About Jenn

INTRODUCING JENN

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I am a licensed mental health counselor as well as a registered art therapist. You can learn more about my practice and specialties here, including more detail on my work with ChildrenTeens, and Adults.

I have an open and transparent approach with my clients, and I share up front that I know anxiety and trauma personally and professionally inside and out. I myself was first diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress at age 12 and started counseling at that time. This personal experience with mental health struggles—along with my education, extensive training, and ongoing professional exploration—has given me powerful insight and empathy into the process of healing and coping with mental health issues and illness. We need to stop the stigma of mental health treatment, as so many believe they must suffer alone. But you are not alone in your struggles, and there are ways to cope and heal.

I have worked in mental health in many capacities for over 15 years and have been in private practice in West Seattle since 2012. Below you will find more on my professional resume and some of my art. My clients often tell me that they feel I genuinely care about them and my work as a therapist, and it is true. I bring curiosity, warmth, creativity, and humor to the room as well as depth, compassion, and wisdom of experience. You might get a feel for me and my work by listening to a recent podcast I did on self-care.

A little about me personally: I am a self -proclaimed nerd who loves to learn new stuff all the time, especially the latest neurobiological and developmental research. I have been a practicing Buddhist for 14 years and engage in mindfulness and meditation daily. I am also passionate about issues of social justice, feminism, and the environment. I enjoy sci-fi and fantasy, art and jewelry making, hiking, and yoga. I am also a sailboat captain who races and cruises the Puget Sound and sometimes wish I were a mermaid.

Below is a slideshow of some of my own personal art. I have always used art as a way to cope with and explore my own life and experiences. I continue to make art as a way to soothe and express my emotions, and I am passionate about sharing that process with others so they can find their own voice. I think of myself as a mixed media artist, although paint and ink are my oldest friends.

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IN THE NEWS

PUBLICATIONS 

A Complicated Weave: Unraveling the Knots of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(Undergraduate Thesis at Naropa University, 2007)
 
Psyce: A Journey of the Heart through Trauma (topic focused on vicarious trauma for helping professionals) 
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 Sustaining Health in Homeless Service Teams.”
Podcasts
I recently did a podcast for Everything Is Workable with Kait Hatch on Self-Care for Helping Professionals, and you can listen here.

EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCE

My undergraduate degree is from Naropa University, 2007. I majored in Contemplative Psychology (Buddhist Psychology) with an emphasis in Expressive Arts and Healing and a minor in Religious Studies.  In 2010, I also received my master’s degree at Naropa in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Art Therapy.  
 
I have over 15 years of 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. I have worked with children as young as 2 and adults all the way through the elder years.  
 
I also enjoy consulting and teaching in public schools, universities, and professional organizations. I offer workshops on various topics, including trauma, anxiety and depression in children, and compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma in helping professionals.  I held the role of Communications Director for the Evergreen Art Therapy Association from 2012-2013.
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Creatively Cultivating Courage & Compassion