Meet Our Team

 

 

Amy started her career as a middle school teacher. She loved teaching young adolescents as they navigated one of the most confusing times of their lives. She realized very early on that her students could not be successful academically when their emotional lives were suffering. Students regularly hung out in her classroom before and after school and during breaks to talk to her about the difficulties in their lives. It became clear to her that children are affected—for better or for worse—by their parents’ relationships. Children raised in a home where parents love and respect each other usually do well. Children who are exposed to conflict and chaos suffer.

 

After taking a few years off to focus on her own family, Amy returned to school to earn a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her experience as a middle school teacher, working with children and families, led her to work hard to acquire the skills to provide excellent relationship therapy. After graduation Amy continued training and has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy. This approach focuses on marriage relationships and parent/child relationships. Trust, security and unconditional love are the focus of EFT therapy.

 

Amy and her family are recent transplants to the Pacific Northwest. Her family followed their dreams to live in beautiful Bellingham and are enjoying getting to know their new home. They are learning to hike and enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer here in the PNW.

 

Amy's education:

 

Amy attended Fresno Pacific University for her education

  •     Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies; 1992

  •     Multiple Subject Teaching Credential: 1993

  •     Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy: 2009

 

Licensing:

  •     Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in California: MFC78334

  •     Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Washington: LF60694734

 

 

Call or email me for a free phone consultation. Let’s talk and decide if I am a good fit for your therapy needs. If I’m not the right fit for you, I would love to help you find someone who is.

Amy Prieb, LMFT

Executive Director

Keri Wallace, LMHC
Senior Clinician

Keri began her professional career working with children and adolescents in long-term residential care. Residential care is often the very last resort for families. While Keri enjoyed this work and found it to be rewarding, she began to wish she could work with families and parents before they were forced to take the drastic step of residential care. As a result, Keri decided to pursue a master’s degree in mental health counseling at Antioch University.

 

After obtaining her master's degree, Keri began working as a counselor for Compass Health where she worked with children, youth, adults, and families with a wide diversity of needs. Keri also facilitated several groups, including support groups for sexually abused youth, children dealing with anger management issues, and parent support and skill building groups.

 

After gaining valuable experience in community mental health, Keri moved into private practice in Snohomish County. While in private practice, Keri did double duty--also working in the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. At the Prosecutor’s office, Keri worked with victims of crime, including physical and sexual abuse and assault, homicide, domestic violence, and crimes committed by children.

 

In 2009, Keri and her husband moved to Bellingham and she commuted back and forth for five years. Eventually, the commute became too difficult, and Keri wanted to be of service to people in the community in which she lived.  Keri joined Whatcom County as a guardian ad litem.  In this position, Keri made recommendations to the court regarding the best interests of children who were removed from their homes as a result of abuse or neglect.  She worked with children, parents, service providers, schools and other professionals involved in the dependency process with the goal of reuniting families or, when necessary, finding supportive permanent homes with relatives, family friends, or adoptive families. In 2016, in addition to her work as a guardian ad litem, Keri took on the role of program coordinator for the volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate program (CASA) for Whatcom County, supervising volunteers who represent children in dependency cases.

 

From the very beginning of Keri’s career, in every situation, Keri developed a reputation for being fearless, having finely tuned intuition and creativity in helping families solve complicated situations. Supervisors and other clinicians regularly assigned Keri the cases others were reluctant to take on. Not only would Keri willingly take on these cases, her skills and empathetic approach were invaluable to families in difficult situations.

 

Over the course of Keri’s career, trauma has been a central focus. Children and families experiencing trauma have found Keri to be an instrumental part of the healing and relationship restoration process.

 

Restoring Connections Counseling Center is incredibly fortunate to have Keri on staff. Her vast experience working with children, families and trauma makes her particularly adept at working through family relationship difficulties of all kinds. Keri is skilled in work that strengthens families--individual therapy with children and teens, working with LGBTQ youth and families, and couple therapy.

 

Keri's education:

 

  •     Associate’s degree, Western WA University 1993

  •     Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Liberal Arts, Antioch University, Seattle 2000

  •     Masters of Art in Mental Health Counseling, Antioch University, Seattle 2002

 

Licensing:

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  •     Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington:  LH00009576

Kristen Fairbanks, LSWAIC

Clinician

 

 

Kristen's education:

 

  •     Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Western Washington University 2013

  •     Masters in Social Work, Colorado State University 2016

 

Licensing:

​​

  •     Licensed Social Work Associate- Independent Clinical in Washington: SC60745909

RCCC is thrilled to welcome our newest clinician, Kristi Fairbanks. Most recently, Kristi has been working in a community mental health setting. During her time in community mental health, Kristi served children and families experiencing all kinds of challenges ranging from divorce, parents with mental health struggles, behavioral challenges and much more. Kristi’s vast experience with children and families make her an asset to the RCCC team.

 

People are surprised to discover that Kristi is fluent in Spanish! She spent time in Peru, working, teaching and acting as a case manager for a number of community organizations including: orphanages, after school programs, military base, elderly care facility, home for teen moms, animal care projects and shelters, facilities for disabled children and adults, domestic violence shelters and more. This experience illustrates Kristi’s commitment to making communities a better place for everyone.

 

Kristi never stops learning. She has trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR.) This is an interactive psychotherapy technique used to relieve psychological stress. This is a well-researched and effective treatment for trauma and PTSD. Kristi is able to use EMDR with her clients when a client would benefit from this type of technique.

 

Kristi recently spent a week in Utah, studying and learning the process of Emotionally Focused Therapy. (EFT) This well-researched and effective therapy is used for couple’s counseling, family counseling and also individual counseling. Kristi is excited to implement EFT in all of her therapeutic work.

 

Kristi is a fun-loving person who travels regularly, dances, swims, hikes and enjoys everything the PNW has to offer.

 

At RCCC, Kristi will be continuing her work with children, families and teens. Kristi will make good use of the amazing playroom available to our youngest RCCC clients. Kristi is also welcoming couples for relationship counseling. She will be implementing EFT, which has a 75%-90% success rate with couples. Kristi is comfortable and experienced working with all types of couples and families including LGBTQ, open relationships and polyamorous relationships.

Joseph Popelka, LMHC

Clinician

 

Joseph is a licensed Mental Health Counselor who received his Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2011 after attending Western Washington University's highly selective Counselor education program. Prior to that, Joseph worked for 6 years in the State of Minnesota running 21 day wilderness therapy trips for adjudicated youth.

Joseph sees individuals, couples and families but his passion is couple's work. Joseph is a certification candidate in Emotionally Focused Couple's Therapy and appreciates how this model provides a clear understanding of relationship distress and an equally clear path to reconciliation and healing for couples. Joseph believes that one of the quickest ways to healing and strength is through a responsive, safe and solid relationship with your partner.

 

Joseph's education:

 

  •     Bachelor's Degree in Political Science & Government, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 2006

  •     Masters of Art in Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 2010

  •     Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling, Western Washington University 2011

 

Licensing:

​​

  •     Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington:  LH60327164

Bryn Knapp

B.A. , Intern

Bryn earned her B.S. from Western Washington University in Psychology and is currently working on her M.A. at Seattle Pacific University in Marriage & Family Therapy.  Bryn has a passion for therapy and has a broad scope of experience with young adults, teens and children .  Bryn also has extensive experience with mentoring, working in conflict resolution as well as volunteering in various local organizations. Bryn will be seeing clients in our practice under the supervision of Amy Prieb.

Bryn's Education:

  • Bachelor of Science, Western Washington University 2018

  • Currently attending Seattle Pacific University (expected Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy 2020)

          

Joshua occupies dual roles at RCCC.  Joshua is the trained BrainPaint neurofeedback technician. When you come in for neurofeedback, Joshua is the one who will familiarize you with the process, get you all set up to begin your brain training and conduct your sessions.  Joshua is a veteran and a former police officer.  Joshua’s experience in the United States Coast Guard as a peace keeper and as a police officer exposed him to traumatic experiences, some of which were long lasting. Joshua understands the concept that sometimes our brains need to learn to reset and function more effectively while working on coping and resolving current and past traumatic experiences.

Joshua is also the Office Manager for RCCC.  If you have any questions on anything related to RCCC or any of its therapists or services, please contact him and he will ensure that the appropriate therapist returns your call or email promptly.

Joshua Prieb

Neurofeedback Technician/

Practice Manager

© 2020 Restoring Connections Counseling Center, PLLC