Mental Health Therapy & Veterinary Social Work
I am so glad you are here! My practice focuses on the intersection of mental health and the human-animal bond. I whole-heartedly understand the importance of the interconnectedness between humans, animals, nature, and the therapeutic value between these relationships. I will honor and support your unique connection with the human-animal bond and how that impacts and enriches your mental health, therapeutic process, and healing at every level. I will companion you in finding hope, growth, transformation, and healing.
I provide therapy sessions virtually (statewide), in-person at my office, or as walk-and-talk sessions at nearby Bridle Trails State Park. I provide veterinary social work services to practices or organizations virtually or in-person.
MY CASELOAD IS FULL AT THIS TIME.
Practice Days: Monday - Thursday, 10 am - 6 pm.
Practice Offices: Bellevue, WA
Please read below for more information about availability and next steps to work with me and my practice. My caseload is currently full and I am not accepting new clients. My practice is accepting new clients as of mid-November 2023 to see interns. At this time, therapy sessions are offered (ONLY) by my masters-level social work and counseling interns. To best serve the needs of the community, interns will provide sliding scale sessions, which will be available to schedule readily. Interns are trained and supervised by me within specific focus areas.
If you are interested in receiving therapy services, the first step is to schedule the initial required and free 20-minute video consultation. You can do this by clicking the "request appointment" button to see available appointment times in the calendar. The initial consultation is an opportunity for you and I to get to know each other, to discuss and assess your needs and goals, and for me to discuss the process for working with one of my interns. Additional details and questions will be answered at that time.
To get started with veterinary social work services or work with me as a professional consultant, you can either schedule the initial free 20-minute video consultation or the 60-minute fee-based video consultation. Please know that these types of consultations are not for personal mental health concerns or personal therapy. To schedule one of these consultations, please click “request appointment “button to see available appointment times in the calendar.
I am a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW), mental health therapist, veterinary social worker, and approved supervisor in Washington State. I also serve as a consultant and presenter on topics relevant to the intersection of mental health and the human-animal bond. I am a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist through the Grief Recovery Institute, and a long-time practicing Animal-Assisted Therapy professional. I have had extensive training in evidence-based best practices and integrative approaches for treating and providing therapy for the intersection of grief and trauma.
I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology/Drug & Alcohol Studies from Washington State University; my Master of Social Work degree from University of Washington; and my Post-Masters Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Social Work from University of Tennessee (through the Colleges of Social Work and Veterinary Medicine). I have worked in the counseling field for the last 25+ years, providing services to a wide variety of clients across the lifespan in different settings, including community mental health, inpatient addictions treatment, school-based, hospitals, and hospice agencies. I have integrated the intersection of mental health/the human-animal bond within different capacities for the last 20 years. I have also been a field instructor/supervisor for masters-level social work and counseling students, interns and externs for 7 years.
I was the Director of Programs/Therapy Animal Program Manager at Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) from 2007 - 2013, leading and overseeing all aspects of the international program; as well as teaching and evaluating therapy animal teams; and integrating my own furry family members - Mia (bassador), Byron (flat-coated retriever), Coach (basset hound), and Clover (rabbit), as therapy animals into counseling with clients in clinical, healthcare and school-based settings. Over the years, my beloved therapy animal partners have all passed away from Lymphoma. I am currently working with my calico cat, Cairn kitty, to be my next therapy animal partner!
I was a clinical counselor in community mental health and school-based systems for many years. During that time, I developed and implemented animal-assisted therapy programs with a focus on co-occurring issues with teens, young adults, and families. I've also trained colleagues on the framework and approaches for integrating animal-assisted therapy with different client populations.
I have been a veterinary social worker since 2015. I was the founder and leader of the veterinary social work program at Summit Veterinary Referral Center, a local large specialty and emergency veterinary hospital, for 6 years. I worked there as an embedded veterinary social worker providing supportive services and counseling to employees and clients, and supervised masters-level interns and another full-time social worker. In my last year there, I worked with senior leadership with the intention to create improvements on positive client experience, culture change, and wellness initiatives for employees.
My passion for this work is both rooted in my own journey and the immense honor of being a witness to others ‘incredible journeys. I am passionate about the beauty of the human-animal bond and have been gifted to spend my life with such precious animal companions, professionally and personally, who have always been my most profound teachers. I am extensively experienced in caregiver fatigue, grief, trauma, and professional moral injury and burnout. I fully understand the twists, turns, and complexities on the road to healing. While it is very challenging and painful work, it can also be incredibly transformative, life-changing, and beautiful. I am here to companion and walk alongside you every step of the way; to witness and support you on your journey along the path to find your way to hope, healing and recovery.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my partner and husband of 23 years and my furry family - Bear the sweet-and-spicy basset hound and two incredibly adorable and mischievous sibling cats - Cairn, the calico and Byson, the tiger tabby. I love photography, traveling, reading, and being in nature - whether that be on the trails, at the ocean, exploring a new National Park, or adventuring to a 'bucket list' destination. I am an empath, a vegan, and very passionate about protecting and preserving our natural environment in micro, mezzo and macro ways.
MENTAL HEALTH THERAPY
• Individual grief therapy sessions for human and animal loss
(all types of grief and bereavement)
• Individual therapy sessions for women's issues, across the lifespan (mental health, physical health, work/life balance, trauma, grief, relationship and family issues)
• Individual mental health therapy sessions for all types of veterinary/animal care professionals (including diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions, work/life balance, compassion fatigue/burnout issues)
• Individual therapy sessions for caregivers navigating medical care and/or anticipatory grief for a beloved person or animal with a chronic or terminal illness
• Couples/Partners therapy sessions, specific (only) to grief or caregiving
VETERINARY SOCIAL WORK
• For veterinary practices or organizations - virtual or in-person social work services that are clinical in nature (groups and debriefing sessions for teams)
• Contractual work with veterinary practices and organizations, providing individual mental health therapy sessions to their staff/members
(Confidential/HIPAA compliant and coordinated directly through my practice. Individual staff or members are my clients)
• Individual mental health therapy sessions (self-referrals, or paid for on a case-by-case by a practice/clinic)
*Please note: veterinary social work services are always offered as clinically-focused individual therapy or group support sessions. Due to my busy schedule, I am no longer able to provide presentations, Lunch & Learns, or CE's to individual practices.
• I provide consultations to social work/mental health colleagues, veterinary leaders, and all types of veterinary or animal care practices and organizations.
• I am an approved supervisor for social workers and therapists working towards full licensure in Washington State. If you are interested in obtaining approved supervision hours for your licensure, please contact me!
• Support, solution-focused, debriefing, or de-stressing groups. Please check back for offerings hosted by my practice, or contact me about tailored options and pricing.
• For National or Regional Conferences or Organizations ONLY. Presentations/webinars on a variety of topics for all types of veterinary/animal care professionals (in-person, mobile, or virtual). Please talk with me about tailored options and pricing.
PRACTICUM/INTERNSHIP PLACEMENT & OPPORTUNITIES
(I AM FULL FOR THE 2023 - 2024 SCHOOL YEAR. I AM UNABLE TO TAKE ANY MORE STUDENTS OR INTERNS AT THIS TIME. THIS IS A COMPETITIVE INTERNSHIP PLACEMENT SITE).
I have been a field instructor and supervisor for masters-level social work and clinical counseling interns, externs, and practicum students for the past 7 years. I am an approved internship site for numerous masters-level social work and counseling academic programs. For more information on current opportunities and requirements/scope of practice, please contact me in Spring 2024.
RATES & INSURANCE
For my current rates, please see below. The time we schedule and spend together is reserved for you. Please know, late cancellations (less than 24 hours) or no-shows for sessions will result in being charged the full fee. There is no fee for cancellations made 24 hours or more in advance. I do not work directly with, accept, or bill insurance. However, I am an out-of-network provider for most insurance carriers. Upon receipt of payment for therapy services, I provide clients with a "Superbill" that can be sent to their insurance carrier for reimbursement. If this is an option you are interested in, please contact your insurance carrier to inquire about insurance reimbursement parameters and options.
Payment is due after each counseling session/veterinary social work service, and my practice accepts all major credit cards and checks. Superbills and insurance reimbursement are not options for individuals working with interns.
CURRENT GROUP OFFERING!
WEST COAST VETERINARY SOCIAL WORK/MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL CONSULT GROUP (runs year-round):
I host a monthly professional consult group for veterinary social workers/mental health professionals in veterinary medicine, who are located on the West Coast. Our group is held virtually every 3rd Tuesday of the month 8 am - 9 am PST. Please contact me for details and to join us. Our group provides a rich, seasoned, supportive experience for members and is continuing to thrive and expand. We have wonderful group members from WA, OR, and CA!
Rachel Wright, MSW, LICSW, VSW-CP (pictured with Cairn kitty)
Mental Health Therapist/Veterinary Social Worker