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.

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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

Merry Capozzolo, LMHCA
Clinician

Merry was a few years into her career as a bank manager when she decided to follow her heart and make a change. Starting in 2011, Merry volunteered at Camp Erin, an annual camp for grieving children. She eventually began volunteering at various organizations facilitating grief support groups for children, adolescents, and adults. For three years, Merry served as the Teen Coordinator at Our TreeHouse, Whatcom County’s resource for bereaved children and their families. Merry graduated from Western Washington University’s competitive Mental Health Counseling graduate program, where she gained invaluable experience at an internship in community mental health.

Merry has years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults facing loss, life transitions, and role changes in the aftermath of trauma and grief. Through witnessing the pain that loss can cause, Merry has learned the significance of our connections with others. She is passionate about helping couples, families, and individuals establish and maintain secure bonds in their relationships.

Merry has always been drawn to attachment-based therapy because of its focus on what matters most in our lives and to our mental health: our close bonds with others. This holds true across identities, cultures, and continents. Emotionally Focused Therapy guides all of Merry’s therapeutic work. She believes that relationships are foundational to our existence and that being aware of, understanding, and regulating our emotions are essential to healthy relationships with ourselves and others.

Merry demonstrates cultural humility in the person-centered, collaborative, trauma-informed framework that underlies her practice. Merry looks forward to continuing her training in Emotionally Focused Therapy. She is a lover of cats, kindness, and the natural beauty of the PNW.

Merry’s education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Western Washington University 2019

  • Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling, Western Washington University 2021

Licensing:

  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate in Washington: MC61191565

Joshua Prieb
Practice Manager

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Joshua is the Practice Manager for RCCC and handles all billing issues.  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.