Jennifer StoakesThe foundation of my work as a psychotherapist comes from two main sources; Aikido and Existential – Phenomenological Psychology.

Aikido is a non-violent conflict resolution oriented martial art developed in Japan. Existential-​Phenomenological psychology has its roots in Europe and blends aspects of traditional psychoanalytic theory with a philosophical lens toward how we make meaning of our lives.

In my psychotherapy practice these two studies provide me with a balance of Eastern and Western systems of viewing what it is to be human. They both offer ways to ethically and effectively engage in relationship with yourself and everyone around you. Both studies emphasize holding theories or techniques in a way that allows authenticity to play the central role. They both recognize that life happens in relationship and in a co-created space.

One of the reasons I love working with children is that they demand authenticity. If they feel coerced in any way they will react with distance – sometimes emotionally, sometimes energetically, and sometimes physically. Aikido and Existential-​Phenomenological Psychology provide me with tools needed to enter into an honest process of healing with a child and their parent(s).

In 2017 I had the delightful experience of encountering the work of Gordon Neufeld, which is the clearest model of what I have been practicing all these years by integrating Aikido and Existential-Phenomenological psychology. Neufeld created an attachment-based developmental approach to working with and supporting children and parents. As I have been learning his language and model this has also woven into my work. His imagery and concepts parallel Aikido and Existential-Phenomenological Psychology in a beautiful, inspiring way.

My education and experience

I have over 20 years of experience working with children and families in a variety of settings, including child care work, leading new mom’s groups, working in a school for homeless children, working in a psychotherapy clinic for children, teaching Aikido to children ages 4 – 12, parenting and the individual work in my own practice.

I have a history of volunteering in various clinical settings; The Psychotherapy Cooperative, Jumping Mouse in Port Townsend, The King County Crisis Line to name a few. My current volunteer work is focused on teaching Aikido to children.

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Washington. I hold a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Seattle University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University. I have been studying Aikido since 1999 and have achieved the level of fourth degree black belt. I continually attend workshops and lectures in order to expand my knowledge and skill. I also keep close ties with mentors who have many years of experience and support my work.

Professional Affiliations/Memberships

Association for Play Therapy Ass

C.G. Jung Society, Seattle

Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study; Child Therapy Collective

Seattle Counselor’s Association

Two Cranes Aikido

If you are curious about the practice of Aikido this is a good website. If you have questions about Aikido or how I blend Aikido with psychotherapy, please give me a call or send me an email.

“We are benefiting so much from the support of therapy and are really thankful to have found you!”

—Mother of a 4 year old boy

“Your help, reassurance, and guidance through this have been integral to our family not losing its collective mind.”

—Parent of a 4 year old child

“Thank you for everything you’ve taught me and my son. You have really taught me how important it is to keep reconnecting with my child.  All I have to do is look at him and I see all you have given us.”

—Mom of 6 year old child

“Thank you for everything Jennifer. I will miss seeing you a lot.”

—7 year old child

“Thank you for helping me with my behavior. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

—8 year old child

“Our deepest thanks to you! Our family is stronger, our boy happier!”

—Parents of 5 year old child

“Life continues with all of it’s beautiful complexities. Thank you for all the kind work that you do, and have done for our family.”

—Parents of 5 year old child