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Vancouver Washington is one of the larger urban areas in the Pacific Northwest, making it an ideal target area for drug distribution and use. Exercises to eradicate the easy access of drugs are proving to be an uphill battle for law enforcement and other government agencies. Statistics show that Vancouver Washington has among the highest rates of methamphetamine seizures over the last year alone. In 2003, about 205.7 kilograms was seized compared to 2010 where about 1938.6 kilograms was seized. With the increase in availability of drugs on the streets, and cheaper prices, drug traffickers are becoming bolder in their approach to do business. Given the recent drug seizures, it is apparent that Vancouver does have a serious drug problem, which has always been a concern for the state authorities. However, with the $50 million budget given in 2003 to help deal with this problem, very little positive results were achieved, causing the government to make decisions to increase its Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) budget to $151.4 million in 2006. The Vancouver Drug Rehab agencies are working together to help provide the necessary support for those seeking to beat the drug addiction, and if you know of someone who needs help, visiting our website for further information would be a step in the right direction.
Judy Canter
Judy Canter
Vancouver, WA 98663

As a mental health professional, what types of services do you offer?

I offer individual, family and couple therapy to adults. I do consultation with individuals and families around care giving. I am a geriatric specialist so I work with older adults around aging and end of life issues. I do not work with children. I am a Medicare provider.

What issues do you specify treatment for?

People normally call me when they are having difficulty coping but seeking treatment for mental health symptoms is a personal matter. I have families call me to discuss challenges and issues around care giving. I like to be proactive and when working with families around caring for their loved ones working with them before things are in crisis is preferred but this is not the normal.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

People come to see me to get information to help them cope better with the symptoms they are experiencing. I work to help people get better insight into what they are feeling and help them implement change in their thinking and behaviors if they choose. I do not fix anyone but help people look at their issues and situations through a different cognitive lens. 

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering from either and/or both?

I do work with older adults that have substance abuse problems but it is not my specialty. There are very poor resources in this area (Vancouver, WA) for older adults seeking treatment as the programs here that accept lower income individuals (medicare) are not geared toward this population. I would like to see a new program either intertwined with the current substance abuse program or stand alone that addresses the needs of older adults that are struggling with substance abuse. I have not had the time to advocate for this as strongly as I would like too.

Judy Canter operates her private practice in Vancouver, Washington. If you are interested in contacting Judy about her service, please call (360) 567-4595.

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Judy Canter
300 East 37th St.
Vancouver, WA 98663
Kevin Tomlin
Kevin Tomlin
Vancouver, WA 98660

What types of services do you offer? What issues do you specify treatment for?

I provide access to therapy for anyone who reaches out to me. Sometimes I connect people to other resources which specialize in the specific problems they are having. Other times, my own areas of expertise allow me to engage in individual psychotherapy with that person.  

My specialties include:

1. Individuals struggling with substance-related issues.

2. Friends or loved ones of individuals struggling with substance-related issues.

3. Spiritual and/or religious issues.

4. College-related challenges (from undergraduate through PhD work, from application through graduation.)

What therapy modalities do you use in your practices?

"It is the relationship that heals."  This is a saying which goes around therapy rooms frequently.  My own experience of receiving and giving therapy backs up this principle. Inspired by good therapy experience, I work hard to continually hone my own skills in providing a safe, confidential, and radically non-judgmental therapeutic environment. This helps foster interpersonal connection--the "active ingredient" of any good therapy relationship. My role as this kind of psychotherapist includes being proficient in the following technical modalities:


*Mindfulness/Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

*Family Systems


*12-step Facilitation

*Ignatian (Jesuit Catholic) Spirituality

Each of these modalities represent a specific skillset from which I can draw upon when we work together in developing a plan to meet your own goals. The most important aspect of these modalities is for me to remember that the client is the expert in their own lives--I simply bring some skills and perspectives to help the client reach their goals. We use what is of benefit and leave the rest.

When should one seek treatment?

There is no time like the present. I've found that most of the time folks seek treatment when they've reached a "last straw" of some sort. This does not have to always be true. I strongly advocate for reaching out to a counselor even if there's ambivalence or uncertainty about seeking treatment--good clinicians can help discern whether treatment is the right way to go. This does not have to be a decision made in isolation. I've found some of my most rewarding experiences as a clinician have been that first moment of contact when someone makes the heroic decision to reach out for help.

What relationships exist between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

I work hard to emphasize substance abuse in the context of mental health in general--seeing it as a symptom of a much deeper issue waiting to be revealed. Thus, recovering from the symptom of substance abuse serves as the beginning of the long journey home to healing, wholeness and a fulfilling life.

Kevin Tomlin is a Counselor in Vancouver, Washington, specializing in substance-related issues. For more information regarding Kevin’s services, please call (253) 245-3846.

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Kevin Tomlin
1104 Main St. #550-A
Vancouver, WA 98660
Amanda Lepley
Amanda Lepley
Vancouver, WA 98661

What types of services do you offer?

Outpatient, individual, group, couples and family therapy starting at age 5.

What issues do you specify treatment for?

I treat a variety of symptoms:  

  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Developmental Delay
  • Depression
  • Stress Management
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Relationship Issues
  • Life Transitions
  • Anger Management
  • Personal Growth/lLife Coaching
  • Women's Issues
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Parenting Strategies
  • Family Conflicts
  • Sibling Conflicts
  • Divorced/Blended Families
  • Traumatic grief
  • Crisis intervention
  • Suicidal

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

Cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral learning, relaxation training, psycho-education, anger management, trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy, crisis intervention, problem solving, parenting, behavioral management, activities of daily living, rational emotive behavioral therapy and emotional regulation, mindfulness and distress tolerance as seen in dialectical behavioral therapy and EAGALA- equine/ horse therapy. 

When should one seek treatment?

When it is interfering with the persons ability to function and/or ability to be happy with the way life is going for them. 

Why should someone choose to come to your practice? 

I have a laid back personality, open to feedback to make sure the client is getting there needs met and I do a lot of education so that the client can be successful in overcoming there mental health challenges.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?

I have limited training in substance abuse treatment approaches, but I have had a few clients that alcohol was starting to be an issues. we talk about if they are able to find the emotional connection to the drinking- like what is triggering them to drink and then we talk about ways to cope with those emotions in a healthy manner. We also would find sober activities or if unable to limit or control drinking then I refer to AA/12 step community mtgs.

Amanda is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor at Balance, Awareness and Healing, LLC in Vancouver, Washington. If you are interested in her services, please call her office at (360) 600-5733. 


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Amanda Lepley
650 Officers Row
Vancouver, WA 98661
Jeanne L. Meyer
Jeanne L. Meyer
Vancouver, WA 98662
  1. What types of services do you offer?


  3. Choices Counseling is a private practice that offers individual, couples and group counseling. In addition, I provide clinical supervision for other counselors and case managers.


  5. What issues do you specify treatment for?


  7. I work with problems ranging from mild anxiety and relationship problems all the way to severe personality disorders and psychotic disorders. I also specialize in the GLBTQ community.  I work with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health problems. I help people who are in recovery from addiction in its many forms deal with the mental health problems that make recovery so difficult.

  8. What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

  9. I use solution focused, goal oriented therapy. We develop a treatment plan based on the outcomes you are looking for and periodically check to see our progress in achieving these goals, I use Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) for a number of problems including childhood and adult physical, sexual and emotional abuse; psychological problems related to trauma such as an accident; physical pain that has an emotional component; and even cravings. I also use Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) in individual, couples and group counseling to help people learn new skills to manage life problems. For people in 12 Steps programs, I integrate the steps into treatment to support recovery.


  11. When should one seek treatment?


  13. I believe people should seek treatment when they no longer have the tools or the knowledge to solve their life problems in a healthy and successful way. Many of us were raised without being taught basic skills in dealing with our emotions, relationships with other people and problems life throws at us.  We develop survival skills that worked in a dysfunctional situation, but don’t work outside that environment. We keep doing the same thing over and over even though it does not work anymore. We may trust untrustworthy people and distrust people who are trustworthy.  


  15. Why should someone choose to come to your practice?


  17. I am one of the few therapists who understands recovery which integrates traditional mental health and substance abuse treatment. Many providers think that people should work on their substance abuse with one counselor and their mental health with another. Then the client is expected to know how to integrate this information on their own.  

  18. I believe that you have the answers to your problems. I cannot tell you what your Path is, but I can help you find and walk it.  I provide an opportunity to take advantage of the knowledge, skills and experience that I have in order to improve your life.  I believe that you are a spiritual being having a human experience. Connecting with our unique human spirit, we will find the energy and guidance we need to navigate this life.


  20. What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?


  22. If someone has a problem with a traditional mental health disorder like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, etc and they use substances, they are sabotaging themselves in their recovery. If they take medication for their disorder, they are attempting to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain. Putting another substance in their bodies that also effects their brain counteracts any good the medication might provide.  


  24. Many times people will use substances to “medicate” mental health problems.  It’s not really medication though.  Medication is prescribed, provided for and monitored by professionals.  Medicine is standardized and controlled so people know what and how much of the active ingredient they are getting. That said, generally speaking it is the right idea. There is something wrong with their brain chemistry. It is just the wrong chemical. If you break out in handcuffs every time you use a substance, the side effects are too severe. It’s time to try something else.


  26. Conversely, many many people in recovery from alcohol and other addiction are reluctant to get help with any mental health problems that arise when they stop using. People involved in 12 Step programs often think if they work the steps hard enough everything will resolve itself. Sometimes that is true. Sometimes it is not. If a person in recovery is having a hard time staying abstinent or is miserable no matter how well they work the program, something else is going on. It is ok to get “outside” help. People may think that taking psychiatric medication goes against their recovery program. I disagree. Not everyone needs medication, but if they do, then for Pete’s sake, they should see a prescriber and take it.


  28. For 25 years, I have been working to help the mental health and addiction treatment providers to understand that even if they think they can separate the issues, they cannot. Every mental health counselor has worked with someone with a substance abuse problem. Every substance abuse counselor has worked with someone with a mental health disorder. In that vein, I provide education and consultation with other treatment providers in order to make sure clients are getting the best care possible. I have tools to help people identify triggers for both mental disorders and addiction.  One of the tools I have developed is a Relapse Cycle that integrates mental health and substance abuse recovery.  I help people understand what is happening to them and the options for treatment. I provide individual, couples and group counseling to provide education, support, relapse prevention and guidance in addressing the whole person.


  30. Jeanne is a Mental Health Counselor and Clinical Supervisor who runs her private practice, Choices Counseling, out of Vancouver, Washington. If you are interested in her services, please call her at (360) 949-2524.

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Jeanne L. Meyer
8100 NE Parkway Dr. Suite 25
Vancouver, WA 98662
Brandy An Coffee Marks
Brandy An Coffee Marks
Vancouver, WA 98661

What types of services do you offer?

Counseling, face-to-face individuals and couples, life skills and parenting groups, online with VSee.


What issues do you specify treatment for?

Anger, anxiety, addiction behavior, beliefs, depression, emotions, faith, forgiveness, managing finances, grief, body, mind and soul healing, and a number of other common problems people face daily.

What therapy modalities do you use in your practice?

Cognitive-behavioral and relational therapy as well as prayer and education.

When should one seek mental health treatment?

When an individual or couple cannot solve the problem on their own and what they're doing isn't working, then it's time to seek help.

Why should someone choose to come to your practice?

Many of the problems I see in counseling I've experienced (anger, anxiety, addiction, faulty beliefs, depression and difficuty expressing myself and my emotions effectively, etc.) and I have learned to deal with these effectively most of the time. And I'm good at bringing together all the issues and problem solving solutions.

What relationship exists between mental health and substance abuse? What services do you provide for someone suffering with either and/or both?  

The relationship between the two is a complex issue but, the heart of the matter is, while people may use a substance, initially for the feel-good experience, they stay with it because it helps them cope with and/or cover up other problems. To help someone suffering with either one of these issues I may use individual counsel,  mentoring, and/or group work. Whichever modality is chosen depends on the individual.

Brandy is a licensed mental health and biblical counselor with her private practice in Vancouver, WA. Learn more about Brandy’s mental health services by calling her office at 360-696-8909.

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Brandy An Coffee Marks Featured
Brandy An Coffee Marks
3829 E 18th Street
Vancouver, WA 98661
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