeling ready and rejuvenated. I am an approved supervisor for Licensure hours.
I have created and led on-site trainings to management and direct care staff in a variety of clinical and non-clinical child-serving systems (including schools, community mental health agencies, Americorps volunteer groups, hospital security staff, managerial teams, overnight camps, graduate level courses, and emergency responders). I also provide presentations to PTA's and other parent and community groups to promote growth mindset and emotion coaching to increase resiliency in our children (and ourselves).
My most popular topics include: Parenting through Connection, Social Emotional Learning curriculum, use of CALOCUS for risk assessment, suicide screenings and assessment, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, self-care and burnout prevention, wraparound and continuum of mental health services, meeting facilitation skills, and best practices regarding mandated reporting laws.
I have also been called in to consult with organizations on communications and therapeutic response to crisis events that have happened in a child-serving system. In these situations, I have collaborated with organizations' top management, risk management, emergency responders, site directors, and direct care staff to ensure that actions taken are age appropriate, parents and community receive critical information in a timely manner, and resources are provided to mitigate any future impact.
My counseling sessions are 50-55 minutes long. Longer sessions are available as clinically appropriate or as needed for crises. My standard session fee is $130. Initial consultation/intake fee is $175.
Fees are due at the time of service. I accept cash, personal check, credit cards, or direct EFT. I have some ability to adjust fees when needed to ensure services are accessible. Please ask me for more information!
I am in-network with Regence, some Blue Cross/Blue Shield networks, Group Health/Kaiser Permanente, and First Choice Health. I am considered out-of-network with most other insurance companies.
If you would like to use insurance to help pay for counseling, I recommend you contact customer service for your specific insurance program to confirm your coverage. You can give them my information (NPI #1740470012) to see what the coverage would be for my services, specifically.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor LH60195286
Mental Health Professional
Child Mental Health Specialist
Approved Clinical Supervisor
M.A. Psychology, 2007
Mental Health Counseling & Child, Couple and Family Therapy
Teaching English as a Second Language
B.A. Music, B.S. Mathematics, 1998
Computer Science emphasis
Sophia isn’t always in the office with me, but you’ll know when she because you can hear her clacking feet as she comes to greet you in the waiting room. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about Sophia or field any concerns about her being in the office during your session.