Fight or Flight?

For this month's article, I wanted to talk a bit about the human responses that are likely to occur during exposure to traumatic stress. These responses are neither random, nor voluntary, but they follow a pattern that has conferred the best chances for survival over countless generations. I'm talking about the "fight or flight" response. It's a term coined over...[ read more ]

DV in Spokane: Some Facts

DV stands for domestic violence, sometimes referred to as intimate partner violence. If you have ever been exposed to DV, then you already know that it can result in lasting physical and psychological harm, and can seriously affect your quality of life in a number of ways. This can be a stressful topic but it is critically important to understand....[ read more ]

The High Cost of ACES

In this post, I would like to introduce the concept of ACES. What are ACES? The acronym stands for "Adverse Childhood Experiences" and the term comes from a landmark 1998 study that found a surprising relationship between early childhood exposures to adversity and later health risks.  If you were exposed to adversity as a child, or if you have children...[ read more ]

What Does “Trauma-Informed” Mean?

Definitions for "trauma-informed" mental health services abound, leading to some confusion about what the term actually means. In this month's article, let's try to demystify this geeky-sounding word a little bit! "Trauma" originates from the ancient greek word, meaning "wound", and it was adopted into medical terminology during scientific advances made at the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment. Today,...[ read more ]

Putting the “PRIDE” in Play

Play is an important part of healthy child development, and one that is sometimes overlooked as families feel the pressure to push their children to achieve academic goals. Play is an activity that children (and adults) will usually engage in with little or no prompting. In my work with young children and families, I sometimes teach parents play therapy techniques...[ read more ]

The Nature Of Resilience

Resilience has been a buzzword in mental health circles for nearly 3 decades. I first became interested in it during undergraduate studies at University of Alaska, after doing some research on factors that promote recovery from trauma. Resilience comes from the latin term meaning "to spring back', and it has been used to define the capacity of organisms to survive and...[ read more ]

“What’s Wrong With My Child?”

It's a question I've heard more than once from a worried parent. The anxiety and concern is real, and often warranted after exposure to trauma. When people begin to understand their child is having behavioral problems, it is natural to desire answers. When I hear this question from clients, I usually offer 2 responses. First, I try to remind them...[ read more ]


Welcome to my mental health blog! I hope to use this section to inform readers about thought-provoking issues that intersect with mental health and life in the Spokane region. Mental Health terminology can get technical so I plan to keep things down to earth here. To share a little about myself: I am a licensed mental health counselor, living and...[ read more ]

1521 E. Illinois Ave. Ste. 201
Spokane, WA 99207
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