Lisa Hade, MA, LMHC, NCGC-I
I am a licensed Mental Health Counselor with a Master’s degree from Bastyr University. I have been licensed as a chemical dependency counselor since 1992, and received my national certification to work with individuals and families experiencing problem gambling issues, in 2003. I pursued the additional licensing to treat gambling issues after finding many of my clients in recovery from chemical dependency addiction were also suffering from co-addictions such as a problem gambling.
Background and Experience
I was adopted into a two-parent household, where my father was a successful entrepreneur and mother stayed home and raised my brother and me. Being of mixed Native American descent, I struggled to "fit in" as an adolescent, and was quite rebellious as I struggled to find my identity and path in life. It had felt so confusing to me to be part Native American yet know nothing about the culture, while trying to fit into a non-diverse community. My early teenage experiences initiated my interest in the psychology field, and I knew then, that entering the counseling field would be my chosen career path in life.
Following college and earning my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I started my career by working with incarcerated teenagers at Echo Glen Children's Center in Snoqualmie, Washington. I spent the next 10 years working in various programs, with the last 4 years working in their specialized chemical dependency program.
While participating in classes to earn my chemical dependency certification, I began to recognize and identify some learned dysfunctional coping strategies I had developed myself, as a result of my childhood experiences. My unfavorable selves were surfacing and becoming revealed to me, and were no longer serving me as a young adult. I had learned to minimize and "stuff" my own feelings in order to put others needs ahead of my own, and learned the art of perfectionism-- looking good on the outside so others don't know how much you really are hurting. What I hadn't realized until that point was that many symptoms and behaviors my mother exhibited and I had observed as a child, were signs of depression, which would lead to alcoholism later in life. What was baffling to me as a child was beginning to make sense, and it started my own process of self-reflection and difficult inner work. With this new level of self-awareness, I was able to begin my own healing process.
In 1999, I was offered a position working for Residence XII, an all women chemical dependency treatment agency in Kirkland, Washington. It was there where I learned just how powerful addiction was, as well as the incredible strength of recovery and empowerment in getting one's life, soul, and identity back. Part of my own recovery process was to participate in Alanon, 12-step support groups as well as CODA (i.e. Codependency Anonymous support group). While working for 6 years as an inpatient counselor, I observed and learned how change takes place, and can now act as a guide to help show others how to create change in their lives. I learned the art of how to express concern to a loved one and be able to ask for what you want and need at the same time. As a family member, I participated in my own family interventions as a result of both my mother and brother's addiction issues and the impact on our family.
In 2001, after receiving many phone calls from clients that had obtained several years of sobriety, but were now finding they were struggling with having a gambling problem, I sought to become certified to treat individuals and families suffering from the impact of gambling problems. It seemed like a natural addition to my training and work with addiction, and was much needed in the community. Gambling problems are often unrecognized and hidden from family and community members due to the stigma and shame involved. What often starts out as simple, social time with friends at the casino can suddenly grow into an alarming problem. Much of this stigma still exists around gambling, and sadly, resources for help can still be very difficult to find.
After 15 years of working in the addiction field, I returned to graduate school to earn a Masters Degree in Applied Behavioral Science, a specialized counseling degree. My post-graduate work experience includes working for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) as a social worker, a mental health therapist for the Center of Health and Human Resources in Edmonds, Washington, and therapist for the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians.
My extensive experience includes working with individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, family of origin issues, problem gambling, transitional issues, and self-esteem and identity issues. My number one priority is offering a safe and confidential learning environment for you to achieve your goals. I see individuals, couples and families, from age 12 and up. One area of focus in addition to my addiction work, is working with couples and relationship issues. Understanding one another's feelings and needs and increasing effective communication are often common issues discussed in therapy. Exploring observed themes and patterns in each partner's family of origin and how these family dynamics may be impacting the current relationship may also be explored in session. I view the couple as my client in the therapeutic relationship, each having an equal voice and valued viewpoint. My role is to facilitate and foster increased growth, healing, and connection.
My belief is that we often need to be challenged in our viewpoints, which may limit our perceived options. When given permission to offer feedback, I do so in a caring, noncritical, and compassionate manner. Clients will often remark how they appreciate the feedback provided, as they may not have had this experience with a previous therapist.
I incorporate a variety of different therapy techniques dependent on the individual client needs and issues presented. I draw from cognitive behavioral therapy, which identifies thoughts and belief patterns, and relates to how we feel or respond to situations, people, or events. I utilize mindfulness-based practices, which teach how to become more present in life, and can lead to an increased connection to ourselves, our pain, and others. I have adopted a holistic attitude and treatment approach, which means exploring the "whole" of ourselves and not just the parts; our whole self-- defined as mind, body and spirit.
My work with chemical dependency issues clients is primarily focused on those in the active stage of change-- meaning currently or willing to be engaged in treatment, or who may have post-treatment counseling needs. I will spend my first sessions identifying motivation for change, and current goals for recovery. My work in addressing problem gambling issues works best when the individual has a high degree of motivation and willingness to explore coping deficits and follow treatment recommendations.
For more in-depth information about my practice, please visit my website: www.lisahade.com