STACE PARLEN, LMFT
They | Them | Their
I believe that our stories are influenced by messages we receive from society and our families of origin and we organize our experiences and shape our behavior around these stories. This belief is informed by my work with transgender youth, adults, and their families, as well as working with individuals and families going through other major life transitions. Often the stories we tell include chapters detailing our perceived flaws and the flaws of others, which contributes to feelings of shame and hopelessness and often results in, blaming, problem-saturated stories, and disconnection. These chapters then turn into complete novels, which can evolve into a long series. I believe we have alternate stories that exist, but are not noticed. And it is in this unnoticing that the chapters develop into novels and the novels into a series. We get stuck and we become a one-dimensional character and we see those closest to us as one-dimensional characters. Using narrative therapy, I facilitate and create space for exploration of my clients' stories while challenging assumptions and encouraging my clients to think about their concerns from different perspectives. I also incorporate solution-focused, experiential, and intergenerational therapy interventions to build on strengths, establish attainable goals, and uncover family patterns of interactions that may be influencing current distress.
I am committed to equity in relationships, as I believe equitable relationships are essential to establishing and maintaining healthy and valued relationships. I believe in fostering a shared sense of community, responsibility, and social consciousness with the goal of valuing relationships and empowering individuals and families. In order to foster such a community and create a space of healing and increased awareness, it is vital to recognize how our experiences and perspectives are shaped by the interactions of our family legacies, intimate relationships, social climate, societal expectations and different aspects of our identities including, but not limited to our race, gender, nationality, age, sexual orientation, religion, body type, ability, and socio-economic status. In addition to my work with transgender youth, adults and families, I am body positive, polyam and kink friendly, and specialize in working with queer, transgender/non-binary, and LGB individuals, couples/relationships, and families.
In addition to therapy, I provide trainings for businesses, agencies, schools, and community member about the needs of transgender, non-binary, and queer individuals and families. I also am an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education & Counseling, where I work with students to develop practical skills in family and relationship counseling, as well as increasing competency in supporting transgender individuals and families.
EDUCATION & BACKGROUND
I received a BA in Psychology from the University California Santa Cruz. I then pursued a degree in Exotic Animal Training and Management through the EATM program at Moorpark College in 2009. My work with animal attachment and bonding influenced my perspective on human interactions and relationships and sparked my journey to becoming a marriage, relationship and family therapist. I received my Masters degree in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy from the Lewis & Clark College in 2015.
Throughout my graduate studies I participated in workshops and trainings to educate mental health clinicians and students about LGBTQ concerns. My past work for TransActive Gender Center included counseling transgender youth and their families in both personalized counseling and group counseling settings.
Previously, my office was located at Brave Space where the populations served were primarily transgender communities, and their loved ones. I have moved my practice to the Clinton/Division neighborhood to be accessible to all LGBTQ communities. I also welcome those who do not identify as LGBTQ.