About Me

Experience:

In private practice, I work with individuals, couples and families as well as provide group therapy to youth and adolescents. For over four years, I provided Family Preservation Services and Crisis Family Intervention to families in their homes throughout King and Snohomish Counties. Through these interventions, I completed assessments and service plans which focused on safety, crisis stabilization and enhancing the family members’ lives.

I have worked for many years as a domestic violence advocate in the community and systems-based organizations in King County. Here I specialized in crisis intervention, advocacy, and outreach services. These experiences provided me with broad knowledge of the juvenile, mental health, criminal and civil court processes; and an awareness of local community-based agencies.

I continue to volunteer in my community as a Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) member for the Kirkland Police Department and provide adult/parent education to community membership groups.

Therapeutic Style:

My main focus is building a trusting and safe environment with clients where they can openly express themselves. I work collaboratively with each client to ensure they will take an active role in our work together in order to work towards the goals they outline. This includes asking questions, voicing any concerns, and honestly sharing any thoughts and feelings as they arise. As clients and I work together to identify goals for therapy, we discuss their strengths and how those can be enhanced to inspire change.

Education:

  • BA, Interdisciplinary Studies; Society, Ethics & Human Behavior and Minor, Human Rights, 2008
  • MA, Counseling Psychology, Argosy University, 2011
  • Kent Youth & Family Services, Practicum, 2011
  • Continued education through Bellevue College, Alcohol/Drug Counseling Program

Credentials:

  • Mental Health Counselor (License #LH 60441567)

Personal Life:

I am a proud mother of two young adults who are living their lives wholeheartedly. I have gotten used to the “empty nest” and am enjoying the time that I spend with family and close friends. My bucket list seems to grow, so I am either appreciating the peacefulness of the Pacific Northwest or planning a new adventure.

Growing Up:

I was the oldest of four children in my family. Although I was a social child, I kept my inner thoughts and feelings to myself. Many hours were spent reading and learning how characters in the stories overcame challenges. I didn’t know how to accept myself, but instead, would compare myself to others, seeking affirmation from my parents and friends. It was this looking into other peoples’ eyes for acceptance that prevented me from fully loving myself-insecurities, quirks and all.

Books have always been my means of transportation, leading me to journey outside of myself and then inwards. While reading a book that resonated deeply within me, I became inquisitive about my purpose. I explored the idea of paths and that each of us have our own. It was then that I began seeking affirmation from within myself. It was terrifying and exhilarating. It led me on a journey in discovering that I am purposeful, loving and enough.

I did not take the traditional path of completing my college degree immediately after high school. Instead, I enrolled in a few college courses, worked, traveled with my husband and spent time as a stay-at-home mother when our daughters were young. Once they began elementary school, I made the decision to return to college and complete my education in psychology. I’ve always felt happiest when working with or helping others, and I experienced this feeling through various volunteer opportunities. Counseling makes sense to me and has allowed me to go to work loving what I do.

Yvonne Clayton, MA, LMHC