I don’t consider myself a very traditional therapist. I work very collaboratively with my clients, bringing my authentic self into the room while letting my clients take the lead in their lives. I work actively with my clients to facilitate a co-created healing space that allows for all aspects of a client’s identity and experience. I understand that trauma, pain, fear, and stagnation are stored and experienced in the body. Therefore, I support my clients in healing and creating a greater alignment with their authentic selves and life dreams by developing awareness of and strengthening their connection to what’s happening in their bodies and minds. For me, this is the essence of somatic work.
I also support my clients with integrating their spiritual beliefs, values, and practices where applicable. In my practice, I integrate my anti-oppression, feminist, and social justice frameworks into this work. My goal is to create a safe and supportive space for learning, growth, and transformation.
I enjoy working with queer people of color, especially queer-identified Asian Pacific-Islander folks. I also have a particular interest in working with those in the helping professions such as essential workers, therapists, and those who identify as community organizers/activists. I identify as an 1st generation, bi-racial, woman of color. As a first generation Filipina, I have a unique experience regarding power, privilege and oppression from a non-Westernized perspective. When co-creating these safe spaces, I recognize that I am bringing my own humanity to the table, which includes aspects of privilege from my own intersectional identities. I am committed to continuing to work on myself to examine and minimize any potential for harm, and I use my own journey as opportunities to refine my ability to support my clients in theirs.
For self-care, I enjoy daily tarot journal reflections, salt baths, altering clothing and creating jewelry. What's yours?
My name is Michelle Jaquish and I have a Master's in Social Work degree I received in 2016 from the University of Washington School of Social Work. I received my Licensed Independent Clinical Social Work license in 2021 and received basic training in EMDR trauma therapy in June 2022. I have five years of community mental health experience in homeless crisis services in Seattle; both in direct service and supervisory roles from a person-centered harm-reduction focus.
During my time as a graduate student, I received a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship in the Southeast Asian Studies department, which allowed me to learn my mother’s native language of Tagalog to prepare for a human right’s trip to the Philippines. It was through this trip that I learned and embodied how to integrate activism into therapy work; co-creating spaces and containers of healing alongside others through connection, movement, song, working alongside other Filipinos that were committed to transforming their culture in ways that resisted the unjust conditions they live in.
One of the ways I've come back to my Filipino culture since that trip in 2016 is through tarot decks; I purposefully have tarot decks that reflect the experiences and identity themes that come from being Asian American, a displaced Filipino American learning to understand the ways of living that existed before Spanish colonization and hope to share this identity journey with other clients that are a part of the Asian diaspora as well as other marginalized populations.
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