Therapeutic Approach

Liz has worked for many years with kids and families who have experienced severe trauma, and today she works with individual adults and parents in her practice using leading-edge trauma, developmental psychology, and attachment theories through the lens of anti-oppression as a starting point. She mostly employs the experiential modalities of Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) in her work. See links below for detailed information on these practices.

"Trauma in a person, decontextualized over time can look like personality. Trauma in a family, decontextualized over time, can look like family traits. Trauma in a people, decontextualized over time, can look like culture"

-Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother's Hands

Why Focus on Attachment & Trauma?

 

As social animals, we are all formed in great part by our historical, intergenerational, and neurobiological roots. From there, we make meaning and adaptations around needs that were or were not met, or harms that were incurred. These effects can sometimes be "stored" inside to become parts of us which define our personalities in both strengths and burdens, The "parts" that carry unhealed trauma correlate directly with our problems- the ones for which we seek out therapy.

According to Internal Family Systems theory (IFS), those symptoms, or parts, come forth in order to be seen, known and understood in order to be healed.

Similarly, in AEDP, the process of unburdening stored trauma is done through approaches that focus on contact with deeper-level emotions. Both methods prioritize in-session experiences that generate feelings and vulnerabilities, and do not put focus on intellectual talk, analysis, or cognitive processes, though these methods are applied to the extent that they are useful for the healing of the individual client.

Liz's practice is queer and trans-friendly and fat-positive, and she believes in de-centering whiteness in the mental health profession, particularly for those populations with historical barriers to wealth, citizenship, and land ownership. Please see information located under the Location & Contact tab for more on how this practice addresses those issues in policy.

For More on Liz's Therapeutic Orientation:

Here's a short talk on the premise of IFS, by it's founder, Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdZZ7sTX840

For more information on what an IFS session may look like, check out this comic about IFS therapy by the artist Sacha Mardou:

https://ifscomics.com/therapy-session-comics/

Here is a summary of AEDP therapy from their website:

https://aedpinstitute.org/about-aedp/how-aedp-works/

For more information on how attachment is instrumental in brain and child development, see Allan Schore's 13 minute youtube video on The Neurobiology of Secure Attachment:developmenthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVuJ5KhpL34 

For more information on healing trauma through an anti-oppression lens, see the anti-racism and systemic change work of the Education for Racial Equality website:

https://www.educationforracialequity.com
 

"What is broken in connection needs to be repaired in connection..."

-Diana Fosha, founder, AEDP

Education:

2008 Masters in Counseling from Seattle University

1997 Massage Therapy Certificate from Chicago School    of Massage Therapy

1994 BA in Social Sciences from University of Victoria, BC, Canada

Post-Masters
Professional Development:

2021   Fierce Love AEDP Training with Sue Anne Piliero- Online

2019  AEDP Immersion Training with Diana Fosha- NYC

2018  Ongoing Neufeld Institute Parent Coach Cert.

2017   Internal Family Systems Level I training 

2017   Theraplay Training Levels I &II  Vancouver, BC

2016   Certificate in Trauma and the Body Janina Fisher

2014   Certificate in Attachment Therapy and on-going consultation with Deborah Gray, Kirkland, WA

2013   EMDR Training with Phil Manfield, Berkeley, CA

2012   Circle of Security Parent Education, Portland, OR

2011   Certificate in Psychological Trauma/University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Board Affiliation:

Board Member since 2021 of Samaritan Center of Puget Sound

https://samaritanps.org

About Liz (She/Her):

"I am a mother to 2 school-aged kids, and am passionate about the arts, being active with my family in the community, and getting out into nature (backyard or back-country). I have a long career in the mental health field, starting in the early 1990's, as well as a varied experience of travel and odd-jobs along the way, including massage therapy. I also work as a freelance writer and pen the monthly Ask A Therapist column in the South Seattle Emerald. I live with my spouse, kids, cat and dog in Central Seattle, and am committed to working and living with a diverse population of people from all ethnic, gender, religious and cultural identities and backgrounds."