Education & Events

Annual Mentoring Groups

The Alliance offers formal mentoring groups for members who have completed school and have less than ten years of experience practicing in the field. Sponsoring up to six clinicians each, experienced group leaders meet with participants to focus on areas of personal and professional growth, case consultation, and relevant topical study.

Mentoring groups are a 9-month commitment, to begin in September 2018 and to run through June 2019. Each group meets for 1.5 hours twice monthly. A voluntary endeavor, the only associated “fee” for Alliance members is a genuine commitment for regular attendance and participation through the full duration of the mentoring process.

The application period for the 2018/2019 term is now closed. The 2018/2019 groups are:

Jenny Gardon, LICSW: Meets 10:15am/10:30am-11:45am, 1st and 3rd Mondays beginning September 17. Fremont Neighborhood.  

I bring quite a history of searching with me to this work of helping others land into and engage well in their lives. My formal training and early work, during the 1980’s was in Family Systems Therapy at the UW School of Social Work and with children and families in community mental health, with forays into play therapy, sand tray work, Jungian theory, hypnotherapy, and “brief therapy”.  I first became a supervisor of others as a child and family therapist in a community mental health agency.  In the early 1990s, I started my exploration of psychoanalytic work through Seattle's Center for Object Relations, the Northwest Center for Psychoanalysis, and the Alliance.  I most found my professional home in the Relational branch of the psychoanalytic tree. A long-time (though inconsistent) meditator, I have always used mindful attention as part of my practice. For the last 10-15 years, I have studied therapy through the lens of the body and the neuroscience of attachment, in particular studying with Sharon Stanley, and focusing on couples’ work, including with Susan Johnson’s EFT and Stan Tatkin’s PACT approaches. My challenge and interest continues to be how to be most present and effective in using events that unfold between therapist and client. In this mentoring group, I like the idea of reading a book together over the year.  I am open to your interests; however, in case no other consensus emerges, I propose we read Roy Barness’ Core Competencies in Relational Psychoanalysis: A Guide to Practice, Study and Research, Routledge 2017.  I hope to be in touch as a group by email over the summer to change or confirm this, with plenty of time for all to get whatever book we land on. This group will focus on treatment of adults, and will start with a discussion members’ interests and needs.

Carol Poole, LMHC: Meets 3:30pm-5:00pm, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, beginning September 11. Madison Valley Neighborhood.

I’ve been in private practice for ten years, treating adults, couples and families. During the early years of my own practice I appreciated—and took full advantage of!—mentoring and consultation offered through the Alliance’s clinic, and I learned what a huge difference it makes to experience solid professional support while you’re developing your own way of practicing as a therapist. I also teach classes on the theme of rupture and repair in the therapeutic relationship. In my work I often find myself learning about two interrelated themes: healing from trauma, and developing authentic selfhood. My approach is eclectically psychoanalytic; I’ve studied for years with teachers from the respective traditions of object relations, relational psychoanalysis, and somatic psychotherapy, and my MA is from Pacifica Graduate Institute, a school with a Jungian focus. When it comes to clinical practice, I think we all need to develop our own ways of working, using our unique personalities and even our never-totally-resolved personal vulnerabilities. In this mentoring group we’ll practice meeting each other with respect and openness, to foster a safe and stimulating environment for mutual support and learning.

Rebecca Brabo Silva, LICSW: Meets 9:00am-10:30am 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, beginning September 12. Lower Queen Anne Neighborhood.

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and have worked in mental health since 1994. I attended the University of California, Santa Cruz for undergrad and Seattle University for graduate school. I interned at Sound Mental Health and spent part of my career working in the crisis department. I started my private practice in 2002 and currently practice in lower Queen Anne, Seattle. In addition to The Alliance, I am also involved with RPPS: Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Seattle where I've found a warm community of learners and fellow travelers. In this mentoring group I invite you to bring your doubts, your struggles and your worst cases for us to ponder and support you. Perhaps we can focus less on what we should do and more on what we are doing and why. This group can be case consult, private practice building and/or a reading-driven group. We will convene and decide together how best to use our time. Join us!

Clare Isaacson, LMHC: Meets 7:00pm-8:30pm, 2nd and 4th Wednesdays beginning September 12. Wallingford Neighborhood.

I have been in practice for over 35 years. I began my professional career working in community mental health as an intern, then as a therapist and intern supervisor, and later as a program manager. I have spent the last 25 years building a psychoanalytically-informed private practice and raising a family. I love the hard work of professional and clinical development, and have always sought out consultation and mentoring as a means to deepen my understanding of psychology, and to strengthen my professional sense of myself. My training program had a focus on child and family development from a psychodynamic perspective, and I have had a psychoanalytically-trained clinical consultant for the last 17 years. I am an approved supervisor for associates seeking mental health counseling licensure. As a mentor, I am committed to helping you further articulate your therapeutic approach and professional identity with greater confidence. Through discussion of clinical material and with respectful listening and reflection, I hope to foster a deeper appreciation of our internal world, and of that transformative space between therapist and client. My aim is to infuse our time together, and the work itself, with liveliness, interest and hope.

Gillian Vik, LMHC: 10:30am-12:00pm, 2nd and 4th Fridays, beginning September 14. South Capitol Hill/Central District.

I’ve been in private practice for ten years, treating individual adults and couples. I was lucky enough to be in a group offered by the Alliance in the first years of my private practice and found it enormously helpful. I'm interested in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, object relations, relational psychoanalysis, somatic, and attachment perspectives. I worked with Stan Tatkin for several years studying the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy, and continue have a particular interest in couples work. I received my MA from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2006. I hope to help group members develop their individual styles, and focus on case consultation. This mentoring group email address is active through September 30, 2018.

Other times of the year please contact: Eliza Baughn at