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about MereAnn

 
 
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I want to help you understand and support your child. 

I started my practice 10 years ago, knowing I wanted to see kids and families, particularly through adoption. I work primarily from an attachment lens, incorporating play therapy, and believe in the power of relationships, brain science, and body-based interventions as important paths to feeling better. Emerging from research on chronic stress, grief, and trauma—mindfulness, play, and relationships are essential building blocks of resilience.

I’ve always worked with kids—as a teacher, mentor, and advocate—and now as a therapist and parent myself. I want to be a resource for other parents, especially during the preschool & elementary years. You deserve just as much support as your child does. I want to help you be their anchor and guide, as you steer your family with more joy and clarity.

I've trained my focus on that sweet spot where child development, parenting, and adoption dynamics meet. I know it doesn't feel sweet when you're in it. Long days and too many tantrums feel tedious and confusing—Shouldn't they be growing out of this?! Struggles with sleep and bad behavior make it hard to stay flexible, irritating to repeat yourself, and challenging to find calm in the chaos. Parenting can be exhausting!

You don't have to figure it out on your own. 

I'm here to help you understand what drives your child off-track. And how to stand your ground with kindness, confidence, and composure…more often.

We'll uncover and nurture your parenting strengths together. 

I can't promise you a secret behavior-decoder ring with ALL the answers. But we’ll get curious and creative together. I've taught kids from preschool to high school to uncover new strengths in themselves. Parenthood is a lot trickier than I thought it would be! And there’s no manual. It’s about forging your own path, with your own kids, adapting as they grow. Your role is essential. But you don’t have to do it in isolation. Connection is key.

Let's join forces to get your family unstuck and reconnected. 

I want to see you thrive and find new ways to build your child's resilience—the ability each of us has to survive tough times and tap into the love around us. Together, we can nurture your family. So you can grow together.

Credentials

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, Lewis & Clark College

Certificate in Therapy with Adoptive & Foster Families, Portland State University

Instructor candidate, Hand in Hand Parenting, an attachment-focused approach to raising kids with an emphasis on connected relationships and strong support for parents

Bachelor of University Studies in Social Psychology, University of New Mexico

I've been working with adoptive families for over 14 years. After teaching in childcare centers and alternative schools, I worked as a CASA (court-apointed special advocate) for kids in the Oregon foster care system before completing a master’s degree in counseling psychology. I worked in community mental health and schools prior to launching my private practice in 2009. While I don’t see adoptive families exclusively, a majority of my clients are touched by adoption or foster care, and I’m grateful to accompany them through the layers and seasons of family life for everyone involved. I often see adoptive parents, birth/first parents, adopted folx, and extended family members—both before and after adoption, and sometimes through reunion. Concurrent with my graduate studies, I volunteered, studied, and later coordinated programs alongside mentors and friends in the adoption community, including therapist colleagues.

Outside the therapy room, I've directed after-school and summer youth programs, developed training for foster and adoptive parents, child welfare, and adoption agency staff. Other hats I’ve worn over the years: