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Dual Credentials and Training

I am a licensed mental health counselor as well as a registered art therapist, meaning I am trained and certified in two separate disciplines that compliment each other.  I work with children as young as 5, adolescents, and adults.

 

For more detail on how I work and areas of expertise please continue to scroll down. Under theoretical orientation you will find more about my counseling style, and under art therapy you will find ample information on its benefits and techniques. I have also included information on my education and work history for you.

 

Visit my blog for information on many topics that will hopefully be useful to you on issues in mental health, relationships and being human. I also have a professional facebook page under my business name where I post articles and inspirations daily. I hope you find something of benefit or support for you.

 

Below you will find some of my areas of expertise in my private practice. I would say that the majority of my work has a focus on anxiety, perfectionism, sensitivity, and learning self-compassion and self-soothing.

 

Areas of Expertise

Cultivating Health and Compassion
Mindfulness and Meditation
Anxiety
Depression
Child and Adolescent Development
Parenting and Family Conflicts
Attachment and Bonding Issues: Adoption
Grief and Loss
Anger Management
Life Transitions
Trauma
Including Childhood and Adult Sexual and Physical Assault and Neglect
Vicarious Trauma and Burn Out for helping professionals
 
 
 

Introduction to Counseling with Jenn

When choosing a counselor it is important to have the right fit in personality and style.  I believe that the therapeutic relationship is the foundation to the work being explored.  I offer a free 30 minute phone consultation to explore a potential fit for both of us.

 

When getting to know each other we will decide together what kind of modalities and interventions will be most helpful for you. I would say that the core skill sets I use in my work are art based interventions, teaching mindfulness and meditation, using methods from DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and techniques from body-centered psychotherapy. It is important to understand that while my office is an art studio and I am an art therapist, not everyone makes art in my office.  

 

Key to my work with people of all ages is exploring self-compassion and acceptance along with a greater tolerance of frustration and the unknown. I focus on the ability to care for and soothe ourselves in new and healthy ways and to learn new ways of identifying needs and feelings and communicating that in the world.

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Children and Teens 

Working with children often looks different than adults. I also use sand tray therapy and play therapy techniques in my practice that compliment the art making. Often I explain my approach as a "back door" therapy which can be great for teens and youth that are not comfortable with just sitting and talking. For many when the hands are busy they feel more calm and open which creates an open window for the work to happen.

 

Because children live in various systems at home, school and with friends I also work with parents on learning new strategies and communication styles at home. I try to give resources and education as much as possible on development and the issues at hand. Part of my goal is to give tangible suggestions to create change.

 

I also feel dedicated to making therapy a positive experience for children especially so asking for professional help is something that they have a good association with in life.

 

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ART THERAPY
You don't have to be an artist or feel like you have any kind of particular artistic talent to do art therapy or benefit from it. Art is inherently therapeutic in that the creative process is a way to express aspects of ourselves that sometimes words alone cannot encompass. In this way it often easily breaks down our defenses in a gentle way for a more honest look at our lives.
 
Art therapy is for all ages and I believe that all people are inherently creative. Part of the process is being taught new art skills and mediums which can be fun as well as inspirational, insightful and helpful.  It's also extremely therapeutic to go outside of your comfort zone with art and practice making mistakes or not meeting expectations.
 
Art is also an integrative therapy: you are experiencing your mind and cognition, your body, and your emotions all at once while you create. In this way art and creative process can unblock, integrate, regulate and heal us in ways that talk therapy alone cannot. I find that if we follow our own personal symbology we can open ourselves in ways we never knew were possible, but always somehow knew we needed.
 
I invite you to explore you own voice and creativity in my big yellow art studio with me.
 
NOTE: For some examples of how I personally use art therapy and examples of client art please see the Art Gallery tab. Please keep in mind that everyone explores the creative process differently. It is not about how it looks, but more the process of making it. 
 

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TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOLOGY

Simplified, I look at this as a strengths based approach. I look for the inherent health and resiliencies that a person has and build upon that.  This does not mean that problems and issues are not deeply explored, but that they are balanced in a way that also acknowledges what is going well and how to live with the totality of our experience.

 

Transpersonal psychology also addresses a more holistic view of the person incorporating mind, body and spiritual aspects of being.  It advocates various mindfulness practices and meditation as a cornerstone to insight and healing. More and more research shows the strength of the mind-body connection and how stress impacts us and how mindfulness based and body based somatic-integrative approaches can help to regulate our nervous systems, release strong emotions, gain insight and heal. 

 

Finally, this theory also takes into account the many world wisdom traditions and different states of consciousness and explores all possibilities of the human experience for transformation and even transcendence of the ego.  I look at this and practice it as a celebration and exploration of diversity and have a very open mind when it comes to perspectives on the human condition. 

 

RELATIONAL STYLE

I do not believe in completely objective therapy as there are two (or more) people in the room.  I understand my own subjective viewpoint and personality impacts the therapeutic process. With that in mind, I take great care in continuing my own personal and professional growth outside of my work in order to be as present, authentic and available as possible with the people I work with. 

 

I believe in taking a here and now approach to the therapeutic relationship and try to demystify the process of therapy as much as possible in order for people to not only be informed but also have as much choice as possible in their journey.  

 

I strongly believe that I am not here to "fix" anything, I am not looking directly for "pathology", I do not know you better than you know yourself. I am here to listen deeply, to care about your well being, to be a support, a guide, and a mirror so you can know yourself better and find your own path of health and growth.  

 

Part of my relational style is that I listen very carefully in order to understand and learn your unique language, symbology, and patterns and suggest whatever clinical modalities that might work best for you.  In this way I am eclectic and use techniques from attachment theory, psychoanalysis, jungian dream work, evidence based practices like cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical-behavioral therapy, as well as sand tray and play therapy, existential therapy, body-centered somatic techniques, expressive arts modalities and more. I am constantly learning new therapeutic techniques to add to my understanding and implementation of this amazing work we call psychotherapy. 

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Phone
(541) 517-6222

Email
jenn@courageoushearthealing.com

Address

3400 Harbor Ave SW Suite 245, Seattle WA 98126

Business Hours

Monday-Thursday 1p-8p​​​​​​​​


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Celebrating Diversity  

Practicing a safe zone, I am sensitive to multi-cultural factors such as race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, gender and sexual orientation.
 
I am passionate about providing a nurturing space for individuals who feel marginalized in this country to explore their experience and state their needs. 
 
I strive to resource and help individuals and families in whatever way I can. 
 
 
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In The News
 

Publications
 
A Complicated Weave: Unraveling the Knots of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Undergraduate Thesis Naropa University 2007
 
Psyce: A Journey of the Heart through Trauma (topic focused on vicarious trauma for helping professionals) Graduate Thesis Naropa University 2010
 
Courageous Heart Healing Blog
 
Conferences
2009 I gave a presentation at the American Art Therapy Association national conference in Dallas, TX called "Adolescents and Attachment: An Art Therapy Perspective."
 
2013 I presented at the Seattle American Art Therapy Association national conference on "A Visual Exploration of Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue."
 
2014 State Conference to End Homelessness in Yakima, WA Julie MacFarland, MSW/JD and I presented "Compassion Fatigue Prevention: Maintaining and Sustainging Health in Homeless Service Teams"
 
Education and Work Experience
My undergraduate degree is from Naropa University in Contemplative Psychology (Buddhist Psychology) with an emphasis in Expressive Arts and Healing and a minor in Religious Studies.  I also received my masters degree at Naropa in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Art Therapy.  Both of those disciplines are described in greater detail on this page.
 
I have over ten years experience working in mental health with a variety of populations in various capacities from being an in-school therapist to working in a homeless shelter and many years in residential care for addictions and mental illness. This has included individual, group, couples and family counseling with children as young as 2 and adults all the way through the elder years.  
 
I also enjoy consulting and teaching in public schools, university and professional organizations and offer workshops on various topics like trauma, anxiety and depression in children and compassion fatigue for helpers.  Furthermore, I was Communications Director for the Evergreen Art Therapy Association from 2012-2013 and continue to be involved in presenting continuing education credits there.