Meet the Staff

Clinical Staff

photo of boxer dog face.

Jonathan Barry, MA, LICSW

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Master of Social Work, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2007

Professional interests: Power and privilege, Gender-based violence, male-identified issues, adult ADHD, adaptive learning strategies for those with learning differences, trauma informed therapy, somatic and mindfulness interventions, couples therapy, Relational Cultural Theory.

Approach to counseling: I would describe my approach to therapy as both collaborative and relational, with the focus on fostering connection to self and others through identifying and resolving barriers that prevent this from occurring.

Personal interests: Equity and justice, creative arts (watercolor and wood working), fly fishing, mountain biking, and camping.

Photo of Dr. Ruby Casiano

Ruby Casiano, PhD

Licensed Psychologist, Assistant Director, Coordinator of Training
Doctorate, Counseling Psychology, University of Oklahoma, 2010

Professional interests: Clinician training and supervision, University mental health, complex trauma, multicultural/multiethnic identity development, LGBTQ+ development/identity issues, women's issues, multicultural counseling, social justice issues ̶ this list is a dynamic one!

Approach to counseling: As a therapist, I conceptualize from a relation standpoint with the assumption that much of our development as individuals occurs in our relationships with others. As a result, much of the distress we experience can be seen through our interpersonal interactions and behaviors. In the practice of therapy, I am integrative, allowing me to ensure my students collaborate in the treatment process as well as utilizing evidence-based approaches to symptom reduction and management. 

Involvement in the Predoctoral Training Program: I am the Assistant Director and Coordinator of Training at the WWU Counseling Center. In this role, I am involved in not only in the logistical and administrative aspects of the training program, but also in supervising and mentoring interns during their year at WWU. I also provide didactic seminars and co-facilitate groups with interns. My supervision style is an integration of developmental approaches within a relational/interpersonal framework. My goal in my work is to provide interns with supportive, nurturing, challenging, and growth-fostering experiences throughout their internship year.

Striped, brown cat sleeping on a tan couch.

Personal interests: I am a mom to two wonderfully mischievous kids and this dominates my world. When not at work, I'm home with my family getting to know the area. I love cooking, reading, knitting, getting lost in a good television series, and nerding out with my partner. 

“Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.” – Fred Rogers

Photo of Dr. Nikki Cassidy

Nikki Cassidy, PsyD

Licensed Psychologist
Doctorate, Clinical Psychology, Adler School of Professional Psychology, 2013

Professional interests: Body image issues and eating disorders, trauma, self-compassion, depression, anxiety, multicultural counseling, LGBTQ issues.

Approach to counseling: I try to create a safe and non-judgmental space in counseling.  In this space where students feel seen, heard, and valued, I get a sense of what students think will be helpful and integrate their ideas into counseling.  I also help students explore their emotions and how they make sense of them, and we work together to find different, often more self-compassionate, ways of coping.

Involvement in the Predoctoral Training Program: I facilitate intern seminars on different topics, co-lead groups, and provide primary supervision.  I draw primarily from the competency-based model of supervision and tailor supervision according to interns’ individual needs and strengths.  I try to build upon interns existing competencies and increase skills and confidence through a balance of challenge and support.   As a supervisor, I value genuineness and openness and exploring interpersonal and multicultural processes in supervision and counseling.

Personal interests: Reading, outdoor and physical activities, cooking, playing with my pet cat.

“Worthiness does not have prerequisites.” – Brene Brown 

Photo of Dr. Chris Edwards

Christopher Edwards, PsyD

Licensed Psychologist, Coordinator of Outreach 
Doctorate, Clinical Psychology, Pacific University School of Graduate Psychology, 2014

Professional interests: Anxiety and mood disorders, disordered eating, identity development, substance use, LBGT+, outreach and prevention, providing supervision to trainees, and behavioral health.

Approach to counseling: I take an integrative approach to treatment drawing from client strengths and fostering a strong therapeutic alliance to provide affirming, engaging, and evidence-based psychotherapy and intervention. I view the counseling process as collaborative and strive to meet clients where they’re at. Through values exploration, increasing awareness, and addressing maladaptive behaviors it is my hope that clients will improve their functioning, acquire coping skills, build self-efficacy, and live with intention and authenticity.

Involvement in the Predoctoral Training Program: I lead intern seminars on a variety of topics, co-lead groups, and provide primary supervision to trainees. I am also the Outreach Coordinator for the Counseling Center and work with Prevention & Wellness Services and other campus departments. I approach supervision from a developmental frame acknowledging that trainees come to internship with a vast array of clinical and life experiences and, will continue to expand their knowledge, skills, and abilities through training at the Counseling Center. I highly value the supervisory relationship and endeavor to create a safe, open, and empowering experience for trainees as they continue to grow both personally and professionally.

Dark brown cat sitting on a yellow chair.
Brown dog laying in green grass.

Personal interests: Spending time in the San Juan Islands, cooking, gardening, running, quality time with family and friends, spending time outdoors, travel, and trying new places to eat!

“Forget regret or life is yours to miss.” – Rent 

Photo of Dr. Jennifer Gildner.

Jennifer Gilder, PhD

Licensed Psychologist, Certified Mental Performance Consultant 
Doctorate, Counseling Psychology, University of Houston, 2005

Professional interests: Issues experienced by student-athletes and other elite performers; issues associated with outdoor pursuits, extreme sports, and adventure activities; issues experienced within the LGBTQIA population; issues associated with involvement in the Foster Care system; multicultural concerns and the intersection of identities; sexuality; identity formation; injury and pain; mind-body synergy; mindfulness-based therapy; unwanted sexual experiences; spirituality; wellness/self-care habits; and general support during the university experience.

Involvement in Predoctoral Internship training program: I co-facilitate groups and provide seminars. My supervision style is developmental as I take each individual where they are. I incorporate humor as much as possible in that relationship. I also have high expectations for Pre-Doctoral Interns and will help them set appropriate and realistic goals that are challenging while I also provide the support and supervision necessary for a safe environment to pursue those goals.

Approach to counseling: I am honored to be a part of your journey! I respect that this is your journey and that my role is to create a safe nonjudgmental space for exploration, challenge, and even celebration. You will be treated as an individual so I am very interested in knowing who you are, what your journey has been to this point, and how we can collaborate to better your situation. You have many answers within you already and together we can attempt to access those answers to create better balance. Sometimes those answers will be specific strategies that will help to change thoughts or behaviors. Other times, the answers come from deeper discussion and exploration of your experience. Though therapy is a serious endeavor, humor can often be healing so we can use humor together when it seems appropriate.

Brown and white dog with fluffy ears.

Personal interests: Spending time with my spouse and our pooch who is too cute for her own good; involvement with the Foster Care system; camping; backpacking; hiking; SUPing; reading; music; and road trips to strange and wonderful places.

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac

Photo of Dr. Sarah Godoy.

Sarah Godoy, PhD

Licensed Psychologist, Director
Doctorate, Clinical Psychology, American University, 2014

Professional interests: Collegiate mental health, eating/body image concerns, LGBTQ+ concerns, racial/ethnic identity development, social justice & anti-oppression issues, training & supervision of trainees, trauma recovery.

Approach to counseling: I use an integrative approach that draws upon cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and humanistic frameworks in order to create an environment wherein my clients feel safe, valued, and ready to make meaningful changes. This could include examining past patterns in order to understand how a client has come to be the person they are now, as well learning specific skills that can help a client achieve their identified goals. Above all, therapy is collaborative and culturally-informed.

Involvement in the Predoctoral Training Program: As the Director, I provide supervision and consultation to the interns, as well as guidance on professional development issues. With a background in training and supervision of graduate-level trainees, I love being a part of interns’ growth.

Personal interests: Trail/road running, befriending stray animals, reading all of the books, and practicing yoga.

“We have to be visible. We should not be ashamed of who we are.” – Sylvia Rivera

Photo of Gabrielle Hope-Foucault.

Gabrielle Hope-Foucault, MA, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Coordinator of Groups Program 
Master of Arts, Psychology, Antioch University Seattle, 2002

Professional Interests: Group Therapy, Military Connected Students, Women’s Issues, First Generation College Students, Multi-Cultural Issues, Stress Management, Anxiety Management, Mindfulness Practice.

Approach to Counseling: I provide a safe space for students to be seen and heard while empowering their ability to reach established goals by overcoming barriers and accessing each person’s unique strengths. I do this by incorporating mindfulness practice and addressing any maladaptive thoughts and behaviors that may be interfering with a person’s functioning and/or quality of life. Within this approach, I emphasize the impact of issues of identity related to gender, sexuality, culture and family.

Involvement in the Predoctoral Training Program: I co-facilitate groups with interns in addition to providing seminars and consultation within the training program. I have also provided supervision to Licensed Mental Health Counselors in training.

Photo of orange cat and brown and white dog on the stairs.

Personal Interests: Yoga, hiking, reading, spending time with family and friends.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

Photo of Kelsey Johnson.

Kelsey Johnson, MA, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Master’s in Counseling-Psychology, The Seattle School, 2012

Professional Interests: Food and body concerns and Health at Every Size; experiences of both systemic and interpersonal trauma; PTSD; stress and anxiety; LGBTQ+ concerns; empowerment; finding meaning and purpose in life; mindfulness; spiritual concerns and questions; social justice and mental health; yoga therapy

Approach to counseling: I approach the counseling process with warmth and curiosity. I view each client as an expert on their own life and experience and, therefore, my job is to help reflect that and guide clients toward what is important to them. I view the counseling relationship itself as a conduit for healing and exploration and often use what’s happening “in the room” to explore what’s happening in the bigger picture of the client’s life. I often use humor and connectedness as tools for healing when appropriate, and I enjoy helping clients develop their own practical tools and skills to live life in a meaningful way. As a trained yoga teacher, it’s not uncommon for me to use mindfulness practices, breathing exercises, or even some gentle movement when appropriate in session as well. I believe that every person has within them unique wisdom and resiliency. I practice from a feminist lens.

Involvement in the Predoctoral Training Program: I co-facilitate groups with interns and also participate in the intern seminar series. 

Small, white, furry dog with floppy ears.

Personal Interests: Good food and good conversation; relishing in the beauty of nature and simplicity; the practice of yoga in its many forms; treasure-hunting in consignment and antique shops; going to the movies; reading one of my many started but not yet finished books

“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” – Mary Oliver

Photo of Tonya Pepper.

Tonya Pepper, MA, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Art Therapist
Master's, Transpersonal Counseling Psychology with a Concentration in Art Therapy, Naropa University, 2004

Professional interests: Buddhist and Transpersonal Psychology, Art Therapy - working with: anxiety, depression, and stress, grief and loss, life transitions, spirituality/existential issues, autism, self-care, and holistic approaches for wellness.

Approach to counseling: I am an active and experiential therapist – I tend to have clients trying out new things with their minds and behaviors by the first session to create change. I provide deeply grounded space where clients feel acceptance and safety fairly quickly, and I use a lot of humor which can lend the sometimes heavy work of therapy more ease of movement and lightheartedness.

Dog with big, pointy ears in a bumble bee costume.

Personal interests: Foraging/medicinal plants, dogs, photography, Instagram, Buddhism, Mongolia.

“We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it.” – Chögyam Trungpa

Photo of Dr. Cynthia Swanlund

Cynthia (CJ) Swanlund, PsyD

Licensed Psychologist
Doctorate, Counseling Psychology, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, 2017

Professional Interests: Anxiety and Stress Management, Womxn’s Issues and Intersectionality, Working with student-athletes and performance populations, Outcome measurement and routinely tracking treatment progress, Mindfulness, & Integrative Behavioral Health

Approach to Counseling: I view counseling as an active, collaborative and goal-oriented process for change that occurs within a strong, supportive, and healing relationship. My priority is to help students feel heard, understood, respected, and empowered to make meaningful changes in their lives. Our work often includes an exploration of the various cultural, political, and social contexts in which we live and participate, as well as an examination of power-differences that may be contributing to distress. I aspire to help students identify strengths and resiliency, respond to unhelpful thinking habits in productive ways, overcome challenges, and live aligned with their values.

Involvement in the Predoctoral Training Program:  I facilitate intern seminars, co-lead groups, and engage in consultation with trainees.  I provide individual supervision and occasionally facilitate group supervision. I tend toward a developmental and competency-based approach to supervision.

Personal Interests:  Spending time with my dogs, family and friends, playing and watching sports, being outside, reading, & thinking about potential research projects.

Two daschund dogs laying together. One is dark brown and one is white w/ brown spots.

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit.  We are all the same in this notion. The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” - Wilma Rudolph

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

Photo of Anne Marie Theiler.

Anne Marie Theiler, MS, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Assistant Director of Clinical Operations
Master's, Counseling Psychology, Western Washington University, 1988

Professional interests: Cognitive behavioral therapy within a therapeutic context that values emotional experience and relationship.  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Approach to counseling: Begin with awareness and self-understanding, identify strengths as well as goals for change, and start to take small steps in the right direction, following the values which are important to you.  My most frequent counseling quote is “every strength is also a weakness, and every weakness is also a strength”.

Involvement in the Predoctoral Training Program: As the person coordinating our clinical services, my role is to provide orientation and consultation to interns and trainees in regards to policies, procedures, and our day-to-day operations.  I have had the privilege of supervising a number of our master’s level trainees over the years and I take a strengths-based approach to supervision, examining both counseling process and counseling interventions with an emphasis on developing skills to evaluate for yourself what is and isn’t working for your clients.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass... it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Doctoral Interns

Photo of Sam Haghighi.

Sam Haghighi, MS

Doctoral Intern
Doctoral Candidate, Counseling Psychology, Washington State University

Professional Interests: Self-compassion and insight-building, Mood and Anxiety disorders, Trauma, Multicultural counseling, Mind-traps and Maladaptive Schemas, Interpersonal and relationship dynamics.

Approach to Counseling: Everyone is living a unique, intriguing, and heartfelt story that needs to be told and heard. I want to listen to your story, understand your character’s back-story, and hear about how you envision the upcoming pages and chapters. My goal is to understand your character’s ups and downs, strengths and weaknesses, triumphs and struggles, and anything else in between that has led you to be where you are in the storyline, so that I can help you shape the narrative.  

All humans have basic emotional needs that, when unmet, cause emotional pain. We work collaboratively to objectively identify, explore, and understand challenge areas in a genuinely empathic and nonjudgmental therapeutic space. Four basic principle inform my therapeutic approach: 1) people are innately rational and reliant on logical reasoning, 2) emotions are logical and informative, 3) shame and self-criticism prolong emotional pain and suffering, and 4) lasting solutions emerge from within. Guided by these principles we will develop and reinforce strategies that foster independence and facilitate emotional healing.

Photo of dog with a white and tan face and short, floppy ears wearing a red collar.

Personal Interests: I am an amateur musician (i.e., self-taught pianist and composer, aspiring producer, and DJ) and wish that I had the luxury to spend 32 hours a day working on music! I love spending time with family and friends, especially barbequing together (yes, even in the rain!). I have the worlds friendliest dog named Vito (after the Godfather, Don Vito Corleone) who becomes fast friends with anyone he meets. And I would contend that riding a motorcycle on a country road while listening to your favorite music is the most liberating feeling in the world.

"Nobody feels like an adult; it's the worlds dirty secret." – Liberal Arts. Directed by Josh Radnor. Strategic Motion Ventures, 2012.

Photo of Teresa Hoffman.

Teresa Hoffman, MS

Doctoral Intern
Doctoral Candidate, Clinical Psychology, Antioch University New England

Professional Interests: Navigating transitions, mindfulness, narrative, holistic wellness.

Approach to Counseling: Because the stories we tell about ourselves become the stories that we live, I help uncover hidden storylines that open up fuller, richer, more meaningful ways of being in the world while building acceptance for the pain that inevitably goes with it. I view counseling as a collaborative and relational process where you are the expert in your experience. This work often includes an exploration of the various cultural, political, social, and personal context in which we live and participate.

Personal Interests:  Spending time with family and friends, being outside, yoga, reading, and baking.

“Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.” – Fred Rogers

Photo of Daniel Mai

Daniel Mai, MA

Doctoral Intern
Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology, John F. Kennedy University

Professional Interests: Multicultural counseling, death anxiety, acculturation challenges, stress management, identity development.

Approach to counseling: I strive to create a safe and non-judgmental space within the therapeutic room. I frequently do check ins during session to ensure that the student feels comfortable and safe. Session will often be conducted based on the student’s needs. Counseling will include cognitive therapy combined with ego psychology, which creates the opportunity to support the student with maladaptive thoughts, as well as identifying ineffective defense mechanisms. Both approaches allow me to work with the student in developing effective coping skills unique to them.

Personal interests: When I was in California, I would often spend time working on my car and learning about how I can become a self-trained mechanic. I enjoy scenic nature walks, and improving my cooking skill set!

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Administrative Staff

Photo of Heather Poellot.

Heather Poellot

Administrative Assistant (she/her/hers)

photo of small white and tan dog.

Personal Interests: Hiking, drawing, snowboarding, yoga, spending time with family and friends.

“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” – David Steindl-Rast

Photo of Donna Wilson.

Donna Wilson

Patient Services Coordinator

Black dog with a white chest and a grey cat sit on an ottoman together.

Personal interests: Exploring trails with my dog, cuddling my cat, playing Animal Crossing, re-watching The Office, painting, and spending time with loved ones.

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you’ll ever know.” – Winnie The Pooh