About Me

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"Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know." Pema Chodron

Thank you for your interest in Harbor Mental Wellness.  My practice is focused on providing patients with medications and support strategies to recognize, learn from, and move beyond anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship/attachment challenges and other mental health symptoms to achieve improved well-being.

 

As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, I assess, diagnosis, treat and provide therapy for mental health conditions which involves targeted therapy and prescribing medicine.  Extensive research shows that this approach (medication paired with therapy) is the most effective way to promote recovery.  

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My experience

I began my healthcare career in the Navy Nurse Corps where I worked closely with families and individuals as a Nurse Officer for 10 years.  Then I moved to the United States Public Health Service and provided care to vulnerable populations.  During my years in the Navy and Public Health Service, I developed a keen interest in mental health treatments that led to improved outcomes.  I pursued additional training and education to become an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), specializing as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.  I hold a masters degree from the University of Washington, Seattle and completed a sub-speciality in Perinatal Mental Health as well.

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Background

While in nursing school, I worked as a nurse's aide at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.  I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor's degree in nursing, and was commissioned a Naval Officer.  My Navy experience included working as a nurse on Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, and Med-Surgical nursing, as well as a nurse educator, teaching hospital corpsmen.


After serving 10 years in the Navy, I transferred to the United States Public Health Service, and provided care to underserved populations in outpatient settings.


Life as an active-duty mom taught me how to manage many responsibilities, often in new environments.  My experiences not only taught me flexibility, but also how challenging it is to juggle family and work obligations.  Because of my experience, I feel tremendously committed to working with parents and/or children to address mental health challenges while supporting the family.


In 2015, after 20 years of service, I retired from active duty, worked in community mental health, and later, established a private mental wellness practice.



Practice details

How to begin....

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“Your now is not your forever.”  John Green, Turtles All the Way Down


If you have never worked with a mental health care professional before, you may be wondering what it will be like. I would encourage you to ask as many questions as you like of me, or any provider you are considering. 


Please give me a call or send me a message if you, or someone you love, is struggling with sadness, anxiety, mood changes, difficulty concentrating, a significant life changing event and/or mental health related issues. Initially, we will chat by phone or email, and will schedule an appointment as needed. The first appointment typically takes about an hour. During that time, I will conduct a comprehensive psychiatric assessment. At the end of our first meeting, I will discuss with you my assessment findings and recommendations. 


Together we will establish a treatment plan. 


Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to last 25-50 minutes, depending on the care plan we have established. 


The care I provide will be coordinated with your primary care provider as needed.  For example, it is common for me to request a client have a sleep study, and I will reach out to your primary care provider to request this be arranged.  In addition, it is best to communicate medication and treatment with your primary care provider so they are aware of the medications you are taking.

 

Harbor Mental Wellness will email you a new patient packet to complete before our first appointment. This will allow me to concentrate on your symptoms fully during our scheduled time.  Please also bring a copy of your insurance card if you are covered by insurance.

What is the Cost of Care?

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  Presently, I am contracted by the following insurance companies:

  • Beacon
  • Blue Cross
  • Blue Shield
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Foundation 
  • Global
  • Heritage/Heritage Premier/Heritage Signature
  • Kaiser Core Network/Out of Network
  • LifeWise
  • Premera
  • Regence
  • ValueOptions
  • Out of Network

It is your responsibility to confirm insurance coverage before receiving care from me. Therefore, please call your insurance company to confirm coverage before incurring expenses for care received. You will be responsible to pay for care if your insurance declines coverage.


If you do not have health insurance through one of the insurance providers listed above, but would like to work with me, I can process payment by credit card or check.


Rates

  • Initial Psychiatric Evaluation (60-90 min) $300.00
  • Medical Monitoring (40min) $185.00
  • Medical Monitoring (25 min) $125.00
  • Medical Monitoring (15 min)  $85.00
  • Psychotherapy (+53 min) $190.00
  • Psychotherapy (38-52 min) $150.00
  • Psychotherapy (16-37 min) $115.00


Finding the right fit....

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Working closely with a mental health provider can, and should be a healing experience. Sometimes, however, a provider and client do not feel comfortable with one another. When this happens it is appropriate to end the therapeutic relationship. Clients will be supported if they state they no longer want to be seen at Harbor Mental Wellness. Likewise, I reserve the right to end a client relationship as well. This may happen for a number of reasons. If this happens, I will support you in establishing care elsewhere.


Harbor Mental Wellness is a single-provider practice, and because of this, there are times when this format is not appropriate for clients.  In cases of severe, persistent mental illness needing case management and/or weekly therapy, Harbor Mental Wellness is not equipped to provide this level of psychiatric care. Thankfully, there are many clinics that offer these services. They are called Community Mental Health Clinics and they provide “wrap-around” services.


Community mental health clinics provide care based on ability to pay. Here are some of centers in the Tacoma area:

  • Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare
  • Seamar Tacoma Behavioral Health 
  • Asian Counseling Services
  • Community Health Care 
  • Catholic Community Services
  • Comprehensive Life Resources
  • 24 hr Pierce County Crisis Line -(800)576-7764

Here are some Bremerton Community Mental Health Clinics:

  • Catholic Community Services Family
  • Peninsula Community Health Services
  • Peninsula Community Health Services Bremerton Medical
  • Crisis Hotline:  Crisis Clinic of the Peninsulas (360)479-3033