I am a counselor serving the behavioral health and academic needs of children, adults, and families in the greater Seattle area. I specialize in working with neurodiverse children, teens, and adults to promote behavioral health, quality of life, appropriate academic support, and lifelong learning and growth.
I provide integrated care using a variety of interventions. These include approaches adapted from standard therapeutic modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral therapies as well as more expressive therapies such as Jungian sandplay, narrative therapy, play therapy and outdoor therapy. I also use more active approaches such as cooperative games and sensory processing integration activities.
During COVID quarantine, I have created an interactive telehealth approach that draws on my background as an elementary school teacher and storyteller to create an animated interactive approach using games, children’s literature, sensory integration materials, mindfulness resources, and autobiographies of neurodiverse advocates, to make meaningful connections over screens. With my youngest clients, I divide a 50-minute session so that half the session is kid activities and half is parent coaching, or sometimes schedule 25-minute sessions. Because I anticipate a slow return to in-person sessions, especially for clients with health challenges, or aversion to travel, I plan to continue to offer telehealth even after COVID quarantine is not required.
For clients in the special education system, I offer 504 and IEP reviews, academic recommendations, academic advocacy. To learn more about my philosophy on learning, neurodevelopment, and education, you may want to look at my section on autism and neurodiversity.
TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
I completed my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Seattle in work with preschool and school age children, adolescents, emerging adults (17-25), and adults. I have over a decade of experience counseling children, adults, and couples. In my doctoral internship, I specialized in developmental neuropsychology, working with clients with learning, developmental and sensory differences, learning disabilities, as well as those living with histories of developmental trauma, family structure changes, and attachment disruption (including adoption and divorce).
During my internship, I received training in a broad range of neuropsychological assessment and academic evaluations. While in my current practice, I have chosen to focus my time on therapy rather than assessment, I am qualified to interpret assessment reports and help families navigate through the assessment process.
I am a strong advocate for effective academic planning for children and emerging adults with autism (as well as related developmental differences in sensory integration and expressive/receptive communication disorders). I am especially interested in how autism manifests uniquely in girls and women. I am also an advocate for Twice Exceptional (2E) students, who struggle with organization and follow-through, but are often missed by public school evaluation services because they are deemed “too smart” for services. Finally, I frequently educate about Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), a subcategory of autism emerging into greater awareness in the United States which deserves far greater attention and awareness, in my opinion. My dissertation, focused on teacher training resources for mainstream inclusion of autistic students, can be found here.
In addition to my background in mental health, I hold a Master in Teaching and have worked as an upper elementary and middle school teacher. This background gives me a unique ability to be an advocate for clients in the special education system. I can bring this expertise to telephone consults with teachers and special education teams, and in special cases, to in-person meetings.
Washing State Licensed Mental Health Counselor: LH60489768