I am a licensed therapist with a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Washington. I am a board member of the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work. I am an Affiliate Instructor at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work teaching MSW courses and acting as a field practicum instructor for social work students. I am also an approved supervisor for associate social workers seeking licensure.
I began my social work career with “at risk” youth – those in foster care, living on the streets, drug dependent, or court involved. I enjoyed my work with these tough, vulnerable, messy, resilient, quick-thinking young people. I then began working with parents and families in social services and medical settings.
For the last few years I have found myself in the very fulfilling role as a therapist to families concerned about someone’s substance use. I come to this work with a passion for improving the field of services for people with addictions. Like other medical and behavioral health issues, those with an addiction deserve access to high quality, dignified and respectful services for themselves and their families.
In my counseling practice, I continue to be honored to have the opportunity to work with such dedicated and loving families who want to help their partners or children of any age find healing from substance use problems. As a parent myself, I can relate especially to the fierceness with which each of us love our children.
As a therapist, I know the power of a positive “therapeutic alliance” coupled with research supported methods of counseling. I use a variety of evidence-based counseling methods to help people make positive changes in their lives and family relationships. These include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT). I am also very familiar with the “12 Steps” of Alcoholics Anonymous and advocate for any approach that helps people stay safe and recover including harm reduction approaches.
I take great pleasure in speaking to groups and leading workshops. Interested in having me speak for your group of parents or professionals? Whether you are looking to host an hour presentation with Q&A, an engaging clinician training, a family workshop or a group counseling series, I have experience with all of these formats and would be happy to work with you to tailor the information and style to your audience and purpose.
I hope to hear from you!
Lara Okoloko, LICSW