About Heidi Ehrlich, MA, LMHC, NCC

Heidi is a licensed mental health counselor in Washington State, a Washington State approved supervisor, a Nationally Certified Counselor, and an adjunct instructor in the Counselor Education Department at Gonzaga University. Heidi obtained her bachelor’s degree in Applied Developmental Psychology in 2004 from Eastern Washington University and her Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Gonzaga University in 2010. Currently, Heidi is pursuing a Ph.D in Counselor Education and Supervision from Capella University. Heidi is passionate about suicide prevention and postvention, helping people heal from trauma, traumatic grief (e.g. suicide loss, homicide loss, child loss) and childhood adversities, and helping people with integrating grief and loss in a meaningful way. Heidi facilitates individual and group counseling through her private practice, and she offers a free support group for Suicide loss survivors called SOLOS. Heidi is currently completing her EMDR certification process through EMDRIA and is also completing an extensive training by David Kessler to become a certified grief educator.

What Heidi wants you to know about how she approaches counseling” Also with a pictures not depicting couples counseling since I do not work with couples.

Heidi believes:

-Our attachment relationships have significant impact on how we see ourselves and others.

– Having safety in relationships, having our basic needs met, and attending to the whole person are necessary for our health.

-Counseling should be a place free of judgement, safety, understanding, and nurturance. Heidi’s goal is to understand things from the client’s perspective.

-Each person has unique needs, so counseling needs to be individuated to account for the client’s current goals.

-The past does impact the present in that we carry old wounds from the past that influence how we see things in the present. Healing involves fully acknowledging and processing old wounds to create space for new experiences and new ways of being.

-People feel more peace and contentment when they are aware of their values and living in harmony with those values.

-People need connection, and part of healing involves creating a healthy support system.

-The relationship between the counselor and client is unique in that the focus is on the client’s experiences, needs, and goals. Having clear boundaries in the therapeutic relationship is important for the relationship to remain safe. While it is common for counselor’s to use self-disclosure when there is an intentional cause for it, the time spent in sessions needs to be about the client.

-Goal setting is important in counseling so that the client and the counselor have a way of evaluating whether or not counseling is helping. While there is a place for talk therapy in the process, there will be times when evidenced based therapy models such as CBT, EMDR, CPT, and more will be helpful in facilitating healing.

-Interventions in counseling need to be developmentally appropriate. Development happens across the human life-span, and it is important to consider the developmental context when identifying goals and interventions. Working with children and adolescents often involves experiential techniques and/or play, which helps meet them where they are at in their physical, emotional, and cognitive development.

-It is important that the client wants to participate in therapy. Each person has a different readiness level for counseling, and forcing counseling is rarely successful. If the client feels unsure about being ready to start counseling, then it is important to take the time to explore that further to help with deciding whether it is the right time. Sometimes there is work required just to be ready to do the work of therapy much like there is work to do to prepare a garden for planting seeds.

-The client is the expert of their own life and knows what they need whether it is in conscious awareness yet or not.

-Providing ethical and culturally humble services is a top priority. Heidi works from the client’s cultural frame and allows the client to lead the process in a way that honors their values, beliefs, and practices.

-Heidi believes the counseling process is collaborative. The client is the expert of their life, feelings, and needs and Heidi brings expertise in assisting clients with self-exploration and healing through the art of counseling.

-Heidi is not going to be the best fit as a counselor for everyone who comes in for services. Sometimes the issues or needs are outside of the scope of Heidi’s training, and sometimes the client may not feel that Heidi’s personality or style is the right fit, and in those instances, Heidi is glad to provide referrals and support in doing a warm handoff to another provider who may better meet the needs of the client.

-To assist the client with developing and working towards their goals, Heidi uses a variety of treatment models and techniques including:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • CBT+ Depression/Anxiety/Behaviors (for children/teens)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA)
  • Restorative Retelling Model for Violent Death
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Non-Violent Communication
  • Experiential Therapies
  • Sandtray Therapy integrated into CBT or EMDR
  • Play therapy integrated into EMDR or CBT\
  • Complicated Grief Therapy
  • Techniques from Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy integrated into EMDR or CBT.
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