Meet Joan Willemain

002Why Counseling ?

Individuals and families who seek counseling or therapy services do so for a number of reasons. In general, people are experiencing conflict, discomfort, distress, concern about a loved one, or a desire to pursue a dream or a goal that feels like it is beyond their grasp. The experience may be chronic, related to a recent event, or a combination of both. You may feel that you have tried the methods that you know, and used the supports that they have without adequate results.  It is time for something new.

Counseling or mental health therapy is a great way to assess and address your emotional and biological needs in the context of a supportive, non-judgmental relationship. It can be a deeply rewarding and transformative experience.  My approach incorporates many elements and is tailored to you or your child’s needs.

What is Life Coaching?

Life Coaching is a way to enhance your progress toward goals and make desired life changes.  I incorporate coaching in my counseling work, and also specialize in using it with individuals seeking to enhance creativity and to create more space in their life for creative work.

Joan Willemain’s Qualifications

  • WA State Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker LW0006182
  • Child Mental Health Specialist
  • Certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Certified Life Coach
  • WA State Approved Supervisor since 2005
  • Over Twenty years experience in Clinical Social Work, Counseling, and Mental health
  • Over Ten Years experience in Supervision and Program Development
  • Training and Experience in Art Therapy, member of International Art Therapy Association; professional artist for ten years
  • Over Ten years experience in Educational settings
  • Experienced in Women’s Health Issues including Perinatal Health and Infant Mental Health

My Approach to Therapy

I am a clinical social worker with over twenty years’ experience post-Masters. My background includes many years of practice in non-profit agencies as well as maintaining a practice in psychotherapy and supervision.  My public practice has included community mental health, school based mental health, public health, Special Education, and child welfare. Since 1988 I have specialized in children, families, and adults recovering from trauma.   I am certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from Harborview Trauma and Sexual Assault Recovery Center, and receive ongoing training from their team.  I also have training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills, and incorporate these into my approach, although I recommend that individuals looking for a comprehensive treatment approach to DBT, seek a referral to a formal program.

I have approximately fifteen years experience in the area of perinatal social work, parenting  young children, and working with high risk infants and toddlers, particularly those with Special Needs and children who are medically fragile. I worked in the Infant and Early Childhood Program at Navos Outpatient Services in West Seattle, for two years prior to joining the School Age program, where I  worked part time as a Child and Family therapist, in addition to my private practice.  Since January 2018 I have been exclusively in private practice I West Seattle.

Over the years my education, training, and work with clients has included psycho-dynamic and family systems approaches, attachment and developmental theory, as well as cognitive behavioral theory, dialectical behavioral therapy, mindfulness and somatic approaches . While I believe in having an updated “tool chest” for doing therapy, the most important aspect is the relationship we develop together.

I have worked with a wide variety of families and find that parents generally are wonderful experts when it comes to their own children. I try to assist parents in tapping their inner wisdom as they guide their families, and I support children in talking to parents about difficult topics.

I enjoy working with creative people and understand the special challenges that come with a creative lifestyle or the desire to create one. I work with creativity as part of therapy or through creativity coaching.”The creative process involved in the making of art is healing and life enhancing. “(American Art Therapy Association)

I  encourage self-acceptance while supporting positive change and help you define the steps you need to take along the way. My approach with all clients is respectful, practical, and mindful of the difficulty you are experiencing.  Through compassionate listening, exploring areas of strength and resistance, teaching skills, and celebrating success, we take a journey together down a path of greater satisfaction and deeper relationships.

Clinical Supervision:

I have been an Approved Social Work Supervisor in the state of WA since 2005. I provide individual and group supervision  for Masters level Social Workers and other clinicians working toward licensure. I find this work exciting and rewarding, and I invite you to join me in a great partnership as I challenge and support you toward this goal.