Michelle Hooks, MA, LMHC
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Washington with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacific University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Washington. My professional experience includes therapy with children, adolescents, families and adults who have sought help with a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, traumatic experiences, behavioral issues, eating disorders, difficulty with emotion regulation and emotional expression, social deficits, issues related to educational or occupational functioning, relationship issues and difficulty communicating. I have experience working with culturally diverse individuals, families, and groups.
As the oldest sibling and cousin in a very large family, I have taken on the caretaker and advisor role for as long as I can remember. I’ve always considered myself an observer and thorough listener. As a child, I had my mind set on becoming a teacher. When I took my first psychology class as a junior in high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the field of psychology. I couldn’t think of a better way to blend my love of working with children and exploring my fascination of the mind while helping others. Furthermore, I have always had a passion for traveling, exploring new places and being exposed to new people and cultures. I was able to pursue these interests in college when I spent 5 months studying abroad in Spain. I believe that this helped to make me a more open minded and observant person. I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Psychology and spent a year working as an instructional assistant at a school for students with emotional and behavioral challenges before starting a master’s program in Counseling Psychology. While completing my graduate degree, I worked in a residential treatment facility for adolescents with mental health and substance abuse issues. Since graduating in 2008, I have worked in outpatient clinics and provided counseling in homes and schools for children and families with a variety of challenges.
My approach to therapy is focused on being collaborative, nonjudgmental, strength-based, and client centered. I am predominately trained in evidenced based practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) but have experience with several other theories, such as family systems theory. I believe that it’s important to tailor treatment to fit the needs of each individual and/or family. Family systems theory focuses on utilizing the family as a change agent instead of just focusing on a single person. This may include sessions with caregivers to provide them guidance and effective tools for supporting their child or teen at home.
Over the years I have learned that in order to be an effective change agent, you have to meet the client where they’re at and focus on building a trusting, therapeutic relationship. I feel that one of my biggest strengths as a therapist is my ability to build rapport by being genuine and having curiosity for the perspective and experience of every single client I meet.
I believe that everyone has a unique set of strengths and resiliencies that can help them in meeting their goals. My hope is to assist in that journey and guide you to a place where you feel you are living a fulfilling and prosperous life. I look forward to providing the support that you need and helping to empower you to take the steps to heal.