MARY ANNE IS A MEMBER OF:
The American Counseling Association
The Association for Creativity in Counseling
Counselors for Social Justice
Seattle Counseling Association
I am an artist and a licensed mental health counselor in Washington State (LH60830622). I offer counseling services to teens, adults, and families in Seattle and Kirkland and provide workshops throughout the year.
Acceptance, self-care, and compassionate social justice are vital to my practice. My approach blends experience in humanistic, psychodynamic, and evidence-based psychology and I incorporate mindfulness to engage the mind, body, and spirit.
I support clients with:
- building healthy self-esteem
- relationship skills and co-dependency coaching
- supporting grief and life transitions
- teaching healthy limits and boundaries
- reclaiming authenticity
- creative recovery and spirituality
- and engaging in self-care and self-forgiveness
Thanks for stopping by and please say hello!
For me, the baseline is unconditional positive regard. Here's what I know: your worth is not a product of your obligations. Your worthiness, like your complexity, is baked in and sacred. For the work to work, we need a safe space to move beyond secrecy and judgement; they simply hold our authenticity and inherent dignity hostage. Brené Brown, Ph.D., beautifully articulates in her book Daring Greatly that, “Your level of belonging...can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance.”
So often in our efficiency-over-effectiveness culture, it's easy to lose our sense of self and under-value soul in daily life. The tells? Striving to fit in, sucking it up, pleasing, perfecting, getting it done faster, better, smarter - stand-out, don't make a scene! But when soulfulness is the missing piece, we can feel the presence of its absence, and longing for something more real is often the "symptom." The word psychology reflects this, from the Greek word psykhe - "breath, spirit, soul" with logia - "study of." When we enter a therapeutic experience, we're exploring the study of the soul, our mind and our mystery.
Consider that we make things better by letting go of the addiction to fix, numb, control, and avoid. "Inclusion," says Dr. Leticia Nieto, is "the skill of embrace." Because it's a skill, that means we can learn it, practice it, and integrate it. Refusal to accept what is so will always create more suffering and serves to keep us attached to what's not working. So the more fixed we behave, the less open we are and the more suffering we invariably experience. Curiosity is a super-power, it immediately invites transformation. We can't change what we deny and we can't heal what we continue to oppress. To belong is to own our story and acknowledge our soul, this is the embrace we seek - not privileging, dehumanizing, or idealizing some parts of ourselves over others. When we do, transformation is possible.
Coming home to our whole self is a practice of willingness over willfulness - to accept with the intent to grow. We are hard-wired to connect, learn, lean in, and let go and to do so vulnerably neutralizes shame. Your story matters! The mess, imperfections, courage, grit, and beauty all make us human.
The good news? Because shame happens between people, it heals between people. We all have it, we're all scared to talk about it, and the more we talk about it the less power it holds. Healing is social justice work. When we change what we accept, we change what we produce. To be effective warriors, visionaries, healers, and teachers we must re-learn how to hold ourselves, and each other, in healthy esteem. Courage, resilience, and authenticity come in incremental acts of commitment to change and respecting personal power.
Dr. Angeles Arrien taught that the ingredients to healthy self-esteem are respect, love, and trust. If our wounds hold the way to our resilience, let's explore how to let the light in.