I received a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Bastyr University. Much of my undergraduate psychology work was completed at the University of Oregon, where I was on the dean’s list. After spending 3 years in community mental health counseling children, parents and families I became licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist as well as a qualified Child Mental Health Specialist. I also completed a postgraduate externship to further specialize my work with adults and couples. Passionate about learning and motivated to provide the best possible care for my clients, I continually educate myself in up to date, evidence based treatment modalities.

In addition to being a Washington State licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (#LF00001900) I am also a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. I am certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy and a clinical member of EMDRIA, the professional organization for EMDR trained therapists.

I am trained in psychotherapeutic models such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Systems Counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). I use these and other treatment modalities, in combination with empathic listening and homework assignments to help clients move forward.

Portage Counseling, my private practice, is in Tacoma Washington. I provide counseling services to individuals and couples.

My Therapeutic Approach

Each person and couple comes to my office with a unique set of circumstances. I strive to create a safe place where one can heal and understand self-limiting destructive patterns. Our work will include practicing new ways of thinking and behaving. My mission as a therapist is simple: be respectful and help you feel better.

We'll get to the heart of your struggles quickly so change can happen as soon as possible. In our work you'll learn to break the habitual, painful, ways of coping with anxiety, depression and relationship issues. We do this together, uncovering resources that are blocked and bringing strengths to light.

I am nurturing and direct, trusting in your ability to change. After 20 plus years as a psychotherapist I have become even more passionate about helping people discover and realize their goals.

More about Kirsten….

Late 40's working woman, happily married for over two decades (crikey!!), and mother of two. I have firsthand knowledge about successfully coping with the challenges of marriage and parenthood. I understand the struggles of illness, extended family relationships, and the stress of a busy schedule. 

Relationships are at the core of who I am, but I definitely place a high priority on balance, mindfulness, and self care. 

As a PNW native, I still love exploring new towns, restaurants, and breweries in the region. My favorite things are walking (or running depending on the day), audiobooks, and date night! I appreciate little things in life like rubbing my dogs belly, movie night with the kids, and of course, candy. I have also been known to swear. Kuddos for reading this far!