Intern Therapists

MEND Seattle is a clinical training program for graduate-level intern therapists. As part of this program, we offer low-cost counseling with fees of $70 and sliding scale rates of $60 and $50. Our Intern Therapists start at different times throughout the year, most often in September, and see clients during their internship for up to 10-18 months. After that time, clients have the opportunity to continue with their therapist in their own practice. Learn more about our Intern Therapists below.

2021-2022 Cohort

Mia Montenegro
she/her | filipino | bisexual | cis

Mia sees therapy as a safe space to share your story, to be authentically you, to grow, to heal, to explore, and to create the changes you are seeking to make in your life. As a bisexual woman of color, she is dedicated to working with QTBIPOC folx, as she understands the experience of navigating a multiplicity of identities based on different contexts and stages of life. Her clinical background is rooted in narrative and humanistic therapy and she's currently training to be a licensed marriage and family therapist in the Couples and Family Therapy program at Seattle University.

“Without community, there is no liberation.” - Audre Lorde

Nefeteria (Nefie) Bolin
she/her | black/native/creole/white | hetero | cis

Nefeteria (Nefie) is a first generation student and ciswoman of color pursuing a masters degree in marriage, couples, and family therapy at Seattle University. She believes therapy to be a process that helps people recreate the narratives of their life story. She believes in discovering the humanistic side of people and knowing who they are at the heart to understand what's important to them and how it shapes their personal identity. With empathetic teaching, active listening, and compassion, she hopes to provide a safe space for people from everywhere to share their stories authentically with no judgement or shame.

"I've learned that people will forget about what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel" - Maya Angelou

2022-2023 Cohort

Ava Keating
she/they | white | nonbinary | queer/pansexual | ethically non-monogamous

Ava’s therapeutic approach is guided by the belief that we are born whole, expansive, and capable, and that our brilliance and healing are inextricably linked to that of our communities. She brings warmth, compassionate authenticity, and a spirit of humility to her therapeutic work drawing upon her experience as a yoga teacher and somatic practitioner to meet her clients and their nervous systems where they are. Ava brings further training in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and has published on foregrounding social equity in clinical psychedelic research. Ava will obtain a Master of Existential-Phenomenological Psychology degree from Seattle University in early 2023.

“Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge.” - Audre Lorde

Brook Greenberg
she/her | white | neurodivergent | cis | pan | female

Brook approaches each client with warmth, humility, levity, and authenticity. She sees every person’s story through the lens of attachment, which assumes that all people do what they need to do in order to survive. Therapy is the space in which old patterns can be examined, sorted, and reoriented. By gently removing the weight of shame and judgement, she will work with each individual to reclaim their innate value, and establish a new framework in which to evolve and thrive. Brook is in her final year at Antioch University – Seattle, completing her master’s in clinical mental health counseling in the spring of 2023.

“I think normalcy is a myth.” -Gabor Maté

Didem Serin
she/they | first-generation turkish american | white | cis | female

Didem is a graduate student in the Couples and Family Therapy program and a Sex Therapy Certificate candidate at Antioch University (both to be completed in September 2023). She strives to provide culturally responsive therapy and to cultivate a safe, nonjudgmental, and supportive space where you feel held and heard. Didem believes that you are the expert on your life, and her priority is to coauthor your story that promotes positive change at your own pace. She practices from a curiosity-based, strengths-focused, and collaborative framework, roots her approach in narrative therapy and attachment-based modalities, such as humanistic experiential and emotion-focused therapy.

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” - Brené Brown

Jenn Dela Cruz
she/they | first-gen filipina | bilingual | cis | het

Jenn leads with an open heart when sharing space with folks and welcomes the vastness of the human experience and all that comes with it: identity exploring, generative conflict, and reflective self-analysis. She enjoys working with service providers, youth, and first responders in navigating transitions, moral injury (burnout), and complex trauma. With Jenn you can expect transparency and direct communication, which contribute to her therapeutic approach including client-led conversations, collaborative goal setting, community-centric applications, trauma-informed care, and a liberation-focused lens. She is currently completing her Master of Social Work in the Extended Degree Program at the University of Washington and has a background in domestic violence advocacy, housing case management, crisis stabilization, and triaging acute mental health distress in clinical settings.

“I don’t see a sick person coming to be healed, I see a perfect spirit coming to be recognized.” - Ruth J. Beard, founding member of The National Association of Black Social Workers

Leslie Harris-Johnston
she/her | black | cis | female | hetero

Leslie is a Black ciswoman who was born and raised in the South. She is pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health at Saybrook University and will receive her master’s degree in clinical psychology in June. She believes that therapy is a partnership between therapist and client. Her approach is grounded in a holistic view of the person as unique. Leslie does not believe in a one-size fits all approach. Therefore, her therapeutic approach is holistic and integrative, which includes utilizing humanistic, person-centered, emotion-focused, anti-racist and liberation, African/Black psychology, somatic, and expressive arts as therapy orientations. Leslie’s goal is to create a welcoming space for individuals to unpack the thoughts and feelings that brings them to therapy. Leslie is passionate about helping people heal body, mind, and spirit so they live their best lives as their authentic selves. In therapy, I focus on helping you reach the goals you set for yourself in therapy. Although Leslie is open to anyone, she is particularly interested in those who identify as Black and Indigenous, neurodiverse, and QTBIPOC.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin

Maia Lucas
she/her | biracial | second-gen Japanese | queer | cis | neurodivergent | bilingual

Maia is passionate about creating a warm, affirming space for clients and uses a collaborative, strengths-based, and trauma-informed approach rooted in intersectional feminist values. Her identity as a queer, biracial, Asian American woman has informed her understanding of the structural and experiential consequences of having multiple layers of marginalization and privilege. Maia is dedicated to supporting clients as they explore the complexities of identity and navigate the impacts of positionality on their lived experiences, especially fellow QTBIPOC community members. She is currently completing her master’s in clinical mental health counseling at Seattle University.

“It is in col­lec­tiv­i­ties that we find reser­voirs of hope and optimism.” - Angela Davis

Oriana Bardinelli Nakanishi
she/her | latinx | cis

Oriana is a Latinx, first-generation ciswoman who believes we cannot fully know ourselves without first knowing, or listening to, the story of another. In this relational approach, she is motivated to co-create a space with clients that embraces what it “feels like” to be them. In practice, she is adamant that any therapeutic intervention be reflective of the systems and institutions embedded into society around us. We cannot fully embrace complex identities without first recognizing the environments in which they have responded to. Oriana’s practice is founded in appreciation for the somatic experience, given who has a stronger understanding of personal narrative than our bodies? In this consensual, gentle invitation to consider how our mental health impacts more than just our minds, Oriana is committed to providing a safe space for curiosity, questions and reconnection to our whole selves.

“There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all you will ever be.” - Tennessee Williams

“I love you. You are beautiful. You can do anything. (Repeat)” - Lizzo

Sandra Saldivar
she/her | filipina mixed-race | cis | hetero

Sandra offers a welcoming space for creative exploration that is collaborative, client-centered, strengths-based, and trauma-informed through an intersectional feminist lens. She uses an integrative systemic approach with a focus on internal family systems and art therapy. Her practice is grounded in Kapwa (shared identity), a Filipinx value that considers the wellbeing of others with the intent to establish connection and commitment to making our community a better place. Sandra believes true healing is an interconnected process between an individual and their community and is honored to walk alongside clients on their healing journey. She is currently completing her last year with a master’s in Couple and Family Therapy and Art Therapy at Antioch University Seattle.

“Connection is why we're here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it's what gives us purpose and meaning to our lives." - Brene Brown

Shaquille Sinclair
he/him | black jamaican | queer

Shaquille hopes to help clients make sense of their stories. He believes that in each of us there is a “dreamer” with a robust imagination for a safer and more equitable world, and he sees his work with clients as a way to honor that inner dreamer. He values the role of the therapeutic relationship, seeing healthy and secure attachment between therapist and client as one integral path towards healing. Shaquille is in his third and final year at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.

“Magic is really very simple, all you've got to do is want something and then let yourself have it.” - Debbie Reynolds

Sher Roberto
she/they | chamoru / filipina / mexican | queer | cis | veteran

Sher is warm, grounded, and passionate about working with individuals to uncover old narratives that hinder clients from being their true authentic selves. They believe that a source of healing comes from addressing the effects of systemic inequities and intergenerational trauma through un-learning and empowerment. She is committed to MEND’s values and approaches her work with clients through a collaborative, intersectional feminist, and social justice lens. As a queer, indigenous woman and non-binary person of color, they are dedicated to working with QTBIPOC folx, as they understand the experiences and challenges of oppression in a westernized society.

“Heal yourself, with beautiful love, and always remember: you are the medicine.” - Maria Sabina