- Brook Avidon
M.A., Psychology, Antioch University
B.A., Philosophy, minor in Education, S.U.N.Y. Binghamton
Specialties: Abuse, Creativity, GBLT Issues, Trauma
Brook came to Roanoke Park Counseling in 2011 and feels that the long-term approach to healing from childhood trauma is essential. She describes her approach to therapy as 'eclectic, client centered, collaborative and relational.' With a background in body-centered therapy, she focuses not only on understanding experiences with the mind, but also on how those experiences are felt emotionally and in the body. Brook views her work and the world through a lens of curiosity and compassion.
"Therapy is not the only answer. It is, though, a way to heal with a witness, a guide who can help you move through your memories, feelings, and experiences in a safe way, allowing you to grow into a more fulfilling and joyful life," she says.
The focus of Brook's work in agencies, in her private practice and in indigenous communities in the U.S. and Canada, has been on healing from childhood trauma, domestic violence and oppression. She has worked extensively within the GBLT community. She values understanding the cultural context of all healing work. Brook believes that all of these experiences contribute to her view of the human spirit as resilient and amazing.
Brook serves as a Therapist and Clinical Coordinator at RPC.
- Pura Betances
M.A., Existential Phenomenological Psychology,Seattle University
Licensee in Psychology, Universidad Autonoma deSanto Domingo,Dominican Republic
Specialties: Trauma, Abuse, Addictive Behaviors, Acculturation, Transitions, Anxiety, Depression, Health Behaviors
Pura has been a practicing therapist for 25 years, and has worked with all age groups. Outside of Shepherd’s Counseling Services, she works as a behavioral health consultant in primary care, has a private practice and teaches yoga.
"I believe that trauma happens in relationship and that therapy provides a relationship in which to heal. That relationship offers grounding, safety, guidance, and mirroring that facilitate reducing the pain, and moving into freedom to become the person one wants to be."
Pura approaches therapy from a client center focus. To help a client heal and reach the goals s/he has set, she draws from different techniques and theoretical sources, such as cognitive behavioral, mindfulness, phenomenology and existentialism.
- Janice Palm
M.A., Psychology, Antioch University
B.A., Education, Seattle Pacific College
Specialties: Depression, Abuse, Trauma, Anxiety
The Executive Director's role at Roanoke Park Counseling is to lead, cultivate and keep the agency alive and vital to ensure that the agency's mission is carried out to its fullest potential.
For Janice, the duties go one step more: To protect and respect each client who walks through our doors. By making sure that RPC’s core value of unwavering respect for the dignity of all people permeates the clinical and administrative culture of the agency, Janice says, "it ultimately radiates to the clients we are privileged to serve."
It is Janice's work as a therapist that fuels her passion and resolve to ensure that programs, administration, board function and staff development work in concert to provide the greatest possibility of stability and effectiveness. Roanoke Park Counseling has a tremendous responsibility and challenge in providing a very deep and valuable service at affordable rates -- and a record of success that shows that it works.
- Marissa Grasmick
M.A., Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and Art Therapy, Naropa University
B.A., Psychology and Art, Luther College
Specialties: PTSD, Trauma, Existentialism, Creative Expression, Mindfulness/Meditation, Abuse
Marissa Grasmick believes that it is the quality of the connection between the therapist and client that fosters authentic healing. She is most interested in co-creating a therapy that works best for each individual. Marissa blends theory and technique from Eastern and Western traditions. She has a deep understanding and appreciation of how mindfulness and meditation, as well as EMDR, help clients manage traumatic symptoms. Marissa is sensitive to the unique and serious effects of trauma/ abuse/ PTSD and how they can show up in a person’s life via emotional dysregulation, impaired cognitive functioning, and neurobiological stress.
As a dually trained Counselor and Art Therapist, Marissa also uses the creative process as an approach to therapy. All of these tools are only used with a client’s permission and on an individual basis depending on needs and goals.
Marissa has worked in private practice in Boulder, Colorado and served two years as a therapist at the Southern California Counseling Center in Los Angeles for low-income individuals.
- Marcia Herivel
MSW, University of Washington
B.A., Romance Languages and Literature, University of Washington
Specialties: Women, Mental Health
Marcia Herivel believes that each client is the real expert on his or her life, making effective therapy a collaborative process between therapist and client. "Therapy is an exploration that can transform past harms and conflicts into future strengths and wisdom," she says.
Marcia was a therapist at Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress for 16 years, working with children and adults in individual and group therapy. She came to Shepherd's in August of 2005, and is now a Neurology Social Worker at Seattle Children's Hospital. She has recent specialized training in therapy approaches designed to address sexual assault and trauma. That includes prolonged exposure and cognitive processing therapy, as well as grief and loss, attachment disorders, motivational interviewing, and emotion regulation.
- Dorothy Lemoult
LMFTA, LMHCA, RDT
MA, California Institute of Integral Studies
B.F.A., Theatre, Cornish College of the Arts
Specialties: Mood Disorders, Eating Disorders, Couples and Families, Bilingual-French, Trauma, PTSD
Dorothy Lemoult believes that every person has the inherent ability to heal and transform their life when given an opportunity to engage in a therapeutic and creative process.
She says: “It takes a lot to survive and heal from childhood trauma. Fear takes deep roots and affects every aspect of a survivor's life. As a result, people try to control and stabilize their environment. But life is unstable so this deprives them from living full and rich lives. In therapy, my goal is to create an environment where people learn to lower their fear of instability. Over time, people are able to heal their past in a way that no longer rules their present. They are able to experience life as an opportunity, rather than a threat. They live more joyful connected lives. It is a rich and rewarding journey that I am honored to be included in.”
Dorothy's clinical experience has been in hospitals and in private practice. She has experience working with adults and adolescents suffering from severe mental illness, trauma, PTSD and eating disorders. Dorothy focuses on the whole person in the context of family and culture. She is a registered drama therapist and has advanced training in trauma-centered developmental transformations, which is a form of embodied drama therapy treatment that focuses on uncovering and shifting patterns of personality and relationship.
- Michelle Lifton
MA, MS, LMHC
MA, Mental Health Counseling, Antioch University
MS, Women's Studies, Mankato State University
Specialties: Abuse, PTSD, Trauma
Michelle strives to help people bring balance and wellness into their lives. She begins with the premise that each individual is whole and has the inherent ability to cope with life’s struggles, no matter how much pain that person may be experiencing. Although trauma has a profound effect on our bodies and our minds, growth and change are always possible.
“I have a compassionate and collaborative approach and will invite you to tap into your inner wisdom, to explore your thoughts and feelings, and to discover new ways of being. Our diverse backgrounds inform who we are, and I will work with you to make changes in your life while honoring your culture and your values.”
Michelle has over 20 years of social service experience, primarily working with adults and children who experienced abuse. She has worked in community mental health settings, helping clients address a wide range of symptoms and issues, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and grief. Michelle has specialized training in Cognitive Processing Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Brenda Smyk
M.A., Counseling Psychology, Antioch University
B.A., Organizational Behavior, the University of San Francisco
Specialties: Trauma, ADD/ADHD in Adults, Grief and Loss, Attachment
Brenda Smyk, who has specialized training and expertise in the treatment of trauma and its associated symptoms, views the therapeutic relationship as collaborative in which her role is that of facilitator supporting clients in their healing and individuation processes.
This involves becoming more fully aware of what the psyche is trying to communicate to us by way of psychological, behavioral, and physical symptoms - so the healing work of integrating conscious and unconscious material becomes possible. This integration leads to changes in attitudes and emotional responses.
In addition to her work at Shepherd's, which started in 2004, Brenda is a trained practitioner of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, a technique used to treat disturbing life events and trauma) and maintains a private practice in Seattle and on the Eastside.