Who we are
The Institute was created to meet a need generated by a significant deficit in the training of psychotherapists, physicians and clergy. Most providers have little to no training in sexual health. Yet sexuality is core to intimacy. In addition, sex therapists have little to no training in couple’s therapy. Yet relational dynamics effect the sexual relationship. This deficit left the public seeing uninformed providers.
The goal of the Northwest Institute on Intimacy is to make it standard of care that all people seeking psychotherapy can expect to see someone with expert training and supervision in individual, couple, sex and spiritual intimacy therapy. We believe that no matter what issue a client is presenting, whether relational, sexual, historical, circumstantial, intrapersonal or other, the therapist needs to be adept at assessment, diagnosis and treatment without a lack of training or self-of-the-therapist issue interfering with their care.
Educate various clinicians and other educators on how to share the value of diverse expressions of healthy sexuality by providing world-class courses, supervision, and tools.
Provide the public with access to impactful resources on healthy sexuality.
The board's vision and charter: We want to see a world in which all people are sexually healthy, knowing how to create the level of connection and pleasure they desire. Educators and clinicians have the knowledge and competence to teach sexual health and intimacy well, and all people recognize the role sexuality plays into our overall health and wellness. They understand the value of healthy sexuality and treat it that way.
CHERIE KATT, MA, LMHC, CIIP
Cherie Katt, MA, LMHCA, CIIP is a sex therapist who sees individuals and couples. Cherie enjoys working with people around the intersection of spirituality and sexuality, sexual shame, exploring sexuality/sexual orientation, and those that want to move from the fear based mentality around sexuality to the idea that sexuality can be and is a force for good in the world. She works with sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction/painful sex or finding pleasure and connection after abuse. In a culture of learned shame and hiddenness around sexuality, and really enjoys working with mothers around their sexual stories so that they can learn to have open dialogue and be the guide for their children they wished they would have had in their developmental years.
DEB THOMAS, MS, LMFT, CIIP
Deb Thomas, M.S., LMFT, CIIP works with families, individuals, marriage & couples.
Drawing from a variety of family therapy models, Deb generally works from a systems perspective. This means therapy will include consideration of the many social, cultural, and spiritual influences impacting you, your family, and your relationships.
Deb has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT) and is a Certified Integrated Intimacy Practitioner (CIIP) with NWIOI. Deb is also a facilitator for NWIOI's retreats in Seattle, WA.
JAMIE ABENROTH, MA, LMHC, CIIP
Jamie Abenroth, MA, LMHC is a couples and individual psychotherapist who specializes in areas of intimacy and sexuality. I am committed to engaging my clients as whole, embodied beings and helping them get to core expressions of individuality and meaning. Jamie is also committed to challenge, redefine and expand the narrow American definition of what it means to be a sexual/sensual being because hopes to free people up to experience and share the core of who they are: sensual, embodied, distinct and creative.
RACHEL LEVINE, MA, LMHC, JD
Rachel Levine, MA, LMHC, JD is a psychotherapist trained in EMDR and EFIT (Emotionally
Focused Individual Therapy) who sees individual adults. She helps clients access the innate
wisdom within themselves to participate and succeed in their own healing and transformation.
Most often, she works with folx who are at a crossroads in life, not sure how to move forward
but know they are not happy with the way life has been. They are choosing to live more
authentically into their emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual identity, creating deeper
connection with themselves and those close to them. Together, we explore the terrain of the
crossroads and find the way forward that works for them.
In Rachel’s attorney capacity, she provides advice and representation to workers and
unemployed people regarding benefits and helps prevent or rectify economic insecurity among
Washington’s working population.
You can learn more about Rachel and her work at riseupseattlecounseling.com.
DAFNA CHEN, MA, LMHC, SUDP, NCC
Dafna Chen, MA, LMHC, SUDP, NCC is a psychotherapist, substance use counselor, relationships and Intimacy therapist. She is also the founder and CEO if Pivotal Center – where clinicians focus on healing relationships between self and others who are significant in their client's lives. Dafna is a life-long student of cultures, societies, and humans. She roamed in technology companies as an engineer, worked with people struggling with substance use and their loved ones, supported people recovering from life-traumas and helped partners reignite their passion. To learn more about Dafna please see www.PivotalCenter.com.
Fredrick Zal, MA, CSE
Fredrick Zal’s sexuality education work has focused upon erotically marginalized communities, partnerships, and individuals since 2006 by "Teaching the Art within Sexual Acts" in private lessons, semi-public and private events, and workshops in Oregon, Washington, California, British Columbia, and via Zoom worldwide. They teach mindfulness, ritual, communication, consent, sexual attitudes reassessment, tantra, kink, and other embodied erotic pathways with an ever broadening understanding of power differentials, socio-political impacts over the centuries, and ways to truly dismantle what they feel in their blood and bones to be a corrupt and flawed acculturalized system. Learn more about Fredrick's work at www.TantricKink.com
JUSTIN PERE, MA, LMHC, CIIP
Justin Pere, MA, LMHC has 17 years helping individuals and couples as an Intimacy, Sex and Relationship Therapist. Specialties include low/no sexual desire or frequency, discrepancy in sexual desire, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and affair recovery. He loves what he does, so gladly invests in helping his clients. To learn more about Justin please see: www.claritycounselingseattle.com
TINA SCHERMER SELLERS, PHD, LMFT
Founder, Medical Director
Tina Schermer Sellers, PhD, LMFT, CSTS is a licensed sex and gender feminist psychotherapist, writer, researcher, supervisor, and public figure whose expertise spans sex therapy, spiritual intimacy, medicine, parenting, and social justice. Dr. Sellers' book Sex, God, & the Conservative Church – Erasing Shame from Sexual Intimacy has had a global impact exposing the damage of sexual shame. Now she speaks throughout the world on how to heal, and how to raise shame-free relationally confident children. She can be followed on Instagram @DrTinaShamelessSex