I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with a Masters of Psychology from Seattle University. My background is primarily working with troubled children and adolescents across a variety of work experiences including camp counseling, inpatient and outpatient psychiatric programs, as well as developing and leading a variety of group programs. I have experience working with children who have issues related to significant trauma, sexual abuse, anxiety and self-esteem. My work includes working with parents, families, and the community as resources to treat the whole person.
Background & Experience
In my youth, I was inspired to become a mentor in my church and local community. In middle school and high school I participated in mission trips to assist the migrant farm workers in the Skagit Valley. The purpose of these trips was to help provide for their basic needs such as food and shelter. From my first trip, I was astounded at the profound impact bearing witness to their struggles and suffering had on them. This form of care and compassion appeared just as important as the food we delivered and was a seminal lesson that has stayed with me and directed my education and ultimately my career choice. At the end of high school and in college I worked as a summer camp counselor and eventually directed a program leading extended outdoor expeditions for high school students. A common thread emerged from my experiences- I had a strong desire to help the kids who were struggling, regardless of what their challenges were. These experiences pushed me to pursue my Masters in Psychology.
Beginning as an outpatient therapist at Center for Human Services in Shoreline, I had the opportunity to work with individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds. I have also had the opportunity to work with a variety of different families, from biological parents, foster parents to adoptive parents. Since practicing in the Pacific Northwest, I have been able to work with a variety of cultural minorities present in our community, including East African, East Asian, Native American and Hispanic populations. Each cultural community has their own nuanced way of understanding and approaching mental health issues, which I have learned to appreciate, respect and work with over the past seven years.
I continued my work as an inpatient therapist at Ryther Child Center, in their sub-acute care program, offering me a wealth of experience working with children severely impacted by traumatic experiences. I co-authored a curriculum and group program for children under 10 years old, who were victims of sexual abuse. I also helped develop a group program targeting adolescent males dealing with issues pertaining to masculinity and self-esteem. Some of the unique ways we worked with these children included some experiential methods such as rock climbing and challenge course elements. My group experience also includes leading groups focused on grief and loss, sexual abuse, and domestic violence which were all based within the CBT framework. I have also assisted in supporting clients participating in a DBT skills group through individual DBT therapy and skills practice.
As your therapist, my goal is to create a safe and non-judgmental space for you to explore, and help guide you to consider and examine the challenges you face in life. I believe in the balance between finding compassion and understanding of where you may be in this moment, while using some evidenced based practices such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, to challenge your existing beliefs and help to find new ways of being.
Together, I believe we can move forward through your challenges in a way that is effective and meaningful to you. I firmly believe that when people feel better, they do better. I am here to work collaboratively with you.