Co-Founder + Executive Director
Alexia “Lexi Giblin”, PhD, CEDS
Dr. Giblin (#PY00003876) is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Opal: Food+Body Wisdom. She is a member of Dr. Thomas Lynch’s Radically Open-Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) Senior Clinician Team. Dr. Giblin leads the integration of RO-DBT in to Opal programming. She is also currently Clinical Faculty in the University of Washington’s Psychology Department.
Dr. Giblin has worked in the mental health field in various capacities since 1995. She received her doctorate from the University of Washington in 2004 and worked in private practice for 8 years prior to founding Opal. Dr. Giblin was a Faculty Lecturer in the University of Washington’s Psychology Department from 2004-2011.
Dr. Giblin’s research focused on body image dissatisfaction and teen appearance talk. Her past clinical positions include Lead Clinician and Training Coordinator roles at Seattle Mental Health. Her contributions to the University of Washington were recognized during the yearly “Celebrating University of Washington Women” observance. She has served as Vice-President and Education Chair of the Puget Sound Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp).
Dr. Giblin is committed to making Opal a nationally recognized program offering compassionate treatment for eating disorders that is responsive to recent research. Along with her Co-Founders, Julie Church, RD, CD and Kara Bazzi, LMFT, she leads Opal with socially responsible business practices.
Co-Founder + Clinical Director
Kara Bazzi, LMFT, CEDS
Kara is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (#LF00002454) who has been focusing her work on the treatment of eating disorders since 2002. Kara has strong local ties; having graduated with honors from University of Washington with a degree in psychology and her Master’s Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University. She and Julie Church, RD founded the Eating Disorder Program at the Seattle Pacific University’s Counseling Center, a multidisciplinary program that offered comprehensive care for the undergraduate student population. From 2004 to 2011, Kara was in private practice offering individual, family, couple, and group outpatient therapy. She is an approved supervisor through the State of Washington, a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, and a member of National Eating Disorders Association, International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, and the Academy for Eating Disorders.
One of Kara’s passions and interests is working with athletes. As a former University of Washington cross country and track athlete, she continues to compete in sports, both as a passion and also to stay connected with the athletic mindset and lifestyle. She has developed the Exercise + Sport program at Opal to ensure that clients relationship to sport and exercise is an integral part of their treatment.
Senior Primary Therapist
Tahney Jones, LMHC, CEDS
Tahney is a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Washington (#LH60197103) and a member of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) as well as the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP). Tahney is locally educated, having earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Washington and her Masters degree in Psychology from Antioch University Seattle.
Tahney owned a successful private practice before moving to Opal in which she treated clients with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. In her practice, Tahney worked successfully and compassionately with both men and women, including the participation of family members, friends, and partners. In addition to her individual work, Tahney led support groups and worked with Julie Church, RD, CD, co-leading a community meal support group.
In her private practice, Tahney has effectively employed a team approach, working closely with dietitians, doctors, and other therapists to provide comprehensive, empathic treatment for her clients. In addition to her work with eating disorders, Tahney is experienced with anxiety, depression, trauma, and relational concerns. She combines a warm, client-centered approach with evidence-based cognitive behavioral strategies.
Primary Therapist + Exercise Experiential Therapist
Aleta Storch, CN, LMHC
Aleta is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Washington (#LH60855669), Certified Nutritionist (#NU60685088), and Certified Body Trust® Provider. She completed a Master’s of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Clinical Health Psychology at Bastyr University in 2016, and has been working in various roles at Opal ever since. She worked as a milieu therapist for almost 2 years, before transitioning into the milieu lead role for a brief stint, and is now a primary therapist and exercise experiential therapist for PHP, IOP and OP clients. Additionally, she is a co-leader of the weekly outpatient HAES support group at Opal. She is fiercely passionate about practicing and promoting Health at Every Size and provides care that is rooted in social justice and anti-oppression work. Outside of Opal, Aleta is usually adventuring or relaxing with her partner and her dog (Rhubarb), and often spends weekends skiing in the mountains or exploring Seattle. She is a 7 on the Enneagram.
Primary Therapist + Exercise Experiential Therapist
Chrissy Hughes, LMHC, CEDS
Chrissy is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Washington (#LH60818315). Chrissy received her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from The Seattle School. Prior to her work as a Primary Therapist, Chrissy initially joined Opal as a milieu therapist. She is also a passionate member of the Sport and Exercise team who loves integrating her background in physical therapy, exercise science, and competitive athletics into her work with athletic-identifying clients. Outside of Opal, Chrissy enjoys drinking bubble tea, riding her bike around town, and hanging out in the San Juan Islands.
Katherine co-leads RO-DBT and is also the 24/7 phone coach. Katherine is a Registered Counselor Affiliated in the State of Washington (#CG60803411). Katherine is an advanced student pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington. She got a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, and a M.A. in Neuroscience from the University of Washington.
Katherine is currently researching interracial interactions, with a focus on what goes wrong in health care interactions for patients of color. She is also interested in the fundamental roles of vulnerability and responsiveness in the development of interpersonal closeness, with implications for the therapeutic relationship and down-stream impacts on health and well-being.
Katherine is interested in evidence-based treatments for complex clinical presentations. She has worked with clients with depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and substance use, and has experience with therapeutic approaches including Mindfulness Based Therapy, DBT, CBT, and ACT. Katherine combines warmth with an insistence upon change, and believes that the most sacred responsibility of a therapist is to hold hope when clients are hopeless. When she’s not working, Katherine loves to climb mountains and cuddle with her cat.
Shannon Wittevrongel, LMHC
Shannon is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Washington (#LH60813335). She completed her Master of Arts in Counseling-Psychology at The Seattle School and her Bachelor of Arts in Social Cultural Anthropology at the University of Arizona. In addition to her experience working with eating disorders, she is experienced with trauma, dissociative disorders, anxiety, depression, and relational concerns. She has a warm, empathetic, and playful approach to therapy that provides her clients with a sense of safety and acceptance. Shannon co-leads Opal’s Body Image group and is passionate about the process of supporting clients in healing their relationship to their bodies and ultimately developing deep trust and sense of safety in their bodies.
Primary Therapist :: Host + Creative Director of The Appetite Podcast
Carter Umhau, LMHCA
Carter is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate in the state of Washington (#MC60572237). Carter received her Masters in Counseling Psychology from the Seattle School. Prior to this, she spent several years studying creative writing and fine arts intensively. She brought her unique creativity to Opal in 2015 as a milieu therapist and the Art Therapy lead. Carter co-created and leads Opal’s Shame+Play group. Carter’s background and experience in storytelling naturally led to her position as the best and creative director of The Appetite podcast.
Intake Specialist + Family Therapist
Tina Alvarado, LMFTA
Tina is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in the state of Washington (#MG 60748824). She earned bachelor degrees in Sociology and Spanish from Loyola Marymount University and recently graduated with her master of arts in Couples and Family Therapy from Seattle University. Tina believes deeply in the values of Opal and enjoys journeying with clients as they determine if Opal is a good fit for them. She hopes to be a friendly and helpful voice for clients beginning the intake process. For fun, Tina enjoys moving her body through dance and yoga and eating delicious food
Sports-Specific Primary Therapist
Laura Maring, PsyD, LMHC
Laura is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Washington (#LH60411920) and an approved supervisor in the state of Washington. She obtained her Master’s degree and Doctorate in clinical psychology from Northwest University and is in process to become a licensed psychologist. Laura has worked in the field of eating disorder treatment at a residential, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient level of care since 2010 with research focused on temperament and eating disorder treatment drop out. She brings a compassionate yet firm approach in assisting clients towards cultivating a greater sense of values and self-awareness within the individual’s life systems. Laura currently serves as President Elect for the Puget Sound Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp) and was previously the local Membership Chair. Outside of work Laura enjoys road trips to the mountains or ocean, taking in musical performances around the city, and deepening her yoga practice.
Laura Larkin, LMFTA
Laura is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in the state of Washington (#MG60810835). Laura received her BA in Psychology at Westmont College and her MS in Marriage and Family Therapy at Seattle Pacific University. She brings to Opal her clinical experience in non-profit and community mental health settings, and advanced training and practice in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT). Through running groups for families of trauma survivors, victims of sexual abuse groups, parent groups, and practicing as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Laura offers a holistic and systemic perspective to understanding complex issues. In her experience of treating clients who are facing anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief, eating disorders, behavioral issues and relational difficulties, Laura has come to see much healing and hope within and through the context of relationships. Laura offers a compassionate, intuitive, and ultimately systemic approach to help both clients and their loved ones deepen their understanding of each other. In her free time, Laura loves to read, walk, travel, cook and laugh with her three children and husband.
Intake Lead + Primary Therapist
Gigi Zappone, LMHC
Gigi is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Washington (#MC60703455).