Washington Mental Health Counselors Association
Washington Mental Health Counselors Association (WMHCA) is the professional organization working exclusively to meet the needs of Licensed Mental Health Counselors in Washington State.
WMHCA is chartered through the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), our national professional organization.
Our mission is to promote quality mental health counseling services, maintain a viable and distinct professional identity, and influence public policy consistent with our professional ethics and values.
WMHCA performs its mission by working with other professional organizations, the state legislature, state regulatory agencies, insurance companies and consumers to promote quality in mental health counseling practices. We maintain standing committees whose focus is to safeguard and advocate for Licensed Mental Health Counselors and their clients.
WMHCA in principle and in practice recognizes that all individuals have the right to be accepted for their unique and authentic self. WMHCA seeks diverse membership with respect and honor of the unique human spirit and without discrimination of gender identity, race, age, ethnicity, disability, or socioeconomic status. WMHCA is committed to non-discriminating practices and to the prevention of harassment in all forms, verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological that infringe on the freedom for all people to be who they are.
The Purpose of WMHCA:
- Promote and maintain the profession of mental health counseling by stressing high levels of ethical and professional practice
- Promote legislation and administrative rules that recognize and advance the profession of mental health counseling.
- Foster cooperation among mental health providers to improve care and services to clients.
- Position the profession favorably in the healthcare market through marketing and education.
- Encourage the next generation of mental health counselors by supporting the transition from graduate school to professional life.
- Provide advocacy with insurance companies for contract language that protects licensed mental health counselors and their clients.
- Provide educational programs that enhance knowledge and promote continuing professional growth.
- Provide opportunities for connection and networking among its members for professional development.
Disclaimer: WMHCA does not endorse products or services, including products and services advertised in its publications or on its website, unless explicitly so stated in the advertisement itself. Nor does WMHCA endorse opinions or confirm authenticity of statements contained in material submitted for publication. And also, the selection of a venue by WMHCA to hold meetings or host workshops reflects only the suitability of the facility for that purpose, nothing more.
- Focus on the relationship; therapeutic alliance as primary
- Personal developmental/self-awareness
- Holistic focus for both clients and counselor striving towards personal growth
- Ethical practice
- Social justice/empowerment
- Reduce suffering
WMHCA Board Members
Jenny White, President
Jenny is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and meets criteria to provide clinical supervision in the state of WA. She is currently in private practice in Vancouver, WA. Jenny grew up moving around with her family in the US Air Force and is proud to be a member of multi-generational military family.
She has worked in a variety of settings since completing her Masters in Counseling at the University of Colorado, including residential youth; outpatient agencies in Colorado and Washington; and developed and managed a counseling program at a homeless shelter in Pierce County before returning to Vancouver. Jenny has a background in substance use counseling, early childhood education, and EMDR.
Jenny’s passions and areas of expertise are grief, trauma, and supporting families who have made the decision to foster or adopt. She is also passionate about working with new clinicians in the field. It is this desire to support and grow new professionals in the field that has brought Jenny to the WMHCA board. It was within her own search for support and training in best practices, advocacy of the profession and collaboration with other professionals that Jenny found WHMCA. Through her work on the board Jenny looks forward to opportunities to support the profession, grow as a professional and educate others.
Tim Griswold, Treasurer
Tim Griswold is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling at Northwestern University. He is interning at Therapy Associates of Tacoma. Tim graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and has worked for over two decades in the high-tech industry-leading and mentoring individuals through career and personal challenges.
Dominique Avery, PhD, NCC, LPC (ID), LMHC (WA), Secretary, Legislative Committee Co-Chair, Justice Equity Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chair
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.
Robyn Hansen, Membership Committee Chair
University Place, WA
Robyn is finishing her master’s degree in counseling at the University of Puget Sound. She attended St. Martin’s University for her undergraduate degree in psychology. At SMU, Robyn served as Senator of non-traditional students, acting as a formal representative for this population by working on their behalf and advocating for their interests. Additionally, Robyn served as a liaison to represent the views and concerns of all non-traditional students. Following graduation, Robyn gained valuable experience working as a 1:1 Special Education Paraeducator for youth on the Autism Spectrum.
Robyn is a counseling intern at Greater Lakes Mental Health, working with the Adult Outpatient/Brief Therapy team, where she provides case management and psychotherapy skills to various individual clients. In addition, working from a collaborative strengths-based approach, Robyn provided counseling services to both undergraduate and graduate students from Seattle University and the University of Puget Sound during her practicum experience.
Robyn’s future professional goals include running a private mental health practice where she hopes to specialize in eating disorders and trauma. Additionally, her love of education and learning has inspired her interest in teaching at the undergraduate level one day. In addition to WMHCA, she is a member of the American Counseling Association, ACLU, American Psychological Association, Phi Kappa Phi, and Psi Chi Honor Societies. Robyn enjoys spending time with her family, practicing mindfulness and meditation, and reading in her free time.
Carolyn Russo PhD, LMHC, Education Committee Chair
Dr. Russo holds a doctorate in Counselor Education from Seattle Pacific University and is a mental health counselor in private practice in the greater Seattle area. Her passion is in education and supervision of counselor's in training. She strives to provide access to quality care within the community by offering low fee services at her community training clinic. Dr. Russo is also a Clinical Training Director and faculty member at Northwestern University. She has taught master's level counselors in the area of ethics, theory, pathology and diagnosis and continues to do research in the area of supervision and training. Dr. Russo has presented at both local and national conferences on these topics. Dr. Russo believes involvement in counseling organizations is critical to the growth of the
Angela Cross, LMHC Graduate Student Representative, Education Committee Co-Chair, Membership Committee Co-Chair
Angela is a current counselor education and supervision doctoral student at the University of the Cumberlands. Angela completed her master's degree from Gonzaga University in 2010 and has experience counseling children, adolescents, and adults. Currently working at a Seattle-based group practice, Angela provides clinical supervision to local master's-level internship students in addition to online supervision to students in Northwestern University's counseling degree program. Angela's doctoral work centers around neurodiversity and creating inclusive learning
spaces, practices, and policies for counselor education.
Jennifer Kennett, MA, MBA, LMHC, Legislative Committee Co-Chair
Jennifer is the owner of a successful private practice (Eastside Couples Therapy) serving couples since 2013. She has over 20 years’ experience as a therapist. She views the therapeutic relationship as central to effective change, and she draws on strengthsbased approaches, narrative theory, attachment-oriented perspectives, existential theory, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence in her clinical work. During her career, she has forged a reputation as a compassionate, caring, and collaborative counselor, helping clients achieve the connections, growth, and change they crave. In 2021, she began the doctoral program in Counselor Education and Supervision at Antioch University Seattle. She also offers clinical supervision, consultation, and private practice coaching services to mental health professionals. As an educator, she views learning as an intellectual playground; not the sterile, safety-conscious playgrounds we find today, but those of her childhood: the naturalistic, rural “explore-in-the-woods” kind of playground that allows for exploratory free play with an element of potential risk. She believes that learning starts from a place of curiosity; she wants learners to feel encouraged to explore ideas by engaging their prior knowledge and their lived intellectual and emotional experiences.
Bree Sutton M.A. LMHC, Justice Equity Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chair
Bree Sutton is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist in Washington state. Bree graduated with a Master's Degree in Clinical Counseling from Alliant International University in San Francisco, CA in 2013. She has experience working in a variety of treatment and academic settings in multiple states, and is happy to have established a private practice in Spokane, serving all of WA State. Bree works personally and professionally toward anti-racist thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors, in order to create a safe space for her clients and interrupt oppressive systems. Bree specializes in working with athletes as well as high-achieving women with anxiety. As a Certified HeartMath Practitioner, she is passionate about using mindfulness practices, biofeedback, and Brainspotting as her main modalities.
Meg Curtin Rey-Bear, MA, LMHC, NCC, Board Member
National Board Certified Counselor
Certified EMDR Therapist
State Certified Supervisor
As a therapist with 20 years of experience, Meg has extensive training and practice in complex trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and family dynamics. She is a Certified EMDR therapist. Meg works to help adults and families find pathways to healing and empowerment. Her work as a therapist focuses on identifying strengths and improving connections, understanding, and acceptance. This includes teaching new approaches and skills and empowering individuals and families to create and maintain the change they want to see. Meg works with older teens, adults, and families and offers extensive experience in helping people fully process complex trauma using CBT, EMDR, and somatic and mindfulness practices. She is a trained family therapist specializing in helping concerned family members reduce tension and foster healthy connections that motivate loved ones to seek the help and support they need. Meg offers clinical supervision and consultation for new therapists and those seeking support and consultation while they practice independently. She has over 10 years of experience working with interns and new therapists and is a State licensed Mental Health supervisor. Before starting Wellness Therapies, Meg was the program developer and the Clinical Director for the YWCA’s Alternatives to Domestic Violence mental health program. Her experience working on program development includes multiple years as a Research Assistant and Clinical Research Therapist on NIH, SAMSHA, and NIDA-funded clinical research grants for the Oregon Research Institute and the University of New Mexico.
Sharon Shadwell MS MPA LMHC LMFT, Board Member
Sharon Shadwell has worked with children, adolescents, and their caregivers in various roles, settings, and countries throughout her career. She is passionate about the importance of relationships to our emotional wellbeing as humans. As a result, she is committed to supporting families with young children who are dealing with intergenerational trauma and problematic social determinants of health caused by oppressive systems to create communities and environments in which they can thrive. She also believes in the idea that, as professionals, our own wellbeing impacts our relationships with our clients; so she is committed to supporting the wellbeing of workforces who support children, youth, and their caregivers through the services she provides and through legislative advocacy. Sharon is independently licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in Washington State and as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California. She is a past fellow (2021) of the Napa Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship program through University of California, Davis. In addition to providing clinical mental health services through her private practice, she provides business and clinical supports for behavioral health professionals, with a focus on those in private practice. She is the behavioral health representative appointed to the Pierce County Birth – 25 Advisory Board and is a member of the statewide Prenatal – 25 Behavioral Health Strategic Planning Advisory Group. She is the parent of a young child who has brought more joy and love into her life than she ever imagined possible.
Cristina Louk PhD, LMHC, Board Member
Cristina holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed mental health counselor and registered hypnotherapist. She owns PeaceHumanistic Therapy in Monroe and works with women and teens. Dr. Louk offers individual psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and assessment services. She uses humanistic, energy, and positive psychology modalities and specializes in neurodivergent disorders.
Shannon Thompson MA LMHC CMHS, Executive Director and AMHCA Western Region Director
Shannon is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and a child and adolescent mental health specialist (CMHS). Shannon graduated from Argosy University with a Master's in Mental Health Counseling in 2006. She spent many years in community mental health before opening a private practice in 2013. Her career has primarily been focused on serving children, adolescents, and their families. Shannon has been part of the WMCHA board since 2016. She joined originally as a volunteer and was the workshop chair. In 2018 she became the Education and Advocacy Director and more recently has been promoted to Executive Director of the WMHCA board.
Sara Oppler, Business Operations Director
Sara Oppler has 10+ years of Human Resources experience in a wide variety of organizations, primarily non-profits. She was previously the Interim Human Resources Director at a Community Mental Health Center. Sara is the past chair of the City of Kirkland Salary Commission and the current Board Secretary for the Perfect Push Foundation.