Andrea Baker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Washington and a Nationally Certified Counselor. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Puget Sound and her Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling and Certified School Counseling from Central Washington University. Following graduation she spent several years working in community mental health in Kittitas County, earning additional certifications as a Mental Health Professional and a Child Mental Health Specialist. Furthermore, she was trained in a number of evidence-based therapies such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Process Therapy, Trauma-Focused CBT, Triple P, Alternatives for Families CBT,
and Youth Mental Health First Aid.
During her time in community mental health she became aware of the need for a more holistic approach to mental health that is not addressed by many treatment models. She started to study Yoga and Ayurveda as a way to find more tools to support her clients need for the incorporation all elements of life into their healing process (mind, body, spirit/soul). Andrea has a long history practicing Yoga, starting at age 13 to heal hip and back complications stemming from medical procedures as an infant. She has completed formal training through YogaFit, receiving her 200 YRT along with an additional 140 hour
Trauma Sensitive Teacher Training certification.
Yoga and Ayurveda are considered to be bottom-up approaches, which entails working with the body/breath/spirit to help the mind gain more clarity. They are a wonderful compliment to the top-down approach of most standard Cognitive Behavior therapies, which entail working largely with our thoughts to change the way we feel. Too often we are told to “just focus on being grateful,” or to “think about it more positively,” which feels incredibly invalidating and does not seem to stick. Andrea does not believe we can “will ourselves” to feel better. Rather, learning to integrate lifestyle changes and specific yoga skills and strategies enables us to think more clearly and gain better perspective on our challenges. It also allows us to move from being reactive, such as always feeling on edge or waiting for the next shoe to drop and feeling emotionally unstable, to being an observer and proactive on how we handle challenges. There is a strong body of neuroscientific literature that has demonstrated the power of yoga, mindfulness, and meditation in helping establish good mental health.
Andrea’s counseling philosophy is three-fold: person-centered, believing that each individual has deep inner wisdom and gifts; solution-focused, providing practical tools; and existential, noting that finding meaning in our lives provides deep direction and support during challenging times. This philosophy is informed by Andrea’s own experience with being on the receiving end of counseling, as she incorporates what she has learned as a patient into her practice.
Prior to becoming a mental health therapist, Andrea spent years working various jobs largely focused on the outdoor recreation and restaurant industries. She continues to derive much joy from her passions and play of snowboarding, snowskating, splitboarding, mountain biking, hiking, paddle boarding, cooking, and her practices in meditation and yoga. When not
out adventuring she is often found forcibly snuggling on of her three cats, reading and working around her property
with her husband.