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In search of adoption counseling, family counseling or individual counseling? Read the "profiles" on these experts and after you speak to two or three, choose one that you feel best fits your needs!
Professionals are listed alphabetically by last name.
Adoption Counseling & Educational Services (ACES)
Individual therapists numbers can be found at
Washington Office (Longview) 503-680-8064
In addition to our counselors' academic credentials and training, each therapist affiliated with ACES, has earned a one year Post-Graduate Certificate in Adoption Therapy.
Areas served in Oregon include Portland, Beaverton, Dundee and Gresham. Vancouver, Washington, and surrounding areas can be served as well. Longview Washington office now open. This group of clinicians has the ability to provide in home services.
Services provided include counseling and workshops. Therapists work with children adopted internationally as well as children who spent time in state care. Services provided for birth parents, adults who were adopted and adoptive parents.
Philosophy: "Adoption can be a wonderful way to build a family. It can also be challenging. Adoption Counseling & Educational Services is an affiliation of mental health practitioners united in the goal of providing quality services for adoptive families."
"ACES' adoption therapists respect and acknowledge that each family is unique. We encourage parents to draw on their strengths and abilities, at the same time we help children explore grief, loss, attachment and identity issues. Our philosophy is one of helping families to move from coping with life, to living life joyously as a fully integrated family"
Free parent support groups provided.
Bethany Christian Services
12360 Lake City Way NE, Suite 301, Seattle, WA 98125
1031 N State St., Suite 108, Bellingham, WA 98228
5913 SW Westgate Drive, Suite 117, Portland, OR, 97221
Child & Family Counseling Support
Bethany offers both general counseling for adoptive families and specialized trauma informed therapy. Our specially trained and licensed staff of masters level counselors offer a variety of specialized therapies specifically designed to meet the needs of adoptive children.
With our ADOPTS program (Addressing Distress Of Post Traumatic Stress), staff will address the trauma triggers that specifically get in the way of a child connecting to their adoptive parent. Using a wrap around model, staff use group therapy, individual experiential play therapy, family therapy, and parent-child relationship centered therapy to help families in need of support.
At Bethany, our desire is to harness the inherent strengths already naturally built into the relationship adoptive parents have with their adoptive child. With these strengths identified, Bethany provides parent education as to how their adoptive child’s trauma is specifically connected to the behavior they might be seeing in the home. Then, they will be invited into the process of helping their adoptive child find healing.
One of the most valuable things adoptive parents take away from our parent groups is the simple, yet comforting knowledge that “they are not alone.” After coming out of our parent groups, adoptive parents have said things like, “It was encouraging to be with other families going through the same thing.”
As an adoptive parent, our parent group offers you:
• A holistic understanding of trauma and its effects on your child
• Practical ways to develop in your child healthy expressions of emotions and thoughts
• Effective ways to increase your child’s capacity to develop healthy attachments Strategies for building on the strengths of your child
Because your adoptive child is in his/her group during the same time, he or she is learning the same material, just from a more developmentally appropriate level.
Our child & adolescent groups offer a place of safety and understanding, where your adoptive child “can come out of his/her shell.” Our staff helps your child:
• To understand why he or she might be having such a difficult time
• To imagine with your child what tools they might like to have in their “toolbox,” that will more readily help them regulate their emotions
• To grow in confidence and personal strengths
Recognizing that a child’s language is often play, our staff utilizes play therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and narrative therapy.
For info contact Cindy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-367-4604
Mary-Carter Creech, MA, LMHC
1523 E. Madison, Seattle
9757 NE Juanita Dr., Suite #129, Kirkland
Mary-Carter works in association with Deborah Gray, MSW, MPA of Nurturing Attachments.
Mary-Carter has extensive expertise with adoption and foster care issues. She is skilled
with working with older placed children, internationally and domestically placed. Mary-Carter will provide valuable in-home counseling during
early stages of a child's transition into the home.
Mary Carters’ philosophy includes; “I work with children and families in the step by step process of life and family transition. I work towards building the foundation of attachment that allows children who have been adopted from backgrounds of abuse and neglect to feel security and trust with their adoptive parents. I join with the parents in developing therapeutic parenting skills that will help them to be primary healers for their children”
Amy Dutt, LMFT
License Number: LF60125333
5100 South Dawson Street, Suite 204
Seattle, WA 98118
Amy works with children, teens, and families. She specializes in working with families formed by adoption. Many of the families she sees are struggling with challenging behaviors and/or strained relationships. She has many years experience working with families in crisis and children adopted as infants, toddlers, older children, or teens.
Amy offers family and individual therapy, parent consultation and coaching, and support groups for parents who have adopted. She completed a Certification in Attachment Therapy with Deborah Gray in 2010. She works with all types of families (single, partnered, married, blended, kinship). Often she sees parents who are struggling with their own reactions and emotions brought about by the adoption and behaviors of their child.
Amy helps families manage the practical day-to-day challenges (acting out behaviors, food issues, sleep challenges, etc.), while also helping the family to understand and improve the underlying dynamics. For example, a family may seek out counseling to address their child’s tendency to horde food and then lie about it. Amy would work with the family to develop a plan to decrease the problematic behavior (hording and lying), while at the same time, assist the child and parent/s to understand the need driving the behavior. The crucial element of therapy is the collaboration with the family in creating a way for the underlying need to be met.
Families are typically seen in Amy’s office for a 50 minute session, but there are times Amy sees families in their homes and/or sees clients for extended sessions.
Suzanne Engelberg, PhD
18532 Firlands Way N, Suite A Shoreline, WA 98133
Dr. Engelberg is a Licensed Clinical Child Psychologist with nearly 20 years experience working with adopted children and their families. Her specialty is addressing childhood and family difficulties impacted by adoption. She has additional expertise with multi-cultural families and families with lesbian or gay parents.
Dr. Engelberg is a past Senior Clinician for the Adoption Resource Center of Children’s Home Society of Washington, and past Coordinator of the Jewish Adoption Consultation, Information and Referral Service of Jewish Family Service. She is a former school counselor and school psychologist, as well as a popular workshop leader on topics of child development, parenting and school difficulties. Dr. Engelberg’s advice has been quoted in national teen magazines.
Dr. Engelberg provides therapy to parents, families and children. She also offers short-term consultations to parents with questions about adoption-related issues such as relationships with birth family, identity, adoption issues at school, etc. In addition, Dr. Engelberg consults with parents not sure if their child’s difficulties could be helped by professional assistance or are part of “normal” child development.
Dr. Engelberg says, “Sometimes is obvious when a difficulty is related to adoption. Other times it is harder to tell. In either situation it is helpful to work with a professional with expertise in both adoption and child development.”
“My therapy style is very collaborative. You are an equal partner in our work together. I will listen non-judgmentally to your concerns and ideas. Together we will develop a plan to reach your goals.”
Amanda Franklin, M.Ed.
psychotherapy and consultation
2021 Minor Ave. East #1
Seattle, WA 98102
Amanda provides therapy to adults and children who have been abused. She provides
individual and family therapy to people whose families are in transition, including
divorcing, blending, fostering, adopting, or disrupting.
Amanda says “I am a white, middle aged woman with a stepson, a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter, a birth daughter, and an adopted daughter. What I know about foster care and adoption comes from 22 years of professional experience, my own life and family, as well as volunteering for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) with the Juvenile Court.”
Amanda also has the following specialties:
• marriage counseling / couples therapy, for people who are straight and gay, married and not married
• children and teenagers, with both individual and family therapy
• the issues and choices which typically affect young women, particularly those who are 18-30
• questions of a spiritual or religious nature – with no pressure or urging in any particular spiritual or religious direction
• In addition to adoptive and foster families, families which are divorcing, blending, or otherwise reshaping
• master’s level clinicians who need supervision towards licensure (both MHCs and MFTs), as well as licensed clinicians who want ongoing learning and support
Amanda is an approved supervisor for AAMFT, and provides consultation services for other therapists.
• people who are financially challenged to find otherwise competent, time-unlimited therapy
• clients who must have an evening appointments
Amanda sees clients between 4:00-9:00 pm, Monday-Thursday.
Amanda does not bill insurances, but is able to set fees that clients can afford over time.
Erica Goos, MARC00039912
2001 1st Ave. W, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98119
Erica works with individuals, couples and groups. She has expertise and experience working with third culture kids, bi-cultural persons, internationally adopted children and adults, couples in bi-racial marriages and professionals repatriating to the US.
Erica also works with those experiencing life transitions, grief and loss, depression, abuse and personal growth issues
As part of an emigrant family, Erica has the unique life experiences of a bi-cultural person (Korean and American cultures). She is also the mother of a bi-racial birth child and an internationally adopted child. With this distinctive combination of life experiences Erica possesses first hand understanding of complex issues. She intimately understands the process and struggles of integrating different cultures into a complete identity.
Erica says: “We all desire to be loved unconditionally, to be able to develop and maintain intimate relationships and live a dynamic life. These desires can bring great joy, but also great pain and problems. I am here to provide the support and insight needed to find practical solutions for lasting changes so that you can fully live with hope and freedom”
Erica provides a complimentary 20 minute consultation.
Anna Kotelnikova, Psy.D., LMHC
Linnea C. Lauer, LMHC
Liberty Way Counseling Services
20307 Viking Ave., #203
Poulsbo, WA. 98370
I specialize in providing mental health counseling services to children, adolescents and their families. I’ve been in private practice for 11 years, and I have additional experience working with the foster care, community mental health and educational systems. I have been a designated child mental health specialist, a school counselor, and a school teacher.
I’ve acquired expertise in the areas of attention deficit disorder, grief and trauma, Aspergers Syndrome and Pediatric Bipolar Disorder. I am seeking advanced certification in the treatment of adoption and attachment issues.
I spent 7 years living in Asia and have a working knowledge of Mandarin.
Linnea says “I am a strength based counselor. That means that my clients and I identify their strengths very early in the counseling process and use those strengths to address issues with which the client may be struggling. Strengths can be found in many areas: family, faith, personality traits, and abilities. I have tremendous admiration for the courage and tenacity exhibited by those who endure and overcome adversity.”
Christina Malecka, MA, LMHC
(Christina Malecka Counseling)
License number: LH 60123241
1904 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
As a Certified Adoption and Foster Care Therapist and adoptive mom, I bring both
professional and personal expertise to my work with clients. My practice is focused on
parents who choose to foster or adopt older children and teens, transracial adoption and
LGBTQ families and youth. I can help prepare parents to foster or adopt, navigate the
"system," and cope with the day-to-day challenges of raising older children with
traumatic backgrounds and challenging behaviors. I offer family therapy to adoptive and
foster families to address attachment and behavior issues, as well as cultural issues
that emerge around transracial adoption and foster care. I also work with adopted/foster
kids, teens and adults to help them resolve trauma and explore identity and cultural
issues unique to those who do not grow up with their biological family.
Heidi Roth MA, LMHC
Youth and Family Therapist
License # LH00011141
1800 Westlake Ave. North, Suite 303
Seattle, WA 98109
Adopted and foster care youth ages 11 to 21
My Primary areas of specialty are pre-teen and adolescent populations. I have 12 years
of experience working with youth and their families in regard to issues such as
substance abuse, foster care and relative placement, adoption issues, academic
challenges, depression, child abuse and neglect, difficulties with peer relationships,
ethnic and racial issues, sexual orientation, identity development, legal problems and
I am strongly committed to working with the adolescent population and love the age—with all that it brings. I have experience working with adopted youth and believing in engaging family members in the therapy process with their child, whenever possible. Additionally, I have experience with adoption and raising transracial children
Denise Sterchi, LICSW
License # L00005687
843 N.E. 66th St.
Seattle, WA 98115
I am a psychotherapist working with adults of all ages confronting many different types
of challenges. I developed a special interest in adoption after my life was personally
touched by adoption. I am interested in seeing adults who were adopted, birth parents
before and after they have made their adoption plans, prospective adoptive parents
recovering from the emotional trauma of infertility, and parents confronting short-term
adjustment issues and long-term emotional difficulties. I also provide homestudies for
domestic, step-parent and second parent adoptions.
I have studied many different approaches to psychotherapy, and I feel that my role is to
understand what type of approach might help you make the changes that you desire--rather
than trying to make you fit into my theories! But currently I am influenced most
strongly by an approach called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
EMDR is a psychotherapy that has been proven effective in treating the symptoms of
post-traumatic stress disorder, other problems resulting from early experiences of
neglect or abuse, or the effects of disruptions of significant attachment relationships.
Fits for those of us touched by adoption, doesn’t it? During EMDR, we address all levels
of a problem: the thoughts and beliefs about yourself, the feelings, and the bodily
experience of painful past events--both "Big T" traumas that you experienced as
life-threatening, or "little t" traumas" that result in emotional pain and self-doubt.
Probably because we work holistically at all these levels (thoughts, feelings, and
body), research has shown EMDR to be a powerful tool--often more powerful than
traditional "talk therapy" alone--for resolving emotional difficulties.
I have completed the advanced training and extensive individualized consultation
required to become a certified therapist in EMDR. I am interested in assisting teen and
adult members of the adoption triad in resolving any lingering emotional pain that has
not been healed by the building of a new life and family after adoption. Please don’t
hesitate to call me to talk more about how therapy might help you make your dreams come
Denise also provides Home Studies/Pre-placement Reports/Post-placement Reports.
Laura Stone, LMHC
174 Roy St., Suite B
Seattle, WA 98109
I have over 12 years experience working as a clinician with children and families
impacted by adoption. I provide psychotherapy and counseling services for children,
adolescents, parents and families in my lower Queen Anne office in Seattle. Some issues
that may be addressed in therapy include attachment and separation challenges, parenting
struggles, family adjustment, depression and anxiety, identity formation, PTSD, grief
and loss. I also have extensive (personal and professional) experience and expertise in
working with trans-cultural and trans-racial families.
I work with internationally adopted children and those who have spent time in foster care, as well as those in kinship placements and guardianships. I also work with birth mothers, adults who were adopted, and those considering becoming adoptive parents.
Beginning in 2009, I will facilitate groups for parents and their newly internationally adopted infants and young children, based on the “First Year Home” groups developed and previously offered by Patty Cogan.
Sandy Swan, M. Ed., LMHC
License # 60043373
1400 Talbot Road South, Suite 106
Renton, WA 98055
Sandy Swan has been serving children and families in the Puget Sound region for the past 25 years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1983 and her Masters degree in Educational Psychology in 1989 both at the University of Washington.
While working as a classroom teacher, school psychologist, and school counselor, she opened her private practice in 1989. She has many hours of post graduate education and experience in the area of foster care and attachment in adoption. She has helped families deal with life stresses, anxiety management, ADHD, Autism, learning disabilities, and social skills training. She and her husband are experienced therapeutic parents, fostering and adopting children into their family.
Madeleine “Mayda” F. Taney, MA, LMHC, ATR-BC
824 S. 309th Pl.
Federal Way, WA98003
Mayda offers support and education by teaching parents to provide more structure and routine and have consistent and realistic expectations while gaining a solid understanding of their child’s developmental needs and diagnosis.
Mayda possesses a unique combination of expertise with 14 years as a special education teacher and her clinical degree and experience. Because of this expertise, she is extraordinarily equipped to consult with and coach parents in navigating and negotiating the educational system on behalf of their children. She can educate and assist parents with Individualized Educational Plans (IEP’s); 504 plans; educational testing and the results and advocacy in behalf of children.
In her work as an educator,
Mayda has worked with children and families brought together by domestic and
international adoption as well as kinship adoption. She has had the opportunity to work
with families of many cultures and configurations.