Kaitlyn Braile, LMHC, SUDP
Kaitlyn received her training at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology where she developed a psychodynamic approach to counseling. Most recently she worked in a community mental health setting serving individuals who struggle with both mental illness and chemical dependency issues. Through this work, she incorporated DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to her existing psychodynamic perspective, all of which inform her work at APA. Kaitlyn has a strong passion for working in the intersection of mental health and substance use issues, and has a strong admiration for those who strive toward healing.
Amy’s inspiration to work with people began with her experience as a VISTA Volunteer on the Winnebago Indian Reservation in 1968. She later completed her Bachelor’s degree in Social Psychology, and went on to develop and direct a Women’s Resource Center for the YWCA. In 1978, she became the Director of the Alcohol Treatment Program for the Tulalip Tribes. As a part of a unique Masters Program through Goddard College, Amy mentored and trained with leading psychiatrists and psychologists in Gestalt Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Humanistic Psychology and Psychoanalysis. Most recently Amy has trained with experts in the field of Mindfulness Meditation for Relapse Prevention and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
She has had a thriving private therapy practice in Seattle since 1987. She is licensed as a Chemical Dependency Professional and Certified Counselor with the State of Washington. She has been providing group and individual therapy at A Positive Alternative since 1998 and guiding and supervising our clinical staff since 2008.
Andrea St. Clair, MA, SUDP
Client Care Coordinator
Andrea began her work as a Chemical Dependency counselor in 1990 after completing the Addiction Studies Program at Seattle University. She has a BA in Holistic Psychology and Counseling from Antioch University and a MA in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University. She draws from Person Centered and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapies to support clients in achieving well being and the quality of life they desire.
Her dedication to respectful holistic treatment and her quest for better ways to meet client needs led Andrea to a Positive Alternative. She facilitates groups, provides individual therapy, and is often the first person individuals speak with when they call A.P.A. for information about our program. Her ability to connect, offer compassion, and present a thorough picture of what may best suit their needs is reassuring to callers who often feel vulnerable when seeking help. This initial contact opens the door to treatment and desired change. She has been providing group and individual counseling and working as resources coordinator at A Positive Alternative since 2009.
Kimberly Hamilton, LMHC, SUDP
Men’s Program Counselor
Kimberly received her BA from the University of Washington and subsequently spent almost 20 years in the insurance industry. Her passion for working with people in recovery began when she started volunteering at the Men’s Recovery Program with Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission in 2010. This inspired her to pursue a Counseling Psychology MA at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. After graduating, she continued her work in the recovery community doing psychodynamic, relational counseling and process group work with men in individual treatment and in groups. Kimberly believes in the integrative approach to recovery which recognizes the importance of taking care of the mind as well as the body. Kimberly began with APA in September of 2018, and is pleased to be working with the Men’s Program. She believes that our past shapes us but does not permanently define us. In her work, she encourages clients to discover the person they have not yet become but hope to be.
Clara Sherman SUDPT
Women’s Program Counselor
Clara received her training through Naropa University. Her approach to mental health is rooted in mindfulness, transpersonal and somatic awareness. She incorporates elements of Internal Family Systems and Gestalt into her work with clients. She has a passion to help others gain awareness about themselves and, in doing so, find more freedom to create more meaningful and connected lives. A profound piece of the journey of sobriety is rediscovering the self, and she is honored to walk with those on this path at APA.
Allison Gutsher, LMHCA, SUDPT
Women’s Program Counselor and Polyvagal Facilitator
In 2020 Allison returned to Seattle after many years living abroad and embarked on a new career path studying a masters in Counseling Psychology at Bastyr University. She chose Bastyr’s program due to its focus on whole-person healing. Allison works from a holistic, trauma-informed lens to offer a unique combination of talk and somatic therapy. Her work helps draw clients back to the body to tap into its innate wisdom and healing capabilities. Allison’s talk therapy approach draws primarily from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Internal Family Systems and Attachment Theory with a focus on mindfulness. Her somatic offerings are informed by Therapeutic Yoga, Polyvagal Theory, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. Through compassionate inquiry, Allison supports clients to get to know and befriend their nervous systems and parts of self in order to build new pathways toward connection and safety. She facilitates a safe, supportive, and interactive space in which clients can access their inner source of strength and wholeness, moving toward embodying a value-driven life.
Julie Beach, MA, SUDPT
Julie’s experience in trauma informed SUD counseling at multiple treatment levels for individuals, groups, and families includes motivational strategies, dual-diagnosis work, and mental health advocacy. Julie repurposed her life after 20 years in the business world by embarking on a personal healing journey that led to a Master’s degree in Depth Psychology-Marriage and Family Counseling from Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Within her studies she discovered a love for research and writing that has led to several publications. Julie is dedicated to the field of substance use treatment through her own work in recovery, yogic studies, emotional regulation with EFT (tapping), and a certification in hypnotherapy. Working with clients to explore repurposing substance use into greater life satisfaction brings clients into direct contact with Julie’s life philosophy, courtesy of Stephen Hawking, “Intelligence is the ability to change”.
Leading the charge of change in today’s high-tech world includes A Positive Alternative’s progressive IOP Telehealth program. Julie’s work at APA includes SUD services for clients in remote WA locations or those who are otherwise unable to travel to our Seattle location. Julie holds a standing invitation for you to feel invited into the freedom of APA’s Telehealth IOP options.
A WORD of GRATITUDE for the FOUNDER
Catherine Trestrail founded A Positive Alternative in 1990 under the name of Women’s Recovery Center and pioneered the use of a number of critically different approaches to substance use treatment.
Since the outpatient treatment center’s inception, Catherine advocated gender specific treatment and an effective holistic approach that doesn’t involve AA or 12-step as it’s foundation. By holding firm in her belief that AA and 12-step was simply one approach to recovery and not the only or best for everyone, she helped set the stage for expanding views on treatment in the entire recovery community.
Without her courage, at a time when her views were considered controversial, our clinical staff would not have been able to successfully serve the hundreds of clients who sought an outpatient treatment center for their care.
Much appreciation for her contributions.
“I like the format of programs. I like the groups of women in the program. Our facilitator, Amy, is amazing-very nurturing as well as informative.”