​                                                                                               What can I expect from therapy?
During a fifty minute session, you will enjoy a peaceful space with a caring 
                  professional who gives you unwavering attention.  In time, you will form a 
        confidential relationship with your therapist unlike any other in your life.  It is 
         through this dynamic that a greater awareness of yourself can be gained and 
        you feel encouraged and supported to approach life in new ways.   A therapist
         absorbs your story but listens for opportunities to break patterns and introduce 
new ideaseven if it is challenging.

My work with children often includes the parents for at least part of the session,
and may include some "talking time" with the child before entering into play 
therapy,  I have specifically designed my office to provide a comfortable office for 
meeting with families and with an adjacent child therapy room set up for sand 
tray, play therapy and expressive art. 

What are the benefits of having a Licensed Mental Health Counselor?

To become licensed in this state, an applicant must have a Masters degree (four years for a Bachelors degree plus two years for a Masters) from an accredited university, complete three or more years working in the field (of which 1,500 hours must be providing direct therapy under clinical supervision) and then pass a licensing exam.  Once licensed, therapists are accountable to codes of ethics and are required to take continuing education yearly to ensure that they are improving their clinical skills.  Having a licensed therapist means you are receiving treatment from a well-trained provider who is committed to excellence in their profession.

What is a Children’s Mental Health Specialist?

This is clarified in the Washington Administrative Code 388-865-0150 for the purpose of identifying those therapists who have completed enough continuing education and gained the direct experience with children to qualify for this specialty. I was approved as a CMHS in 2003.

                                                                       What is play therapy?

         Play is truly the language of children.  Children under the age of 12 have a limited ability to 
verbalize their feelings and thoughts and so talking about their problems with adults is 
difficult and often frustrating.  However, through play, children express their feelings, master 
new skills, integrate new experiences into their understanding of their world, and hone their 
problem-solving and coping abilities.  It is my job to create a safe and comfortable place for 
them to explore these issues as well as to provide the words to reflect and articulate what 
they do communicate through their play.  Play therapy includes drawing, painting, clay, 
puppets, storytelling, dollhouse, therapeutic board games and many other tools.  You can 
find out more by going to www.a4pt.org (Association for Play Therapy).

What is sand tray therapy?

Sand tray is an approach that provides children and adults the tools to 
create a fantasy scene or a miniature world in a tray of sand with the use 
of objects and figures which represent elements of our lives and world.  
The scene or story created can represent the conflicts and feelings one 
has about their situation. This is a playful but often profound therapeutic 
technique that reveals themes that the person may not have been aware 
of and that many find to be very rewarding. 

Common questions about therapy

How do I know if I need therapy?

Perhaps you feel life is going pretty well but still sense that something is not quite right.Therapy offers no guarantees to magically fix problems, but through our work together you or your child may find inner strength or new perspectives that were unavailable to you before.  Often therapy is brief, like a “tune-up”, offering you a chance to slow down and access your own resources.  Other times, therapy is a long-term process.  Some issues become ingrained over years and certainly won’t be alleviated quickly.   If you struggle with symptoms of depression,  anxiety, feel stuck in your life or if your child is experiencing emotional or behavioral problems or has experienced a loss or trauma, please give me a call and we can discuss whether I can be helpful to you.

How long does therapy last?

Therapy is a process unique to each person.  This is based on several factors including the severity of concerns and the kind of goals you have in mind.  Therapy with children can be expected to take longer than with adults as there are developmental factors involved among many others.  Together we can decide how many sessions will be the right fit for you.

Do you take insurance? 

I am a preferred provider on some insurance panels.  For those with which I am not, I can provide you with the documentation needed to submit claims to your insurance companies for reimbursement as an "Out of Network" provider or for use with your Health Savings Account.  My hourly fees are competitive with other providers in the area, given the quality of care my clients receive.  There are many benefits of private pay for therapy rather than using your insurance company for mental health treatment.  These are  mostly due to issues of confidentiality.

I am a preferred provider with Regence, Premera, First Choice and Group Health Options.  I am no longer contracting with Molina, DSHS, or MHN.  Recently many plans through Cigna, United Healthcare and Value Options (used for mental health benefits for Boeing employees) are no longer paying for Out of Network services. Please note that while you may have Regence for your medical benefits, some companies use another insurance provider for mental health benefits, so please check your policy to see if I am covered.