“I see it as my responsibility, and I am passionate about, assisting my clients in building trust within themselves.”

—Serena Stark, LSWAIC

Serena’s Areas of Focus

Serena offers both in-person and online therapy in Washington.

About Serena

Serena is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker Associate and has worked with individuals who have experienced gender-based violence through community centers, houseless shelters, and therapy. She has worked in residential and partial hospitalization levels of care with a focus on eating disorders and such life experiences as trauma, a deep sense of shame, autism spectrum disorder experiences, and struggles with a sense of identity, all of which often accompany eating disorders.

Serena incorporates a Health at Every Size (HAES) approach and engagement with food, exercise, and body image. She also uses trauma-informed and strength-based approaches and elements from Polyvagal Theory, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Feminist Theory, and Radically Open Dialectal Behavior Therapy (RODBT). She believes this helps build awareness of her client’s physiological, emotional, and mental responses to their surroundings.

Her approach to therapy encompasses the belief that we each have a unique and powerful self that deserves to be seen, heard, and supported. She creates a sense of trust, safety, and relatability in her sessions with clients, using a non-judgemental and warm perspective. Serena identifies with the LGBTQIA+ community and enjoys working with clients also in the community.

In her free time, Serena loves painting, gardening, making kombucha, and going on rainy hikes with her dog. She also enjoys cozy days inside with a mug of tea or coffee, her two cats, and a good book.

Get to Know Serena

Training & Education

Serena earned her BA in Spanish and her BS in Human Development and Family Sciences from Oregon State University. She received her Master of Social Work from Columbia University in the City of New York.

At OptimalLife Wellness, Serena’s work is supervised by Lara Symonds, MA, LMFT, DCEP and Stefanie Curran, LMHC.