Professional and Family Therapy Background
I have worked with families for over 30 years, first as a registered nurse working with families experiencing birth and then in family therapy. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist. My specialty areas are parenting, conflict in relationships, reconciliation, cross-cultural issues, Asperger syndrome, health, and disability. I have a doctorate in anthropology which I received in part for research done regarding fathers and their relationship with their children. My family therapy internship and my first two years following graduation took place at Kindering Center in Bellevue working with parents who had special needs children.
Mediation Background and Approach
I have had a mediation practice since 2002. and have been a certified mediator for over 15 years. My practice is oriented to family mediation (other than divorce mediation), including co-parenting, adult sibling and elder mediation. Prior to being in private practice, I mediated for the City of Bellevue’s Neighborhood, Peer, and Parent-Teen mediation programs, and coordinated the City’s Peer Mediation Training Program for five years.
My focus in mediation is to try a transformative approach first: to understand the parties and their feelings, needs, and positions as fully as possible in order to be able to help them understand each other. In my experience, this understanding is critical to moving towards a solution to the conflicts or issues. In some situations, a facilitative or even directive approach is more helpful for part or all of the process. As an anthropologist, I also work at being aware of the social, cultural, and historical contexts that affect all relationships and our understanding of ourselves and others.
I have bachelor's degrees in psychology and nursing from the University of Washington, a master's degree in marriage and family therapy from Seattle Pacific University, and a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Washington. I am licensed by the state of Washington as a Marriage and Family therapist and am a member of the Washington Mediation Association.
I have had training in conciliation, basic mediation, family mediation, parent-teen mediation, and conflict coaching.