Therapy Services

Clinical Orientation

I believe that a strong and collaborative therapeutic relationship is essential to the change process. Therefore, I create highly individualized treatment plans that meet our mutually agreed upon goals and expectations. Important factors that may be addressed in therapy include an exploration of past experiences, as well as current behaviors, environmental factors, and coping mechanisms. My therapeutic style is influenced by Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Feminist Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Animal Assisted Therapy. In addition, I am joined in session by my therapy dog, Lucille.

I view therapy as a way for you to get the help for problems that seem overwhelming when navigating them on your own. For example, you may feel like you have nothing to offer your friends or family since you are constantly suffering from chronic pain and struggle to even get out of bed in the morning. You may have heard that your problems are too complicated or unsolvable from people in your life. You may feel helpless to deal with health problems that have not improved despite following physician’s treatment recommendations and you feel like a burden to others who have supported you in the past. You might feel so anxious when you wake up that leaving the house feels unsafe and we can problem solve how to get you showing up to important events and activities including your therapy appointments. Memories from the past may be preventing you from having meaningful relationships due to feeling unsafe, insecure, or untrusting of others despite desperately wanting to connect with others. After being in therapy together, my clients often say that their problems feel manageable, their behaviors have changed for the better, they have better relationships, and they have a sense of purpose in their lives.

Working with individuals of all ages, as well as their families, is an important part of my practice. I enjoy working with teenagers, and respect that adolescence is a particularly difficult time for teens as well as their parents. For parents of teens and children, one of the most common questions I hear is wondering if you will be involved in your child’s therapy - the answer is that your concerns are especially important to be addressed in therapy. For young children, I welcome parents to join the last 10 minutes of most therapy sessions to enhance communication and treatment effectiveness. For teens, I encourage regularly scheduled family meetings, where everyone’s voices are heard, instead of parents joining us every session as a sense of privacy seems to help teenagers be honest and open about their problems.

Specialized Treatments

I integrate the following specialized treatments into my work when appropriate given the individual concerns and problems being experienced.

Animal Assisted Therapy

My co-therapist, Lucille, is a Boston Terrier and she is currently being trained as a therapy dog. For clients who wish to interact with Lucille, Animal Assisted Therapy can provide additional healing through reducing feelings of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. The Delta Society has researched the impact of animals on the healing process and has found both cognitive and emotional benefits of therapy dogs. Lucille can provide emotional and physical comfort for clients who are experiencing distress by relaxation through petting. A specialty of Lucille’s is working with hesitant children and adults with fear of dogs or dog bite phobia who may have had a negative experience in the past. For clients who do not wish to engage with Lucille, she remains in my lap or rests in her bed during session.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

I have been extensively trained in EMDR, which is an empirically supported treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, phobias, and other emotional problems. EMDR is thought to work by improving the way in which the brain stores memories. During periods of extreme stress the brain does not store memories correctly, and these memories are often described as being “frozen in time” or “stored in isolation”. This may lead to problematic thinking processes and behaviors. EMDR seems to help the brain “unlock” these memories and reduces their negative impact on the person’s mood and behavior. EMDR also seems to work by changing the association that the brain and body has to somatic memories which can promote reduction in chronic pain symptoms. For more information about EMDR, please visit the EMDR International Association’s. website or ask Dr. Brown additional questions.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

I provide both individual and group DBT skills training. DBT focuses on teaching new skills and coping strategies to clients through mindfulness, emotion regulation, improving relationships and interpersonal communication, and tolerating distress. DBT was originally created for Borderline Personality Disorder and has subsequently been utilized effectively with a variety of diagnoses and problems. Her philosophy is that we can all use additional skills to be more effective in our lives. These skills are especially useful during period of stabilization during recovery from traumatic experiences or health conditions.

Insurance & Payment Information

I currently accept Premera Blue Cross/Blue Shield, LifeWise, First Choice Health, Aetna, and Medicare and can bill many other insurance companies as an out of network provider. Depending on the insurance company, following your payment in full , I will provide you with a bill to submit for reimbursement from your insurance company or I can bill your insurance company directly. It is your responsibility to check with your insurance company regarding what your benefits are for outpatient therapy, including deductible, number of sessions per year, and whether or not the benefit is managed by the insurance company. If you have a managed benefit for outpatient mental health, you must obtain an authorization prior to our first appointment. I accept cash, check, or credit cards as payment methods. Please contact me directly with any questions regarding fees and sliding scale availability. Appointments that are not canceled with at least 24 hours notice will be charged full fee for that session.