Desert Garden Therapy

Providing children, teens and parents individual and family counseling in the Tri-Cities, Washington.

Plants in the desert all have adapted to thrive based on their unique environment. 

Some, like succulents, coated themselves with a shiny surface to keep every bit of the moisture in. Cacti developed prickles to keep predators away.  Others, like the mesquite tree, dig deep, with very long roots to keep grounded.  Rolling tumbleweeds do just the opposite and let go, cartwheeling themselves freely to disperse their seeds. 

Each one adds their uniqueness and beauty to the complex interweb of the ecosystem.

Just like plants, people have learned to thrive based on their environments.

Each person’s personality and behaviors, seen from this ecological perspective, make sense, and can be seen as strengths to use, or to determine what needs to adapt when environments shift.

Kristina at Desert Garden Therapy helps children, youth, parents and families find and appreciate their uniqueness, and use their strengths to solve their toughest challenges.



Even our smallest sprouts need help growing now and then.


The teenage years are unique! They need a genuine therapist who puts the relationship first.

Parents and Families

Being a parent, just like being a kid, is as challenging as it is magical.

About Kristina


My therapeutic worldview is person-centered. This means that I believe people are the experts of their own lives, and I believe in the strength of the therapeutic relationship and the strength of my clients. I believe we are partners in the therapy process, and I will be my real self with you.

I work to give as much power to clients and families in the therapeutic process as possible. You can expect that I will explain everything and offer choices along the way. I can put on several different lenses for looking at challenges, and can utilize many different types of therapy, depending on your preferences. My style can range from structured and skills-based, to relaxed and organic, but I am most comfortable working eclectically, synthesizing several different therapies to work in a unique way with each client.


  • Fully licensed to practice therapy independently in the state of Washington (LICSW #LW61001223)
  • Registered Play Therapist (RPT), Association for Play Therapy (APT)
  • MSW, University of Southern California, mental health/clinical focus
  • BS, Psychology, Washington State University
  • TF-CBT and CBT+ trained through the
    UW Center for Anxiety & Traumatic Stress
  • DBT training, Linehan Institute


  • Current Board Member, Washington State Association for Play Therapy
  • Former Therapist, WISe Program (for children and teens with intensive mental health challenges)
  • Former Child and Family Therapist, Catholic Charities (serving children, youth and adults with a wide variety of challenges)
  • Former Advocate, Domestic Violence Services
  • Former Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator, Three Rivers Birth


  • Trauma, PTSD, and life changes
  • Sexual and physical abuse survivors
  • Parent/child attachment and communication
  • Social anxiety and self-esteem
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm
  • Toddlers and preschoolers
  • Adolescents
  • Parenting challenges
  • Pregnancy and postpartum
  • Adult women survivors of sexual or physical abuse

Therapies by Challenge

Trauma and Difficult Memories

Family Attachment and Communication

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT)

  • Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approaches specifically for families
  • Theraplay techniques
  • Family play therapy interventions

General and Social Anxiety Reduction

Depression, Suicidal Thoughts, and Self-Harming Behaviors

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxious Children (CBT+ for Anxiety)
  • Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR)
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Children (MBCT-C)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depressed Adolescents (CBT+ for Depression)
  • Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT)

Parenting Challenges, Attachment, and Childhood Behavior

  • Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT)
  • Theraplay Techniques
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approaches specifically for families
  • Parent Management Training (PMT)
  • Focusing on what is under the behaviors (anxiety, depression, trauma, attachment, etc.)

What is Play Therapy?

How can a child, who has just started to use language, possibly be expected to talk to a therapist about their problems?

The good news is they don’t have to.

Therapy for Adult Survivors

Did you have a difficult childhood that affects you as an adult? Kristina sees women survivors of childhood physical or sexual abuse for Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).

Find your way through your past trauma, to move past surviving and learn to thrive again.


Now Billing Insurance

Now in network with: Aetna, Asuris, Cigna, First Choice Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Premera, and can offer cash pay and out-of-network services as well.

Opening Hours

8:30 am – 5:00 pm
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Cancel/schedule/reschedule appointments, send and read messages, fill out requested paperwork, view and upload documents, and download billing documents, and pay bills)

Click the orange button below to see my availability and request an appointment!
Note: I am not taking new clients at the moment (see banner at top of page). I’ll update here in a few weeks/months once I’ve caught my breath!