Wendy J. Biss
My theoretical orientation is primarily stems from an existential and constructivist perspective. Namely I help people find meaning and hope within misery. I provide ongoing compassionate care that pushes people towards utilizing and exploring their own agency. I explore how the past informs current patterns and can be rewritten to better enhance the present. Additionally, I draw heavily upon Dialectical Behavior Therapy to help individuals learn skills in multiple areas to improve daily life as well as Exposure Therapy to help individuals face their fear in a loving and compassionate manner. Principles of mindfulness and acceptance are widely practiced in my daily and professional life.
When treating trauma I typically use an empirically supported treatments, such as Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET) or most commonly Cognitive Processing Therapy for Trauma (CPT). Both draw upon exposure based desensitization approaches to treating trauma. However, CPT also combines aspects of deconstructing the narratives around the trauma. This approach is in line with my own therapeutic orientation and helps clients logically manage their emotions and thoughts related to traumatic experiences.
I was trained in a very affirming and diverse program of study within my doctoral programs and appreciation and understanding of diversity was highly emphasized. I take very seriously my commitment to improving the lives of others, particularly those who are underserved within medical and larger communities. I was specifically trained in regards to issues of diversity, particularly race/ethnicity, class, immigration status, disability status, gender, sexual identity and gender identity concerns. An area that I particularly love is helping others find and accept their own struggles with identity.
I provide individual and family therapy to adults and adolescents as well as couples therapy with adults. My areas of specialty include: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer affirming and knowledgeable therapy, survivors of trauma and abuse, reducing self injury, young adults, career and disability related issues, and reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.
In terms of my credentials, I graduated with honors and a BA in Psychology with a minor in Adolescent Criminal Justice from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2000. Then I relocated to Virginia to attend The College of William and Mary and graduated with a MA in Psychology in 2002. After which, I then moved to Tennessee to complete my PhD in Counseling Psychology from The University of Memphis in 2006. As part of completing my Doctorate in Counseling Psychology, I attended my Pre-Doctoral Internship at The University of Missouri-Columbia, which was accredited by the APPIC/APA. Finally, I made one further move West and completed my Post-Doctoral Residency at The University of Wyoming in Laramie in 2007, which was also credentialled through APPIC. That same year, I was licensed as an independent psychologist in Washington. Thus, my training experiences have been very broad and inclusive across a number of regions within the United States.
I have also published and presented on a number of concerns. My publications largely are related to professional journals and book chapters on same-sex relationship and sexual satisfaction. My presentations have been varied. However, independent research projects that I have presented include the following topics: (1) Personality Typology and Beliefs in the Transpersonal, (2) Memory Loss associated with Long-Term Anti-psychotic Use, (3) Primed Responses related to Drug Use in College Students and (4) Qualitative Study of Curiosity. I have also presented to campus and community organizations on: (1) Safe Zone Training, (2) Relationship Violence among LGBT individuals, (3) Stress Management, (4) Suicide Prevention, (5) Test Taking Anxiety, (6) Relationship & Sexual Communication, and (7) Finding the Wisdom in Grief and Loss.