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Date(s) - 06/11/2021
11:00 am - 1:00 pm


Please join us for an upcoming board meeting. All members are encouraged to attend our monthly board meetings. If you plan on attending please RSVP to Sara Oppler at

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Meeting ID: 821 3909 3409
Passcode: 182430
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Meeting ID: 821 3909 3409
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Board Elections will be held at our June meeting:

Secretary (2 year term)

Gay Niven, MA

Gay is an HR professional, specializing in leadership development. Her graduate degrees are in organizational development and family systems counseling. She believes we bring our family systems in to our work settings and team dynamics, and has found the family system perspective valuable in her organizational work. She regularly reflects on her internship: working with individuals and couples as a therapist-in-training that opened her eyes to the challenges people face daily that impact performances at work, in life and with families.



“I believe the more support we can give people to get through mental health challenges, and build self-efficacy, that teams, communities and families are strengthened. I’m thrilled to be part of Washington Mental Health Counselors Association and contribute to the work the organization is doing to build quality access to behavioral health resources and influence public policy consistent with our ethics and values. I think my perspective helps bring a systems view to the organizational work we do to support practitioners, open access and advance OneAMHCA.

I bring a complementary perspective with familiarity of the profession yet not in it. I think the gift it allows me to suggest and recommend action that supports the foundational pieces of WMHCA, as moves closer to the AMHCA mission and work. I want to be a part of that.”

Graduate Student Representative (1 year term)

Tim Griswold, MA in progress

Tim has worked for a major software company for the past 20 years. His job consisted of coaching and mentoring individuals. Issues went beyond career issues to sitting with people on individual and family issues. Here, he discovered that walking on journeys with people was more fulfilling and an area where he could give more back.

These experiences moved him to return to school, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Washington State University, focusing on clinical psychology. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling at Northwestern University, focusing on adolescents, adults, and families from a psychodynamic perspective.


“As a middle-aged student, I have a unique approach bringing experiences of being a spouse, parent, and grandparent to studying counseling. This enables an alternate evaluation of topics covered and helps me to share experiences with fellow students and additional means to build a therapeutic relationship.

After attending a few webinars by WMHCA, I see the value of having a strong local organization. I bring a unique student perspective by having worked in the local technology industry for over 20 years and have grown children. By being a student with this experience, I can add a unique perspective to the challenges of students and the industry.”

“As a middle-aged student, I have a unique approach bringing experiences of being a spouse, parent, and grandparent to studying counseling. This enables an alternate evaluation of topics covered and helps me to share experiences with fellow students and additional means to build a therapeutic relationship.


Robyn Hansen, M.Ed. in progress

Robyn Sanchez Hansen is a graduate in mental health counseling at the University of Puget Sound. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2018 from Saint Martin’s University, where she graduated summa cum laude. At Saint Martin’s, she was elected Senator of Nontraditional students and highlighted the needs of the students she represented, which included the Veteran population. Robyn served on the Academic Affairs Committee, where she advocated for her constituents. After graduation, she worked for a year as a Special Education Para educator in the Olympia School District.

She just wrapped up her practicum in which she provided counseling services to graduate students from Seattle University and undergraduate students at the University of Puget Sound. She is starts her internship at Greater Lakes Mental Health in the Fall, where she will be providing mental health services to adult clients.


“I am married and the mother of four children. Three of our four are college students, and one is a high school sophomore. Having three teenage children living at home during the pandemic has been a pretty unique and enlightening experience.


My future aspirations include having a private mental health practice and teaching at the undergraduate level. I have a passion for mindfulness, meditation, reading for fun, spending time with my husband, kids, and pets.

I am interested in becoming the graduate student representative with WMHCA. As a current graduate student, I see the value of engaging with an organization that supports professionals in a field where I will soon be working and am excited to part of.

As I understand it, membership expansion and development is an area of focus for WMHCA. My position as a current student lends itself to offering valuable perspective and input about recruiting new members and support for members as they begin their journey into the counseling profession and those already doing this invaluable work. I am an outgoing, diligent, and energetic individual who can help grow membership and build community by engaging with other graduate students, universities, and counselors in our state. If elected as your graduate student representative, I would work on recruiting members who can offer diverse perspectives, which is essential for this organization, and our profession. I view current members as our best recruiting tool and would actively support them with recruiting ideas.

I am interested in education and ways WMHCA can provide learning/training opportunities for members, which translates to closing the gap between research and practice. Keeping our members updated on new developments is critical to providing the best care possible for our clients. Additionally, I would be happy to lend my support to other committees as needed.

The ability to be involved and collaborate with others in this organization feels like a fantastic opportunity and one I hope to be part of for a long time. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

General Board Member (2 year term)

Kathryn “Katie”, Lorz, LMHCA, NCC

Katie has a private practice, HGCM Therapy, PLLC, serving adult clients in Olympia and Tacoma. Prior to opening her private practice she had a long and satisfying career in community mental health and hospital settings. In these roles she had the privilege of seeing mental health services in a variety of settings, and collaborating with professional partners including police through the CIT program, hospitals, insurance providers, and legislators, etc. Katie received her MBA and her MAC from City University of Seattle, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Utah.


“I believe that there is a strong need for advocacy, networking, and support in our profession, and that our profession is in an exciting phase of growth as more people begin to recognize the benefits of mental health services. I bring my passion, experience, and dedication to mental health to my own practice, and to my work with WMHCA. It is my pleasure to serve on the WMHCA Board and I hope to continue to do this work in the coming years.

I joined WMHCA as a graduate student in 2019. Later that year I became the Graduate Student Representative. In that role I was able to observe the board, and begin to act as an informal liaison between WMHCA and my fellow graduate students. Upon graduation I was able to take on an added role of Membership Committee Chair. In this role I have been able to work with my committee to build goals and an action plan to drive our committee’s work. Two initiatives that we have started are monthly Happy Hours to engage members during the recent pandemic, and Graduate Student Meet and Greets to better connect with graduate students and inform them of our work. We also have plans to work with the Education Committee on building a robust scholarship program, and many other exciting initiatives ahead. It is my pleasure to serve on the WMHCA Board and I hope to continue to do this work in the coming years.

I currently chair the membership committee and would like to continue in this role and as a board member to be able to achieve the goals we have established which will continue to build our membership and continue to increase the value we provide to our members.”


Dominque Avery, PhD, NCC, LPC (ID), LMHC (WA)

Dominique Avery is core faculty in the Counseling Department at Saybrook University. She teaches at both the Masters and PhD levels with a focus on culturally responsive counseling and counselor education, crisis and trauma interventions, child and adolescent counseling, psychopathology and diagnosis, and quantitative research. She has extensive scholarship and presentation experience including topics in White counselor antiracist accountability, crisis and trauma education, licensure portability, and mixed methods research. Dominique’s past service on boards includes a position as the founding secretary of Idaho Association of LGBT Issues in Counseling, the Interstate Licensing Agreement Committee for the Rocky Mountain region, and the Institutional Review Board for research at Saybrook University.

She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with experience in EMDR counseling with adult survivors of child-hood sexual abuse and working with refugee children and families by bringing play-based therapy into their homes. Prior to becoming a counselor, Dominique spent a decade working with children and adolescents in shelter home settings, wilderness therapy in the deserts of Idaho, and forest schools in the woodlands of England.


“Over the last year, I have been active in AMHCA at the national level and served WMHCA as a general board member. During this time I have served on the AMHCA Licensure Portability and DEI taskforces. As part of the Portability Taskforce, I participated in the creation of the guidance document on licensure portability (CLIPER Plan) and ensured that this guidance included aspects useful for our profession in the state of Washington. I have also led two AMHCA webinars over the past year on cultural humility, oppression, and liberation within counseling. Serving another term as a board member will allow me to continue these professional service activities and represent the interests of Washington members locally and at the national level.”


Jenny White, MA, LMHC, NCC, EMDR

Jenny currently has a private practice in Vancouver, WA working with all ages. As she has developed as a clinician, her focus has been on grief & trauma. She is a certified EMDR therapist with play therapy training and she does her best to meet client’s where they are through an eclectic approach.

Jenny has developed and managed a counseling program in a non-profit homeless shelter and has worked to broaden her knowledge in understanding the correlation between addiction and mental health. Jenny provides supervision to associate counselors who choose private practice while strongly supporting and encouraging the knowledge and experience that agencies can provide.


“I am committed to supporting and engaging other clinicians in the field in my practice and feel that this is a natural next step to further educate myself and others about the work we do.

In my career, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including youth residential, behavioral health agencies, nonprofit and private practice. My experience in Colorado and Washington has provided me with the opportunity to learn how different states and agencies approach the ethical dilemmas and challenges that we face as providers. I am motivated by opportunity to learn and share what I have learned with others. Every client I see and new clinician I work with in the field provides me with a new perspective.”


Karen King, MS, LMHC

Karen King is a psychotherapist and the CEO of King Health Associates, an Integrated Wellness Center in Bellingham, Washington. Before her life as an entrepreneur and practice manager, she practiced counseling in a variety of settings, and has found that her studies in dance, Tibetan Buddhism and the study of consciousness greatly inform her work with clients as well as the management of her business . Her primary passions include being absorbed in the incredibly rich and unfolding field of psychology, advising and consulting with counselors as they build their practices and helping clients gain insight and compassion towards themselves as they heal. She is an Enneagram 7, an MBTI ENFP and her Instagram stream is filled with cats, books and lots of sky.


Debiruth Stanford, LMHC, CDWF

Debiruth Stanford is Chief Firewalker of Next Steps Coaching and Psychotherapy in Bellevue, Washington. Her specialty is “getting past stuck,” and she is passionate about helping people manage difficult life transitions, put purpose and values first in life, and create fulfilling lives with great relationships.

She focuses on working with adults as individuals, in couples, thruples, and more, and in a variety of arrangements that include extended, ‘chosen,’ and alternative family structures.

Debiruth maintains active membership in a variety of professional and community organizations, including the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), Washington Mental Health Counselor’s Association (WMHCA), Daring Way Pacific Northwest Region, and Seattle Women’s Chorus / Seattle Choruses. Currently, she is a board member and legislative chair for WMHCA and active in determining the ‘new normal’ for the Chorus.


“I am a current WMHCA board member and chair the Legislative Committee. I believe that WMHCA’s efforts to support mental health counselors in the State of Washington is of the highest importance to both counselors and their clients. We make a difference through ensuring that counselors are supported by having relevant information and education at their fingertips and by initiating or supporting legislative efforts that are key to counselor success in supplying the services that clients need. Now, more than ever, we need to push issues such as licensing portability, the continuation of support for telehealth, and myriad other concerns that impact the mental health field in this state. I would like your vote so that I can continue working on these and other issues that are important to our membership.”

WMHCA would also like to mention we are always looking for people to be on our committees. You don’t have to be a board member to help with committee work. Please reach out to for more information on joining one of our committees.