I am a licensed independent clinical social worker associate (LSWAIC) and credentialed chemical dependency counselor (CDP), and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist ®. I received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Drug & Alcohol Studies from Washington State University, and my Master of Social Work from University of Washington. I have been a longtime practicing animal-assisted therapy professional, registered therapy animal team with multiple animals, and Licensed Pet Partners Therapy Animal Instructor and Therapy Animal Team Evaluator. I have also received post-graduate training in veterinary social work (VSW-CP) from the University of Tennessee College of Social Work and School of Veterinary Medicine (Veterinary Social Work Certificate Program). I am certified through the Grief Recovery Institute as a Grief Recovery Specialist ®. I am a member with: the National Association for Social Workers (NASW), American Counseling Association (ACA), The Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB), International Association for Animal Hospice & Palliative Care (IAAHPC), and Association for Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).
I have practiced in a multitude of settings since 1996, providing counseling to clients across the lifespan (children, adolescents, families, adults, seniors) within clinical, community mental health, residential treatment, school-based, hospitals and hospice agencies. I have integrated animal-assisted therapy with my animal teammates within each of these types of settings. For 6 years, I worked for the international organization, Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) as the therapy animal program manager and director of programs, where I developed, implemented, and managed animal-assisted activities and therapy programming and day-to-day operations. I decided to obtain my Master of Social Work and return to the counseling field full-time as I am most passionate about providing direct service to clients. l have specialized training and experience in grief and loss (anticipatory grief, traumatic loss, death and dying, bereavement), life transitions, substance use issues, and co-occurring disorders. In order to provide my clients with the best care and support possible, I regularly engage in both individual and group consultation and supervision sessions.
Present: Paws To Connect Counseling, LLC - Private Mental Health Counseling Practice. Owner & Therapist. Provide individual, family, and group therapy sessions. Offer both traditional and animal-assisted psychotherapy.
Present: Summit Veterinary Referral Center; Veterinary Social Worker. Provide grief, loss, bereavement counseling (individual, family, group counseling), facilitate a weekly pet loss support group, monthly closed loss support circle, animal caregiver seminars, pet loss memorial events, veterinary staff counseling and support sessions; help and support clients with anticipatory grief and treatment decision-making; provide support and training to staff and referring clinics on compassion fatigue management. Manage a team of MSW students/interns.
Providence Hospice of Snohomish County; Bereavement Department - Grief Support & Bereavement Counselor for individuals across the lifespan (children, adults, seniors), and families. Also provided clinical grief support at Standing Together (bereavement group for families) and clinical grief counseling at Camp Erin (bereavement camp for children and adolescents).
Youth Eastside Services; Clinical Youth & Family Social Worker/School-Based Social Worker for children, adolescents, and families.
Compassionate Canines; Owner. Chemical Dependency Counselor, Consultant, Pet Partners (therapy animal team) Instructor & Evaluator. Provided outreach counseling/therapy animal visits to local healthcare agencies (hospitals, hospice, treatment facilities). Taught therapy animal team classes/seminars and evaluations for new and renewing teams.
2007 - 2013: Delta Society/Pet Partners; Director of Programs & Therapy Animal Program Manager. Oversaw all day-to-day international operations of animal-assisted activities and therapy program including: curriculum, volunteer therapy animal teams and professional animal-assisted therapy teams, instructors, evaluators and healthcare facilities; managed team of up to four staff and ten in-house volunteers.
Northshore Youth & Family Services/Edmonds School District; School-Based Drug & Alcohol Counselor. Integrated animal-assisted therapy into school-based position.
Youth Eastside Services; Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor/School-Based Drug & Alcohol Counselor for Lake Washington & Bellevue School Districts. Co-developed and implemented animal-assisted therapy programming for Youth Eastside Services and within two schools in Lake Washington School District.
Kent Youth & Family Services; Intensive Outpatient Program. Chemical Dependency Counselor.
Ryther Child Center; Inpatient Residential Program. Chemical Dependency Counselor.
PROFESSIONAL LICENSURES & CREDENTIALS:
Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate (LSWAIC), State of Washington Department of Health, #SC60643532
Chemical Dependency Professional (CDP), State of Washington Department of Health, #CP00003658
Certified Grief Recovery Specialist ®, Grief Recovery Institute
Registered Pet Partners Therapy Animal Team with multiple animals, #6932 (2003 - 2016)
Licensed Pet Partners Therapy Animal Team Evaluator, #6932-TE (2007 - 2014)
Licensed Pet Partners Therapy Animal Team Instructor, #6932-VI (2008 - 2014)