Supporting the Intersection of Mental Health and the Human-Animal Bond

Specializing in therapy for grief, trauma, caregiver fatigue, women's issues, and mental health in veterinary medicine.
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Mental Health Therapy & Veterinary Social Work

Welcome! I am so glad you are here! My name is Rachel Wright, and I am the owner of Paws to Connect Counseling, LLC. I focus on the beautiful intersection of mental health and the human-animal bond in therapy. 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 every step of the way in finding hope, growth, transformation, and healing. NEWS: *I am away from the office 6/2 - 6/12/23, and will respond to all messages upon my return on Tuesday, 6/13/23. Thank you!* I provide therapy sessions by telehealth, statewide. My practice days are Monday through Thursday. As of June 1st, I am accepting new clients again! Please read below for more specifics on all services. To get started with therapy or veterinary social work services, please schedule the free, non-obligatory initial 20-minute consultation (by video or phone). This is an opportunity for us to get to know each other, discuss needs, and determine if we will be the right fit in working together. This consultation is currently offered on Tuesdays. To move forward with the next step, please click the "request appointment" button which will take you to my calendar. Or, if you do not see an upcoming date that works for you, please click the "contact" button to email me directly. Due to my current schedule, the consultation may only be scheduled online. WEST COAST VETERINARY SOCIAL WORK/MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL CONSULT GROUP: 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. We have wonderful group members from WA, OR, and CA! PLEASE CHECK BACK IN FALL 2023 FOR CLIENT/VETERINARY PROFESSIONAL GROUP OFFERINGS! ******************************************************************** ABOUT ME: I practice as a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW), mental health therapist, and veterinary social worker 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 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 also been a field instructor/supervisor for masters-level social work and counseling students, interns and externs for the last 7 years. I have worked in the counseling field for the last 25+ years, providing services to a wide variety of clients across the lifespan in many 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 was the Director of Programs/Therapy Animal Program Manager at Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) for 6 years, leading the international program, overseeing all aspects of the program; 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! As a long-time clinical counselor in community mental health and school-based systems, myself and a close colleague co-developed and co-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 for the past 8 years. I was the founder and leader of the veterinary social work program at a large local 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/externs and another full-time social worker. I worked with senior leadership on culture change, improving client experience, and wellness initiatives for employees. My passion for this work is rooted in my journey coupled with the honor of being a witness to other's parallel 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 been profound teachers. I have had extensive experience with caregiver fatigue, anticipatory and compounded loss, grief, trauma, and moral injury. 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 adore photography, traveling, reading, camping and being in nature - whether that be on the trails, being at the ocean, exploring a new National Park, or traveling to a 'bucket list' destination. I am an empath, a vegan, and very passionate about protecting and preserving our environment in micro, mezzo and macro ways. PRACTICE DAYS/INFORMATION: My Practice Days are: Monday - Thursday. . SERVICES: MENTAL HEALTH THERAPY • Individual grief therapy sessions for human and animal loss (all types of bereavement - including: compounded, traumatic, ambiguous and complicated grief) • Individual therapy sessions for women's issues, across the lifespan - including: mental and physical health, trauma, grief, familial and relational 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 therapy sessions, specific to grief or caregiving • Individual therapy sessions for all types of veterinary/animal care professionals VETERINARY SOCIAL WORK • Mobile (on-site) or virtual (via video) veterinary social work services for veterinary or animal-care professional staff and teams • Contractual basis work with veterinary practices and organizations to provide individual therapy or individual debriefing sessions to their staff/members. (Confidential/HIPAA compliant coordinated directly through my practice) • Individual therapy or debriefing sessions (self-referrals, or paid for case-by-case by practice/clinic) • Group sessions: clinicial support, solution, topic-focused, de-stressing, and debriefing (paid for by practice/clinic) *Please note: veterinary social work services are offered as either clinically-focused individual or group sessions; I am no longer able to provide presentations, Lunch & Learns, or CE's to individual practices or clinics. GROUPS • Support, solution-focused, debriefing or de-stressing groups for veterinary practices and animal-care professionals. Please talk with me about options and pricing, and/or check back for offerings being hosted and facilitated by my practice. • Support groups for grief, loss and caregiving (virtual). Please check the website for continued offerings being hosted and facilitated by my practice. PRESENTATIONS/CE EVENTS 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 options and pricing. CONSULTATIONS I provide consultations to social work/mental health colleagues, leaders, and veterinary/animal care practices and organizations. Please talk with me about options and pricing. PRACTICUM/INTERNSHIP PLACEMENT & OPPORTUNITIES (AS OF MAY 2023 - I AM FULL - Unable to accept new students/interns). 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 academic programs including the Schools of Social Work at University of Washington, University of Denver, Boston University, and the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Antioch University. For more information on current opportunities and requirements/parameters/scope of practice, please contact me. RATES & INSURANCE For my current rates for 2023, please see below. The time we schedule and spend together is reserved specifically for you. Please note, 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. Payment is due after each counseling session/veterinary social work service, and I accept all major credit cards and checks.
Rachel Wright, MSW, LICSW, VSW-CP (pictured with Cairn kitty)
Mental Health Therapist/Veterinary Social Worker

I will help you through...

  • Anticipatory Loss
  • Grief
  • Traumatic Bereavement
  • Caregiver Support & Fatigue
  • Pet Loss
  • Life Transitions
  • Women's Issues
  • Intersection of Grief & Trauma
  • Mood Disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Veterinary Medicine & Mental Health
  • Compassion Fatigue
  • Moral Distress/Moral Injury
  • Burnout


  • Strengths-Based
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Humanistic Therapy
  • Mind Body Somatic Therapy (Integrative Psychotherapy)
  • Trauma Focused
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Systems Lens
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Depth Psychology
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Existential Therapy
  • Solution Focused Brief (SFBT)
  • Animal-Assisted & Nature-Based Therapies


  • 20-minute initial consult (all services): $0
  • 60-minute individual therapy session: $150
  • 90-minute individual therapy session: $200
  • 60-minute couples therapy session: $180
  • 90-minute couples therapy session: $225
  • 30-minute vetmed debriefing session: $80
  • 1- 1.5 group debriefing session: $250 - $450
  • presentations (contact me for specifics): $250 - $2,000
  • groups (contact me for specifics): $30 - $550

15600 Redmond Way, Suite 101 Redmond, WA 98052

North Star Offices

15600 Redmond Way Suite 101
Redmond, WA 98052

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