Issy Kleiman, MA, LMFT, Clinical Director
I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Masters degree in Couples and Family therapy from Antioch University. I have worked in community mental health and have been in private practice for the past 10 years. I am an Approved Washington State Supervisor and provide supervision for Master’s level therapists as well as therapists seeking supervision hours to meet their requirements for licensure (LICSW, LASW, LMHC, and LMFT). I am also completing supervision hours to become an approved supervisor for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition to private practice, I am the Executive Director of Counseling Services for Wellbeing, Inc. and Burien Center for Health and Wellbeing.
Mental health concerns can impact any of us in our daily lives and present unexpected hurdles. You may have tried to cope with negative self-talk and self-doubt for years on your own. Perhaps you have dealt with family of origin dynamics well into your adult life and notice that it has caused significant stress, fatigue and strain on current relationships. Mental health concerns may arise suddenly after the loss of a job, a partner or family member. Alternately significant discomfort may arise even at times when great joy is expected like at the time of marriage or the addition of a child to your family.
Whatever your reason for beginning your search for mental health care, it is important to know that you are not alone. You have exhibited great resilience and strength by taking the first step on your journey of making change.
My name is Israella, but you can call me Issy. Welcome to Counseling Services For Wellbeing, Inc. As far back as I can remember, I was always the kind of person who was genuinely concerned about how other people felt and interested in each and every personal story. My parents recount the many times my friends would make our home a safe second home for themselves, a place that they came to for warmth, comfort and empathy. I was always an active listener and very interested in their journey, and I would often try to help my friends resolve their concerns and struggles. My father used to joke that I should set up shop and get paid. Years later, I decided to pursue what he suggested, a career in helping people problem solve. I became a therapist.
I come from a very big and close-knit family. We have been through many experiences together- immigration, financial stressors, loss, birth, marriage, divorce - many of life stressors and life cycle stages. Through it all, we have maintained a strong family bond that allows me the good fortune of never feeling alone in life experiences. I recognize this gift and I am grateful and appreciative that I have this. I am also keenly aware that this may not be true for many individuals, and I would like to help bridge the gap for people that may need more support. These life experiences can take a toll. I am sensitive to each person’s experience and each person’s journey. I believe the potential for growth lies within all of us, and that we are all striving to live meaningful and purposeful lives. Sometimes life brings challenges that we are unprepared to cope with. My role as a counselor is to help people overcome these challenges and achieve their goals.
My approach to therapy is warm, non-judgmental, collaborative, and conversational. The theoretical orientations that I generally work from include; family systems, structural and symbolic experiential. I use multiple modalities of counseling, teaching, learning, and healing, and incorporate various psycho-therapeutic, social and educational models within a cultural and gender sensitive framework. In sum, I often incorporate additional concepts and approaches to best meet the needs of my clients.
As a licensed marriage and family therapist in the State of Washington, I work with couples and families as they try to navigate the communication struggles and stalemates that may present in their relationships. In addition, I have extensive experience working with children, teens, and adults who present with a wide range of emotional and behavioral concerns.
Among my areas of expertise are the treatment of:
- Eating disorders
- Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)
- Conduct disorder
- Substance Abuse
- Anger management
- Work or career challenges
- Life transitions
- Grief and loss
I help my clients to "go within" and discover themselves and their guiding principles. I will also help them develop authorship of their lives and succeed in their goals. I am passionate about guiding my clients through a process of self-discovery, helping them learn about their strengths and weaknesses, and assisting them in developing more effective coping skills and communication techniques.
The focus of treatment is on identifying where your personal strengths lie to build resilience and improve your overall quality of life. You may have noticed patterns of behavior that result in increased stress, frustration and even depression. It may be overwhelming if it seems like these troubles affect both your work and personal life. Acknowledging that you need help, perhaps after many attempts to resolve these issues on your own, is an important step. Allow me to take this journey of healing with you, providing insight and guidance on your road to reclaiming your health.
Healing occurs on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels. I incorporate all three perspectives and adhere to the highest standards of care. We will work collaboratively to achieve mutually agreed upon goals.