Femeke Britschgi Cabernard, PhD, LMHC
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Washington with a Masters and PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Bern, Switzerland. I provide therapy to children, adolescents and their families. I have extensive and specialized training in Play Therapy and Client-Centered Therapy.
I grew up in Switzerland with two younger brothers in a small mountain village. At an early age, we were exposed to other cultures since my mother was Dutch. During high school, I took the chance and spent a year as an exchange student with a family in Wisconsin. With my father being a special education teacher, I got in contact with children with special needs. I thus decided to study Developmental Psychology at the University of Bern in Switzerland. After graduating with my MA, I worked for five years as a therapist in an in- and outpatient clinic (the residential facility was specialized in the treatment of female adolescents with severe eating disorders). My husband’s postdoc took us once again to the United States and we lived for five years in Eugene, Oregon. I was working as a child and family therapist in a nonprofit residential treatment facility for children. We served children age four to twelve with severe abuse, neglect, and trauma histories, and especially attachment problems. During this time, we added to our family two children. After the birth of our second child, we returned to Switzerland, where I worked in a private practice for three years. After many turns and changes in our life, we are now back in the Pacific Northwest and settled in Seattle. We feel fortunate to be living in such a tolerant and supportive environment. Our family enjoys the proximity to the ocean and the mountains. We are often found camping, hiking, or just enjoying nature.
My Education and Training
I have a Bachelor in Psychology and a Master in Developmental Psychology from the University Bern. I also hold a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Bern.
During my first work experience after graduating from University, I realized that I really wanted to become a licensed therapist and started with my training in client-centered psychotherapy (Carl Rogers), focusing on Play Therapy. I was able to continue with this training after returning from Oregon (where I took classes at Northwest Center for Play Therapy Studies at George Fox University in Portland) and I obtained my license in Switzerland as a therapist. Upon settling in Washington, I received my license as a Mental Health Counselor for Washington State.
My Therapeutic Approach
I try to approach every child, adolescent, and family with an open mind and give him or her the space to express himself or herself in whatever way they feel comfortable. As a trained play therapist, I understand that a child’s first language is play and understand myself as a translator for the child. My main focus is always on the individual and their well being, be it the child or the parent. I truly believe every person has an innate power to grow and become his or her best self. I can accompany that person on their journey, but cannot walk it for them. We face many challenges and roadblocks on the road to happiness and fulfillment but we can learn the skills necessary to successfully navigate and overcome the roadblocks and grow through life’s challenges.
Just as every individual has a unique set of strengths and challenges, my approach to helping each individual is as unique as each person. I use play therapy based techniques but also utilize cognitive-behavioral and/or creative approaches.
For more information about my practice, please visit my website at www.fbctherapy.com