Welcome to Northwest Assessment and Therapy. I am a licensed mental health therapist as well as a certificated School Psychologist and School Counselor. I have over 30 years of experience providing therapeutic services to people of all ages.
Strengths Based: I love counseling people who are struggling with PTSD, anxiety, depression or social skills. My goal is to help each person identify their own strengths and values so they can move toward a meaningful life. Not everyone develops at the same rate, and being different can feel lonely and alienating. I believe people are resilient, and well-timed therapy and support can help you get back on track.
Trauma: People who have experienced trauma are very special to me. Behaviors that look to others like anger, opposition to authority, or extreme avoidance, are actually self-protection. You might turn inward after a trauma, restricting your experiences and behaviors to avoid further danger or pain, which leads to a smaller existence. The truth is, if you have lived through a trauma, you are already resilient! We will work together to move you to a place where you can lean in and engage with the world around you without fear.
Therapeutic Modalities: I use an eclectic approach to therapy, drawing from a tool bag of evidence based practices to help you reach your goals. I frequently use aspects of EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-focused CBT, dialectical behavior therapy, and ACT. I emphasize mindfulness based practices and the therapeutic relationship in every meeting because they are important elements in healing. I will also interweave psycho-education to help you understand how your brain reacts to stress and how to heal from it. If you have skill deficits, I’ll give you direct instruction in work/school skills as well as social skills as needed.
Adolescents require special attention. I approach these relationships carefully in order to establish rapport and trust. I do not tell teens what to do or how to get better. I use questioning to discover the core need driving their behaviors and emphasize their strengths to help them explore different ways of interacting with the world in order to grow and learn. I like to work with parents collaboratively, so our meetings will often start with a brief check in with parents and then move to a one on one setting. I love working with resistant teens, and spend part of my week working in a trauma-informed alternative high school as a behavior specialist. If school is a problem for your child I will work collaboratively with parents, teachers and administrators, while giving your child a voice in the process to improve school functioning.
Disabilities: I have extensive experience in disability identification, schools, and the challenges associated with raising children who don’t develop like the experts say they should. I frequently work with high functioning children on the autism spectrum, and twice exceptional students (gifted and disabled). I hold a special place in my heart for adolescents who struggle to meet the social and academic demands of school, and the parents who raise them.
A special note about EMDR: I am fully trained in EMDR and currently working towards the highest level of certification. This is a groundbreaking therapy that helps people truly recover from trauma. Each of us has the ability to heal through adaptive information processing. When we go through a trauma, the brain goes into fight or flight mode and loses it’s ability to adequately process information and store it in a healthy way. Instead, we may store memories of our trauma in bits and pieces through smells, tactile memories, pictures, sounds, etc. They become part of our stream of consciousness and can make us feel as if we are reliving our trauma daily. This makes it hard to rid ourselves of thoughts and feelings that we know aren’t true. EMDR allows you integrate these memories and put your trauma where it belongs – in the past! I believe in this work, and I would love to help you.
I am very excited to meet you and start the important work of helping you grow and thrive!
*Evaluations: I am putting my evaluation calendar on hold during the pandemic. I am doing some ADHD evaluations as my calendar allows, as the face to face time is minimal.
- Anywhere in WA state