Martha Stebbins-Aguiñiga

Counselor, MA, LMHC, IMH-E III

I began my career by working in an educational settings offering support to children and youth. After graduating with a B.A. in Psychology from University of California, San Diego, I was fortunate to be hired as a Social Work Counselor assisting families with children under the age of 3. This work allowed me to become immersed in the world of early childhood and developmental disability. When the opportunity presented itself, I was able to put myself through graduate school and obtain a Masters in Counseling Psychology from National University. I began my work as a therapist by offering support to the family members of people with different abilities and by working with people who struggled individually with the emotional impact of Autism Spectrum Disorder or Intellectual Disability. When I wasn’t working or completing my Masters degree, I was taking courses to become a play therapist at the University of California, San Diego.

I decided to move to Seattle in 2011 and was honored to be offered an opportunity to work at a local agency called Wellspring Family Services. There, I was mentored in Psychodynamic and Psychoanalytically informed practices while also being introduced to the rich world of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. My work involved supporting young children who had experienced trauma and being a resource to their teachers and early childhood education staff who worked tirelessly to advocate for the wellbeing of children and families who experienced homelessness. I earned a Graduate Certificate in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health from the University of Washington during this time. This part of my professional life also began my trajectory in becoming a trauma-informed and trauma-healing therapist by offering me ample opportunities to learn about best practices to support children and adults who have been overwhelmed by discrete and/or complex trauma. 

In 2015, I was offered the opportunity to join a clinic called Cooper House, a place where I had the opportunity to be among the brightest and most innovative minds in the world of infant and early childhood mental health. My work continued to expand as I was able to offer services to children under the age of 5 as well as their parents and caregivers. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work alongside pediatric occupational therapists who expand my knowledge every day about the constitutional and somatic components of emotional and psychological health. I am proud to continue my work at Cooper House to this day.

 It is also important to note, that while at Cooper House I was able to complete a Graduate Certificate in Gender Affirmative Therapy which has allowed me to elevate the quality of care that I can offer to the Trans, non-binary, communities as well as anyone who identifies anywhere on the gender spectrum. As a cisgendered woman, it was important to me to be trans-competent and affirming. 

As an immigrant from México, I have always felt passionate about issues of race, culture, migration and language. I have been offered many opportunities through my work and personal experiences to expand my knowledge about the impact of systemic forces on those who are vulnerable to oppression. Mente Counseling & Consultation was born from a deep desire to offer high-quality, deeply thoughtful services to those whose emotional wellbeing is often overlooked. Mente Counseling & Consultation is an anti-racist practice seeking to provide a space where equity, diversity, and inclusion are always at the forefront of the conversation. We courageously opened our doors in November, 2020 and have been deeply moved by the strong support of our loving family, friends, and community.

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