Michelle Jaquish MSW, LICSW

Make the first step towards a better you.
Locations: ,

Education:

I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). I obtained my Master of Social Work and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in Seattle. During my time as a graduate student, I received a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship in the Southeast Asian Studies department, which allowed me to learn my mother’s native language of Tagalog to prepare for a human right’s trip to the Philippines. I am committed to learning about anti-racism and oppression work, somatic practice, self-care strategies, setting firm boundaries, exploring non-Western therapeutic modalities, and somatic healing practices. I have five years of community mental health experience in homeless crisis services in Seattle; both in direct service and supervisory roles from a person-centered harm-reduction focus.

Philosophy:

I believe that therapy, change, and healing all occur on spectrums. There is no “one size fits all” approach to this work, and that is the beauty of the therapeutic relationship. It’s an alliance and a partnership that can adapt and change based on the current support you need. I see therapy as an extension of my commitment to activism; it’s an opportunity to collaborate around examining, dismantling, and healing some of the damage caused by oppressive systems. As your therapist, I will learn with and alongside you in real time about what that means for your healing journey, honoring your inner wisdom, while supporting you with offerings of relevant ideas, experiences, and skills.

I don’t consider myself a very traditional therapist. I work very collaboratively with my clients, bringing my authentic self into the room while letting my clients take the lead in their lives. I work really actively with clients to facilitate a co-created healing space that allows for all aspects of a client’s identity and experience. I understand that trauma, pain, fear, and stagnation are stored and experienced in the body. Therefore, I support my clients in healing and creating a greater alignment with their authentic selves and life dreams by developing awareness of and strengthening their connection to what’s happening in their bodies and minds. For me, this is the essence of somatic work. I also support my clients with integrating their spiritual beliefs, values, and practices where applicable. In my work with clients, I integrate my anti-oppression, feminist, and social justice frameworks into this work. When co-creating these spaces, I recognize that I am bringing my own humanity to the table as well, which includes aspects of privilege from my own intersectional identities. I am committed to continuing my own work to examine and minimize any potential for harm, and I use my own journey as opportunities to refine my ability to support my clients in theirs. My goal is to create a safe and supportive space for learning, growth, and transformation. I enjoy working with queer people of color, especially queer-identified Asian Pacific-Islander folks. I also have a particular interest in working with those in the helping professions such as essential workers, therapists, and those who identify as community organizers/activists. I identify as an 1st generation, bi-racial, woman of color. As a first-generation Filipina, I have a unique experience regarding power, privilege, and oppression from a non-Westernized perspective. For self-care, I enjoy daily tarot journal reflections, salt baths, altering clothing and creating jewelry.