I am passionate about working with loving dedicated families who are feeling scared, disconnected and depleted because someone they love has a substance use problem. I work with families to engage their connection with one another to come out on the other side of recovery together.
I am a licensed therapist and clinical social worker. I earned my Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Washington in 2005. I am the current Board President of the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work and an Affiliate Instructor at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work teaching MSW courses. I am also a Washington State 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 nine 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. Good therapy is research driven and person centered. 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 (I am a certified CRAFT therapist). 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 hope to hear from you!
Lara Okoloko, LICSW