I began academic study of psychology and work “in the field” after high school in the late 1980’s. Since then I have balanced my experiences between direct service, academic training, teaching, and social science research. I took a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Western Washington University in 1993 and began working professionally in Bellingham, Washington with adolescent aged youth who had been removed from their homes after experiencing sexual trauma. In 1998 I finished a master of arts in clinical psychology at Seattle University and began over 12 years of working with homeless mentally ill youth and adults in Seattle. After travelling to Belgium to take a master of arts in philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven in the year 2000 I returned to Seattle to work as a psychotherapist in intensive family preservation in the culturally diverse Central District and Rainier Valley. I earned an interdisciplinary doctorate at the University of British Columbia in 2013 in Vancouver, Canada. During my doctoral studies I assisted in large scale research on methamphetamine psychosis and completed independent research on severe mental illness among adults living in impoverished dwellings and homelessness. I have also taught psychology and philosophy at the college level for a combined eight years. Overall, I hold a BA in Psychology, an MA in Clinical Psychology, a Masters in Philosophy, and an interdisciplinary PhD on homelessness and mental illness. I am currently a member of the Psychotherapy Co-Operative, a volunteer-run non-profit organization. Most recently I have become a licensed mental health counselor associate in Washington state: (#MC 60810372).
I am an existential-phenomenological counselor and psychotherapist. Existentialism is a philosophical tradition that examines the moral dilemmas of being free to choose what to live for. It has been an effective way to understand human freedom, despair, and anxiety. Phenomenology also has philosophical roots and is applied to therapy as an attitude of non-judgement and openness to what is troubling the client. This healing art works by building a relationship where I can bear witness to the issues that lead you to seek help. If you decide to work with me, I am confident that we can come to a meaningful understanding of things that seemed meaningless and caused anxiety, grief, or despair. Together we could work to change counter-productive styles, fragmented experience, and crippling trauma into dynamic and integrating, healing experience. In counseling sessions, I will rely on you to ask questions about things that are important to you and for you to feel free to guide the therapy. We would work towards your aspirations by carefully communicating, interpreting, and transforming sources of stress in lasting ways. At times, this will be biographical work as we seek descriptions of your past, decisions that you have made and actions that you have taken to lead your current situation. We would also find ways to talk clearly about your future aspirations and address anxiety and sadness that may have plagued you and brought you to the courageous decision to seek my help. Our conversations would consider the thoughts, feelings, and patterns of living that characterize your way of being who you are. We would explore the things you care about to relieve suffering for you and the people around you and improve your life and your relationships.