About Me - Svetlana Shjerven
I approach therapy through an existential framework, prioritizing empathy, compassion, and building a strong rapport and therapeutic relationship to facilitate positive changes. I endeavor to explore one’s unique experiences, contexts, connections with others and the world around them to foster healing and enhance resiliency. I believe strongly in the importance of feeling connected in relationships, to our environment, and to ourselves. Addressing the “here and now” that arises during therapy allows our sessions to adapt and work with the difficult emotions or thoughts that come up, in a safe environment that is confidential, nonjudgmental and humanistic. As well, I can implement more structure into sessions if that is what you are seeking.
I utilize an eclectic approach in practice, combining elements from multiple areas to suit your needs. In particular, I often draw from humanistic psychology, systems theory, and existentialism in the exploration of self-actualization and addressing barriers. I also draw from CBT, MI, Narrative, attachment-based, strength-based, somatic and mindfulness approaches.
I have worked with and am drawn to working with those who have experienced anxiety, depression, agoraphobia, trauma, life transitions, self-esteem issues, grief and chronic pain. I am LGBTQIA+, gender- and poly-affirming and enjoy working with clients along the spectrum of neurodiversity and disability. In this space to heal, we can foster resiliency and explore being.
Experience in the Field
I hold a Social Worker Independent Clinical Associate (LSWAIC) license in Washington State. I earned my Master of Social Work (MSW) from Arizona State University, and my Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences from Central Washington University (primarily studying psychology and sociology). Entering the field in 2020, I have experience working in community mobile intervention with the fire department and as an intern in a group practice setting. There, I served individuals and families – often in marginalized or underserved communities – experiencing crises related to mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, complex medical/caregiving needs, hoarding, and advocacy needs. I have facilitated two support groups for queer youth in a non-profit setting and remain engaged in macro advocacy for a large social work professional organization.