Get to know Chericka Ashmann
I started my career assisting those battling chemical dependency, where I observed a prevalent history of profound early-life events among individuals. This shifted my focus to toddlers and children impacted by sexual assault. My journey continued through various stages of the human experience, concluding with providing in-home care to seniors at the end of life. After a year in this role, I recognized the profound impact of untreated trauma on creating maladaptive behaviors and chronic diseases leading to early death.
This realization prompted a shift in my professional goals towards addressing trauma as the root cause of debilitating mental and physical symptoms. Drawing on personal experience with trauma and recovery, I pursued EMDR and incorporated it into my private practice. The results have been remarkable, witnessing individuals overcoming trauma-related challenges within a relatively short time. People on disability returned to work, those with chronic illnesses went into remission, and individuals dependent on substances conquered their urges. Families, once detached, forged new and healthy connections, leaving the past behind.
Healthcare professionals don't always experience the level of comfort, seeking therapy, that they create for their own clients. Furthermore, having a wide knowledge base concerning mental health and a broader range of coping skills than the general population, healthcare professionals sometimes think they must "stay strong," and handle their personal experiences on their own. Sometimes, healthcare professionals compare their lives to those of their clients and minimize their own personal needs. This can lead to suffering in silence.
Treating professionals has a direct impact on the way services are provided on a larger scale. I am particularly interested in assisting practitioners with reprocessing events and gaining awareness around what they bring to the table in terms of treating others. In addition, I enjoy working with elite athletes and those suffering from chronic medical conditions. I am passionate about empowering others to heal and employing the brain as the major tool to do so.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
- Washington State Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) LW60169881
- WAC Approved Clinical Supervisor - State of Washington
- Bachelor of Arts - Chemical Dependency University of Central Oklahoma 1998
- Master of Social Work (MSW) University of Oklahoma, 2002
- Doctor of Social Work (DSW) University of Southern California - 2020
- Mental Health Professional (MHP)
- Child Mental Health Specialist (CMHS)
- Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP)
- Member - National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
- Member - EMDR International Association (EMDRIA)
- Member - International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP)
Dedicated to advancing awareness and understanding of trauma, my mission is to educate diverse populations and actively eliminate barriers, ensuring individuals receive a superior standard of care. With over 25 years of experience in social work, encompassing inpatient and outpatient mental health settings, child welfare, human services, justice systems, youth and adult drop-in centers, medical settings, telehealth, and private practice, I am committed to fostering a society where the impact of trauma is recognized and addressed effectively, promoting the well-being of all.
Envisioning a future where comprehensive trauma education is universally embraced, my vision is a world free from the constraints that impede individuals from accessing top-tier care. By dismantling systemic barriers, we aspire to create an environment where every person, regardless of background, receives the high-quality support they deserve, fostering a community of resilience, empathy, and holistic well-being.
“Trauma is an injury, not an illness.”
A plethora of evidence-based therapy approaches utilized in the field of mental health can be transformative; however, I have learned that directly targeting past trauma can assist individuals in achieving recovery more quickly with long-lasting outcomes. I am solution-focused and results-oriented by nature. I strive to keep sessions productive and flexible. With that said, I will work at your pace and I will challenge you to move forward. I will interweave several theoretical approaches such as, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Integrative Therapy, Guided Imagery, Relaxation techniques, and elements of several other approaches in prepping you for EMDR.
I tend to work with people more intensively in the beginning to bring them to higher state of functioning and emotional stability with the goal of getting them to a maintenance phase more quickly. I find this to be more cost-effective, as individuals progress through therapy and discover more about how EMDR works, they naturally begin doing more of the legwork on their own time. I am also selective with cases and purposely keep a smaller caseload to provide limited supportive services outside of sessions.
I do not accept insurance. I strongly believe that therapy is a personal investment with many potential benefits and should be taken seriously. I find that people feel obligated to their mental health care when they are paying out-of-pocket which is why I offer a sliding fee scale. It also allows for individuals with medicaid/medicare coverage to access EMDR. Many public health care agencies do not offer this type of therapy, as it is very specific with stringent requirements to maintain. Other considerations for choosing not to participate with insurance programs include reimbursement rates for social workers being amongst the lowest for all mental health providers. Furthermore, pre-existing condition clauses can negatively impact individuals, disqualifying them from health plans or certain benefits. With that said, I am happy to provide you with invoices for any reimbursement purposes; however, I do not contact insurance companies as it is time consuming.